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I5 vs i7 for gaming/streaming

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May 24, 2012 12:44:40 AM

I cannot seem to find a good thread that addresses both i5 and i7 as far as live streaming video games.

Currently i run on an i3 550 (clarkdale) and although I can stream with a fairly good quality, my graphic settings are at low on most of them . The main issue is that it's using close to 100% of my CPU. (EVGA GeForce GTX 550ti 1gb - i will upgrade this for my build, probably to 570 or 7870 but thats a different thread)

Therefore i will be upgrading, but since its my first actual pc build, i am giving until september to decide on parts.

The primary objective is to livestream games at good quality (720p+ and i promise that my upload is sufficient) All of my research on this subject tells me that an i5 is ample processor for gaming and an i7 is the best option for streaming efficiently. Yet very little information seems to exist on the preformance of an i5 machine while streaming.

If possible i will shave some cost for an i7 processor, opt for an i5 and put the difference toward a better gpu. But the focus of this post is not intended to be about cost.

I will list the parts of my upcoming build as it currently stands on another thread. Im just hoping to stir some discussion on this. Im just trying to focus on processor performance.

the processors ive been looking at..
i7 3770 (or K but i do not know anything about overclocking)
i7 2600 ( " )
i5 2500K
i5 3570k

What do you think the expected % of CPU usage while running Graphically intense games (single monitor), I generally have music playing web browsers open and other applications like skype running at the same time.

More about : gaming streaming

a c 283 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 12:47:18 AM

The 2500K will do that with no problem. No real advantage to an i7 for that.
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May 24, 2012 1:00:52 AM

2500K
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May 24, 2012 1:21:14 AM

2500k, OC'd to 4.5 and it will chew up pretty much anything you throw at it, just use a good cooler.
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May 24, 2012 1:23:58 AM

Again, i dont know anything about overclocking. and 4.5 seems like an awful lot. If stock is so bad, then why not just go with a stronger processor
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 1:25:37 AM

iocaine1 said:
Again, i dont know anything about overclocking. and 4.5 seems like an awful lot. If stock is so bad, then why not just go with a stronger processor


A 2500K at stock is damn powerful. I OC because I can, not because I need to.
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May 24, 2012 1:29:25 AM

yep 2500k at 3.3 is very powerful and you wont have any need for anything faster for your needs. things to bear in mind, the k version has an unlocked multiplier for overclocking so if you dont plan to OC you wont need the k version, also stock i7 (2600k) is 3.4, the difference is slightly more L3 cache and hyperthreading is enabled. For your needs the i5 is perfect.
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a c 116 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 1:32:13 AM

iocaine1 said:
Again, i dont know anything about overclocking. and 4.5 seems like an awful lot. If stock is so bad, then why not just go with a stronger processor

Game resolution is mainly a GPU thing.

As for "very little information available about streaming performance", the main reason for that is that even the slowest CPUs currently in production are already able to handle 1080p decoding in software and most of the time, decode gets GPU acceleration on top of that so streaming playback is considered trivial for modern hardware.

For media encoding, QuickSync on HD4000 IGP is about twice as fast as the next fastest thing but requires either an i5-3570K or i7-3xxx CPU.
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May 24, 2012 1:48:57 AM

InvalidError said:
Game resolution is mainly a GPU thing.

As for "very little information available about streaming performance", the main reason for that is that even the slowest CPUs currently in production are already able to handle 1080p decoding in software and most of the time, decode gets GPU acceleration on top of that so streaming playback is considered trivial for modern hardware.

For media encoding, QuickSync on HD4000 IGP is about twice as fast as the next fastest thing but requires either an i5-3570K or i7-3xxx CPU.


A. I'm not talking about game resolution.
B. I'm talking about performance "of the i5 vs the i7"
C. Encoding is the issue, not decoding.
D. My i3 is not a bad computer by any means lol, and it's maxed while using xsplit.

I appreciate your reply though, and i would like to keep the overclocking option open so i will likely go with K series.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 1:52:13 AM

iocaine1 said:
A. I'm not talking about game resolution.
B. I'm talking about performance "of the i5 vs the i7"
C. Encoding is the issue, not decoding.
D. My i3 is not a bad computer by any means lol, and it's maxed while using xsplit.

I appreciate your reply though, and i would like to keep the overclocking option open so i will likely go with K series.


In fairness, you didn't mention encoding in the OP, just streaming. Two totally different things.

And in games the i7 has no real benefits, even when streaming.
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May 24, 2012 1:55:42 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
In fairness, you didn't mention encoding in the OP, just streaming. Two totally different things.

And in games the i7 has no real benefits, even when streaming.


True, my bad. I figured it was implied when i mentioned livestreaming games. :( 
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 1:57:29 AM

Either way, the 2500K is MORE than enough to live stream with. You can get an i7 if you want, but there's no reason to for just live streaming.
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May 24, 2012 1:58:41 AM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Either way, the 2500K is MORE than enough to live stream with. You can get an i7 if you want, but there's no reason to for just live streaming.


Awesome, thats why i asked. I really appreciate your taking the time to reply.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 24, 2012 1:59:26 AM

No problem. :) 
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May 25, 2012 2:10:34 PM

So, i've dug further into the Xsplit forums and read up on as many topics pertaining to streaming and the i5 (almost all were 2500k). It seems like the people who post do say the machine streams fine, but they are using between 80-90% cpu. Given that some games like BF3 are also cpu intensive with physics calculations there are those that are maxing the i5.

This then leaves me with the question:
If i am to get an i5, I would regularly be livestreaming for 6 hours in a row (avg is somewhere between 4 and 6 hours).. How bad is it if the CPU is running at such high percentage(70-80%) for these extended periods of time. Granted games do not have 100% action scenes, so i would imagine that it fluctuates. Does this significantly damage the life expectancy of such a processor?
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a c 116 à CPUs
May 25, 2012 2:23:46 PM

iocaine1 said:
Granted games do not have 100% action scenes, so i would imagine that it fluctuates. Does this significantly damage the life expectancy of such a processor?

With adequate cooling and power, you can run just about any semiconductor at 100% load indefinitely.

What matters is core temperatures, not % load.
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a c 283 à CPUs
May 25, 2012 5:13:33 PM

InvalidError said:
With adequate cooling and power, you can run just about any semiconductor at 100% load indefinitely.

What matters is core temperatures, not % load.


+1 A non issue.
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