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Choosing 920,860,or i5 750

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September 10, 2009 3:21:56 AM

Hi a couple of months ago, i was really close to buying a build with an i7 920 and was ready to buy and then something possessed me and just decided to hold off becuase i knew something new cool would come like the i9's i5's, a new socket, and new i7s also. Therefore I wanted to clarify a couple of things. For a new build that i will be redoing and buying within the near future...maybe during thanksgiving i am not sure, i want to know the main difference and benefit between these three CPU's
Intel Core i7 920
Intel Core i7 860
Intel Core i5 750

It seems like all have thier pros and cons and its really weird how they are similar but different. A core 920 is 2.66ghz while a core 860 is 2.8ghz however a core 920 is tri-channel ram support while the other is dual channel, also they are different sockets, and 920 uses QPI and 860 uses DMI (I dont even know what DMI is and how it compares to QPI). Also the core i5 is the same clock speed as an i7...but has dual channeled ram and a different socket as well as DMI also. Therefore all these processors seem the compete...i am probably not getting an i5 anyway but and 860 and 920 seem awfully similar. I was wondering with thier pros and cons which one would benefit me most???? Taking into account the QPIvsDMI, tri-channeled vs dual channeled, socket 1366 vs 1156.

Here is my use of my computer and what i need it for so you can determine which processor is better for me: (BTW price does not matter since its like 20$ difference...)

OS: Will be windows 7 64bit and might put another OS on it like linux or xp.
Programs used:
-Nero ultra edition, burning CD's...etc
-Audio and Video File conversion
-Photoshopping a little
-Visual Studio Professional
-Microsoft office 2007.
-Crysis

-Background Processes:
-firewall
-anti-virus
-realtime disk defragmentor Diskeeper
-nvidia video driver

(BTW I would like the processor that would give me the fastest virus scans assuming they are the only variables if possible)

-Thank for any help. I am open for both CPU suggestions. I am torn between the two...tell me which will suit my needs better.

-Blackhawk1928

More about : choosing 920 860 750

September 10, 2009 3:58:59 AM

Same here, I believe the i7 860 will be better in performance since it's 2.8ghz and also has the new turbo mod. What is confusing me are the new LGA 1156 Motherboards, with dual ram. People say LGA 1366 boards are better for futur upgrades but we never know what socket will be the futur cpus and stuff. Also both seem to overclock easily.

This isn't helping you but that's what I'm concerned with
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September 10, 2009 8:06:34 AM

With what I know right now, I'd go with the 920.
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September 10, 2009 1:14:22 PM

+1 - i7 920.... got mine the other day after trying to decide what mobo / cpu combination to go with and waiting to see what the i5 launch goodies and prices were about.

Only had the i7 up and running since last night, but wow its quick - makes my E8400 look silly in most situations
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September 10, 2009 3:19:07 PM

i7 860 > i7 920 but the LGA 1156 boards aren't amazing for futur upgrades, is it good to think about futur upgrades as there is prolly a new socket that will be released in about 1 year once again?
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September 10, 2009 7:20:55 PM

Whoa whoa, 920 can EASILY do 4.3ghz? Also, let's differentiate between which is better stock and which is better at a stable overclock with a high-end heatsink.
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September 10, 2009 7:27:53 PM

Yeah but a 870 can do 4.2 on AIR
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September 10, 2009 7:41:46 PM

I was talking about stock tho, I'm not an overclocker, In 1-2 years I would overclock it :) 
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September 10, 2009 7:42:53 PM

True about the PCIE, if you are going to go with a multi-GPU setup, and your card is anything faster than a GTX 260, you are going to be bottlenecked by the 8x multiplier. That being said, I do believe EVGA's top end 200 P55 boards will have multiple x16 slots. Thats kind of sketchy though I don't really understand it.

Again, if you are going single GPU or SLI'ing/Xfire'ing anything GTX 260 equivalent or below, you will not be bottlenecked it will have no effect on performance.

Link to an 870 at 4.2 on air (think it was a TRUE)
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...
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September 10, 2009 7:48:15 PM

Well I mean there you go, you could just get a really good single card, and have the great CPU power of the 870.

I mean I was just asking and providing a counter-argument, does this show that the 870 really actually is better, period, stock AND overclocked?
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September 10, 2009 8:18:20 PM

Agreed PsychoSaysDie - I believe it is a question of budget and multiple GPUs. It seems that an i7 860 would be great, especially with TurboBoost.

I haven't seen any GPUs completely saturate the PCIE 2.0 x8. Can someone point me to a page that shows this?
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September 10, 2009 8:23:21 PM

-Well, I am 90% sure I am going to be running a single card, because right now I have a EVGA Nvidia 8800gts 640mb and i am going to upgrade to a GTX260 or a GTX275 probably before 2010 and after I build my system.

-I also will not most likely over-clock any of my hardware except for maybe over-clocking my card a little ever once in a while but insignificantly. I am will not overclock my ram, cpu, or mobo, i want everything on stock speeds.

-And this is what confuses me!!! whenever there is a comparison of an 920vs860 there is a always a huge debate about which one is better. I would like to know exactly which one is better taking into account all variables (Tri-channel ram, socket type, clock speed, QPIvsDMI, hyperthreading, cache...etc) The difference is only 20bucks but such huge controversy is over it. I like the 860 because of an extra .14Ghz increase over the 920 however I am pretty sure it wont really make a huge difference for me and what I need, because i heard a 920 is amazing in almost everything with its 2.6ghz. Thats why i am leaning towards a 920 because I am pretty sure its clock speed is perfect for my needs and it has triple channel ram and QPI which i looked up just now and some resources say that QPI is better then DMI.
-So any other advice/suggestions/links(forinfo) and thanks for the huge help so far.
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September 10, 2009 9:02:27 PM

The 860/870 are much more efficient than the 920, which is one of the reasons i'm considering them for my upcoming workstation build. Also, the TurboBoost is great for switching between highly parellelized tasks like rendering and linear tasks like many things in photoshop.

I took some data from a bunch of the reviews that came out the past few days on power usage (keep in mind the 870 usually outperformed the 920 on most benchmarks, at stock speeds - 4GHz overclock each is a different game)

the formatting will make this hard to read so I'll do it vertically:

The Reviewers:
Toms Hardware
Anandtech
TechGage
TechSpot
HotHardware
Techreport
Hard OCP
Hardware Canucks
bit-tech
xBit labs

[i7 920 Idle] difference in wattage [i7 870 Idle]:
38
28.5
54
48
25
23
45
34
23

[i7 920 Load[ difference in wattage [i7 870 Load]:
34
22
72
41
19
35
52
14
49

Average Savings at Idle: 35W
Average Savings at Load: 38W

And this is between a 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz processor. Overclock the 920 to 2.93 and the savings are even more. Factor in the efficiency of TurboBoost (flexing to run a single core at high frequency or all cores at lower, rather than a flat overclock to get single-thread performance) and you have a machine that gets *** done with a noticeable savings in power.

Perfect for long working sessions or overnight rendering.

Plus, I can buy an i7 860, and overclock to ~ 3.2GHz and still get turboboost to clock up to ~4.


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September 10, 2009 9:23:55 PM

If your a huge multitasker and like SLI/CFX go with the i7 920.

If you want a more cost effective i7 and are just worried about speed go for the 860.

Its not really about whats better, its about personal preference. Both have some advantages over the other.
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September 10, 2009 9:38:36 PM

Okay i really don't care about wattage...even if a 920 was 200-watts i could care less about that. I don't care about efficiency, power consumption or anything, just performance. I just want to know which one competes with performance and who emerges as the king.
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September 10, 2009 11:17:18 PM

RIOTinYOURcity said:
If your a huge multitasker and like SLI/CFX go with the i7 920.

If you want a more cost effective i7 and are just worried about speed go for the 860.

Its not really about whats better, its about personal preference. Both have some advantages over the other.


-Hmm, well i am not a huge multi-tasker but i usually like to run Safari 4 with 3-4 tabs, AIM, an office app, visual studio, outlook express,itunes and thats basically it, and bunch of processes. See the reason i am leaning to a 920 is because almost everywhere it says that the 920's speed is plenty for these uses as-well as for gaming and intensive apps and the extra .14ghz clock speed increase of an 860 will make barely any difference while the triple channel memory and the QPI as well as hyper-threading of an 920 will make a noticeable difference which is what matters so for now i am leaning at...lets just say 51% towards 920 and 49% towards 860 with the information and reviews I have acquired so far...can anybody even it out or even vice versa my percentage to lean towards the 860???

-Thanks so much for the information and the help so far!!!

-Blackhawk1928
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September 11, 2009 12:06:45 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
this is what confuses me!!! whenever there is a comparison of an 920vs860 there is a always a huge debate about which one is better. I would like to know exactly which one is better taking into account all variables (Tri-channel ram, socket type, clock speed, QPIvsDMI, hyperthreading, cache...etc) The difference is only 20bucks but such huge controversy is over it.
If you took two systems that were identical except thatone used an 860 and one used a 920, you could probably MEASURE the difference, but I doubt that you'd be able to NOTICE the difference in most situations. I wouldn't sweat too much over it - buy the one with the price or socket that best fits your needs.
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September 11, 2009 12:13:29 AM

the triple channel memory isn't doing a real difference right now to be honest. It's all about going multi-gpu or not, and if you plan on buying a i9 next year. I don't think the LGA1156 is dead already also.

I'm in the situation as you and people keep confusing me as every one have different needs and different opinions. Also not many people tryed both. It's all about benchmarks. I saw some people saying i7 920 was better because they have it and they want to convince themselves that it's good and not regret it lol
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September 11, 2009 12:39:02 PM

^+1 I agree with that comment. However I am looking at this situation technically, just facts and benchmarks. However triple channel many say actually does have benefit since the processor can communicate with 3 ram chips instead of 2 allowing it to do more at once because of an extra memory chip. Also the 920 is connected by QPI which puts a memory controller in the processor instead of the north-bridge allowing much faster communication to the ram and the 860 uses DMI which i heard was an older and inferior method then QPI was. In basic terms so far, I am still at 51%920 and 49%860 because besides having a mere .14ghz lower clock speed, the 920 beats the 860 in almost every other way according to my research so far...
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September 11, 2009 7:21:01 PM

The DMI confusion is rampant but bogus.

On the 920 platform, the memory controller is on the CPU and the QPI connects the CPU and the remainder of the northbridge (essentially just the PCIe controller). The northbridge is then connected by DMI to the southbridge.

On the 860 platform, the memory controller is still on the CPU and the QPI is internal to the CPU and the northbridge has been eliminated entirely. Since the northbridge is gone, the CPU directly connects to the southbridge using DMI.

In both cases, northbridge to southbridge connectivity is performed by DMI. The only difference is that all of the northbridge (instead of just the memory part of the northbridge) is on the CPU on 860. QPI is still on 860, it's just on the silicon rather than traces on the motherboard. This is an improvement, not a degradation, unless you are trying to use 920 multisocket.
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September 11, 2009 7:34:18 PM

Oh and I forgot one important thing, the 860 is in the 1156 socket which is more mainstream based and the 920 is 1366 which is a high end based and will websites say that the new i9's will come out for it and it's more future proof then the 1156. This means later down the road once the i9's come out i will be able to upgrade possibly to a more powerful i7 in the future once needed. So basically here is a list of all the variables

-Clock Speed=860 wins
-Channeled Ram=920 wins (tri-channel)
-High End Socket/Chipset=920 wins, 1366/x58
-Future Proofed for new high end processors=920 wins, i9's are for 1366
-Ram Communication Method (QPIvsDMI)=920 wins
-Better for SLI=920 wins
-Power Consumption=860 wins but I dont care about that
-Better for multitasking=920 wins
-Overclockability=not sure but I dont care since I am going to be on stock speed for CPU anyway.
-Hyperthreading=920 wins

Well 920 wins 7 to 1 (over-clock, and power consumption dont count)
-So uh yeah...any other advice, suggestions, info??? So far I am more like 60% 920 and 40%860 because 920 seems to emerge as victor in most situations that benefit me. Any-other ground-breaking info that can change the odds around.
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September 11, 2009 7:49:08 PM

If I was thinking high-end, I would consider the 920, but some of the comparisons are different than what I have read

I've read that tri-channel shows negligible benefits.

Why would the 920 win in multitasking? - the 860 is 4 cores with Hyperthreading as well

Why is a high-end socket a win?

Without OC, isn't the 860 clocked higher?


I don't disagree that new high-end processors will be a plus, but if someone isn't planning on upgrading again next year, that won't matter.

I'm not trying to rag on you, but just clarify things that are different than what I read. If you have the articles, I'd love to read them.

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September 11, 2009 7:56:57 PM

blackhawk1928 said:

-Ram Communication Method (QPIvsDMI)=920 wins


Not true.
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September 11, 2009 9:06:51 PM

i'll explain a little about each one.


core i7 920
Clock speed 2.66
QPI 4.8 GT/s
Triple Channel memory
Trubo boost, increases the clock speed by 133 mhz.
X16 PCI Express and 2X16 for sli or crossfire 4X8 for quad
Uncore speed, 2.13 (max is 1066 DDR3 Ram) However this can be overclocked easy.
Supports HyperThreading Techonolgy, 4 cores each with 2 thread's = 8

Core i7 860
Clock speed 2.8
DMI: i'll explain a little about this, now in the previus core i7's, they had Quick path (QPI) to get connected with the Northbridge that had the PCI controller on it, but on the new core i7 870, the PCI controller is on Die on the CPU it self, therefor there is no need for a northbridge connection, because everything goes direct to the cpu to reduce latency, thats a pro for core i7 860 not a con btw
Dual Channel memory
Trubo boost, increases the clock speed by about 600 mhz.
X16 PCI Express and 2X8 for sli or crossfire
Uncore speed, 2.40 (max is 1333 DDR3 Ram) However this can be overclocked easy.
Supports HyperThreading Techonolgy, 4 cores each with 2 thread's = 8

Core i5 750
Clock speed 2.66
DMI: same as the core i7 860
Dual Channel memory
Trubo boost, increases the clock speed by about 500 mhz.
X16 PCI Express and 2X8 for sli or crossfire
Uncore speed, 2.13 (max is 1066 DDR3 Ram) However this can be overclocked easy.
Does not support Hyperthreading Techonoly, 4 cores each with 1 thread = 4


to make this more simple, i'll explain about the pros and cons.

Core i7 920 have better memroy bandwidth than both core core i7 860 and core i5 750, however core i7 860 and core i5 750 have better clock speed becaouse of the better turbo.

core i7 920 and core i7 860 both supports hyper threading while core i5 dosen't

now here is where it gets tricky, now because both core i5 750 and core i7 860 have on die PCI Controller supporting X16 they will preform better when using either with a SINGLE GPU card, however if you want to sli then Core i7 920 will do better at sli becaouse it supports 2X16 for sli while i5 750 and i7 860 2x8 for sli, in other words you will get more bandwith if using sli on X58 motherboard, but will have better performance if doing single GPU on P55 motherboard becaouse of the pci controller on the cpu.

corei7 920 and i5 750 both have the uncore on 2.13 while the i7 860 on 2.40

so if you wanna get a system without sli or upgrading, then core i5 or core i7 860 is better and cheaper.

but if your looking forword to sli and upgrade in the future, then core i7 920 with x58 motherboard will be better for you.
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September 11, 2009 9:15:12 PM

Surda is damn right, good job on that. Now it's all about upgrading, and in 1 year there is probably a new socket that will be released right? And CPUs usually last couple years now, especially with the mad OC we can do.

I will go for i7 860 because of this, but i'm quite afraid of the futur, we never know
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September 11, 2009 10:49:02 PM

Well...i will stay with one GPU but might buy another in the future and I will most likley upgrade in the future to possibly a better processor, better ram, and possibly a better GPU. Therefore 920 seems like my best choice for me. The 920 will be more then enough for me plus it will give me a higher end socket that will get the better upgrades like i9. :)  So i am practically sure that 920 is my go, it best suits my needs at this point.
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September 11, 2009 11:30:28 PM

there you go :)  that's what you need then. Also is the bus on 920 really giving him much power over the 860?
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September 12, 2009 2:56:10 AM

i7 920 uses QPI to connect to the north bridge so it can make connection with the PCI Controller for the graphics card, AS for the 860 there is no QPI because everything that was on the North Bridge is now moved to the CPU chip it self.

so yea blackhawk if you wanna upgrade i heard the Core i9 which will have up to 6 cores, is going to be on the 1366 socket, therefor if you wanna upgrade in the future and have sli, core i7 on x58 mobo is better for you.
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September 12, 2009 2:59:42 AM

Thank you for all the help, looks I made my decision, an Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem, LGA1366, and X58 chipset looks the right route for me to take :)  Thanks for all the help and advice to everyone here :) 
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September 12, 2009 3:13:46 AM

care tho, get a d0, I heard theyre still a lot of c0 shipping lol! That makes me a bit sad if I order one.
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September 12, 2009 4:22:57 AM

well, technically I dont care if its D0 or C0 becuase I will be running the 920 on stock speed, D0 does overclock better but its not really going to be beneficial for me however if i might aswell get the D0 incase i ever change my mind ;) 
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September 12, 2009 5:13:04 AM

yeah, from what website will you order?
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September 12, 2009 12:58:00 PM

My primary website is tigerdirect.com and seconday is newegg.com
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September 12, 2009 1:07:50 PM

huron said:
If I was thinking high-end, I would consider the 920, but some of the comparisons are different than what I have read

I've read that tri-channel shows negligible benefits.

Why would the 920 win in multitasking? - the 860 is 4 cores with Hyperthreading as well

Why is a high-end socket a win?

Without OC, isn't the 860 clocked higher?


I don't disagree that new high-end processors will be a plus, but if someone isn't planning on upgrading again next year, that won't matter.

I'm not trying to rag on you, but just clarify things that are different than what I read. If you have the articles, I'd love to read them.


My little chart on 920 vs 860 was based soley on information that people gave me on this post, it was not factual or anything just according to opinion and statements from this board.

"Why is a high-end socket a win?" -becuase in the future once the i9 comes out which i heard is hexacored i would love to get my hands on one, and if i dont then i can get a more powerful i7 for cheaper like a 965 or a 975 which is are like 3.2ghz and 3.33ghz :) 
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September 13, 2009 4:30:35 AM

seeing the life cycle of a cpu these days i don't think upgrading i7 920 to a better i7 a realist idea tho, even i9 which will cost a lot and won't be used to games/apps for a damn while, quads aren't even used to it's full potential atm.

But it's still a good choice you did, both cpu are great.
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September 13, 2009 4:41:01 AM

If you want a system that will last you awhile due to the fact the i7 920 uses the 1366 socket type I would pick the Intel core i7 920 for that one reason right there. Because intel is planning on making all their new higher end processors for the 1366 socket type.
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September 13, 2009 5:15:46 AM

^Yup, thats the main reason why i stayed. And especially for my needs, an i7 920 is excellent. I am not some enthusiast gamer or anything, i just run simple simple apps and occasionally play call of duty and crysis :) 
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September 13, 2009 5:47:51 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
^Yup, thats the main reason why i stayed. And especially for my needs, an i7 920 is excellent. I am not some enthusiast gamer or anything, i just run simple simple apps and occasionally play call of duty and crysis :) 

Yeah I agree bro, for the most part I play SOME games but I don't hardcore game or anything that's why when my i7 build is finished I won't bother to overclock it right away.
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September 13, 2009 3:35:42 PM

Same, I actually plan keeping everything on stock speed. Either way it will be a massive jump from what i have now :) 
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October 9, 2009 8:38:08 PM

I hear all this talk that the 32nm shrink of the 9xx CPUs (Nehalem) is the main reason to buy an LGA 1366 board and hence a 920.

No one seems to mention that the 32nm shrink of the 8xx CPUs (Lynnfield) will also use the LGA 1156 boards.

One is just as 'future-proof' as the other. Although I probably wouldn't buy on a tick and then the next tock, I'd wait for the next tick or tock.

Also if you are going to run them at stock speeds I'd choose the 860 as a no brainer, as it OCs itself automatically.
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