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Stuck between 2 CPUs

I'm looking to get a new computer and I'm stuck on a couple components. First is the CPU, I've read reviews, benchmarks, and forums comparing the Intel i7 3820 and the i7 3770 and they seem to be comparable in performance, assuming no overclocking. The 3770 uses less power and would have been my first choice, but the with the computer I was trying to build the 3770 wasn't an option, just the 3820.

Along with the CPU, I've been looking at the GPUs, and have basically decided on the Radeon HD 7870 for either of the processors, but I'm wondering how the 2 processors perform with that specific card and if it gives either one an edge over the other. I considered the HD 7950, but I would think that card would present a bottleneck with the CPU (so I'd end up spending the extra money for a better card but not getting the money's worth in performance because of a bottleneck) and the 7870 would match those 2 CPUs better.

So my questions are, between the 3770 and 3820, without overclocking, does one perform better with a HD 7870 GPU, and are they close enough that I can settle for the 3820 (which was my second choice) because that's the only processor that the configuration I'm using has.

My second question is would going to a HD 7950 GPU with either of those CPUs be worth it? Or would the CPUs just limit the card's performance, making it a waste of money?

The specs I've been looking at are:

CPU: Intel i7 3770 -or- Intel i7 3820
GPU: ATI Radeon 7870
Memory: 4x4gb 1600MHZ
256gb SSD, 800w, liquid cooling

I don't plan on overclocking, I'm not very familiar with the process and I'd be uncomfortable stressing my system without the knowledge to monitor it well. I have limited tech knowledge, mostly from researching online (I've spent probably 20 hours the last couple weeks just reading up on the 2 CPUs). I would primarily be using the system for gaming, but would also be doing web browsing, and video streaming. At this point in time I don't plan to do any video or graphic editing. I'd like to be able to run any current games on max, or very high settings and still have good performance, and be able to run future games on higher settings (for a couple years at least).

The systems I've been looking at have been through HP and Dell/Alienware. I know they're more expensive and more limited on selection than building my own, but I've read a lot of bad reviews and have friends who have used build-your-own sites like Cyberpower and have had issues that led them to not recommend using the build-your-own. I've also had 2 Dells last me a combined 12 years. I know most the components I'd like, just don't have the knowledge to put a computer together myself.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Edit: I do realize that for primarily gaming a Quad-core processor isn't necessary, that certain i5's would perform just as well or close to it, but I'd like to go with an i7 for the possibility that in the future I'd be using it for graphic design or video editing.
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  1. Best answer
    First thing I would say is that the 3820 is a socket 2011 Sandy Bridge-E and the motherboards are more expensive but the options they offer are worth it because of the 40 lanes of Pci-e bandwidth allows for multiple video cards running at full bandwidth instead of being reduced like in the Snady Bridge regular cpu that has 16 lanes of bandwidth. So my choice would go with the 3820 , it's not a K model so overclocking is minimal with some preset optioons available.
    The next thing is the video card and the missinformation that you have abour bottlenecking. There is currently no video card that will bottleneck an i7 cpu so you can get whatever video card that you want and you can also get a second one with no worries about a bottleneck.
    The Sandy Bridge-E based motherboard will also support up to 64gb of ram in the event you are doing any video editing , graphic editing and video rendering. For gaming 8gb would be plenty.

    These are two charts that will give you the rankings of the cpu and video cards that are used in gaming and where they come in on the list.
    You may want to consider a GTX 670 or 680 as both are higher rated then the 7950.
    To give you an example of the video cards not being a bottleneck , I currently have an Intel 980X cpu and I have two GTX 580's connected in my computer and will shortly be upgrading the video cards to two GTX 680's and they will not bottleneck the cpu and they will be able to be fully used by the system and not be limited in any way.
  3. The Intel lead is however too much in my opinion and while AMD is coming out with thier construction sreies of cpus , Buldozer , Piledriver and Steamroller and who knows what else. Intel will not be just standing around and they will continue to add to thier lead.
    As we saw in the past with over hyped releases (Buldozer) some tend to fall flat on thier face with disapointing results. AMD has said that they will no longer compete in the high level cpu market and when what's in the pipeline now is released there wll be no more from AMD and they will concentrate on the mid-level cpu market.
  4. Best answer selected by varick613.
  5. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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