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I7 920 or i7860

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  • New Build
  • Intel i7
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
June 12, 2010 4:56:22 AM

Just wondering what the difference are?

My brother plays a lot of games and wants to update his core 2 duo rig to an i7 but doesnt have a lot of money to spend and I got totaled up the 860, 4gb ddr3 1600 ram and a nice asus mobo and it was like $530. To go with the 920, it was like $140 more..... We thought about spending the extra $$ and going with the 1366 but thought he could take $40 of that, get a good cpu cooler and take the other $100 and either get another 4gb of ram and run 8gb or put it towards a better mobo that will run sli so when he gets enough to buy another gtx 285, he can sli them.


But anyways, I was just curious if he'd notice a difference in gaming with a 860 over a 920

More about : 920 i7860

June 12, 2010 5:06:01 AM

Well overall going the 1366 will usually end up costing more. However sticking with 1156 so you can get 8GB of ram is the worst reason. For gaming, more than 4GB is not needed. If you go 1366, 6GB will be your default choice and will be more than sufficient. In addition, show me the parts you have picked out and tell me a budget range. I am sure based on a budget I can recommend very good parts for a good price.
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June 12, 2010 5:13:27 AM

Did you price the Core i5-750 also?

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June 12, 2010 5:21:53 AM

^2nd that, i5-750 is a big candidate to consider.
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June 12, 2010 5:38:34 AM

We are wanting to stay around $500.. All we need is a cpu, ram and mobo.

He'll be using my old gtx 285, corsair 650tx, 640gb hd and case.
I havent priced an i5, are they good for gaming?
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June 12, 2010 5:49:05 AM

To answer your question:

The difference between the i7-860 and the i7-920 is mostly based on their respective chipsets. The 920 runs on the X58 platform where as the 860 runs on P55.

The 860 has more aggressive Turbo Boost, Runs at a stock 2.8mhz maxing at 3.46. The 920 runs at 2.66mhz maxing at 3.06mhz. This is stock speeds only and has little bearing if you overclock. Both cpus are capable of 4.0+ overclocks on air, 3.6-3.8 easily. When both running at the same overclocked speeds there will be virtually no identifiable difference between them.

860 runs at 95w tdp, 920 135w tdp. This allows the 860 to run with less draw, less heat, makes it mildly easier to overclock.

Now the differences in the platforms:

X58 - supports Hexacore (6 core) processors. Has 40 pcie lanes. Runs off of QPI (northbridge) that allows up to 6.4 GT/s. Runs triple channel memory.

P55 - no announced future support. Only has 16 pcie lanes. Runs off DMI (no northbridge, direct link) running at 2.5 GT/s. Runs dual channel memory.

X58 sounds like a clear winner right? Benchmarks don't reflect this. For all of its glamor the X58 just doesn't seem able to pull away from P55. Much of this is due to the QPI vs DMI interface. QPI is a separate bus that creates additional latency, where as DMI is a direct link that allows data to travel directly to and from the cpu.

X58 does take the advantage in multiple gpu settings due to its increase in pcie lanes. The advantage however is marginal (2-3pct). P55 actually outperforms X58 in single card setups (again marginally) due to DMI.

At the end of the day, flip a coin. The two are so similar that if you had a blind test of two pc's one next to the other running each nobody would be able to differentiate.

i5-750 is excellent for gaming. It's a quadcore that lacks hyperthreading. It overclocks exceptionally well (stay away from the i5-750s model, it's a gimped version for low power draw).
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June 12, 2010 5:53:06 AM

the i7 860 is faster then the 920( just check any benchmarks) and for the price you say I'd go 860 with the extra $$ for 8 gb of ram or take the $$ and buy a better graphics card like a 5850 or 5870 !!
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June 12, 2010 6:26:41 AM

I just put a i5 750, 4gb of G.Skill Ripjaws, Asus Sabertooth 55i mobo and a masscool cpu cooler, and it's $506

Not bad at all.
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June 12, 2010 6:33:05 AM

a4mula said:
To answer your question:

The difference between the i7-860 and the i7-920 is mostly based on their respective chipsets. The 920 runs on the X58 platform where as the 860 runs on P55.

The 860 has more aggressive Turbo Boost, Runs at a stock 2.8mhz maxing at 3.46. The 920 runs at 2.66mhz maxing at 3.06mhz. This is stock speeds only and has little bearing if you overclock. Both cpus are capable of 4.0+ overclocks on air, 3.6-3.8 easily. When both running at the same overclocked speeds there will be virtually no identifiable difference between them.

860 runs at 95w tdp, 920 135w tdp. This allows the 860 to run with less draw, less heat, makes it mildly easier to overclock.

Now the differences in the platforms:

X58 - supports Hexacore (6 core) processors. Has 40 pcie lanes. Runs off of QPI (northbridge) that allows up to 6.4 GT/s. Runs triple channel memory.

P55 - no announced future support. Only has 16 pcie lanes. Runs off DMI (no northbridge, direct link) running at 2.5 GT/s. Runs dual channel memory.

X58 sounds like a clear winner right? Benchmarks don't reflect this. For all of its glamor the X58 just doesn't seem able to pull away from P55. Much of this is due to the QPI vs DMI interface. QPI is a separate bus that creates additional latency, where as DMI is a direct link that allows data to travel directly to and from the cpu.

X58 does take the advantage in multiple gpu settings due to its increase in pcie lanes. The advantage however is marginal (2-3pct). P55 actually outperforms X58 in single card setups (again marginally) due to DMI.

At the end of the day, flip a coin. The two are so similar that if you had a blind test of two pc's one next to the other running each nobody would be able to differentiate.

i5-750 is excellent for gaming. It's a quadcore that lacks hyperthreading. It overclocks exceptionally well (stay away from the i5-750s model, it's a gimped version for low power draw).


Your last line confused me, a lot lol. I dont understand it.

and Thanks for this reply, it helped a lot!
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Best solution

June 12, 2010 6:49:58 AM

Beitzel15 said:
Your last line confused me, a lot lol. I dont understand it.

and Thanks for this reply, it helped a lot!


Think of it this way...

i5-750 = i7 860 without hyperthreading.

The both have 4 physical cores. The 860 has 4 virtual cores giving it a total of 8 cores. The 750 does not have the virtual cores.

From the sounds of it the 750 is half the processor the 860 is, but in reality very few programs actually use more than one core, let alone 8! Games in particular are notorious for only using a single (sometimes 2) core(s).

At the end of the day the i5-750 is about $100 less expensive than the 860/920. While it doesn't perform as well in software that utilizes more than 4 cores (very few, all productivity, CS4 Photoshop ect), it performs equally if not better in games.

The reason it can perform better is the same reason it's cheaper than the 860/920. There is a benefit to lacking Hyperthreading. It allows for a higher natural overclock. Hyperthreading is a fairly cpu intensive process that comes with a price of additional heat and cycles. You can disable HT on the 860/920.... but then all you have is an i5-750.

The i5-750S on the other hand is a very poorly named cpu that Intel introduced. While it is an i5-750, it's one that has had its thermal design power (tdp) reduced significantly for use in mobile products and HTPCs. It's not intended for gaming or general purpose computing.
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June 12, 2010 7:19:07 AM

Best answer selected by beitzel15.
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