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The Longevity Factor.. i3 2100 vs. i5 2400 vs. i5 2500K....?!?

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September 13, 2011 11:26:44 AM

The Longevity Factor.. i3 2100 vs. i5 2400 vs. i5 2500K....?!?

Hi Friends,

I'm in market for a new CPU for a brand new build. I'm upgrading from a Core 2 Duo after 4-5 yrs. I did a bit or re-search and catching up reading to realize the above mentioned 3 Intel CPUs are currently the best bang for buck.

Now my usage is web surfing with 20-30 tabs open, itunes running in the background and other simple stuff. So pretty much a general usage PC. I'm play games occasionally but when i do play i'd like excellent performance.

I had decided to go for the i3 2100 but further reading/researching other threads seems to imply that there are now many games that have started utilizing the 3rd and 4th core and in the future there will be many more. I don't want to be caught in a situation where i feel that i would have been better off with i5 2400.

Also i read that many apps are now started to utilize the 3rd and 4th core so in that case too the i5 2400 will be a better bet than the i3 2100.

Now i make a new PC every 3-5 yrs so i'm looking at a CPU which will give me acceptable performance for a long time.

So say in 3-5 yrs time will it have been more sensible for me to go for a Quad core CPU over a Dual core CPU considering the needs and demands of upcoming games and software ?

Question 1. Is my above research and conclusion correct ? Will the i5 2400 provide me the benefit of being able to avoid upgrading the CPU for a little or much longer than a i3 2100 ?

So now on to the second part. I've also read that the i5 2500K is a favorite among a lot of people due to it's excellent overclocking ability. Now keeping the same thing of future upgrading in mind just like the above scenario...

Question 2. Will getting a i5 2500K provide me the benefit of being able to avoid upgrading the CPU for a little or much longer than a i5 2400 ? Or will it be better to buy a new CPU/Motherboard at that time depending on the architecture and technology of that time ? ( By the way i've never done any sort of overclocking in my life )

Any help/guidance on the above 2 questions will be truly appreciated. :) 

Warm Regards,

Rana
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2011 1:04:11 PM

The 2500k is the best choice it will be a very fast cpu for at least 2 more years, People always talk about 2011 socket will replace this that's not true, 2011 socket replaces 1366 socket.
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2011 1:27:57 PM

Id advice to wait untill 2011 and bulldozer come out. Since its not long away from here, you could wait and see.

On other hand, i5 2500k has more options to stay alive longer mainly becouse it can be overclocked.
The fact is, its hard to code stuff for more than 2 cores, so any quad is "sorta" long term. If it also overclocks this good, its even great.

Wait if you can afford it to see the new so you choose then , even mayb get a better deal on the intels.
Related resources
a b à CPUs
September 13, 2011 1:29:19 PM

2011 is going to cost a-lot mark my words, bulldozer ehh there taking way to long.
a c 190 à CPUs
September 13, 2011 4:21:48 PM

Without a question the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K is the processor you should go with. With its ability to be overclocked and the outstanding price for one of the best overall processors on the market today it is hard not to get the Intel Core i5-2500K. With a good air cooler on the Intel Core i5-2500K you can easy reach over 4GHz.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
a c 478 à CPUs
September 14, 2011 9:46:31 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Without a question the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K is the processor you should go with....

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team


Hmmmm.... Must be coincidence.

Anywaste, since you upgrade every 4 or 5 years, the best option is the buy the best performing CPU that does not cost an arm and a leg. That would be the i5-2500k if you are going to build your PC very soon. Overall, the price difference between the slowest Core i5 and the Core i5-2500k isn't really that much. Factor in the the i5-2500k is easily overclockable if and when you decide to do so. You don't have to overclock it right away; you can overclock it when you feel the stock speed is a bit too slow for your needs. Just be aware that if you want to overclock you need to buy an appropriate heatsink to dissipate the increased heat output.

Just make sure you pair up the Core i5-2500k with a P67 or Z68 chipset motherboard to unlock the CPU's overclocking potential.
September 16, 2011 1:04:27 AM

A BIG thanks guys. i ve received some great feedback and what i have concluded is that a quad core is a must for today and for the future not just for regular apps but also for games.

i see the majority of people to suggest me to go for the i5 2500K. I only make a new build every 3-5 yrs.

As far as i have understood.... i can run it at stock for a few years and then then when i feel it is not fast enough then i can Overclock it to about 4.9 ghz and this will make it usable for another year or 2 and help me avoid buying a new system and save money.

1. Is that correct ?

2. Also is it correct that Ivy Bridge is only going to come out by feb-march 2012 ? I assume it will be 15-20 % faster and have lower power consumption. But i'm understand the wait forever for the next technology syndrome :-)

Interestingly, I was looking at the H77, Z75 and Z77 chipset which will come out with Ivy Bridge and as far as i can see the only thing it'll have over the Z68 is USB 3.0, Intel Rapid Storage Technology and PCie 3.0.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1155

Is it worth waiting for the above 3 features ?

Regards,

Rana
a c 478 à CPUs
September 16, 2011 2:13:01 AM

1. You can overclock anytime you want. 4.9GHz cannot be guaranteed and you need to buy a good heatsink.

2. Not sure about Ivy Bridge's potential performance. However, the 1st gen Core i3/5/i7 CPUs were around 10% - 11% faster than their comparable 2nd gen C2D and C2Q CPUs. The 2nd gen Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 are roughly 10% faster than the 1st gen. I would guess that Ivy Bridge will be around 10% faster than Sandy Bridge.

PCI-e 3.0 will be useful in the future when very fast PCI-e 3.0 video cards comes outs. Currently there are no cards that can use all the bandwidth of PCI-e 2.0/2.1 slots though. It might take a 3 or 4 years before a powerful PCI-e 3.0 card can become bottlenecked by a PCI-e 2.0/2.1 slot. That's just a guess, no one knows.

USB 3.0 is useful if you use external storage, however, the storage device must also support USB 3.0 to improve transfer rates.

Not sure about Intel's Rapid Storage Tech. I suppose if you are going to configure your hard drives for a RAID setup, then it can be useful.
September 18, 2011 5:17:38 AM

guys there has been a dramatic turn of events in the last 2 days. I have been gifted a PS3 and now i've decided that i wont be adding a graphics card to this new PC as i'll be doing my gaming on the PS3.

Hence now i've decided to go Small Form Factor with a mini itx mobo and a small case. This new PC will now only be used for..

1. Surfing the Internet with 20-30 web pages open in chrome.
2. Listening to music on itunes.
3. Other general work.

I won't be using this new PC for any productivity related works like encoding video etc. It's just a General Home PC. I want to keep it for 3-5 yrs.

Question 1. Do you guys still recommend that i go for a i5 2500K or should i settle with a i5 2400 or are both way too overkill for my requirements ?

In that case is the i3 2100 more than ample for my needs ?

Regards,

Rana
September 19, 2011 2:50:02 AM

If your going mini-ITX, save the few $$ and go for the i5-2400. You can't overclock with any H67/H61 based mini-ITX motherboards and the overclocking on the mini-ITX Z68 boards is unreliable.

Considering you're no longer going to game on the computer, overclocking would be a complete waste of your time and money.

An i5 is a bit of overkill for music and web surfing. An i3-2100 will give you plenty of performance and will cost $50 less.

That being said, if the budget allowed for it, I'd pair up the i5-2400 with a good H67 board to make sure it's fairly futureproof. It is more power than you need right now, but your needs may change in 2-3 years and the extra $50 now might save you another $180 in a few years if you need to upgrade.
September 19, 2011 2:56:51 PM

Hi Steve,

that's some pretty solid advice.

if i've understood you correctly what you are trying to say is that although the i3 is more than ample for my kind of usage it will be wiser to get a i5 because...

1. if i decide to game on this pc then i5 will give better frame rates and also be able to play more games into the future than a i3.

2. An i5 might help me skip one generation of "Processors" which probably might not be possible/feasible/ideal with the i3 ...?

3. i generally only upgrade in 3-5 yrs time. So keeping that aspect in mind an i5 will help me last longer as it will be able to compute and perform better than a i3 for the needs and demands of software in 3-5 yrs time than a i3.

But i had a doubt in regards to point no 3. Say in 3-5 yrs time my i3 can't keep up with the software of that time. in the same vein won't the i5 struggle too ? i ask this because todays "Dual core" seem to perform better than last and last to last year's "Quad core" Cpus. Hence won't the "Dual Core" of 3-5 yrs in future be much superior of the "Quad Core" of today ?

In that case won't spending approximately 150-250 dollars for a new CPU+MOBO combo after 3-5 yrs give me much better performance than spending extra 50 dollars now to extend a current setup's life...?

Regards,

Rana.

P.S: By the way your itx gamer website www.itxgamer.com is awesome...!!! :D 
September 19, 2011 4:15:21 PM

rana_kirti said:
Hi Steve,

that's some pretty solid advice.

if i've understood you correctly what you are trying to say is that although the i3 is more than ample for my kind of usage it will be wiser to get a i5 because...

1. if i decide to game on this pc then i5 will give better frame rates and also be able to play more games into the future than a i3.

2. An i5 might help me skip one generation of "Processors" which probably might not be possible/feasible/ideal with the i3 ...?

3. i generally only upgrade in 3-5 yrs time. So keeping that aspect in mind an i5 will help me last longer as it will be able to compute and perform better than a i3 for the needs and demands of software in 3-5 yrs time than a i3.

But i had a doubt in regards to point no 3. Say in 3-5 yrs time my i3 can't keep up with the software of that time. in the same vein won't the i5 struggle too ? i ask this because todays "Dual core" seem to perform better than last and last to last year's "Quad core" Cpus. Hence won't the "Dual Core" of 3-5 yrs in future be much superior of the "Quad Core" of today ?

In that case won't spending approximately 150-250 dollars for a new CPU+MOBO combo after 3-5 yrs give me much better performance than spending extra 50 dollars now to extend a current setup's life...?

Regards,

Rana.

P.S: By the way your itx gamer website www.itxgamer.com is awesome...!!! :D 


Well, just throwing it out there that you could go with an i3-2100. That's about $80 - $100 in your pocket that you will save from an i5. It also depends on your use. Do you do a lot of encoding/video creation/editing or a lot of 3D design? Or are you a user who uses the internet, watches 1080P videos, uses Microsoft Office, does some gaming? If the latter then an i3 will also a solid choice. Hell, people get by on Core 2 Duos.

I personally went with an i3-2100 and a GTS 450 for gaming. Everybody here would say that's a crappy combination because everyone here is an enthusiast and will recommend the best. I overclocked the GTS 450 and I play every game on 1080p at 40-60FPS with some settings turned off. (Such as no SSAO, and only 2x AA in some games, but it still looks darn good and the GTS 450 cost me $60, and the i3-2100 cost me $110). I get over 80FPS in Deus Ex Human Revolution at 1080p with everything except SSAO set to max.

It's up to you though. It's better to upgrade every 2 years than every 5 years. In 2 years the successor to the successor of Ivy Bridge will be released and you may want to upgrade then even if you ended up buying an i7 because the performance will be amazing. That's why you always buy what you need. Never look to the future with technology.

Basically never try future proofing a system. You're going to spend more money and technology is never truly future proof. Only get an i5 if you truly need it. The i3 also has hyper-threading which can't compare to actual cores but still helps a lot. 4 Cores / 4 Threads (i5) > 2 Cores / 4 Threads (i3) always but having 4 threads still helps over having only 2 threads :kaola: 

Up to you.
a c 190 à CPUs
September 19, 2011 5:22:00 PM

Since you are looking for this as a small form factor computer and with your projected usage model, I am going to advise that you pick up the Intel® Core™ i3-2105. The Intel Core i3-2105 is just like the Intel Core i3-2100 except that it has the Intel HD 3000 Graphics. Since you won't be adding a graphics card this should give you some low to med level graphics support off the IGP (Intergraded Graphics on Processor). As far as a board goes the Intel Desktop board DH67CF would be a good board for you as an Mini-ITX build.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
September 19, 2011 5:42:22 PM

Yeah, but Intel Integrated graphics suck.

If I was going to build a MiniITX system, to say, watch netflix movies, listen to music, browse the web, and do some light gaming on, I'd get a system with a Llano APU. Not an Intel anything.

Llano performs like an Athlon II X4, and yeah Intel i3s can best that. But, the thing is, on that type of system it doesn't matter. What I will notice, though, is the terrible, and I mean terrible, graphics performance on the Intel APU.
a b à CPUs
September 19, 2011 5:49:59 PM

Never understood 20+ tabs open at once....

Anyway, I also agree with the Llano APU's. The graphics card is better than the Intel's, and since you're looking at a MiniITX system, it will be impossible to upgrade the GPU later on.
September 19, 2011 7:50:09 PM

rana_kirti said:
Hi Steve,

3. i generally only upgrade in 3-5 yrs time. So keeping that aspect in mind an i5 will help me last longer as it will be able to compute and perform better than a i3 for the needs and demands of software in 3-5 yrs time than a i3.

But i had a doubt in regards to point no 3. Say in 3-5 yrs time my i3 can't keep up with the software of that time. in the same vein won't the i5 struggle too ? i ask this because todays "Dual core" seem to perform better than last and last to last year's "Quad core" Cpus. Hence won't the "Dual Core" of 3-5 yrs in future be much superior of the "Quad Core" of today ?



It's basically all about how much you want to spend. Aftcomet makes a great point

Quote:
Basically never try future proofing a system. You're going to spend more money and technology is never truly future proof. Only get an i5 if you truly need it. The i3 also has hyper-threading which can't compare to actual cores but still helps a lot. 4 Cores / 4 Threads (i5) > 2 Cores / 4 Threads (i3) always but having 4 threads still helps over having only 2 threads


I was thinking that the four physical cores of the i5 would give your system a bit longer shelf life due to the fact that new software will be optimised for multi-core processors. The i3 does have hyper-threading, which offers four threads on two cores, but threads are no substitute for physical cores.

My philosophy is buy the best that you can afford and remember that there will always be something better. Its the nature of computers. If budget is no issue, the i5 will give the best performance, hands down. If budget is an issue, the i3 is much cheaper and offers a level of performance that will do the job you need it to.

For most of us, its the money that decides what components we use, not the performance. :) 

P.S. Thanks for the compliment. It's been a lot of work!
September 19, 2011 7:55:59 PM

Quote:
Never understood 20+ tabs open at once....


Lol. Me neither. I never sit down and say to myself I'm going to open 20 browser tabs, but it's amazing how many tabs I have open, especially when working on a website. There's always 10, 20 even 30 tabs open across several different browser windows. It's easier to leave the tab open and just flip to it for a quick check of something rather than waiting for pages to reload.

Quote:
Anyway, I also agree with the Llano APU's. The graphics card is better than the Intel's, and since you're looking at a MiniITX system, it will be impossible to upgrade the GPU later on.


I hope thats a typo. Upgrading a graphics card in an ITX system is as easy as upgrading a graphics card in any other system. Open case. Plug in. Play. Not to mention an ITX system will take any graphics card that you'd like.
September 21, 2011 1:40:24 PM

after a bit of thinking i have decided to after all do gaming on this PC and decided to go for the i5 2400.

For the GPU i intend to get the AMD 6870.

But i think i'll have to wait for Ivy Bridge. A lot of you will not believe this but the main reason for this is USB 3.0...!!

USB 3.0 is extremely important to me. And i'm not impressed by the fact that i couldn't find a single mini itx sff case that has USB 3.0 in the front panel. Sure there are options with USB 3.0 in front in mini-towers but that will be too big for my needs. I strictly need a Mini Case like the Sugo 05/06 or at max the Sugo 07.

But i can't get myself to reach at the back of the case to access USB 3.0, Hence i feel i'm forced to wait for Ivy Bridge as it will have native USB 3.0 and i'm sure all the mini itx mobos will come with internal USB 3.0 header and also mini itx/sff case manufacturers will updates their cases to USB 3.0 in front.

What say guys ?

Regards,

Rana
September 21, 2011 4:07:46 PM

If you need it then you need it. It's going to be a while. Sadly, mini-ITX hardware and accessories are not usually at the top of the manufacturers list of items to update.

Off the top of my head, the Zotac Z68 WiFi has an internal USB 3.0 header, but I think its the only one.

The case selections is your problem. The Lian-Li (and maybe a couple of others) has front USB 3.0 (sort of, if you sacrifice the rear ports) but it might be a bit to large for you as it is mini-ITX, but tower style.

Could you use a USB 3.0 hub?
September 23, 2011 9:18:35 PM

steve,

yep i really need the USB 3.0, i researched a bit more. My card is going to be the 6870 which won't fit into the Sugo 05/06. I guess they can take in only 9.5" graphics cards.

Hence the minimum i'll have to go for is Sugo 07.

The Sugo 07 is L x b X H = 8.7 x 7.4 x 13.7

I researched a bit more and came across the Lian Li PC-Q08. its the same L x B as the Sugo 07 but is 3 inches taller.

heres a pic...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lian-li-pc-q08-silv...

i can do a back to front usb 3.0 on this case.

It's a bit bigger but i like the fact i can put in 6870 in there and i can also put in more than 1 3.5" HDD in there.

I read a bit about USB 3.0 hubs but it seem they get kinda on/off iffy reviews.

Did you know of any other small mini itx case with front USB 3.0, and which can take in the 6870 and have 1+ 3.5 HDDs ?

If i want to go with this build now the Lian Li PC-Q08 seems to be my best bet. Or else i think i see a 6-8 months wait for Ivy Bridge mini itx mobos with internal USB 3.0 header and ssf cases with front USB 3.0

Regards,

Rana
September 24, 2011 9:34:46 PM

I should have read my last post more carefully. I didn't mention the PC-Q08 specifically and I should have. It was the model I was thinking of. I've used in a build (i5-2500K/H67/HD6850/700w) and it was fantastic. I did a full review on it for my site. Have a look:

Lian Li PC-Q08: A Not-So-Mini Mini-ITX Chassis

It's a bit on the larger side for a mini-ITX case (in height mostly), but it holds an awful lot. 300mm video cards, 4+ 3.5 HDD, full size ATX power supplies and the build quality is top-notch.

I don't recall if any of the other Sugo or PC-Q cases have the front USB.

S.
!