Saturday, August 14, 2010

Comparing Basic Computer Builds: Intel or AMD?

So here we get to the heart of the matter, folks? Who do I want to go with: Intel or AMD? Its a tough choice in some regards and yet almost painfully easy in others. First off, Square Enix seems to be backing Intel and Nvidia. Their recommended specs for Final Fantasy XIV listed only a Core i7 processor and a GTX460 graphics card. However, this does not in any way mean that an AMD / ATI setup cannot / will not work. Without further ado, here are my samples for potential AMD and Intel builds. Note that I did not include a case in any of these as I still do not know what case I want. Lets see what is in the realm of feasibility ... and what clearly is not.


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This seems like such a "phenom"inal value to me. That is one hell of a fast processor and if I really want to bump up to a hexa core rather then a quad core it is going to be a whopping $20. This setup, while it is still without a case, comes nowhere near my max budget and could possibly get an extra upgrade or two. Do I want 8gb of RAM? The XFX model 5870 that is on sale right now? An SSD as the drive that Windows 7 is installed on? An extremely flashy case like the Cooler Master Sniper Black AMD Dragon Edition?

Oh the possabilities!


There are three different chips that I could go with if I decide to buy an Intel computer. But as you will see not all of them are necessarily feasible.

i5 760:

This computer is alright but if its not a little slower then the 965 then it is pretty much the same. Intel fans might tell you differently, but I have seen no arguements to back it up. It is a completely feasible option just like the AMD machine up at the top but since I am not quite as familiar with Intel I cannot properly gage its value.

i7 870:

Here is where things start to get blurry. I know that an i7, whether it is a Lynnfield model like this one or a Bloomfield like the one below, has 4 physical cores and four virtual cores for a total of 8 logical cores. What I don't know is whether all of that imaginary processing power is really worth $340 here. The store I am going to does not seem to have the i7 860, which would have been $305 and made this all a little more feasible. If I really want to spend this much on a processor I could easily get the Phenom II x6 1090t for $320 when its *not* on sale as it is right now.

i7 930:

Its the most advanced setup of them all, the i7 930. This is running on a 1336 socket motherboard and you can tell -- I'm paying for it. But that is the only way to go and even here I am likely skimping a little. This is enthusaist country we're entering; we have teetering away from the border of game machine land steadily here. I don't think I would be too keen to buy this machine as it offers me nothing new or special that I *need* in exchange for the funds that it is taking.

Anyway, those are my builds *before* I add a case. I still don't seem to know what kind of a case that I want to put my PC in yet. Anyway, I'll post this for now and do another post strictly about cases soon.

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