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Help choosing between refurb i7 920 vs new i7 860

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April 4, 2010 7:57:09 PM

I have a WEIRD comparison, but bear with me. I want to upgrade to Core i7. Some people like the i7 860 and some people like the i7 920.

I LIKE the idea of the 920, because the MB is more advanced and it can handle more RAM (from my basic understanding)

I'm thinking of picking up this:
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?...-R&cat=SYS

Or this:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=87252...

If I went for the i7 920 refurb, I'd sell the GTX 260 (I have a HD 5870) and will have spent ~$550 for i7 920, 9gb RAM, and MB. I'd throw all of this in my existing P180 case along with my 620watt PSU.
PROS: marginally better processor, better upgrade route, 5 more gigs of RAM
CONS: refurb = less warranty and questionable quality, more money

If I went with this deal, I'd still need to buy RAM. Best deals I can find right now on RAM is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Pro...6820231277
with decent reviews.

260+105 = $365
PROS: new = great warranty + return/refundablity, less money
CONS: 5 gigs less RAM, MIR, tax (on the MB+CPU)

What do you guys think?

EDIT:
I'm running an EVGA nvidia 680i MB with an e6600. I like to game and my CPU is bottlenecking my new GPU. Should I just up to the q6600 for ~$150? I'm leery of purchasing processors off of ebay....
April 4, 2010 8:16:39 PM

I'd do something else with the $550. You already have the 5870, case, PSU, hard drive, etc...

You want to spend $550 for a CPU, mobo, and RAM? And you have gaming in mind. There are cheaper platforms that can oush out faster framerates than the i7 920. The 920 and it's 8 threads is nice but 90% of games aren't fully maxing out 4 cores let alone 8 threads.

What size monitor are you using?
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April 4, 2010 8:20:58 PM

I'm running a 37" Westinghouse 1080p monitor.

Some folks have said, in other forums, to just get the Phenom II X4 995 black and MB for ~$225, which is also an option, but I've heard the phenoms run hotter than they should

I'm really open to just about any good deal and hopefully I'm trying to futureproof, too.
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April 4, 2010 8:34:06 PM

Phenom IIs don't run hotter than they should. If I were you, I'd either go the 955 route or the 860 route. You most likely won't be able to tell the difference between 4GB of RAM and 9GB (How would that work out anyway? 2x 4GB + 1GB? 3x 3GB? :??:  ). And by the time you want to upgrade your 920, Intel will have a whole new set of platforms, so you might as well save $200 now and take the ~5-10% performance hit. Or, if you go AM3, you have the upgrade option of hexa-core CPUs.
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April 4, 2010 8:34:43 PM

You can wait for a few weeks and get an AMD X6 Thuban. More RAM won't help you very much in gaming.
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April 4, 2010 8:58:47 PM

mosox said:
You can wait for a few weeks and get an AMD X6 Thuban. More RAM won't help you very much in gaming.


That's definitely something to keep in mind, about the x6 processors. Any idea what price point those are coming in at?

I also do audio recording / editing. That's mostly eating up my CPU, but it eats the memory too. At this point, 9gb of RAM is probably overkill. :D 

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April 4, 2010 9:38:47 PM

What what?? My X4 955 BE MBOX C3 stepping runs very cool at 3.8 Ghz, 35 C idle.

I'm pretty sure my next CPU iwill be AMD's new hexacore.

Your 5870 won't even break a sweat on your monitor's native resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Overclock your E6600 to 3 Ghz and that's about how fast a i7 920 will push put framerates on your monitor. If yourhappy with the framerate after the overclock, then consider using the cash for Eyefinity with 3 huge monitors! Now that's gaming!



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April 4, 2010 9:57:15 PM

hundredislandsboy said:

Your 5870 won't even break a sweat on your monitor's native resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Overclock your E6600 to 3 Ghz and that's about how fast a i7 920 will push put framerates on your monitor. If yourhappy with the framerate after the overclock, then consider using the cash for Eyefinity with 3 huge monitors! Now that's gaming!


I wish this were true. I'm already OC'd to 3.3ghz. I've got major slowdowns in GTA4 and things are not running as fast as they should in general... My 8800GTX ran GTA4 better.

The rig is just acting kind of slow. I'm running Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials, and Skype in the background. I've got 4gb of RAM at the moment. There might be a RAM issue... I've got 2x1GB Buffalo Firestix and 2x1GB Crucial Ballistix.

The OC is Linked and Synced with the FSB at 1500 and the RAM at 750

I used memtest86+ 4.00 and got errors. I tested each stick individually and got NO errors. Then, I re-configured the order in which they RAM is seated and only got 1 error after 9 hours.

I might have to post a question about this in the Memory forum, since this doesn't seem to be the place for it. But, possible memory / MB issues / CPU bottleneck issues is why I'm considering the upgrade.
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Best solution

April 5, 2010 12:41:53 AM

I use an Asus 750i P5N-D and it takes tweaking to overlclock it just right.

Why linked" I've never had success using linked.
Then I guess it's not true but only on your system. Buy a second hard drive and don't put anything on it other than a clean install, drivers, and games. Boof off that for gaming and you'll see the difference. 2 pairs/sets of different RAM might be a problem. Trade them in for a 2X2 Gig dual channel kit.


Before you jump into a major upgrade just to have smooth framerates on GTA4, consider the possibility you already have all the hardware now to rock that game!

No wonder your system gets sluggish. Why not turn off all the background tasks while you're gaming and see if that helps?

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April 5, 2010 12:58:58 AM

Couldn't you get a C2Q that would fit in your current mobo? That would save you a lot of money that you could save for a couple years for when your going to want an all-new computer.

Also, I know a C2Q would be fine for GTA IV, since I have a Q6700 and only an HD 4670 and can still play GTA IV pretty well (with fairly low settings obviously) so with your gfx card and a C2Q, you should be fine, especially if you OC it.
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April 5, 2010 1:27:51 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
I use an Asus 750i P5N-D and it takes tweaking to overlclock it just right.

Why linked" I've never had success using linked.
Then I guess it's not true but only on your system. Buy a second hard drive and don't put anything on it other than a clean install, drivers, and games. Boof off that for gaming and you'll see the difference. 2 pairs/sets of different RAM might be a problem. Trade them in for a 2X2 Gig dual channel kit.


Before you jump into a major upgrade just to have smooth framerates on GTA4, consider the possibility you already have all the hardware now to rock that game!

No wonder your system gets sluggish. Why not turn off all the background tasks while you're gaming and see if that helps?


I like your suggestions. I will try an unsynced OC and see how it runs. Any suggestions for a good system benchmark? What's the standard?

I'll also unload my ram and get a set of 2gbx2 if the volt increase doesn't help performance and stability.

I MIGHT wipe one of my drives and install a dedicated game OS. What do you recommend: xp or win7?
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April 5, 2010 1:35:01 AM

DraconianGamer said:
Couldn't you get a C2Q that would fit in your current mobo? That would save you a lot of money that you could save for a couple years for when your going to want an all-new computer.

Also, I know a C2Q would be fine for GTA IV, since I have a Q6700 and only an HD 4670 and can still play GTA IV pretty well (with fairly low settings obviously) so with your gfx card and a C2Q, you should be fine, especially if you OC it.


I like that suggestion and have looked into just updating the processor.
c2q q6600 is about $150 on eBay. I can get an i7 860 and mobo at Frys for $260 this next week.... So if I'm going to spend up to $150, I'm going to spend the extra $110 and get the brand new tech.

Still not sure why the c2d e6600 and 5870 is having so much trouble. Will try some of the suggestions mentioned in this thread

... Although, the 680i overclock guides I've seen say to go linked
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April 5, 2010 1:45:23 AM

Well if you aren't going to grab a C2Q, then i'd go with the 920. Makes more sense in the long run, as next time you upgrade you should be able to use your current mobo instead of having to upgrade.

Oh, and part of the problem may be the fact that you only have 2GB of ram, that really isn't enough mate.
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April 5, 2010 2:30:37 AM

DraconianGamer said:
Well if you aren't going to grab a C2Q, then i'd go with the 920. Makes more sense in the long run, as next time you upgrade you should be able to use your current mobo instead of having to upgrade.

Oh, and part of the problem may be the fact that you only have 2GB of ram, that really isn't enough mate.


thanks for the advice. I wish I could afford a new one with a good mb and 6gb ram.

Btw, I have 4gb of RAM ... Just two different brands
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April 5, 2010 2:32:16 AM

diznanl said:
thanks for the advice. I wish I could afford a new one with a good mb and 6gb ram.

Btw, I have 4gb of RAM ... Just two different brands


Heh, didn't notice that ^.^

In regards to the referb, you really shouldn't have much of a problem (if its from a reliable source). I'd say 90% of the stuff I own is used (computer, monitors, keyboard, TV, Xbox 360, etc etc) or refurbed, and I've had very few problems.
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April 5, 2010 8:44:35 AM

diznanl said:
I like your suggestions. I will try an unsynced OC and see how it runs. Any suggestions for a good system benchmark? What's the standard?

I'll also unload my ram and get a set of 2gbx2 if the volt increase doesn't help performance and stability.

I MIGHT wipe one of my drives and install a dedicated game OS. What do you recommend: xp or win7?


If your games support DX 10 or DX 11, use Win 7.


Once you are up and stable, Futuremark Vantage, 3DMark06 are the ones I use to check my videocard and to compare the results to others who use the same videocard but with faster processors.


Too much voltage to the RAM, even a difference of .05 could the threshold to instability. I found this out on my P5N-D when OC'ing DDR 800 RAM.


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April 13, 2010 6:32:02 AM

Best answer selected by r_manic.
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