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I5 750 vs i7 860 vs i7 920

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August 9, 2010 8:41:52 PM


i5 750 (turbo boost tech, no hyper-threading, dual channel RAM)

i7 860 (turbo boost tech, hyper-threading, dual channel RAM)

i7 920 (turbo boost tech, hyper-threading, tripple channel RAM)


i believe some games perform worse with hyper-threading on. is this true for Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft?

if i'm not planning on overclocking my CPU, which CPU would be the best way to go to play above 2 games at 1920x1080 resolution?

i heard someone saying i7 860 performs way faster than i7 920 when the application only requires 1-2 cores because i7 860's turbo boost is very aggressive and clocks a single core to nearly 3.4Ghz. and if i'm not mistaken, SC2 and WoW both are 1-2 core CPU based games?

But i also heard someone saying at 1920x1080 resolution, i7 920 is the way to go.

so i'm in a circle searching for the best CPU for playing Starcraft 2 at max settings on 1920x1080 resolution

can somebod help please? i'm n00b... argggh!

More about : 750 860 920

August 9, 2010 8:47:17 PM

i5-750 is probably the best cpu currently out for gaming

the i7-860 is good as well, but is more expensive, so i'd stick with the 750
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August 9, 2010 8:48:36 PM

a buddy of mine has an i7 920 in a custom rig i built for him. he is running SCII, WOW, Warcraft III, Diablo, etc, with no problems whatsoever. You shouldnt have a problem.

I myself have a quad core, and i find that SCII uses all 4 of them... but then again, i dont look at the usage much when im pummeling the computer :D 

i7 920 would be my choice if i had to choose...
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August 9, 2010 11:27:26 PM

Hard to say since I haven't seen any CPU benchmarks for the game.

For me, I would choose the best option for the price I am willing to pay. What is best for you should be based on several benchmarks (or lack there of) and choose the CPU that is best fits your general needs.

StarCraft 2 may or may not benefit / suffer from hyperthreading. Don't know, don't care. What about other games or applications that you will be playing / using? Do you think they may benefit / suffer from hyperthreading?

I would choose the i7 860 because in general I "believe" it offers the best compromise and value. Yes, it does have hyperthreading, but it can also be switched off. Additionally, it can perform nearly as well as the i920 (within a couple of percentages) but at a lower price and less power consumption.

If your intention is to upgrade to a six core CPU then get an i920 because those CPUs will only come out for LGA 1366 motherboards.
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August 10, 2010 1:31:15 PM

You will not notice a difference in world of warcraft at stock clocks between these three processors since WoW doesn't take advantage of HT. The i5 750 has been branded best bang for buck for a good reason. You won't use HT in games and it has the same architecture as the 860/870, and when you push the clock speed to the levels of the stock i7's, you do not see any difference in performance between the 750 and the more expensive i7's.

Get an i5 750 and take it to 3.6+ and watch yourself get 60 frames in dalaran!
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August 10, 2010 7:05:33 PM

All the i7s are more for proffional apps - the ones that use proper multi threading.

i5 750 is more than enough for gaming and it's a great overclocker.

i7 860 is not reasonable for gaming when it's $150 more for the hyper threading, and no gains in gaming. Games rarely use even 2 cores properly. SC2 is optimized for 2 cores. When I play STALKER I have 1 core at 80-90% usage, and the rest around 20%, sometimes one will spike up to 50% but that's about it.

i7 920 is good but not because of it's speed, it's good because it's a 1366 socket CPU which means you need the X58 motherboards. It supports triple channel RAM and has way more PCIe lanes so you can run 2 GPUs in full 16x/16x lanes.

The flipside is that the benefit of 16 lanes over 8 lanes (P55 gets 8x/8x - this is what the i5 750 and i7 860 run on) is about 1-5%. Just read the latest article here on Tom's.

The point is, get what's in your budget. For gaming, you really don't need more than an i5 750 + P55 chipset. The X58 chipset has a few benefits, which might help it last longer, but right now there's no real point. Plus it costs more.
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August 20, 2010 12:08:49 AM

Best answer selected by nexuslotus.
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