AMD vs. Intel for the best gaming processor?
There are dozens of CPUs that claim to be the best gaming processor. Looking at specifications it is very easy to get confused on which to choose. AMD now boasts a 6 core CPU, but is it really what you need? AMD processors seem to be targeted more and more to very lite gamers, or Desktops that hardly see the use of their GPUs. AMD also seems to target Applications based customers that don’t want to spend ridiculous amounts for multiple cores. That’s all fine with me, I like the branching out of AMD, but they need to get back to the roots of gaming. Intel is not shy to boast it’s Sandy Bridge architecture, which is debatable, but in my opinion the fastest. In almost every benchmark we see that the Sandy Bridge architecture overlaps the Bulldozer architecture. The most noticeable difference of these benchmarks are of games.
The Core i7 processors seem to overclock to about 5GHz on air, isn’t that crazy?? What’s even more crazy is the price for the overclock-able versions! The K series is about $700 more than the regular locked multiplier. What a lot of buyers forget about is the i5 series. The i5 series has the same Sandy Bridge architecture, without hyperthreading. In essence I find hyper-threading useless unless I got into some type of 3D modeling with AutoCAD, but I don’t do any of those things… Anyway, for $10 more the i5 overclock-able series is available to us, marked by a K at the end of the 2500 (2500k). To be honest I don’t see why anyone would not buy the K version of this processor. It’s very much capable of fast speeds, and for $10 more you relatively gain almost 1.75x performance!
The i5 2500k can overclock to become the best gaming processor!
So we’ve decided on the i5 2500k as our processor. Not convinced? Check out these benchmarks.
Before we begin the benchmarks we overclock the i5 2600k and see what it’s all about. The Sandy Bridge line is a 32 nm chip which is able to run MUCH cooler than the old 45 nm chips. Also all of the K series from Sandy Bridge overclock like crazy on air. For example, above we’ve overclocked the i5 at 4.98 Ghz ON AIR. Novice overclockers all over the internet are reporting 4.7 Ghz very achievable with little experience at overclocking. There are many voltage settings listed on Google, so go find and try some! Pushing these processors to 4.9Ghz is sometimes hard to find, this is because the majority of them need a lot more voltage just to jump from 4.7 to 4.9 Ghz. Very understandable however. With the old 45 nm chips we’d have to be running water cooling to get anywhere near that. Intel has really stepped up their game.
note (The AMD 5870 was used for the benchmark below)
Although an older game, Crysis still brings certain processors to their knees, but not the best gaming processor the i5 2500k matches and exceeds the i7 speeds! The price difference for these processors is about $700, yet the cheaper i5 is whooping the i7′s butt! The i5 at 4.9 GHz gets on average 67 FPS while the i7 980X Extreme only gets 64. Also the i5 at the same speed matches the benchmarks of the i7 2600k at 4.85Ghz. Surely these benchmarks cannot be ignored any longer, with barely any overclocking skills the i5 has out shined all other processors.
The very well known 3D Mark 11 show’s that the i5 scores better than the i7 (both overclocked). The i7 2600k earned 4298 points while the i5 2500k earned 4520, a difference of almost 200 points, wow. It’s important to note however that 3D Mark doesn’t take much advantage of hyper threading, as don’t most games. I haven’t found a game out there that can even use the 6 cores AMD has released. For now it’s good to stick with quad cores until we see better utilization of cores. But when our quad core overclocks to nearly 5Ghz on air, then screw the 6 core and get some real fire-power.
The Best Gaming Processor
So I think I’ve made it very clear why the Intel core i5-2500k is the best gaming processor out there. A quad core reaching speeds of 4GHz used to be unheard of, let alone 5Ghz. With water-cooling I’ve seen these processors hit nearly 7GHz! But come on, that just isn’t realistic for 24/7 use, those voltages will kill any processor. The reason 4.7 Ghz is so healthy for these chips is that the voltage barely needs to be increased, that’s a major milestone for Intel processors. The old Nehalem processors would need massive over voltages to reach speeds of close to 4Ghz. Like I said before the gaming industry just hasn’t utilized more than 4 Cores yet so it’d be a waste of money to buy a 6 core, less performing AMD processor. Especially when the i5 2500k can be had for around $220. It even beats the i7 K series, which costs almost $700 more! Although they use socket 1115 motherboards, which means you’ll have to buy a new motherboard, the savings from not buying an Extreme i7 just makes all the difference to me. With the new motherboard costing around $160, it’d be a shame not to overclock. The benchmarks speak for themselves, and there’s no denying Intel has made the best gaming processor.
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