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Intel i5 vs i7

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March 6, 2013 12:19:54 PM

I'm planning my next build and starting to finalize my choices. I originally was planning on getting the Intel i7 3770k processor, but wondering if maybe it's overkill and I'd be fine with just the i5. What are the big differences between the two that would make getting the i7 necessary? Mostly will be doing general usage, but do plan to do some game programming, and video editing. The camera I have can take HD video and I'd like to be able to take that quality and do some editing so I figured the i7 processor would be needed.

Would the i5 be okay, or should I keep my original plan with the i7? I'm not worried about budget, but don't want to spend an extra $100 unnecessarily if I'm not going to be taking advantage of any of the i7 features.

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March 6, 2013 1:21:29 PM

The main difference between the Intel® Core™ i5-3570K and the Intel Core i7-3770K comes down to hyper-threading. Now hyper-threading isnt use in all or even most applications but once you reach high end video editing work most of them will use the extra threading of hyper-threading to give improved performance.

So yes the Intel Core i5-3570K will work fine but you will get better performance when doing video editing.

http://ark.intel.com/compare/65520,65523
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March 6, 2013 1:25:25 PM

Might be helpful if you told us what software you use...those that know will be able to tell you whether an i7 would give you any benefit.
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March 6, 2013 1:46:33 PM

Main difference is hyper-threading. i7 has it, i5 doesn't. Most applications won't use it anyways. Hyper-threading can even have a negative impact on performance for certain applications.

However, in your case it seems like you could benefit from it. Video editing and programming are two demanding tasks and and most programming platforms and video editing software support hyper-threading and take advantage of it so you're likely to see a performance boost with an i7. However, it really depends on your budget, and it's not as if an i5 quad-core is a slow chip. If you only do light video editing or don't do it often, same thing with programming, if it's not too heavy or you don't do it often, you might not even see the difference between i5 and i7. But as stated by diellur it depends which software you'll be using, I don't know which video editing software support hyper-threading and which one doesn't. As for programming, I know that Visual Studio really takes advantage of hyper-threading and get a significant performance boost from it, but I don't know about other programming platforms.
March 6, 2013 1:47:51 PM

Since you are video editing, an i7 will probably be worth the extra threads. If you were just gaming, i'd say the i5 is sufficient.
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March 6, 2013 2:52:37 PM

Because of the video editing, you're going to want the i7 for the hyper-threading. Especially if you're running something like Premiere and applying effects, you're a person for which the i7 is a better recommendation.

On the other hand, the i5 will be okay.
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March 6, 2013 3:11:49 PM

I'd like to add that if your major CPU load consists of program compiling and video editing/encoding, you might as well use an FX-8350.

This chip performs quite close to the i7 for the mentioned workloads, and costs almost $120 less. Plus it ensures a future upgrade path to the next gen SteamRoller chips from AMD when they come out, whereas the i7-3770K is already the fastest chip for the LGA 1155 socket, ie, no upgrade path for Intel.

The downside however is that the FX draws 125W, vs only 77W of the latest intel chips.

Check out this article, and see how different chips perform in the stuff you'd like to be doing (skip the synthetic PCmark, 3dmark11 and Sandra benchmarks, check out only real life workloads)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev...
March 6, 2013 5:12:24 PM

Thanks for your feedback. This is basically what I was assuming. I plan on doing some programming for games, but mostly will be 2D games, for now at least. I might get into 3D games and I'm sure the i7 will be very useful for rendering the 3D components. As for editing, I plan on using Premier, but it's definitely light usage. I want to get into it more, but time is always an issue.

I think the decision will come down to my final build and what the cost is. If it's pricey and the extra $100 could be useful, I might downgrade to the i5.
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