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Core i7 Worth $135 Over Core i5?

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December 6, 2009 4:20:37 PM

Hey Guys,

Lately I have been piecing together many different builds trying to find the perfect one. My i7 is $135 over the i5 and just wanted to know if it is worth the money.

Core i7:

Asus Rampage 2 Gene $210
Core i7 920 $200 @ Microcenter :D 
G.Skill Trident 2000mhz 6gb $195

Core i5:

Gigabyte P55A-UD4P $185
Core i5 750 $150 @ Microcenter
G.Skill Trident 2000mhz 4gb $135

Please comment!

More about : core worth 135 core

December 6, 2009 5:27:42 PM

What's it used for? If for gaming, an i5-750 is better at stock speeds, and equal when overclocked. If it's for extreme multitasking, then the i7 might be worth it, but even then an i5 should be enough. Count in the lower power consumption and savings go even higher. If you are using it professionally, consider the i7-860. Cheaper motherboard, even higher performance than the i7-920 (thanks to its aggresive turbo and hyperthreading it's far better at stock speeds, and when overclocked they score equally well)

On a side note: 2000mhz RAM??? Performance difference ceases to be noticeable at 1600MHz. You're paying a lot of money for overclocked RAM. It consumes power like there's no tommorow, it offers NO visible benefit whatsoever and if you insist on the bragging rights, you can do it yourself.

If you truly want to spend insane amounts, I'd put it in the graphics card. That's the only part that will yield a noticeable improvement, and even that is limited to gaming.
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December 6, 2009 5:37:20 PM

FTF = FOR THE FUTURE = 1366 SOCKET will be the better investment. And if you game, it will def be better @ 16x16(I7), instead of 16x8 (I5). AND btw, your motherboards, one is MICRO ATX, the other is ATX. Please be advised.
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December 6, 2009 6:26:59 PM

Dude the i5-750 is better than the i7-920. WHY!! Well the i5 has the NB on the processor so its 16x8x is just as fast and FASTER than the i7 with its 16x16x

Here is an article explaining it all in detail with a chart too...!!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...
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December 6, 2009 6:45:47 PM

yeah but u could just add an i9 for an upgrade for 1366 as apposed to a new mobo and cpu with the 1156
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December 6, 2009 7:18:53 PM

Once again...its all about usage. IF you are just a gamer and like to shut down all your other apps before gaming, then the i5 is the way to go. If you do heavy multitasking and editing and design work, then i7 920 is the way to go. And, its been pointed out...the 1156 is basically a dead socket at launch, since intel has not released any plans for upgraded processors on this socket...so if you want the ultimate in futureproofing, the 1366 is the way to go.
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December 6, 2009 7:51:17 PM

dude but for the price he can get the I5 which is the cheapest $wise and he will be fine for 2-3 years. Even by the end of 2010 AMD will be coming out with new 32 and 28 nm processors and stuff. Also in 1 year all the 1366 stuff will be much cheaper as that train gets rolling..

It all depends on how much money that he has to spend!!! if he wants GREAT for the $$ then stick with the i5 if he wants GREAT no matter what it takes than go with the i7 1366 socket... Just my opinion...

In 1 year there well be alot of CRAZY new things coming out like the 32 and 28 nm CPU's to be exact....
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December 6, 2009 9:27:38 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I am going to do gaming but I also just want a crazy fast computer coming from my 2005 laptop :fou:  . For 1600mhz it isn't much cheaper (like $20) so I decided on the 2000mhz because I will never regret getting faster parts. I could also run the 2000 at 1600 with 6-7-6-18 or some other really low timings. If there was a clear future for 1156 and there weren't any faulty sockets I would probably just choose i5 to save money.
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December 6, 2009 11:00:00 PM

isn't it x16x4? on standard, with a nb it can do x16x8 or it will just do 8x 8x without nb for core i5
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December 6, 2009 11:10:26 PM

For gaming: i5-750 unless you plan to Xfire/SLI two massive GPUs
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December 6, 2009 11:35:37 PM

If your primary interest is gaming, then all the literature, including THG reviews, state that i5-750 is the way to go.

The sole exception would be if you planing to Crossfire twin cards that require more than PCIe 2.0 x8 (which remember is equal to the old x16), then you will need an x58 mobo and therefore the 1376 socket and i7-920 or faster. I have not seen any charts on it but I think that means you need to be using at least two 5870 or faster cards - maybe even the 5890.

Nevertheless, I would pay the extra $90 to get the i7-860 - which still uses the LGA 1156 socket of course, to have the advantage of hyperthreading - of having 8 threads instead of the 4 threads in the i5. It is true that current reviews do not show any significant performance advantage from hyperthreading, but I cannot beleive that developers are not going to be taking advantage of this feature to increase bandwidth.
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December 7, 2009 3:46:05 AM

With hyper-threading and at stock settings the i7-860 has been tested and proven to have only about 8-10% faster speeds then the i5-750 at stock settings. A slightly overclocked i5-750 could easily match that 10%.. Anyways I'm done with this arguing its just going back and forth..... In my honest opinion the i5 is the way to go until the new 32nm and 28nm processors are released.... :D 

Save what money you can on this build, BECAUSE i guarantee you will want a new one in a year or two...
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December 7, 2009 3:58:24 AM

i7 simply because of hyperthreading, and 50% more memory volume total (and performance) thanks to an extra memory channel - using 2gb sticks you would max out at 8gb (1156) or 12gb (1366)
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December 7, 2009 4:20:24 AM

get the i5 , that 135 can be invested in any high end air cooler and better graphcis for an easy 4.0ghz . also , nice that u selected gigabyte , i am using another model , ud2 , the voltage are consistent as set in bios (negligible vDroop) . not the case with msi or asRock when ure going 4ghz+ .
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December 7, 2009 4:28:31 AM

kylo said:
With hyper-threading and at stock settings the i7-860 has been tested and proven to have only about 8-10% faster speeds then the i5-750 at stock settings. A slightly overclocked i5-750 could easily match that 10%..


Wll Gee, lets be fair. You can overclock the i7-860 10% and be back out in the lead. Comparing with only one overclocked is not a fair comparison at all. Further, as I stated "It is true that current reviews do not show any significant performance advantage from hyperthreading, but I cannot beleive that developers are not going to be taking advantage of this feature to increase bandwidth." So I guess you are saying you think developers will ignore the opportunity to use hyperthreading.

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December 7, 2009 4:41:35 AM

i guess it comes down to budget . i too though about 860 , but then got an i5 , oc'ed it to 4.0 and bought the cooler master hyper 212 and 3 more fans for my antec 300 with those 80 dollars .
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December 7, 2009 4:58:18 AM

Yes, it almost always seems to come down to budgets - and you can't argue much with them.

Howver given OPs starting point with the i7 and ASUS Rampage mobo option, perhaps he can purchase the i7-860, overclock it, and still have the money for a good HSF, and more fans for his case, if he needs them.
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December 7, 2009 10:02:46 AM

For gaming, hyperthreading doesn't really do much. Unless he has a real need for it through other applications, would be better to just get an i5-750 and drop the saved money into a better GPU or a Blu-Ray drive, or a couple of nice games, or whatever else.

Yes, if you plan to run multiple HD 5800 series cards (or better), then you will want the X58 chipset. If not, then the P55/i5 combo is the best choice for a gaming rig.

If you think you will use productivity software enough to see a benefit from hyperthreading, but don't see yourself needing a truckload of graphics throughput, then the i7/P55 is the niche solution for that.

...and there you have it...


@ the RAM argument, remember that most of these boards are upgradeable to at least 16 GB... so when prices for 4 GB DIMMs come down to reasonable levels, you can always upgrade and e-bay the old sticks. 16 GB should be plenty for the next few years unless you're planning to do a lot of heavy photo or video editting, or you're using professional modeling software like AutoCAD or ProE, etc... If you're planning to use the machine for these kinds of applications, then X58/i7 all the way.
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December 7, 2009 12:23:42 PM

Can't say it any better than that...!!!!
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December 7, 2009 12:36:59 PM

nofun said:
For gaming, hyperthreading doesn't really do much. Unless he has a real need for it through other applications, would be better to just get an i5-750 and drop the saved money into a better GPU or a Blu-Ray drive, or a couple of nice games, or whatever else.

...and there you have it...



Yes, as long as you are willing to continue to totally ignore the possiblity of game developers taking advantage of the opportunity to increase performance using hyperthreading which is just sitting there begging to be used. Games have been slowly mastering the use of multiple cores - extending that to hyperthreading is the next logical step.
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December 7, 2009 1:27:33 PM

Great Point RockyJohn,

Go w/1366.
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December 7, 2009 4:38:36 PM

rockyjohn said:
Yes, as long as you are willing to continue to totally ignore the possiblity of game developers taking advantage of the opportunity to increase performance using hyperthreading which is just sitting there begging to be used. Games have been slowly mastering the use of multiple cores - extending that to hyperthreading is the next logical step.


Now this is true, but still you're looking at performance/cost.

$280/$200 = 140%

All other factors held constant, if the i7-860 showed a 40% performance increase over the i5-750 in gaming (or something close to that), then of course it would be worthwhile to get now. Right now, though, it doesn't, and there's really no way to tell how much the i5 will bottleneck games 2-3 years from now. Still, in a few years if hyperthreading was showing significant performance gains in gaming, the i5 still has an upgrade path to the i7-860, and by that time the prices will have dropped somewhat (and he could ebay the old i5) to help recuperate the original sunk cost. But as-is, I think there's just too many variables to say that the i7-860 is definitely worth it over the i5-750 specifically for gaming.

The i7-920 is a totally different beast. For the best "minimal obsolescence" that should be your choice, assuming you can afford it without hacking another important component.
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December 7, 2009 5:20:35 PM

nofun said:
Now this is true, but still you're looking at performance/cost.

$280/$200 = 140%


You are looking at the wrong numbers. You have to consider how it leverages the entire system and consider the total cost of the system. If the rest cost, say, $800, then you have $1,280 cost for the system with i7-860 and $1,000 with i5. $1,280/$1,200 = 1.067%. So you only need a 7% increase to make it pay off.

First, kylo stipulated below, when arguning against the i7-860, that "With hyper-threading and at stock settings the i7-860 has been tested and proven to have only about 8-10% faster speeds then the i5-750 at stock settings. " So right there - under current conditions with no increased utilization of hyperthreading, the better performance is cost effective. And as we know, for some, that extra 5% advantage is worth a lot more than a 5% cost difference - many pay hundereds more for faster gaming cards to get an edge. So you get an advantage now and more later.

Moreover, with the alternative to go i5 now with an eye towards changing out later if hyperthreading becomes more important, then you also have to consider the cost of the changeout process. Any money no recouped on the sale of the i5 - is just lost - and my guess that may be more than $80. Not to mention the time involved in watching and reviewing the changeout decision; removing, cleaning, selling and shipping the old CPU, and purchasing and installing the new.
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December 7, 2009 5:52:55 PM

rockyjohn said:
You are looking at the wrong numbers. You have to consider how it leverages the entire system and consider the total cost of the system. If the rest cost, say, $800, then you have $1,280 cost for the system with i7-860 and $1,000 with i5. $1,280/$1,200 = 1.067%. So you only need a 7% increase to make it pay off.


Ahhhhh! That math makes a lot more sense, and you're right, it's about total system gains rather than individual component gains.

@ the OP: It really all comes down to your budget. An i5-750 will suffice for gaming, but putting money into an i7-860 is not going to be wasted money. If you see yourself Crossfiring two large cards later, then the i7-920 is the clear choice. All are priced competitively enough to be worth their extra costs.
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December 7, 2009 6:22:04 PM

Darn - back to that budget issue again. We keep coming back to that.

And perhaps that explains part of the "confusion" in this thread. It has been a "philosophical" discussion not constrained by a budget. Its easy to see why we generally try to start with a budget and configure the best system for the budget.

Any discussion of "is this part worth the increase in price" generally gets bogged down because it is largely a question of personal preferences - is, say, a 5% increase in performance worth a 10% or 20% increase in price. Only the buyer can decide that since it is a matter of personal preference.

The answer to the question posed by jaymoney in the title - "Core i7 Worth $135 Over Core i5?" is - it just depends on your personal preferences and budget situation, although I think you may have answered it in your second post with the statement "I also just want a crazy fast computer", except that you contradicted it, in the same post, with "If there was a clear future for 1156 and there weren't any faulty sockets I would probably just choose i5 to save money."

Jay, how YOU decide the the tradeoff between a "crazy fast computer" and "save money" is the crux of the issue - and one no one can decide for you.

And by the way, I think there is a clear future for the 1156 socket, or at least as much of a future as Intel provides for any socket. It is obviously part of their market segmentation plan - to split the market with the 1156 to compete more directly against AMD in the mainstream market and while charging higher margins in the top end segment for the 1376.
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December 8, 2009 1:32:43 AM

I not restricted on my budget, I just wanted other peoples opinion on it so I spend my bling bling wisely. Now I see OCZ Gold 1600mhz 6gb 8-8-8-24 for $150 with $30 mail in rebate. $195-$120=$75 back. I know to make it fair I'd to change the i5 ram to the OCZ Gold 1600 8-8-8-24 for $110-$30=$80. So $530 for i7 and $415 for i5. $115 difference makes it even more tempting to go i7 now. If I get a micro atx mobo is there any nice smaller case I could get then? I'd like it to not be to hard to LAN also, just a thought.
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December 8, 2009 3:34:13 AM

Micro ATX case may limit what you can put in - especially the size of graphics cards - and also might affect ability to Crossfire or SLI.

If planning to take it to LAN parties, have you considered the Storm Scout with its convenient handle? I have read good reviews on it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Let the others show up with their wimpy small cases.
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December 8, 2009 11:28:29 AM

Yeah, I'm with rockyjohn here, if you're going to cram that much component awesomeness into a case, you're going to want something with enough room to handle everything.

A microATX case will give less airflow, will have smaller fans (which will need to run louder), and will have trouble accommodating the large GPUs and heat sinks. Still, it will be a good bit easier to carry around.

This really depends, again, on how much you see yourself on the road with this machine, and whether (or not) you can fit all of your components inside. Do your research first on the MicroATX Mid Towers that you like, and see if they will work for you. If not, the Storm Scout is a great choice.
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