Intel vs AMD

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I've got a friend who wants to build a new dual-core cpu gaming machine.
He's going to use the machine for nothing but gaming.

Though I always use AMD whenever possible I understand that Intel is now
taking over the lead...but have heard that AMD is still best for a gaming

Since I'm not into games any more advanced than the win3x version of
Can anyone here give a good suggestion for a CPU?

The guy has a budget of about $700 (USD) for CPU, motherboard , video card
and it will probably have to be a "lower-end" dual core.


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Re: Intel vs AMD

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The $700 is just short of fairly high end gear. Consider :

Core 2 Duo E6400 for about $225
Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB about $310
1GB RAM $150
Asus P5N-E  $150

Total $835.

Something would have to give to get under $700, but the Core 2 Duo
E6300 goes about $185, and there are certainly cheaper video cards.
Also, the P5N-E can't run both PCI Express slots at x16, but you are
better off with one 8800 than two of just about anything else.

How long would it take to save the extra $100 ? Otherwise, buy a
cheaper video card, and upgrade later. 8800 prices will only come
down, particularly after ATI/AMD comes out with thier new chip.

I have the above setup with an E6600 instead. Last year I would have
bought an AMD. That said, very few games make use of dual core, so you
could buy a cheaper single core chip and save a few bucks on the CPU
and likely motherboard as well. I certainly wouldn't recommend it

Dean G.

Re: Intel vs AMD

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Yes...he is going to have to compromise on the video card for now...
but figured the dual core CPU will be usable for quite some time yet...

I've just got to get the poor guy back into DOS games I think <G>

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Re: Intel vs AMD

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Thanks a ton for the P5N-E suggestion...
he's going to go with that one because of the upgradability.

Then I get the parts from his old machine
which is way better than anything I presently have !

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Re: Intel vs AMD

philo wrote:
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The Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4GHz for $100 is one option.

The Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (Conroe) is a great procesor for $185.

An Nvidia 7950GT 256MB will be $200-250. It is not a DX10 card.

Re: Intel vs AMD

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AMD still has a few things in it's favor:

1.  It does not use the Northbridge for Memory I/O.  It has an integrated
memory controller that can access the memory and the video/PCI-E directly,
as opposed to Intel's archaic use of the Northbridge/FSB.

2.  When comparing dual core, AMD has the advantage in that the two cores
are aware of each other and are directly connected to each other; all
communications take place through the crossbar, directly on the die,
drastically reducing latency and freeing up clock cycles.  Intel Core Duo
procs are not connected in any, and are in fact two single core dies fused
together.  In Core Duo, they can only communicate with each other through
the Northbridge/FSB, which is *much* slower that the processor's core
frequency.  In Core 2 Duo, the two cores communicate through the L2 cache,
which is faster than the NB/FSB, but introduces latency and consumes clock
cycles. That is why Core 2 Duo procs have more L2 cache than previous chips,
but it is used to reduce the latency introduced by the cores using the L2 to
communicate internally.

3.  AMD continues to run cooler than Intel, which is important in a gaming

4.  AMD also tends to be less expensive in a given performance category.

I would still recommend AMD over Intel for gaming, despite all the hype that
Intel wants everyone to believe.  Intel makes a good chip, but still builds
them on an archaic die that still uses 10 year old FSB I/O protocols.


Re: Intel vs AMD

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In my opinion right now, the Intel Core2 Duo chips hands down. I ran AMD for
years, up until about a week ago, when I was running an Athlon X2 4400+
overclocked to 2.5 ghz.

Just upgraded to an Intel Core2 Duo E6600, EVGA 680i mb, Zalman 9700 NT
cooler, and 2 gb Corsair XMS2 ddr2 ram ( running at 1066 mhz - 533 ddr).
The stock speed of this chip was 2.4 ghz, in FSX ( MS latest flight
sim )performance was still better than my Athon X2 4400+ at 2.5 ghz.
I now have the system overclocked to 3.24 ghz, and it runs great. I am
extremely pleased with my upgrade.

While my upgrade was a little pricier than you are looking for, you can get
the E6300 and a cheaper socket 775 mb, and still get great performance I am

You might want to check out the E6300, say an Asus P5B mb, or Gigabyte, and
800 mhz ram, to fit more in your budget.


Re: Intel vs AMD

On Mon, 5 Mar 2007 15:45:44 -0600, "philo"

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Since it's for gaming, the question is really one of how
much money is left in the budget after the other parts
besides the CPU... because the CPU will make the least

For a general purpose system, Core2Duo is the better choice.
For a gaming system, budgeting towards an nVidia 8800(%%%)
video card is the first choice, it will make more difference
towards the goal than spending more for a Core2Duo versus
less on an Athlon 64... though whether you go dual or single
core is not so much difference "today", on a budget a single
core can be as much performance per dollar at least for the
time being.  At some point in the future games will benefit
a lot more from dual cores, but at that point it may be time
to replace some parts again too, so it is a bit hard to
think "future" when building a gaming system.

Then again we don't know how much of a stickler your friend
is for max details/eyecandy in games, nor what resolution
he's going to use.  The less picky he is (or lower
requirement from native resolution of an LCD?) the less the
budget needs to accomodate a higher end video card.

Does the friend have a very strong PSU?  Going from an older
generation system to a modern gaming system, the current
demands on the 12V rail can climb quite a bit, I'm just
wondering if the budget is able to accomodate a new PSU if
it's required.

$700 is cutting it close for a Core2Duo in a gaming system,
if that won't fit the budget then go with AMD.  1GB vs 2GB
of memory is also a hard choice on this budget.  A bit more
detail about what else the friend might use the system for
could help you decide.  While I'm not encouraging anyone to
use Vista, it is the path for DX10 gaming and if that is
likely during the life of this system, 2GB of memory might
make more sense and put the Core2Duo out of reach for this

Re: Intel vs AMD


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To all who responded...a big thank you...
I am going to pass all the info along to him...then let him make his own

One thing for sure is he's going to be getting a very good powersupply...
possibly as much as 600 watts.
Though he plans to run XP...
when games start requiring DX10 he *may* go with Vista
(assuming that some of the bugs are fixed)

He will have to compromise a bit on the video card for the time being
even though that's the most important part.

His main logic with a dual core CPU is that the cpu and mobo should still
be good for a few more years...
and he can upgrade the video card later...

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