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Intel i5 or i7

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November 15, 2012 7:24:14 PM

I have been doing research to build my first gaming computer for around $2000 early next year. I am currently waiting to see what happens with Intel Haswell. After some discussion with my father, I was suggested to build the computer to also replace my entertainment center. Although the rig I will build will be used for gaming, it is beginning to look more like I will need a cross between a gaming PC and a home theater PC. I have been recommended the Intel i5 for gaming but with these other requirements that are emerging I am wondering if I should go with an Intel i7. These are the scenarios that I foresee where I may be running multiple programs simultaneously with the PC:

1. Running Winamp, THX audio control software for music, Microsoft Word, and Google Chrome
2. Watching a Blu-Ray or DVD on Windows Media Player or other software using THX software for 2.1 home theater audio, and using Google Chrome
3. While any or all of the above mentioned programs are running, I may also be scanning my computer with my Trend-micro anti-virus software

Would a top-end Intel i5 be capable of handling these multiple tasks without trouble, or would I be better off going with a top-end quad-core Intel i7 CPU?

Thanx

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November 15, 2012 7:52:53 PM

Yes an i5 could handle all that, an i3 could handle that aswell.
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November 15, 2012 8:51:45 PM

None of those are top end sorts of tasks.

High end tasks are media transcoding and creation, large compression and decompression, Some language Compilers, Running complex or large simulations, good quality games etc. that was by no means an exhaustive list.
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November 15, 2012 9:05:15 PM

An i5 should handle all of that just fine.
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November 15, 2012 9:21:13 PM

An i5 will be perfect enough for gaming and all your other needs. An i7 is useless for a gaming, only reason to get it is for hyper threading which you don't need; it will be worse for gaming too. Read the following, it's good for only encoding/decoding and various other things which you may or may not do.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Intel-Core-i7-Nehal...

An i5 as I said, will be powerful and last you a good while; waiting for Haswell was a good choice too. Don't forget you can overclock for more performance.

I'm using an Intel 2500k I5 and I can run loads of programs at once without a hiccup. All the stuff you listed won't even make an i5 sweat anyway unless your doing heavy gaming.
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November 15, 2012 10:55:45 PM

As above. The tasks you listed running together are far from taxing. You don't need anything higher than an i5 2500K.
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November 15, 2012 11:20:18 PM

^ i wouldn't get a 2500k. get the 3570k as it is more power efficient at both max load and idle load. it is also only 1$ more than a 2500k :lol: 
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November 15, 2012 11:31:15 PM

marshal11 said:
^ i wouldn't get a 2500k. get the 3570k as it is more power efficient at both max load and idle load. it is also only 1$ more than a 2500k :lol: 


I never suggested a 2500k, only as an example of an i5 and how easily it handles things.
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November 16, 2012 7:46:50 PM

My Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz can handle all that. In fact, it does since it is in my HTPC. As for gaming, well... it would bottleneck anything above a Radeon HD 7770 and it's nVidia counterparts.

The difference between a gaming rig and a HTPC? Well, any gaming rig can also dual as a HTPC since you all you really need to do is connect it to a HDTV rather than a monitor. When I built my HTPC my requirements were:

1. As quiet as possible. No fans other than the PSU and the case fan.
2. Must be able to accommodate at least 4 hard drives and an optical drive.
3. The case must look like an audio/video rack component.
4. Small and compact, yet large enough to handle a full size ATX motherboard, and a large CPU heatsink for passive cooling.
5. Must come with a remote control.
6. No unnecessary lights other than power, HDD activity and a simple LCD display for info.
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November 16, 2012 8:00:15 PM

Those are some good requirements, but this will be a gaming PC, so I doubt he will need to worry about half of those; although an HTPC by those standard could easily handle most modern games that are not super demanding.

I think it should go without saying an i5 will be his best option since he is gaming unless he's on a tight budget.
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November 16, 2012 11:07:42 PM

Thanks for all the advice guys. One final thing, would 16 GB of RAM be enough for this potential Gaming/Home Theater PC setup or should I go with 32 GB?
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November 16, 2012 11:29:41 PM

jpolk1138 said:
Thanks for all the advice guys. One final thing, would 16 GB of RAM be enough for this potential Gaming/Home Theater PC setup or should I go with 32 GB?


32gb is insane unless your running a server or something, 16gb is excessive enough, and 8GB is perfect right now.
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November 17, 2012 12:26:50 AM

Thanx
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November 17, 2012 12:28:48 AM

Best answer selected by jpolk1138.
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