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What to do in my situation...i7 2600/2600k and H67/P67

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January 18, 2011 3:26:12 AM

Hi, I've read the existing posts, but I'm still unsure of what to do.

I know I want an i7, so it's between 2600 and 2600k. I will not be overclocking for sure.

So here's the situation: Currently, I don't play games...so I may not need a discrete graphics card. That said...does that mean I should pick 2600K since it has the better built-in graphics? However, I want to still keep possibility that I use one discrete card in the future if I do start playing games/intensive photoshop/video work. But I will never have to SLI/Crossfire, so that means I should get non-K?

Also, I will never overclock, so I don't need K, so if i want to utilize the onboard graphics, I should use the motherboard H67? But I want it to still activate the "Turbo" so does the H67 allow that? And if i use the H67, can I still use a discrete graphics card later?
January 18, 2011 4:22:28 AM

I am not a computer expert but I have read a lot of the sandy bridge reviews. The built-in graphics on the 2600 is very weak. The 2600K as I understand it requires a separate graphics card. Having had the I-7 920 with a cheap graphics card and then moving up to the ATI 5850, I can tell you that there is a world of difference in graphics performance with a separate mid to high-end graphics card compared to a low-end solution like the 2600. I would not even consider the 2600 weak built-in graphics. HD video, games, photoshop, CAD work and HDTV (if you watch TV on your computer) all require a powerful graphics card to process the high bandwidth signals. In my admittedly limited experience there is no comparison. The difference is night and day.

Add to this that the 2600K is just a few dollars more than the 2600 and I think that you have your answer. No matter what you do, you will need quality graphics performance. Right now the best solution even with sandy bridge is to use a mid to high level graphics card. The GTX 460 is only $130 and it would do a good job. The ATI 6850 also is very inexpensive and provides very good performance for the the dollar. I personally am looking at the ATI 6950 and the GTX 570. These are a little more pricey but are great values cost wise.

I am building a computer and I am going with the 2600K. Even if you do a simple overclock it runs near the I-7 980 which currently sells for $1000. Why choose a crippled chip like the 2600 when the 2600K offers the potential for amazing performance for about $30 more? The 2600 will be used by the Dells of the computer industry to sell to people who don't know and don't care what they are missing (not a slam on Dell buyers by the way they are a great company, they just limit their computers unless you buy a gaming rig).

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January 18, 2011 5:59:36 AM

calbear4 said:
Hi, I've read the existing posts, but I'm still unsure of what to do.

I know I want an i7, so it's between 2600 and 2600k. I will not be overclocking for sure.

So here's the situation: Currently, I don't play games...so I may not need a discrete graphics card. That said...does that mean I should pick 2600K since it has the better built-in graphics? However, I want to still keep possibility that I use one discrete card in the future if I do start playing games/intensive photoshop/video work. But I will never have to SLI/Crossfire, so that means I should get non-K?

Also, I will never overclock, so I don't need K, so if i want to utilize the onboard graphics, I should use the motherboard H67? But I want it to still activate the "Turbo" so does the H67 allow that? And if i use the H67, can I still use a discrete graphics card later?

If you want the integrated graphics, you need H67. If you don't want to overclock or use crossfire/SLI (which you said you don't), there is no point in going P67. TurboBoost works fine on H67, and will work fine with a discreet graphics card too.

As for K or not, the K graphics is significantly better (roughly equal to an ATI 5450), and if you go for H67 that is the only difference for you, so it's just a matter of whether the price increase is worth the graphics performance increase.

The integrated graphics is fine for HD video or HDTV. Photoshop does not use the graphics card unless using 3D, or additional filters that use CUDA (which is only on nVidia cards). Video editing would not really benefit from a powerful graphics card unless it uses CUDA, and then only for specific things. CAD may need a powerful graphics card if it is complex, but it would be doable without. Games really need better graphics, but on low settings they would probably be playable.
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January 18, 2011 6:01:57 AM

Never is a long time... If the 2600K is close enough in price to the plain 2600, get it. Also, go with the H67 mobo, since it will allow you to use the on-board graphics now, but you can still pop in a discrete card later. And yes, the Turbo will work just fine, regardless of which CPU/Mobo you get.
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January 18, 2011 6:25:15 AM

Agree with Herr_Koos ^ in your situation the 2600K and the H67 would be the best fit for you at this time.
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January 18, 2011 6:39:04 AM

Welcome to the madhouse that is Intel's current CPU and mobo policy.
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January 18, 2011 11:39:02 AM

The 2600 has a HD2000 GPU, the 2600K a HD3000 GPU. So for the $30 price difference the choice is easy.
Also, I don't know if you have a preference, but most of the H67 boards are micro-ATX.
You did note no interest in SLI/X-fire, so probably not an issue.
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January 18, 2011 7:51:44 PM

wow, you guys really made really compelling points. I was leaning towards a non-K...but now i will definitely get a K.

But now, I notice that 2500K has the same graphics. Since I learned that I can activate Turbo Boost with either mobo.....that's only 3.7 Ghz compared to 3.8 Ghz. Is the 2600k really that much more powerful than 2500k overall?

Thanks!
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January 18, 2011 8:02:12 PM

Getting a 2500k/2600k seems like such a waste if i get the H77. I spend more for an unlocked...yet, unable to overclock.
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January 18, 2011 8:17:46 PM

IMO, not overclocking a Sandy Bridge CPU is like buying a Ferrari and keep it under speed limit, not the best money investment; Sandy Bridge seems so easy to OC, I could probably teach my mother to do it. Ok, she might not be able to push it to 5GHz, but she could probably get at least an extra 500MHz out of it for free.
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January 18, 2011 8:43:14 PM

calbear4 said:
wow, you guys really made really compelling points. I was leaning towards a non-K...but now i will definitely get a K.

But now, I notice that 2500K has the same graphics. Since I learned that I can activate Turbo Boost with either mobo.....that's only 3.7 Ghz compared to 3.8 Ghz. Is the 2600k really that much more powerful than 2500k overall?

Thanks!

The 2600K gives you the extra 100 MHz you mention compared to the 2500K, but the big selling point is that it has Hyperthreading enabled. Unused execution paths from your 'native 4 cores' are used to process upto 4 additional threads. You'll see this in feature charts as a "4 core / 8 thread" configuration. The i5's don't have hyperthreading and are "4 core / 4 thread". That's what the extra $100 buys you.

Otherwise, I agree with the previous posters who are recommending the 'K with H67' for your situation. There *is* a 16x PCIe port, so you can always add any single GPU and it will run perfectly, if needed.
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January 19, 2011 12:29:28 AM

I currently have an Intel I-7 950 with the ATI 5450 graphics card and the HD for the card is very poor and the card is unstable. The 5450 is a terrible graphics card for almost any use (HDTV, movies, CAD, Games, etc.) Conversely the ATI 5850 with the I-7 920 chip produced superb HD comparable to Samsung's HDTV processing (in their TVs) which is one of the best available. I also had the I-7 920 with a low-end nvidia card and the HD video and TV/picture sucked. The moral of the story is, buy the 2600K and get a good mid to high range graphics card and you will have superb HD video, HDTV, Game video and CAD results. Lower end card like the ATI 5450 just don't have the horsepower to produce a great picture on your monitor - though they claim to be able to do so.

The 2600 with its low-end graphics capability simply doesn't have the processing power to compete with mid to high level separate graphics cards right now. That really is pretty indisputable. The picture you get for video or TV or movies of any kind will pale in comparison the the video you get with a good graphics card.

The ATI 5450 produces fuzzy HDTV (which is frustrating because clarity of picture is why you get HD in the first place). The card's drivers suck - it blue-screens almost every day (and yes I have the latest drivers). The motion video like football games is terrible. This would probably be true with any low-end video card.

People who buy the 2600 for the integrated graphics will most likely suffer with the same lack of processing power that the 5450 has. To be fair, I don't have the 2600 and I have not seen video on a computer with the 2600 installed and so this is just an educated guess based on the comparisons of the integrated graphics with low-end cards like the 5450.
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January 19, 2011 4:45:46 AM

Quote:
here by us we normally don't agree with blue bulls but I got no choice herkoos hit the nail right on the head


We agree to disagree on some things.. ;-)
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January 19, 2011 5:50:23 AM

so is Flong correct, that this "lower" graphics will result in poor video playback. And also poorly in photoshop?

I thought those things don't utilize the graphics video card -- only games and 3D modeling.
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January 19, 2011 5:32:40 PM

No, he is not. SB has a dedicated decoder for video anyway, and Photoshop will only use the graphics card when using 3D models.
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January 19, 2011 10:16:16 PM

You guys are right that the Sandy bridge has a separate video decoder and it has gotten positive reviews. However not having a 2600K computer (or a 2600) I am skeptical it will be equal to the 2600K with a good graphics card. Maybe Intel did make that great a leap with this chip set - frankly until I get my build done I am ignorant as far as first-hand experience. I don't use photo shop but I can say this that even the 5450 will render photos pretty well, the the 5850 was noticeably better.

I think that what we are talking about is the quality of the video and pictures and which chip set with or without a separate graphics card will affect the real-world use that calbear asked about. For myself, I want great HDTV and video quality. For others this may not be as important. Also if you game at all it is a no-brain decision to get the 2600K.
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January 20, 2011 6:49:19 PM

The Quick Sync video decoder in the SB CPUs, supposedly is only 'officially' supported when integrated graphics is used (H67 or end of year Z67). A hack is out there to supposedly work around this... but be aware.

I haven't run any HD video streams on my 2500K yet, so I can't say exactly how it works... but it *should* be able to handle it. Flong was complaining about the 5450's video playback. The SB integrated GPU is roughly as powerful as a HD 5450... and you'd hae the H67 and could have the built-in decoder at work. With a digital link to a monitor... the images should be pretty decent.

Again, if you have no need for Crossfire/SLI and overclocking... the $20-30 you'd save on a H67 would balance out the price of an unlocked processor (to get the better integrated graphics). Keep the $100-200 budgeted for a discrete card saved. Try the system with integrated graphics. If it isn't meeting your needs... dropping a discrete card (nVidia 450/460, Radeon 5770/5850) in and you're set. Dropping in a GPU is *much* less headache compared to the CPU/RAM/Mobo/reload OS/etc. If SLI/Crossfire or Overclocking is of any interest... then this approach may not fit you, and you might need to consider the P67. Best of luck!
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January 21, 2011 12:56:35 AM

The 5450 will play HD video and HDTV (I have an OTA antenna connection), it just doesn't do it well at all. Still pictures are not bad, but again they are not as good as the pictures I had with 5850. I have strong feelings right now about the 5450 because I am going to return my computer (I bought a pre-built I-7 950 system from ZT systems from Costco). The 5450 really is that bad. I did the math and I can build my own computer with better components and a good graphics card for about the same money. I have had both 920 and 950 systems with both nVidia and ATI low-end cards and there is a night and day difference with a better graphics card in picture/video quality than what you get with low-end cards. This makes me skeptical of the integrated graphics from Intel. However, Intel has a reputation for excellence and they may have a great solution that doesn't need the help of a separate GPU.
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