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I5 or i7 build for ATI 5970 eyefinity gaming

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November 26, 2010 3:36:32 AM

Hi all,

Seeking advise on a new build. I am experiencing some wierd problems on my PC which I believe a replacement motherboard/cpu/ram will rectify. I currently possess a Radeon 5970 2GB graphics card and I am trying to make the decision between an i7 and an i5 build.

I typically game at 1680x1050 or 3x at 5040x1050 (eyefinity)

I have gotten down to two possibilities:

i5

CPU: Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz $175
RAM: G.SKILL PI+ Turbulence 4GB (2 x 2GB) 2133 7 cas $135
MOBO: MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard $160

$470 total.

i7

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 3.06GHz LGA 1366 $280
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 $130
MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gbs USB 3.0 $165

Total $575

As you can see there is only $105 bucks difference as as I understand it that 105 bucks delivers around 5-10% boost depending on the game when playing at high resolutions.

I also have caught word of a local store selling the i7 950 at just $199.99 so I might try and pick that up sweetening the i7 deal.

Does anyone out there have any advise on changes to the above builds and which would be better for my needs? (Gaming, Eyefinity)

Any advise would be thoroughly appreciated.
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November 26, 2010 4:44:10 AM

Hi markilleruk, Welcome to THW.

If you can get the i7-950 at $200, then hands down build that system, you will have the advantages of tripple channel memory and the increase in horse power of the i7-950 even though niether are large improvements, with a 5970 already in hand, I would say go for the best. With a price difference of $25, that is the choice I would make, no doubt.

Also the Sabertooth is a much ncer board than the MSI IMHO, along with the fact that everything I have read about RAM speeds oover 1600MHz is that is unessasary unless you want to push your CPU to its OC limits. RAM speeds really only provide a difference less than ~5% between them all, the best thing you can do is get lower latency and/or voltage to keep the on-chip memory controller nice and happy. :) 
a b à CPUs
November 26, 2010 4:50:07 AM

Where in the world do you buy an i7 950 for that price!!!!!
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November 26, 2010 5:14:52 AM

Micro Center
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November 26, 2010 6:41:50 AM

The i5-760 and i7-950 will perform extremely similar in games. The 3 chan ram performance increase in games isn't $100 significant IMO.

MicroCenter should have some good deals on quite a few Intel CPUs if you live near one (in-store price only) definitely check them out.

Good luck!
November 26, 2010 4:06:30 PM

off to micros center shortly. Is it true that the i7 platform will one day host the i9 processors? Does that mean I could potentially upgrade in the future for a significant boost (something I couldn't do with the i5?)

Thanks for the advise all: I may be coming home with a sweet 200 dollar i7 in hand.
November 26, 2010 4:22:19 PM

there will be no i9s.... lga 1366 will soon be dead when intel releases its new cpus, intel are releasing the sandy bridge cpus in january.... i have put a hault on my build as i am waiting for the new cpus and the rest of the hd 6xxx series if i was you i would wait
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November 26, 2010 4:50:09 PM

Raidur said:
The i5-760 and i7-950 will perform extremely similar in games. The 3 chan ram performance increase in games isn't $100 significant IMO.

As I said, and if you look at his price list, the price difference is only $25 between the two if he gets the i7-950 from Micro Center. I think it is well worth $25 for that upgrade.
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November 27, 2010 5:57:39 PM

thechief73 said:
As I said, and if you look at his price list, the price difference is only $25 between the two if he gets the i7-950 from Micro Center. I think it is well worth $25 for that upgrade.


As I said, MC has good deals on quite a few Intel CPUs. :)  I'm pretty sure the i5-760 is one of those few.

I do agree however, if the i5 isn't at MC, the i7 is definitely worth the $25.
!