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I5 2500 with 7950 3GB or i5 2500K with 7850 2GB

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April 27, 2012 12:03:47 PM

Hello Everybody!

This is my first gaming build & i have a few issues to discuss before i finalize my config:

1) My usage basically consist of Autocad 2011, Photoshop CS5, Chrome (5-10 tabs) all simultaneously. I also would like a system that can play Battlefield 3 & other multiplayer FPS games on highest possible settings at 1080p res (already have an LG 23 inch monitor). This is also my download rig so it may remain switched on for long hours.

2) Which is a more viable option for long run:

a) i5 2500, H67 motherboard, 8GB 1333 RAM, 7950 3GB GPU (No overclocking available but i get a high end graphic card within my budget).

b) i5 2500K, P67 or Z68 high end motherboard, 4GB 1600 RAM, 7850 2GB (Overall a more balanced rig with option to overclock but have to sacrifice graphic card budget).

3) I am not big on upgrading my system every year or so. I have been saving up for a year now to get something that will last 3-5 years at the least.

4) Does overclocking improve long term viability? My guess is an overclocked i5 2500K will still become obsolete after 3 years. Instead a high end graphic card will serve me longer as most games are console ports anyway & the upcoming console hardware (XBOX 720 or PS4) is also not that impressive either.

5) Does 1333 RAM inhibit performance compared to 1600? Or 8GB 1333 RAM is better than 4GB of 1600.

6) Should i go for low end ivy bridge instead of current sandy bridge. What kind of power savings can i expect if i do so.

Any help regarding the above, would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance :) 
a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 12:10:03 PM

Hello you,

1) My usage basically consist of Autocad 2011, Photoshop CS5, Chrome (5-10 tabs) all simultaneously. I also would like a system that can play Battlefield 3 & other multiplayer FPS games on highest possible settings at 1080p res (already have an LG 23 inch monitor). This is also my download rig so it may remain switched on for long hours.

Righty.

2) Which is a more viable option for long run:

a) i5 2500, H67 motherboard, 8GB 1333 RAM, 7950 3GB GPU (No overclocking available but i get a high end graphic card within my budget).

b) i5 2500K, P67 or Z68 high end motherboard, 4GB 1600 RAM, 7850 2GB (Overall a more balanced rig with option to overclock but have to sacrifice graphic card budget).

There's also the middle road option of Z68 low-mid range motherboad, 8 GB 1333 and 7870 or 7950 which is what I'd go for.

3) I am not big on upgrading my system every year or so. I have been saving up for a year now to get something that will last 3-5 years at the least.

OK.

4) Does overclocking improve long term viability? My guess is an overclocked i5 2500K will still become obsolete after 3 years. Instead a high end graphic card will serve me longer as most games are console ports anyway & the upcoming console hardware (XBOX 720 or PS4) is also not that impressive either.

Not by much, though I'd guess the 2500K will last 4 years easily. Overclocked or not...

5) Does 1333 RAM inhibit performance compared to 1600? Or 8GB 1333 RAM is better than 4GB of 1600.

No, RAM speed is quite insignificant except for benchmarking.

6) Should i go for low end ivy bridge instead of current sandy bridge. What kind of power savings can i expect if i do so.

Maybe a dollar or two per year.
a b à CPUs
April 27, 2012 12:13:54 PM

The i5 2500 is not going to bottleneck anything. So there's really no need to overclock, but with the K editions, people do it because they can and easily. Given the same cooling solution and two identical processors, a processor that is not overclocked will last longer.

I would say go for the 2500 and the better 7950video solution. You'll get the best performance with that combo.

You won't notice any performance difference between 1333 and 1600 speed RAM.

The lower end Ivy bridge would make sense if you're looking for a little bit better integrated video, but you're not. So stick with the Sandy.

April 27, 2012 12:27:37 PM

Advanced Photoshopping requires more RAM and it is more CPU intensive than GPU.
This is even more true when encoding video (you might get into that sort of thing.)

Either a 7850 or a 7950 will be more than enough to run Battlefield 3 (and anything else) at max settings on one monitor. Additional Video RAM is primarily beneficial when using more than one monitor per card.

Taking all this into consideration, I'd go with option B.

Edit: I forgot to mention that the more applications/tabs you have open, the more RAM your system will require. While 4GB would be enough for most people, most people don't run AutoCAD, Photoshop, 10 tabs of Chrome, and possibly BF3 at the same time.
!