Deciding between i5 or i7 build/upgrade

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP this week (b/c there is a small decrease in price on the Rampage II Gene mobo and i7 cpu)

BUDGET RANGE: as little as possible. around $600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming / internet/ microsoft office

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
keyboard, mouse, speakers,
Thermalright 120 ultra extreme heatsink
OCZ Gamer Xtreme 700W PSU
30GB OCZ Vertex SSD
Visiontek Radeon HD4870 512MB
and a number of HDs (I might just get a 1 or 2 TB hard drive to condense it all down as I currently have 6 HDs)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Infonec.com, canadacomputers.com, pcgatecomputers.com, Newegg.ca (in order of preference)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada (Toronto)

PARTS PREFERENCES:

i'm undecided as whether to go for i5 or i7:

Intel Core i5 i5-750 / 2.66 GHz - LGA1156 Socket - L3 8 MB - Box (BX80605I5750)
http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=449556
$219.99

ASUS MAXIMUS III GENE S.1156 INT P55, 2X PCI-E 16X, 4D.DDR3-1600MHZ,6+2 SATA 9.1CH+DTS-AUDIO,8+3 PHASE,ATX
http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=449687
$209.99

OR

INTEL BOX CORE I7 920 2.66GHZ 8M 4.8GT/S S1366 (BX80601920)
http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=438196
$309.99

ASUS RAMPAGE-II-GENE S.1366 INT X58/ICH10R 2X PCI-E 16X 6D.DDR3-1333MHZ 1333 1333FSB SUPREME FX X-FI M.ATX
http://www.infonec.com/site/main.php?module=detail&id=443274
$229

Ram: still undecided as I don't know much about it. but it will probably be corsair or ocz, maybe G.Skill as it seems popular?


OVERCLOCKING: Yes a little (not experienced)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: thinking of crossfire with another 4870 or might jus upgrade to a single radeon HD4890 1GB GPU

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently 20.1" lcd at 1680x1050 --> but i will probably upgrade to 24" at 1920x1200)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

There is a about a $100 difference between the i5 and the i7. It appears to me that it would be easier for me to add on additional parts for the i7 in the future as opposed to the i5. For example, crossfire in i7 has dual x16 slots as opposed to the dual x8 slots in i5.

Also, there are overclocking issues with i5 foxconn sockets. i'm not sure what socket the asus maximus uses.

I realize with the i5, i can stay within my budget of $600 (CPU+MOBO+RAM), while with the i7, i'm already hitting my budget with jus CPU and Mobo.

Is it worth spending a couple $100 more for i7? It seems to have more possibility and longevity, while i5 seems limited to me. I don't plan to do any major upgrades for the next couple years...
9 answers Last reply
More about deciding build upgrade
  1. First, the x8 x8 crossfire do not matter what so ever, the performance is so little its unnoticeable. Second yes the i5s use foxconn(except EVGA boards) but it doesn't matter unless you plan to overclock it 4.0ghz. If you don't plan on upgrading for another couple years tech will be so far past that you will almost have to completely rebuild so why spend the money for the i7 920 now. If you wanted to get a bit more out of your money, stay on the 1156 platform but get a i7-860 processor $90 more.
  2. true. i did read the bench marks about the dual x8 crossfire not being a performance issue.

    about the foxconn socket, i read that some people had problems with the socket burning at stock speeds. i've been googling it so i forgot which forums i've read it in. (either anandtech or hardforum). But it could just be a bad batch or something, b/c it's mostly the extreme overclockers being hit.

    i actually haven't considered the i7-860. I will do some research on it now. Do you think the i7-860 is better than the i5 to be $90 more?
  3. ACK!

    the i7-860 costs $315. It's practically a $100 more and slightly more expensive than the i7-920 at $309.99.

    pricewise, if i go to i7 at all, it will be for the 920 instead of the 860.

    the motherboards are roughly the same price, so it will be the tripple channel ram that kills me. lol.
  4. Is it better than the i5 r the i7920 for gaming? No, its all the same in gaming. It is better than the i5 and equal to the 920 in synthetics and heavy applications since it has hyper threading. I was only recommendation it as another option to the 920. The foxconn socket is bogus. I have a i7-860 that I just build a week ago, Its fine unless overclocking to 4.0ghz.
  5. OH it is in Canada, its the same price in US.
  6. The 860 uses the 1156 mobo and does not use triple channel ram.
  7. i decided on the i5 with asus maximus iii gene mobo and corsair dominator ram (2x2gb). I'm not sure if the ram is any good, but it seems to be popular? I thought about getting g skill ram, but i've never really heard about that company before.
  8. Gskill is a good brand. Corsair is a great brand but they are high.
  9. high in price?
    ya i noticed. the corsairs are like $152 (w/o tax) and the gskills are a lot cheaper at around $120/$130 price range (w/o tax)
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