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E8400 or i7 920?

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July 14, 2009 6:38:19 PM

To be honest, I know a little about computers, but not much. Im trying to build a new comp. and my friend told me to get the E8400, but i got an add from Micro Center saying that theyre selling the i7 920 for just $200. Whats the performance difference between the two, and would it be worth getting over the E8400?

More about : e8400 920

July 14, 2009 7:10:34 PM

This depends on what you are going to do but heck why not get the i7, better going i7(quad) than duo ;) 
July 14, 2009 7:15:17 PM

$30 difference... go with the i7 and do a slight OC to 3.0... its like having an 8400... with extra cores
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July 14, 2009 7:24:36 PM

You have to buy a more expensive motherboard and more expensive RAM as well though with the 920. It really depends on your needs and your budget. What graphics card are you planning on getting?
July 14, 2009 7:32:26 PM

For a i7 build, you need to ahve a budget of $1000+, since you have to purchase the DDR3 RAM, Motherboard, GPU, etc.
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July 14, 2009 7:51:29 PM

Ya its not a choice of CPU vs CPU its socket 775 vs socket 1366. You need much more expensive ram and motherboard for the i7 920.
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July 14, 2009 7:52:20 PM

With more games and applications using multi-threading and DX11 (highly multi-threaded I think) the i7 920 will certainly beat the E8400 in most situations. However, as it was pointed-out, the i7 920 will also cost more.
July 15, 2009 3:13:04 AM

daship said:
Ya its not a choice of CPU vs CPU its socket 775 vs socket 1366.

I'd put it down as a choice between FSB vs QPI architecture. Surely FSB architecture (and LGA775) has some life left in it but now's a heck of a time to be spending a bunch of money to upgrade to a sunsetting motherboard architecture. And what if the Braidwood technology on the P57 chipset allows super-fast boots and application loads? I'm not holding my breath but it's a possibility. I can't image too many enthusiasts this Winter being glad they bought the older architecture right before a new generation of mobo's came out.

IMHO, the common sense thing to do - not withstanding a need to buy a system quickly - is to wait until Q4 2009 and see what develops in the marketplace from the P55/P57 chipset and the LGA1156 socket. Once the leap to a QPI architecture is made, the cost/benefit choice becomes dual-channel DDR3 (LGA1156) vs triple-channel DDR3 (LGA1366). And then too, a four-core/four-thread CPU vs four-core/eight-thread CPU (or maybe even only dual-core).

Personally, I have to say that I'm very impressed with the notion of a quad-core CPU that intelligently either overclocks a single core or underclocks all four cores depending on workload to maintain an optimum TDP/performance ratio. That's just awesome and all the more so in mainstream desktop products that will be affordable. All we need now are more multi-threaded apps.

OTOH, if your motherboard is a just a platform to carry the latest GPU technology, then maybe a stable and mature LGA775 mobo would be the most
efficient route until the next refresh cycle in 24-36 months. It all depends on how much money you have and what your performance priorities are, no?
July 15, 2009 3:49:19 AM

Clones123 said:
OTOH, if your motherboard is a just a platform to carry the latest GPU technology, then maybe a stable and mature LGA775 mobo would be the most efficient route until the next refresh cycle in 24-36 months. It all depends on how much money you have and what your performance priorities are, no?


That was the case for me a few months ago. Had to replace a way past prime P4 Northwood/AGP build and decided on not spending over double on an i7 build and went with an E8400/P45 build. With an EVGA GTX 275 found on sale for $215 (US - the most expensive part of the build) and easy air overclock to 4.3GHz, I couldn't be happier with the performance bang for the buck. Crysis DX10 GPU benchmark at 1680x1050 on high settings is 31fps min, 43fps avg, and 56fps max (with GeForce overclocked shader/memory/core to beat a stock 285). This platform will last quite a while. Total core component cost (CPU, RAM, mobo) was $300 vs. $640 for an i7 rig at the time). Being a strict gaming PC only, benchmarks of a well overclocked Wolfdale compared to even an overclocked i7 didn't warrant a 214% increase in price.
July 15, 2009 1:00:48 PM

10tacle said:
...decided on not spending over double on an i7 build and went with an E8400/P45 build.

The E8400/P45 combo seems to be a sweet-spot in price/performance right now. The E8400 continues to sell well and most P45 boards have very mature BIOS revisions. My entirely unscientific browsing of Newegg reviews leaves me with the impression that there are far fewer complaints about P45 mobo's than the newer X58 ones.

A motherboard is obviously a seriously complex piece of technology. Not only can it take a while to arrive at a stable and bug-free BIOS revision but the large number of I/O ports all over the board create a lot of potential failure points. It certainly helps then to buy a mobo that is well designed, manufactured and tested. The high cost of the LGA1366 socket itself along with the new QPI architecture seems to be a little problematic still for even the major mobo mfr's.

Intel recently added a fourth "VC" motherboard partner (Validation and Certification). Originally having just three VC partners (HP, Dell, and Asus), Intel shook up the market a little by adding Foxconn to the mix:
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/opinion/1405863/int...
http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=7400

Kind of leaves me wondering where Gigabyte falls into the game.

Also, Intel is suing nVidia to prevent them from making QPI architecture motherboards and/or chipsets:
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/02/intel-sues...

Anyway, my point is that there is a lot going on in the motherboard/chipset market right now. I suspect that some of these changes will not be good for consumers.
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