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I plan to build a new system. In deciding which CPU to choose I was puzzled. I narrowed down my choices to AMD Phenom II X4 965 or Intel Core i7 870.

The specs seem a bit unclear for these models due to marketing tools that they use.

I basically want a machine that will have no problem playing some of the newer games. I also would like to play HD movies with no problem, be able to compile large applications and compress/extract large files quickly.

From the 2 choice I listed above what are some of the advantages of one over the other? Would I be lacking any noticeable differences by sticking with the cheaper AMD CPU for my needs?

I would also like the system to stay competitive/mainstream for the next 3-5 years.

Also what motherboard/case would work well with either of these processors, that would also enable me to add most of the newer Nvidia cards? I hear good things about ASUS motherboards.

And which Nvidia GPU should I choose? I have my eye on the [GeForce 9800 GTX 512 MB 256-bit][1]

[1]: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx? Item=N82E16814130339

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AMD seems to make more forward/backward-compatible CPUs. And the mainboards are cheaper. –  java.is.for.desktop Feb 8 '10 at 21:39
    
the gtk260 core 216 is sold out on newegg :( –  Absolute0 Feb 8 '10 at 22:06
    
You might want to keep an eye on superuser.com/questions/106491/… - I am seeing similar performance from a new system with a Phenom II X4 965 BE as I was getting from an old Athlon X2 4600+. –  Lawrence Dol Feb 9 '10 at 2:56

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Either CPU will have no problems keeping up with the latest generation of games - however, you will need to pair it with a new/good graphics card.

I would personally always go with Intel if you can, however, if budget is a constraint with you, the AMD will still make a very good system.

Motherboard - Go with anything with Solid State capacitors and it should be good to go - Asus are good, but so are loads of other brands (Intel, Gigabyte and Foxconn to name a few). I always recommend sorting by price order and get the cheapest (from a good brand) that suits your needs.

GPU - They change all the time. Just get the biggest you can for your budget. Personally, again, I sort by price and you usually see tiered pricing where for hardly anything extra you get double ram, faster GPU etc. I personally set a budget and buy whatever one is the best before the price increments become gigantic. (e.g. card1-£40, Card2-£42, Card3-£44, Card4-£90... I would go for card 3, although this is a very basic example... card2/3/4 would all be high specification as well as price!)

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