Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

When does someone NEED an i7

Last response: in CPUs
Share
August 17, 2009 5:33:45 PM

A friend of mine and I were debating, when does someone NEED an i7?

It seems that most of the people that have an i7 and use it for gaming are just using it for bragging rights and there are many reasons for supporting that, one of which is most games don't even fully utilize 4 cores yet...

Can I get an insight of when you guys think someone needs an i7?

Thanks in advance.

More about : question

a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 5:57:14 PM

Media creation, especially 3D work, will eat up as much processing power as you can throw at it.
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 6:26:15 PM

My last system was a Pentium 4 @2.4GHz that served me well for almost 7 years. It started out with 512MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive, and has graduated to 2GB and over a TB.

I bought an i7 because I hope to use it for a similar length of time. It's overkill for me today, but I expect it to serve me well for many years.
Related resources
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 6:35:36 PM

IMO, I doubt anybody ever needs a CPU, at least not in the same sense as, say, a heart transplant for a congestive heart failure patient :D .

It really comes down to how much you have to spend vs. how you're going to use it. If you're just gaming, maybe the i5 might make more sense, or a P2 for that matter. But I guess bragging rights have to factor in there a bit, at least for some. OTOH, when you die you can't take your $$ with you, so might as well blow it on something good :) ...

August 17, 2009 6:38:12 PM

For most games at this point in time it is over kill, but in time, as more games are released it may not be overkill. So In the long run it may not be a waste, and last for several years. As LePhuronn points out, it is not over kill for certain task's.
August 17, 2009 6:43:25 PM

In a few years you'll wish you bought something cheaper to hold you over for a fraction of the cost, and then bought the i7 when it costs 300 for the cpu and mobo combined instead of 5-600.
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 6:57:44 PM

silent_744 said:
In a few years you'll wish you bought something cheaper to hold you over for a fraction of the cost, and then bought the i7 when it costs 300 for the cpu and mobo combined instead of 5-600.


Actually the i920 is frequently on sale at Microcenter for $200, and you can get a decent X58 mobo for under $170 nowadays.

August 17, 2009 9:14:50 PM

fazers is right, we have Mirco center up in Chicago, and if hes only going for gaming you might be right about the price performance issue, but you can find I7 Motherboard cpu combos for less then $500-$600 if you look around.
a b à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
August 17, 2009 9:48:02 PM

If you need to do alot of heavy HD media encoding quickly then you may need an i7. Otherwise it's just nice to have ^_^
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 9:56:08 PM

If you multi task, you need i7.
a b à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
August 17, 2009 9:57:49 PM

I use my setup for both school and gaming, and while the i7 was not necessary for gaming, it is wonderful for Solidworks and Matlab. Interestingly, enough, Matlab seems to get the greatest benefit from the massive memory bandwidth, not the number of cores.
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 10:11:48 PM

silent_744 said:
In a few years you'll wish you bought something cheaper to hold you over for a fraction of the cost, and then bought the i7 when it costs 300 for the cpu and mobo combined instead of 5-600.
That logic doesn't necessarily apply in an industry where prices are always falling. You can always buy something cheaper next year, if that makes you afraid to buy then you'll never get anything.

My P4 2.4GHz system cost over $2000 when I bought it in 2003, and year or two later I could have bought the same thing for a fraction of the price. But I don't regret buying it for a second - it's served me very well and as planned I was able to upgrade the memory and storage to meet my needs over time.

The computer is a tool, and if you use it heavily then it makes sense to spend the money it takes to get a good one that will last.
August 17, 2009 10:14:18 PM

Which I7 has plenty on the bandwidth side. So if your going straight gaming, and have to watch your money or it is a concern there are other options, if money is not an issue then go with I7
August 18, 2009 12:03:10 AM

sminlal said:
That logic doesn't necessarily apply in an industry where prices are always falling. You can always buy something cheaper next year, if that makes you afraid to buy then you'll never get anything.

My P4 2.4GHz system cost over $2000 when I bought it in 2003, and year or two later I could have bought the same thing for a fraction of the price. But I don't regret buying it for a second - it's served me very well and as planned I was able to upgrade the memory and storage to meet my needs over time.

The computer is a tool, and if you use it heavily then it makes sense to spend the money it takes to get a good one that will last.



You pretty much stated my point, the i7 combo will be half as much as it is now eventually, and by the time it is, software might finally catch up to it.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 12:09:01 AM

no one needs an i7 in a desktop pc, its just cool to have one
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 12:14:31 AM

LePhuronn said:
Media creation, especially 3D work, will eat up as much processing power as you can throw at it.

Yup.

3DS Max
CS4
SolidWorks
Inventor
CFD software (ie. FloWorks)
can all eat up CPU power quite easilly.
August 18, 2009 12:40:39 AM

If you need an i7 you'll know! Running out of CPU is a pretty hard thing to do these days and yes, I know there's big 3D rendering etc but again, if you're doing this for a living (or hobby) then everyone you know will have or want to have an i7.

Outside of gaming or business there's not that much requirement for a big CPU. Most CPU bound tasks are done almost instantly. Those that are not tend to require monstrous amounts of computation and take many minutes or hours to complete. If you are not in business then you'll probably set the task and go for a coffee or browse some pron like the rest of us and return to the task when you've washed your hands. Getting a faster CPU won't help with these tasks.

Yes, gaming is a special case and there are doubtless others but if you had any of these requirements then you'd know already.

i7 is nice and it's fun but it's not a requirement!
a c 83 à CPUs
August 18, 2009 1:18:26 AM

I7 would be nice for my 3ds max rendering, but my Phenom does more than a good enough job.
August 18, 2009 1:49:04 AM

I have to say I am more then happy with my Phenom II 940 at 3.6ghz, it handles everything I need to do, very well. It would of been nice to wait until now to buy because back when I got the 940 I gave $235 for it, and upgraded my board to a M3A79-T deluxe. Look at the the 955 now, it is down to $199 on the egg. But if you wait you will always be chasing the next best thing, and never end up buying anything.
August 18, 2009 3:09:53 AM

Thanks for the insight everyone =) I can go back to talking to him about it. He's considering an i7 for gaming only and i'm telling him that its a waste but in the end its his decision.

Any more insight is appreciated =)
August 18, 2009 3:35:31 AM

If he has the money than yeah in my opinion. I do some mapping in some games and i've seen my core i7 920 go to 100% for over an hour. Only wish i woulda went with 12gig ram insted of 6. Friend of mine had to compile a map cause I needed more than 6. Guess all depends on what you are doing. With my Core i7 I'm always the first one to enter the game. I'm glad i went with it.
August 18, 2009 7:24:04 AM

One of the things I have noticed since they did the new DOW II patch and really like about one of the things they did is, they show you all six players in multi online battle load times to get into the game. With my 940 B.E. at 3.6ghz and my Raid 0 wd 640gb blacks, I am always in the top 3 in load times. So the rest of the time, and some times I am looking at 3-4 min difference easy, I am waiting on other players, so sure it is nice to load faster, but theres nothing like the concept of, "hurry up and wait"

I think it has to do with alot of factors, big factors are Internet speed, and Hardrive speed, more so then having a I7 CPU, IMO.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 12:17:42 PM

People who need an i7 are mostly either enthusiasts of gaming or just people who do video/photo editing which need lots of resources :)  Plus, the godly ability of the i7 processors to overclock like crazy and still be stable makes them very valuable also for people who need lots of (*"horsepower"*) in their machine for intensively power consuming programs.
August 18, 2009 12:59:10 PM

But come on! The i7s aren't that great. I have own and I know it, sure they are nice and gives you this cool feeling but come on! Too many people overrate them, maybe they are just n00bs or fanboys I don't know but trust me, you won't notice any big difference... ;) 
August 18, 2009 7:13:53 PM

i7 was meant for server computers and technologicaly advanced chemical/weather/physical tasks. But intel needed to open market branch with low priced i7 920 and high priced x58 motherboard chipset.
And for that mission is best to folow old roman rule of Bread and Games for all. So emperor can become popular all ower the world with luxuring tiny population.
Nowdays its caled promotion. :D 
August 18, 2009 8:08:02 PM

I consider myself a enthusiast gamer, and I really have no need for a I7. My 940 at 3.6ghz does just fine for me in every game I have thrown at it.


Funny fuksi,

that it seems the old Roman rule of seems more like Crumbs and Games for all, and still applys in todays world. Hows that song go? "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"
August 18, 2009 8:22:22 PM

Like any other high-end device/component there will be people who pay the odds to have the best available. I think the AMD Phenom 2 platform is much better value at the moment. I have no ambition to upgrade because my Q6600 overclocked runs everything just fine, so I don't feel the need to chase technology.
August 18, 2009 9:20:37 PM

And speedbird I think you just summed it up, because when you have something that is already meeting your needs, why chase technology? You will never catch it and if you do it will be at a high price, and a month, maybe less in todays world, you will be off chasing it again, at even a higher price.
August 18, 2009 9:53:05 PM

People with high end Graphic cards need i7. Me for example, I have a q6600 3.2GHz with a GTX295 and I see that my system is about 10% slower than a system with i7 & GTX295. So i7 is not useless…
August 18, 2009 10:03:35 PM

I think the point isn't that is useless, the point is was the 10% gain worth it to you at the price you paid. If so great, unless I was making money with my rig or money is not a concern to me and I just want the next best thing then my answer is price vs performance and value.... = not worth it to me.
August 18, 2009 10:19:19 PM

Of course is not worth for me but I am thinking to upgrade to i7 now because I am going upgrade in 3 mouths to the new DX11 graphic cards ati or nvidia and then the i7 will be mandatory.
August 19, 2009 1:20:43 AM

Some how I don't think that when Dx11 cards come my Phenom II 940 b.e at 3.6 ghz is not going to keep up with my needs. I expect to see if the cards are what 4800 series was compared to the 3800 series, big gains with my system. Well see what happens, but what if the new cards show just as good as gains with the phenom II series as it does with a I7?
August 19, 2009 6:05:39 AM

^HUH?!!!! Mandatory you say? I dont think so. If so you would have everyone that is a gamer buying them because they have to. Wrong, The PII 965 BE will do fine for that, and for that matter so will most other processors of the day that are good enough to game with. If it were mandatory AMD would be shooting themmselves in the foot by releasing a DX11 card. Think about that for a second. I7 is not NEEDED for gaming at max resolution or frame rate. It is more so about the video card than the CPU at this time. Now when the on die IGP is seen on the market and used to its potential that may actually change, but that should not be for some time to come. This will only happen when the games catch up to the hardware. Im not sure that will ever happen though...hehe
August 19, 2009 1:37:53 PM

No need at all.

I upgrade only once every few years, so thought I may as well grab my bragging right for only a $100 more. =D
August 19, 2009 3:41:06 PM

xtc28 said:
^HUH?!!!! Mandatory you say? I dont think so. If so you would have everyone that is a gamer buying them because they have to. Wrong, The PII 965 BE will do fine for that, and for that matter so will most other processors of the day that are good enough to game with. If it were mandatory AMD would be shooting themmselves in the foot by releasing a DX11 card. Think about that for a second. I7 is not NEEDED for gaming at max resolution or frame rate. It is more so about the video card than the CPU at this time. Now when the on die IGP is seen on the market and used to its potential that may actually change, but that should not be for some time to come. This will only happen when the games catch up to the hardware. Im not sure that will ever happen though...hehe


Take a look at this review Phenom II 955 Versus Core i7 920

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-versus-i7,23...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz (OC 3.7 GHz) with 2 x HD 4890
Intel i7-920 2.66 GHz (OC 3.4 GHz) with 2 x HD 4870

Here are some benchmarks:

World in Conflict

Phenom II 3.7 GHz __ 2x HD 4890 __ 1920x1200 very high 63fps

I7 920 3.4GHz __ 2x HD4870 __ 1920x1200 very high 88fps

far cry 2

Phenom II 3.7 GHz __ 2x HD 4890 __ 1920x1200 very high 71fps

I7 920 3.4GHz __ 2x HD 4870 __ 1920x1200 very high 92fps

Prototype

Phenom II 3.7 GHz __ 2x HD 4890 __ 1920x1200 4xAA high 54fps

I7 920 3.4GHz __ 2x HD 4870 __ 1920x1200 4xAA high 70fps

As you can see the i7 system (with slower graphic cards) shows a solid lead over the Phenom II(with faster graphic cards). Now imagine the difference between i7 and Phenom II with 2 x HD 5890. That’s why I said an i7 is mandatory with the new graphic cards (CF or SLI)
August 19, 2009 5:14:50 PM

Look into the catalyst 9.8 drivers the lead over intel is said to be 40-50% better when using crossfire and basically a fusion platform. IT IS NOT MANDATORY!!!!! Actually if you want to get into it here it would be more so mandatory to use ATI with AMD NOT with Intel!!! That does not mean that having an i7 will not be good, just not as good for GAMING as AMD! Check it out, you may be surprised!
August 19, 2009 5:17:48 PM

Oh yeah I forot to say: Just because there is a lead today doesnt mean it is necessary or mandatory. The lead may not be there for intel in the way you think right now. Then again it may increase, just not yet.
a b à CPUs
August 19, 2009 6:13:04 PM

Well, someone whom is playing with Virtual Machines would need the firepower if they ever have more than a few machines running loaded at a same time.

My reason for the I7 is same as the others, about lasting, my last rig lasted 5 years with vid card, ram, hdd, and CD -> DVD/CD burner upgrades, which served me very well when I used quality components

In contrast, my dad brought some IBM net Vistas, and they had bad caps, got a net infinity, and they eventually had bad caps again, then got a HP, which had the bad cheap end IGP from nvidia...

In the end, I think he spent far more money than I did, as I spent 2500 in one go with I think a total of 300 dollars of upgrades w second hand or old stock parts, while the two IBMs cost around 1200 each, while the HP cost 1400 because it had the nvidia IGP instead of GMAs lol





August 19, 2009 6:51:24 PM

I am sorry but, I can not see AMD Killing there own sales by making a grafix card that bottles there top of the line Quad core processors. I just can't see it happening like that. We will know for sure soon enough, but if what your saying is true, then AMD will kill there Top end CPU sales, and help out Intel with the sales of their Top end Quads. I just don't see it happening like that, LOL
a b à CPUs
August 19, 2009 8:06:13 PM

^You could have just put all the links in one post you know :p 
August 19, 2009 8:26:38 PM

I know i treid but it just didnt happen hehe...... Every time I tabbed back to this page it had posted my link, so I had to do it in several instead of one. IDK
August 19, 2009 9:07:58 PM

The results were not impressive, 9.7 and 9.8 delivers the same performance for the most of the games(however there is some nice performance increasement in a few games ). But still the i7 is far superior to the PII in games.
August 19, 2009 9:17:08 PM

I am not really following you here michaelmk86,

Sure if the price on building a top of the line I7 build was the the same as a Phenom II build with top of the line hardware, i could see your point. However, even If I7 gains more fps then a Phenom II build, both are very smooth and offer a very good gaming performance. Just for gaming IMO, I7 is far from being a requirement for gaming now or in the near future.
August 19, 2009 9:26:58 PM

NOT EVER!!!!!! And BTW Those numbers significantly increase with XFIRE on AMD over 9.7 to 9.8!! NOt on single card setups and these gams must be able to take advantage of Multi-card setups!! You will however see a gain on singleATI card setups just not near the gain of XFIRE!!!
August 19, 2009 9:36:08 PM

medjohnson77 said:
I am not really following you here michaelmk86,

Sure if the price on building a top of the line I7 build was the the same as a Phenom II build with top of the line hardware, i could see your point. However, even If I7 gains more fps then a Phenom II build, both are very smooth and offer a very good gaming performance. Just for gaming IMO, I7 is far from being a requirement for gaming now or in the near future.

Of course both are very good for gaming but my point is that the i7 delivers more fps in games than the PII.
August 19, 2009 9:49:15 PM

michaelmk86 said:
Of course is not worth for me but I am thinking to upgrade to i7 now because I am going upgrade in 3 mouths to the new DX11 graphic cards ati or nvidia and then the i7 will be mandatory.



Your point of it getting more is a mute one, and the reason why is that in real world gaming you or anyone else will not notice the very few more your getting with the I7 build in CF or SLI, over a Phenom II in CF. Both play at well above min fps required to have a very smooth gaming experience.

And your statement I am Quoting your on is just pure BS. I7 being Mandatory with the new Dx11 cards for gaming, is just simply can not be true. If I had a my choice between the two processors and the fact that ATI is putting out some very nice cards lately I will be choosing all ATI, AMD parts for a platform until something from Intel or anyother company is released that just really blows everything out of the water. Right now, IMO there is nothing out that just blows the Phenom II's out of the water, including I7's for real world gaming. If a I7 build cost the very same to build as a Phenom II right now, then it would be a different story. I believe we are going to be seeing some very interesting things from AMD over the next couple of years to come, and they have already made some very big steps in providing a very nice gaming platform that performs very well. Well that is if they can stay in the game and not go under. Who cares about benchmarks06 and getting 20 more fps if your already 30 fps above the requirement for good game play, anything more is just, well more.
!