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Core i7 Upgrade

Last response: in CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:14:29 AM


I am looking to upgrade my processor this fall. I currently am running a release i7 920. I am looking for advice on whether I should just step up to a 2600k of if I should go for the 3930k coming out shortly. I do not do alot of video editing or anything but I do not want my CPU to bottleneck my gameplay in high resolution games. I am hoping to semi-furture proof myself with IB coming soon. I do know that the 2600k may share the same IB socket 1155, correct? Any advice would be a huge help for me. Thank you everyone.

More about : core upgrade

October 17, 2011 5:17:54 AM

Forgot to add, with the savings I would buy another gtx 570 for sli. My main concern is high performance gaming.
a b à CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:27:31 AM

waste of money to upgrade. 920 is plenty good for the foreseeable future as SB is 10-15% faster than the nehelams clock for clock and no gpu that i know of can and will have a CPU bottleneck on it. Hell even older Q models (when overclocked) don't even bottleneck that much.

Use that money to get a beefy power supply and another 570. It would give a more immediate performance increase at high resolutions than completely rebuilding your PC for not very significant increases in CPU performance.
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a c 172 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:29:30 AM

If it's for a gaming machine, get the i5-2500K and put the difference toward the second GTX570.
a c 459 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:29:32 AM

The cost to upgrade from what you have now is not worth the small increase in performance to for total amount of money that you need to spend. Generally speaking, the 2nd generation Sandy Bridge CPUs are about 10% faster than the 1st gen Clarkdale CPUs at the same clock speed.

Your current CPU is still fast enough to play games and it will not hold back your video card. Maybe if you XFired two Radeon HD 6990 or SLI'ed two GTX 590 your CPU will be bottlenecked. But if you are only using a single video card, then you should not have to worry since the higher the resolution, the more reliant the will be on the video card.

I would wait for IB to come out 1st before considering an upgrade. However, current speculation is that IB is only going to be a small increase in performance compared to SB. Some early estimates no more than 6% on a clock for clock basis. That is because the basic architecture is pretty mature and only small tweaks will be make to the core. IB CPUs will need to rely on higher speeds to gain performance over SB and since it will be fabricated using the 22mn die process, increased clockspeeds should be available.

Haswell is Intel's next major CPU architecture that is expected to come in 2013. The early consensus is that it will knock the socks off of Ivy Bridge / Sandy Bridge.
October 17, 2011 5:42:34 AM

Thanks for the great advice. So basically my 920 paired with a couple of gtx570's should pretty much tie me over for a while? I am really looking forward to playing SWToR and BF3 without any hiccups close to the highest settings. That is the reason for the question on upgrades. Right now I am trying to figure out the most cost effective equipment to get me to that point. I dont mind paying the price but im not going to pay 500$ for a 3-5% increase.
a c 184 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:42:52 AM

Or you could just overclock your 920 to eliminate bottlenecking? :D 
a c 459 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 5:49:33 AM

jaguarskx said:
Haswell is Intel's next major CPU architecture that is expected to come in 2013. The early consensus is that it will knock the socks off of Ivy Bridge / Sandy Bridge.

Oh, take that statement with a gain of salt, because the early expectations of Bulldozer was it would be equal (or near equal) in performance to Sandy Bridge.

That simply is not the case.
October 17, 2011 5:54:43 AM

So Jaguarskx, if you were me and you were going to spend 500-800$ what would you do?

a c 459 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 6:20:16 AM

For the moment, I would overclock the i7 920 if you have not done so already. I think on average it can be pushed to around 3.2GHz or 3.3GHz. I know it can go up to 3.8GHz though and maybe 4.0GHz if you are lucky and have excellent cooling. You'll need to ask / look around for a good heatsink that will also be compatible with socket 1155 (just in case).

Wait for Ivy Bridge benchmarks to come out and their overclocking potential to decide if upgrading from Clarkdale to Ivy Bridge is worth it. Otherwise, you'll need to wait until 2013 for Haswell to come out.

If you are concerned about gaming performance, then you will get more performance out of a more powerful video card, than a slightly more powerful CPU. Don't waste your $500 - $800 on a meaningless upgrade especially in an uncertain economy like we are currently in where people might be downsized from their jobs.
a b à CPUs
October 17, 2011 6:23:28 AM

Most D0 i7-920s can go to 3.8-4.0ghz quite easily on a good cooler. A popular cooler is always the Coolermaster 212+ and it is compatible with anything i can think of.

@Jaguarskx - this is a Nehalem processor / not clarkdale.
a c 459 à CPUs
October 17, 2011 6:26:30 AM

Whoops. You're right. It's Nehalem.

I've been giving advice on the Core i5 so I got used to simply typing "Clarkdale".
October 17, 2011 7:06:42 AM

In my opinion, owners of any gen core i7 or good i5 should wait till Haswell for a good value upgrade- 8 fast cores in 2013. No games should bottleneck on these processors till 2013 at least.