When it comes to PC vs Console gaming one of the things PC's consistently have in their favor is the option of getting the latest and greatest technology. While console gamers have to wait 5+ years for upgraded processors or graphics, PC gamers can upgrade every year if they want to. For many, it's practically essential. With more speed comes the ability to display more complex and detailed 3d graphics. That means a seriously fast computer running the latest high end game can deliver a seriously immersive (and impressive) experience that is unparallel by anything else on the market.
So what is the fastest desktop gaming computer? Well it's a virtual coin-toss between systems built on the Intel core i7 Processor platform and those using the AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core CPU. Both processors deliver enough power and performance to strike awe into the heart of any hardcore gamer. Spoiler: The Intel Core i7 980x is pretty much king. Still, not everyone can afford the king – especially when there will be a new king next year and the year after. AMD's Phenom deliveries are very comparable performance to the i7 line in general, and as quad-cores go it does slightly better than the quad-core i7's in many benchmarks.
If you're in the market for a fast desktop gaming PC then you can not go wrong with either chip, it's just a matter of finding the price point that offers the best price for performance within your budget. If you have a specific game in mind (such as something that has just come out recently or is coming out) it's not a bad idea to search around the web and see if anyone has run a benchmark with that specific game. Some reviewers get copies prior to release and may use them in their hardware tests if they know a game is going to be the new "gold standard" when it comes out.
Without a doubt though, all benchmarks considered the Intel i7 980x looks to be the fastest desktop gaming computer currently on the market. In some tests it outperforms the highest end Phenom chips by a little bit, in other tests by a lot. It also comes with a price tag to match that performance, but for serious hardcore gamers who have a tall budget and absolutely need the fastest, most powerful PC available, the 980x is a must-own CPU. For those running on tighter budgets, the AMD Phenom and other Intel core i7 chips are not far behind performance, and offer a decent range of pricing to choose from as well.