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Core i7 vs Core 2 Quad for Gaming

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October 14, 2009 10:45:04 PM

Hello,

I am really struggling to decide if the Core i7 is worth the additional investment. While the CPUs I am looking at cost roughly the same (Quad 9650 vs i7 920) there is a lot more expense in motherboard and triple channel memory.

I am buying this to game - primarily COD. So my question is this: is it worth the $400 or so to invest in Core i7 for purely gaming purposes?

If it was YOUR money, and all other things being equal, would you invest roughly $1800 in a gaming machine with a Core i7, triple channel memory and a Radeon HD5870, or $1100 in a machine with the quad core cpu, dual channel memory, and a GTX260. There is a 60% price difference.

Thanks!

More about : core core quad gaming

October 14, 2009 10:58:32 PM

You're doing a new build? I wouldn't put money into the core 2 quad if it's an entire new setup. A quad would be a sensible upgrade if you already had the mobo ram, etc however, there's no sense throwing money into a dead socket. Have you considered an i5 build? If you're on a budget the i5 would be the way to go, imo.
October 14, 2009 11:09:28 PM

Your comparisson is unfair, for some $200 of the price difference is due to graphic cards (some $380 for HD5870 and $180 for GTX260), what reduces the price difference to some $400 instead.

Keep in mind that when it comes to gaming, the most important thing is your GPU, as long as your memory and CPU are decent (and a Quad 9650 with some 4Gb of a fast DDR2 are quite decent).

That said, if you have budget constraints, go for Core 2 Quad with HD5870. If you have the money, then go for the i7. Today, it would some small gain in FPS, but should keep you safe for the future.
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October 14, 2009 11:11:05 PM

I just installed a second GTX 260, so I now have an SLI setup. My Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz is limiting my total performance based on my own tests.

If I had the money to do it, I'd upgrade to the new i5-750, i7-860, or i7-920.

The i7-860 or i5-750 will let you use the 1156 boards, which are dual channel memory. Less expensive than the triple channel, and less expensive than the X58 based motherboards for the i7-920.

If you are a gamer, and want to keep this system long term (without upgrading in the next 6 months) I'd go i7, and get a new 5800 series ATI card. For the current COD titles the GTX 260 is more than adequate. And probably should be fine for the upcoming COD Modern Warfare 2.

But if you want the best you can get, I'd look at the i5/i7 setup. The C2Q chips are yesterday's system. If you want an upgrade in the next year even, you'll be forced to replace Memory, CPU, and Motherboard already.

For a new system, i5/i7 is the only way to go in my opinion. Otherwise you'll end up replacing half your system in the next year.
October 14, 2009 11:23:46 PM

get i7 if it's a completely new system coze of newer socket(755 will die soon) . if you already have a 775 mobo get c2q
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October 14, 2009 11:34:29 PM

The i5 750 would be a great alternative to the Q9650. It performs almost identical (a little better actually) to the Q9650 and it costs $130 less. P55 motherboards arent extremely expensive either.
October 15, 2009 12:16:15 AM

Great advice all around. I am stuggling with the typical "budget" vs "less of a budget" system. One option is to get an i7, triple channel memory and the HD5870, the other option is to save $700 and get a quad core, dual channel memory and a GTX 260. That is the battle I am fighting right now.

Some times I hear that the i7 makes a good improvement in gaming, other times I hear it is negligible.

This is a new build, and I would like to keep it for two years, no more, no less.
October 15, 2009 3:30:31 AM

Ok, here is the system I am leaning towards. What do yall think?

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Case
WD VelociRaptor 300gb HD
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5870
Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ 1000W PS
OCZ Gold 6gb (3x2) DDR3 1600 (times 2 for a total of 12gb)
EVGA E758 3-way SLI mobo
Intel Core i7-920
Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler

That HD5870 is a monster. Will it fit in that case?
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October 15, 2009 7:44:46 AM

pr0wn3d said:
Ok, here is the system I am leaning towards. What do yall think?

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Case
WD VelociRaptor 300gb HD
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5870
Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ 1000W PS
OCZ Gold 6gb (3x2) DDR3 1600 (times 2 for a total of 12gb)
EVGA E758 3-way SLI mobo
Intel Core i7-920
Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler

That HD5870 is a monster. Will it fit in that case?

The answer is NO!

CM690 and HAF922 are great bargains and they outperform the 1200 by a significant margin in both cooling and length. HAF922 can even host a 12" gfx, so it's future proofed.

Cosmos S is also very good in looking and cooling being much larger than HAF922 and CM690 at the same time. However, it is much more expensive.
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October 15, 2009 8:46:16 AM

The Antec 1200 will easily fit a 5870 ><, i dunno what this guys talking about. The HAF 932 and 922 are a great alternative though, depends on what you like. I myself would prefer the Antec Twelve Hundred just because it looks like a beast.
October 15, 2009 2:51:53 PM

I have a 1200 and this case will fit any card out there. It's just a monster of a case. A couple of months ago I had a Sapphire 4850x2, the biggest vid card I ever had, and it fit no problem in the case.
October 15, 2009 3:01:46 PM

if you're on a budget and using this rig mostly for gaming, I'd go with the i5. Hyperthreading isn't useful for gaming anyways. Just overclock your cpu when you get it. one thing to keep in mind with the i5 though is make sure the x8 x8 crossfire/sli limitation won't be an issue for you. If you're only using 1 gpu, this won't be an issue though.
October 15, 2009 5:34:37 PM

pr0wn3d said:
Ok, here is the system I am leaning towards. What do yall think?

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Case
WD VelociRaptor 300gb HD
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5870
Antec TruePower Quattro TPQ 1000W PS
OCZ Gold 6gb (3x2) DDR3 1600 (times 2 for a total of 12gb)
EVGA E758 3-way SLI mobo
Intel Core i7-920
Cooler Master V8 CPU Cooler

That HD5870 is a monster. Will it fit in that case?


The 5870 will definitely fit in the Antec 1200. What resolution is your monitor? As this build could be serious overkill. Also, why the 1000watt PSU? Do you intend to crossfire, tri-crossfire?
October 15, 2009 6:23:25 PM

ominous prime said:
The 5870 will definitely fit in the Antec 1200. What resolution is your monitor? As this build could be serious overkill. Also, why the 1000watt PSU? Do you intend to crossfire, tri-crossfire?


Right now I have one 24 in lcd monitor with a plan to add a second.

Not going to crossfire now, but would like to once the price of the 5870s come down. Don't want to overkill, though.
October 15, 2009 6:24:00 PM

I should start a poll. If YOU were going to build a pure gaming rig for $1800 (no monitor, already have a nice one) what components would you buy (cpo, mobo, video card, memory, case, ps, etc)?
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October 16, 2009 12:58:59 AM

Quote:
Ominous Prime wrote :

The 5870 will definitely fit in the Antec 1200. What resolution is your monitor? As this build could be serious overkill. Also, why the 1000watt PSU? Do you intend to crossfire, tri-crossfire?


bige420 wrote:

The Antec 1200 will easily fit a 5870 ><, i dunno what this guys talking about. The HAF 932 and 922 are a great alternative though, depends on what you like. I myself would prefer the Antec Twelve Hundred just because it looks like a beast.


My mate told me that you have to remove one of the HDD cadge in order to put the HD5870 into your Antec 1200. In addition, you will have to buy a new case after they release the HD58xx X2 which is very likely to be longer than 11"

Quote:
smartel7070:

I have a 1200 and this case will fit any card out there. It's just a monster of a case. A couple of months ago I had a Sapphire 4850x2, the biggest vid card I ever had, and it fit no problem in the case.


Are you aware of the length of the HD5870? It's significantly longer and it's 11".

October 16, 2009 1:09:20 AM

I stand corrected, Andy. According to another post about the 5870 fitting in an Antec 1200. WR2 wrote "It looks like you'll have to sacrifice use of some of the HDD bays with a 5870. Check for yourself The "Official" Antec 1200 Club forum topic @ Overclock.net tons of pictures, some with 4870x2 and GTX 295 installed."

Here's a link to the Antec 1200 Owner's forum, http://www.overclock.net/computer-cases/407099-official...

Removal of the entire HDD cage, however, shouldn't be necessary Andy.
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October 16, 2009 1:18:26 AM

ominous prime said:
I stand corrected, Andy. According to another post about the 5870 fitting in an Antec 1200. WR2 wrote "It looks like you'll have to sacrifice use of some of the HDD bays with a 5870. Check for yourself The "Official" Antec 1200 Club forum topic @ Overclock.net tons of pictures, some with 4870x2 and GTX 295 installed."

Here's a link to the Antec 1200 Owner's forum, http://www.overclock.net/computer-cases/407099-official...

Removal of the entire HDD cage, however, shouldn't be necessary Andy.

...... HD5870 is LONGER than the cards you mentioned!

Show me a picture of Antec 1200 with a HD5870 in without removing any HDD cadge if you really want to convince me. :) 
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October 16, 2009 1:23:28 AM

By the way, one of the user in the link you gave me stated that he has 2x HD5870, but the picture shown is 2x HD4xxx whch can be told easily as the HD58xx has differnt fan design
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October 16, 2009 1:45:40 AM

andy5174 said:
...... HD5870 is LONGER than the cards you mentioned!

Show me a picture of Antec 1200 with a HD5870 in without removing any HDD cadge if you really want to convince me. :) 


It's longer than a 4870x2? I thought it was about the same size.
October 16, 2009 1:46:27 AM

I7 ftw.
October 16, 2009 1:55:59 AM

The first post you are referring to is from 2008, lol. Those are old pictures. And there's no need for bold, honestly. I can read. The gtx 295 fits in the Antec 1200 with ease, and the 5870 is only slightly longer. It shouldn't be a problem if the 3.5 inch bays are left empty where the 5870 is going in. I'm done arguing with you over something so trivial.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ATI/Radeon_HD_5870/i...
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October 16, 2009 2:34:05 AM

ominous prime said:
The first post you are referring to is from 2008, lol. Those are old pictures. And there's no need for bold, honestly. I can read. The gtx 295 fits in the Antec 1200 with ease, and the 5870 is only slightly longer. It shouldn't be a problem if the 3.5 inch bays are left empty where the 5870 is going in. I'm done arguing with you over something so trivial.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ATI/Radeon_HD_5870/i...

I would shut up and say Antec 1200 is so great if you gave me some real proof instead of convincing yourself you got a nice case.
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October 16, 2009 2:38:58 AM

As far as I know it's very tight to fit a GTX295 into 1200, not mention to that HD5870 is 0.5"(1+ cm) longer.
October 16, 2009 3:54:17 AM

andy5174 said:
As far as I know it's very tight to fit a GTX295 into 1200, not mention to that HD5870 is 0.5"(1+ cm) longer.


Can any of you recommend a good case that will fit the HD5870? I would rather not have to remove the HD cases.
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October 16, 2009 4:00:36 AM

andy5174 said:
As far as I know it's very tight to fit a GTX295 into 1200, not mention to that HD5870 is 0.5"(1+ cm) longer.

From what I can find, it's a quarter inch longer than the 4870x2, and I have a pair of 4870x2s in an Antec 1200. There's definitely more than a quarter inch of room for a larger card. Looking at it, you might even be able to put a hard drive in the bay next to the card, but it would be a hell of a squeeze (you'd need a right angle sata plug for sure). You definitely wouldn't need to remove the hard drive mounting cage.
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October 16, 2009 4:30:49 AM

cjl said:
From what I can find, it's a quarter inch longer than the 4870x2, and I have a pair of 4870x2s in an Antec 1200. There's definitely more than a quarter inch of room for a larger card. Looking at it, you might even be able to put a hard drive in the bay next to the card, but it would be a hell of a squeeze (you'd need a right angle sata plug for sure). You definitely wouldn't need to remove the hard drive mounting cage.


Although I didn't measure it myself, the information on their official websit are against your finding.

ATI states that HD5870 is 11"

nVidia states that GTX295 is 10.5"
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October 16, 2009 4:36:15 AM

The actual measurements from reviews seem to indicate that the 4870x2 is 10.5" and the 5870 is 10.75". This includes from pictures that I've seen of the card next to a measuring tape.

As I said though, even if it is 11", it will fit in a 1200, although whether a hard drive can fit in front of it is very questionable. It would be a tight sqeeze with a hard drive, but definitely doable with no hard drive (but with the HDD cage still in place).
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October 16, 2009 4:57:09 AM

pr0wn3d said:
Can any of you recommend a good case that will fit the HD5870? I would rather not have to remove the HD cases.


HAF 932, HAF922 and Cosmos S are all very good cases.

The HAF series is best in cooling. They beats up the Antec 1200 in cooling according to most benchmarks while HAF932/HAF922 being cheaper/much cheaper at the same time.

In addition, they are very quiet due to their large fans, compared to the jet engine noise cause by the Antec 1200(check the reviews at NewEggs).

Cosmos S is also very good in every aspect except for its price. Besides, IMO its appearance is unbeatable in cases that are good in cooling.
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October 16, 2009 5:09:38 AM

cjl said:
The actual measurements from reviews seem to indicate that the 4870x2 is 10.5" and the 5870 is 10.75". This includes from pictures that I've seen of the card next to a measuring tape.

As I said though, even if it is 11", it will fit in a 1200, although whether a hard drive can fit in front of it is very questionable. It would be a tight sqeeze with a hard drive, but definitely doable with no hard drive (but with the HDD cage still in place).


HD5870 is 11.1 inch by this link, click on me!



Although I am sure that you are better than me in the overall PC knowlege, you are definitely wrong in this case. I think that you are just convincing yourself that you didn't pick up the wrong case which is what most people do under this situation.

1200 will not be an ideal investment even if it were able to host a 11" GFX card, as there's a great chance that the upcoming HD58xx X2(which is likely to be even longer) will be too long for the 1200.
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October 16, 2009 5:47:12 AM

Convincing myself I didn't pick the wrong case? I bought it around a year ago, when the longest card out was a 4870x2. It fits that with enough room to spare that I can even fit a hard drive directly in front of it. Do I need to post a picture of that to prove it? Besides, I have a pair of 4870x2s. They chew through every game I've tried so far and don't break a sweat. I don't see myself replacing them anytime soon, in all honesty.

Looking inside my case, I could fit perhaps a card 1/2" longer than the 4870x2 and still be able to fit a hard drive directly in front of it. With no hard drives in front (but the hard drive cage left in place), you could easily fit a card 2" longer than a 4870x2.

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't see needing room for a card longer than 12.5" anytime soon. Actually, I plan to replace this case at some point anyways (it weighs a freaking ton and I wish the hard drives were oriented in a way that was easier to access), but it definitely can take long GPUs.
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October 16, 2009 5:54:22 AM

cjl said:
Convincing myself I didn't pick the wrong case? I bought it around a year ago, when the longest card out was a 4870x2. It fits that with enough room to spare that I can even fit a hard drive directly in front of it. Do I need to post a picture of that to prove it? Besides, I have a pair of 4870x2s. They chew through every game I've tried so far and don't break a sweat. I don't see myself replacing them anytime soon, in all honesty.

Looking inside my case, I could fit perhaps a card 1/2" longer than the 4870x2 and still be able to fit a hard drive directly in front of it. With no hard drives in front (but the hard drive cage left in place), you could easily fit a card 2" longer than a 4870x2.

Maybe it's just me, but I really don't see needing room for a card longer than 12.5" anytime soon. Actually, I plan to replace this case at some point anyways (it weighs a freaking ton and I wish the hard drives were oriented in a way that was easier to access), but it definitely can take long GPUs.

You said there's a quarter inch left at first and now change it to 0.5 inch after I show you that HD5870 is 11.1". Are you going to tell me there's 1 inch left if HD5870 were 11.5 inch?
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October 16, 2009 6:14:04 AM

Nope. The difference is that I was guessing before, but before that post, I actually pulled my case out and looked. As I said though, there's tons of room if you don't need to have a hard drive in front of it (and you could fit 7 hard drives in the case before needing to put one in front of a single card, or 6 before needing to put one in front of a CF/SLI setup). What do you have against the 1200 anyways?

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October 16, 2009 6:18:38 AM

I don't. I am just suggesting the OP to get cases that are better for its value. I see no reason to go with the 1200 with HAF being cheaper, larger, longer, quieter and better in cooling.
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October 16, 2009 6:22:32 AM

There's one thing that 1200 is better though. That is the looking.

However, I would definitely go with the Cosmos S if I want a good looking case and were in the U.S. as their prices are similar and Cosmos S is good in cooling too.
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October 16, 2009 6:24:12 AM

p.s. Cosmos S is made of Aluminium instead of SECC(iron) and therefore it's much lighter even though it's much larger in size.
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October 16, 2009 6:26:06 AM

Those are definitely nice cases too. Honestly, any one of them would be a good choice IMHO.

As I said, I may replace my case at some point, but it's hard to really say when or with what. The 1200 definitely isn't ideal, but it isn't bad, and most of the other ones that look like really nice setups are quite expensive. The Corsair 800D looks excellent, but I really can't justify that at this point.
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October 16, 2009 6:29:05 AM

cjl said:
Those are definitely nice cases too. Honestly, any one of them would be a good choice IMHO.

As I said, I may replace my case at some point, but it's hard to really say when or with what. The 1200 definitely isn't ideal, but it isn't bad, and most of the other ones that look like really nice setups are quite expensive.

Agree with most of the part! However, Cosmos S is the exception in the U.S.. Its price is about the same as the 1200 when I saw it on NewEggs last time.
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October 16, 2009 6:35:27 AM

The Cosmos S isn't in my list of truly nice cases. That list is mainly things like Lian Li and the Corsair 800D (and most go for >$250). I'll probably do that at some point, but I definitely won't be doing it too soon.
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October 16, 2009 6:43:00 AM

cjl said:
The Cosmos S isn't in my list of truly nice cases. That list is mainly things like Lian Li and the Corsair 800D (and most go for >$250). I'll probably do that at some point, but I definitely won't be doing it too soon.

I never consider Lian li, as it's not very good in looking and too expensive. However, Lian li is one of the very few companies that don't manufacture their product in China and therefore much better quality.

Good luck on your new case!
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October 16, 2009 6:46:28 AM

I would save the money for the upcoming i9 instead of spending them on an expensive case if I were you, but it seems that the price is not an issue at all to people who can afford an i7 extreme CPU just like you.
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October 16, 2009 8:08:55 AM

Honestly, the stuff I do is fairly balanced in single and multi threaded operation, and I'll only get an i9 if it has significant boosts in both. It will obviously give significant gains on the multithreaded tasks, but if it doesn't also give me single threaded gains, I probably won't bother. I also really, really don't feel like spending another thousand on a CPU just a year after I got my 965, so there would have to be some fairly major changes (or it would need to be released as a non-extreme that still beat my 965) before I'd really consider it. Unless the gains are larger than I'm expecting, I'll probably wait until Sandy Bridge to get a new CPU.

As for Lian Li, most of their stuff looks great IMO. I've always preferred the simpler look to cases, and the first thing I did when I got my 1200 was to replace all the fans with non-LED versions. The corsair is really the top of my list though - it has the perfect combination of features, and I really like the design. I probably won't get it for a while though - it would be a major task to swap cases at this point.
Anonymous
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October 22, 2010 4:39:16 PM

hey dude buy a core 2 quad bcoz it doesnt make much difference between i7 and quad because i7 is just 30% faster than quad but both are a good high end proceesors meant for pure HD gaming and about the cost ur talking the quad is 50% lesser than i7 which doesnt make much difference.
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October 23, 2010 3:04:09 AM

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