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Programming rig : i3 2100 + dedicated graphics or i5 2500k?

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July 16, 2011 7:20:52 PM

Hello,

I'm trying to build a new rig used mostly for programming (Java, .Net, MySQL & MSSQL) and occasional movies & gaming. Right now I can get:

  • i3 2100 + H61 board for $127
  • i5 2500k + Z68 board for $270

    If I were to get the i3 2100 + H61 combo, I'm probably going to get a dedicated graphics card in the $40 ~ $60 range. So there are about $100 difference here. My other concerns is that I'm planning on upgrade after 2 years, so I'm not sure if getting a i5 2500k is worth it right now.

    What are you guys takes on this? Should I save that $100 for another/nicer monitor?

    Thanks!
    a c 81 à CPUs
    July 16, 2011 7:32:52 PM

    The i3 build is enough for your needs. Though I will admit that both those builds look almost unbelievable. It is almost like you are getting the board for free. Since you include occasional gaming in your needs, the prospect of getting a dedicated video card with the i3 build is better.
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    July 16, 2011 10:48:13 PM

    Any thoughts on the performance of H61 vs H67/Z68?
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    a c 315 à CPUs
    July 16, 2011 11:24:42 PM

    1) The integrated graphics on the 2100 is about as strong as a $40-$50 graphics card, so there is no advantage in getting a discrete card up front.

    2) The second combo is much stronger.
    You get more cores, and a 4.0 or better oc is easy.
    If your budget will allow, it is a much better choice. You can always add a discrete graphics card later.
    The ssd cache capability might be a good way to get better hard drive performance. It also can be easily added later.
    Lastly H61 motherboards are cheaper, and may not have usb3.0 or 6gb sata.
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    July 17, 2011 4:14:21 AM

    i5 2500K + Z68 is for sure more future-proof, but I'm planning on upgrading the CPU and the board in 2 years anyway. I'm not planning on using SSD, so is there any real advantage for Z68 vs H61 for my purpose?
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    a c 81 à CPUs
    July 17, 2011 9:11:55 AM

    Z68 boards support overclocking with the appropriate processor (all 'k' suffix processors). Also, some Z68 boards feature virtu which enables you to use a dedicated video card along with the processors inbuilt video card giving you opportunity to use the best features from both.
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    Best solution

    a c 315 à CPUs
    July 17, 2011 5:13:58 PM

    clx said:
    i5 2500K + Z68 is for sure more future-proof, but I'm planning on upgrading the CPU and the board in 2 years anyway. I'm not planning on using SSD, so is there any real advantage for Z68 vs H61 for my purpose?


    No doubt.

    The P67 and Z68 chipsets are supposed to support the upcoming 22nm ivy bridge processors with only a bios/firmware update. I don't think that holds true for H61, or even H67.

    My guess is that the 2500K with it's oc capability would be viable even past the best ivy bridge processors.

    Everybody needs some sort of external backup. For that, usb 3.0 is very good, and is not present on H61

    Don't discount the benefits of a SSD. It will make your programming experience better. In time, prices will come down a lot, and sata3 will become more important.

    I am not talking about the Z68 cache capability, but using a SSD for the os and apps.
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    July 17, 2011 6:57:41 PM

    End up getting the i3 2100 + H61. I was going to get a i3 2100 + Z68 combo, but there is a deal on the i3 2100 + H61 combo (no deal on Z68), thus making the Z68 almost $100 more than the H61. At $100, I could probably get a newer board later when it's time to upgrade. Thanks you call for your advices!

    Now just need to wait for a deal on a decent graphics card :) 
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    July 18, 2011 1:03:44 AM

    Best answer selected by clx.
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