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Best CPU for performance build- Xeon or i7?

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January 20, 2014 8:42:21 AM

Hey all, I know this is a typical can of worms questions that has been discussed several times on this forum but I would really appreciate some insight from my fellow Tom's gurus =). I've described my situation a little more below but basically, I'm trying to decide between going with a single i7-4770k, a single high end Xeon E3 or dual mid-range Xeon E5s for my new build. I may even go with something different altogether if someone can point me in a better direction.

I am finally breaking down and going to build myself a super-freak desktop PC for my office to use as my primary work system. I won an IT service & consulting firm and will mainly use this PC to perform the various tasks that my position comes with. I do not do any gaming but I do use multiple displays for easier handling of remote support sessions and general multitasking.

Anyways, I do work in Photoshop & Dreamweaver quite a bit and really just do about everything you can possible do on a Windows based PC. I am constantly using this system to transfer data from customer HDDs & stuff like that and though I realize that I don't need a super-computer to do all the things I do, I'm a freaking nerd that has made it so I feel like I deserve to build myself the best computer money can buy.

SO.. I already know that I will likely be going with a fairly high end motherboard for the sake of expansion & longevity and will probably go with between 32-48GB of DDR3 1600Mhz RAM and regardless of the CPU I get, a 3GB GDDR5 GPU to future proof myself.

I have a very good understanding of the various aspects of building elite PCs and in fact regularly build high end systems for clients but I really CAN'T MAKE UP MY MIND!!

I sincerely appreciate you guys for your replies and apologize for the length!!!!
a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 8:45:29 AM

I would probably go with a 4930k for your build. You would then have plenty of ram support, 6 cores with HT that can overclock, and far cheaper than E5 Xeons.
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 9:47:07 AM

E3 Xeons, 1230 and up, are nothing more really than i7's without IGP that have ECC ram support. The 12x5 xeons being the exception, as they have igp. They are single socket workstation CPU's, but perform the same as their i7 counterparts at the same clock speed.
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January 20, 2014 11:52:09 AM

Thanks for all of the quick replies! I can tell that all of you obviously know what you're talking about. I've thoroughly researched the new Xeon line and read a ton about the various differences between them and the high end i7 CPUs and other than the lack of an IGP and the fact that they are more energy efficient I honestly don't see the glaring differences in performance.

It seems like a high end E3 would outlast an overclocked i7 right? Also, since I'm gonna be adding a dedicated GPU anyways, the IGP just takes up room on the CPU that could be used for better performance output. My absolutely biggest concern with the CPU for this build is lightning performance & sustainability. How do y'all feel about dual E5s? I recently installed two Xeon E5-2403 CPUs in a sweet Server 2012 Essentials for a client and the performance is pretty solid.

I'm probably only gonna spend around $2000ish on this build but I get great pricing from my suppliers and I'm going to build it from scratch so that should be plenty to build a powerhouse. I currently use a Latitude E5530 w/ an i7-3520 (2.90GHz), 240GB Samsung Evo Pro SSD on Win 7 Pro x64 and 8GB of memory and in all honesty it runs great. I'm just itching to build a stacked beast of a system as I'm sure you all understand lol.
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 12:30:08 PM

With that kind of budget, you might want to look at a 4930k.
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 12:42:17 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($567.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($119.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($224.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($147.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($464.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($118.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($138.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $2178.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-20 15:42 EST-0500)
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January 20, 2014 1:45:18 PM

Hmm I really like that configuration. I really do appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me man. What do you think of the i7-3960X?
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a c 93 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 1:49:49 PM

logainofhades said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-4930K 3.4GHz 6-Core Processor ($567.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($119.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X79-UP4 ATX LGA2011 Motherboard ($224.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($147.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card ($464.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($118.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($138.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $2178.83
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-20 15:42 EST-0500)

You should be able to get a 780ti in.
Western digital > seagate. (Seagate have a higher failure rate).

shandysolutions said:
Hmm I really like that configuration. I really do appreciate you taking the time to discuss this with me man. What do you think of the i7-3960X?


Shouldn't go for it, as it's more expensive and you will only be looking at a maximum of 10% increase.
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January 20, 2014 1:49:56 PM

And we haven't even mentioned AMD in this discussion but I really have been somewhat impressed w/ their Opetron series. The FX are pretty sweet too
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 1:50:10 PM

Extreme editions are a waste of money. You are better off with the 4930k.
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 1:52:03 PM

AMD is good for a budget configuration. You could go further on the GPU side of things if the programs you use can make use of multi card configurations. If they do, and benefit more from GPU than they do CPU, an AMD rig would make sense.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($134.99 @ TigerDirect)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X60 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($119.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($147.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($464.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 290 4GB Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) ($464.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Source 530 ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($118.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($138.97 @ OutletPC)
Total: $2115.81
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-20 16:54 EST-0500)
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a c 93 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 1:52:52 PM

shandysolutions said:
And we haven't even mentioned AMD in this discussion but I really have been somewhat impressed w/ their Opetron series. The FX are pretty sweet too


For this budget AMD cannot compete.
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January 20, 2014 2:09:17 PM

Ya I really don't think it would make much sense for me to put an AMD unit in a system that I've been dreaming of having since I was 14 playing Diablo II on my 512MB RAM joint haha. I'm leaning towards the i7-4930k
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January 20, 2014 2:47:22 PM

What?! $135 CPU on a $2100 build???? get an i5 4670k at least..
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a c 803 à CPUs
January 20, 2014 3:02:23 PM

thisdugan said:
What?! $135 CPU on a $2100 build???? get an i5 4670k at least..



I was only giving an AMD alternative if the software being used makes better use of GPU than CPU.This isn't a gaming only rig here. 4670k isn't suitable for this build, due to the multitasking the OP will be doing.
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