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Phenom II vs Core i7: Overclocking Value Comparison

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Posted September 9, 2009 by Jake in CPU & Motherboards
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by Jake
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Introduction

Computer enthusiasts are an interesting breed, and those who call themselves overclockers are an even more fascinating group. Our pursuit for speed and performance isn’t just an idle curiousity; for some it’s akin to a quest. Face it, performance is an addition, and overclocking is our drug. We love this stuff, we live this stuff, and we’re proud of it.

Most of us, however, have sobering budgetary constraints. Some are born with restrictive budgets, some never achieve greater budgets, and some have it thrust upon them. Regardless of the means by which we come crashing back to reality, the fact is that performance comes at a price. Value is the name of the game for many overclockers, as we also pride ourselves at being able to extract maximum performance from a less expensive setup. Grab a good CPU and a good motherboard, strap on some high output fans, and overclock the snot of our your chip. Good times for sure.

When we recently took an in-depth look at gaming performance and corresponding value in our Phenom II vs Core i7 Gaming Value article, it became very apparent that the fanboys on either side of the fence had much to say about the results, leading to some very spirited debate. After carefully considering some of the comments, we decided to expand our examination and follow up with another Intel vs AMD article, one that instead focused on CPU performance and overclocking. Today we bring you that article, once again tackling another topic that sets off the passion: does AMD or Intel provide better overclocking value?

Admittedly, we struggled with how to approach the comparisons this time around since an apples-to-apples comparison with gaming framerates isn’t possible now. So, do we go with proportional overclocking? Clock-for-clock comparisons? Suicide runs? Air cooling, water cooling, thermoelectric cooling? In the end, we settled on a combination of some of these, attempting to chart the differences in various scenarios and applications, then drawing some straight conclusions. Will the Core i7 blow away the Phenom II? What happens when you run both chips at 4.0 GHz on air? Yes, these are exactly the questions we’re going to answer for you.

We’re heading back to the warzone for another tour people, so strap on your flak jacket again and buckle up. Things are about to get very interesting.

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