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Bloomfield or Sandy Bridge?

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July 5, 2011 1:32:46 PM

Hello,
I am finaly about to upgrade or replace my desktop. I've been doing a bit of research but am not sure about which way to go with the CPU. I'm kind of torn between either an i7 960 Bloomfield at 3.2ghz or an i7 2600 Sandy Bridge at 3.4 ghz. The 2600 is a bit faster and I've heard it might be a bit more stable for over-clocking, but the 960 can be over-clocked successfully and it has more bandwidth in its PCIe slots. I don't know that I will be doing all that much over-clocking, but I have done it before successfully so ya never know. This will be primarily a gaming machine. The rest of the system I'm planning is...

Asus Rampage III Black edition MB(If I go with the 960 CPU. Love the RoG Thunderbolt LAN/Audio combo)
Asus P8Z68 Deluxe MB (If I go with the 2600 CPU)
Sapphire FleX HD6950 2gb DDR5 256 bit Graphics
16gb of G.Skill Ripjaws or Sniper DDR3 1600
Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 2tb SATA 6.0
Kinawin LZG-1000 1KW Power Supply
Sony BWU-500S BR/DVD/CD RW
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
Win7 64 bit Pro
Possibly a Cooler Master Storm Sniper case but may see if I can stuff it all into my old Dell XPS 710 case.

Also looking at possibly an Asus P6X58-E or an EVGA X58 motherboard instead of the rampage. But I do like that Thunderbolt with the Rampage.
I was thinking of maybe an SSD for the OS to go with the Ultrastar.
So, which CPU is better for serious gaming, the 960 or the 2600? Also, if anyone sees a compatibility issue or whatever with any of these components, please let me know. I have built my own systems before so I have some experience with that but it's been a while and I'm not totaly up on all of the new stuff. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
a c 102 à CPUs
July 5, 2011 1:49:14 PM

The i7-2600K overclocks; not he i7-2600.

Go with the i7-2600K and have fun overclocking it. An SSD for the OS and programs will be a good choice. Sandy Bridge is Intel's second generation.

Regarding the case, the CM Storm Sniper will be great. Give your new parts a new good looking case.

As afar as motherboards are concerned, I like EVGA for quality and performance. This one: http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=160-SB-E67...
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July 5, 2011 2:09:08 PM

Get an i5-2500K. It overclocks better than the 2600K and runs cooler. And it's $100 cheaper.

No reason to go with LGA1366 unless you plan to SLI at massive resolutions.
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July 5, 2011 6:58:45 PM

SB outperforms the average Bloomfield in nearly every benchmark for less $$
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2011 10:22:05 PM

'more bandwidth in PCI-e slots' might matter if you intend to use 3 or 4 separate/distinct GPUs, but, with a pair of dual GPUs (twin 590s or 6990s), the Z68/P67 rigs even at 'only' 8x + 8x config still outperform the 16x/16x based X58 boards even when the socket 1366 cpus are at higher clockspeeds. (Summary: the Sandybridge CPUs are faster....always)

(THink of the PCI-e 8x/8x vs. 16x/16x as analogous to the old 'ATA100 vs. ATA133' upgrades; no hard drives were able to fill the existing bandwidth anyway, so increasing it made little difference for 7200 rpm drives)
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2011 10:30:37 PM

'more bandwidth in PCI-e slots' might matter if you intend to use 3 or 4 separate/distinct GPUs, but, with a pair of dual GPUs (twin 590s or 6990s), the Z68/P67 rigs even at 'only' 8x + 8x config still outperform the 16x/16x based X58 boards even when the socket 1366 cpus are at higher clockspeeds. (Summary: the Sandybridge CPUs are faster....always)

(THink of the PCI-e 8x/8x vs. 16x/16x as analogous to the old 'ATA100 vs. ATA133' upgrades; no 7200 rpm hard drives were able to fill even the old ATA66 standard, so increasing it 100 or 133 made very little difference for 7200 rpm drives)
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2011 10:55:45 PM

Even if he's worried about the PCI-e bandwidth, get this:

ASRock Z68 Extreme4 motherboard

and then he's got plenty of PCI-e lanes. Go with that and and i5-2500K. If it's a gaming computer, this is where it's at.

As far as the rest of your parts, you're buying a bunch of stuff that won't help a gaming machine in the slightest. The Kingwin Laser 1000W is actually a decent PSU, but you'll only need 750W if you crossfire 6970's. Actually, 650W would probably be adequate.

I responded to your initial question, Sandy Bridge or Nehalem: Go Sandy Bridge i5-2500K. But now you need to rework the rest of your build. I highly recommend you fill this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

Consider starting a new thread under the "Systems" section of our forums to get yourself more views instead of filling that form out here.
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a b à CPUs
July 5, 2011 11:30:40 PM

Mozart25 said:
Get an i5-2500K. It overclocks better than the 2600K and runs cooler. And it's $100 cheaper.

No reason to go with LGA1366 unless you plan to SLI at massive resolutions.


2500K overclocks better than 2600K? Really? Care to present a prooflink? Very interesting!
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a b à CPUs
July 6, 2011 1:40:59 AM

I had read in at least a few separate reviews that, despite the 2600k's larger cache and hyperthreading, it seemed to OC about 100 Mhz higher (highest stable clock freq) on average, topping out for most folks at approx 4.7 GHz, vice 4.6 GHz average on the 2500k....
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a b à CPUs
July 6, 2011 1:51:44 AM

^ That's what I've read too. Hell, I get Turbo Boost up to 4.4 GHz on my non-K i7-2600! Obviously it shouldn't be worse than 2500k.

To not deviate from the thread so much: I see no reason getting a new X58 setup. If you already have one, it's unlikely that Sandy Bridge will be a big improvement for you, so you might want to keep it. However, if you're getting a new setup, forget X58.
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September 26, 2011 1:14:56 AM

I have read through the bench marks on 2.66 GHZ i7 since I own the first gen i7 920. Even though I am reading a lot of comments saying second gen is better then first gen but the bench marks show their performance is pretty evenly matched. both have areas where they are stronger or weaker compared to each other that is not accounting the overclocking capacity ( I don't know if it is true that after first gen core i7, intel started locking OC capacity). I am pretty content with my first gen and won't be replacing it anytime soon (and if I did there is always the six core version) but to those who have yet to make their PC I would say they should wait for when they integrate QPI into the second gen architecture. I believe the bulldozer using LGA 2011 socket is supposed to be that processor.
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September 29, 2011 12:16:56 PM

I agree with most of what you are saying. Compared to someone with a first-gen i7-900, the current Sandy Bridge line-up (the replacement to 1156) is not compelling enough for me to drop cash on a new mobo/CPU/ram. Even though the current i5-2500K and i7-2600K can hit overclocks between 4.5 - 5.0 GHz, the entire 900 series still has good OC potential as well.

However, I fear that the 1366 hexacore chip is not really a viable upgrade chip for those of us with 4-core 1366s, simply because of the cost. The i7-980 is $600, and the 990X is still $1000. While that price may come down a little when Sandy Bridge-E (LGA2011) is released, I don't believe it will be enough to justify dumping several hundred more dollars into the LGA1366 platform. If an unlocked hexacore (like a 980X) were $300-500, I would consider it. But still, that is a major investment, but worth it to gain the extra cores and headroom for OC.

Quote:
I believe the bulldozer using LGA 2011 socket is supposed to be that processor.


I do believe FX Bulldozer is the forthcoming AMD replacement to the Phenom IIs--LGA2011 is known as Sandy Bridge-E, and the 22nm die shrink of it (if still coming next spring, it's rumored to have been cancelled) is Ivy Bridge.
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