Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

The emperor (i5) has no clothes?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
a c 123 à CPUs
September 9, 2009 7:32:27 PM

I've been eagerly reading the various i5 articles and benchmarks, wondering if perhaps it might be time to build a new rig. Then, I was looking over the chart at: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Core-i5-i7-Processors-... when it hit me. Some people may disagree; please do, this is a discussion thread. But, it occurred to me that the i5 has no place. Allow me to explain.

When discussing builds, a lot of people want to be "future-proof." Typically, even "future-resistant" turns out to be a myth, except in the extreme short term, or when discussing a PSU size that will allow a stronger and/or multiple GPUs later, or a case with sufficient cooling for adding another GPU.

Benchmarks aside, there appears to be nothing out there now where an i5 is notably, visibly superior to an older Q9xxx, or to an AMD Phenom II. And, there is nothing out there now where it is notably inferior to the i7.

But, someone is developing the next Crysis ("Catastrophe! IMAX Edition"), and someone else is writing "Do It Yourself Weather Model 1.0." Q9xxx and Phenom II will probably choke on those. If i7 can handle them, it will probably be because of its hyperthreading and additional memory bandwidth, which none of the others have. Of course, this won't be for another two years, by which time either AMD will have leapfrogged Intel again, or Intel will have released a CPU to make i7 hang its head in shame.

The point is, this means i5 has no reason to exist. At the low end, with the s775 chips going away, AMD will own the market. For example, in the [older] games I play, I see NO VISIBLE DIFFERENCE between my Q9450 OC'ed to 3.2GHz and my BE720; benchmarks I've read suggest the bottleneck would be my single HD4850. In any newer game, Crossfiring a pair of HD4890s on my 790GX would likely yield better results than any single card I could put on my P35 (and nevermind the second 4x slot), with the possible exception of a CPU-bound game like FSX.
Prices will adjust, of course, but unless hell freezes over and the entire i5 PLATFORM undercuts AMD's offerings, it offers nothing VISIBLE to end-users. OTOH, if more CPU power is needed, OR if the builder is after the biggest e-dong possible, the only real option (again, to get a VISIBLE difference) is i7, with those two features the i5 lacks.

The business market is not going to pay for i5 either, when solutions exist for less than half the price that will perform adequately. The scientific/technical market will also want i7, as that may be the only niche where it matters right now, again because of the additional features.

I hope it is clear that this is NOT another Intel vs. AMD thread. I just don't see the point of i5, much as I missed the point of AMD's 965.

So, what do you think?

More about : emperor clothes

September 9, 2009 7:40:23 PM

just because the i5 dose not show any visible differance in gaming dosent mean that people will not buy it. also the i5 lineup seems to show some significant gain over some of the top amd quads in video encoding and such.
September 9, 2009 7:43:44 PM

jtt283,

I sort of agree with you, but maybe Intel is planning some huge price reductions for LGA 1156 mobo's and i5's once the LGA 775 is gone, to compete with AMD, maybe the main purpose of these CPU's is to destroy AMD.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
a c 123 à CPUs
September 9, 2009 7:43:51 PM

Oh, of course people will buy it. Ignorant masses, properly herded, will buy almost anything. As to the last point, that may be, but I think those are the people who would do even better by springing for an i7.
September 9, 2009 7:45:36 PM

paperfox said:
just because the i5 dose not show any visible differance in gaming dosent mean that people will not buy it. also the i5 lineup seems to show some significant gain over some of the top amd quads in video encoding and such.


But the average consumer or business won't notice the difference and those who need the extra performance would be better off with i7.
a b à CPUs
September 9, 2009 7:47:33 PM



I think it's very simple: The point of i5's existance is to nail the price point currently occupied by PHII with a "Nehalem Lite"~type offering for general desktop computing usage. May not be the greatest story, and for sure many had wished for better. But when viewed from that perspective, I feel it makes sense. After all, mom and pop don't overclock.

As you point out, more serious users - whether they be (server side)business, scientific, or enthusiast - would opt for an i7 for the extra horsepower. On the low end there's still Celeron and LGA 775.
September 9, 2009 7:49:50 PM

LGA 1156, even with limited PCIe bandwidth, does a good deal better in gaming than Phenom 2 when multiple GPUs are in the equation, and does a good deal better in non-gaming applications. Add to that the better clock for clock performance plus the better overclocking and i5 is a definite win over the current Phenom II. However, you are correct in saying that Phenom II will be an extreme bargain when it lowers in price, but so will i3 (likely slightly modified penryns). If someone is going for 2 GPUs, or a high end gaming system in general, LGA 1156 is their answer with Phenom II making the more budget conscious crowd very happy. LGA 1366 is the real odd man out and has basically no real place except for extreme professionals or 3 to 4 GPU based systems.

Also in the future games will be far more reliant on the GPU especially with the performance boosts associated with DX11. At this point we are quickly heading toward a far smaller need for a powerful CPU with gaming, especially if resolutions get even higher.
September 9, 2009 7:50:58 PM

paperfox said:
just because the i5 dose not show any visible differance in gaming dosent mean that people will not buy it. also the i5 lineup seems to show some significant gain over some of the top amd quads in video encoding and such.


agreed.

i've read some i5 reviews and ditched my old build plans for making an i5 build. i5 obsoletes the core 2 series in quite a few benchmarks and puts AMD to shame especailly at its price. also the wattage is very nice and will help keep the inside cooler. from what i've read with the onboard pci controller helps but some people may urge to stay away from it since its x8 with multi gpus. current benchmarks show no reason not to get it because of the onboard pci however.

i see significance in the i5. its deffinitly a mainstream improvement in many areas.

i5 is essentially a cooler i7 without hyperthreading in short.
September 9, 2009 7:57:18 PM

ya i guess im beginning to see jtt283's point. but for those that do have pre c2d hardware the i5s become a steal. there are other benefits like greatly improved power efficacy(this is very important to some people) through turbo boost and the cpu can overclock itself, (great for those that dont overclock) again through turbo boost.
a c 123 à CPUs
September 9, 2009 8:08:04 PM

paperfox said:
ya i guess im beginning to see jtt283's point. but for those that do have pre c2d hardware the i5s become a steal...


This will depend on where prices settle out. I would love for this to be true, but I think hell would need to freeze over first. It is not entirely under Intel's control, since it is the entire platform price that must be considered.

As you pointed out earlier though, I could see how the non-professional video encoding market may be a niche for this CPU (pros will want i7).
a c 123 à CPUs
September 9, 2009 8:11:52 PM

Quote:
Their gonna have to drop the prices a whole lot more to compete with AMD in that range...


Exactly!

This is shaping up to be a huge consumer win, as prices will have to drop across the board.
It also looks like a relative win for AMD and nVidia, as this will do nothing to hurt the GPU market.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 2:22:47 AM

i5 is intels way of doing what amd is doing, flooding the market with choices, thats all, and i guess they figured the 775 had a good run
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 2:43:00 AM

775 aint dead yet, the death warrant might be signed, sealed even but i3 will deliver it and that isn't going to be here until this time next year or thereabouts.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 7:13:06 AM

I agree with you jtt, if someone is really looking for top performance the same arguments that held true against the PhenomII x4s hold true about the i5 750. To get top performance and system longevity go with the i7 920/X58. For a budget gaming and general use build the PhenomIIx3 or cheaper x4s make more sense. I also wanted to add that many of the P55 boards say "crossfire" but it's a 16x-4x not a gaming 8x-8x.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 8:28:50 AM

Well the i5 is in a very very odd position indeed. Performance-wise it is almost similar to a Q9xxx but the price of the processor is cheaper. Then you have to consider the prices of the motherboard and DDR3. With Q9xxx series you could use it on boards that are as cheap as $50, the i5 though commands a premium.

If the prices of the i5 motherboards drop some more, then there would be little reason to get a brand new C2Q system.Though this would only make sense if you were upgrading from a C2D/X2, coming from a C2Q or a PII and you'd be actually wasting a bit of money.

In the end though the consumer wins, as the prices of the C2Q and PII should drop by quite a margin. I might get my first C2Q if the prices really drop. (Let's face it, there is simply so much excess processing capacity today that a C2Q could last for 2 more years)
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 11:13:13 AM

people will buy i5. if u had the money for q9550, now u get more for the same. thats all.
but if u add that intel changes sockets like socks these days, maybe its better not to buy new cpu&mobo at all ?
fact is, there is always something new and better comming out. to me it seems the best time to upgrade now is on every 2nd socket :) 
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 12:00:30 PM

Right now, the 15 is cheaper, and slightly faster, then AMD's top offering. i5 exists to run AMD out of its budget CPU market, nothing more.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 1:24:36 PM

The only reason that I can see upgrading to an i5 would be if you are running slugtium4 with only a gig of ram and same for a 939 sempron64. For those like my self with a c2d or a p2 there isn't much need now for the next year or so unless you are need 40Gflops or more with 12GBps sustained bandwidth. Thin you must figure in the 16PCI-e lanes aren't very good when running a pair of X2s. For me that upgrade will be a c2q when they get cheap like $100-$150 for a 45nm quad with an 8x or higher multiplier. Intel right now is over priced in most segments even the slugerons are a few bucks to much for the performance delivered. AMD decisions decisions, might as well pick one at random and get at board that still has the core unlock feature.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 5:18:07 PM

Quote:
Yeah we know why it exists, but AMD will just drop prices again.


Except AMD is already close to broke, and those PII's were the only thing I could see them making significant profit on. Less profit = less cash for R&D and future aquisitions, which greatly enhances intels position. Also note the ability of SLI and CF on one board, which many people would pay the price premium for...

As for those who have good LGA775 rigs (like me): there is little reason to upgrade at this point in time. Frankly, I'm waiting for Sandy Bridge before my next upgrade.
a c 99 à CPUs
September 10, 2009 7:19:39 PM

The reason for LGA1156 is that it will be Intel's new main-market product. Right now there is a lot of overlap between the high-end-only LGA1366 units and the current LGA1156 units. It will eventually change as there will be less-expensive Core i3s and such on LGA1156 as well. The current lineup is probably because Intel wants to taper down Core 2-based production and inventory and not just immediately render them obsolete like they did with the Core 2 launch. Intel lost quite a bit of money launching the Core 2 in both the midrange and high-end segments, so they're working in the Nehalem at the high end and slowly trickling it down while slowly transitioning Core 2 production to lower- and lower-priced parts to avoid having to sell previously high-end Core 2s at fire-sale prices. You can see that in the fact that it's getting harder to find high-end Core 2s, but you see new cheaper-to-make ones with smaller-cache dies like the Q8000 series and updated Pentium Dual Cores being introduced. Intel is playing their cards very well this time. I'd agree with you that there is a lot of overlap between LGA1156 and LGA1366 right now and that I'd pick LGA1366 over LGA1156. Just give it some time and you should see ~$100 Nehalem derivatives on LGA1156 that would have LGA1156 make a lot more sense.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 7:32:32 PM

I couldn't have said it better myself. Congratulations thread creator, that was an excellent statement and I fully agree with it. I also agree with nforce4 and MU_Engineer posts to a certain point. I5 is a strange derivate of the I7, as PII was nipping at the heels of I7 920 already, and now it's lost all architectural advantage. The only reason I'd recommend I5 over Core2 is a newer technology, and the IMC that is of great importance in gaming. But core2 fixes that issue with a ton of L2 cache and high overclockability So, here is my opinion:

Coming from: Core I7/Phenom II/Core2 - pointless.
Phenom/Early Core2/Dual Core - makes sense.
Under sempron, Pentium IV or Athlon - definitely worth the consideration.
a b à CPUs
September 10, 2009 7:34:10 PM

Also Intel is strange with 3 different sockets at the same time which make the upgradeability minimal. Some very strange decisions from Intel... As well as paying $280 for I7 860 at 2.8 and $500 for 870 at 2.93. Only a freak would do that...
a c 99 à CPUs
September 10, 2009 8:38:25 PM

Cryslayer80 said:
Also Intel is strange with 3 different sockets at the same time which make the upgradeability minimal. Some very strange decisions from Intel... As well as paying $280 for I7 860 at 2.8 and $500 for 870 at 2.93. Only a freak would do that...


LGA1156 is supposed to replace LGA775, so it really will be just two sockets- LGA1366 at the high end and LGA1156 for everything else. I don't really understand the i7s coming out on LGA1156 right now as they are directly competitive with the LGA1366 units. It is good for customers as the LGA1156 i7 setups are less expensive than the LGA1366 ones as LGA1156 boards are $100-200 rather than ~$160-300 and the LGA1156 i7s are usually just as fast if not faster than the equally-priced LGA1366 units.* The only chip that makes a lot of sense for Intel to have introduced on LGA1156 at the present is the i5 750 as it is considerably less expensive than the LGA1366 units and also usually slower as well. I heard that Intel will reserve the LGA1366 platform in the future for Xeons and >4-core Extreme Edition CPUs (Core i9 Gulftown). An LGA1156 i7 would make sense at that point, but not so much now. I wonder if Intel has some new faster LGA1366 i7s or the i9 up their sleeve or something...

*Depends on the OS. Under Linux, the i7 870 almost always was slower than the i7 920 according to a recent test.
a c 123 à CPUs
September 10, 2009 9:02:17 PM

I thought the i3's were getting another socket, the LGA1155?
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 1:04:19 AM

1155 is i think will have a diff chipset h55 h57 to allow for onboard gpu
September 11, 2009 4:04:21 AM

i3 will run on 1156, but as xaira points out if you want to use the integrated graphics it will require H55 or H57. If you don't care about IGP you can plug it into a current P55 motherboard, though.
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 6:10:45 AM

Cryslayer80 said:

Coming from: Core I7/Phenom II/Core2 - pointless.
Phenom/Early Core2/Dual Core - makes sense.
Under sempron, Pentium IV or Athlon - definitely worth the consideration.

I'll revise it a bit:

I7 / PII / C2Q
- yeah it is pointless

C2D with mobo that supports C2Q / AM2+ board that supports PII X4 / Athlon II
- Cheapest upgrade path is a new C2Q or a PII, the difference isn't really that big with an i5.

C2D (with motherboard that doesn't support C2Q) / X2 (no support for PII X4)
- only kinda makes sense, if you are doing heavy production work or transcoding videos. If you are gaming, your money would be better spent on a new graphics card.

Pre-C2D
- If you could find a cheap mobo for the 1156, then it is a better jump than going for 775. But if you are really on a tight budget, there are a lot of cheaper 775 boards that support C2Q.
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 10:07:09 AM

Onus said:
The point is, this means i5 has no reason to exist...I see NO VISIBLE DIFFERENCE...The business market is not going to pay for i5 either, when solutions exist for less than half the price that will perform adequately.

Yes, indeed. I have three i5's in the workshop now and have run benchmarks over the last two weeks. While impressed with the results, I am struggling to see it's place in the spectrum of processors.

paperfox said:
just because the i5 dose not show any visible differance in gaming dosent mean that people will not buy it.

Agreed, complimented by-

Onus said:
Oh, of course people will buy it. Ignorant masses, properly herded, will buy almost anything.


Mousemonkey said:
775 aint dead yet, the death warrant might be signed, sealed even but i3 will deliver it and that isn't going to be here until this time next year or thereabouts.

Many business customers and some of the home market are still very happy buying Pentium Dual Core or C2D. I see this continuing until something else displaces this part of the line-up. If priced right, it may well be i3 or some of the 32nm I5's.

nforce4max said:
The only reason that I can see upgrading to an i5 would be if you are running slugtium4 with only a gig of ram and same for a 939 sempron64.

Hahahhaaa, "slugtium4", that's a cracker! Oddly enough, I've still got customers buying new skt478 boards, DDR ram, AGP4X/8X cards to go with a used P4. I can't seem to stop them...

I'm looking forward to the 32nm Core i5 670 3.46GHz and i5 540 3.06GHz (again, if price right and motherboards are more affordable when they are released), not so much anything else from Intel at the moment. :sleep: 

For the next six months I'll keep doing what I did in the previous six. Move along folks, nothing to see here.
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 11:56:09 AM

Why does everyone think that a person who buys Phenom II has less budget and can't buy an I7? I had an option to chose I7 920 even, but at the time 955 was the strongest AMD CPU and I know AMD fares a lot better in gaming and doesn't introduce microstuttering at certain points, so I chose it over the I7.
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 1:43:23 PM

..gaming benchmarks are equal because games are GPU~bound, and not CPU bound. Therefore your choice of processor has little influence, jsut so long as it's 'Good Enough' to not cause a bottleneck. Also, Microstuttering is caused by synchronization issues in multi GPU setups.

None of this has anything to do with your choice of CPU.
a c 99 à CPUs
September 11, 2009 3:04:28 PM

Quote:
I agree. i5 is pointless when you have the superior i7 for a little more money.

It would be like AMD handi-capping the Phenom 2 and calling it Phenon 1.5.


They did, the chips are called the Athlon IIs. However, the Athlon IIs are significantly less expensive than the corresponding Phenom IIs and are some of the least-expensive new CPUs out there, whereas the Core i5 750 is not all that much less than the lower-end i7s and still costs about $200.

Quote:
Like I said before, their not going to sell a lot of these in this economy. Those who could afford it already bought into i7 and those who couldn't bought into Phenom 2 or stayed with their old system.


Those that couldn't afford an i7 may have bought a Phenom II or they also might have bought Core 2s, Pentium Dual Cores, Athlon II X2s, or even A64 X2s or original Phenom units that are selling for low prices today. A lot of OEM computers sell with chips a lot lower down on the totem pole and a lot older than what we enthusiasts would put into our systems.
September 11, 2009 3:12:50 PM

Scotteq said:
I think it's very simple: The point of i5's existance is to nail the price point currently occupied by PHII with a "Nehalem Lite"~type offering for general desktop computing usage. May not be the greatest story, and for sure many had wished for better. But when viewed from that perspective, I feel it makes sense. After all, mom and pop don't overclock.

As you point out, more serious users - whether they be (server side)business, scientific, or enthusiast - would opt for an i7 for the extra horsepower. On the low end there's still Celeron and LGA 775.


I agree with your reasoning here.


PII is a very appealing option in comparison to i7. i7 is too expensive. S775 isn't appealing because of the EOL. i5 offers a new socket, great performance, and a processor at the $200 mark.

i5 still doesn't fully compete with PII, because with PII you can still get better mobo prices as well as chips that sell around $100 that are still friggin awesome, such as the PII X3 BE @2.8 ghz. It's not going to be bleeding edge fast, but it would still be a kick @ss foundation to a budget gaming rig.
a c 99 à CPUs
September 11, 2009 5:06:33 PM

Quote:
Quote:
They did, the chips are called the Athlon IIs. However, the Athlon IIs are significantly less expensive than the corresponding Phenom IIs and are some of the least-expensive new CPUs out there, whereas the Core i5 750 is not all that much less than the lower-end i7s and still costs about $200.



What? Athlon 2 is a handicapped Phenom 2? no it is a dual core. Phenom 2 is a quad or tri core. Were not talking about dual cores vs. quad cores. Were talking about handicapped quads vs. non-handicapped quads (i5 vs. i7).


There is the Athlon II X4 610 that is supposedly a Phenom II X4 Deneb with the L3 disabled. That would be a "crippled" chip. The other Athlon IIs are not crippled per se as they are native dual-cores with no L3, but they are certainly slower than the Phenom II X2s (which are also "crippled" Denebs.)
a b à CPUs
September 11, 2009 9:46:17 PM

Cryslayer80 said:
Why does everyone think that a person who buys Phenom II has less budget and can't buy an I7? I had an option to chose I7 920 even, but at the time 955 was the strongest AMD CPU and I know AMD fares a lot better in gaming and doesn't introduce microstuttering at certain points, so I chose it over the I7.



AMD = Smoothier :sarcastic:  :sarcastic: 
September 11, 2009 10:03:32 PM

Just to add my 2 cents: I'll be buying an I5 system. I have C2D (E7200) now and I5 seems to be a good upgrade. An I7 is simply too expensive, and not worth it as I game at 1280x1024 and will upgrade my display to only 1680x1050 (120Hz, baby!). I can get an I5, a single GPU P55 mobo and 4 gigs of ram for less than €400. So, I don't even look at I7...
a c 123 à CPUs
September 11, 2009 10:25:31 PM

Have you considered whether an AMD PII 955 will give you similar performance for less, or allow a slightly better GPU?
September 11, 2009 10:31:46 PM

Onus said:
Have you considered whether an AMD PII 955 will give you similar performance for less, or allow a slightly better GPU?


I don't think a 955 will deliver: benchmark
September 11, 2009 10:46:16 PM

Cryslayer80 said:
Why does everyone think that a person who buys Phenom II has less budget and can't buy an I7? I had an option to chose I7 920 even, but at the time 955 was the strongest AMD CPU and I know AMD fares a lot better in gaming and doesn't introduce microstuttering at certain points, so I chose it over the I7.


You, sir, are an idiot. Neither point is true, Phenom II is far worse than i5 or i7 in gaming and microstuttering has nothing to do with the CPU, it is also just a myth.
a c 123 à CPUs
September 12, 2009 12:00:11 AM

Interesting benchmarks; including the power consumption ones. However, I'm pretty sure that FPS over the refresh rate won't be visible to the person playing, and in some cases may even cause tearing. I've never doubted i5's performance edge, I've only doubted whether or not it matters in the real world. I'm still unconvinced. I guess a lot depends on prices, which may need another few weeks to shuffle and settle. I'm thinking that i7 on LGA1156 (but not the overpriced 870) may be worth a look.

Edit: Just noticed you're planning on a 120Hz refresh. Nice. I can see a difference between 35 and 55 FPS readily enough, but I don't think I can tell much above that; maybe that's just me, but I thought there was a limit on human visual perception somewhere around there.
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2009 12:10:24 AM

Actually, I've heard a few i7 owners say that they get a 'smoother' experience on Phenom II now.

I just want to run this possibility past you :- Benchmarks are taken as fps, frames per second, over a longer period of time.

What if...the i7 scored double fps at the 'easy' stuff, ie looking straight at a wall, at the floor, ceiling etc? That would give the overall fps to the i7 even though it was lagging behind in the real situations that matter.

It's just a theory, one that might explain why some people claim that Phenom II is better at gaming even when the benchmarks suggest otherwise.
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2009 12:32:50 AM

The reason i bring that up is the way that the i7 scores double fps on 'easy' 3d games like UT or the old Half Life. Any time the gpu isn't asked to work, the i7 takes over and dishes out higher framerates. Does 200fps compared to 100fps looking at a blank wall really matter?

I bet is shows up in the benchmarks though.
September 12, 2009 12:33:28 AM

jennyh said:
What if...the i7 scored double fps at the 'easy' stuff, ie looking straight at a wall, at the floor, ceiling etc? That would give the overall fps to the i7 even though it was lagging behind in the real situations that matter.


Good thinking. A lot of review sites do have a relevant benchmark called "minimum fps". The whole idea is that beyond about 50-60 fps your eye can't tell the difference (and even some monitors don't refresh that fast). So what's more important is the minimum; the lowest frame rate you get during play.

Although I would suspect it's going to be mostly GPU limited though on an i7 or a high end X3\X4.
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2009 12:36:45 AM

The problem with minimum fps is that it is gonna be totally bottlenecked by a few situations. It could even only happen once in a whole days benchmarking, but...that will still show up as 1 fps minimum.
a c 123 à CPUs
September 12, 2009 1:03:19 AM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
...
Although I would suspect it's going to be mostly GPU limited though on an i7 or a high end X3\X4.


That's why I wonder if putting more money into the GPU is really the better idea. Of course, the resolution clearly matters, and some of the benchmarks are at real low res where it is obvious a better GPU will make no difference.

Looks like it comes back to balance.

September 12, 2009 9:59:43 AM

Onus said:
However, I'm pretty sure that FPS over the refresh rate won't be visible to the person playing, and in some cases may even cause tearing.

I game with vsync on, so no tearing. My current setup is actually good enough for my needs: I'm a Battlefield2 maniac and I get 75FPS 95% of the time. However, 120FPS is obviously going to look better... :D  I can see the difference between 75/85/100/120 FPS; I shouldn't have gotten rid of my old CRT.
I'm not really interested in nVidia 3D technology as of now - I've read it causes serious eye strain, so the only reason for me to upgrade is to hit 120FPS all the time. It looks like I5 will be good enough for me and it overclocks nicely too.

And of course BF3 is on the way too... ;) 
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2009 11:00:48 AM

A Q9550 would deliver close to the same performance, use the same motherboard and the same RAM as your E7200 for a lot cheaper. Check the benchmarks.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

Use the chunk of money you save to get a 5850 or a 5870 and you'll see a bigger difference in your FPS.
September 12, 2009 11:14:50 AM

dirtmountain said:
A Q9550 would deliver close to the same performance, use the same motherboard and the same RAM as your E7200 for a lot cheaper. Check the benchmarks.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...


Hmm, interesting...
I just checked the price of Q9550, here in Ireland it's €204. I5 is actually cheaper - €185. My 775 motherboard is not good for overclocking and I honestly want to get rid of it, so going the I5 route seems to be better option. Especially with future upgrades in mind. Thanks for your advice, though. Not that I want to hijack this thread - I still think the I5 has its place on the market.
a c 99 à CPUs
September 12, 2009 2:01:20 PM

andyKCIUK said:
I game with vsync on, so no tearing. My current setup is actually good enough for my needs: I'm a Battlefield2 maniac and I get 75FPS 95% of the time. However, 120FPS is obviously going to look better... :D  I can see the difference between 75/85/100/120 FPS; I shouldn't have gotten rid of my old CRT.
I'm not really interested in nVidia 3D technology as of now - I've read it causes serious eye strain, so the only reason for me to upgrade is to hit 120FPS all the time. It looks like I5 will be good enough for me and it overclocks nicely too.

And of course BF3 is on the way too... ;) 


I just have one question for you: can you watch TV on an old-style CRT TV?
a b à CPUs
September 12, 2009 2:15:49 PM

BadTrip said:
AMD = Smoothier :sarcastic:  :sarcastic: 



Yup:

During testing, the Intel systems would generate minimum frame rates at this resolutions about 23~24fps on a couple of runs and then jump to their current results on the others. We noticed this in game play also; the Intel systems would hitch and pause at times. We would shutdown the game, clear the prefetch folder, and reboot. The game would operate fine in the next series of testing although we still had stuttering in intensive ground scenes at times. We tried new images, different CPUs, memory changes, and the Sapphire HD 4870 cards with the same results. The Phenom II 940 had extremely stable frame rates in each test and action was very fluid during game play.

The Phenom II is slightly ahead of the Q9550 when overclocked although it is at a 7% clock speed disadvantage. We have noticed the CryEngine 2 will respond to improved memory bandwidth and latencies as we clock up the processors. The i7 holds a 14% advantage in average frame rates while the Phenom II once again impresses us with the best minimum frame rates when overclocked. However, not having a 20fps minimum frame rate is a disappointment with our multi-GPU setups. The NVIDIA 260/285 solutions scale better in SLI than the ATI HD 4870 products. We hope that ATI can improve their drivers for this game.

Get that silly sarcastic Intel face of yours outta here ;) 
September 12, 2009 3:21:04 PM

MU_Engineer said:
I just have one question for you: can you watch TV on an old-style CRT TV?


Yes, without any problems.
!