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Now, here’s where things get murkier. Add up all of the benchmark results, and the stock $600 Core i7-3930K only gives you a 15% average advantage over the stock Core i7-2600K.
Look at where the gains are lost and found, though. Lame, WinZip, Acrobat X, iTunes, and to some extent After Effects offer little or even negative scaling. Photoshop, 3ds Max, Premiere Pro, SolidWorks, FineReader, 7-Zip, MainConcept, and Handbrake all favor the Core i7-3930K by around 20% up to about 30%.
If the amount of money I make is affected by those performance numbers, or if I do a lot of video work, or if I’m even applying threaded filters in Photoshop, paying an extra $280 for the -3930K is worth it.
If you’re gaming with one (or even two) high-end graphics cards in your system, doing a lot of desktop productivity work, or simply on a more constrained budget, the -2600K is a better bet. Shoot, at that point, I’d still say step it on down to a -2500K.