P55 or X58?

I'm days away from building a new up to date gaming rig from scratch. My budget is at $1500 and I can't decide between a i7 930 or i7 870. What are the gaming benefits of each build? Which is easier to Overclock? Etc...


I only understand that the X58 builds use tri-channel memory for optimized performance and handle Crossfire/SLI better. Which I hope to do in the future, as it might be cheaper to add a twin Video Card, then to shell out another $400 on a current Video card.

Any advice you may provide is appreciated, thanks.
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  1. Well, either platform will not be long lived so that is a factor I would consider.

    Also, the X58 platform is superior in several ways, one being the way it handles pci express lanes. If you are interested in USB3.0, know that any Intel chipset other than X58 will not do a good job of handling the new USB standard.

    If I were you, I would invest in a i7 930 and an X58 motherboard. It is pricier, but will cause less problems for you down the road. That will also negate the need to upgrade when the newer chipsets come out, it will be a strong platform for the next couple of years.

    For gaming, the i7 will be faster. The X58 will be better suited for crossfire/sli. And not because of the memory, although triple channel will be nice. It is more about the pci express lanes.
  2. ^ +1
    It is even rumored that 1366 will be getting some new Sandy Bridge processors.

    The i7s are not gaming CPUs so if you did go with the P55 then you would get an i5 750. If there was one for X58 you would get it also, they're basically the same CPU the i7s just have HT.

    At the moment X58 does not really give much (if any) performance increase for Two cards in Crossfire/SLI though if your planning to keep the processor/board for 2/3 years I believe P55 could be a large bottleneck for the graphics cards out then.

    If I was you I would wait for the new processors from AMD and Intel before an upgrade but maybe you can't wait 4 months or so. Or maybe the following is good advice...

    A work around which I think would net you a better build is getting an AM3 system with a weak processor and then when Bulldozer comes out smack one in and you'll be sporting a CPU more powerful than the i7 930 (don't quote me on that) for similar cost. This option allows you to get the new processors but still have a really nice system now.

    Hope that helps.
  3. yes i think ots worth waiting a while for sandy bridge and bulldozer. once they come check out the performance and then decide your buy
  4. Here is what Sandy Bridge looks like:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-architecture-exposed

    I don't care to wait, there is always something better coming out one after another in the computer world. If I waited for something better to come out every time, I'd never buy anything :(


    "A work around which I think would net you a better build is getting an AM3 system with a weak processor and then when Bulldozer comes out smack one in and you'll be sporting a CPU more powerful than the i7 930 (don't quote me on that) for similar cost. This option allows you to get the new processors but still have a really nice system now."

    I was thinking an AMD PII X4 965 BE (3.4Ghz @ $165)

    This sounds like a better option for me, I just wish AMD would reveal what sockets their new chips are using. I am hoping they stick to what they do best and allow some backwards compatibility. But we never know what kind of updates Mobo companys will put out to support Older Mobos with new CPUs either.
  5. Wolygon said:

    A work around which I think would net you a better build is getting an AM3 system with a weak processor and then when Bulldozer comes out smack one in and you'll be sporting a CPU more powerful than the i7 930 (don't quote me on that) for similar cost. This option allows you to get the new processors but still have a really nice system now.


    I think you got this backwards, at least, according to Wikipedia and the extremetech article it references. http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2368186,00.asp. They say Bulldozer will require an AM3+ socket. Bulldozer will not be compatible with AM2, AM2+, AM3 sockets.

    This seems backwards to me, as it also says AM3+ will support sockect AM2, AM2+, and AM3 processors (which isn't possible since AM2,AM2+ uses DDR2 while AM3 uses DDR3).

    Anyway, my point is, make sure you get some definitive information as to whether or not Bulldozer supports AM3 before going the AM3 route.

    As for P55 vs x58, I can't really add anything that wasn't already covered by somebody.
  6. X58 is a bit better than P55 because the CPU has more PCIe lane connections but at the same time, for gaming, the P55 is more than enough. That said, getting an i7 870 over an i5 750/760 is completely pointlessly wasting a couple hundred bucks when it's a gaming build. The i5 isn't even stressed to the max for gaming, and adding hyperthreading isn't going to do you anything. Now, if you encode a lot of video or do rendering, then you'll see a benefit to the 870 but otherwise, it's just throwing your money away.

    I'm using an i5 750 on an Asus P7P55D Pro mobo and I'm very happy with it. I have lots of stuff going and the performance is great (with two 5850s in CF, mind you). The 8x/8x PCIe lanes, if bottlenecking at all, is pretty much not noticeable.

    All that being said, X58 does have a few advantages over P55, and supposedly Intel might make more 1366 CPUs even with Sandy Bridge coming out but it's hard to say. For the most part both platforms basically have all their CPUs on the market for all intents and purposes.
  7. ^
    Why do you reckon the new socket is called AM3r. Its because its basically AM3+, it is pretty certain that bulldozer will support AM3.

    "there is always something better coming out one after another"
    I do not like this comment. Graphics cards and CPUs are what are seen as leaps in technology. Graphics cards only come out every 18 months. This apparently the biggest CPU upgrade from Nelham which came out 3 years ago.

    You are allowed to not wait and I see why you want to but I just don't like that comment.

    If you don't want to upgrade immediately then get the Phenom II 955 BE instead of the i5.

    Thats the best course of action for you I believe.
  8. redmoon said:
    Here is what Sandy Bridge looks like:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-architecture-exposed

    I don't care to wait, there is always something better coming out one after another in the computer world. If I waited for something better to come out every time, I'd never buy anything :(


    "A work around which I think would net you a better build is getting an AM3 system with a weak processor and then when Bulldozer comes out smack one in and you'll be sporting a CPU more powerful than the i7 930 (don't quote me on that) for similar cost. This option allows you to get the new processors but still have a really nice system now."

    I was thinking an AMD PII X4 965 BE (3.4Ghz @ $165)

    This sounds like a better option for me, I just wish AMD would reveal what sockets their new chips are using. I am hoping they stick to what they do best and allow some backwards compatibility. But we never know what kind of updates Mobo companys will put out to support Older Mobos with new CPUs either.


    Yes, you would never buy anything. Ok, so if we are considering AMD instead you can get a nice machine for a lower price and all the functionality. AMD chipsets do not have limitations as far as USB 3.0 is concerned.

    Here's what I recommend: Get a PII X4 955, it will save you $15 and will yield the same result if interested in overclocking. And you should consider it when buying a black edition. Get an 890GX motherboard, it has enough pci-express lanes for crossfire with two cards.
    Get an HD4850 or better video card, 4 gigs of ram, an SSD boot drive, a solid data drive (f3 samsung 500GB, 1tb etc.), a blue ray reader if you like movies, and a dvd burner.
  9. Wolygon said:
    ^ +1
    The i7s are not gaming CPUs.


    ahahahaha
  10. Beyond the Blah Blah Blah this & that {PCIe 16x16, Bandwidth, and more}...

    Proof is in the Benchmarks - http://service.futuremark.com/search/form.action

    {3D Mark06}
    i7 = 47244
    AMD Phenom II X6 = 34788

    ANSWER X58 ~ +36% :sol:
  11. @zerobag
    Care to explain your point (none) or just trolling mindlessly?

    @ jaquith
    How can you compare a Phenom II X6 to an i7? How about compare the i7 to the i5 or i7 860 before you go around saying that x16/x16 gets you tons (36%) more performance.

    Have a look at how the i5 750 keeps up with the 930 in EVERY game when crossfiring 2 HD 5870s. Note that the Phenom II X4 (which you were comparing to the i7) gets owned by the i7 and i5.

    http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_5870_crossfire_cpu_scaling_performance_part_2,1.html
  12. ^ RE {Discussion above} - AMD comments.

    ^^RE OP P55 or X58? - Don't even need to think X58

    @the_punkinator - Please re-read exactly what I said "Beyond the..." meaning {forgetting} chipsets, platforms, etc. Benchmarks speak it all; if you take the time to go to the link plug in {any} P55, X58, AMD3 + GPUs and you'll know XCPU/GPU <=compares=> YCPU/GPU.

    X58 {1366} + 5870 = 47244
    P55 {1156} + 5870 = i7 870/32076 ; i5 661/34389 ; otherwise i5 750 = 25607

    Now, if you really want to quote benchmarks and the BS. Futuremark prevents typos, mistakes, outright lying, etc. Look at this one and post back the omission; if you're savvy you can always find the "juicing" - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-7-ssd-trim,2705.html {Hint - the rig}

    Like building a well rounded $1000 / $2000 rigs with all going to GPUs with CPUs ready to explode after a week.
  13. @ jaquith
    Ok I see what your saying, benchmarks mean everything.

    Though I do not see much realisim in 3DMark results with respect to gaming. How is it that the i7 870 vs the 930 with one HD 5870 gets 32076 vs 47244?

    They are the same processor and the graphics card is running with x16 on both. Please tell me how the graphics performance magically drops 35% when there is basically no change. This magical performance difference does not show in gaming at all.

    The i5 760 is not a bottleneck to a single HD 5870 and is just a 930 or 870 without hyperthreading. Yet once again the supposed graphics performance of the system magically drops a further 20%.

    How do you see these figures making ANY sense, am I missing something?

    Are you trying to say that all articles are fake and that 3dMark is the only accurate measure of performance?

    I'm confused are you saying there is an error/lie in that article? I know pretty much nothing about SSDs so I'm pretty certain I would not find it ever.

    "Like building a well rounded $1000 / $2000 rigs with all going to GPUs with CPUs ready to explode after a week. "
    Have no idea what that is supposed to be saying.

    Sorry OP for this argument....
  14. Not an argument, I would think {I do anyway} stuff like this sheds light on the subject. Interesting discussions. That said...

    SSD Review - T/H {omitted} or {who knows what} the testing rig -> duh the MOBO has NO SATA3! Testing SATA3 SSD?! I'm guessing a $1,000 SATA3 Card/RAID which every $1,500 or $2,000 rig needs.
    $2,000 Build - I've been always frustrated with T/H or any {site/pick any} that on a $2,000 rig that you'd spend 1/2 on a GPU + DDR and everything remaining is more-less junk ($2K with $35 cases! - come on/not this past build); something to skew the Benchmarks ONLY a/k/a nonsensical in the "real world." That's what the drooling public wants - benchmarks. This last build performed horribly compared as I recall to the May Build. My {everyday rig} w/o the CF is $1,600 - also on 9 of the 10 copies of it I am using the ASUS P6X58D-E vs the GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 2) -> that ALL BSOD with SSD + RAID 1 - another T/H Winner!
    Futuremark {3D Mark Vantage} - the OP asked {gaming benefits + I can't decide between a i7 930 or i7 870} well in particular that tests BOTH CPU/GPU - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3DMark

    I think somewhere there has been confusion between folklore and bitter reality.

    "My bias," we all clearly have them, is in 2/3/4/4+PhysX arena of which 3/4/4+ you'd make a fool out of yourself arguing anything than X58. For the OP "Future Investment" either purchase 1 great GPU or 2 mid GPUs and later add a third when prices drop, and instead look at the + $16 i7-950 vs the i7-930.

    Last, regarding "tests" and CPU 3D Mark Vantage easily I can explain the disparity some people {T/H} guilty too of pushing a CPU to the point of failure to achieve a result. Futher, some use Liquid Nitrogen to cool the CPU/GPUs, that's why you need to "LOOK" at the list; hence the link. Bottlenecks - anything slower than the fastest part {CPU, GPU, MOBO, DDR} is indeed a bottleneck on some level. On my Gaming rig, I mention "Profiles" - I don't leave it always running @ 4.6 GHz, I have others all the way down to "stock." However, with Koolance I sometimes leave it at 4.6 GHz for a week.

    Hope this helps!

    X58 Gaming Benefits - Improved bandwidth of CPU/GPU/DDR3 Tri/Hexa-Channel, over all architecture {reduced/eliminated USB3/SATA3 bottlenecks}, PCIe lanes speeds X16 {2X 16X} with 8X minimums through 4-WAY, faster CPU support. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X58 & http://www.intel.com/products/desktop/chipsets/x58/x58-overview.htm
  15. I think a big reason that i7 has such a higher score (btw, I couldn't find the actual info showing these results in your links) is due to the CPU score being much higher. A hyperthreaded quad core will obviously be much faster at computing than a regular quad core, but when it comes to gaming it isn't going to matter a whole lot.

    I pulled off 30k GPU score on a pair of 5850s with an i5 750 at 175 base clock with turbo (~3.6ghz on 4 threads).



    At 4ghz my CPU score when up 2k. Note that my GPU is OCed with a little less RAM speed, hence why the GPU score dropped a bit.



    And like I said before, i7 870 isn't a very good price/performance buy for gaming. It's only benefit over the 750 is hyperthreading, which means for file compression, video encoding and that sort of thing it's better.

    As for X58, I think jaquith did a pretty good job of summing it up in his last post... yeah, it has a few advantages but it's not really worth the premium, unless you want to arrange your budget to have, oh, a single GTX 460 or something and maybe when you save up a few hundred more you can consider SLI. But for a complete build now, better off with P55.
  16. @jaquith
    Your post is a little confusing, I had to read it a few times to figure out what you were trying to say. I think I get what your saying, though I would recommend the X58 for more than 2 cards, obviously. I've seen P55 actually decrease the performance when adding another card.

    Are you not quoting the GPU scores for the CPU+GPU? That is what I was assuming as I don't see much point in quoting the overall score when your trying to compare gaming performance not system performance. If your quoting the overall score then that makes more sense. I think I've confused myself :(.
  17. I "personally" cannot wrap my mind around going one step backwards to a P55. This same argument always gets proved X58.

    Configuration ~ $1,600
    CPU: i7-950 3.06 GHz
    FAN: Corsair H50 liquid cooling
    *HDD1: 128 GB Corsair Nova Series V128 SSD
    *HDD2: Hitachi 1TB SATA2 3.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
    DDR3: Corsair Dominator 6GB (2GBx3) DDR3/1600MHz
    MOBO: ASUS P6X58D-E Intel ; 3-WAY SLI/CF, USB 3, SATA3
    VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB
    CAS: * CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced Mid-Tower
    DVD 1: ASUS BR-04B2T 4X Blu-Ray Player
    DVD 2: LG 22X DL DVD±/±RW
    PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850TX 80 Plus

    Regarding any of the Futuremark scores, all I know is one popped-out at me it's a copy/paste - play with the links. If something "really" stands out then more than likely some crazy Liquid Nitrogen rig.

    Games are progressively more "Core centric" but I'd be a fool to say tomorrow most of the games will run better on 4 or 6 cores. I don't stop my OC at the CPU, and put a lot of emphasis on OC the GPU.

    * You can save a TON of money {~$360} using one (1) HHD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148591&cm_re=hybrid_hard_drive-_-22-148-591-_-Product {32 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD}
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