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Worried my i7 920 is useless.

Last response: in CPUs
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July 29, 2010 1:22:50 AM

Hey, I have just spent a little over 2000$ on a Dell XPS 9000 studio rig, that arrives tomorrow. I have spent MANY hours over the last week reading up on cpu's, video cards, overclocking, bottlenecking, and i would say i on a scale of 1 to 10 my computer understanding is up from a 2 to a 6. I managed to luck out by putting together a decent computer at a seemingly good price for someone who isnt yet able to build. The details are:

Studio XPS 9000
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Studio XPS 9000 Intel® Core™ i7-920 processor(8MB L3 Cache, 2.66GHz
12GB Tri-Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1066MHz (excessive i now realize)
1TB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
ATI Radeon hd5870
24" 1920x1080p flat screen
3 year warranty

The computer is alrite, but its now clear that i couldve ended up with a better computer for much less. That never bothered me because I was under the impression that with some overclocking this could be easily upgraded once with a new videocard and PSU (from 475w to 750w) and new higher clocked ram which would let me game with confidence for the next 2-3 years.

I just got off the phone with a Dell tech support rep who said that the computer was not compatible with overclocking and I suspect they somehow locked this out in the mobo, probly custom built to not allow overclocking. It does allow for the insignificant turbo boost.

What I really want to know is how badly will the i7 920 2.66 bottleneck a 5970 or more likely a 6000 series ATI card 1-2 years down. I have searched this site as well as others for litterally dozens of hours in the last week, and have not ended up without a definitive answer. Alot of benchmarks that i have looked at would indicate that I might not be in bad shape, but from reading comments, people go as far to claim that i7 920's stock bottleneck 5870's, contrarily I have read that bottlenecking is exaggerated and that i7 920 stock should be able to handle everything thrown at it for a while. Also, would Quad-Core supported games with this clock speed bottleneck less as they are able to distribute proccessing power amongst the cores, or is clock speed the definite stat when it comes to bottlencking GPU's.

Could anyone Please shed some light on this, because if I have to go through the headaches of returning the computer, the quicker I act the better. Im kinda miserable about this whole situation and pissed that dell casually forgot to mention this. I was so pumped about getting a new comp i thought was a beast, and now I feel confused and dissapointed.

- Edit: I should add that I accept some bottlenecking is inevitable with the i7 920@2.66 but if the performance increase is noticable, like maybe 80% - 90% of max i would be happy with that, providing it outperforms the 5870 ive got in there atm.

More about : worried 920 useless

a b à CPUs
July 29, 2010 1:34:06 AM

You'll be fine :) 
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a b à CPUs
July 29, 2010 1:34:57 AM

Dude, you'll be fine, you should have learned to have build it by buying the parts yourself and building it. Its easy, it just takes common sense. Anyways back to your question, no there will be no real bottleneck, although it would have been nice to have a faster cpu.
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July 29, 2010 1:36:03 AM

You should have 1333mhz or higher ram for i7. overclocking is down to bios.
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July 29, 2010 1:51:51 AM

Zidane86 said:

What I really want to know is how badly will the i7 920 2.66 bottleneck a 5970 or more likely a 6000 series ATI card 1-2 years down.


Plenty on this site that know a heckuvalot more than I do - re: these things - but I would be doubtful that the Core i7 920 would bottleneck your Gaming. You might get anothher frame or 3 out of an overclock - but your GPU is a much bigger factor than the CPU. The 1366 socket allows you more open lanes of Pciex16 than the i7 800 series - so you can sli 2 or 3 cards pretty easily.

Quote:
Also, would Quad-Core supported games with this clock speed bottleneck less as they are able to distribute proccessing power amongst the cores, or is clock speed the definite stat when it comes to bottlencking GPU's.


Conceptually - yes - 4 cores work more effectively than dual or single core s- b/c they spread the workload around to the 4 cores ( 8 threads with your i7 ). Newer games and applications are coded to take advantage of extra cores - and the multi-core Hardware available today - Older games won't take advantage of it.

Quote:
Could anyone Please shed some light on this, because if I have to go through the headaches of returning the computer, the quicker I act the better. Im kinda miserable about this whole situation and pissed that dell casually forgot to mention this. I was so pumped about getting a new comp i thought was a beast, and now I feel confused and dissapointed.


Pretty much any big box PC maker < dell, HP, etc > will lock the BIOS - so they can warranty the machine for the end user. They market to the masses - not the hardcore techies. If you want to control your bios to overclock - you need to build yourself - or find a boutique place that can build a PC for you. If Dell dosn't lock the BIOS - and you want to crank your PC to burn it out - they don't want to pay for somebody to play mad scientist with their system.

- Edit: I should add that I accept some bottlenecking is inevitable with the i7 920@2.66 but if the performance increase is noticable, like maybe 80% - 90% of max i would be happy with that, providing it outperforms the 5870 ive got in there atm. said:
- Edit: I should add that I accept some bottlenecking is inevitable with the i7 920@2.66 but if the performance increase is noticable, like maybe 80% - 90% of max i would be happy with that, providing it outperforms the 5870 ive got in there atm.


I'd be interested to hear what others say on the topic - but my gut says - you'll be fine and that you just paid a heckuva lot more for RAM - than was necessary. I've seen some advertising in Maximum PC where PC builders ( digitalstormonline.com ) - that will overclock a system for you - but I have no idea about them as a company. Other option is to build your own.

Here's a guide of what it consists of < you have to find overclocking info on this site elsewhere >
http://techreport.com/articles.x/13671
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a c 131 à CPUs
July 29, 2010 2:58:18 AM

Well, everyone has pretty much said what I would have said. Just to add, if you are really worried about overclocking, an easy solution is to purchase a 3rd party motherboard from Asus or MSI or Gigabyte etc. For less than $200, you'll replace the limiting Dell motherboard.
But yeah, nothing is holding you back with that CPU for a couple years, more than likely.
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July 29, 2010 10:08:10 PM

Thanks all, good to know. The XPS came in today, im on it right now, pretty fast, but starcraft 2's fps maxed at 1900x1080 during some intense scenes in singleplayer drops to 34, guessing this is the the 2.66 slowing things down. I know sc2 doesnt support Quad Core, but if it did (im thinking the expansions could include it) I'm betting I would see a performance increase of 60%. From what I've seen utilizing multi-cores efficiently (up to 4+) brings greater returns than raw power from clock speed. So I wouldnt say i bought a dying cpu, but using 4 cores in games at 3.6 would be pretty smooth.
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a b à CPUs
July 29, 2010 10:27:46 PM

The i7-920 is an excellent CPU. As for Starcraft, I wouldn't be too surprised if it were actually your graphics causing the limitation, not the CPU, although a CPU limit is possible. Have you monitored your CPU usage during the game to see if it is actually the limiting factor?
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a b à CPUs
July 30, 2010 6:08:32 AM

^ I saw that too, but seeing as the Core i7 920 has 1366 pins and the Q6600 775, which pins would he need to tape?

Dells can't overclock, unfortunately.
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July 30, 2010 12:50:53 PM

You did good. When the price comes down on that 5970, a processor upgrade that will fit the socket will be alot less as well.
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July 30, 2010 1:40:56 PM

u should assemble that computer yourself so that way u could have save a lot of money like 150$ easily.... and the ram is low clocked, u should atleast buy a 1333 mhz or a better 1600 mhz ram... seriously.... procesor is fine...(never buy brabded pc's waste of money... nothing more..)

ignore my english mistakes......lol....
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a c 117 à CPUs
July 30, 2010 2:00:45 PM

Worried my i7 920 is useless

Yeah. It sucks.

Best to cut your losses and dump it.

On behalf of Tom's, I'll take it off your hands.
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