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Recommended CPU || Intel or AMD (read)

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February 28, 2012 3:41:11 PM

Alright, so I'm working on a $3000 budget dream-PC.

1000 will be dedicated to the dual 7970 config I decided on.

So basically $2000.

The only thing I'm having a difficult time deciding on is the processor.
At first I wanted to go with the AMD FX 8 core, but after reading some about it, I understand that it's not a
true eight-core.

So now, I'm considering a core i7 quad core as they are equipped with 4 real cores, and the overclocking is amazing.

I need a bit of help with this decision, so if anyone can help out that would be great.
I WILL be liquid cooling so consider the fact that I'm overclocking as well.
February 28, 2012 3:47:54 PM

Definitely go with Intel on this one.

If you can allow it in your budget, get the i7-3930k.

It has 6 REAL cores, and can be overclocked well, especially if you are using liquid cooling. I believe it costs around $550, although I am from the UK so can't give you any reccommended sellers.

It uses the LGA2011 socket, so something like the Asus Sabertooth X79 would be good ($250~).

I can't give you any advice from personal experience as I have never had enough money to build something like this, although what I have suggested appears to me to be kind of what you're after.
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February 28, 2012 3:51:11 PM

its a no brainer the intel over the amd fx

2500k if you dont need hyperthreading

2600k if you want hyperthreading

both great overclockers

both will do 4.5ghz plus with watercooling

my 2600k does 5ghz
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February 28, 2012 3:54:57 PM

LGA2011 socket is a dead end path so wouldnt recommend it
February 28, 2012 3:57:29 PM

@mcnumpty23- how so? from what i've heard, newer intel processors are the best for the money right now. just wasnt sure if AMD's "8" cores would out perform it
February 28, 2012 4:03:39 PM

Yeah, you can save money by getting the 2600k or 2500k as suggested above
February 28, 2012 4:03:51 PM

They use the 1155 socket.
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February 28, 2012 4:24:18 PM

grimjim6 said:
@mcnumpty23- how so? from what i've heard, newer intel processors are the best for the money right now. just wasnt sure if AMD's "8" cores would out perform it




the 2600k with a future upgrade path to ivybridge would be my choice

if it was for professional video/animation rendering and you have the budget then the i7-3930k.

may be the right option

but for general use and gaming the 2600k overclocked to 4.5ghz plus has the power to do

anything you throw at it and costs a lot less


February 28, 2012 4:29:33 PM

mcnumpty23 said:
LGA2011 socket is a dead end path so wouldnt recommend it



It's about as dead as 1155, as both sockets are also made for Ivy Bridge chips, 1155 for the non-enthusiast, non-extreme Ivy Bridge processors, and 2011 for the up-and-coming Ivy Bridge-E processors. I don't know what you mean when you say "dead path", when it is not any different than AMD and their "dead path" AM3+ socket, when in fact the upgrade path for Intel from Sandy to Ivy is more favorable than the upgrade path between Bulldozer and Piledriver, given that the 2500K alone waxes the 8150 in MOST tasks. Do some basic research before you make a statement like that, it's been known for a while that all the Ivy Bridge chips would use the same socket that their counterpart Sandy Bridge's use.

On the topic of 2600K vs 3930K......if you are allotting $2,000 for the CPU, Mobo, RAM, HDD, SSD, displays, etc., and you really want the best that Intel has to offer for the money right now, I would go for the 3930K. That chip and the motherboard should eat up not much more than $1,000, leaving you with a cool grand for the remainder of the equipment. A couple things to consider, though. If you just want a kick-ass gaming machine, I don't know if the 3930K is going to blow away the 2600K in that department, it will just be a little more future-proof. The second thing is that there was a shortage of 3930K's, so it may still be difficult to get one right now, and/or the price has risen because of the shortage.
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February 28, 2012 4:58:39 PM

mcnumpty23 said:
the 2600k with a future upgrade path to ivybridge would be my choice

if it was for professional video/animation rendering and you have the budget then the i7-3930k.

may be the right option

but for general use and gaming the 2600k overclocked to 4.5ghz plus has the power to do

anything you throw at it and costs a lot less

^ Very succinct. If you want a little explanation why:

The Sandy Bridge-E chips give you more cores and better arithmetic units if you're doing heavy productivity apps, like media transcoding, 3D design, or hi-res image design.

The i7-2600K gives you a small clock speed boost over the 2500K, but it's meaningless if you're OCing. The hyper-threading and additional L3 will give you a little more oomph for media and design apps that utilize them, but will largely be ignored by games.

But if you're just making this a solid, general purpose machine that can chow down on games, I'd just go for the 2500K and put $100 toward something else.

Personally, I'm not sold on SB-E for general consumers. For dedicated professionals, yes, they make sense. But for general use I see them as complete overkill. If it was me, I'd stick with LGA 1155. For the same money as a baseline X79 board and 3930K, you can get a completely tricked out mboard and a large SSD ( or even an SSD array! ) And if Ivy Bridge incorporates the arithmetic improvements of SB-E ( which I believe it will, ) in the long run you only lose two cores that may or may not even get used.

There's nothing wrong with building under budget. If you've still got some left over, get a new monitor, a specialized mouse, a headset, some new speakers, etc.
February 28, 2012 5:05:15 PM

For the motherboard this one is top of the line

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for your CPU if you really want that 3930k and a microcenter is near you you can get for for a cool 600 bucks http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

if not amazon is charging the cheapest shipping I can find

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00603QXPM/ref=asc_df_B00603QX...

I personally think the i7 2600k. Its way cheaper and will not have to much loss of performance and is a great overclocker.

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maybe if you can wait until the Ivy Bridge come out, you will have a nice pick between some new CPUs and probably find some of the sandy bridge CPUs at discounts

also You said you are only having a hardtime with your CPU choice. What are you other parts that you have found so far? Monitor , ram, hdd, ssd, etc?
February 28, 2012 6:57:15 PM

RedJaron said:
^ Very succinct. If you want a little explanation why:

The Sandy Bridge-E chips give you more cores and better arithmetic units if you're doing heavy productivity apps, like media transcoding, 3D design, or hi-res image design.

The i7-2600K gives you a small clock speed boost over the 2500K, but it's meaningless if you're OCing. The hyper-threading and additional L3 will give you a little more oomph for media and design apps that utilize them, but will largely be ignored by games.

But if you're just making this a solid, general purpose machine that can chow down on games, I'd just go for the 2500K and put $100 toward something else.

Personally, I'm not sold on SB-E for general consumers. For dedicated professionals, yes, they make sense. But for general use I see them as complete overkill. If it was me, I'd stick with LGA 1155. For the same money as a baseline X79 board and 3930K, you can get a completely tricked out mboard and a large SSD ( or even an SSD array! ) And if Ivy Bridge incorporates the arithmetic improvements of SB-E ( which I believe it will, ) in the long run you only lose two cores that may or may not even get used.

There's nothing wrong with building under budget. If you've still got some left over, get a new monitor, a specialized mouse, a headset, some new speakers, etc.


I agree with everything, and what Mcnumpty laid out, just not their first one-line post, which was bereft of the information the second post contained. The only reason I threw the 3930K in there was because the OP wanted a "dream-PC". Like others said, there are two ways to look at it. Is your dream a six-core processor that will allow you to take on multi-threaded apps with ease, in addition to gaming, or is your dream a 4-core processor that does everything gaming-wise as the six-core and also is pretty fast with the multi-threaded apps, leaving you extra cash to buy fancier accessories?

If it were me, and I had $3,000 to spend on a pc, I would get the six-core, but I work with CAD programs, and I will soon be working with more 3D modeling, and other CAD programs that take advantage of multiple cores, like Revit. If you don't do anything like that, and don't do any video encoding or anything, just get the 2600K, or even the 2500K for gaming, and spend the money on a board that allows 3-way crossfire or something with your video cards, a large capacity SSD, etc.
February 28, 2012 7:02:15 PM

Intel if you want to spend that kind of cash. No way around it.
February 28, 2012 7:06:27 PM

RedJaron said:
^ Very succinct. If you want a little explanation why:

The Sandy Bridge-E chips give you more cores and better arithmetic units if you're doing heavy productivity apps, like media transcoding, 3D design, or hi-res image design.

The i7-2600K gives you a small clock speed boost over the 2500K, but it's meaningless if you're OCing. The hyper-threading and additional L3 will give you a little more oomph for media and design apps that utilize them, but will largely be ignored by games.

But if you're just making this a solid, general purpose machine that can chow down on games, I'd just go for the 2500K and put $100 toward something else.

Personally, I'm not sold on SB-E for general consumers. For dedicated professionals, yes, they make sense. But for general use I see them as complete overkill. If it was me, I'd stick with LGA 1155. For the same money as a baseline X79 board and 3930K, you can get a completely tricked out mboard and a large SSD ( or even an SSD array! ) And if Ivy Bridge incorporates the arithmetic improvements of SB-E ( which I believe it will, ) in the long run you only lose two cores that may or may not even get used.

There's nothing wrong with building under budget. If you've still got some left over, get a new monitor, a specialized mouse, a headset, some new speakers, etc.


Are you talking about mainstream Ivy Bridge processors getting a bump in their ALU functions? That would be interesting if that plays out. Where did you hear about that? I have heard the improvements of Ivy over Sandy to be anything from 6% to a whopping 35%. It's "just" a die shrink, but maybe when all is said and done (and Intel gets around to releasing these chips) Ivy Bridge may be a significant upgrade for 1155 socket owners that have the right chipset and successful BIOS update.
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February 28, 2012 7:27:28 PM

ebalong said:
If it were me, and I had $3,000 to spend on a pc, I would get the six-core, but I work with CAD programs, and I will soon be working with more 3D modeling, and other CAD programs that take advantage of multiple cores, like Revit. If you don't do anything like that, and don't do any video encoding or anything, just get the 2600K, or even the 2500K for gaming, and spend the money on a board that allows 3-way crossfire or something with your video cards, a large capacity SSD, etc.
Precisely my point. You do enough heavy processing that the six-core with improved ALUs will be a notable, and noticeable, benefit. Likewise, I do enough freelance photography and graphic design that I felt the hyper-threading and extra cache of the 2600K would be worth the $100 over the 2500K ( but I don't do so much that a workstation-class box was necessary. ) But for the general gamer, these things become meaningless compared to a more powerful graphics card and SSD.

ebalong said:
Are you talking about mainstream Ivy Bridge processors getting a bump in their ALU functions? That would be interesting if that plays out. Where did you hear about that? I have heard the improvements of Ivy over Sandy to be anything from 6% to a whopping 35%. It's "just" a die shrink, but maybe when all is said and done (and Intel gets around to releasing these chips) Ivy Bridge may be a significant upgrade for 1155 socket owners that have the right chipset and successful BIOS update.
I *think* the ALU improvement will be there, but I'm not sure. Now you've got me thinking about it, I'll have to research that.
February 28, 2012 10:54:07 PM

Given what I've read, I'll compare my full build cost using various Intel CPU & Mobo combos. The 2600k sounds like a really good CPU for the cost, but if I have room in my budget I'd like to try for the 6 core.

Thanks for all the responses, they were all very useful.
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February 28, 2012 11:41:51 PM

grimjim6 said:
Given what I've read, I'll compare my full build cost using various Intel CPU & Mobo combos. The 2600k sounds like a really good CPU for the cost, but if I have room in my budget I'd like to try for the 6 core.

Thanks for all the responses, they were all very useful.


Well, we cant stop you if you want a LGA 2011 system with 6 cores.

We're just saying is that unless you can use the 6 cores, money is better spent else where or should be saved.

February 29, 2012 12:24:24 AM

Right, and I think I would be able to utilize all 6 cores. Video/photo editing is a major hobby of mine and I think After Effects and Premier would utilize all 6 during rendering. If I cant afford it, I'll probably attempt a super OC on the 2600k (which should work well with the Corsair liquid cooling config).
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February 29, 2012 4:08:57 PM

Those two apps will utilize the cores, but they'll also suck down every ounce of RAM you can throw at them. Remember that the 3930 is a quad-channel chip, and 16GB RAM should be considered a minimum ( not bad at $80. ) If you want a 32GB set to really speed up rendering, they run $250+.
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February 29, 2012 6:48:55 PM

RedJaron said:
Those two apps will utilize the cores, but they'll also suck down every ounce of RAM you can throw at them. Remember that the 3930 is a quad-channel chip, and 16GB RAM should be considered a minimum ( not bad at $80. ) If you want a 32GB set to really speed up rendering, they run $250+.



Or if you look around, you can get a few kits that total up to 32GB for about half that price. (yes you fill all 8 slots if the board has that many but i'll take half price to achieve the same amount and spend it else where.)



http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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February 29, 2012 7:06:01 PM

warmon6 said:
Or if you look around, you can get a few kits that total up to 32GB for about half that price. (yes you fill all 8 slots if the board has that many but i'll take half price to achieve the same amount and spend it else where.)

Valid point. That's not an option on four slot mboards though. And if you fill up eight slots, an upgrade requires you to replace all DIMMs.

Just a thought.
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