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I7 920 vs. Xeon..Help!

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December 22, 2009 8:23:36 AM

Hi everyone, I am currently getting an LGA 1366 motherboard with the intel i7-920.

I am now wondering, does an LGA 1156 Xeon processor operate faster than an i7-920 (the cheapest LGA 1366 Xeon is too expensive for me)?

Using PC for: Graphic/Web/Multimedia Design student..All Adobe Creative suite (photoshop, illustrator, flash, etc..you get the point) and perhaps some animation as well!! Other than that just regular usage, maybe games once in a while, and a movie here and there etc..
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So it all comes down to this..My question is...Which one of the following is faster...

This i7-920: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or this Xeon x3450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What does everyone think?

Please let me know which one will be faster!! Thanks so much! :) 
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My current configuration (including the LGA 1366 motherboard and i7-920) is:

-ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

-OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory

-CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power (power supply)

-SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

-SAMSUNG T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor

-Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

-Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

-LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner
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THE NEW config if the Xeon is faster would be:

-ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Xeon X3450 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Server Processor

-CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

-CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power (power supply)

-SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

-SAMSUNG T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor

-Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

-Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

-LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner
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Once again, which one of the following is faster...

This i7-920: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Or this Xeon x3450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What does everyone think?

Please let me know which one will be faster!! Thanks so much! :) 


PS - As far as the other parts are concerned don't worry I will ask about those later if I change my CPU/Motherboard! If you have input regarding other parts, at least answer my main question first! Thanks again! :) 

More about : 920 xeon

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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2009 9:50:58 AM

I'm sure there's some benchmarks around that will show you the performance differences. Besides, the Xeon isn't anything different it's just a better-quality version of the equivalent i7 intended for continued heavy loads that you get in a server environment.

For your CS4 work I'd stick with the i7 920 simply because of triple-channel RAM - more of it and more bandwidth. Photoshop CS4 64-bit especially will eat up as much RAM as you can throw at it.

i7 920 D0 stepping overclocked to 4GHz with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Rev C, Prolimatech Megahalems or Cogage True Spirit
12GB DDR3 1600MHz CAS8 RAM

and you're flying.

Personally though I wouldn't go for the Vapor-X version of the 5770. A number of manufacturers, including Sapphire themselves, use the larger central fan cooling block similar to the Vapor-X design on their 5770s (although the actual cooling process is a standard heatpipe) and it's very effective at cooling the card even when you overclock to match the Vapor-X's minor increase.

I've just bought Sapphire's standard 5770 and it's just as cool as the Vapor-X when I clock it up 25MHz to match.
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2009 9:57:27 AM

One other thing, a lot of CS4's performance in graphic apps comes from the scratch disk usage, not just CPU and RAM grunt so you'll want to look into getting a fast hard drive for putting the scratch disks on.

Now, there's a lot of talk about wearing out SSDs by writing to them all the time and although it's a valid point in that NAND cells will eventually burn out with too many writes, the severity of the issue is up for debate. For sheer responsiveness, I'd consider getting a "cheap" SSD (Kingston SSDNow or something) and using that for your CS4 scratch disks. By the time the drive starts to wear out SSD technology will be a lot more affordable and improved so either it's cheap to replace the drive, or you can get something better that won't die.

Alternatively you can get a 10,000 RPM mechanical hard drive like a 150GB VelociRaptor and use that (although I think the Samsung SpinPoint F3s are just as fast without the expense).
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December 22, 2009 9:59:21 AM

to be honest, i also just love the way the vaporX 5770 looks! haha :)  but, it is true that the standard sapphire 5770 is 10 dollars cheaper...but only 10 dollars :p  also the core clock of the vaporX is VERY SLIGHTLY faster according to newegg.com..

thanks for the help though :)  i will stick to the i7-920. btw, i wont be doing any overclocking..let me know if that changes your mind. i am to new at this stuff to mess around with a $1400 computer :p 

thanks again!
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December 22, 2009 10:02:06 AM

as far as the HD...i can't go any more expensive than i have..i am getting a good deal on the seagate 1tb..so for now ill have to wait until the ssd's get cheaper! :) 
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2009 10:15:12 AM

Seriously you have to give that i7 920 even a little kick - it will love you for it. Even a newbie can crank it up to 3.3GHz to match the Extreme Edition i7 975, and you can probably do it on the stock cooler too, although the Cogage True Spirit is cheap as chips and a very good, quiet performer.

If you're only sticking with the 1 HDD then I'd strongly recommend switching the Seagate for a 1TB Samsung SpintPoint F3 - they're much better.

I know what you mean about hardware looks - I'm a designer myself and all my systems simply must factor in the aesthetic quality as well (and I end up paying more for it like a chump - £20 premium over a Megahalems just because I want it black? I will though :p ), although having just bought the standard Sapphire 5770 I can say it looks better than the Vapor-X - black PCB, black fan mount with red fan, copper heatpipes yum!

Tell you what, confirm your budget ($1,400 you've mentioned yeah?) and I'll see if I can do you an alternative build to squeeze some more juice out of it.
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December 22, 2009 10:23:00 AM

yep, $1400 is the budget (after tax/shipping)..zip code is 07836.

only newegg.com please :)  i appreciate your time! :) 

just to warn you, ive put ALOT of time into picking out the parts i currently have in my cart. so i might not use your build, but i am more than willing to see what you come up with!

here is what i have (and remember my zip code for calculating shipping/tax please!):

-ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

-Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

-OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory

-CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power (power supply)

-SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VXL Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

-SAMSUNG T240HD Rose-Black 24" 5ms HDMI Widescreen HDTV Monitor

-Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

-Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

-LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner

The things I must keep: Samsung 24" monitor, 1TB harddrive, 6gb ddr3 1600 RAM (unless you some how find more for cheaper price :p ), i7-920, ati 5770 vaporX (because i've seen the pics and i love how it looks lol..just seems like better quality idk :p ..if you insist feel free to pick a diff 5770, but i might not use that then :p )

Also, I should let you know I don't like getting things from less popular companies! I want reliable companies etc :)  Thanks again!! :) 
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2009 10:31:48 AM

lol I'm not insisting you use my build, it's just some food for thought for you - we use our computers for very similar things so a lot of my own research into my i7 system might be useful.

I'll see what I come up with.
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a b à CPUs
December 22, 2009 12:43:08 PM

Sorry dude I couldn't better it really. I did change the 1TB drive for a Samsung SpinPoint F3.

My price was about $1,250 which does leave a little bit of breathing space - I could squeeze in a 30GB OCZ SSD for I think $130 and still be within budget, or go for a Prolimatech Megahalems with a pair of good 120mm fans for some stable overclocking - that cooler can take a good quality i7 920 to 4.2GHz and keep it under 75 dgerees C, but to be honest I have a bad feeling about that ASRock board not supplying sufficient clean power past 3.6GHz. Probably an unfounded opinion on my part, but I just don't trust ASRock boards.

A third option was to double the RAM and go about $10 over budget.
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