2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

Okay, so here are my current specs:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor on an...
Intel DP35DPM MoBo with an...
EVGA 8600GTS graphics card and...
G.Skill 4GB DDR2 6400 RAM

That was the stuff I was looking at upgrading, in addition to a little extra HDD. Here's what I was looking at:

Intel Core i7 960 3.2GHz on an...
Intel DX58SO X58 MoBo with an...
EVGA GeForce GTS 250 1GB and...
G.Skill 6GB DDR3 12800 RAM

Some nice stuff, but holy fraggin' crow, that crap is expensive. Those parts alone cost more than the entirety of my current build, which was from scratch, case and all. I know I can probably supplement my budget by selling off the old parts somewhere, but still...

My biggest question is concerning the processor. I always like to go just a step or two below the biggest and best, but that chip is killing my budget, and I do not really do any major gaming, encoding, etc. I DO, however, like to run multiple resource-hogging programs at a time and for long periods. Is there a big difference between the i7 processors? If I were to step down to, say... the i7 920, would that be a big downgrade? I want to be able to see a noticeable difference in performance when I step up from my C2 Quad (which is fast, but not fast fast). I really don't want to step down to the middle-class i5, but I wondered how that group compared to the more established i7 9 class.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Thanks for any input.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

Most here would recommend the 920 over the 960 anyway, for the simple fact that the 920 can overclock to the 960 levels for a lot less jack.

I don't know of anyone running 1366 that is using an Intel board, though. I'm sure someone will chime in on this (my mind is telling me I've been up way too long right now...).

A GTS 250... on a 1366? Excuse me, but...WHY??? I wouldn't put anything less than a GTX 260 on it, or go with a 5850 or 5870 (depending on what you can swing). The 5xxx line are all DX11, by the way.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

not much of performance loss from stepping down to I7 920

if you want to keep wallet and significant other happy
could even step down to the i5 750 / 860 or the AMD phenom series
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

like others have already said, definitely go with the i7 920. I also agree that the 5xxx series is the way to go depending on what type of gaming you do. 5750, 5770, 5850, and 5870 are all great cards (5670 being too weak and 5970 being ridiculous).

If you're a hard core gamer and want everything set to max AND you have a nice wide screen with high resolution, go with the 5870. If not, 5850 is also great, and you'll most likely be able to max everything with everything turned up on high resolution with the 5850 also!
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

The i5 is good. I have built a few for customers.

The i7 920 is the king. Absolutely no reason to get the 960.

Trotter is correct. Drop the Intel board right now.
Newegg.com - EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
or
Newegg.com - ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

If you are a gamer a gpu upgrade to your current rig would do wonders. 5870 at the moment.

If you need raw processing power, build a i7 920 system.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

^^ I agree with Hefe and Trotter ^^
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

Wow, thanks for all the input, guys. I and my wallet thank you, and I feel much reassured going with the 920 processor. Thanks for the links, Hefe. The EVGA board is looking pretty nice. However, with that in mind (and since I'll be saving so much on the processor), since That board allows for 24GB of RAM, should I go with 3x4 instead of 3x2? Will it even make a difference (again, no heavy gaming or encoding going on)? 12GB of RAM does seem a little excessive, and I can imagine 3 x 4GB sticks would be pretty pricey. Doubt my machine would ever use that much, but it's a thought. (Did I just answer my own question, here? Ha.)

Another quick question... I have a Corsair 620W power supply. It looked like the output would be okay for the new configuration, but is an upgrade recommended? The thing has been running for two years with no issues.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

12Gigs of ram is insane.. you won't ever use it.

Yes your Corsair 620hx should have no issues...
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

^^ ditto Mine with 6gb hardly ever gets close to being used unless I am doing some major multi tasking with the likes of CS4, LR2, SAS etc.
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2yr. Upgrade Time - Intel i5 vs i7?

Aces. Thanks, guys. I think I've got my new build. Now I just have to wait on the Feds to fork over the money.
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