I have recently decided to build a computer on Black Friday, and I have changed my plans on builds over the past couple of months. Originally, it was going to be an i7 920 - then it moved to an i5 - and then I realized they had the Core i7 860, which is newer and manages to use less power.
Currently, I'm sold on the 860. However, my brother, who will also be building a computer - said that he read 920 was better for overclocking, which is what I was planning.
So, what do you guys think? If I'm overclocking, should I go with the Core i7 860 - or 920. And if one or the other, are there any preferable motherboards? Do you recommend Asus?
"Perhaps this is a bit anticlimactic, but the Core i7 860 performs exactly where you'd expect it to. It's faster than a Core i5 750, faster than a Core i7 920 and slower than a Core i7 870. As I noted in The Lynnfield Follow Up, overclocking is much easier on Bloomfield (LGA-1366) thanks to the absence of an on-die PCIe controller. It's not impossible on Lynnfield, it's just effortless on Bloomfield.
My recommendations from the initial Lynnfield review still stand, you'll want to opt for Bloomfield processor if you care about:
1) High-end multi-GPU performance (or other uses of high bandwidth PCIe)
2) Stock Voltage Overclocking
3) Future support for 6-core Gulftown CPUs
In terms of cost effectiveness however - the Core i7 860 is the way to go. With cheaper motherboards and higher operating frequencies than a Core i7 920, for the majority of users the 860 will be the better pick. Here's where the discussion gets interesting however."
Frankly, it seems that when it comes down to the P55/i7 860 vs the X58/i7 920 solution, it makes more sense to spend a little more to go the X58 route. A good X58 board like the AsRock X58 Extreme doesn't cost too much more than a good P55 one, and the price gap between a 6GB Tri-Channel kit and a Dual Channel 4GB kit has narrowed quite a bit. What you get in return for the relatively small amount of extra cash is a much more premium platform, that'll likely offer more expandability in the future.
IMO the biggest gain from going i7 has, ironically, nothing to do with the i7 itself, it's the upgradability to i9 provided by the LGA1366 socket. I must admit there is one thing I hate above all on the new iX series, it's the socket segregation between mid and high level.