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Torn Decision: i5 vs i7

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  • New Build
  • Intel i7
  • Intel i5
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
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May 21, 2010 11:21:38 PM

Hi guys and gals. I recently posted a thread about a first time build. With the help of a few of the forum vets, I had pieced together a rather acceptable X4 955 build. But per the suggestion of a friend and some further research, I've gained a good deal of interest in building an Intel based rig. So herein lies my problem, with current specials that are running the prices of components look something like this:

i5 build
i5 750 CPU $180
Asus P7P55D Pro LGA 1156 P55 Mobo $164
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Memory $110
Total:$454

i7 860
i7 860 CPU $200
Asus P7P55D Pro LGA 1156 P55 Mobo $164
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Memory $110
Total:$474

i7 930
i7 930 CPU $200
P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 Mobo $230
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Memory $170
Total: $600

I'd primarily be using it for gaming and watching high def video. As far as I can tell the i7-860 and the i5-750 OC pretty similar, so it seems $20 for hyperthreading support is a no-brainer. As for the 930, the added cost of the build doesn't look all that worth it with current specs. But my question is: is it worth the extra cost to be able to upgrade my rig rather than replace it 3 years down the line? I ask this as it seems the 1156 socket will no longer be given support by Intel and I think I'd rather be able to upgrade a few components rather than replace the whole thing. Also it seems the 1366 chipset would support x16/x16 Xfire, but is that something I'd even need to worry about with a pair of OC'd 5850s? What about a pair of GT480s?

Sorry if this is something you deal with often, but I couldn't seem to find another thread that really addressed the upgrade option down the line.
Thanks in advance for any advice,
Shiffy

More about : torn decision

Best solution

May 22, 2010 1:27:25 AM

You shouldn't go with the 930 if you are just gaming. It has barely any more upgradability then 1156. The x16/x16 on 1366 is not much of an advantage, even with 2 high end graphics cards (HD5870/GTX480) the performance increase is slight. There are really no upgrade options on the 1366 and it will be replaced soon, 2011?

If you want to be able to upgrade to the latest processors 3 years later then go with the AMD build already formulated for you, it will allow easy upgrades.

Conclusion if you are going to get one of those builds then get 1156.
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May 22, 2010 2:03:38 AM

Go with the i7 LGA 1156 build. And the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro instead. If you're using something like an HD 5970 in CrossFireX though, you'd probably want to go with the LGA 1366 build.
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May 22, 2010 8:30:45 AM

Thanks a lot for the input. I was already leaning towards the 1156, and just needed some confirmation I was making the right choice. And thanks Lmeow for pointing out the mobo change. I kind of rushed putting the links together and grabbed the wrong one.

I feel a bit more confident in my purchasing decisions and I think I'm about ready to take the plunge here and get building as soon as classes conclude.

So thanks again!
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May 22, 2010 9:46:50 AM

The 1366 has a lot of advantages though

1: more ram
2: much faster ram
3: 5percent faster gpu's if you xfire or sli
4: Upgradebilty(even though they won't be making any new cpu's the 980x is a worthy upgrade if it gets cheaper in the future.
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May 22, 2010 9:49:25 AM

als you could go with the ga ud3r and save some money if you go with the 1366
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May 22, 2010 11:09:29 AM

@somebody_007

I hardly see your post as true:

1. Yes because everyone needs 12GB of RAM instead of 8GB (2GB modules)
2. How? What Triple Channel? Pffft.
3. I fail to see this as much of an advantage, when you save $150 on a build by going with 1156 you'll have more money to spend on graphics cards certainly making up for a loss in performance if you crossfire later on.
4. I don't see the 980X much if any cheaper in the future as it is an Extreme Edition.

If you want to talk about upgradebility AMD is your option.
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May 22, 2010 11:26:55 AM

1. I meant with the 130dollar mor price config you get more ram 6gb instead of 4

2.Yes tripple channel is significantly faster than dual channel

3. 5percent isn't a lot but it is something

4. As soon as the 980x stops being produceds it will definately get cheaper just as the 920 did

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May 22, 2010 12:41:01 PM

1. Ok fair enough, but still 4GB is enough memory for gaming.

2. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehal...

3. It isn't something you would pay $150 for the chance you might Crossfire and get your nice 5% increase in performance.

4. I doubt it will get a lot cheaper as it is an Extreme Edition. I'd say it will hold its price for a long time.
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May 23, 2010 6:59:12 AM

@somebody_007
Thanks for the added input. While I can see where the LGA 1366 would have some advantages, I'm thinking that at this point the diminishing return on investment makes the choice for me. To be honest, the i7 LGA 1156 build will probably end up being overkill for a lot of what I'll do, but my B-day's coming up so I thought I'd splurge a little bit.
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May 23, 2010 7:02:00 AM

Best answer selected by Shiffy.
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May 23, 2010 4:15:33 PM

I'm not by any means saying you should take the 1366 I was just showing that it wasn't overly expensive for what it is.

And i7 860 is the way to go IMO its only 20dollars more than i5 and performs much better
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May 23, 2010 10:27:41 PM

Yes we know what you wanted to do...It's always good to have input. =]

860 certainly is the way to go for only $20 more than the 750. Thanks for best answer. Regular! =]
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