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Future CPU upgrade Advice

  • CPUs
  • Intel i7
Last response: in CPUs
December 18, 2012 11:21:11 AM

Hi wise people of TomsHardware,

I am after some advice, I already have an i7 870 which is running at around 3.5ghz. It's using a P7P55D e Pro motherboard from Asus and has a single 7970.

I'm contemplating upgrading to a new CPU and board but most new chips are around the 3.5GHZ before OC'ing. Not a huge jump from where I am already.

Is it worth upgrading? Would it make any difference if I wanted to run two 7970's in future? I've seen pleanty of reviews comparing I7 2700k to the latest ivybridge chips but nothing comparing to older generations.


More about : future cpu upgrade advice

a b à CPUs
December 18, 2012 12:08:47 PM

Nah I don't think it's worth it yet.
December 18, 2012 12:09:38 PM

I heard some say that the extra PCI lanes could make a difference and also that 3.5ghz on the three generations have different performance too.. so wasn't sure.
a c 480 à CPUs
December 18, 2012 5:14:09 PM

New architecture also bring better processing performance without the need to increase clockspeed. For example, the average performance increase going from a 1st gen Core i3/i5/i7 CPU to a 3rd gen CPU is about 19%. So a 3rd gen CPU running @ 3.5GHz is roughly equal to a 1st gen CPU running @ 4.15GHz. Actual performance varies with the actual program / game. Most games are not CPU bound so you are not going to see a 19% boost in performance. More like at worst 0% and at best probably 9%.

Generally speaking, Sandy Bridge CPUs are 12% more powerful than the 1st gen Core i3/i5/i7. Ivy Bridge is another 6% more powerful than Sandy Bridge.

It seems your current rig is fine. I would not bother upgrading until at least Haswell comes out. No one is sure about the performance increase over Ivy Bridge, but my guess is less than 10% because Intel is focusing on power consumption more than performance gains. Broadwell in 2014 will likely be a 10%+ performance boost over Haswell since the die process will shrink from 22nm to 14nm thus allowing Intel to increase performance while maintaining low power consumption.