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My review of going from AMD to Intel

post #1 of 21
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Recently, I upgraded from an AMD system to an Intel system. My goal was to sell my AMD parts and my GPU, Increase the CPU side of things but decrease the GPU side of things without spending any additional money out of my pocket. In the end, I was almost able to do this, I spent a whopping $10.00 USD out of pocket to complete this upgrade/downgrade. This was my first Intel build in 13 years and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I bought a budget Intel board to save money and really had a bad feeling about doing this. Once my Intel stuff came in, I immediately read the motherboard manual to see what was what. After all the reading was done, it was time to build. I’m going to break this down into a few categories:

Installation

Installing the motherboard was pretty direct and was the same as installing an AMD motherboard. Installing the processor on the motherboard on the other hand is where things start to get different. I wasn’t aware of this, but the pins are not on an Intel CPU (at least the 1155). They are on the motherboard. Because of this and because the pins are MUCH smaller than the AMD pins, you have to be EXTREMELY careful installing this processor. I can see how people bend pins on their motherboards, it’s a process that should be done carefully. Once you get the processor is successfully installed on the motherboard, putting the latch down is a little different than AMD but i would not say it’s more difficult. Next, I installed the HSF. I did not install the stock HSF, so I can’t comment on how it compares to AMD, but installing the A70 on an Intel system requires a little more work than installing it on an AMD system, but I actually prefer the Intel system. It seems more secure and allows you to position the heat sink in either the horizontal or vertical position. After installing the CPU and the HSF, everything else is pretty much exactly the same on the hardware side as an AMD system. After installing everything, it was time to fire it up. I totally expected to have several issues due to a new build, having a budget board and because Murphy is always around to keep my BP elevated. To my surprise, it fired right up and I went into the bios right away to check temps and just look around. On the software side, things went extremely well also. I booted into windows 7 safe mode and removed all the amd/ati drivers that I could. I rebooted into windows 7 and had no problems. I installed the drivers off the CD that came with the motherboard and downloaded the latest motherboard drivers later on. I also had no problems installing nvidia drivers with old ati drivers still on my system. I really expected that I would have to reinstall windows 7, I was glad that I did not have to.

EDIT: I want to make it clear that even tho installing a Sandy Bridge CPU over a phenom II CPU is different, Overall i liked the idea of not having to worry about bending pens on the CPU itself.

BIOS

I know that this bios is missing several options compared to more expensive boards, But I was still impressed with the amount of bios options. There are many bios options that I had no clue what do did and still have no clue what they do. I do like the layout of the bios (I’m sure it varies from board to board) and it seems there are enough options to get you going on your overclock. I really love the XMP profile option. Enable this and if you have XMP enabled ram, your timings and voltage is automatically set. One thing that I can honestly say is a huge difference between the AMD motherboard I had and this motherboard is that the auto setting for bios options seems to work very well. I always had problems using auto on my AMD board.

Overclocking

This is where I had no idea what to expect. I did some research to see what a 2500k can do and I honestly did not expect to have good results due to my board and just because I wasn’t aware of what all these Intel settings did. On the advice of a friend, he said just increase the multiplier to 40 (which equals 4.0 GHz on a p67 board) and leave everything on auto. After running prime95 for 7 hours, I could not believe this thing was stable! Going to 4.5ghz was almost just as easy, I left everything on auto except for LLC and the offset( I probably could of left the offset on auto too), and this thing was prime95 and ibt w/avx stable! No need to disable the power saving features to get a stable overclock (on AMD system, this was a must, at least from my experience). So on a budget board with hardly any time spent, I went from a stock 3.3 GHz to 4.5 GHz and I put probably 15 minutes time into this overclock. On past AMD systems, I put hours into test and changing bios options. If you are an AMD oveclocker going to Intel, if your experience is anything like mine, you’re going to be in overclocking heaven.

CPU Comparison

The 2500k is obviously smaller than the Phenom II 955 I had (45nm vs. 32nm). It also runs much cooler and has a much higher thermal ceiling. Temperature has always been a big downside to overclocking the Phenom II. The Phenom II in general can start to run hot once you start to get around 3.8 GHz and has a much lower thermal ceiling than the 2500k.

Summary

Overall, I was nervous that I was going to regret this change. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I knew that in 13 years, alot is going to change. Intel has done a fantastic job with the 2500k/p67 system. Its fast, it’s easy to overclock and most importantly, it’s stable. I have yet to have a BSOD or even a program crash at 4.5 GHz. If you’re not into overclocking, don’t worry, I noticed a nice increase in performance at stock clocks on the 2500k (Americas Army 3 increased by at least 25fps while running the 2500k @ stock speeds compared to my 955 @ 3.8). Comparing the phenom II to the 2500k, price to performance ratio,AMD has a slight advantage, but it still makes it very hard to recommend AMD right now. I love AMD, and have supported them for the last 13 years. I can’t comment on previous Intel systems, but this 2500k/p67 combo is an amazing combo for an amazing price. If you are on the fence on which system to get or which system to upgrade to next, if your experience is anything like mine, you will not be disappointed. I hope this does not come across as an bash AMD thread. I love AMD, I did enjoy my Phenom II system, and i hope AMD comes out firing on all cylinders with bulldozer.

Old System

Phenom II @ 3.8

Asus M4A78-E Motherboard

4gb OCZ Platinum Memory

XFX Reference 5870

New System

Gigabyte P67A-D3-B3 Motherboard

Intel i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz

4gb G Skill Ripjaw X

Asus 460gtx TOP DirectCu

Update: 10/6/11 Just wanted to give everyone a quick update who is still on the fence. Still running my 2500k @ 4.5ghz (1.29v) with no problems. I never get any crashes or BSOD, its just stable as can be. I never feel like i need more speed with this system, it just tackles anything i throw at it and smiles. 2500k is just a great chip. Ive since upgraded to another motherboard since i wrote this review and have had no problems as a result of this. Im still extremely thrilled that i made this jump and would do it again in a heart beat. This Intel system has made a believer out of an old AMD guy. I also want to add that i have never tried to go past 4.5ghz. I could probably get to 4.8ghz based on my current cooling solution and have no doubt 5.0ghz would be possible with something strong like an H100.
Edited by GMcDougal - 10/6/11 at 6:47am
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post #2 of 21
Thanks for posting this. I'm switching from a Phenom II to 2500k (should be here to tomorrow) and I'm nervous too. Or atleast was, till I read this. Now I'm super excited!
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post #3 of 21
Same feeling as mine when I moved from 1055t to 2500k. Cheers, mate.
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post #4 of 21
pretty good post Rep+, but in defence of intel and its socket, having the pins in the socket and not on the cpu is actually a really good change from the old way that amd is still using, for one the pins are protected well and when you remove a heatsink there is no chance of pulling the cpu out of the socket and twisting the pins up. the amount of times ive seen someone screw their AMD cpu like this...
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post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal777 View Post
when you remove a heatsink there is no chance of pulling the cpu out of the socket and twisting the pins up. the amount of times ive seen someone screw their AMD cpu like this...
Guilty. Messed up an Athlon II X2 250.
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post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal777 View Post
pretty good post Rep+, but in defence of intel and its socket, having the pins in the socket and not on the cpu is actually a really good change from the old way that amd is still using, for one the pins are protected well and when you remove a heatsink there is no chance of pulling the cpu out of the socket and twisting the pins up. the amount of times ive seen someone screw their AMD cpu like this...
I agree. the difference wasnt really a negative, but when you have dealed with one way for 13 years and go to a new way, it is different and with the threads ive seen with bent pents on an intel motherboard, i can see how it can happen. As long as your careful and pay attention closely, Its really hard to mess up.
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post #7 of 21
Nice to hear that the SB runs cooler. One of the reason I actually switched from Intel to AMD was because of the temps. I know AMD ran cooler than Intel's 45nm counterpart.

My old lapped overclocked E6400 would load at 44C. Threw in a Q9550 and it was running almost at 70C. My Athlon II as of right now loads shy above 40C. With higher overclock it doesn't even crack 50C.
    
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post #8 of 21


I agree, whole new world going with Intel. Just something different and fun to explore something I wasn't used to. Still learning it. I'd overclock it more often, but on stock cooler yet, so I'm not pushing it.

My last AMD was a Phenom II 940 (3.0GHz), it was a good build, but overclocking (H50 cooler at the time) was rough. I could barely keep it stable at 3.6 - 3.7GHz at times. I've hit 4GHz to get a validation, but not stable obviously. Nothing against AMD, loved it! I really hope Bulldozer is either on par or better than Sandy Bridge.
post #9 of 21
Great thread GM...glad to see you're enjoying your new toy

I have to say this, just to say it.....I told ya so!!!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsfkevski View Post
Great thread GM...glad to see you're enjoying your new toy

I have to say this, just to say it.....I told ya so!!!
this guy is responsible for me dumping AMD. Thanks again for bringing me back to the dark side
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