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Windows 7: A question about Phenom II vs Core i7


30 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 x64
 
 
A question about Phenom II vs Core i7

So I'm looking into building my first computer, and saw that Phenom II 6-core was much better than a Core i7 quad core, plus it cost much less? I'm wondering why this is. The links for both:

Phenom II 1055T x6

Core i7 920 Bloomfield x4

I know there's something I must be missing, but I can't quite tell.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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30 May 2010   #2

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Don't believe all of the marketing hype. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and the fanbois of each will tell you why one is better than the other.

The i7 has eight virtual cores, the Phenom has 6. The Intel will perform better at certain tasks than the Phenom. In the end, it's a price/performance issue.

My personal machine has a Phenom in it. The machines I spec for work have i7's in them. If I had the money, my own machine would have an i7, simply for the multi-threading features and better resource usage. Intels also run cooler in my experience.

I consider myself fairly unbiased, so there's my $.02

EDIT: As stormy13 has pointed out, my statement that the i7 has eight virtual cores is incorrect. I often mistakenly think of it as an 8 core CPU. In reality, the i7 920 has 4 physical cores, and 4 virtual cores, not 8 as I have stated above.
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30 May 2010   #3

Windows7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Price vs Performance wise, Phenom beat i7... but the final decision is at your hand. I personally would go with Phenom simply because of the price difference.

zzz2496
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30 May 2010   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

There are plenty of reviews on the net that are "fanbois" free. Google and do a side by side comparision, than go from there.

And as been mentioned, finances will play a role as well.

Good luck

BTW the 930 is a better chip that is replacing the 920. It faster 2.80 Vs 2.66 and cooler. Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
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30 May 2010   #5

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Let's not forget the memory as well for a i7 920/930 chip which requires an X58 board which use tripple channel memory. (3 sticks)

As opposed to the i7-800, 500, and 300 series which require dual channel memory (2 sticks)
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30 May 2010   #6

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

Hmmm...my last post is in response to a post that just... disapeared
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30 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

It's a complicated question. I was disappointed with the initial reviews I read for the 1090T (higher-end sibling of the 1055T). Its performance in many applications was roughly comparable to the similarly priced I7 920. It's not aimed at the I7 980X (Intel's 6 core, $1000 CPU).

Just to confuse things further, have you looked at the Intel Socket 1156 offerings? Those may be closer in price/performance to the AMD systems.

(I'm not married to either Intel or AMD. I handed down my Athlon64 X2 system to a friend, who continues to make good use of it. I hope that AMD soon gets back to straight performance competition with Intel, as they did when the Athlon64 line was new.)
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30 May 2010   #8

Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

I know nothing about AMD's chips or MB's, but here's some info you need to consider should you decide to go with Intel's offering's.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
You also need to consider your RAM...

The 55 chipset (1156 processor socket) uses dual channel DDR3 memory i.e 2/4/8 gig = 2 stick sets.

The 58 chipset (1366 processor socket) uses DDR3 triple channel memory 6/12/24gig = 3 stick sets

The X58 chipset is more of a higher end system then the 55 chipset performance wise.

Price wise the 58 system will be more expensive over a similar 55 system. Do your homework and some research.

X58 vs. P55: Explaining Intel's Core i5/i7 Chipsets
Now I'm sure someone who knows AMD can put something similiar together for you to consider.

My two cents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #9

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Now I'm sure someone who knows AMD can put something similiar together for you to consider.

My two cents.
The thing with the AMD system is, as mentioned, the cost of the motherboard is generally lower. The AM3 socket series uses dual channel DDR3 modules in a 2/4/8 configuration.

AMD has a slight advantage in the system complexity department, that being the memory controller is on the die of the Phenom, not on the motherboard, and it cuts down on the board's "real estate requirements". Less circuit traces and layers mean reduced cost of the board.

Another tangible benefit of AMD is when using an AMD chipset motherboard, rather than an Nvidia chipset, there seems to be a smoother interface to the graphics hardware, and some motherboards can even Crossfire the onboard GPU with a discrete card. It's called Hybrid Crossfire, and depending on the motherboard and card combination, you can get decent performance out of a cheap ATI Radeon card. No surprise, since AMD owns ATI, that they would optimize their platforms for their own equipment. Nvidia boards also have a Hybrid SLI on some models, as well, but I have never seen a side by side comparison.

A big disadvantage to AMD systems is the lack of memory divider options on most motherboards. Intel rigs allow much more flexibility in how the memory and FSB speeds are strapped and divided. This can lead to some serious gains in performance, particularly when overclocking.

Overall, my take on the new six core Phenom is that it's just "meh." Most apps can't even take advantage of a quad yet, and few users use the kind of software that would really benefit from one at this point. Right now, it's just "Core Wars" from both, and it's a pissing contest to see who can get the most cores on a die.

For my money, rather than the Thuban core Phenom, I would rather just put my money into a good quad like the Phenom 955 or 965, a good quality motherboard, and some fast RAM. You can always upgrade to the six (or eight, or whatever comes out next, as long as it's an AM3 socket) core model later, when the core contest is over and the market stabilizes a little.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sygnus21 View Post
Now I'm sure someone who knows AMD can put something similiar together for you to consider.

My two cents.
The thing with the AMD system is, as mentioned, the cost of the motherboard is generally lower. The AM3 socket series uses dual channel DDR3 modules in a 2/4/8 configuration.

AMD has a slight advantage in the system complexity department, that being the memory controller is on the die of the Phenom, not on the motherboard, and it cuts down on the board's "real estate requirements". Less circuit traces and layers mean reduced cost of the board.

Another tangible benefit of AMD is when using an AMD chipset motherboard, rather than an Nvidia chipset, there seems to be a smoother interface to the graphics hardware, and some motherboards can even Crossfire the onboard GPU with a discrete card. It's called Hybrid Crossfire, and depending on the motherboard and card combination, you can get decent performance out of a cheap ATI Radeon card. No surprise, since AMD owns ATI, that they would optimize their platforms for their own equipment. Nvidia boards also have a Hybrid SLI on some models, as well, but I have never seen a side by side comparison.

A big disadvantage to AMD systems is the lack of memory divider options on most motherboards. Intel rigs allow much more flexibility in how the memory and FSB speeds are strapped and divided. This can lead to some serious gains in performance, particularly when overclocking.

Overall, my take on the new six core Phenom is that it's just "meh." Most apps can't even take advantage of a quad yet, and few users use the kind of software that would really benefit from one at this point. Right now, it's just "Core Wars" from both, and it's a pissing contest to see who can get the most cores on a die.

For my money, rather than the Thuban core Phenom, I would rather just put my money into a good quad like the Phenom 955 or 965, a good quality motherboard, and some fast RAM. You can always upgrade to the six (or eight, or whatever comes out next, as long as it's an AM3 socket) core model later, when the core contest is over and the market stabilizes a little.
+1. It's easy to get caught up in the hype and not realize that the extra money spent on trying to get the best performance was really wasted. More RAM or a SSD is the best bet for a truly noticeable performance increase.
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 A question about Phenom II vs Core i7




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