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I7 980x vs Sandy Bridge?

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December 1, 2010 2:00:04 AM

This may have been asked but im trying to make sure im reading everything right as iv been really close to building a new machine the last few days before I found out about the sandy bridge cpus coming up.

Iv read the Anandteck article. So what im gathering is that the i7 2600k will be better then a 980x and will be about 1/3 the price? (assuming that price point iv seen mentioned is true.)

Im sorry if some of these are stupid questions my brain is kinda burnt after reading tons of forums and articles the last few days trying to decide what to put into a new machine. If it helps it is a gaming machine and I was ok with the price of the 980x as long as it was the top processor. This is my first attempt at making a monster/top/near top of the line machine.

So I guess the TLDR version is with what we know know will there be a sandy bridge process that closely rivals the 980x at launch (first part of jan?) of the new sandy bridge processors?


Thanks for reading!

More about : 980x sandy bridge

a c 81 à CPUs
December 1, 2010 2:22:43 AM

First of all, you should not be considering the i7 980X for purely gaming purposes.. It would be an utter waste of both the processor's efficiency and your money..
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December 1, 2010 3:19:08 AM

Thank you for the reply!

Which CPU would you recommend? I figured the 980 would give me the longer use before it needed to be replaced to keep games at or near max graphics. I was planning on buying a gtx 580, and possibly SLI'ing them. I thought i read that at that point it was the cpu bottlenecking performance.

My currenty system is Core2 6400 at 2.13ghz, 4g ram and a gts 250 card.
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December 1, 2010 3:34:16 AM

As of now, a hexa-core processor will not really give you a benefit over high-end quads (especially price per performance wise) even with powerful GPUs like the GTX 580 installed; since games arn't heavily threaded enough to make use of the 6 cores...

But if you do want your system to be more future-proof then I'd suggest getting the i7 970 which is still a 6 core processor, but with a lower price tag, and you could overclock that to get very close, if not the same performance to the i7 980X at equal clock speeds.
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December 1, 2010 4:06:00 AM

Thanks for the info. :)  So just as a quick search on newegg a 970 is about 110 bucks cheaper then the 980x. So the extra 110 isnt worth it? Would it make sense to wait for the sandy bridge?

So if I dont need a hexa-core, which processor would be best? Would a i7 960 or 950 last me 3-5 years at max settings in a game?

Thank you to everyone thats been answering and helping, i am sorry if these questions seem stupid lol.
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a c 83 à CPUs
December 1, 2010 4:16:03 AM

You'll see the same performance from an I7 950 as you will an I7 980X in games right now, give or take a couple fps for clock speed differences. This is simply because the games cannot utilize the cores. By the time the 980X shined due to it's additional cores, much better processors will be out any ways.

A I7 950 would be a great processor, and probably would last at least 3 years. Personally I would wait for Sandy Bridge, it's only like 5 more weeks, you'll get better performance.
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December 1, 2010 5:04:16 AM

woody_61 said:
Thanks for the info. :)  So just as a quick search on newegg a 970 is about 110 bucks cheaper then the 980x. So the extra 110 isnt worth it? Would it make sense to wait for the sandy bridge?

So if I dont need a hexa-core, which processor would be best? Would a i7 960 or 950 last me 3-5 years at max settings in a game?

Thank you to everyone thats been answering and helping, i am sorry if these questions seem stupid lol.


I would say the extra 110 bucks isn't worth it... especially if you are overclocking.

The performance per clock rate between the two CPUs are neglectably small in terms of real-world performance and the turbo boost is the same anyways.

The real factor is the mere 130MHz gap which could be closed by spending a minute in the BIOS raising the base clock... versus 110 bucks? pffffffft...

When it comes to hardware, I personally was taught not to wait too long or not to wait at all and to just get something that's considered worthwhile at the time, because there will always something better in the future. But honestly, it's up to you. If you don't feel like you need or really want to upgrade now then don't.

To be able to max out game settings for the next 3-5 years is too much to ask of any modern high-end CPU, even with the i7 980X; especially at the rate of technological advancement (including game development) today.

Remember how 5 years ago most of us were still using higher-end single core CPUs? Well today, they no longer have the processing power to even run modern games on a playable level at the lowest settings.
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December 1, 2010 11:41:46 AM

Meh...

I would normally not buy anything so close to major release (new architecture + new process)... I would suggest to wait until Sandy Bridge and than decide... It will not be that long anyway...

However, as many already mentioned, todays games are not asking that much and personally I don't see any game any time soon that will tax current i7 range. Current games are mainly console ports so...
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December 1, 2010 2:18:08 PM

We already had this same discussion with someone else - it was like "I need to have the BEST processor out there today even if it costs $1000 just so I can give myself a little more 'futureproofness' "

The way I see it, that is completely wrong way of looking at it.

By definition you are getting WORST VALUE by paying up for the bleedingest-edge stuff. $1000 for a CPU where you won't know the difference in gaming anyway? Silly.

IMO, best to find the better performance/value point on the curve, and save/bank your money for future upgrade.

If you can buy a SB chip that will perform as well on gaming as the 980x, for $215, then save $800 and you could buy another $215 chip in a few years which may very possibly BEAT the 980x OUTRIGHT (maybe it will be a 6 or 8 core chip for $250 at that time which will be "mainstream") and you're still ahead - you've spent maybe $500 on CPUs plus kept your money for several extra years vs shelling out $1000 today.

As I said in a different post, 980x buyers are (generally) like buyers of $200,000 Ferraris - they choose to spend a lot of money on a relative basis to say they have "the best". Could they buy a $60,000 car that can still go 160mph and they'll probably never even drive that fast anyway, yes. Maybe there are some 980x buyers who need the extra oomph cause they do video editing as a job, but I'd guess they are the minority.
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December 2, 2010 12:02:27 AM

Best answer selected by woody_61.
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December 2, 2010 1:27:06 AM

Thank you everyone for the answers, it helped alot. If i decide to build a system before sandy bridge ill get the 950 :) 
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December 2, 2010 1:37:49 AM

Glad to hear, and great choice as well :D 
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December 2, 2010 11:49:49 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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