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I7 920 deal changes my mind

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December 5, 2009 8:45:47 PM

In a nut shell... great deal for i7 920 discovered today! now I am second guessing the planned purchase of an i5 750.

My original plan to build my pc was going to be several small purchases over the next 3-4 months and as cost efficient as possible (saving the cpu and mobo for last). But I just saw a i7 920 for $199.99 at a local Micro Center (the i5 750 was $149.99 btw)! Given that the sale doesn't last forever and someone will probably buy them out soon I have to consider changing my entire plan quickly and was looking for input/suggestions. I already had my mind set on a $200 i5 750 but now that I see a i7 920 for that price I can't get it out of my head. But its not a simple break even, I would need a more expensive mobo now. I know someone will say it is up to me to decide what the best pick is but I need some consensus opinion because I'm a pansy (must be a lot of pansies out there, considering the similarities of this post to many others).

Original build design (estimated cost $750):

Cooler Master HAF 932 (just got it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i5 750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asrock p55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G Skill Ripjaws 2x2gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler master hyper 212 plus (just got it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb (just got it)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Windows 7 Home
Wal-mart $110

If I change to the i7 920 the cost will go up on the mobo by about $80 for the ASUS p6t (see this link http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). $240-280 for a mobo seems a little excessive, but I'm prejudice against any component that doesn't directly result in performance gain. Also I've read the i7 gets really hot and my current cooling solution might be to skimpy to keep the i7 cool during overclocking.

Questions:
Is the i7 920 going to be substatially better than the i5 750 in regards to gaming, dvd burning apps, etc?

Would the overclocking potential of the i7 buy me a year or more of use over the i5's potential if overclocked?

A user friendly mobo for overclocking is essential for me. My current AMD 3800 x2 is oc'd to 2.5 on stock cooling but that's nothing to boast about. Going forward I want to have a decent chance to overclock to 3.8 or higher.

Please remember I didn't intend to buy the mobo/cpu until February-March anyway. I assume that the price of the i7 920 will drop to $199 on average by then anyway. Is this unreasonable to expect?

Just so you know I tend to upgrade system every 5 years or so, a long interval compared to many of you. That's why this is a hard decision for me.

Look forward to any comments and thanks for reading one more "what do I do" post.

More about : 920 deal mind

December 5, 2009 9:31:02 PM

If your going to wait for 3-4 months...Another deal will come along. Probably better.

Personally If you have to buy things separately and over time, I'd wait and get at least the Processor, Motherboard, and DRAM last. Saving up enough to get them all as closely purchased as possible.

I did that but still don't have the graphics card I want, that is my last purchase, but I loaded Windows 7 Ultimate today and am currently running Memtest86+ :) 
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December 5, 2009 9:46:56 PM

what your saying is true but keep in mind that the new i7 930's will come out next year and the hex cores are due out the next one-two years or so...
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December 5, 2009 9:58:25 PM

While I'm all for planning in advance, starting your research about 76 weeks prior to a build, speculating on what things will be 3 months from now is a bit much. Intel typically releases their new CPU's in winter and customarily drops prices at the end of February. By March, we can be sure that there';s a whole new bunch of MoBos and CPU's on the table.

Buying a CPU cooler before you have a MoBo and CPU is an iffy prospect.
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December 5, 2009 10:07:16 PM

Thank you all for replying... Good comments.
Jack
I was pretty set on getting the i5 that's why I got the cooler, I also wanted to oc the heck out of my current processor now that I know I will get another build soon (can accept risk knowing I will replace it soon anyway). For the overclocking I didn't want to wait for the cooler. In retrospect that was probably a bad idea, now I might have consider the Megahalem or True Copper. It was universal so I thought I could use it for future cpu too. Got decent reviews.

jasdf123
Are the 930's going to be priced in the 150-200 range? I haven't read anything about them yet. Will they be a nice improvement or just a slight step up?

g725s
My thoughts were the same. I need patience enough to follow my own plans.
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Best solution

December 5, 2009 10:37:49 PM

The Microcenter prices are not sale prices, but rather are available all the time. The current prices are: i750 for $150; i920 for $200; and i860 for $230. Don't worry about these prices going up; they have remained at this level or gone down during the last two months.

Question 1: "Is the i7 920 going to be substantially better than the i5 750 in regards to gaming, dvd burning apps, etc?"

The conventional wisdom is that the i920 / X58 system is the fastest mainstream computer available today. That was true back in August, but that position is being challenged with the introduction of the i750 & i860 / P55 systems. Most people do not realize that the i750 / P55 system actually outperforms the i920 / X58 system when using only one graphics card:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...

But most people realize that the i920 utilizes two PCIe X16 slots when two graphics cards are installed, whereas the i750 / P55 system is limited to two X8 slots in this situation. However, in actual performance testing the improvements are miniscule. In fact, in some cases with two graphics cards, the i750 actually outperforms the i920, and visa versa, but these systems are essentially identical:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

Question 2: "Would the overclocking potential of the i7 buy me a year or more of use over the i5's potential if overclocked?"
Both the X58 and P55 platforms have good overclocking potential. The following article shows the performance of the i920 / X58 system compared to the i860 / P55 system at stock speeds and overclocked to 4.2 GHz with either one or two-crossfired ATI 5870 graphics cards:
http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3649&p=6
Once again, the performance of these two systems is nearly identical with the i860 outperforming the i920 in some applications, and visa versa.

One of the reasons the i750 & i860 / P55 platform does so well is because these processors have incorporated the PCIe bus onto the chip, thus eliminating bandwidth bottlenecks associated with the Northbridge chip required in the i920 system.

The bottom line is that they are all great systems. A typical i920 build (CPU + MB + 3X2GB RAM) will tend to be about $200 more than a typical i750 build (CPU + MB + 2X2GB RAM). For most gamers, this $200 would be better spent on getting either a better graphics card, or adding a second graphics card.
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December 5, 2009 11:01:25 PM

dpaul8, that helped a lot. Thanks for the link references combined with the info. I take your advice about the i5. I will likely stay on my original plan then and hope that the prices keep dropping for the next 2-3 months.
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December 5, 2009 11:02:43 PM

But, the X58 platform will future-proof you for the near future, whereas the P55 is already dead.
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December 5, 2009 11:30:19 PM

Scottk517 said:
But, the X58 platform will future-proof you for the near future, whereas the P55 is already dead.


Its not dead.
*facepalm*

For the foreseeable short time future, the highest performing chips for the 1156 have been released. They are planning on releasing I3' dual cores and less cache I5 quad cores on the 32nm die , all at price points lower than existing 1156 45nm chips. There are no plans known for a I6 chip for this platform. Because the 1336 is the workstation, server platform where the I6 will be introduced first.
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December 6, 2009 1:23:14 AM

If this is the future of the 1156 then the upgrades available aren't providing any "future proof". That doesn't bother me too much I guess. In my situation if I buy a new system once every 4-5 years then it really doesn't make a difference how long the lifespan of a socket is I guess (you know it won't be more than 3 years). My next buy will put me into a new socket/mobo and cpu anyway. Current situation is a good example... have an amd socket 939 3800x2. Been looking to upgrade cpu for years but they are cost prohibitive. If I'm going to spend $250 or more I might as well invest that into a new mobo and cpu altogether. Now if I new a socket would have a superior cpu as its last version and it would be a significant improvement then I would steer towards that socket. But the way intel is going now with their multiple sockets and unpredictable future I couldn't guess which way it will go.

For me the question is this....

If you were to pick a cpu and mobo from now to about February, and it wasn't likely to be replaced until 2014 what would it be i5 750 or i7 920 or wait for the 930 assuming it is out in Feb.????

I'm leaning to the i7 920 for these reasons. I can put 6 sticks of ram on the mobo so it is nice for future upgrades. I can put an extra evga gtx 260sc on in a year or so, even a 3rd after that.
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December 6, 2009 2:48:39 AM

4trtees, I'm in a similar pickle as you are. I originally purchased the mobo and ram for an i7 920 build on black friday, only to find out a ocuple of days later that my credit card's fraud department rejected the order as it thought it was fruad. Anyhow, since I missed out on the BF deals, I've deciided to opt for an i5 750. It's about $250 less overall. From all the benchmark testing I've seen, it's neck and neck with the i7. The i7 has a higher ceiling with respect to upgrades moving forward, but like you, I figure the next time I upgrade, I'll probably be best suited by purchasing a new comp. I had an AMD 3800+ right now that I bought 4 or 5 years ago I think, so the i5 will do me good for that time. I'll just go dual GPU's in a couple of years for a boost, and then in 5 years or so build a new comp.
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December 6, 2009 7:32:33 AM

It sounds like you and I are in the same scenario but you are leaning to the i5 and I'm kind of leaning toward the i7. I'm curious which mobo were you going to get for the 920 back before your credit company made the cancellation? I've been researching the 920 and the mobo is my biggest question mark, I'm looking for the lowest priced board with a reasonable number of people that give it good reviews (especially for overclocking). These are the 3 I've been looking at.

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $239
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $289
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $309
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My thoughts are if I don't go for cheap ($239) then I might as well go for the one that is USB 3.0 for $309.
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December 7, 2009 1:16:12 AM

Scottk517 wrote:
Scottk517 said:
But, the X58 platform will future-proof you for the near future, whereas the P55 is already dead.


Very, very few people upgrade their Intel processors because Intel comes out with new technology every year. In two years, the Intel processors and motherboards will have advanced to the point where you will have to purchase a new processor and motherboard to get the latest technology. The P55 motherboards were just introduced and will be around for another 18 months before they are replaced with the next generation boards. This is the way technology works.

It is true that Intel will be coming out with i9 processors early in 2010. Although the i9 processors will be based on the 1366 socket, this does not guarantee that they will work with older generation X58 motherboards. People purchasing X58 motherboards today with the thought of "future proofing" their builds are going to be in for a big surprise if they think they can just drop in a i9 processor and have it work. It won't! The motherboard manufacturers will be coming out with brand new motherboards that are i9 compatible. There is no incentive for them to try to make their older generation boards i9 compatible. Besides, the i9 processors will be very expensive because they are targeted for commercial users, not home PC users.

If you need a new computer today, buy the one that best suits your needs and live with the fact that in 18 months it will be old technology. That is the way it has been for the last 30 years, and that is the way it will be in the foreseeable future. And if you think about it, this is actually a good thing!
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