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I7 920 vs. Q6700

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April 20, 2009 4:36:39 AM

Time has come to upgrade my system and even though I really want to get the i7 920 I'm thinking maybe it is burning money.

I'm doing software development and overall just running a lot of programs at once, some of which are CPU and HDD intensive (some access fairly big development databases, for example). Therefore I've settled on Quad-core CPUs and the ones above seem to make the most sense.

I'll probably be running Windows XP Pro x64 and eventually moving to Windows 7 skipping Vista altogether.

I'm thinking I should get the GA-EX58-UD5 with 3x2 GB of RAM for the i7 920 setup, but I'm not sure what an equivalent motherboard would be for the Q6700.

I'll get decent air cooling (like Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme) and only do overclocking if I can keep the noise down - might even underclock if that's what's needed to build a silent system.

I have the money for either setups but don't want to overpay too badly just to get the latest and greatest. Would I be doing that if I get the i7 920? Is it and the components going to go down significantly in, say, the next 6 months?

More about : 920 q6700

April 20, 2009 5:07:41 AM

i7 has much higher memory bandiwidth which can really help in certain apps

try a twin i7 mobo!
April 20, 2009 5:41:01 AM

While it's likely prices will drop over time, no one ever knows for certain if they will, nor can they speculate how much they might drop if they do. We all just wait and see for the most part. You also have to be aware that there have been cases in the past where a few products have actually risen in price over time due to their demand.

Despite their incredible processing power, my personal opinion of i7's is they're just too expensive for even the above average user or consumer presently. You can still build excellent performing C2D/C2DQ systems, as well as excellent AMD systems, all at far less cost. And while it may incite an argument, which I hope it doesn't, pricing on a high-end Phenom II based system just begs for a bit of "bang for you buck" recognition. The worst part is, with so many of these CPUs overclocking so well and so easily while paired with a quality motherboard, it just complicates things further because you never know if one you purchase will perform as well as expected in an OC'd configuration.

Sometimes I wish THG did a monthly "Best CPU for your money" comparison like the GPU one, but that would be nigh impossible considering the incredible range of options and configurations.

I do like your selections in the proposed i7 system. I suppose it boils down to just how much processing power you truly need, or how much processing headroom you may want for future considerations.

I'm actually thankful I've never had a huge budget for my previous builds because it always forces me to find the greatest per-dollar value.
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April 20, 2009 2:33:50 PM

For development environment I'd suggest I7 because of the hyper-threading... it can work better on 8 threads at the same time than a C2Q...

and you might have problems with XP 64 since the drivers support is almost non-existant.
April 20, 2009 5:21:49 PM

vista 64 is the way to go

price wise for most users, yes they want a bustbuy special which is under a grand with the monitor and printer - so i7 is a $1000+ set up.

best cpu for your money? an oveclocked e5200 clocked to 3.4-3.6ghz

quads all cost $180 plus so the i7 is only $100 more
the x58 mobos are about a $100 more a p6t can be had for less then $240 on special
ram is slightly more but you get 6 gb

then again for 3d apps you get 8 threads in i7 vs 2 with the e5500



a c 126 à CPUs
April 20, 2009 11:31:40 PM

I say wait for Windows 7 for that. Vista is pretty good but with 7 on its way in the near future and it already being proven better why not wait for it?
a b à CPUs
April 21, 2009 2:37:22 PM

Spend a bit of time looking at different HDD solutions ... you might find getting two drives in RAID0 (striped mode) makes a big difference with the manipulation of big databases.

Disk IO is effectively doubled ... it might be a pleasant surprise.

It is a good solution if you get a couple of big cheap 7200 rpm drives ... you don't need to go Enterprise / SAS or 10,000 rpm Raptors to get a big improvement there.

Look at pricing that into your upgrade.


Good luck.
April 21, 2009 2:44:48 PM

Yes, it is a good point. I currently have a RAID1 setup. Not sure it helps performance much but I sleep better that way.

I hear that the 10krpm VelociRaptor has low noise for a HDD so I'm leaning towards getting that. I can add another for a RAID0 setup later I guess.
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