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Intel i3 550 or a amd X4 925

post #1 of 16
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i am building a new gaming rig and i am torn between 2 processors i know that the amd has 4 physical cores and such but i just seem to like Intel more with hyper threading i know the i3 is capable of 4 cores ( 2 physical 2 virtual) but would i really benefit from a i3 in the end or a amd please help ?
post #2 of 16
Both are the same price right? Give or take.



I'd go for the AMD rig. Better motherboards at this point in the game, and support for the x6 phenoms.
post #3 of 16
Hmmm, was going to say have a look at sandybridge i3's but on closer inspction, they're prob worse than the old ones 'cos you can't OC them.

Go AMD, hands down.
    
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post #4 of 16
Which games do you play?

X4 925 has 2MB more L3 cache but is hotter. It has the "brute strength" advantage in 4-core games.

i3-550 is cooler and speedy (when OC'd). It has speed advantage in 2-core games.

If you choose the i3, also get some very fast ram because you will need it when L2/L3 cache runs out.

For example, in Fallout New Vegas, with my i3 530, I see fps drop to around 30 in some places (and 20-25 on the strip where there are numerous NPC's). Another guy I know, with i7-970 (12MB L3) , sees no major fps drops anywhere, according to him.

Even though Fallout New Vegas only needs 2 cores, the cpu with more cache has a major advantage.
Edited by Partol - 3/22/11 at 5:47pm
     
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post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partol View Post
Which games do you play?

X4 925 has 2MB more L3 cache but is hotter. It has the "brute strength" advantage in 4-core games.

i3-550 is cooler and speedy (when OC'd). It has speed advantage in 2-core games.

If you choose the i3, also get some very fast ram because you will need it when L2/L3 cache runs out.

For example, in Fallout New Vegas, with my i3 530, I see fps drop to around 30 in some places (and 20-25 on the strip where there are numerous NPC's). Another guy I know, with i7-970 (12MB L3) , sees no major fps drops anywhere, according to him.

Even though Fallout New Vegas only needs 2 cores, the cpu with more cache has a major advantage.

.. it could also be because hes got a hexacore cpu...
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post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blazing angel View Post
.. it could also be because hes got a hexacore cpu...
Wrong. Fallout New Vegas only runs on 2 cores. My fps is usually 60-75fps and only 45-50% cpu usage on 2 cores.

I even turned off hyperthreading on my i3. FPS was unchanged. 2 fast cores is enough for that game. 3+ cores is overkill.

Look at this Fallout 3 benchmark. New Vegas is very similiar to Fallout 3.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/47

All top cpu's have 6MB or more cache.

First cpu with less than 6MB cache is the core i3-2100 and next is the dual-core i5 670 which is basically a turbo version of the i3 550.

Its especially interesting to note that i7-2600k fps is much higher than i5-2500k. Many people wrongly believe that i7-2600k and i5-2500k are "equal" for gaming. They are only "equal" until the i5-2500k runs out of cache.
Edited by Partol - 3/22/11 at 10:04pm
     
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post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Partol View Post
Wrong. Fallout New Vegas only runs on 2 cores. My fps is usually 60-75fps and only 45-50% cpu usage on 2 cores.

I even turned off hyperthreading on my i3. FPS was unchanged. 2 fast cores is enough for that game. 3+ cores is overkill.

Look at this Fallout 3 benchmark. New Vegas is very similiar to Fallout 3.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/47

All top cpu's have 6MB or more cache.

First cpu with less than 6MB cache is the core i3-2100 and next is the dual-core i5 670 which is basically a turbo version of the i3 550.

Its especially interesting to note that i7-2600k fps is much higher than i5-2500k. Many people wrongly believe that i7-2600k and i5-2500k are "equal" for gaming. They are only "equal" until the i5-2500k runs out of cache.
It's a crappy engine. Even still you're i3 shouldn't have dropped that low. It never went lower then 50 on my athlon II x3/4 systems, and I don't even think it dropped that low when I played F3 on my old A64 x2 system.

The game runs differently for everyone, just like Oblivion did, and like Oblivion there were some tweaks that helped with memory management and such which helped immensely with performance.

Strange those games seem so dependent on L3 cache, but some of the results don't add up. The i3 530 is neck and neck with the Athlon II x2 at roughly the same clock speed. The athlon II has no l3 cache and is much slower clock for clock. There are a few other examples like this as well in there.
     
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post #8 of 16
Athlon II X2 has 1-2MB L2 cache.
i3 530 only has 1/2 MB L2 cache.

L2 cache could explain the difference (but maybe not). The difference could also be explained by different motherboards, possibly different ram (ddr2 vs ddr3), updated gpu drivers ...

I think its more accurate to compare similiar or almost identical cpu's ... than to compare AMD to Intel.

As I wrote before, Fallout New Vegas never maxes out my i3 530 @4GHz+.
cpu and gpu usage are usually around 50% in that game.

A cpu which is slower, clock for clock, could possibly perform better than my i3 if it has more cache or better/faster cache ... if it is able to run at 100% cpu usage.

I am currently playing gothic 3 now and I also see around 30fps when I look at a large group of NPC's. I have also seen drops to 30 fps in Oblivion: Nehrim mod. When I fight spiders in Nehrim, fps drops to around 20. Spiders are fps killers in that game, for me.
Edited by Partol - 3/24/11 at 8:51am
     
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post #9 of 16
The i3 overclocks pretty well. I hit 4.40 @ 1.4v or 4.62 with HT off.
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post #10 of 16
The 550 and 560 are a different stepping than the 530 and 540, and appear to OC better w/ less voltage.

On my 550 I got 4.15GHz on the stock cooler at 1.2v, and am currently at my sig; 4.5GHz at 1.36v w/ HT-on. My H70 is way overkill even w/ the fans turned way down.

I'm not up to speed on AMD, but I have a feeling they will not OC nearly as well.
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