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I5-750 vs i7-860

Last response: in CPUs
January 11, 2010 11:09:18 AM


Building a new PC that's gonna be used mostly for programming, gaming, watching movies & surfing, pretty much in that order.

Need advice on choice of CPU since I'm torn between the i5-750 and i7-860. Is the latter worth 80$ extra since the only difference is hyper threading? Don't upgrade that often, my current computer is about 5 years old, so I'm also looking for some future proofing...

More about : 750 860

a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 11:22:59 AM

You can safely go with an i5.
i5 is a great deal
i7 has an higher clock speed just 200 MHz higher and hyper threading

I suggest you should go for i5 without hesitating.

a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 11:38:58 AM

Also note that i7 860 has TURBO
Related resources
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 11:45:34 AM

note that the I5 will have a DMI interface, and not QPI, which is okay if you are not expecting any memory intensive applications (what are you programming, does it need the faster memory bandwidth/access time?). For gaming, since I assume that you chosen the 1156 platform and not the 1366 platform, you are not gona use two dedicated cards? If so then yeah the DMI issue won't matter as much.
January 11, 2010 11:54:58 AM

As you are aware, the i750 and i860 are both great performers. This comparison shows the relative performance of the processors in a wide variety of applications:

As pointed out earlier, the i860 has hyperthreading (somewhat overrated) and a faster clock speed, which is worthwhile if you are not overclocking. Both have turbo mode.

Only you can decide if the $80 difference is worth it for the applications you use. I am certain you would be happy with either one. Good luck.
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 12:01:54 PM

verst said:

Building a new PC that's gonna be used mostly for programming, gaming, watching movies & surfing, pretty much in that order.

Need advice on choice of CPU since I'm torn between the i5-750 and i7-860. Is the latter worth 80$ extra since the only difference is hyper threading? Don't upgrade that often, my current computer is about 5 years old, so I'm also looking for some future proofing...

Well scene you not rendering or mass video editing, core i5 will be better for the price.
January 11, 2010 12:06:57 PM

I thought that i5-750 has Turbo also?

Programming mostly in Java and C# and it's not that memory intensive. 860 has a QPI interface? Is there much of a difference?
Chose the 1156 platform mainly because price is an issue and because I don't plan on putting in 2 cards for now since I'm aiming at a 5850. But also read that there isn't much difference when dropping to x8 bandwidth?

Didn't refresh...

Thx for the link, they're indeed very close in all the benchmarks. So hyper threading doesn't bring that much of an improvement?

As warmon said since I'm not into playing with pictures and videos that much seems that i5 will be enough.

Thank you all for your advice...
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 12:32:10 PM

Ops, I though you were quoting one of the newer I5s w IGP, sorry about that, but the 750 indeed has QPI instead of DMA.

Completely forgotten there was a launch day I5 that had QPI between the IMC and RAM, I though I5 was only for the newer stuff with QPI between the IGP and CPU and DMA from the IMC to the RAM.

Wait, then serveral other places said the I5 don't support QPI

either way tho, I highly doubt you are going to need the memory bandwidth/access time... Do you vitrualize multiple virtual machines?

Blah where is the intel SPEC finder...

ok from INTEL:,43556,42915...,

I guess the 1156 all have DMI??? I thought the I7 on the 1156 had QPI, what is going on here...
January 11, 2010 1:00:19 PM

I've been reading that link you gave and think that this is your answer:
"On the X58 motherboards QPI is also linked to the X58 chipset. With Lynnfield processors and P55 a DMI link from the processor to the P55 chipset is made. Other than that, it's all the same."

As I understand it difference is between CPU and chipset and inside the CPU?

Sometimes I use multiple virtual machines, yes. As I can see the only tangible difference is hyperthreading on i7, just not sure how important it is?
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 1:09:49 PM

Sorry for the turbo thing

Hyperthreading is not that important
Consider these things:

Hyper-Threading technology is a technique which enables a single CPU to act like multiple CPU's.

A CPU is made up of many smaller components. At any given time, one of these components might be busy, while the other components are waiting to be utilized.
Hyper-Threading enables different parts of the CPU to work on different tasks concurrently. In this way, a CPU with Hyper-Threading appears to be more than one CPU.
A CPU with Hyper-Threading has two sets of the circuits which keep track of the state of the CPU. This includes most of the registers and the instruction pointer. These circuits do not accomplish the actual work of the CPU, they are the temporary storage facilities where the CPU keeps track of what it is currently working on.
The vast majority of the CPU remains unchanged. The portions of the CPU which do computational work are not replicated, nor are the onboard L1 and L2 caches.
Hyper-Threading duplicates about 5% of the circuits of the CPU. Depending upon the software applications in use, Hyper-Threading can results in a performance increase up to six times that amount.
Hyper-Threading is Intel's trademark for what is more commonly referred to in the industry as Simultaneous Multi-Threading (SMT).

Now it's your call

Good Luck
a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 1:16:19 PM

well depends on how hard you push your VMs, you may or may not benefit from the added memory bandwidth, but yeah if it takes a step up to 1366 to get it then it may not be good for ya (although, if you are considering the 860 then it may be possible, since 1366 mobo prices are down and intel lists the 920 at the same price as the 860)

I guess all 1156 dont have QPI, that's news to me...

what are you currently running, and how do the VMs feel under them?

I do confess that the QPI is more important if you are running 6/12 GB of ram and hosting many virtual machines or a few resource hungry ones, beyond that disk access is most likely the bottle neck anyways.
January 11, 2010 2:21:51 PM

Thx for the clarification. So an i7 looks like it has 8 cores even though only 4 are physical. Today it does not seem that useful but in a couple of years, hmmm...

The CPU's are similarly priced but 1366 motherboards with similar features to the 1156 ones are about 100$ more expensive.
Currently I have a Athlon 2500 and as you can imagine avoid using multiple VM's as much as I can.
But the new DMI is a lot faster than the old FSB so it's not that big of a deal, HT is bugging me much more... guess that price will be the deciding factor...
a b à CPUs
January 20, 2010 6:30:31 PM

well there are ways to shave off prices off that 1366 mobo, for example you can go with:

now foxx CON isn't the best, but hell at 144 dollars it is damned cheap

if you wanted something from a better brand (micro atx, but that's not that bad):

there is also things from DFI and MSI


and 190 for a ATX board is on par with a 1156 higher end board eh
a b à CPUs
January 21, 2010 12:39:17 PM

lol missed that one, yeah that is good.

although personally, I do have a attachment to evga lifetime warranty on their good boards (expensive tho)

granted my DFI lasted 5 years without such a claim and mobos dont usually die over time if it aint DOA afaik so...
January 21, 2010 8:20:51 PM

Good enough, just worried me when you didnt list it as i own it lol. Not a good sign when your equipment gets skipped over like that lol. Anyway good board, works, less bells and whistles but im not in a band so i dont care.
a b à CPUs
January 22, 2010 5:24:02 PM

lol well many ppl dont list EVGA as they are mostly about OCing so meh to me

I target what features I want and buy it from that, others with different needs will have different choices so IDC what they think