I have recently finished what will be my last upgrade for the next year, likely a GPU upgrade at the year mark, then at least 1 more for the rest of the PC.
I went with a Rampage IV Gene, only because it was on sale for $200, and I could honestly not be happier. The fact that it is mATX threw me off it at first then after reading that people are getting OCs very near the R4E with it I took the plunge. So here is the system build:
HAF X, lightly modded to accept a 200mm radiator in the lower front position.
Radeon 6870s in CF
2x 1TB HDD in RAID 0
OCZ Synapse caching for the RAID array
750GB Seagate backup drive
This is a recent change from the exact same system running an AMD 8150 and Crosshar 4 Formula.
First and most important item for me was the RAM setup. R4G, just enable "Tight Hynix" and its done, works like a charm with 44GB/second read/write speeds! On the C4F, I had to manually find all those settings, and even then it peaked out at 21.5GB/s, yes I know the bandwidth is nearly useless, but damn the simplicity was SO worth it! ASUS if you read this, ADD THE HYNIX TIGHT TIMINGS FOR C4F GUYS!
Immediately I could tell a difference in the "feel" of the computers after re installing windows and all my personal bloatware The intel build just feels more responsive, usually. I will say however that the AMD system allows mutitasking more smoothly while doing heavy loads on the CPU, like running IBT and browsing the web, it is more fluid on the FX chip. Everything just works on the i7 system though, the sleep state (never worked on the FX right), the audio on the R4G is vastly superior to the audio on the C4F (no hum, thanks ASUS!), everything just runs "smoother" 99% of the time.
Overclocking the i7, was WAY easier than the AMD. Pick a speed, adjust the Block Boost strap, set the bclock, bump voltage a notch or two as needed and your good. The FX chip took adjusting far more settings to get the same or nearly the same OC out of and be stable. I started OCing when the Duron 600 was originally released, so I have a little practice with AMD chips, they are not hard to OC, but jesus is the i7 easy lol.
Both systems running the same software environment, the same RAM/HDD/GPUS/PSU etc etc, the i7 system picked up some in benchmarks, but not like what some silly people claim that it doubles your FPS lol. A few select applications, such as BOINC crunching on moowrapper, are actually significantly slower on the i7, like 1/2 the speed.
Cinebench 11.5 scores:
FX-8150 @ 4856, 2040mhz RAM score: 8.26
i7 3820 @ 4801, 2080mhz RAM score: 9.54
So all in all a fair upgrade considering it cost me only 80 dollars more to jump ship to the i7 2011 platform vice the 990x platform.
The greatest aspect of all: HEAT
fx at 4856mhz, 1.5vcore = ~66c (25c ambient), but could not leave running all day in closed office as it would heat ambient by about 12c. Water temps were peaking in the mid 40s!!
i7 at 4801, 1.408vcore = ~60c (25c ambient), can leave it in the closed office all day, does not heat the room significantly.
//WARNING AMD HATE BELOW//
Honestly, AMD, should just shutdown the FX line, and live in the mid ground, as the comparison is so significant in both general computing feel, gaming, power draw and heat when OCd that the AMD becomes totally irrelevant, especially for 80 bucks more!
Seriously, I wanted BD to be awesome, so I bucked the reviewers and forum posts and went with it, realized it is true garbage, and went with a correct solution. Not only that but I seriously doubt that PD will have any noticeable effect on the gains the i7 series are putting on AMD, if anything I predict the IPC will only grow with PD vs IB.
Left camp red, not going back ever.
//END AMD HATE//