I7 950 or i7 2600k

Hi guys, I'm looking to upgrade my motherboard and processor soon. I was going to buy the i7 950 until the new sandy bridge architecture came out and now I am unsure of what to do. Most of the reviews I read on the i7 2600k state how good the built in graphics chip is. However I have a separate discrete graphics card in the form of a Nvidia 460 1gb so I believe the onboard graphics in the 2600k is useless to me. So now I'm left wondering if there is any advantage of me buying the 2600k? The way that I see it is that the 2600k is more expensive, it doesn't support triple channel ram and limits the pci-e lanes to x8 if I have more than one graphics card. So I'm asking, will I see a difference in performance, and how much difference will it be, using the 2600k instead of the 950 despite me having my own graphics card?
I'v read a few threads like this one where the repliers just end up arguing with each other, so please only post a reply if you have fact for me because I don't want to end up regretting an expensive decision based on people informing me wrongly.
Thanks, Mike
15 answers Last reply
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  1. I'm gonna tell you right off the bat use the I7 2600k, It's faster than the 950 and it's right at it's price range. The I7 2600k has a gpu built in on the die cast but you don't have to use it if you have a discrete graphics card. The I7 2600k uses less watts, and also It is an overclocking monster. Right now is a good time to build a custom system, memory is very cheap right now. Just make sure that you get good ram for overclocking purposes and a good case. Also make sure you get a good board with usb 3.0. Check this build out. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.584333
  2. ^+1 for the Core i7-2600K. There's also the option of the Core i5-2500K if you don't need hyperthreading. Overall both the Core i7/i5 will match or beat the i7-950, and while the Core i7-950 may be a little cheaper than the i7-2600K, the X58 motherboards are more expensive than P67 motherboards and the Core i7-950 requires a minimum of 3 RAM sticks, while you can get away with only two RAM sticks on P67.

    If you go with the Core i5-2500K you'll get about the same gaming performance as a i7-2600K or i7-950, and you'll save some money in the process since the i5-2500K is cheaper than both the i7-950 and i7-2600K. Only with transcoding or rendering do you get a large boost from going with a i7-950 or i7-2600K. Triple channel memory won't make much difference.

    Don't worry about the x8 PCIe lanes for SLI/Crossfire. Tests have shown that you only lose about 5% performance on average, with the greatest performance hit occuring when running multiple high end cards like the GTX 480, HD5970 with multiple monitors and/or high resolutions. If you can afford to buy a video card/ monitor setup that can put that much strain on the PCIe bus then you might as well go with a X58 Gulftown.

    Check out this comparison that shows the i7-2600 easily beating the i7-950.
    And this comparison showing the i5-2500K matching or beating the i7-950 at lower CPU and platform cost.
  3. Thank you so much guys for the speedy response. I will use my computer for gaming so a discrete graphics card is a must for me. Im glad to see more than one person saying the same option. I have heard that the 1155 motherboards are "immature" so to say and lack the experience of the latest x58 boards. Im leaning towards the 2600k now guys. As for the i5, I would not buy it on principle as I always aim to buy a future proof component (within price reason), meaning that an upgrade will be postponed even further in the future.
    Thank for the links also, I have some reading to do!!
  4. If you are gaming the i5 2500K is as good as the i7 2600K (and the $1000 980X) and therefore as future proof. The only reason to get the 950 is if you wanted to run 3 graphics cards.
  5. Also read this thread http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/298041-10-intel%C2-core-2500k-processor-intel%C2-core-processor I quote "The 2500K is the best gaming processor on the market today"
  6. i7 2600k over the i7 950 all the way. It even beats the 6-core, $1000 i7 980 on several bencmarks. The i5 2500k is also a very nice option and wins the performance/price war easily. It is only 100 mhz slower at stock but it overclocks just as well as the i7 2600k. There is a $105 price difference between the 2500k and the 2600k. The 100 mhz increase in stock speed does not make much sense at over $1 a mhz. I was paying a $1 per Mhz 14 years ago... The i7 does offer hyperthreading however... but what games take advantage of 8 threads to run!?
  7. You can compare X58 to 1155 and you have to if you are considering which to buy and at the moment 1155 wins unless you want to run 3 or more graphics cards.
  8. Ok, thank you all for the replies. The subject is a lot clearer to me now. So your saying that the best option for me for gaming, with 1 graphics card is the i5 2500k? If so, what is the i7 used for? Are future games likely to make use of the hyperthreading technology the i7 offers? Can you recommend a suitable motherboard, preferably gigabyte but asus is fine too. Thank you all again
  9. Quote:
    did you read what I said? No you didn't. If you wanted to look into the x58 platform because of its Pci-e lanes and its ability to perform better with mutlithteaded applications then you you have two choices

    X58 platform or wait for the Sandy Bridge E versions which will be its direct replacement.

    But the post writer uses clearly stated he wanted it for gaming. So you can't compare them. Same reason why we didn't compare the x58 with 1156 back then just for regular gaming with a single gpu setup.

    The question should be

    2500k (replacement for old I5 7xx)


    2600k (replacement for the old I7 8xx)

    Thats like saying you can't compare an AMD processor or motherboard to an intel one the thread title is "I7 950 or i7 2600k" in order to answer that you need to compare the platforms. Sorry Micky this isn't helping you at all just get the 2500K for gaming there is currently no reason to need hyper threading and its existed for a while so I can't see it helping in the future.

    Listen to Psycho he knows alot more than me (and most others on this forum)
  10. 2600K without a doubt (2500K is cheaper and also outperforms the i7 950). P67 motherboards also run a bit cheaper than X58s, evening out the costs

    1. 2600K much more easily overclocked
    2. Performance per clock cycle is a bit better with Sandy Bridge over Nehalem
    3. Using two video cards in a Sandy Bridge 8 x8 PCI E board will perform just as well as an X58 board w/2 cards. The difference is negligible, on the order of a few percent tops

    4. And lastly, do some research online, Anandtech, HotHardware, Bit-Tech, #D Guru, even here at Tom's and READ the benchmarks. The 2600K walks away with all of them over the 950
  11. The Sandy bridge series is a better pick. Previous posts have proven this and so I will not say more. With regards to choosing either i7 or the i5, it really depends on you. If you can afford the i7, then get it. The i5 is just a better option for people like me who don't have that much money to spend on gaming rigs. : )
    Just get the i7 2600K Sandy Bridge series and based on previous comments, I'm sure you won't regret it.
  12. Thank you for all the information guys. My final build is 8gb of corsair vengeance ram, i5 2500k and a gigabyte Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4. Does this sound like a good build to you guys? So this i5 2500k will definately be better than a i7 950 for gaming with the same graphics card? Thanks
  13. Yes the i5-2500K will run games better than a i7-950. Those specs look pretty good. You may want to check the motherboard Qualified Vendors List to see if the RAM is supported if you haven't already done so just to be sure you won't have to RMA your RAM if it isn't compatible.

    What video card are you planning on?
  14. Thank you jprahman, thats a good idea, ill check that now. Im going to use my gigabyte 1gb 460 super OC which is only a few months old so I don't really want to replace that. The next buy I think will be a SSD, but I'm going to wait a little longer because they are still coming down in price! With that motherboard, I also have the option to SLI my graphics cards in the future. I have no idea what performance to expect with this setup in games such as crysis but I'm hoping it will be good!! Thanks again
  15. I have checked on the gigabyte website and the corsair vengeance CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9 kit is not listed as a supported memory type, please advise as to what I should do. There are other listed 4gb memory modules. http://download.gigabyte.eu/FileList/Memory/mb_memory_ga-p67a-ud4.pdf
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