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Considering an Intel CPU, questions and decision points.

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February 1, 2012 8:04:59 PM

Hullo,

I was certain for a while that I wanted to get an i7-2600k for a gaming rig I am planning to build. I tuned out the arguments and suggestions to get an i5, up until I began considering getting something as pricey as the i7-3930k. So now I'm indecisive.

A term I keep hearing is 'future-proof', and I've been assuming that it means to make sure the components in the rig have a good degree of longevity. That sounds pretty neat to me.

The primary use for the computer is gaming. I kinda want to call it hardcore, but not on the 'BF3 at ultra EVERYTHING' settings (which would be nice...), but whatever you want to call a 5760*1080 resolution.

So, getting to the point.

I understand that the i5 does not have hyperthreading. I understand that with games, hyperthreading may render things a little quicker, but not that much more noticeably. But since hardware and graphics are getting better and better and the limitations will always be pushed, it makes me wonder how long it might be until hyperthreading is actually a significant thing to have for gaming.

Does anyone know whether or not games will incorporate more hyperthreading in the months or years to come?
How long will the i5 be a suitable CPU for 'hardcore' gaming?

What if the rig isn't going to be use for just gaming? I may want to go into things like digital art and media, maybe video editing, or even machinima. Are those the types of programs were hyperthreading becomes more appreciated? What does it take to truly stress an i7's hyperthreading capability?
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February 1, 2012 8:16:29 PM

for purelythe gaming aspect than a 2500k would be the best
but since you mention things like video editing and working with digital media
then I would seriously recommend the 2600k

remember gaming will be more dependent on video card
so depending on budget if getting the 2500k means you can afford a better video card
then that makes sense from a gaming aspect

but the 2600k with the HT will very useful for productivity and video editing
if you can the 2600k and still afford a higher end video card then do that

for your resolution you are looking at minimal a GTX570 or HD 6970
a gtx 580 or HD 7950 or HD 7970 would be best

so if budget wise you can afford a high end GPU plus the 2600k that would be best
but if a 2500k lets you afford a better GPU than that would be good also
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February 1, 2012 8:27:20 PM

+1 king smp

When it comes down to it most games are designed to use less than 4 threads. So having anything more than that may not give you any extra performance. This is why the benchmarks are slow the Intel Core i5-2500K, Intel Core i7-2600K and the Intel Core i7-3930K all having about the same performance on a gaming system. So go with the Intel Core i5-2500K and get a better video card or an SSD.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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February 1, 2012 8:27:47 PM

king smp,

Thanks for the informative post! Those are the kinds of posts that make this whole process a lot easier.

You've essentially confirmed my thoughts. I'm not exactly worried about my budget, which is why I'm even considering going with an i7-3930k for even more 'future-proofing'. I've yet to figure out whether or not hyperthreading will ever be something that's seen more heavily in gaming. I can only infer from what I've been told that it'll only up productivity and allow me to multitask even more.

I've not yet decided on a GPU configuration, but I am heavily leaing for an HD 7970, or even a pair if that's necessary. I'm an nVidia fanboy, and I'm -really- trying to hold out for their new keplers, but I want this computer built and ready for Mass Effect 3!
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February 1, 2012 8:30:40 PM

hyperthreading has always hurt gaming performance, there will never be more support for it.
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February 1, 2012 8:40:33 PM

IntelEnthusiast,

Thanks for your post as well.

Since I'm not building the computer just for gaming, I will be leaning toward the i7-2600k as I was originally. It makes me curious to know what kind of enthusiast one has to be to make the i7-3930k necessary. What kind of applications make that CPU a must?

Esrever,

'Never' is such a definitive word. With the way technology is going, who knows what is possible.

But I guess it's safe to say that there isn't a company that's trying to push hyperthreading support into their games?
IntelEnthusiast mentioned that games are built to operate on less than 4 threads. That might be what they're built for now, but how long until we see them operating on 5 or more? Will they ever reach the point they're taking up that much power?
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February 1, 2012 8:52:03 PM

hyperthreading just doesn't work for the codes games run. Its not a threading issue, its just when games use more than 4 threads your cpu will perform worse in games than if you disabled hyperthreading. The way efficiency is improved with hyperthreading makes the gpu wait for code that would otherwise be more sequential thus lowering your fps.

You can check online for gaming benchmarks w and w/o hyperthreading.

No game will every support hyperthreading especially if it uses more threads. Performance might become slightly more possitive but hyperthreading isn't going to help in games now or in the near future.
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February 1, 2012 8:55:46 PM

esrever,

I hope I didn't come off as doubting you. I just wanted to make sure I addressed what the current 'state of the game' was, but also to be prepared for the future. I appreciate your posts, and I'll definitely have to look into the benchmarks and compare game performance with and without hyperthreading.

Thanks again!
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February 1, 2012 8:56:12 PM

Best answer selected by MNeidig.
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February 1, 2012 9:19:45 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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