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What is Stepping? Also questions on i7's.

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November 24, 2009 2:22:03 AM

Ok first off, I am a huge FSX enthusiast. I saw this video and I was amazed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_SR77wWa8s

He is using the 920. Everyone here told me before to go with the 860, but which one is better? The 920 has more expensive mobo's tho...

Also, I asked him about how he got that kind of performance and he said to use Stepping. What is this?

More about : stepping questions

a c 127 à CPUs
November 24, 2009 2:48:34 AM

A stepping is basically the batch of CPU. Its a designation as to which batch. The later the stepping, nomrally the newer the CPU.

A newer stepping also means a better CPU in some cases. A newer stepping may have bug fixes, thermal leak fixes and performance enhancements (very slight).

This is from Wiki:

Quote:
Stepping is a designation used by Intel and AMD (or any semiconductor manufacturer[citation needed]) to identify how much the design of a microprocessor has advanced from the original design. The stepping is identified by a combination of a letter and a number.

Typically, the first version of a microprocessor comes out with stepping A0. As design improvements occur, later versions are identified by changes in the letter and number. Changes in the number (for example, A3) indicate minor design changes, while changes to both the letter and number are made following more extensive changes (for example, B2). Stepping allows consumers and servicers to identify a microprocessor's version.



The latest stepping fo a Core i7 920 is D0. Its the prefered 920 because it can overclock to a higher frequency (GHz) on the same voltage as its predecessor. Most Core i7 920s can hit 3.8-4GHz on decent air cooling on its stock voltage if it is a D0 stepping.

To give another example is the Q6600. When it first came out (2006) it was the first quad core CPU. It was designated the B3 stepping and had a TDP (Thermal Dissipated Power) of 125w. Then they released a new stepping noted as the G0 stepping in 2007. It had a TDP of 95w and as well ran on a lower stock voltage than the original Q6600. It also would overclock from 2.4GHz to 3GHz with the stock or lower voltage. It was the most sought after quad core for a long time.

As for which CPU too get look at this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

From the looks of it, a Core i7 860/870 would be the same as a Core i7 920. FSX loves more cores than anything but the Core i7 870 seems to keep up with a Core i7 920 easily.

My suggestion is to go for the lower end and cheaper Core i7 860.

Hope that helps.
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