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I7 920 vs i7 860 (and few other questions regarding platforms)

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December 31, 2009 8:35:50 PM

Hey guys, I was about to pull the trigger on a new system, but I'm thinking that I need to re-evaluate my choices. I use a lot of 3D animation/rendering programs like Maya and Mudbox, and I also use 2D arts programs like Photoshop, so that's why i5 750 is not an option. I don't plan on running more than 2 graphics card at a time...I'll get a 5850 now, CF in 2-3 years (6-8% performance loss due to 8x lanes, whatever), and then I'll sell both and upgrade to a single GPU.

Now, the only question remains...is the X58 platform price justifiable over the P55 for my needs? Triple channel RAM makes a small difference, but is it worth the extra 200$ or so I will pay for the X58 combo (mobo and ram)? The other thing I have in mind is the new i9 processors. I do not plan to upgrade my processor for at least 3-4 years, so I was thinking of going for the LGA 1366, but do you think that by the time that I upgrade CPUs, I'll have to upgrade my motherboard too? If I get a i7 920 with an X58 motherboard, and then it 3-4 years when I upgrade my CPU, I'll have to upgrade my motherboard for a different platform in order to get a a different CPU, then I do not see the benefit of going the LGA 1366 route. How many years do you think the LGA 1366 platform will be good for?

Considering all these factors, which processor do you recommend me, along with which motherboard? I was thinking of getting a high end motherboard if I go the X58 route so then I could keep that motherboard for 5-8 years, but I'm not sure if the LGA 1366 will last that long. Thanks a lot for your help.
December 31, 2009 10:49:56 PM

If you want to future proof your build definitely get a i920 / X58 system. The current ASUS P6X58D Premium ($300) motherboard is compatible with the new Gulftown six-core processor that will be coming out in March 2010:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Even after the new X68 motherboards come out in 2011, your system with the six-core processor should be able to compete favorably with these new motherboards and processors.
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January 1, 2010 1:31:39 AM

Thanks for the reply. How do you know that the next platform (your X68 assumption) will come out in 2011? Because if in 2011 there is a better platform that's out, then I will switch to it regardless. This is why I want to go for what is best for the now and the next 4 years.
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January 1, 2010 6:26:10 AM

intel has a ticktock pattern such as releasing something brand new one year (such as intel i7 etc) then branching off in it and putting the latest technology (32nm etc) then the next year a totally different processor... But i'd hold off. Even if something came out better, doesnt mean the programs will take care of it. Hell, most of the stuff we have is whats limiting the full potentials of our comps. Remember the days of crysis? yeah, thats the hardware bottlenecks, but i dont think today we have these.

So in essence, do keep the x58. Thats what i planned and i plan to keep it for 4-7 years :) 
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January 1, 2010 4:11:08 PM

ASUS P7P55D-E Premium LGA 1156 - $279
i7 860 - $279
Mushkin DDR3-1600 CAS 7 2 x 2GB - $129


ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 - $299 ($20 more)
i7-920 - $288 ($9 more)
Mushkin DDR3-1600 CAS 7 3 x 2GB - $189 ($60 more)

For $89, seems easy decision.
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January 2, 2010 6:56:57 PM

For what I'm going to be doing, I'll need 12GB of RAM. In total, it costs me 250$ more to go on the X58 platform...I don't know if it's worth it.
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January 2, 2010 6:59:13 PM

Don't bother getting a "premium" series motherboard...they're not worth the price premium for the relatively little extra features they provide.

Let me suggest some good 1366 mobos for ~$200-$250

Asus P6T (better PCIe slot locations than the deluxe versions)
Gigabyte UD4P
Gigabyte UD5P
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January 2, 2010 7:00:20 PM

^ ie. The $300+ EVGA X58 classified motherboard performed worse in benchmarks and reviews than an ASUS P6T that you can buy for ~$200

Intel's own DX58SO is a solid and cheap option. Not as good as the P6T or UD4/UD5 in terms of efficiency and benchmarks but has it's own advantages.
(IIRC such as being able to overclock with turbo boost enabled)
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January 2, 2010 7:30:04 PM

Too keep a long story short, the i7 1156s are generally faster than the 920, but their motherboards are not as high quality as the 1366s.

The 1366s are more future-proof (as mentioned earlier).

If you want true future-proofing, you'll want USB 3.0/Sata3.

The only boards for 1366 that have that are the Asus P6X58D and Gigabyte GA-EX58A-UD7. I'm normally a Gigabyte person, but go for the Asus unless you want to do some extreme overclocking.

Bear in mind, many P55 boards have Sata3/USB3.

You can get an i7 860 with 8GB of RAM for the same price as an i7 920 with 6GB of RAM.


Because you're doing Maya/3ds max stuff, I would recommend the 1366 boards (for lack of a better word), future-proofing. :) 

As time goes on (starting January 7th), you're going to start to see more 1366 chips, and naturally more motherboards. So, expect to see USB3/SATA3 on most new 1366 boards.

*whew*
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January 2, 2010 7:42:32 PM
!