The i7 930 (130w) clearly got the vote over the i7 920. I did some further research and i came across the i7 860 (95w) which is apparently newer and cooler! the 930 and the 860 re both similarly priced. So which one shall I get?
I recently was faced with the same decision. I went with the 860, as dual GPUs weren't going to be in my future. I know a lot of enthusiasts here prefer going x58, but unless you're absolutely in need of triple channel memory or multi-GPU configurations then you'll be just fine with the 860.
May be you don't know that both are from different platforms.. The i7 930 is an LGA 1366 CPU which fits in a X58 chipset motherboard whereas the i7 860 is an LGA 1156 CPU which fits in a P55 chipset motherboard.. The X58 chipset configurations are generally more costlier as compared to a P55 config.. If you plan to employ a single graphic card rig then the P55 solution makes more sense.. But if you plan to do many CPU intensive tasks such as 3D modelling/rendering, video/audio transcoding and conversion etc..etc.., then a X58 platform is the way to go..
P.S. : The 130W and the 95W figures represent the TDP levels of the respective processors.. It doesn't relates to the temperature levels ( since you mentioned the word cooler ) ...
Does anybody know whether the i7 860 is newer or more advanced than the i7 930?
The i7 860 belongs to the Lynnfield series, whereas i7 930 is a Bloomfield. Lynnfield is newer than Bloomfield, but not necessarily more advanced. In fact Lynnfield can be viewed as a more mainstream version of the Nehalem architecture that drops in cheaper motherboards and consumes less power than Bloomfield.
Performance wise, both perform about the same with the 860 being faster in lightly threaded applications and the 930 being faster in memory bandwidth intensive situations.
Advantages of the i7 930:
-Higher memory bandwidth (due to the triple channel memory controller).
-Better performance with ultra high end graphics cards when used in SLI/Crossfire (somewhat theoretical advantage).
Advantages of the i7 860:
-Drops in cheaper motherboards.
-Higher turbo frequencies (higher performance in single and dual threaded applications).
-Lower power consumption.
So, all in all, you cannot go wrong with either but I think that the i7 860 is a better option unless you want to install to or more ultra high end graphics cards (such as 2 HD 5970s in CrossfireX).