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Upgrade to i3 worth it?

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August 1, 2012 11:11:33 AM

I'm looking to build a new PC somewhere during the next six months. And I was wondering if it was worth it, especially going from my current Core 2 Duo E6550 to an i3 2120 at the very minimum. I am going to be mainly playing games such as Arma II(possibly Arma III), and also carry out several other tasks such as video encoding and rendering, and maybe some Photoshop. My budget for the new build will only be about $500-$550, without monitor and peripherals. With monitor and peripherals, $700 is about the max I can go.

Thanks!
:love: 

Here is the wishlist I made in relation to the future build.

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=14978489

More about : upgrade worth

a c 78 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 1:28:29 PM

Heya,

Yes it would be a gainful improvement, although for best results I'd wait until you could get at least an i5-2400 or 3450 and a slightly better video card to net the most gains. If not an i5, at lest a better video card than a non-TI GTX 560.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The video editing, photo shop stuff is things you're really going to want the quad core for. Gaming, not as much.

If you're upgrading from a computer you already have, is there nothing salvageable like the keyboard/mouse/optical drive to cut some money down for better parts?
a c 448 à CPUs
August 1, 2012 4:20:20 PM

Within the next six months the Ivy Bridge Core i3 CPUs should be available. They should be on average 5% faster than Sandy Bridge Core i3 CPUs (like the i3-2120) assuming the same clock speed.

You can see an small increase in performance in some games if the games are CPU dependent. For example, Crysis, Crysis: Warhead and Skyrim would benefit from a more powerful CPU, however Crysis 2 does not really care how fast the CPU is a long as it does not bottleneck the graphic card. I expect Crysis 3 will be the same as well since Crysis 2 & Crysis 3 are designed to run on consoles which has limited hardware performance.

You should see improved performance with regards to video encoding. Recently I re-encoded an XviD movie to a smaller resolution (416x232) so that my portable player (Cowon S9) and play it. The movie was 104 minutes long and it was re-encoded using VirtualDub and the XviD codec. My Q9450 @ 3.0GHz was able to complete a 2 pass encoding in 55 minutes. My Lenovo Y470 with a core i5-2410m @ 2.9GHz was able to complete the same 2 pass encoding in 39 minutes. Although the developers of the XviD codec claims it is a multithreaded codec (2 threads), in actuality more than 90% of the time it only uses 1 core, not 2 cores.

At stock speed the C2D E6550 runs at 2.33GHz, the Core i3-2120 runs at 3.3GHz. Generally speaking a Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 CPU has about 22% more processing power than the old C2D/C2Q CPUs. That means a Core i3-2120 CPU would be almost equivalent to a C2D CPU running a 4.0GHz. As mentioned before, an Ivy Bridge Core i3 CPU is on average 5% more powerful than a Sandy Bridge Core i3. Assuming, there will be an Ivy Bridge CPU with stock speed of 3.3GHz it would be equivalent to C2D CPU running at about 4.16GHz.

You should note that while a Z75 chipset motherboard has overclocking features, you must have a CPU with an unlocked multiplier in order to take advantage of that feature. Only "k model" CPUs have unlocked multipliers like the i5-2500k or i5-3570k. The Core i3-2120 cannot be overclocked so there is no real point in buying a Z75 chipset motherboard unless there are other specific features you are looking for.
August 1, 2012 4:55:00 PM

jaguarskx said:
Within the next six months the Ivy Bridge Core i3 CPUs should be available. They should be on average 5% faster than Sandy Bridge Core i3 CPUs (like the i3-2120) assuming the same clock speed.

You can see an small increase in performance in some games if the games are CPU dependent. For example, Crysis, Crysis: Warhead and Skyrim would benefit from a more powerful CPU, however Crysis 2 does not really care how fast the CPU is a long as it does not bottleneck the graphic card. I expect Crysis 3 will be the same as well since Crysis 2 & Crysis 3 are designed to run on consoles which has limited hardware performance.

You should see improved performance with regards to video encoding. Recently I re-encoded an XviD movie to a smaller resolution (416x232) so that my portable player (Cowon S9) and play it. The movie was 104 minutes long and it was re-encoded using VirtualDub and the XviD codec. My Q9450 @ 3.0GHz was able to complete a 2 pass encoding in 55 minutes. My Lenovo Y470 with a core i5-2410m @ 2.9GHz was able to complete the same 2 pass encoding in 39 minutes. Although the developers of the XviD codec claims it is a multithreaded codec (2 threads), in actuality more than 90% of the time it only uses 1 core, not 2 cores.

At stock speed the C2D E6550 runs at 2.33GHz, the Core i3-2120 runs at 3.3GHz. Generally speaking a Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5/i7 CPU has about 22% more processing power than the old C2D/C2Q CPUs. That means a Core i3-2120 CPU would be almost equivalent to a C2D CPU running a 4.0GHz. As mentioned before, an Ivy Bridge Core i3 CPU is on average 5% more powerful than a Sandy Bridge Core i3. Assuming, there will be an Ivy Bridge CPU with stock speed of 3.3GHz it would be equivalent to C2D CPU running at about 4.16GHz.

You should note that while a Z75 chipset motherboard has overclocking features, you must have a CPU with an unlocked multiplier in order to take advantage of that feature. Only "k model" CPUs have unlocked multipliers like the i5-2500k or i5-3570k. The Core i3-2120 cannot be overclocked so there is no real point in buying a Z75 chipset motherboard unless there are other specific features you are looking for.


Yes, I considered the Z75 chipset so as to future-proof myself. So instead of getting an i3 in the near future, it seems that the best option for me may to be save up a few extra dollars for an overclockable Ivy Bridge i5 most likely.

@nekulturny
I don't have any spare parts to salvage as I may just turn my current computer into a home server.

:pt1cable: 
!