It’s obvious from our real-world game testing that when anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering are enabled at normal resolutions that both the AMD and the Intel test systems performed too close to call a clear winner. In games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl that use deferred shading since it can’t support anti-aliasing with dynamic lighting enabled we can notice some performance differences between AMD and Intel. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl it was clear that the AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ processor was able to play the game with a higher frame rate.
When it comes to pricing the $183.99 AMD 5600+ processor and $168.99 DFI LanParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G motherboard brought the price of the pair to $352.98. On the other hand the $185 Intel C2D E6300 and $169.99 After Rebate EVGA 122-CK-NF67-A1 nForce 680i LT SLI motherboard totaled $354.99 Both the processors and motherboard used in this article were just a dollar apart from the competition, which made for a really great article based on price points.
As for which $185 Intel or AMD processor is better for desktop gaming rig it’s a close call, but AMD pulled off more victories than Intel on the games that we benchmarked. Thanks to the huge price cut that AMD recently set in motion consumers get a ton for their money and the AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ processor is a heck of a bargain for those looking to build a gaming rig.
Rumors are going around that Intel is also going to be cutting prices and launching several new processors in the near future, which will then place the Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Processor in the sub $200 price range. Once this happens we will see if we can pick one up and bring you updated benchmarks to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!
With the price war no matter which processor you choose one can really go wrong, as the performance from either of them is amazing for the price they are selling these at. When Intel counters the AMD price drop it will only get that much better! This article didn’t cover overclocking, which would be in Intel’s favor as the 1.86GHz E6300 is an overclocking monster than can easily reach over 3.0GHz with the right components. The 2.8GHz AMD 5600+ can easily overclock to 3.1GHz, which will give it better performance, but not the same increase as the Intel processor. This is good information for overclockers, but since many people don’t overclock it shouldn’t impact which one you buy.
Update (4-22-2007 6am Central): An update will be published once Intel officially lowers desktop processor pricing as the Core 2 Duo 6420 will be the new sub $200 processor that will compete with the 5600+. It wasn’t tested as it wasn’t released when this article was published!
Legit Bottom Line: AMD has reduced the AMD A64 X2 5600+ price by 42%, which makes it a heck of a bargain. The 5600+ out performs the Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Processor in price performance, thanks to its new lower price.