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Sandy Bridge Review

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a c 78 à CPUs
January 3, 2011 6:57:08 AM

Here is the first of many reviews to come out on the Sandy Bridge CPU:
  • http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...
  • http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
  • http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1501/1/
  • http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

    The i7 2600k is equal to or better than the i7 980X on most applications at $315 price tag and the i5 2500k might just be the price to performance king at little over $200.
  • More about : sandy bridge review

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    January 3, 2011 7:13:50 AM

    Those are some fast processors.My only gripe is that you have to use the IGP to use QuickSync. But the K- series are absolutely amazing overclockers.AnandTech got a stable 4.4 GHz using the stock cooler!
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    January 3, 2011 7:16:31 AM

    This is cause for price drops across the board, hopefully...
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    January 3, 2011 8:10:17 AM

    Looks like I'll be getting another CPU for another FSX system
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    January 3, 2011 12:58:50 PM

    Looks like I might have screwed up getting a 1090T a couple of weeks ago. It still does pretty good for encoding but compared to a 2500K overclocked, not sure it will stand up very well.

    Too late now though. I'm stuck with this for a couple of years now.
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    January 3, 2011 3:50:39 PM

    jedi940 said:
    Looks like I might have screwed up getting a 1090T a couple of weeks ago. It still does pretty good for encoding but compared to a 2500K overclocked, not sure it will stand up very well.

    Too late now though. I'm stuck with this for a couple of years now.


    Yep, you shouldda waited, but I wouldn't say you're 'screwed' - the 1090T is a pretty capable CPU, you probably just paid way too much for it. I expect the prices on the 1100T and 970 CPUs to be cut dramatically in the next few weeks.

    It's probably a good time to sell any AMD stock if you own shares - this is not going to do AMD's bottom line any good whatsoever this quarter.
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    January 3, 2011 3:58:54 PM

    I just hate waiting. Plus, I am hoping that as more games and programs become multi-threaded, it will be able to hang on. Given the price on the 2500k, I guess I did pay too much.
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    January 3, 2011 6:12:57 PM

    jedi940 said:
    I just hate waiting. Plus, I am hoping that as more games and programs become multi-threaded, it will be able to hang on. Given the price on the 2500k, I guess I did pay too much.



    Well at least you're realistic about it. There are lots of "should I wait for SB" posts on here, and while I and others were vocal about waiting....why wouldn't you wait???......you and others made the choice for instant gratification vs delayed gratification and now you've got some regret. You're not alone.....this whole US of A has become a can't wait, instant gratifcation society!
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    January 3, 2011 7:49:22 PM

    jedi940 said:
    I just hate waiting. Plus, I am hoping that as more games and programs become multi-threaded, it will be able to hang on. Given the price on the 2500k, I guess I did pay too much.
    you did not pay too much, 2500k is going to be priced at $250 - $300, and the 2600k $360 - $400

    newegg will have the cheapest i guess
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    January 3, 2011 7:54:23 PM

    If that is true, I'll feel a lot better about it.
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    a c 87 à CPUs
    January 3, 2011 8:03:12 PM

    I was actually surprised how well AMDs CPUs hung in there, at least the 6 cores. (and at stock.) I was expecting to see a solid wall of Intel CPUs with the AMD ones down at the very bottom. If BD can raise the IPC at all then AMD isn't completely sunk. (somehow I doubt it, I get the feeling BD will be only current CPUs with an IGP) If 2500K stays close to $200, then its the new hotness for sure.
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    January 3, 2011 8:05:30 PM

    demonnn said:
    you did not pay too much, 2500k is going to be priced at $250 - $300, and the 2600k $360 - $400

    newegg will have the cheapest i guess


    Core i5-2500K will be priced @ 216$, it's the best CPU price/performance wise and has no competition at that price range at the moment.

    And jedi don't worry much, the Phenom II's are still very capable CPU's and will serve you well for at least 2 years.
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    January 3, 2011 8:06:00 PM

    Peoples' existing applications and games didn't suddenly slow down because SB arrived. True, you could have got more (maybe even a lot more), but if you got "enough," don't worry about it.
    The typical mainstream family or business PC still doesn't really need more than an Athlon II X2 to complete its expected tasks, and a gamer would get more out of $500 into a new GPU than $500 into a new CPU/mobo. You're not screwed.
    It will feel like a screwing to e-dong builders when the enthusiast socket chips comes out with maximum pricing, but for most people, this is very nice. I sincerely hope Bulldozer is not an embarrassment to AMD, or those higher prices may trickle down.
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    January 3, 2011 8:08:05 PM

    Onus said:
    Peoples' existing applications and games didn't suddenly slow down because SB arrived. True, you could have got more (maybe even a lot more), but if you got "enough," don't worry about it.
    The typical mainstream family or business PC still doesn't really need more than an Athlon II X2 to complete its expected tasks, and a gamer would get more out of $500 into a new GPU than $500 into a new CPU/mobo. You're not screwed.
    It will feel like a screwing to e-dong builders when the enthusiast socket chips comes out with maximum pricing, but for most people, this is very nice. I sincerely hope Bulldozer is not an embarrassment to AMD, or those higher prices may trickle down.


    Yes but you'll need a 600$ platform for sure to keep up with that 500$ GPU.
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    a c 78 à CPUs
    January 3, 2011 8:38:30 PM

    Onus said:
    Peoples' existing applications and games didn't suddenly slow down because SB arrived. True, you could have got more (maybe even a lot more), but if you got "enough," don't worry about it.
    Very true statement!! Your current system didn't all of sudden turn into PentiumII of old. They are still very capable systems & perform very well. My i7 920 didn't all of sudden become obsolete with the SB release :)  . If I were to build a new system, it points to the i5 2500k (or i7 2600k) as the leader & recommend CPU/Platform to build on, based on budget & uses.
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    January 3, 2011 8:52:26 PM

    unknown_13 said:
    Core i5-2500K will be priced @ 216$, it's the best CPU price/performance wise and has no competition at that price range at the moment.

    And jedi don't worry much, the Phenom II's are still very capable CPU's and will serve you well for at least 2 years.

    the $216 price is per 1000 units. for a single unit the price will be higher . I was going to buy the 2600k , but im not paying more than $300 for a cpu. I reall wish they could be that low ... I guess we will have to wait for newegg for the prices, I predict newegg to have the best prices, so far some stores are selling the 2500k for $250 and the 2600k for $360
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    a c 78 à CPUs
    January 3, 2011 9:17:36 PM

    Until the release of Intel's X68 CPU's, the i7 2600k will be the "benchmark" CPU of choice... Most likely :) 
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    January 3, 2011 9:17:52 PM

    What annoyed me about this article was that the author was so amazed by Quick Sync and said AMD has no alternative and likely wont for a long time... Well if he ever looked at the recent block diagrams for Fusion or the one that was on the main page of AMD's website a while back he would notice that they do in fact have a dedicated hardware decode/encode unit specifically for video. Ill post a link in a bit, let me find the link on AMD's site.
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    a c 87 à CPUs
    January 3, 2011 9:23:01 PM

    And if thats true, how long will it take for AMD to ship CPUs with that ability? I'm guessing around a year or so?
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    January 3, 2011 10:34:06 PM

    demonnn said:
    the $216 price is per 1000 units. for a single unit the price will be higher . I was going to buy the 2600k , but im not paying more than $300 for a cpu. I reall wish they could be that low ... I guess we will have to wait for newegg for the prices, I predict newegg to have the best prices, so far some stores are selling the 2500k for $250 and the 2600k for $360


    The prices at major etailers for Intel's current cpu's are exactly at what Intel specifies for 1k lots, currently


    Quote:
    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42915
    Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor
    (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
    Tray 1ku Budgetary Price
    $196.00

    So the new cpu's will also be got for their 1k lot prices. The few that are selling early before Intel's nda lift might be priced high, right now, to make a few bucks.
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    January 3, 2011 10:46:47 PM

    notty22 said:
    The prices at major etailers for Intel's current cpu's are exactly at what Intel specifies for 1k lots, currently


    Quote:
    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=42915
    Intel® Core™ i5-750 Processor
    (8M Cache, 2.66 GHz)
    Tray 1ku Budgetary Price
    $196.00

    So the new cpu's will also be got for their 1k lot prices. The few that are selling early before Intel's nda lift might be priced high, right now, to make a few bucks.

    I really hope that is true...I guess we need to wait a few days..

    meanwhile the i5 2400 has appeared at the egg:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    but is deactivated
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    a c 87 à CPUs
    January 3, 2011 10:58:03 PM

    I wouldn't believe any of the current/launch prices to the be "final" sale price. It always takes a bit for the prices to come down. I would totally believe $250 now, and $220 in a month or so.
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    January 4, 2011 12:25:51 AM

    I must have the i7 2600K. Once I add in a board, 8GB RAM, and a fresh version of Win7 that will be $700.00. Not too bad.
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    January 4, 2011 2:11:05 AM

    jedi940 said:
    I just hate waiting. Plus, I am hoping that as more games and programs become multi-threaded, it will be able to hang on. Given the price on the 2500k, I guess I did pay too much.


    I hate waiting too. And I am still on a Q6600. And considering I bought my Q6600 just a month before the Q9X50 series hit and have seen Nehalem, Westmere and now Sandy Bridge pass..... it sucks to not have the money to build a new PC whenever I want.

    But the wait will be worth it. My PC can still handle most every game on max with only a HD4870 OCed a bit and when I move to my next system (probably around 2012) it will feel like a much better boost than moving systems every year.
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    January 4, 2011 3:17:50 AM

    time to replace my Q9650 the :)  the i5 looks nice
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    a c 87 à CPUs
    January 4, 2011 4:00:57 AM

    LOL, someone wrote a guide for changing one setting?
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    January 4, 2011 5:41:32 AM

    Considering the fact that it has a good integrated GPU, does that mean one could run a system with this CPU without a graphics card?
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    a c 87 à CPUs
    January 4, 2011 6:03:17 AM

    Depends on what you call good. You won't be able to play modern games at 1680x1050, even with the details at low. The reviews I've seen tested at 1024x768 with low details, with some good scores (50s) and some horrible. (20s) If you want to play Something that comes out this year, its not going to happen with this IGP.
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    January 4, 2011 6:11:26 AM

    i'm still reading tom's article. but i think i wet my pants when i saw the quick sync features.
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    January 4, 2011 6:14:17 AM

    I'm planning on buying a GPU this Fall, and the CPU by next month. However, I do have another question, this is about motherboards. Are the SBs backwards compatible with the 1156 boards? I plan to SLI in the future, but I only know one SB board that has more than 1 PCIe16 slot, but it is kinda overpriced IMO.
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    January 4, 2011 6:44:10 AM

    I predict AMD to be pounded in the next two quarters. How unfortunate that they are releasing the Bulldozer later this year and that too server chips first!

    It would have been fun if BD came out before SB!

    IGP is something Intel never really were very good at. But the IGP is never meant to game. Its for those who don't want to use a GPU and are on a tight budget. But considering all these, the IGP on the chip is quite good.
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    January 4, 2011 7:01:50 AM

    Meh i really want to buy an i5-2500K and get rid of the Q8200 (not that bad CPU but i can notice the slowdown sometimes when running many apps). But i don't have the money now....

    Imagine that, an i5-2500K (or even better an i7-2600K) + an SSD with a SandForce controller and 8GB DDR3 RAM, man that's a machine!! :D 
    Seriously, if you're going to buy a Sandy Bridge CPU get an SSD if you don't have one.

    And BTW have you guys seen the efficiency test on Tom's?
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    January 4, 2011 7:01:56 AM

    There will be 6/8 core CPUs on this socket? Where are the cheap quads? The cheapest is supposed to be the i5-2300 at $177? How good is that one?

    Nice performance but I'm not falling for a 15 CPUs limited socket again. I want anything from a cheap single core to a 8 core on my mobo.
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    January 4, 2011 7:07:43 AM

    mosox said:
    There will be 6/8 core CPUs on this socket?

    I don't think 6/8 cores were on the road map for the SB. We may see some on LGA2011. But not sure. Surely you may see some on the next Intel series!

    mosox said:
    Nice performance but I'm not falling for a 15 CPUs limited socket again. I want anything from a cheap single core to a 8 core on my mobo.

    That is something Intel really don't do... ever since they started with the Nehelms! Its mostly 10-12 chips per socket. Heck... X58 had hardly 5-6 chips, if i am not mistaken!
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    January 4, 2011 7:08:01 AM

    mosox said:
    There will be 6/8 core CPUs on this socket? Where are the cheap quads? The cheapest is supposed to be the i5-2300 at $177? How good is that one?

    Nice performance but I'm not falling for a 15 CPUs limited socket again. I want anything from a cheap single core to a 8 core on my mobo.


    Look, you don't really need a hexa core CPU right now. You need a better efficiency and clock-per-clock performance and better architecture.
    Perfect example: i7 2600K vs Phenom II X6 1100T (quad vs hexa)

    You see the results?? A quad core with better architecture, more efficient and faser clock-per-clock is always better than hexa core which draws more power, heat and isn't as efficient and fast clock-per-clock. (and with a weaker architecture)
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    January 4, 2011 7:44:53 AM

    unknown_13 said:
    You need a better efficiency and clock-per-clock performance and better architecture.


    No, that's what I DON'T need. I don't give a rat's ass about architecture or if a CPU encodes 10 seconds/minute faster, I can watch the TV or have a beer with my buddies while the PC encodes my stuff. Heck, I can leave it overnight but I don't encode very much. I can wait a couple of minutes when unarchiving something, it's not like I can't do anything in the meantime.

    I need good budget quads and cheap good mobos so I can buy better video cards. I don't want to change my very good crossfire mobo with solid capacitors (longevity) when I upgrade my CPU. When I will need a 6 core for gaming I don't want to change my mobo.

    I'm underusing my Phenom II X4 right now, an Athlon II X4 or even X3 would have been good enough and I would have got a better video card instead - and that I'm not underusing, on the contrary, I need something better. I also need a new display, I have a cheapo 22" 1680/1050.

    I'm a regular user

    - Small stuff: Internet, music, videos, etc - any dual core is good for that.
    - Gaming - any quad with a good video card.

    No, I don't pay $400 for a CPU/mobo, I pay $250 or even less (I unlocked a Phenom II 555). If I pay $400 then better give me 50 CPUs on that socket or go take a hike, with the difference I can buy a much better video card or a new monitor.
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    January 4, 2011 7:57:22 AM

    mosox said:
    No, that's what I DON'T need. I don't give a rat's ass about architecture or if a CPU encodes 10 seconds/minute faster, I can watch the TV or have a beer with my buddies while the PC encodes my stuff. Heck, I can leave it overnight but I don't encode very much. I can wait a couple of minutes when unarchiving something, it's not like I can't do anything in the meantime.

    I need good budget quads and cheap good mobos so I can buy better video cards. I don't want to change my very good crossfire mobo with solid capacitors (longevity) when I upgrade my CPU. When I will need a 6 core for gaming I don't want to change my mobo.

    I'm underusing my Phenom II X4 right now, an Athlon II X4 or even X3 would have been good enough and I would have got a better video card instead - and that I'm not underusing, on the contrary, I need something better. I also need a new display, I have a cheapo 22" 1680/1050.

    I'm a regular user

    - Small stuff: Internet, music, videos, etc - any dual core is good for that.
    - Gaming - any quad with a good video card.

    No, I don't pay $400 for a CPU/mobo, I pay $250 or even less (I unlocked a Phenom II 555). If I pay $400 then better give me 50 CPUs on that socket or go take a hike, with the difference I can buy a much better video card or a new monitor.


    So, you're saying that an athlon II X3 with an HD 6950 is better than an i5 760 with an HD 6870??
    :non: 

    You made a good choice buying the Phenom II X4. IF you bought the Athlon II X3, than the best option would have been an HD5770. Don't forget that always when buying a rig, things need to be balanced.

    Athlon II X3 w/ HD 6870 = fail
    i5 760 w/ HD 5670 = fail
    i5 760 w/ HD 6870 = this is a well balanced rig

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    January 4, 2011 8:08:47 AM

    No, I'm saying that if you buy right now an Athlon II X4 + mobo ($200) + HD 6950 (total $500) is much better than buying the 2500K ($216) + mobo (total ~$ 370 or more) + a $130 video card. That's for gaming.

    And for the other uses the Athlon II X4 is even overkill for a regular user like myself.

    Intel just doesn't get it. The current CPUs are already overkill for gaming and whatnot. We need cheaper stuff. For performance, the video cards are the ones that matter, THOSE are struggling with the newer games not the CPUs.

    LE The Athlon II X3 will not limit a 6870 BTW.



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    January 4, 2011 8:28:51 AM

    mosox said:
    No, I'm saying that if you buy right now an Athlon II X4 + mobo ($200) + HD 6950 (total $500) is much better than buying the 2500K ($216) + mobo (total ~$ 370 or more) + a $130 video card. That's for gaming.

    And for the other uses the Athlon II X4 is even overkill for a regular user like myself.

    Intel just doesn't get it. The current CPUs are already overkill for gaming and whatnot. We need cheaper stuff. For performance, the video cards are the ones that matter, THOSE are struggling with the newer games not the CPUs.

    LE The Athlon II X3 will not limit a 6870 BTW.


    I've posted in another thread, ( i don't remember right now ) that a friend of mine saw a 60% increase in minimun and 40% increase in average FPS in games when he clocked his i7 920 from stock to 3.8GHz. He has 2 HD 5870 in Xfire.

    So, if an i7 920 is bottlenecking 2 HD 5870 hard, how come that the Athlon II X3 won't bottletneck the HD 6870 (similar to the 5870), when that Athlon is at 3-4x slower than the slowest i7??

    And for the case of buying a 200$ CPU and a low end GPU i've already said, that it's crazy just as the rig with the Athlon II X4 and the HD 6950. When i'm buying a HD 6950 class GPU, i'll spend another 200$ at least on the CPU to make sure i'm not bottlenecking my GPU (even the i5 760 will need to be clocked for the HD 6950 to unleash is full power)
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    January 4, 2011 8:54:13 AM

    Listen, the only bottleneck that matters in gaming is the one that gets you below 30 fps. A game running at 30 fps minimum plays just as good as at 300 fps, no difference whatsoever. A movie at 27-30 fps is just as crisp and clear as a movie at 1 million fps, that's why they never increased the fps standard, only the resolution when going full HD.

    A CPU + any video card setup you want that can play a game at 30fps+ is NOT a bottleneck. Never was, never will be.

    No, a rig with the Athlon II X4 + HD 6950 is far from being crazy. For most of the games you can even go Athlon II X2 and HD 6950.
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    January 4, 2011 9:02:28 AM

    mosox said:
    Listen, the only bottleneck that matters in gaming is the one that gets you below 30 fps. A game running at 30 fps minimum plays just as good as at 300 fps, no difference whatsoever. A movie at 27-30 fps is just as crisp and clear as a movie at 1 million fps, that's why they never increased the fps standard, only the resolution when going full HD.

    A CPU + any video card setup you want that can play a game at 30fps+ is NOT a bottleneck. Never was, never will be.

    No, a rig with the Athlon II X4 + HD 6950 is far from being crazy. For most of the games you can even go Athlon II X2 and HD 6950.



    Yes you can go with a combination like that and experience lag spikes all the time because the CPU won't be able to keep up with the GPU at all.

    Try playing some game at 30fps and at 45fps. You'll see a big difference. The real gamer wants gameplay smooth as butter (45+ FPS)
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    January 4, 2011 9:05:26 AM

    Tamz_msc said:
    Except for some benchmarks, the i7 2600K is as fast as the I7 980X
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=142


    Here is another example how the improved architecture can increase performance and efficiency.

    I'm saying again: I would buy an i5-2500K any day over the Phenom II X6. 70% of us and more don't need hexa cores yet.
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    January 4, 2011 9:33:13 AM

    you guys are aware that bottleneck issues also has something to do with the game in question right? take f1 2010 for example.
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    January 4, 2011 9:39:44 AM

    What game gives you under 45 fps or whatever you want on an Athlon II X4 with a good video card? What Intel quad with a cheaper video card (Intel is more expensive) gives you better fps?

    In what game the Athlon II X4 + HD 6950 is worse that the 2500K + HD 5770? Gotta keep the same budget here. You have no budget limit? Buy two Xeons and two GTX 580.

    I take those anandtech benches with a big grain of salt. What video card did they use? Why 1680x1050?

    Looking at the benches I can say that they used a lower end video card and a smaller resolution in order to put more weight on the CPU. Let's take the 2500k vs the 955:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288

    From all those benches how many interest you and how many of those applications do you use? Cinebench? 3DSmax? Wow, I gain 9.6 seconds in...MS Excel Monte Carlo (whatever that is). 42 seconds on a....300 MB winrar compression WOOT! I can't live with my slower compressions. 8 FPS on a X264 encoding (I actually use that) - I'm ecstatic, I tell you.

    Tell me again, why would I throw away my 955 + mobo and get a $400 Sandy Bridge + mobo when I can get a new video card AND a new monitor with that kind of money?



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    January 4, 2011 9:41:47 AM

    Some of us know that. I get the feeling that some of us are so locked into an argument they will never admit some simple truths.
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    January 4, 2011 9:45:35 AM

    mosox said:
    What game gives you under 45 fps or whatever you want on an Athlon II X4 with a good video card? What Intel quad with a cheaper video card (Intel is more expensive) gives you better fps?

    In what game the Athlon II X4 + HD 6950 is worse that the 2500K + HD 5770? Gotta keep the same budget here. You have no budget limit? Buy two Xeons and two GTX 580.

    I take those anandtech benches with a big grain of salt. What video card did they use? Why 1680x1050?

    Looking at the benches I can say that they used a lower end video card and a smaller resolution in order to put more weight on the CPU. Let's take the 2500k vs the 955:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288

    From all those benches how many interest you and how many of those applications do you use? Cinebench? 3DSmax? Wow, I gain 9.6 seconds in...MS Excel Monte Carlo (whatever that is). 42 seconds on a....300 MB winrar compression WOOT! I can't live with my slower compressions. 8 FPS on a X264 encoding (I actually use that) - I'm ecstatic, I tell you.

    Tell me again, why would I throw away my 955 + mobo and get a $400 Sandy Bridge + mobo when I can get a new video card AND a new monitor with that kind of money?



    Look i'm not an Intel fanboy, i've newer been.
    I already said mine, i won't argue with you. Have a nice day.

    Let's continue with this thread.
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    January 4, 2011 9:49:58 AM

    ^Yes its true. AMD does offer really nice CPUs for the money.Its just a matter of preference and what budget you have.Nobody does 24x7 encoding, 24x7 rendering and so in a sense all of these benchmarks are hypothetical to some extent since X seconds difference between Intel and AMD does not really matter to the user( unless that difference is large enough to be noticeable).

    I agree with you that any person who has any of the previous gen CPUs don't really need to upgrade, because most of them are satisfied with what they've got.

    But I really like the overclocking ability and QuickSync that Sandy Bridge has to offer.
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    January 4, 2011 9:50:04 AM

    A game running at 30 fps minimum plays just as good as at 300 fps, no difference whatsoever. said:
    A game running at 30 fps minimum plays just as good as at 300 fps, no difference whatsoever.


    this is bullcrap. try playing a racing game @ 30fps vs constant 60fps.

    try playing the old counterstrike @ 30fps vs a constant 99fps.

    it's quite obvious that you're only playing sidescrolling games when you made that statement.

    quit super mario brothers and play a real game dude.

    or try to play some competitive multiplayer games.
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