860 vs 920- Is it worth the $ difference?

Hi, i'm making a new desktop computer. I'm mostly a gamer, using sometimes the computer for some video encondig (divx to dvd and the other way around).

I'm looking @ 2 choises

1st build

Intel i7 - 920 (probably won't overclock it)
MOBO - Rampage II Gene
6Gb Ram

2nd Build

Intel i7 - 860 (won't overclock it either)
MOBO - Asus P7P55D PRO
4 Gb Ram

Both will have two Radeon Asus EAH5850 in crossfire and a 700 psu (Super silent pro bla bla bla bla)

First of all, for what I've discovered in wonderland google, ram @ 1333 or 1600 makes practicably no difference (1 or 2 FPS difference @ gaming) is that true? Keep in mind i only care about gaming, really don't care about video stuff.

Second, is it true that for i7 - 920 the third ram channel (dnt really know much so excuse me the n4b language) goes only to 1333, making 3 x 1600 useless?

The difference between both systems is about 80€ (around 119 USD) being 860 built the cheaper one. If i want for the same 920 price (almost the same) i can get 8Gb in 860.

What do you advise? Which one?

Thanks in advance you guys :hello:

PS: I did consider AMD 965 but i'm more inclined to Intel, since for what i understood 965 doesn't come with a stock cooler and have to buy one myself, which makes it almost the same price as Intel, thus losing interest.
34 answers Last reply
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  1. If you are not planning on overclocking as you stated, I recommend the i7 860 build since it has higher stock speeds and turbo mode. At stock speeds, the i7 860 out performs the i7 920.

    The only reason I would be consider the i7 920 is since you plan on running two higher end cards, you will not be getting 16x, 16x support. LGA 1156 boards run at 8x, 8x.
  2. ^^ It seems your recommending me both!! :D

    Plus, how about the ram? 1333 vs 1600?
  3. Sorry for the lack of clarification. I would recommend the i7 860 for your needs. With 8x, 8x... you still won't run into bandwidth restrictions.

    I have not heard about the third slot being limited. I'll have to check my RAM after work to see. I'm pretty sure it runs at correct speeds. There is little difference between 1333 and 1600. You'll have bigger increase by tighter (lower) timings than RAM speed. Also for gaming, there isn't much difference, if at all, once you get above 3GB, so 4GB will be fine on the i7 860.
  4. A lot of p55 boards can't even run at 8x 8x. Many have a 4x second pcie slot.
  5. KidHorn said:
    A lot of p55 boards can't even run at 8x 8x. Many have a 4x second pcie slot.

    This is the OP's board... ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail, which runs at 8x, 8x.
  6. I would prefer the 920 setup
  7. You were faster than me tecmo :)

    The board i present here goes for 8x 8x.

    My main problem is that i seem some contradictions and some things unclear.

    1st I'm trying to find again the forum where the so called "1600 third memory goes only to 1333"

    2nd I will crossfire, not triple crossfire. I say this because (again a contradiction) people say that i7 920 its only better for triple crossfire (3x 5850 for instance) while others say it helps in simple crossfire.

    3rd I've also seen ppl saying that 920 will behave better in DX 11 (again, i'm n4b so i really don't know the why's and the how's) becasue of the 3 memory lanes.

    4th For what i've been told by tecmo34 and some googling 8x 8x isn't really a problem since not even the 5850 @ crossfire would get bottlenecked by it.

    5th Since processors have a life expectancy of 2 to 4 years i've wonder about the next processor sockets. From what i've read i9 will be 1356 socket. If 1356 is like 775 that lasted years and years tha upgrading will be easier. Since i'm not buying low-end boards i think thats something to in account as well. I'm trying to resist the BUY-NOW-SILLY since i'm waiting for the 5850x2 and 5870x2 (5950 and 5970 from what i've seen) so the prices drop.

    6th The RAM question, tecmo, 1333 with lower latency will be better than a 1600 with higher latency, right?

    I'm going crazy with the waiting...:p
  8. very interested in this topic exact same things i was going to post on
  9. 1. I've never heard of that problem before, what motherboard was it?
    2. Yes, P55 boards don't support 3 cards in crossfire, but some 1366 boards do.
    3. Not true, the memory channels have no relationship to DX11.
    4. True, you will lose a few FPS but nothing really noticeable.
    5. Yes 1366 does have a better upgrade path.
    6. Yes.
  10. A lot of good info in this thread.

    Search through Tom's Hardware, there are some great articles comparing 16x/16x to 8x/8x, and comparing triple-channel to double-channel. The presiding wisdom, though, is that there is little noticeable difference.

    Read through this entire article as it very nicely sums up the differences between the older i7's and the newer P55-based ones: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5,2410-5.html
    One thing that stood out for me was this quote regarding the new P55 architecture:
    "Intel is nevertheless confident that its DMI link won't be saturated. The math doesn't lie, though. With the right combination of add-in storage and SSDs, it wouldn't be difficult to jam things up there."

    Also remember that the 860 and the P55 architecture sheds a lot of power usage, which means you don't need such a large PSU, and should reduce overall system heat (meaning you can build a cooler, quieter system).

    I am in the same boat as you, my friend, I think I will be going for the 920, as the 1366 boards have been around longer, and the 1366 socket shows the promise of being more future proof.
  11. This board says it supports quad x-fire. And about the x8 x8, the review toms did showed the x8 x8 lanes vs the x16 x16 lanes to be almost insignificant.

  12. Ah, you are right. Newegg has it listed wrong
    Features Supports the Intel Core i7 and Intel Core i5 Processors in the LGA1156 Package
    Intel P55 Express Chipset
    CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech.
    CoolMem! Fan Frame
    E.S.P. [Efficient Switching Power]
    TUF Caps. & MOSFETs
    Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
    Supports ATI Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology
  13. sonic-boom said:
    Supports NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI Technology
    Supports ATI Quad-GPU CrossFireX Technology

    I bet those statments are related to Nvidia's GTX 295 or ATI's 4870x2, which two would be Quad-GPU SLI / Crossfire
  14. I think by Quad-GPU they mean something like two 4870x2 cards or two 295 cards.

    Edit: ^LOL!
  15. So I have been wondering about this, everyone says there is little to no noticeable difference between dual channel/triple channel memory and x16/x16 and x8/x8.

    But what about the not so noticeable difference between and 860 and 920?

    Does the difference in better performance on triple channel and x16/x16 offset the difference between 860 and 920?

    And basically the only thing being actually different is the price, which isn't that much, anyways.
  16. Since you only care about games more, the i5-750 is worth it. Because HT doesn't help much in games. But video encoding depending on the application your using, may give you some gains. But I would go with the i5 because it has a nice performance/$$$ ratio.
  17. The 860 still beats the 920 in clockspeed, by .14 and its turbo boost is higher.
  18. I'm just plain curious...no one confirmed or denied that X4 965 situation...

    Does AMD x4 965BE really come with no Heat Sink + fan? No cooler comes from stock?

    It has been a long while since i saw a cpu being sold with no colling system.

    @ akash

    i5 is not an option because according to microsoft and some devolepers DX11 will make a greater use of multi-threading, thus making hyper-threading a + for gaming in the future i believe
  19. Ma3s7ro said:
    Does AMD x4 965BE really come with no Heat Sink + fan? No cooler comes from stock?
    According to the Newegg specifications, it comes with one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103692&Tpk=Am3%20965

    The X4 965 BE is an option but most would recommend the i7 860 build over it. The i5 750 build would be a better option over an X4 965 BE build, as well.
  20. well ther both good and they will do your job, get the cheaper one and use the rest on your money for a gpu card
  21. You were faster than me tecmo :)

    The board i present here goes for 8x 8x.

    1st I'm trying to find again the forum where the so called "1600 third memory goes only to 1333"

    2nd I will crossfire, not triple crossfire. I say this because (again a contradiction) people say that i7 920 its only better for...
    Do not crossfire or SLI whatever. i know its mad having a crossfire system but your gona waste lots of money, your not going to spot the difference, some games dont work on crossfire or SLI. you need hell of a power...
    your decision
  22. @Sertac

    I had that impression two, yet if u google a 5850 crossfire you will see the difference, Even benchmarks with a 5770 crossfire is a beast. I thiink legion fórum has a good review with both of them The gains in the new games (Crysis, Farcry2 and so on) are not 1 or 2% is a 50%+ of FPS gain. Right now i'm not @ home and don't have here the pages bookmarked, yet in 1 min if you put 5850 crossfire in google i'm sure u'll find it really soon. Plus, has for power usage in thoses reviews you can see that they had a power usage of <500 @ full load. In fact:


    If i can, i rather have 2gpu in single card, but that depends on the money AMD is going to ask for it.

    I blame nvidia for this...GREEN TEAM HURRY UP...and get the red team to lower their prices :P


    Thx m8, i had spent lots of time in pixmania(european dealer) and they didnt specify that info. Had googled it but didnt find any clear answer, so cheers!!
  23. Right, so i've been dwelling about this and this is what i realized so far

    1st - If you thinking of buying a i7 920 configuration just because of future upgrades, don't. Why? Simple, by the time the gultown processor comes next year PCI-E 3.0 and USB 3.0 should be coming to town as well


    Asus already anounced an incoming board with this. So, probably when you change your system again, you'll probably want the new goodies as well. So, you'll end up changing everything again.

    2nd - According to the review posted (kindly enough) by Sonic-Boom the difference between PCI-E 2 x 2.0 16 (16/16) against 2 x 2.0 8 (8/8) slots isn't that significant. I don't go as far as saying that it can be ignored since in some examples you have a 15% lost in performance, and thats quite a bit. Plus, the article uses a 4870x2 and says that with the new "incoming" GPU's there might be some difference.

    Well the new GPU's are here, and results showing crossfire (5850x2; 5870x2 and the newly presented 5970x2) are astounding (except for the 5970 scaling doesn't seem to produce significant effect 3 to 4%). The fact is that i couldn't find (yet) a review with a 5850 or 5870 crossfire with a i7 860 so i can compare with the i7 920 5850 and 5870 crossfire review. As soon as i find one, and as long as i can see that the 8/8 solution doens't hurt that much, i'll go with the 860. Otherwise 920 it is.

    BTW heres the 5850 and 5870 crossfire review. (ready your heart plz!)


    Edit: If anyone find a review using a i7 860 (attention, the 860, not the 870!) and a 5850 or 5870 crossfire plz do post it here.

    Again, thanks in advance ppl
  24. Well, just for the ones interested and with the same doubt, i found this article making the comparisson of a 5870 crossfire in a 860 and in a 920.

    They have the OC tests and the stock tests. For me the stock tests are important, and so i could see the difference between both system builds.

  25. Ma3s7ro said:

    Interesting article.... If I read it right, the i7 920 beats the i7 860 in pretty much all gaming performance test and the i7 860 beats the i7 920 in power consumption. To me, it is additional feedback that the i7 920 is the better CPU. I'm not too concern with power consumption though, otherwise I won't be running an SLI setup... :)
  26. I was wondering if someone could confirm that I'm looking at this right since I'm rather new to this stuff. Does the EVGA P55 FTW 200 MoBo have 16x/8x or am I misinterpreting that? If so would that somewhat offset the difference between the 860 and 920 in Crossfire?
  27. Yes, it does run at x8 x8 in crossfire, all p55 boards do. It is hardly any difference in FPS. ~ 7 FPS between x8 and x16 x-fire but keep in mind this may be higher with the 5870/5970 as they haven't been tested yet.
  28. Sonic boom...Did u read the article? They test exactly that. The difference (execpt for WIC) is a mild 2 to 4%.

    Plus, also they've tested the 5970 crossfire and its useless. It gives 4 to 5% more. Not worth the money.

    Its a shame they didn't test Crysis nor STALKER since both are de most demandig games from what i've seen in all the reviews to GPUs. I'll keep looking. If someone finds more benchmarks so we can see please do post.

    PS: Is there any mobo p55 with full 16x/16x ? Any at all?
  29. I haven't read the articles on the 58xx x8 x-fire setup tests yet so....
    The article I was referring to was the Lynnfield review in which the highest card they tested was the 4870x2.

    No, there are no 1156 mobos with x16 x16 at all.
  30. Yep i understood that :)

    That's the review I saw too. since then i've been looking for a review that gave me benchs comparing a 5870 CF with both platforms, and alas...i've found it! :)

    The 920 beats the 860 even in single card fights. But for a minor margin.
  31. Because A. The bloomfield manufacturing process and B triple channel memory. now there are other factors but those are probably the biggest two.
    As you said the 920 winning is marginal, that said the 860 is lower wattage, cooler and has newer tech(thought doesn't mean its superior). So the question is, when you up grade in 2, 3, 5 years will you build a new computer or put a new processor in?
    If you will build a completely new one(which may be a good option since there may be a new mobo/proc series out, like the 1156 is now, that may have newer tech, less watts or w/e) than definitely get the 860. If you plan to put a six core processor when it comes out in x years in your computer without upgrading anything else, maybe GPU, than get the 920. What I mean by the last statement is, if you plan on upgrading your processor at all before scrapping and starting new, get the 920.
    The "problem" with the marginal performance difference is, you won't notice it so why pay for it?
  32. ^+1
  33. Well thanks 4 the help you guys, i managed to cut some costs and in the end the difference between the 860 and the 920 was about 50 bucks, and since the 920 mobo has a X-Fi soundboard i think its worth the difference. :)

    Now please, if you can help me out, since i'll have a freaking bangfull pc, i need a new monitor (and) give the old Samtron CRT 98PDF a well deserved rest and new headphones (old ones my girfriend "#"#$ the wires completly).

    As for the monitor, ive decided to go for a 22'' monitor. The question is 1680x1050 or a 1920x1080? I loved my brothers Samsung 220HD, and don't like that much of long wide screens. The 1680 seems a bit more futerproof, since in a year or 2 even powerful games will run @ this resolution (probably!). But then again the difference between one resolution and the other seems to be in most cases 7 to 10% (from 84 to 92 fps i.e.) Plus. What's better, a 1920 with eye candy options turned off or less res with more eye candy options on?

    Second, the headphones. I used 2 headsets. A trust 751B 5.1 headphones (which have lots of background noise/rain) and a XFX Xgear with mic. The 5.1 i used until i got tired of the fschhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...then started to use the XFX because it had a good sound (imo) and they had mic for online play. The XFX as i stated before r broken, and now was looking for a new one.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/multimedia/display/xfx-headset.html (XFX XGEAR)

    I spoted the zalman RS6F+MIC


    and a Fatal1ty ones


    I hate desk mics since usually they suck really hard, a headphone mic is usually better. Since the MoBo has the X-Fi i've been reading a lot about the Creative CMSS (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround) and it seems although many people hate it, they do a good job for gaming. (remember, don't care about music...don't use my pc for music, just gaming and simpler stuff)

    Thanks again m8s

    PS: what does ^+1 mean?
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