Looking to upgrade an old dual-core AMD X2, thinking about an i5 or i7. Suggestions? The main use of our computer would be itunes/email, very very little gaming (old games at that), windows 7 Pro 64 bit...and also to use handbrake to render MP4 files from homemade DVDs (i.e. turning VOB files to MP4). Our Macbook Air renders them at around 200 FPS while the X2 PC renders them at a measly 10 FPS; needless to say I don't like pushing the Macbook Air too much...plus our PC is 5 years old. What do you guys think? Is it worth it to pay the extra $100 for an i7? What about Sandy Bridge vs. Ivy Bridge? I've heard about some cooling issues with the Ivy Bridge processors. Not planning on obtaining a video card off the bat, just using the Intel 3000/4000 integrated with the chip. Thanks!
I would go with an ivy bridge i5 non K cpu, the cooling issues only arise when overclocking and that is limited to the K cpu's (eg: 3570k and 3770k).
I see no reason to get an unlocked cpu unless you are actually going to overclock.