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Intels HT technology and gaming

Im building a new gaming rig and I cant decide between two processors, Intels i5 or i7. Its the i7 for LGA 1156, not the fancy one. The two are found in the mid columns here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410-2.html

The only thing that seems to differ (other than raw clock speed) is that i7 uses HyperThreading. How well does that work with games nowadays? I heard some bad stories when it was new on the core2duo; since Windows couldnt tell the difference between the physical and the virtual cores, the total performance gain was actually negative.

The rig will use Windows 7, I assume it matters since Ive heard that it does have some optimization for Intels new processors. Just wanted to make sure its just not market talk.

And last, the GPU will be a Nvidia GTX 260. Will either (or both) processor pose a bottleneck for it?
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  1. Most major games sold today do not make use of hyperthreading, so the difference in performance between the i750 and i860 processor will be due mostly to the difference in clock speed. The GTX260 will not be bottlenecked by either of these processors.
  2. Best answer
    dpaul8 said:
    Most major games sold today do not make use of hyperthreading, so the difference in performance between the i750 and i860 processor will be due mostly to the difference in clock speed. The GTX260 will not be bottlenecked by either of these processors.


    Agree.

    In fact, HT(Hyper-Threading) is the hindrance in some games and you will see significant performance drop in these games.

    @OP:

    i7 is totally a waste for mainly gaming machine! You will NOT see significantly performance gain in games.

    Check the gaming performance charts below and you will realize that the difference in gaming performance is definitely NOT worth the premium.









    Ignore i7 unless you do a lot of video encoding!
  3. Well the i7 will win in multicore games a la fallout 3 and even then the i7 still wins theoretically because if you notice all the games reach a video card bottleneck NOT a cpu bottleneck.... i7 FTW even for gaming because of the architecture.
  4. werxen said:
    Well the i7 will win in multicore games a la fallout 3 and even then the i7 still wins theoretically because if you notice all the games reach a video card bottleneck NOT a cpu bottleneck.... i7 FTW even for gaming because of the architecture.

    Do you know that most recent games don't even take full advantage of 4 cores?

    I doubt you will see performance gain with extra 4 threads given that most games utilize merely 3 cores now.

    However, I have to agree with you that i7 is significantly better in some very little area, such as video encoding.
  5. andy5174 said:
    Agree.

    In fact, HT(Hyper-Threading) is the hindrance in some games and you will see significant performance drop in these games.

    @OP:

    i7 is totally a waste for mainly gaming machine! You will NOT see significantly performance gain in games.

    Check the gaming performance charts below and you will realize that the difference in gaming performance is definitely NOT worth the premium.

    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/corei7860_091709181820/20083.png

    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/corei7860_091709181820/20084.png

    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/corei7860_091709181820/20085.png

    http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/corei7860_091709181820/20086.png

    Ignore i7 unless you do a lot of video encoding!


    Thank you, that was exactly the information I was looking for. :)
  6. mizipzor said:
    Thank you, that was exactly the information I was looking for. :)

    You are welcome.

    BTW, welcome to TOM.
  7. HT doesn't do anything for gaming....and with a single GFX card, the 1156 chipset is the way to go. With multiple GFX cards however, recognize the bandwidth limitations of the 1156 chipset as it offers only one PCI-E x 16 lane or two PCI-E x 8 lanes....whereas the 1366 offers multiple PCI-E x 16 lanes.
  8. andy5174 said:
    Do you know that most recent games don't even take full advantage of 4 cores?

    I doubt you will see performance gain with extra 4 threads given that most games utilize merely 3 cores now.

    However, I have to agree with you that i7 is significantly better in some very little area, such as video encoding.


    Ughh... noob. Listen to what I am saying don't think I am another i7 fanboy.

    All these games are limited to graphics cards - ala - as the above poster mentioned an overclocked i7 with 3 GTX285 will get higher FPS than an E8500 with 3 GTX285s in Crysis. i7 absolutely can be built for gaming but only for hardcore gamers. I am so sick of noobs coming on here and dissing i7 gaming because they assume everyone is a 1680x1050 med details gamer.
  9. werxen said:
    Ughh... noob. Listen to what I am saying don't think I am another i7 fanboy.

    All these games are limited to graphics cards - ala - as the above poster mentioned an overclocked i7 with 3 GTX285 will get higher FPS than an E8500 with 3 GTX285s in Crysis. i7 absolutely can be built for gaming but only for hardcore gamers. I am so sick of noobs coming on here and dissing i7 gaming because they assume everyone is a 1680x1050 med details gamer.


    1. How many of us can afford 3x GTX285? At least the OP is NOT going to have this kind of setup. You are suggesting something that is useless to his requirement.
    And you are comparing a quad core with a dual one.

    2. You are not going to see difference between i5 and i7 with resolution 1920x1200 or above as well. You must be sick of yourself as you hate noobs.
  10. andy5174 said:
    1. How many of us can afford 3x GTX285? At least the OP is NOT going to have this kind of setup. You are suggesting something that is useless to his requirement.
    And you are comparing a quad core with a dual one.

    2. You are not going to see difference between i5 and i7 with resolution 1920x1200 or above as well. You must be sick of yourself as you hate noobs.


    Ok first, I have no friggin clue what a 'quad core vs. dual one' is. Makes no friggin sense.

    Second, absolutely you will notice a difference. Nobody uses high performance SLi or CFX cards with an i5 and ALL benchmarks even on TOMS are done with an i7 to eliminate all possible CPU limitations, not i5.

    i7 > i5 bottom line.
  11. werxen said:
    Ok first, I have no friggin clue what a 'quad core vs. dual one' is. Makes no friggin sense.

    Second, absolutely you will notice a difference. Nobody uses high performance SLi or CFX cards with an i5 and ALL benchmarks even on TOMS are done with an i7 to eliminate all possible CPU limitations, not i5.

    i7 > i5 bottom line.


    1.
    You were comparing E8500(dual core) with i7(quad core) which is not fair comparison!

    2.
    Yes, I absolute agree with that i7 is better than i5.

    However, the little performance in game which is what the OP mainly does is definitely NOT worth the premium.

    The OP is obviously someone who consider the cost-performance ratio instead of just performance.

    BTW, you won't see any significant difference between double 16x and double 8x with any gfx worse than HD5970.

    How many of us can afford 1x HD5970? Not mentioned to 2x HD5970
  12. Not all of us are as rich as you who cares merely about the performance ignoring the cost-performance ratio.
  13. werxen said:
    Ok first, I have no friggin clue what a 'quad core vs. dual one' is. Makes no friggin sense.

    Second, absolutely you will notice a difference. Nobody uses high performance SLi or CFX cards with an i5 and ALL benchmarks even on TOMS are done with an i7 to eliminate all possible CPU limitations, not i5.

    i7 > i5 bottom line.


    Why do you assume Im going to use SLI (I have another thread about that though)? Or even high performance? I consider a Nvidia Geforce 260 GTX pretty midrange.

    Regarding the resolution, I will play at 1920 x 1080 with settings lowered until it runs smoothly.

    Thats what I do, I buy the best hardware I can afford and lower the settings until it runs and upgrade when it doesnt run on lowest settings.

    Andy have posted some pretty charts, i7 is indeed better than i5 but that extra fps isnt worth the price to me.

    Im an enthusiast, both hardware and gaming wise, but most certainly not hardcore. And you, my good sir, should go and eat some chocolate or something. Should improve your attitude. :non:
  14. andy5174 said:
    1.
    You were comparing E8500(dual core) with i7(quad core) which is not fair comparison!

    2.
    Yes, I absolute agree with that i7 is better than i5.

    However, the little performance in game which is what the OP mainly does is definitely NOT worth the premium.

    The OP is obviously someone who consider the cost-performance ratio instead of just performance.

    BTW, you won't see any significant difference between double 16x and double 8x with any gfx worse than HD5970.

    How many of us can afford 1x HD5970? Not mentioned to 2x HD5970


    Jesus Christ ANDY can you give anymore crap contradictory information? Worst posts ever.

    First you say this:

    Do you know that most recent games don't even take full advantage of 4 cores?

    Then you say this:

    You were comparing E8500(dual core) with i7(quad core) which is not fair comparison!

    Pick one nooblit are games better with or without quad cores? You need to make up your mind because you keep changing your pick everytime I bring it up. You have no clue what you are arguing I would stay out of it at this point.

    And stop going back to money as your safe point. Obviously you pay for a premium these days, ANDY. Or are you one of those silly American drivers that does not notice the difference between a BMW M3 and Hyundai? No duh it costs money, ANDY, but my point is the principal in which you attacked. i7 will always dominate i5, END OF STORY, hyperthreading or not, it is BETTER IN GAMES PERIOD. gg. Have a nice day and stop giving out your crap information every 2 seconds.
  15. werxen said:
    Jesus Christ ANDY can you give anymore crap contradictory information? Worst posts ever.

    First you say this:

    Do you know that most recent games don't even take full advantage of 4 cores?

    Then you say this:

    You were comparing E8500(dual core) with i7(quad core) which is not fair comparison!

    Pick one nooblit are games better with or without quad cores? You need to make up your mind because you keep changing your pick everytime I bring it up. You have no clue what you are arguing I would stay out of it at this point.

    And stop going back to money as your safe point. Obviously you pay for a premium these days, ANDY. Or are you one of those silly American drivers that does not notice the difference between a BMW M3 and Hyundai? No duh it costs money, ANDY, but my point is the principal in which you attacked. i7 will always dominate i5, END OF STORY, hyperthreading or not, it is BETTER IN GAMES PERIOD. gg. Have a nice day and stop giving out your crap information every 2 seconds.

    Most games take advantage of 3 cores now.

    Most games don't take advantage of 4 core does NOT mean they don't take advantage of 3 core!

    And the difference between i5 and i7 is very small! Definitely not comaprison like Hyundai and BMW.
  16. It's more like the comparison between top and mid range BMW.
  17. Yeah, it is better with i7 but only a hair better in game WHICH IS WHAT OP DOES.
  18. I think some people get frustrated seeing others declare
    XXX build is a waste.
    I think everyone is almost on the same page here. I would have bought a cpu
    with Hyperthreading in certain conditions. Mainly if I had more money.
  19. Andy: although HT is not really a benefit in most games, it is not a hindrance either. Back on the old P4s with HT, it did actually cause a performance drop sometimes, but in the i7s implementation, it is either neutral (no impact) or it has a positive impact in basically every case.
  20. cjl said:
    Andy: although HT is not really a benefit in most games, it is not a hindrance either. Back on the old P4s with HT, it did actually cause a performance drop sometimes, but in the i7s implementation, it is either neutral (no impact) or it has a positive impact in basically every case.

    Oh, I was not aware of that.

    Thanks for the info.
  21. @werxen:

    Do you know that CPU benchmark are always done with low resolution?

    Why? In order to eliminate the GFX bottleneck at high resolution!

    In fact, the higher the resolution you are at, the lower the impact from CPU.

    Hence, there's MINIMAL difference between i5 and i7 at high resolution!
  22. I should stress that to get any of these modern games to be even remotely CPU bound I had to drop resolution and image quality, which is fine for this as we're trying to evaluate whether or not Nehalem is architecturally faster. In the real world however, you'll not see any performance difference in any of these titles with Nehalem over Penryn.
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx?i=3448&p=19
    The games tested here needed huge drops to not be cpu bound, and not something we would do for gaming.
    For other purposes, SMT (HT) is fine, for gaming, it can be a hindrance, depending.
  23. andy5174 said:
    1.
    You were comparing E8500(dual core) with i7(quad core) which is not fair comparison!

    2.
    Yes, I absolute agree with that i7 is better than i5.

    However, the little performance in game which is what the OP mainly does is definitely NOT worth the premium.

    The OP is obviously someone who consider the cost-performance ratio instead of just performance.

    BTW, you won't see any significant difference between double 16x and double 8x with any gfx worse than HD5970.

    How many of us can afford 1x HD5970? Not mentioned to 2x HD5970

    I can't even afford a 5850 by itself ;D
  24. ubernoobie said:
    I can't even afford a 5850 by itself ;D

    Same here...
  25. JackNaylorPE said:
    HT doesn't do anything for gaming....and with a single GFX card, the 1156 chipset is the way to go. With multiple GFX cards however, recognize the bandwidth limitations of the 1156 chipset as it offers only one PCI-E x 16 lane or two PCI-E x 8 lanes....whereas the 1366 offers multiple PCI-E x 16 lanes.


    Even a 5970 loses less than 5% performance when in an x8 PCIe 2.0 slot so dual-double cards (2x 5970s) are certainly great on the 1156 chipset.

    werxen said:
    Ok first, I have no friggin clue what a 'quad core vs. dual one' is. Makes no friggin sense.

    Second, absolutely you will notice a difference. Nobody uses high performance SLi or CFX cards with an i5 and ALL benchmarks even on TOMS are done with an i7 to eliminate all possible CPU limitations, not i5.

    i7 > i5 bottom line.


    There are no areas, outside of having more than 2 GPUs, where 1366 can beat 1156 in gaming. Even the 1156 chipset can perform decently since there are no single GPUs in the world that get a significant hit (>5%) from even x4 bandwidth. This means that in theory, a 1156 based system will still be only 5% or less behind a 1366 chipset with triple GTX 285s. This results in a truly insignificant blow and is great for those using three budget GPUs (ex. 3 5770s). However, even though there really is nothing all that wrong with it, I wouldn't recommend spending $1000+ on GPUs and then going the 1156 route over the 1366 route unless you can't afford the 1366.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_5870_PCI-Express_Scaling/25.html



    As you can see there truly is no significant performance hit even with a 5870 unless you try plugging it into a x1 slot.
  26. And you get 16x when only ONE card is plugged in.
  27. In GTA 4, FPS w/ HT was 58, w/o HT was 56. However, CPU usage also went up from 46% to 73%.
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