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Issues choosing CPU: 750, 860 or 920. (first time builder)

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February 5, 2010 1:59:15 PM

I'm building my first PC some time soon and I'm having a lot of thought about several different CPUs

There 3 models are the i5 750 the i7 860 and the i7 920

Now I know a lotof the pro's/con's for each one such as the i5 not having HT, but I'm hoping some people with more experience can help me choose.

I'm mostly going to be using my new pc for high end gaming (I'm getting a 5970 or one of the higher end 300 series nvidia cards), browsing, music, HD movies in 1080, microsoft office programs, torrenting and maybe light photoshop usage.

To me, the 860 looks like you get better speed for your money and I read the turbo boost on the 920 is worse then the 860 and 750, but the 920 looks like it'll more future proof, and I'll be upgrading my PC every so often in the future.

So what do you guys think? Any input is appreciative :) 

ps I'm also wondering, if I get the 920 do I NEED to get triple channel RAM? I'm willing to spend 250£ish on a CPU, but I'd like to save money if possible, and triple channel RAM costs more.


___EDIT___ I basically want the best gaming CPU at the £250~ price range that'll do everything else well, also, I'm planning to OC this CPU, maybe it's worth having a look at AMD? __________

More about : issues choosing cpu 750 860 920 time builder

February 5, 2010 2:13:06 PM

One more question is, will I get a better performance with the PII 965 then a i7 920 if Im using a ATI 5970 GPU as opposed to an nvidia
February 5, 2010 2:15:09 PM

Thanks, how would it compare to a PII X4 965 if Im using a ATI 5970?
February 5, 2010 2:16:33 PM

Oh lol so 920 > 965 / 750

Thanks for that link, I've been using Digital Versus
February 5, 2010 2:36:54 PM

Oh and once you've changed it, it will stay like that until you change it again?

I guess 920 is the right choice, considering it is more future proof too.
February 5, 2010 2:46:51 PM

Any suggestions for a good motherboard that supports crossfire? :p 
February 5, 2010 2:49:38 PM

Oh also I still need to know if dual channel RAM will work with my 1366 CPU/Motherboard
February 5, 2010 2:57:26 PM

Woot glad it'll work!

I want to spend no more then 200£, 150£ is what I had in mind though
February 5, 2010 2:59:07 PM

Btw quick question about those non-generic gpu's, I found a 5970 for £460 which seems pretty cheap, but I dont know what this 'sapphire' thing is.

http://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop/index.pl?origin...

I know some groups like eVGA and ASUS stick their own name onto some GPUs, do they have better specs or something?
February 5, 2010 3:10:08 PM

Okay then :p  Is the speed not noticeable or something? It's only 15£.

And btw If you care to take a look this it what my setup I'm going to order looks like atm.

Tower: Antec 1200
PSU: Corsair 850w HX
CPU: Intel i7 920
GPU: ATi 5970
Motherboard: ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366
HDD: 500 MB Samsung F3 16 MB Buffer
RAM: G.Skill RipJaw 4GB (not decided on C7 or 9)
DVD: Sony 24x Internal
Heat Sink: Undecided

Think the cost is about £1230 if Im going to spend around £40 on the heat sink.
February 5, 2010 3:12:28 PM

You'll get very similar gaming performance between an i7-920, i5-750, and PII 965. If you have a large budget, which is appears you have considering you're shooting for a 5970, you may as well get the i7 as it will hold up a bit better for future gaming - though I anticipate that all 3 will be very good for at least a couple years. Plus if you ever do use an app that utilizes hyperthreading, you'll be covered.

All GPU manufacturers are pretty similar - but they differ slightly in quality and customer support. Sapphire is definitely one of the better ones for ATI.

And as Psycho stated, you won't notice any sort of difference between CAS 9 & CAS 7 RAM. For the same price as the CAS 7 1333, you can get CAS 9 1600, which would be a little better. However, it would be nothing that you would EVER notice in real-world usage...even benchmarks only show very, very minor differences.
February 5, 2010 3:15:38 PM

That's actually the one I had in mind, but I got rid of it because my friend's like "that's sorta cheap, you sure you want that on your CPU?"

Anyway thanks a lot :D  I'm going to post this setup later and see if anyone else can spot something.
February 5, 2010 3:17:32 PM

The XIGMATEK Dark Knight is also a very good cooler for around $45 :) 
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2010 3:17:49 PM

The big question is are you intending to add a second 5970 or high-end Fermi at a later?

If you are then you'll be better off going with the i7 920 because the X58 motherboards can run both PCI-E slots at 16 lanes each so you don't have to worry about getting enough bandwidth to feed the cards.

If you're sticking with a single card then a P55 motherboard will be fine so you can save some cash on a cheaper i5 CPU and dual-channel RAM.

And out of the RAM you listed I wouldn't do either - I have a real thing for Patriot Sector 5 Viper II at the moment. Get it at 1600MHz and CAS8 as that's the sweet-spot for this generation of Intel CPUs.
February 5, 2010 3:24:41 PM

Thanks you two, Atra is that heatsink loud? It seems good for cutting down heat
February 5, 2010 3:51:19 PM

Quote:
P55 imo is not worth it for him. He wants hyperthreading and the 860 is pretty much the same price as the 920. An I5 motherboard will also be around the same price of a ASrock X58 Extreme which is only 159 bucks.


Also I just realized I have two conflicting statements here (I think), LePhu is telling me I need a dual channel motherboard for dual channel RAM?

I thought Psycho said I could use dual channel RAM with a triple channel motherboard?

Also my set is being posted here http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/279993-13-system-builder-high-gaming

Since my my questions started branching out of CPU centredness
February 5, 2010 4:48:05 PM

I never understood why noone ever includes the price of monitor/keyboard & mouse/operating system. Do most people just replace their base unit or?
February 5, 2010 4:54:06 PM

I read an article on Expreview saying that Core i7 860 + Core i5 system/P55 system with only 2 DDR3 can outperform Core i7 920 + Core i7 system/X58 system with triple DDR3.

I would recommend you to save more money and get the mainstream P55 motherboard with onboard SATA 3 and USB 3 support like ASUS P7P55D-E PRO and a Core i7 860.
February 5, 2010 4:54:51 PM

neabuze said:
I never understood why noone ever includes the price of monitor/keyboard & mouse/operating system. Do most people just replace their base unit or?


If you have a monitor, keyboard, & mouse that work well - why replace them? They can be expensive.


Quote:
Thanks you two, Atra is that heatsink loud? It seems good for cutting down heat


I think it will have roughly the same noise level as the Hyper 212, though I can't personally attest to that. It might be louder at higher RPMs. Hopefully someone else can give you a definitive answer on this :) 

Neither is what I would consider to be a loud unit. I think they both top out at around 30-32 db or so at max RPM?
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2010 9:32:55 PM

Quote:
P55 imo is not worth it for him. He wants hyperthreading and the 860 is pretty much the same price as the 920. An I5 motherboard will also be around the same price of a ASrock X58 Extreme which is only 159 bucks.


I must've missed the bit about Hyperthreading, so yes I agree - no point spending the money on the more expensive i7 860 and P55 mobo when you can get a i7 920 and cheaper X58 mobo for the same price.

cythx said:
Also I just realized I have two conflicting statements here (I think), LePhu is telling me I need a dual channel motherboard for dual channel RAM?

I thought Psycho said I could use dual channel RAM with a triple channel motherboard?


No, it's not conflicting, apologies for any confusion. What I was saying is that if you only plan on using 1 high-end graphics card you only need 1 16x PCI-E slot so a P55 mobo would be fine. If you want to do multiple high-end GPUs like that 5970 then play it safe and go X58 so you have 2 16x PCI-E slots, and X58 will run RAM in dual-channel just fine

The RAM thing: RAM isn't designed as "dual-channel" or "triple-channel" it's just packaged that way when the manufacturer can certify a bunch of sticks will work together in dual or triple channel mode. The Patriot Viper II I mentioned only comes in dual-channel kits, but you can get 3 kits for 12GB RAM and it will work in triple channel - as long as RAM speed and timings match you can enable triple-channel with dual-channel kits.

Given that you said you were content with dual-channel I mentioned using RAM that comes in dual-channel kits. I'm getting 3 of those kits for triple-channel.
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2010 1:29:15 AM

If your going 1366 you want tri-channel memory, if your not going to bother then do not bother with a 1366 platform and go back to a 1156 based i7 but if it was me id go the full way with a 1366 platform

Also atleast get an ASUS P6T or Gigabyte based x58 motherboard, dont go half assed with an "ass-rock" motherboard - do it properly and you will have no issues

CL7 and whatever ram isnt going to matter, just stick with 1333's or 1600 if you are overclocking but timings for the $$$ just aint worth it
February 8, 2010 9:37:03 PM

Quote:
The X58 board he's getting is only 159 dollars so the savings would be 10-15 dollars at the most


Yes, but he still have to pay for Triple DDR3 Rams which does not offer a lot of performance boost for Core i7 920. The cheapest P55 motherboard can still cost lower than $159.

Core i7 860 + P55 + Dual DDR3 outperforms Core i7 920 + X58 + Triple DDR3 and support the new SATA 3 and USB 3.0 features which could future proof him until SATA 4 and USB 4.0 comes out and he can pay lesser or at the same price as X58 so no point to get something slower or having closer speed result and does not offer new features like SATA 3 and USB 3.0 unless if he does not wanted to use SATA 3 HDD and USB 3.0 devices in the future or if he is planning to do Crossfire or SLI in the future but he still can go with a Dual-GPU video card and run it x16 mode also on P55 motherboard too. The new P55 motherboards are also "Windows 7 Ready!"...

Go with something like ASUS P7P55D-E PRO. Get the cheaper system with these new features...

















HA! :D 
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