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Help me choose a CPU

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum.

I'm currently trying to figure out what would be the best CPU for me, and i'm really looking for the best possible option, without it being ridiculously expensive like i7 970 or 980x.

My current set up is as follows:

Intel Core i3 530 (happily overclocked to 4,136 GHz at 188x22, 1,328V, 41-46 celsius, air)
4 GB RAM DDR3 Corsair (soon to be 8)
Asus P7P55 LX
ATI Radeon 5770 (soon to be x2 Crossfire)

Some have recommended that I should go for an i7 860, and some to get an i5 and overclock it, saying its the best buy option, and how you don't really gain too much with i7, how hyperthreading is overrated etc. Some even say that I would be able to overclock i5 much more then i7 while retaining much lower temperature.

On the other hand, I've read elsewhere that in order to have a mulit gpu system, you shouldn't really go for i5. So as you can see I am kinda confused now

I would really appreciate if you could help me come up with the best solution. It doesn't even have to be any of the CPUs I have mentioned.

Thanks!
16 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help choose
  1. Hello and welcome to the forums
    Well,your current CPU is quite fast,so i would recommend upgrading only if you do lots of image/video editing which benefits from a quad core CPU.(i7 860 is a good choice,but if you want to OC,then go with i5 760,its a better overclocker)
    And about multiGPU,well you've heard wrong.P55 chipset is fine for multiGPU setups(along with a fairly powerful CPU).
  2. You've been told wrong, the i5 760 or 750 is a great cpu for a low budget. Plus its VERY OCable. Many people have Oc'd it to like 4.0-4.1 on air. I also agree with Maziar though, I mean unless you heavily play RTS games and MMOs. Because the benefits of a quad would be easily seen if you play RTS/MMOs or Video edits.
  3. I concur with the above - nothing wrong with your CPU (and it'll overclock easily to stupid levels with a good cooler).

    What do you do with your computer? You could look at an i5 760, but there's little point unless you're gonna use the cores.

    The multi-GPU thing is PCI-E lanes, not the CPU. Also, it's not really as bas as extreme gamers make out in the real world.
  4. Hi everyone! Thanks for the replies! Yes, I forgot to mention, I'm a graphic designer, but I also want to play games on this machine.
  5. Best answer
    Depends, what kind of games? Like as I said, RTS and MMOs if you do upgrade to a 760 you'll see improvement. And yes, upgrading to the 750/760 you'll see improvement. I'm a photographer by hobby, and things like Photoshop and such with a quad-core like the 750 will improve performance incredibly from a dual. I also did a few Rhino 3D programming (if that is what graphic design is) and dual cores was real slow so I think a 750 would be a great upgrade.
  6. If you're a graphic designer go quad. i5 760 all the way, and the 4 cores will help with games as aznshinobi said above.
  7. Thanks :) Well, i play RPGs, strategies, adventure games, and occasionally FPS. Not really specific about a genere, I know.

    As for the design, yes I agree, quad would certainly be best option. However, are you certain that some i7 wouldn't be much of a improvement over i5 760? If its about the money, I sure am willing to invest into something that will last. Unless ofcourse its only a minor improvement, or if an overclocked i5 would turn out better then overclocked i7.
  8. It's not. An overclocked i5 760 keeps up with i7's for sure.
  9. i7 860's Hyperthreading advantage in the few instances it makes any tangible difference can be overcome by overclocking the i5 760.

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/191?vs=108

    It's just not worth the extra money.


    Getting an i7 900 series involves changing your motherboard and getting more RAM.
  10. Exactly ^.
  11. Thanks a lot! That really settles it :)

    I have one more question, and its about this dual GPU thing... I just found out that the reason why it was suggested that I should go for i7 is because the P55 is limited to x8/x8 or x16/x4 PCIe slots. Do you also think it would be worth replacing the motherboard to get the best out of the xfire? I can sell it right away, so its not really an issue. I'm just not sure if its worth it.
  12. aznshinobi said:


    Thanks! I'm not sure if it matters, but I have a 5770, not 5870. Also, does this benchmark apply the same when it comes to crossfire?
  13. Yes it won't matter.
  14. Best answer selected by dino986.
  15. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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