AMD vs Intel - The Gaming Sweetspot

Testbed & Results

Testbed
 
In order to maintain a level playing ground, comparable hardware was used across both testbeds and thus minimising the likelihood of a bias.
 
Intel

Intel Core i7 920 Processor @ 2.66GHz
Gigabyte EX58 UD3R LGA1366 Motherboard
6GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 Memory
HIS Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
500GB Seagate 7200.12 SATA II Hard Disk Drive
Corsair TX 650W Power Supply Unit
Akasa Nero Heatpipe Cooler
Windows Vista Home Premium
LG 22x DVD+/-RW SATA

AMD

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition @ 3.40GHz
Gigabyte MA770T UD3P Socket AM3 Motherboard
4GB PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 Memory
HIS Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
320GB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA II Hard Disk Drive
Corsair TX 650W Power Supply Unit
Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro Cooler
Windows Vista Home Premium
LG 22x DVD+/-RW SATA

Crysis Warhead
 
Crysis Warhead is without a doubt one hard nut to crack, especially at higher resolutions and a dash of Anti Aliasing and Anisotrophic Filtering. The perfect play ground for the superb Radeon HD 5870 graphics card.
 
 
The nature of the game combined with the relatively high resolution has resulted in near identical frame rates. In this particular case, our more affordable AMD Phenom II based test rig is holding it's own very well. The frame rates as such are not particularly bad but on both test setups, there were areas of dense graphics such as explosions where the game play was a tad choppy. All in all however, both systems seem to take on Crysis Warhead admirably well.
 
Far Cry 2
 
Far Cry 2, another popular game that is well known for it's excellent visuals but also known for it's lack of mercy for lower end machines, most notably so at higher resolutions. Furthermore this particular game features a rather comprehensive benchmark tool that simulates game play realistically and most importantly very accurately.
 
 
In this particular game, the Core i7 920 develops an ever so slight lead over the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition, but it should be made quite clear that without looking at the figures, there's no way you could tell between the two.
 
Microsoft Flight Simulator X
 
Flight Simulator X, launched in 2006 is Microsoft's latest and possibly their last iteration of the once popular aviation based series. Sadly, this particular game is known to most for it's faults and when I mean faults, I truly mean it. The game itself is based on a very old engine that dates as far back as FS2002 but has been tweaked for all the additional visuals and functions. Now that the game has been patched to take advantage of Multicore processors, performance issues have been ironed out to some extent.
 
 
Here, the Core i7 see's a more substantial lead over the 965BE in terms of maximum frame rates however based on average, they remain much the same.
 
Call of Duty 4
 
Call of Duty 4 is another popular hit however even with all of the eye candy set to full and the image quality raised up high, it doesn't particularly hurt today's latest and greatest. Regardless, let's see how it fares.
 
 
 The Core i7 920's lead is most prominent in this particular test, with a large increase in minimum frame rates. On average however, they are not so different. It should be noted that much like Far Cry 2, it would be hard to distinguish between the Intel and AMD system even if they were placed side by side.
 
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Most Recent Comments

25-10-2009, 23:33:24

tinytomlogan
We get the put the two heavey weighs in the ring head to head, will AMD throw in the towel? Or maybe Intel is all mouth.... We fire up the test rigs to find out who really is the best. By Mul

Continue Reading

26-10-2009, 03:37:55

AaronCooper
Hehe tom you put AMD Vs. nVidia not intel :P

26-10-2009, 06:48:36

Kylevdm
Great article, although I would switch the Call of Duty test results the other way round so it matches with all the others At the moment it is i7 on top where all the others have it on the bottom of the graph

26-10-2009, 08:17:54

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='AaronCooper'
Hehe tom you put AMD Vs. nVidia not intel :P
Freudient slip.

It's evident to me that if ur just gaming, u can afford to make a choice of either camp. Even if ur enthusiastic in ur approach. Cash will often dictate ur choice, although primarily I try to stress to people (in this day'n'age) ur major purchase should always be the gfxcard for gaming. It makes little sense to dump a large portion of ur budget into cpu/mobo/mem and settle for a 4770, when u could get a 5870 and the balance can effectively make up the numbers.

Some1 with an i7 and a 4770 will do less well as a P35/E8400 and a 5870, for example.

Think the biggest decision maker is what else u do with the pc other than gaming.

Great read btw.

26-10-2009, 16:51:36

iceie
I think this test proves that the intel chips is really aggressive for the performance and the disadvantages that is set to test

27-10-2009, 07:56:17

Nelly
Sorry to criticise the review but it lacks depth in terms of results as their isn't enough infomation to give conclusive evidence i.e. not enough Benchmarks as some games fair better on one CPU or the other - check other reviews.

Would of been a more interesting read if you did a clock for clock analysis just to see if the INTEL i7 920 @ 3.4GHz gave a significant boost or not over the stock 2.66GHz.

Then do another test with both CPU's at 3.8GHz to see if either CPU can take advantage of the 5870 graphics card.

Also would of been more interesting if you had added results using Lynnfield into the equation.

On a positive note for Fred Bloggs buying a PC from a retail chain PC outlet the results will be good for the non-overclocker who isn't bothered about these things.

27-10-2009, 10:14:26

danimoth17
I would have preferred a comparison using the core i7-860 or 870.

that way you would have been using the same dual channel memory etc.

just to rule out other influences as much as possible.

27-10-2009, 13:31:29

Mul.
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Nelly'
Sorry to criticise the review but it lacks depth in terms of results as their isn't enough infomation to give conclusive evidence i.e. not enough Benchmarks as some games fair better on one CPU or the other - check other reviews.

Would of been a more interesting read if you did a clock for clock analysis just to see if the INTEL i7 920 @ 3.4GHz gave a significant boost or not over the stock 2.66GHz.

Then do another test with both CPU's at 3.8GHz to see if either CPU can take advantage of the 5870 graphics card.

Also would of been more interesting if you had added results using Lynnfield into the equation.

On a positive note for Fred Bloggs buying a PC from a retail chain PC outlet the results will be good for the non-overclocker who isn't bothered about these things.
Cheers for the feedback

Truth be told, with the equipment that I had to hand, between the previously reviewed Titan Goliath PC and it's HD 5870, I thought it might be possible to pull together another article with some results. If I had more gaming benchmarks to hand as well as a Core i5, then certainly they would have been included but even without doing so, our conclusion still holds true.

05-11-2009, 20:48:03

WelshD1K
amd has a slight advantage fo a faster clock speed. would be interesting to see how it waould fair vs a 920 @ 3.4 ..

i will argue that speed - speed amd seem to be down on the fps etc might be the lower fsb and high multi throttling the cards? , just a thought as my old e6600 did better fps than my amd 6000x2

with identical everything - mobo ...

05-11-2009, 23:48:13

FragTek
Nice shoot out! Makes me not feel so bad about going back to AMD, haha.
Reply
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