My question regarding CPU is about Intel vs AMD (performance/price), and the relevance of certain benchmarks vs gaming.
So I'm looking to build a new PC as my current PC is almost 5 years old. As saving money is a priority for me, getting the most "bang for buck" might be my top criterion when selecting components. That's why one of my favorite tools is this site: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_value_available.html
but I have begun to have doubts as to this ratio's actual relevance. The CPU I had decided to buy was the 'AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core' or '8350' because this site had shown the benchmark to be 8173/9084 (which I view to be a raw measure of power, is this correct?) This benchmark is apparently very close to certain Intel i7 CPUs (Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.40GHz score was 9426), for a much lower cost $145-$180 compared to $300. The cost is even lower than most most i5 CPUs, which have considerably lower benchmark scores. I happened to mention this in an in-game chat and almost everyone chimed in "stay away from AMD, terrible for gaming!". No one seemed to care that the benchmark was the same while the price might be even cut in half.
As far as I knew until recent anecdotes, CPU didn't even really matter for gaming, GPU did all the important stuff.
So I've tried to do some digging around and apparently this "raw power" benchmark stat has very little to do with gaming. Apparently it's all about threading, optimization, etc.
So is it really true that this AMD FX-8320 Eight-Core won't even do as well as an Intel i5?
If so, is this because the game developers focus their game optimization on Intel processors, or is it because Intel has hidden gaming powers that are not measured in a general benchmark?
When I look at the price difference for the similar benchmark scores, it seems like AMD is the obvious choice. But I will defer to the judgment of those who have more experience.
(Optional point: there seems to be a similar situation of performance/price ratio between Nvidia vs ATI/AMD, so do GPU benchmarks have more relevance or possibly the same kind of hidden quality difference that appears to exist between Intel/AMD. In other words, do you really get what you pay for, or is one company greedy and the other more generous in trying to compete?)