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Need some help deciding on a CPU

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November 28, 2011 5:09:48 PM

I'm trying to decide on a CPU & Motherboard for my new build. I plan to create music in FL Studio, run VMs, do some minor gaming, Internet Browsing, Watching Movies, and maybe some video editing. So far the Core i5 2500k has my attention due to its good price-to-performance ratio. I've also been checking out some of AMD's processors as well, but I don't know what would be good for my uses. I did look at the FX series, but they seem to have compatibility issues and are terrible for single-threaded tasks? Are the Six-Core AMD CPU's any good for what I'd be doing? How do they compare to the Core i5? My budget is around the $500 area, so nothing over the price of a 2500k and as for the motherboard, nothing over $130. I don't plan to use a graphics card right away, so the AMD motherboard would need to have integrated graphics. I appreciate your help!

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November 28, 2011 5:38:30 PM

I have the 1055t which is the lowest 6 core processor but not exactly a bad chip, however the 2500k beats it in most applications, therefore go with either 2500k or 2600k and overclock it maybe to 4GHz it will go higher but really it's pointless.
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November 28, 2011 6:40:10 PM

Nate quick question for you. You state that you are going to be doing some VMs. So how many VMs are you likely to have up at once? Also do you need to be able to assign hardware to VMs (Virtualization with Directed I/O, this is like assign a nic port to a set VM)? If you are going to be doing more than 3 VMs you might need to look at a Intel® Core™ i7 (4 core/8 threads) and if you have to have VT-d then you cant be looking at a "unlocked processor" or a P67 or Z68 board (You will need to use a Q67 chipset based board).

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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November 28, 2011 8:06:06 PM

I really only plan to have 1 VM opened at a time and No, I don't need to be able to assign hardware to my VMs. Thanks for the reply!
November 28, 2011 8:11:13 PM

majorgibly said:
I have the 1055t which is the lowest 6 core processor but not exactly a bad chip, however the 2500k beats it in most applications, therefore go with either 2500k or 2600k and overclock it maybe to 4GHz it will go higher but really it's pointless.

Thanks for the reply! I think I'm going to go with the 2500k, but do you know any z68 boards that are in my budget range? I was thinking about the AsRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3, but I've never had experience with Asrock or their boards. Is that board any good for what I'd be doing? I may overclock but only to probably 4Ghz, when I come around to it.
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November 28, 2011 8:44:57 PM

Nate take a look at the Asus P8Z68-M Pro board. It is a nice Micro-ATX board that should allow you to overclock the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K to 4GHz +. I resently used this board on a build for a cousin of mine and it came out very nice and goes for about $130.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
November 28, 2011 9:32:29 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Nate take a look at the Asus P8Z68-M Pro board. It is a nice Micro-ATX board that should allow you to overclock the Intel® Core™ i5-2500K to 4GHz +. I resently used this board on a build for a cousin of mine and it came out very nice and goes for about $130.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team

Thanks! Do you know if it is Ivy bridge ready? I was originally looking at this Asrock for $115 with PCI-E 3.0 and it is claimed to be Ivy bridge ready. I don't usually upgrade often, so I would really like to be as "future proof" as possible. Depending on what the prices for ivy bridge are like, I may upgrade and just drop one in the board i buy now. Do you know if this Asrock would suit my needs?
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November 29, 2011 3:03:52 PM

Forgive me Nate but I am unable to comment on if someone else’s product is going to support a future product of ours. Let’s just say that there looks to be some compatibility between the follow on processors to the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors and Z68 chipset. So while things may change before these products are released there is a strong possibility that you are in good shape to use this board with some future products from Intel.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
November 29, 2011 7:04:00 PM

IntelEnthusiast said:
Forgive me Nate but I am unable to comment on if someone else’s product is going to support a future product of ours. Let’s just say that there looks to be some compatibility between the follow on processors to the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors and Z68 chipset. So while things may change before these products are released there is a strong possibility that you are in good shape to use this board with some future products from Intel.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team

Thank you, that was very helpful! I think I will go with that board then, and pair it with a 2500k. Do you know how well the HD 3000 graphics will perform for current games such as Skyrim? I don't expect much from it, but do you know if the games would be playable at say low-med settings?
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November 29, 2011 7:23:53 PM

I have heard in WOW in a high traffic area you might get 30 FPS from the Intel® HD 3000 Graphics. So based on the amount of memory that you dedicated to it you will get have a strong impact on its performance. To give you an idea of how these graphics would compare to other video cards think about the Radeon HD 5450 or a 9500GT and you would get a good idea of the overall performance of the IGP (Intergraded Graphics on Processor). So it will get the job done but not be the what you want to go with in a long term solution for heavy gaming.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
November 29, 2011 7:53:05 PM

Well, its good thing I decided to go with 8GB of RAM instead of only 4GB. What would be the recommended amount of memory that I should dedicate to the IGP, if I do happen to play some games such as Skyrim or the MMO that you mentioned? Thanks for the quick reply by the way!
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