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Is an i7 9xx necessary for gaming alone?

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October 29, 2011 12:24:18 PM

Hi folks,

I've read a bit about this recently but a lot of the threads I've found are out of date. As things stand right now, there seems to be no reason (other than bragging rights, which is an understandable temptation) to buy an i7 9xx for gaming alone.

There are currently no games that use more than 3 cores but what I want to know is, if someone has a crystal ball, will there be games that utilise 5 or 6 cores in the next few years? Is it worth buying a hex-core i7 at all? From what I've read, the i7-2600k is the dogs bollocks and offers the same, or better, gaming performance than even the i7 990x.

Thanks

More about : 9xx gaming

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October 29, 2011 12:43:53 PM

The i7 990x is bought for non-gaming tasks while the i5 2500K is the best gaming CPU for the money.
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October 29, 2011 12:44:35 PM

if you haven't bought the i7 9xx yet, then you might not need to buy it. an i5 2500k or 2600k will be plenty for gaming. a hex core 9xx isn't worth the money.
no one can say what will happen in the future. future games might utilize more cores or use cpu resources more efficiently. some newer games already recommend 4 core cpus. most games use 2+ cores.
if you must get an i7 9xx type cpu and you have the money to spend, try the upcoming sb-e i7 3xxx cpus using x79 chipset. they will replace current x58 platform. they might not deliver substantial gaming performance over current 2500k or 2600k but they haven't been released or benchmarked yet. check out tom's 3xxx preview article.
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October 29, 2011 12:48:23 PM

Thanks for the advice. My Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz is just over 3 years old now and is coping but I want to build something that'll last for 4 or 5 more years. I think I'll save my £££s and get something a bit more modest than an i7 9xx.
October 29, 2011 1:28:32 PM

If u want to O.C u can get 1 of these models I5-2500k/I7-2600k else just get the I5-2400. My favorite is the I7-2600k, but if u want the CPU only for gaming go for the I5-2500k/I5-2400.
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October 29, 2011 9:29:39 PM

Ivy Bridge will be the successor to Intel's currently Sandy Bridge CPUs (like the Core i5-2500k and i7-2600k). You may want to wait for it to come out if you are looking for the best performance for your money in the near term. However, IB is not expect to be released until the end of 2011 or sometime in March 2012.

There are games that can use 4 core, but not every effectively. I believe Anandtech did a review of CPUs and games and found that the 4th core only brought on average a 6% increase in performance for games that can use up to 4 cores.

The Q9550 is still a capable CPU so waiting until March 2012 shouldn't be too big of a deal unless you really have a burning desire to upgrade your PC as soon as possible. I am still using my Q9450 which is overclocked to 3.0GHz and I find it's performance is still adequate for my needs. I'm looking at upgrading to Ivy Bridge, but I might OC up to 3.5GHz just to get better performance and postpone my upgrade.
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October 29, 2011 9:53:50 PM

shep66 said:
Thanks for the advice. My Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz is just over 3 years old now and is coping but I want to build something that'll last for 4 or 5 more years. I think I'll save my £££s and get something a bit more modest than an i7 9xx.


Are you not interested in overclocking that CPU you currently have ? Im sure you would be really happy with the additional performance at 3.5ghz -4ghz
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October 30, 2011 12:04:26 AM

For gaming your gpu will play a more important part and what resolution your planning to play on. For the price of the I7 9xx you can get yourself the 2500k, and a 6950/560ti or a Gtx 570 if you plan to play on 1080p.
October 30, 2011 4:09:14 PM

spentshells said:
Are you not interested in overclocking that CPU you currently have ? Im sure you would be really happy with the additional performance at 3.5ghz -4ghz

I'd love to OC it but I tried it once and made a hash of it. The other problem is my rig is experiencing a major problem that I thought I'd fixed 6 months ago and I can't even get it started. Power goes to the mobo, the optical drive lights up, then no POST, no beeps, nothing but fans spinning and the mobo light on. Anyway, that's one for another thread.
I'm leaning towards the i7-2600k (I don't mind spending a bit more for some extra potential) but can wait another 6 months or so and so might get the IB.
I've also got a GTX480 and play on 1080p and the plan is to buy another for a 2-way SLI. Once you get to 1080p and beyond the extra 480 makes a big difference.
October 30, 2011 5:29:40 PM

spentshells said:
Are you not interested in overclocking that CPU you currently have ? Im sure you would be really happy with the additional performance at 3.5ghz -4ghz

If you have a fail-safe, dummies guide to basic OCing, can you post a link? I think I came undone last time when I started fiddling with the FSB speed.
!