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I5 or i7?

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a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2010 8:20:44 PM

hi guys im buiding for a friend, he wants an intel build and does not want to move over to amd, he has 4gb gskill RAM and some rosewill psu already (yes i know rosewill is not good) all he needs is a case, motherboard, cpu and hdd and gpu, he said that it needs to last him about 5-6 years, now is where the problem comes in, should he go for an i7 930 (because lga 1366 will have a better upgrade path than lga 1156) he will be going for a gigabyte x58 ud3r mobo if he goes for the i7 he said that he cant afford more ram if he goes for the i7 so he wont be able to put it in tri channel, but he could get some more at the end of the year, or does he go for the i5 760 and a p55a ud4p mobo and have less of an upgrade path but spends a bit less, he will be using the pc for gaming mostly and will be getting a 5850 gpu, but he needs something to last him so what do you you think i should put together for him?

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August 24, 2010 9:42:33 PM

Depending on cash flow - i5 is cheaper and performs very well. owever money no object then the i7 is a better bet for the time being.

Now the downside... bot tht i5 & i7 will serve him well for years to come, but Intel being the cash whore that it is has two new cpu sockets coming soon t oreplace the current LGA1156 & LGA1366 - this sint to say they will be a massive increase on performance over the current chips / sockets - but it wil mean that sooner rather than later there wil be no new CPU's for the older socket.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 24, 2010 10:56:28 PM

It doesnt matter what you buy, 5 years is all anyone should expect from a PC. I dont see the gaming software industry advancing so fast in the next 4 years that an i5 will become obsolete. Gaming companies are still are mostly doing DX9; DX 11 will likely just becoming a "must have" by then. An i5 and a 5850 should be a good gaming system even then.
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a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 12:13:34 AM

Either cpu will work. His gaming will be limited by the graphics card, not the cpu.

I happen to think that 6gb which is the norm with a i7-930 is a very good size.
If you can get to a microcenter, they will sell you a i7-930 for $199.

Any upgrade in the next few years will more likely be to the graphics card, or a SSD, not the cpu.
August 25, 2010 12:29:18 AM

if he is that concerned about money he really should be looking at an AMD Athlon II based system (x3 or x4), and definitely get a different PSU
a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 4:14:52 AM

thanks but wont getting a x58 motherboard be better as it has 2 x16 slots and he will crossfire in the future, or will the x16 slots not make such a difference over the x8 slots
a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 4:16:37 AM

geofelt said:
Either cpu will work. His gaming will be limited by the graphics card, not the cpu.

I happen to think that 6gb which is the norm with a i7-930 is a very good size.
If you can get to a microcenter, they will sell you a i7-930 for $199.

Any upgrade in the next few years will more likely be to the graphics card, or a SSD, not the cpu.


yes you have a point there
a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 4:17:49 AM

but say in 5 years he gets a new gpu, do you think that the i5 will bottleneck the gpu?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 5:08:31 AM

gordon_81 said:
but say in 5 years he gets a new gpu, do you think that the i5 will bottleneck the gpu?


Not likely in my opinion. The i5 760 will overclock to about the same level as the 930. ...very easily. The 930 will have 4 extra hyperthreads which are about the equivalent of one extra core. But only if you forsee some heavily cpu bound AND threaded for more than four cores might a 930 be better. An example is FSX. The difference between x8/x8 and x16/x16 in graphics performance is very small, and only apparent when you are using top end cards. Perhaps a 1-3% difference in fps.

In 5 years, I think the most likely upgrade will be to a second or higher resolution monitor necessitating more graphics, not cpu.

Who knows, I was wrong once.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 1:46:30 PM

so do you think he should go with the i5 build?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 2:53:07 PM

gordon_81 said:
so do you think he should go with the i5 build?


Yes, unless he can get a microcenter 930 for $199.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 25, 2010 3:37:36 PM

geofelt said:
Yes, unless he can get a microcenter 930 for $199.

If objective is to have the most cost effective gaming computer then yes, get an i5 760. I think they are also cheaper at microcenter so check prices there if you are near one.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 6:29:14 AM

i live in South Africa... so i dont have access to microcenter, i wish i did as parts here are more expensive, only if newegg shipped to South Africa :( 
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 10:16:53 AM

ok so this is what he can do, he can go for the i5 760 build and then he can afford a better bigger case (the gigabyte isolo 210) if he goes for the i7 build he has to stay with 4gb of ram and get a worse case (the gigabyte x7) he will be overclocking and wants to buy an aftermarket cpu cooler, i chose those two cases as i can get them for very cheap, the x7 for R200 and the isolo for R500, so what do you think i should get him?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 10:42:32 AM

oh he could also get an i5 760 system and downgrade his mobo to a p55a ud3 and then get a 5870 and an x7 case, for around the same price but then he wont be able to crossfire in the future is that a better option is it worth it?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 2:31:04 PM

The size of the case is not very important so long as it will hold all the components. Most will. If you will use a strong graphics card(and you should for gaming), then ventilation is much more important. It should have at least one front 120mm intake fan, and one 120mm output rear fan. It is much better if there are two 120mm intake fans or aa 140mm intake fan and omething similar at the rear or top for exhaust. Most cases will function well enough, but cases are a personal thing. They are what you see and touch every day. Don't skimp there if you can avoid it. Have your friend look at several, in person if possible, and tell you which appeals to him.

If you have access to antec cases, look at the Antec 200 or 300 cases. They have very good ventilation and are cheap in the US.


He will have a better balanced system with the i5-760 and a strong graphics card such as the GTX460, 5850 or 5870. I would not spend much on preparing for a crossfire upgrade( stronger psu, and multi pci-e slot mobo). The most likely future upgrade will be to sell the current card and replace it with the next best thing. If the next best thing has not yet launched, the current 5970 will run anything we know about today. And, the i5-760 will drive it well.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 3:38:34 PM

yes but when i was talking about case size i was hoping the case could fit a noctua nh-d14 cpu cooler as it is huge and in some cases it will not fit
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
August 26, 2010 11:26:25 PM

gordon_81 said:
yes but when i was talking about case size i was hoping the case could fit a noctua nh-d14 cpu cooler as it is huge and in some cases it will not fit


Most cases are about the same width. There is nothing special about the height of the dh-14.
It should fit in a antec 300 or other cases without a side fan that intrudes.
You can google dh-14 and your prospective case to be certain.
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2044788
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