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I7 920 or i7 860?

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March 11, 2010 7:29:03 PM

I am thinking about upgrading my qQ8200. I am looking at what the differences are between the i7 860 (socket 1156, DMI) and the 920 (socket 1366, QPI). I don't think I understand the differences. I know that QPI is supposed to be so much better than DMI, but I'm not seeing it. If I get the 860, I can use my 2x2gb RAM I have now (I think, they are 1333FSB), but if I go for the 920 I have to get tri-channel.

I looked at the 920 vs the 860 on anandtech's benchmarks, and understandable that the 820 is 140MHz faster out of the box, but it's beating the 920 in almost every test (slightly, but still nudging it out). But even when I compare the 2.8 Ghz 860 against the 940 2.93GHz (they don't have the 930 on their site), the 860 is VERY slightly behind on most marks, and still ahead in four of the benches.

So what's up with that? Is QPI not everything it's cracked up to be? What advantages does QPI really have to cause me to spend more to get new RAM? I thought because of the QPI/DMI, that even the 'slower' 920 would eat up an 1156 socketed processor.

On another branch... I will need a motherboard for my new processor. What mobos are being recommended for 1156 and 1366 chips for $200 +/-. I have a 9800GT currently, 2 SATA HDs, 2 SATA burners, a H50 water cooler OR an Arctic Cooler Freezer XTreme (I have another poll like thread, the winner becomes my permanent cooler :D  ) and quite a few USB devices. SLI would be cool, but I have no need for tri or quad SLI. I also don't mind dumping the 9800 for Crossfire cards if any certain mobo is rocking that uses Crossfire...

Thanks all....

More about : 920 860

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March 11, 2010 8:13:03 PM

Both take DDR3 memory, so double check whether you'll be able to use your existing RAM.

Regarding QPI versus DMI - They're versions of the same technology, one is dual channel and the other triple. For desktop usage by even mildly insane human beings, you'll be very hard pressed to bump into the limits of either.
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March 11, 2010 8:21:32 PM

Partly you have to decide if you want to go 1156 or 1366.

Double channel or triple channel has implications regarding the amount of ram- do you want multiples of 3GB or multiples of 2GB?

What motherboard do you want? Previous to today 1366 motherboards were more expensive.

What speed do you want and are you going to overclock? Even the i7-750 can do pretty well if you overclock it and save you some money.

I built 3 machines for CAD testing for my company. I had intended to go with the i7-920 but when I priced the components I decided to try the i5-750 and I saved about $300 per machine since the cpu is cheaper, the mobo is cheaper and the ram is cheaper.
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March 11, 2010 8:40:20 PM

there should be a few questions taken into account with this,

1. the question should be i7 930 or i7 860. (the i7 930 is much much better than the 920 for the price, it has an additional multiplier and it has a higher stock clock.

2. what is your price range for your system, are you willing to pay for more RAM? along with this question what kind of RAM do you have now?

3. do you have a use for hyperthreading. (if not the question changes again, to i7 930 or i5 750)

4. are you ever planning on doing triple SLI or XFIRE?

5. do you live near a microcenter? (microcenter sells the i7 920/30 much cheaper 199/240ish respectively)

additional information.

the i7 860 has additional technologies that the i7 930 doesn't have (virtualization, and execution technologies)

the i7 860 has a much higer turbo boost frequency.

LGA1156 only has the ability to XFIRE or SLI at x8, x8 for dual card setups, for triple card setups LGA performs as x8, x4, x1. and while you will never reach the PCI-e 2.0 x8, x8 bandwidth, triple card setups suffer greatly

LGA1366 does not suffer these limitations.

i7 860 has dual channel ram and DMI works at 2.5 GT/s while the i7 930 has triple channel ram and QPI works at 4.8 GT/s. as stated earlier both bandwidths will suffice.

i7860 will be cheaper for all parts included bar the fact you won't have to buy new ram. (LGA1156 parts are cheaper)

Here check out the differences, ive included the i5 in this list as well. http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=42915,41447,41316,

As far as motherboards to recommend

for LGA1156

P7P55D-E PRO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for LGA1366

P6X58D PREMIUM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 11, 2010 10:53:51 PM

Requiem:
Question #1: I used the 920 due to low price, but any 1366 processor can be used for comparison...
Question #2: I'm willing to go up to $200 for the mobo. I'm willing to pay more for RAM if QPI is that much better...
Question #3: ??? on hyperthreading, as I know little about it or if any programs I currently have take advantage of it...
Question #4: I addressed this in my original post...
Question #5: No, but I plan on trying to call them direct for them to ship me whatever processor I get. They have lots of stores, I'm sure I can find one that will ship me a processor if I pay extra for the shipping...

I know what DMI and QPI run at, what I was trying to get at was what PRACTICAL reasons should I use to qualify or disqualify one or the other of the technologies?

I've looked at ARK quite a bit and even printed out all the Core processors for comparisons...

I guess I wasn't clear enough on my questioning.

I currently have 2x2gb PC3-10666 DDR3-1333, so I can use my RAM. I plan on using my computer for occasional gamig, I have a baby boy and gaming is back seated and for ripping DVDs and authoring DVDs of video I've taken of my son growing up. Sure I will use it for other things, but those are the main reasons I even own a desktop, otherwise I'd just use one of my 2 laptops I have. I overclock just because I can, not to see how high I can get it.

#1 What practical reasoning is there to get QPI? I know it's the difference of how the processor communicates (in a nut shell) but don't understand why someone NEEDS it, as opposed to WANTS it cause it's faster bragging rights.

#2 I DO NOT plan on doing tri or quad SLI/XFIRE, so if the X58 for that is the only reason they have it, I guess I don't need it.

#3 Are there any practical reasons I need a 1366? Besides tri channel ram access and 3 or 4 GPUs, is there any other major advantages?

I feel right now that an 860 (or 1156 board and proc) is all I really need, it will cost less and seems to be what I need, but I was just making sure first...
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March 11, 2010 11:04:47 PM

In this case i would say go with the i7 860 or the i5 750 (personal recomendation)

the only real benefit to the LGA1366 i can give you now is that it is upgradable to hex cores in the future.

if that doesn't fit into your eventual plans then i would go with the LGA1156, i did :)  i love it too.
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March 11, 2010 11:26:52 PM

How high are people getting the 750? Is it quad core 8 thread like the 860? I guess I should look into it :) 
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March 11, 2010 11:41:23 PM

it doesnt have threads, but it can be clocked up to 4.5 with some effort, the highest ive seen on it is 5ghz I'm not sure if they said it was stable or not, i just remember it was on LN for the 5ghz
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March 11, 2010 11:46:34 PM

The 750 overclocks awesome and is capable of 4ghz on air, just like i7. If that's what you meant...

Also, I'm pretty sure your ram would work on 1366, I don't see why it wouldn't. Tri channel is a plus not a requirement (correct me if I'm wrong).

You'd probably be fine with the 750 for your needs btw. If you don't see yourself taking advantage of 1366's perks (mainly tri channel and pci-e bandwidth) then save the cash.

Games get no help from ht (yet) and tripple channel memory doesn't make all that great of a difference (some benchmarks love it). So unless the dvd ripping programs you use take advantage of those I would stick to 1156 and i5.

Remember all of these cpus are overkill for average every-day tasks and even gaming so you'll be happy any way you go.
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