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Upgrade Thoughts SB-E or Ivy B?

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January 8, 2012 2:50:09 PM

I have an old i7 920 that I plan to upgrade in the next couple months. It is running at 3.4 GHz and is pretty snappy but I have another use for it in another machine with a damaged MB so i figure this may be time to upgrade.

I never saw the SB chips as an upgrade since they only had dual channel memory. So my question is will the Ivy Bridge chips be enough faster to justify losing the triple channel memory? Or should I go with the SB-E which have quad channel memory?

I use my computer for gaming, Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator and Lightroom work. I just don't want to go to the trouble unless it is an upgrade.

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January 8, 2012 3:54:11 PM

either way you should wait for ivy since its not that far off, memory bandwidth has much less of an impact on performance than most think, the 920 is still a heavy hitter especially at 3.5, but since it will be in another rig and you must upgrade, you might as well upgrade to the newest kid on the block...IVY
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January 8, 2012 4:02:11 PM

There is almost no performance difference between triple and dual channel memory. Sandy Bridge with it's dual channel is still faster than your I7. At this point I would wait for Ivy, or if you have use for the extra cores go Sandy E. Ivy will no doubt clock higher and perform better in anything that cannot make use of more than 4 cores like games.
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January 8, 2012 5:48:28 PM

I would wait for an i7 ivy so you can put money into graphics. It's not that much long of a wait. Don't build anything until you AMD 7900/nVidia 600 are released so you can compare
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January 8, 2012 5:56:49 PM

No Point in getting an SB-E now. The Ivy Bridges is just around the corner just wait and get the latest and greatest.
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January 8, 2012 5:59:36 PM

I understand Ivy Bridge is newer but I was thinking the dual channel memory may be a downgrade compared to the quad channel the SB-E has.
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January 8, 2012 6:10:48 PM

kdw75 said:
I understand Ivy Bridge is newer but I was thinking the dual channel memory may be a downgrade compared to the quad channel the SB-E has.


You're focusing to much on something that really makes no noticeable difference in performance. There is almost no performance difference between triple and dual channel memory. Sandy Bridge with it's dual channel is still faster than the I7 920.
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January 8, 2012 6:35:53 PM

kdw75 said:
I understand Ivy Bridge is newer but I was thinking the dual channel memory may be a downgrade compared to the quad channel the SB-E has.


No. Triple channel offers virtually no performance advantage at all. For it to make a difference you need to be bandwidth bottlenecked and with a quad core processor you almost ever will be. Some clever so and so will doubtless produce a bandwidth limited scenario but these are not the norm in desktop or workstation scenarios.

Triple channel is really for 8 core Xeon based server applications, where memory bandwidth can start to be a factor.
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January 9, 2012 1:13:36 AM

Best answer selected by kdw75.
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January 9, 2012 2:09:04 AM

i would beg to differ with the above but he is mainly right. especially if you just play games. but some of us do max out our systems and any little extra we can get will help.
the only real difference i have found is that large adress aware programs function smoother as the system loads up... programs that use lots of memory like music/video/gfx editing/creation on semi/professional level.
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