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To go i7 or stick with core 2 duo for less $$$...

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i7 or Core 2 Duo Build?

Total: 33 votes (9 blank votes)

  • Core i7
  • 59 %
  • Core 2 Duo
  • 42 %
December 2, 2008 7:08:11 PM

What should I get? The Core i7 build or the Core 2 Duo build for the cost/performance ratio?

I plan on:
  • Playing Crysis on Very High
  • Keeping the components for a year or two
  • A bit of photoshop
  • A bit of video editing
  • Multitasking (Word, AIM, iTunes, PS CS3, IE)
  • Overclocking
  • Staying at or below $1550


    I have already purchased a case and monitor and will include them in the total cost:

    Monitor: SAMSUNG 2232BW+ Black 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $180 after MIR

    Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $120 during newegg sale :D !




    i7:


    CPU- Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $295

    PSU- PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $100 after MIR


    MOBO- MSI X58 Platinum LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $220

    RAM- CORSAIR XMS3 3GB (3 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X3G1333C9 - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $118

    GPU- EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $260

    HDD- Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $75

    Optical Drive- SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $29

    OS- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit

    $100



    TOTAL AFTER MIR: $1,537




    Core 2 Duo:

    CPU- Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $165

    MOBO- ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $130

    RAM- G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $60

    GPU- EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $260

    HDD- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $65

    Optical Drive- SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    $29

    OS- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit

    $100


    TOTAL AFTER MIR- $1,223
  • More about : stick core duo

    December 2, 2008 7:17:20 PM

    I would go with the i7 build, but I wouldn't get that CPU/PSU combo. The CPU is $300 which means the PSU is $144. Thermaltake PSU's are only so-so. For less money you could get this PC Power & Cooling PSU which is a much better unit:

    PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 -$25.00 MIR

    I would also upgrade the HD to the WD6400AAKS for an extra $10. The 640GB drives are quite a bit faster due to their extra data density.

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99
    December 2, 2008 7:27:43 PM

    shortstuff_mt said:
    I would go with the i7 build, but I wouldn't get that CPU/PSU combo. The CPU is $300 which means the PSU is $144. Thermaltake PSU's are only so-so. For less money you could get this PC Power & Cooling PSU which is a much better unit:

    PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 -$25.00 MIR

    I would also upgrade the HD to the WD6400AAKS for an extra $10. The 640GB drives are quite a bit faster due to their extra data density.

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

    Thanks for the advice! I switched my build around to that and I like that better! Although, I still want to cut costs.... This thing will have me broke forever :( !
    Related resources
    December 2, 2008 7:28:27 PM

    If the budget is tight, skt775 and cheaper ddr2 is the way to go. If you have money to spend, skt1366 is more future proof.
    December 2, 2008 7:48:46 PM

    If you are only going to keep it for a year or two get the core 2 option. If you want this to last you a little longer get the i7.
    December 2, 2008 8:03:03 PM

    I'd say go with the Core 2 Duo option. Get an E8400, a Rifle cooler, and overclock the heck out of it. You'll get performance that you should be happy with for a few years.
    December 2, 2008 8:49:56 PM

    Well I'd go for the c2D rig and get a 4870 512mb or 1gb version, but that is just my opinion on the GPU.
    I'd OC the e8400 to 3.4-3.8 on the stock cooler and pocket the ~$300 difference or buy some games to play with!! LOL!
    December 3, 2008 1:12:45 AM

    lunyone said:
    Well I'd go for the c2D rig and get a 4870 512mb or 1gb version, but that is just my opinion on the GPU.
    I'd OC the e8400 to 3.4-3.8 on the stock cooler and pocket the ~$300 difference or buy some games to play with!! LOL!

    Ugh, people keep saying to go ATI, but I have it now on my parents computer (new btw) and I hate it. Catylyst control is f'ed up and it's annoying me. Would it do that much better than a GTX 260 on Crysis very high DX 10? toms hardware benchmarks show GTX 260 beat the 4870. I wouldn't do the SLI/ CF though, but it still beat it out.
    December 3, 2008 3:29:33 AM

    Well you can decide. If Crysis is the ONLY game your going to play, than I guess the gtx 260 will beat the 4870, but it depends on which site you get your info from and what settings the settings are at. If you want the gtx 260 than get it. I'm just giving you my opinion, since the 4870 does quite well in just about every situation, not saying the gtx 260 doesn't, but overall I think the 4870 is a better card.
    December 3, 2008 4:32:15 AM

    Games are more graphically limited right now than CPU. I don't see the point in using the i7. If you got that much of a budget, wait till next month for the dual GT200 cards. You'll be much happier with more graphics horsepower and something like an e8400 at 3.8-4.2ghz overclock.
    December 3, 2008 5:29:06 AM

    Seeing as there is only a $300 difference in price, I think I go with the i7. I think it be well worth the added price if those were the two setups you were trying to decide on.
    December 3, 2008 6:27:47 AM

    Go with the i7. The 775 socket is going to be obsolete in 2 years so if you want a system you can upgrade and last longer than 3 years, it makes sense to go with the 1366 :p 
    February 4, 2009 8:14:19 PM

    Getting 1366 now will most likely limit you to the 3 processors currently out.
    Just like with all Intel tick-tock, the newer processors, although the same socket number won't be compatible with the current mobos... (when it drops to 32nm, etc).

    That's like expecting the mobos that came out with Pentium4 in 775 to run the current Core2Quads, because it's the same socket number? Ha.


    775 is a more established platform and since you don't plan to SLI there's honestly no reason to go i7. People complain that games etc don't even use 4 threads, but then they pay extra for 8 and say it's good? It confuses me.

    The $300 difference could be used to bump up your GPU to a GTX295 (if you still wanted to spend as much... not saying you should. Depends on your res) and it would far outperform your i7 system.

    i7 is a server board, no matter what they say.


    Alternatively wait for i5 which has the PCI-E root built onto the chip and will be cheaper than i7.

    I still say go with the established Core2 arch though... no worries about compatibilities etc; sometimes "just because everyone else does..." is a good enough reason in the tech world.
    February 4, 2009 8:38:45 PM

    All that power and only 1650x1080? That makes me a sad panda :( 

    I personally went through this same decision, and came up with the conclusion that as far as gaming purposes go, you might as well just stick with a Core 2 Duo. You're going to save quite a bit of money once you combine the increased costs on a mobo, memory, and the processor, and I highly doubt if you'll see any decrease in real world performance given the resolution you plan to play at. The video card should be enough to handle Crysis, and an E8500 for example (overclocked a decent margin) will most likely handle your processing needs.

    Just my 2 cents.
    !