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Upgrade from a i7 920

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  • Intel i7
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November 25, 2011 5:04:26 AM

Hi there...

First of all my english is not the best so forgive me any spelling or syntax errors...

So, as the title suggests i am thinking about upgrading my system, i feel like my i7 920 is getting way too old, it's not that i'm complaining about it but since the introduction of the 1155 socket i feel like my cpu golden days are far gone, therefore, in need of replacement.

My specs are:

MB: Gygabyte EX58 UD3R rev 1.6 (updated to 2.0)
CPU: i7 920 2.66hz @ 3.33Ghz (Prolimatech Megahalems MegaShadow with two 2200rpm fans)
RAM: 3 x 2GB Corsair XMS3 1600Mhz CL8 @ 1420Mhz
VGA: Gainward GTX 570 GLH "Goes Like Hell" version
CASE: Tagan Monolize
DISPLAY: Asus VK278Q 27"... it sucks
HDD: 1x640GB WD 7200rpm Sata II (System) + 1x1.5TB Samsung F3 5400rpm Sata II (Storage)
SOUND: Onboard Realtek AC888 + Logitech Z-2300
PSU: Corsair HX-750

I can run pretty much everything quite well, or at least all the games and apps i have ran so far, but i know that an upgrade to a i7 2600k or an i7 3820 will give me a nice performance bump, the bump i need to stay one foot ahead when it comes to gaming as i like to be, in other words, without worries about being able or not to run a specific game or app.

My budget right now is 450€, but i'd really like to know your opinions about a possible upgrade, if you think it's needed and if you do should i upgrade to 1155 or 2011 socket?

If you don't think i need to upgrade my cpu right now then what would you upgrade with the budget i mentioned, just take into account that getting another GTX 570 is not an option, first because i would probably need another psu (and not a cheap one), secondly because my pci-e slots are separated only by a pci slot so the graphics cards woulded be separated only by two or three millimeters which would probably make temps a constant worry and last but not less important, i am certain that my cpu would bottleneck those cards so it woulded be a major investment (graphics card plus a psu) for a minor performance increase.

Also, i am not a great solid state drives fan, i mean, i am, writing 500Mb and some even getting near 1GB per second, that surely pleases me but with all this stuff i have been hearing about a very limited writing cycles (in other words, very limited lifespan) i am not willing to spend 200+€ to use a a HDD for a year (my pc is constantly turned on 24/7/365). Also, keep in mind that my board only supports Sata II, so if i were to get one, in order to get a good one i woulded need to go for a pci-e which are even more expensive and that does not really help me to change my mind.

Anyway, i hope i am not being a pain in the ass, and i am sorry for not being more objective but i just wanted you to see things from my perspective.

So if you have an opinion, please, let me know.

Thanks in advance...

More about : upgrade 920

November 25, 2011 5:16:36 AM

First of all, don't worry about being a pain in the ass...We are here to help..

Second of all, that is a very capable system. I would rather save for a an upgrade. The question is, how much can you wait?

450$ - immediate - 1155 - 2500K + nice mobo - path to IVB (not very good)
Save up - wait - 2011 - SB-E - path to IVB-E.

Would rather wait till 2H 2012 for the bleeding edge after the dust has settled following IVB, the appearance of the 3980X and for moar, an IVB-E in the future.
November 25, 2011 1:46:39 PM

Thanks for the reply...

Yes, i have also thought about waiting for an eventual price drop on the socket 1155 due to the release of a new socket (even though one is high-end and the other mainstream), also i'd like to see prices getting even lower after the release of the i7 2700K cpu, not to mention that AMD will surely bring something new to the table in a near future and even though they are always one step behind intel (or at least they have always been) they sometimes get some interesting stuff and always at good prices.

I am going to sound like a noob now but screw it.... what is IVB-E... new chipset? (i have googled it but only ivb-e doesn't get me anywere)... am i missing something? Just give me a link...

Anyway, i have been known for getting ahead of myself plenty of times and i am afraid of doing it again, for instance, when i bought my i7 920 (250€) i also bought my motherboard (180€), ram (190€) and the cpu cooler (70€), i spent 700€ only to see my socket abandoned a few months later. But the true is that if we go on thinking like that then we will never buy anything, the same applies for the fact that there is always something new to wait for, a new socket, new processors etc...

But something tells me that the 1155 socket still has many cards to play...
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November 25, 2011 2:38:16 PM

I also run a 920 (4ghz) and have been quite pleased with the performance. The clear upgrade is into the Sandy bridge line. You will never have the most recent "best" computer for more than 3-6 months as the roll out times for the latest and not always the greatest are getting very short. I agree that you might consider saving a bigger pile of cash and when you find yourself unable to play or use an application look to a system upgrade. No matter what it will be mobo., cpu, cooler (if no adapter is available) and probably memory. I also have Corsair memory and looked to add another trip. chn. set. My mdel is no longer made. Corsair advised me to buy a new 3X4 set as mixing of non exact will cause instability (I knew this). GL
a c 93 B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2011 4:24:08 PM

Your system is pretty good as is. I too have an i7-920 and it has been quite excellent for the most part. If you wanted an immediate upgrade I'd look into getting a nice SSD. But I'm guessing that your motherboard probably doesn't support SATA-III / 6GBs. In which case I'd recommend getting an Intel 320 or Crucial RealSSD for your system.

I'm planning to upgrade my system to SB part by part (I'm debating between SB and AM3 - I can use either/or) and after weighing the pros and cons of SB vs. AM3 it looks like SB is winning by a long shot especially since you can upgrade to IB with just a CPU.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2011 4:58:04 PM

Can you go beyond 3.33Ghz with your Prolimatech Megahalems Megashadow?
November 25, 2011 5:21:47 PM

jemm said:
Can you go beyond 3.33Ghz with your Prolimatech Megahalems Megashadow?


I cooler can certainly hold much much more than that but i am not a great overclocker, , but i have seen guys with weaker coolers taking an i7 920 to 3.6~3.7Ghz. As far as i can tell this cooler goes neck and neck with noctuas's mammoths NH-C14 and NH-D14.

This Megashadow is just a Prolimatech's Megahalems limited edition, it is full nickel plated to give him a darker and shinier look (you can even tell if you are well shaved just by looking at it) but in terms of performance it is simply the exactly same thing as it's original version, but ends up costing 10€ more because of nickel plating (70€ no fans included), equip it with two high rpm fans as i did (2400+rpm) and its just amazing, my cpu on full load don't go past 62Cº, and last time i checked you have adapters to almost any socket, so i definitely vouch for this cooler if your interested, even though for the price tag you have plenty of other respectful competitors.
November 25, 2011 5:26:37 PM

jemm said:
Can you go beyond 3.33Ghz with your Prolimatech Megahalems Megashadow?


Just change the "I" for "My" in the beginning of my last post, i tried to edit it but for some reason i don't have the rights to edit my own posts... interesting...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2011 5:42:48 PM

Turn off hyperthreading on your 920 and you will have a lot more OC headroom, not to mention it will run a lot cooler. I consider my 920 a bit of a dog OCer (step C0/C1) but even it can go to 3.6ghz HT off on 1.38v. 1.38v sounds high, but with HT off it runs well below 70c, but it will depend on your ambient temps too.

My 920 is still more than enough for any game out currently, even BF3 doesn't fully utilize all 4 cores and that's the most CPU intensive game in certain situations (64 player, vehicles, etc.). I consider going from LGA 1366 to LGA 1155 a downgrade in some ways, since X58 and X79 are considered the high-end Intel platforms. If I were to upgrade I would go with an X79 setup, since it's an upgrade in every way to X58, from memory channels to much higher PCI lanes. The only problem is there is no 920 equivalent in X79, and the prices are sky high since Intel basically has no competition at this level.
November 25, 2011 7:07:37 PM

I920/DO @4ghz. Multip.@21/BLK 191 1.248V Prime 95 any test 24hrs Max Temp (Real Temps) 69-72 core dependent. Intel Burn Test 20 runs 8 threads/Max memory and stress Lvl @ max/no errors same temps. Using a Noctua NH-D14 slow fan speed. Been this way for about 2 years now never a problem (Asus P6X58D MB). HT=on
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2011 7:27:32 PM

SSD write endurance has not been an issue for some time, every drive you can buy has TRIM support.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 25, 2011 7:42:06 PM

I don't recommend upgrading.
November 26, 2011 3:33:00 AM

CryptorX said:
Thanks for the reply...

I am going to sound like a noob now but screw it.... what is IVB-E... new chipset? (i have googled it but only ivb-e doesn't get me anywere)... am i missing something? Just give me a link...



IVB-E is a cryptic way of writing Ivy Bridge E - it is the successor on the Intel roadmap to the Sandy Bridge E family that was released recently.

Sandy Bridge E is the first CPU / chip set using the LGA 2011 socket. It has quad channel RAM, and it's really rather good - 40 PCIe lanes instead of the 20 on Sandy Bridge; 6 hyper-threaded cores. Most (all?) of the Sandy Bridge E motherboards (using the X79 chipset) offer 8 DIMM slots (4 on either side of the CPU), so you can get to 32GB using 4GB DIMMs.

LGA 2011 is pretty much the natural follow on from LGA 1366.

The only catch is that Sandy Bridge E is rather expensive at the moment. I'm lusting after a 3930K + X79 at the moment, but it will set me back over A$1k, and I can't justify it yet.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 26, 2011 8:18:06 AM

Is Virtualiazation on in the bios?
November 27, 2011 3:38:02 AM

Ok... so my budget just gone up to 550€ ($770) and i can upgrade to a 1155 platform with a pretty decent motherboard, a 2600K and a nice set of ram, maybe even a nice cooler but if i need to hold a bit with the stock cooler to get some better ram or a better motherboard than i think it's the better option.

Do you guys think i will get a nice fps boost or should i hold my horses for now?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2011 8:11:44 AM

I think it is not a good time for an upgrade of plataform now. However you´d get some more power by getting a second graphic card for a SLI, and tunning your over.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 27, 2011 8:18:28 AM

Hold your horses. You have a well performing CPU, so no need to upgrade. Even at 3.33GHz, it will perform great. Learn more about OCing the 1st gen i7s, get tips from others who have done so, look up settings, and so on. No need to upgrade ATM. You will probably last a good 2 or so years until needing an upgrade.

A much more considerable upgrade, as mentioned by jemm, is getting a second GTX 570.
December 3, 2011 12:47:47 AM

Sorry for the late reply... and thanks for all the help so far, right now im leaning towards keeping this i7 920, at least for another year.

I guess i am really going to upgrade my from a single GTX570 instead... but that leaves me with another question...

Maybe i should open a new topic (if that is the case let me know)...

My doubts are... Is my HX-750 going to support two GTX570? I know each 570 consumes about 230W at most, so 2 will be arround 440~450W (just a guess), this leaves me with 300W, now with my slight OC and the rest of the system i don't know if it is going to overload the PSU, though i have heard that this psu is able to hold up to a 900w load and still maintain a 80 plus bronze certificate, but mine one has 4 years and by doing so i might drastically shorten his lifespan, not to mention that i don't know if she is going to refuse to start in case she detects an overload.

Well... that's the psu question, now the other which is obviously... isn't my GPU going to bottleneck these cards? I think it might be too much power to handle for my 920...

So, both this questions brings me to a new one... wouldn't it be better to sell my gtx570 and get a few more €'s to get two 560ti, i heard two 460 surpass a single 580 so two 560 should be around 20 to 30% better than a single 580, therefore, 40 to 50% better than my 570, im sure that my cpu wouldn't bottleneck them and my psu can handle those. The only thing that concerns me is the 1GB of ram, but if you guys think that is enough to take full advantage of a 1920x1080 display than i am ok with that...

So... what do you guys think about this?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 1:14:15 AM

For starters, an i7 920 @ 3.33GHz will not bottleneck a pair of GTX 570 significantly to cause a loss of performance-if not at all.

An HX750 will be enough for a pair of GTX 570 and an i7 920 OCed. The most power you could probably draw is around 650W on load, but those situations aren't common.

Keep the GTX 570. It's an awesome card and will perform great at 1080p even with 1.28GB of VRAM. You'll be fine with it and get great performance. Since you already have it, just keep it. Remember not all games work well with SLI, so technically speaking, you'd want to resort to single GTX 570 than a single GTX 560 Ti (though there isn't anything wrong with a GTX 560 Ti).
December 3, 2011 12:33:29 PM

AbdullahG said:
For starters, an i7 920 @ 3.33GHz will not bottleneck a pair of GTX 570 significantly to cause a loss of performance-if not at all.

An HX750 will be enough for a pair of GTX 570 and an i7 920 OCed. The most power you could probably draw is around 650W on load, but those situations aren't common.

Keep the GTX 570. It's an awesome card and will perform great at 1080p even with 1.28GB of VRAM. You'll be fine with it and get great performance. Since you already have it, just keep it. Remember not all games work well with SLI, so technically speaking, you'd want to resort to single GTX 570 than a single GTX 560 Ti (though there isn't anything wrong with a GTX 560 Ti).


I must say i really have my doubts about a HX750 being able to handle two 570, and if it can it will be near it's limits all the time... I just don't feel at ease because buying another 570 is a considerable investment, now if i end needing to get a better psu which is certainly not going to be cheap (150€+) i end up with a 450€ investment, and if my cpu ends up bottle-necking them, then i'm left with a 450€ investment for a minor performance increase and that would completely redefine my concept of frustration. I am not doubting your word but i need to be certain before getting another 570, if someone can confirm me that it's okay to get another then i will get another this next Monday!
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 6:18:03 PM

CryptorX said:
I must say i really have my doubts about a HX750 being able to handle two 570, and if it can it will be near it's limits all the time... I just don't feel at ease because buying another 570 is a considerable investment, now if i end needing to get a better psu which is certainly not going to be cheap (150€+) i end up with a 450€ investment, and if my cpu ends up bottle-necking them, then i'm left with a 450€ investment for a minor performance increase and that would completely redefine my concept of frustration. I am not doubting your word but i need to be certain before getting another 570, if someone can confirm me that it's okay to get another then i will get another this next Monday!

Don't let paranoia get to you. Understand that your CPU is great and has a lot of power in it. An i7 920 @ 3.33GHz will NOT significantly bottleneck a pair or GTX 570s. I assure you that, and majority of Tom's would do the same. If you truly feel uncomfortable with an HX750, consider the Silverstone 850W PSU for the same price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2011 10:54:08 PM

I think the OP has already got a HX-750.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2011 12:09:53 AM

Oh yeah I forgot. Don't worry eitehr way. A quality 750W PSU (yours being one) will handle your system just fine.
!