So I'm almost ready to pull the plug at my local NCIX tomorrow but want a final opinion:
I'm going to need to do lots of virtualization soon and most likely run 1-2 servers 24/7. I also want to be able to game while doing so (Skyrim and various Total War titles); or do light photoshop. All games are single player so light lag is fine, and servers don't have to stay up 24/7 if something crashes. So, time to upgrade CPU/RAM/Mobo.
Parts I'm keeping:
Radeon HD4870 (still good enough to run Skyrim near max, and I'm on a budget so can't change this) Crucial M4 (system boot drive) 2x WD hard drives (Green and Black)
i5 3570k.. Cheap, easy to OC. Downside: no vt-d, no HT, so not that useful.
i7 3770k.. Easy to OC, has HT. Downside: too expensive, still no vt-d
i7 3770 non-k. Will get this unless people tell me otherwise. HT, vt-d, good single core performance. Can't OC past 4.2 GHz with from what I read, which likely limits its lifespan (I had my 8400 for almost 5 years). Fairly expensive.
AMD FX-8350.. Should I really? Sounds cool on paper for virtualization, bad for everything else. Cheap ($200... 30 less than 3570k), 8 cores, AMD version of vt-d. Beats 3570 for everything except single core performance, but seems to be significantly worse in real-life tasks than tests.
So, should I stick to 3770 or are there other options? (I did think about i7 3820, 4 channel RAM sounds cool, but boards are too expensive). Money is a factor, but HT and vt-d are significant enough factors over the i5. vt-d by itself - not so much, but 3770 non-k seems like it can be oc'd almost as much as 3770k despite locked multiplier.
PS: I'm going to get Asus P8Z77-V LK mobo (always used as many Asus-made components as I could, always loved them).
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i7 3770. Job done. It will be more than enough to keep games GPU limited and as you said HT, VT-D.
An LGA2011 would be ideal for the VM work but sounds like it's out of budget.
If you are are running VMWare, then you want a Core i7 CPU since Hyper Threading is used.