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Intel i3 upgrade suggestions

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February 11, 2010 8:38:10 PM

Dear All,

Hello! I was toying with the idea of replacing my current build with an Intel i3 530 build. Here is my current build:







I was reading about a lot of good stuff about the i3, especially that it can be overclocked to 4.0 ghz easily without that much of additional voltage. My current amd build as you can see is overclocked but at a max of 3.5 so that more voltage isn’t needed. The voltage that shows on cpu-z stays stable at about 1.360v with max load. I’d like a lower power consumption cpu and with lesser heat. I’d like your opinions if considering the i3 is practical and performance wise compared to my current build. Thank you and I’ll be looking forward to your replies.

- knil
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February 11, 2010 8:51:17 PM

I would say the i3 is really not going to help you much, if at all, in terms of performance. You already have a true quad core system, which will not bottleneck you in gaming with any ATI 4800 series GPU. "upgrading" to an i3 will NOT help you game-wise enough to even notice really, and is really probably not worth the money, especially when you consider that the cheapest i3 is like $125. That means, you would have to spend $125 on a CPU, another ~$100-150 on the mobo, and ~$100 on DDR3 RAM. So- conservatively, you spend $325 to "upgrade" to a machine that will perform very very similarly to what you have right now. I would not do it myself, and would never spend money on an i3 when I could even get an Athlon II x4 for $99.
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February 11, 2010 8:51:36 PM

Id stick with what ya got, that is a solid setup. Your cpu clocked at 3.5 is plenty even for a 5870 and beyond. So if it is gaming you are looking to improve you would likely see no difference. Not to mention you'd be going from 4 cores to 2 and some games really benefit from 4.
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February 11, 2010 8:55:10 PM

Wait until you want a gpu setup that will be bottlenecked by your cpu (5970 or better).

Phenom ii @ 3.5 is golden for gaming these days.

To answer your question yes, i3 will perform to par for your gpu setup, but its almost a downgrade coming from quadcore. If you oc the i3 too high you'll be eating up more power/heat that way too.

You can try downclocking and undervolting you 940 until you start losing gaming performance and see if that helps that.
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February 11, 2010 9:05:59 PM

Hey guys thanks for the insights! Yeah I forgot about that I need a new mobo and ram for the i3, I thought there are some mobos in the market for the new intel chips that still support ddr2 like how amd am3 can still support ddr2 in old mobos. @raidur yeah I was thinking about a 5970 but that thing still costs too much $650+ maybe after a year if it goes down to 400 or less I'll get it along with a bigger case, mine's really jampacked right now especially with the 4890 nearly hitting the edge of the hds and the psu spaghetti I have in there =D
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February 11, 2010 9:16:59 PM

Raidur,

What I often do to stay cool and with less power consumption is I turn on CoolNQuiet and set the power setting to "minimal power" and it sets all the cores to 800 mhz and when I try to play left 4 dead 2, boom! the game becomes laggy and jumpy. I'll try that down clocking and under volting of yours later but I think the lowest setting for voltage in my bios is to be set at "auto"
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February 11, 2010 9:32:28 PM

I don't think there are any Intel Core i3 Mobo's that support ddr2 out there... at least, I've never seen one.
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February 11, 2010 11:54:21 PM

a core i3 would be a downgrade from your current setup.

the are very good mainstream processors, but you have a very good enthusiast processor.
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