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  • Community Question: What makes a good motherboard?

Choosing between i7 versus i5 today

IndieSnob

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2001
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I wasn't sure where to put this thread, so I hope this is an OK place for it.

After finally building a couple of i5 systems this week for friends, the upgrade bug has bitten me fully. Currently I am running an Abit IP35, 2x2 DDR2-800, and an E8400 (not overclocked).

Normally I'm pretty patient about waiting for parts to come from Newegg so that I have more choices, but with having to start doing some video editing works among other things this coming week I think I am going to go to Fry's today.

So here is the two choices I am looking at as far as an upgrade:

1156 build:

Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3R Newegg Link

Along with an i5-750.


The other choice is:


1366 build:

MSI X58M Newegg Link

Along with an i7-920.

I will be using the video card from my current system (Palit 9600GT), along with four 1 terabyte and larger SATA harddrives and a SATA dvd burner.

The computer will be used for both gaming (1920x1080) and light video editing.

Also one other thing of note is that with how tight money is right now, even if I go with the 1366 build, I will only be able to pick up a 2x2 kit of DDR3 right now, as I can't afford the price difference between a 2x2 and a 3x2. I've read that the difference between triple channel and dual channel is not really noticeable, but I wasn't sure how well the 1366 platform did if you didn't at least run 3 sticks of memory.

The 1366 build would only be $10 more out the door. I like that the 1156 Gigabyte board has more PCI slots, but at the same time other than a wireless card that I use from time to time, I don't really use my PCI slots at all. The only thing I could ever see using in a PCI slot would be a sound card (however I have been happy with onboard sound for the past three years), or a TV tuner (and yet I could go with a PCI-Ex 1).

So what would you do if faced with the same choice?

Thanks for any help as I'd love to stop gnawing off my fingers in worry about what to get.
 

latch

Member
Jul 23, 2007
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Man who can't do triple channel on a 1366 because of money constraint, while having an existing E8400, should not upgrade.

Else, get the i5 since u don't plan on doing dual video cards anyways

Or better, buy an SSD and add it to your current system for a more noticeable (and cheaper) performance boost that you'll get from either CPU upgrade.

 

IndieSnob

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2001
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Originally posted by: latch
Man who can't do triple channel on a 1366 because of money constraint, while having an existing E8400, should not upgrade.

Else, get the i5 since u don't plan on doing dual video cards anyways

Or better, buy an SSD and add it to your current system for a more noticeable (and cheaper) performance boost that you'll get from either CPU upgrade.
The main reason why I am looking to step up from my E8400 is because I could use the extra cores for doing video editing, and it gives me the option to go as high as tri-channel when I have the money for a kit come next month. Also my Abit IP35 has three dead SATA ports along with an IDE port with bent pins (from the last move), and while the board still functions just fine, it bothers me to no end that it has those problems. If I ended up getting a decent board to replace it, I'd feel like I was throwing away money that I could use towards an upgrade.

I've decided to do the i7 because it is only $10 more, and I'll likely never have use for the extra PCI slots that come with the option I had for the i5 board.

I'll also lower the price on the E8400 with my AC7 freezer pro and see if I can't put that money towards some more ram or the like.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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1366, you say video editing, and the 1366 chips are king.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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How much difference is their between the 1156 Core i5 and Core i7 assuming the person is overclocking on stock volts?

 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,291
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Originally posted by: Just learning
How much difference is their between the 1156 Core i5 and Core i7 assuming the person is overclocking on stock volts?
750 vs the 920..

A LOT...

because the 750 is not a HT machine.

The 920 is however.


You would need the 860 for a chip with HT.

At that point its more expensive then a 920.. which makes no sense...
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
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Originally posted by: aigomorla
Originally posted by: Just learning
How much difference is their between the 1156 Core i5 and Core i7 assuming the person is overclocking on stock volts?
750 vs the 920..

A LOT...

because the 750 is not a HT machine.

The 920 is however.


You would need the 860 for a chip with HT.

At that point its more expensive then a 920.. which makes no sense...
In what applications does hyperthreading on a quad core help? In games or just video editing?

 

IndieSnob

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2001
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I forgot how much I hate taking the bus to Fry's, heh. Whole trip took over five hours.

So I talked to my friend who I do video editing work for and we came up with some numbers as far as what his needs are, budget for the upgrade, etc. etc. With that in mind I walked into Fry's thinking I would go with the i7. I got a closer look at the MSI board and it really hit me just how bare-bones it was as far as upgrade slots and all that. I can also see why people say that the chipset gets so hot on it. After looking at it over and over it just made me uneasy. Another point against it was going triple channel. From reviews of triple channel I read it seemed as the difference was minimal outside of synthetic benchmarks.

Seeing as I wanted to get the most out of the i5 or i7 system I chose, it came down to the fact that if I wanted to do 8 gigs of ram it would be easier on an i5 board then having do do 12 gigs, as it would be overkill at that point. Again everything I read about i7 said it would be the winner at video editing, but outside of a few tools I use in Adobe Premiere, I couldn't see a huge advantage given the price differential I was really going to be looking at.

I wish I would have had more time to wait for better deals on an i7 board from Newegg or elsewhere, but I really wanted to finally go Quad and there was no way I was going to throw money into a Q9650 or the like. I know I could have possibly gotten a Q6600 and overclocked the heck out of it, but I've never really been big into overclocking and I need a stable system for when I am doing media work.

So I ended up getting the Gigabyte board that I linked to, an i5-750, and a 2x2 gig kit of Corsair. My friend had a matching kit of the same Corsair, so I'm going to throw it on that board.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but I just thought I would at least share what I decided on. Again I really couldn't see putting that much more into a really great i7 motherboard and going triple channel with the ram, and I think that extra money I would have spent would be better to go towards an SSD drive and possibly an ATI video card.

Thanks for the input everyone. I really do appreciate it!
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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Originally posted by: Just learning


In what applications does hyperthreading on a quad core help? In games or just video editing?
it hurts you in some games.

The virtual core is nowhere near as fast as a physical core.

In rendering it gives you more threads... double... so the virtual threads can do the easier tasks while the physical smacks down on the hard ones.

In rendering whatever has most threads wins.
 

IndieSnob

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2001
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And now I feel completely stupid about choosing the i5 over the i7.

Seeing as how the difference in price was $10, why would I care about not maybe getting the most use out of the advanced features? For some reason I am still stuck though on the premise that something about the MSI didn't really thrill me, and the price difference between boards at Fry's was outrageous for 1366 especially compared to the combo price. If I would have gone to Newegg I would have also had to spend more on getting the i7-920.

I'm sorry if this makes no sense. Sometimes I let my anxiety get the best of me when I am making decisions like this. I'm really not trying to come off as an idiot.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
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Originally posted by: IndieSnob
And now I feel completely stupid about choosing the i5 over the i7.

Seeing as how the difference in price was $10, why would I care about not maybe getting the most use out of the advanced features? For some reason I am still stuck though on the premise that something about the MSI didn't really thrill me, and the price difference between boards at Fry's was outrageous for 1366 especially compared to the combo price. If I would have gone to Newegg I would have also had to spend more on getting the i7-920.

I'm sorry if this makes no sense. Sometimes I let my anxiety get the best of me when I am making decisions like this. I'm really not trying to come off as an idiot.
I did some reading and it also appears Core i7 1366 overclocks a lot better on stock volts compared to either Core i5 or Core i7 1156 Processors.

Something about the PCI-E holds things back for 1156.
 

Tsavo

Platinum Member
Sep 29, 2009
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Originally posted by: IndieSnob
And now I feel completely stupid about choosing the i5 over the i7.

Seeing as how the difference in price was $10, why would I care about not maybe getting the most use out of the advanced features? For some reason I am still stuck though on the premise that something about the MSI didn't really thrill me, and the price difference between boards at Fry's was outrageous for 1366 especially compared to the combo price. If I would have gone to Newegg I would have also had to spend more on getting the i7-920.

I'm sorry if this makes no sense. Sometimes I let my anxiety get the best of me when I am making decisions like this. I'm really not trying to come off as an idiot.
It's a processor and mainboard purchase, not the purchase of a house or a Ferrari, so quit over-thinking it.

You aren't going to be hurting for power with either CPU.
 

pctwo

Senior member
Oct 12, 2003
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Originally posted by: IndieSnob
And now I feel completely stupid about choosing the i5 over the i7.

Seeing as how the difference in price was $10, why would I care about not maybe getting the most use out of the advanced features?
what were you looking at (mobo/cpu/mem) where the difference was that small?
 

adairusmc

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2006
7,068
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Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
Originally posted by: LCD123
Dude, save your money and overclock that e8400! You could easily match a stock i7!
Two threads versus eight threads? I don't see how.
No kidding, that would be a neat magic trick if it worked.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,565
1,042
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Originally posted by: adairusmc
Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
Originally posted by: LCD123
Dude, save your money and overclock that e8400! You could easily match a stock i7!
Two threads versus eight threads? I don't see how.
No kidding, that would be a neat magic trick if it worked.
Hah. Yeah it would be close in some games that don't take advantage of Quads, but for pretty much everything else + multitasking the i7 is going to hand an E8400 it's face.
 

LCD123

Member
Sep 29, 2009
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Originally posted by: VirtualLarry
Originally posted by: LCD123
Dude, save your money and overclock that e8400! You could easily match a stock i7!
Two threads versus eight threads? I don't see how.
http://www.extremetech.com/art.../0,2845,2333776,00.asp

No advantage in games.

http://www.overclockersclub.co...ws/intel_core_i7/9.htm

All the cpus in that review perform similar, any difference is due to higher clocks and more cache. The e8400 does just fine.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
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Originally posted by: LCD123

http://www.extremetech.com/art.../0,2845,2333776,00.asp

No advantage in games.
In that review all the processors tested are quad core. So I dont see how you can conclude that E8400 fits in.

http://www.overclockersclub.co...ws/intel_core_i7/9.htm

All the cpus in that review perform similar, any difference is due to higher clocks and more cache. The e8400 does just fine.
In this review, the videocard used was only 4850 which is not that fast nowdays.

--------------------------

GTX 295 CPU scaling
Company of Heroes 1920x1200 8AA/16AF
Core i7 965 = 120
E8400 = 113

Crysis Warhead - 1920x1200
i7 965 = 40
E8400 = 39

Fallout 3 - 1920x1200 8AA/16AF
i7 965 = 68
E8400 = 64

Left 4 Dead - 1920x1200 8AA/16AF
i7 965 = 136
E8400 = 106

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1920x1200 8AA/16AF
i7 965 = 136
E8400 = 118

So E8400 is sufficient for these games.

What about other games?

World in Conflict GTX295 - 1920x1200 4AA/16AF
i7 965 = 62
E8400 = 45 (not so good)

Resident Evil 5 - 1280x1024 GTS 250
i7 920 = 122.5
Q6600 2.4 ghz = 69.7
C2D 2.4ghz = 38.5 (very slow!)

Anno 1404 - 1680x1050
i7 860 HT = 46.4 avg / 45 min
Q6600 2.4ghz = 25.9 avg / 24 min
E8400 = 24.2 avg / 24 min (2x slower than an i7)

Far Cry 2 (see link above)
i7 860 HT = 68.7 avg / 54 min
Q6600 2.4ghz = 62.2 avg / 41 min
E8400 = 57.3 avg / 38 min (much slower minimums)

GTA4 (see link above)
i7 860 HT = 33.3 avg / 30 min
Q6600 2.4ghz = 22.0 avg / 18 min
E8400 = 20.5 avg / 17 min (very slow)

I mean generally, GTA4, Arma2 and Resident Evil 5, along with a couple other games take advantage of quads. But E8400 should be sufficient for most other games. It depends on the graphics card, resolution and games. Obviously if you pair a Core i7 3.6ghz with a 4850 it will get destroyed by an E8400 with 5870 (other than in those games where a dual core struggles).
 

RinksCustoms

Junior Member
Oct 18, 2009
5
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cache/stock clock speed is key, but thats elementary when you use benchmarks designed to run in two threads. Of course the margins will be small when an O.C.'d C2D with all its threads being taxed vs an i7 core which has 3 cores shut off and one core in turbo mode, they're close to being the same thing. But let me pose this question, take a core 2 duo (clock it to 8 GHz for all i care), run 8 instances of prime95 on it and stop watch it to see how long it takes it to finish those 8 instances, run an i7 920 (no HT?) with 8 instances of prime95 also, i know the i7 will finish in roughly 1/4 of the time, while running cooler, and with a lower electric bill.
Basically what i'm saying is that standard benchmarks aren't really coded to stress an i7 equally as a C2D. Am i wrong here? do i need to do more homework on the under the hood part?
 

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