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Core i7 or Core 2

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November 11, 2008 9:15:38 AM

Hi all

I plan to upgrade my MB, CPU and RAM. The options that I have are as follows:

Core 2

MB - Asus Intel striker 2 extreme
CPU - Intel 2.83 quad q9550
RAM - 4Gb OCZ Reaper DDR3 1333MHz

Core i7

MB - Intel X58So SmackOver Retail pack
CPU - 2.66 Intel i7/Nehalem 920
RAM - 6Gb Corsair DDR3-1333 XMS 3

Which of the above would give me better performance. I know that Nehalem is supposed to be 25% faster but I cannot afford the 2.93 Intel i7/Nehalem 940 and that is the only MB available here for the Nehalem at the moment. Your input would be highly appreciated.

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November 11, 2008 10:41:02 AM

Question, what GPU are you planning? If you are planning a multi GPU setup (CF/SLI or 4870X2/9800GX2) then a Core i7 will benefit you more. If you plan a single GPU then go with Core 2 Quad.

Overall Core i7 is faster in terms of most apps. Gaming its about even with single GPU systems but much better with multi GPU systems. And in games that are multithreaded it will have an advantage as well.
November 11, 2008 12:50:23 PM

if you are even in the slightest worried about your budget, do not go for i7 as soon as it is released. Go with a core2 quad core, ddr2 ram and a nice hd4870.
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November 11, 2008 1:04:03 PM

The Core2Quad is the best bang for your buck.
The i7 System will likely have a $250-$350 Premium due to higher RAM costs, Higher Mobo Costs, and mildly higher initial CPU costs.

I would do the C2Q, but for those looking in the higher price brackets for their system will want the i7.
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November 11, 2008 1:05:11 PM

As much as I would love to brag about having an i7 system as soon as they are avaible, they are going to be very pricey for their initial release. If you don't have a ton of money to throw at it, I would wait for a while on an i7 build. Let someone else work out the bugs in the hardware.
November 11, 2008 1:22:03 PM

I agree with the above. A C2Q would be the best buy at the moment, having a cheaper CPU, cheaper ram, better overclocking, more options in motherboards. Well, you get the drift. I might get a Q9650 instead of a Q9550 though, as it has a higher multiplier which makes overclocking easier.
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November 11, 2008 1:49:28 PM

i will upgrade from q6600@3.4ghz when 32nm core i7 will come out.
November 11, 2008 3:47:27 PM

Intel will be very stable.
Asus will suck if you have to RMA it.
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November 11, 2008 7:19:45 PM

Take out the DDR3 in the C2Q build. That is a complete waste of money.

And you should also state what you will be using your machine for. Also stay away from the q9650.
November 11, 2008 8:58:33 PM

Since the question was about Performance and not bang for buck, I would say the Core i7 is the better option. Core i7 is seeing huge gains in some applications.

November 11, 2008 10:33:19 PM

I'm in the same boat as the OP.

Not sure if it's worth the extra $250-300 to 'future proof' the system.

On one hand if I went with the Q6600 and OC'd it (with the EVGA 780i board +SLi or one of the P45 boards and a single card) I'd have a set I could still upgrade further for the next few years with better CPU's as the prices dropped.

On the other hand if I went with the Core 7 920 and the Asus RampageIIExtreme, I'd have a set that would allow me DDR3 and I could upgrade to the 940 and 965 over time, and as newer games come out, I'd have to think they'd take advantage of the new hardware.

All other things remaining the same, the Processor is about $100 increase, the MOBO is about a $170 increase, and the DDR3 about a $40 increase over DDR2. Roughly $300 total... but my big question is if it would be worth it or not since the 32nm architecture will start showing up next year... hm...

I know just about enough to make me dangerous I guess. I'm wondering if we wait about a month if the prices on the Core2's and associated mobo's will drop enough to warrant getting them.
November 12, 2008 4:22:25 AM

1) Put all your old crap and everything else you own on ebay. (except for bed, PC, Car, and mountain dew/Jolt/pimp juice)

2) Use the cash for i7-965 setup ( turbo mode!!)

3) post us your benchmarks. Sleep when you're dead & Have perma-rection ( until May 2009 - when the newer stuff comes out.)
November 12, 2008 10:36:05 AM

I'd say it's not worth the 300 dollar. It's even say wait a little while longer, if you can. The q6600 might drop in price and future proofing, we don't know. In the past we all thought this is going to be it and if we buy this we can keep it, and in the end, the chipset changed, the socket changed, the memory changed. They love to change things.

And, with the q6600, if you sell it in a year or so, people will still want it, as it's a product that's still not used to it's fullest. The i7 is nice, but in the end, if you don't need the new sse4 instructions, multi-GPU setup, or run games, you won't really see a big difference between 300 dollar. Better yet, spend that 300 dollar on a good videocard and you will be a lot happier (unless you don't plan to play games of course).

But please, when asking for what to buy, post what you want to do with your system. If you ask for surfing the web, I'd suggest any amd x2 or intel duo core, dual cores.
November 12, 2008 6:17:47 PM

The core i7 is reasonably priced for a release. The problem is that the only board that supports it is a x58 and it also requires ddr3 tri channel. That is were your going to get killed for price.

(Nov 12, 08) Q9550 : 320$
core i7 920 : 300+$

I'm assuimng the Q9550 will drop in price shortly after or upon release of the core i7 but currently its $320. So Like i said the core i7 is actually being released in my opinion at a reasonable price but its everything else that gets ya. So if you're on a budget and a gamer I say stick with the Quads. If the sky is the limit for yoru budget go for today's technology and not yesterdays then I say. You will drop a pretty penny on the extra's though to get an core i7 rig up and running though
November 16, 2008 6:20:08 PM

Wow thanx for all the input guys. I will be using the PC mostly for gaming. I plan to go dual SLI with the ASUS GTX 280. So im guessing you would suggest the Core i7 for the multi GPU setup? I'm not looking for bang for buck just best performance for gaming between the two systems
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November 16, 2008 7:11:53 PM

I'd go for the I7, yes.
November 17, 2008 1:04:47 AM

kubes said:
The core i7 is reasonably priced for a release. The problem is that the only board that supports it is a x58 and it also requires ddr3 tri channel. That is where you're going to get killed for price.

(Nov 12, 08) Q9550 : 320$
core i7 920 : 300+$
.....So Like i said the core i7 is actually being released in my opinion at a reasonable price but its everything else that gets ya.

Agreed. Here's some RAM that won't set you back TOO much: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

dude86 said:
Wow thanks for all the input guys. I will be using the PC mostly for gaming. I plan to go dual SLI with the ASUS GTX 280. So im guessing you would suggest the Core i7 for the multi GPU setup? I'm not looking for bang for buck just best performance for gaming between the two systems


cjl said:
I'd go for the I7, yes.

+1 for the Core i7 since you're going to use SLI (and want best performance).
November 17, 2008 2:19:14 PM

Ya if your running sli with gtx280's then I would agree that the core i7 is the way to go. Early benchmarks have shown a huge improvement on sli and crossfire setups.

+1 Core i7 for your situation
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