Question on New Gaming Build (Triple Channel i7-950 vs Dual i5-2500k)

FluX75

Junior Member
May 21, 2011
3
0
0
Hello,

I'm building a new computer and have a couple questions about the specifics. I approached two friends and they suggested two different setups for the processor, motherboard, and memory. The have been having a small debate on which is actually the better setup. I asked two more very computer-savvy friends their input and they are split as well.

Here are the setups:
Setup 1 (Frank):
Processor - $289.99 - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Motherboard - $179.99 - MSI X58 Pro-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory - $72.99 - Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT3KIT25664BA1067

Setup 2 (Donald):

Processor - $224.99 - Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
Motherboard - $179.99 - MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory - $99.99 - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8

Here are their arguments:

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Frank:
"I feel like triple channel would surpass the dual channel; even if the processor may be just slightly better... i think the performance would on the ram would more than make up for it..."

Donald:
"ya someone mentiond once that tirple channel doesnt get fully utilzied and it was better to jsut stick w/ dual channel. that's why most sandy bridge motherboards do dual channel instead of triple but i did not confirm this"

Frank:
"triple channel ram that is rated above 1333 doesn't get utilized... (for instance your brother bought ram that is rated at 1600 mhz...) but he is only going to get to use 1333 unless he decides to overclock... which is risky... So since most ram is rated higher than 1333, yes its easy to see how people come upon that conclusion... however... three sticks all running at 1333 are faster than 2 sticks running at say 1600"

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Ali’s Comment’s:
For starters: Donald is right. Your practical gain out of triple channel memory may not offset the cost. I haven't looked at prices in a while to see if they've leveled out, but if you wanna spare some bank, go dual channel.You should go the Donald route in the spec sheet,

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Jackson's Comments:
All I can say is the more memory bandwidth, the better. It's hard to say though, which setup offers more. At first glance, tri chan does. But you have to remember that new processors come with new socket technology that just straight up offers more bandwidth on a lot of stuff. It's impossible to tell without some involved reading.

Donald's right in that the processor maybe slightly faster, but that probably won't ever be the bottleneck of your system. You can have a magic processor from the future that's 20x as fast, but it'll still be waiting to read from memory and disk, so you won't ever feel it. Imagine a guy who is really good at math, but I only give him 1 simple problem to solve a day. The rest of his day, is just wasted."
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Any help or advice would be extremely appreciated! If there is a "better" setup you can suggest for a similar price, go for it. Who do I trust?

Thanks! :D


EDIT: For those interested, this is "the rest" of the setup I've looked at so far.

Graphics Card - $242.99 - SAPPHIRE 100312-1GSR Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Hard Drive - $59.99 - Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
SSD - $109.99 - SAMSUNG 470 Series MZ-5PA064/US 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Case - $59.99 - RAIDMAX Quantum ATX-798WB Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply - $101.99 - COOLMAX RM-1000B 1000W ATX 12V v2.2/ EPS12V v2.91 SLI / CrossFire Ready Active PFC and Compatible with Core i3/i5/i7 Power Supply

This is the first machine I am building. Thus, I know very little.
 

MarkLuvsCS

Senior member
Jun 13, 2004
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76
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/memory/2011/01/11/the-best-memory-for-sandy-bridge/10

Compares memory speeds on various tests. RAM Speed and bandwidth seems meaningless.

For a PSU I would rather go with a brand I know and trust: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371026 on sale for a decent price.

The system should only use around ~400w under full load. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/293 so you don't need 1000w. You can even add a second card later with that PSU.

Personally if budget could fit it I'd probably get the 2600k because HT would be useful for encoding which is important for me. Everything else looks pretty solid.

I hope you have fun with build!
 
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FluX75

Junior Member
May 21, 2011
3
0
0
Thanks for the information!!

Would you mind linking your preferred PSU again? Link not working for me.
 
Feb 19, 2001
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yeah running cooler is a huge thing. my i7 @ 4ghz idles at like 180 watts or something. it's kinda disgusting. gets my room all hot and stuff. im pretty sure it takes a lot less power to get a i5 overclocked to like 4.5ghz
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Building a Gaming rig today is over-all best built with a 2500K SandyBridge. It's amazing how high these overclock while maintaining relatively low temps and vcore.

With the last iteration of Intel chips, 1366 & 1156, the mainstream 1156 chips were a better price for performance buy over the enthusiast market segment and right now, the 1155 SandyBridge chips are the Mainstream chips. The Enthusiast chips are right around the corner and they are already talkin the same kind of money for the 1366 platform (CPU, RAM, MB) - for some reason I am thinking the 1155 "K" SandyBridge chips are the ones to get for gaming.
 

greenhawk

Platinum Member
Feb 23, 2011
2,031
0
71
the i7-950 will be better for memory related tasks, but over all the i5-2500K is the better cpu at the moment.

if you can wait until near the end of the year, the SB-E is due out and that should be better than either of them (quad channel memory on a SB cpu)
 

bunnyfubbles

Lifer
Sep 3, 2001
12,248
3
0
very very very few apps will truly take advantage of triple channel and far more will benefit from 1155's superior IPC and sheer clockrate advantage if overclcoked, ultimately 1366's triple channel advantage really doesn't translate to us consumers and will only matter on the server and highly niche workstation side of things

in fact triple channel bandwidth is so irrelevant the only practical advantage of X58's extra memory lanes is an extra 2 slots you get for packing in extra ram, although now that 4GB modules have become very affordable even that advantage is mitigated as most power users will be sated by 16GB of ram, if they even need more than 8GB.
 

Lightflash

Senior member
Oct 12, 2010
274
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I would def. go with a 2600k or 2500k right now over anything S1366 (unless we are going with SR-2 level boards). It will give you the biggest chance to upgrade later on since there is only going to be a 995X for the S1366, but S1155 will be able to use Ivy Bridge if the motherboard supports it.

As for the motherboard, I would also go with something besides MSi. I would go with something like ASRock, Gigabyte, or Asus. Some of it is personal experience with overclocking on the same motherboard and other is the fact that MSi has some spotty support due to their moderators on the forums.

I would also go with a more trusted brand PSU, and there is no way you will need a 1k PSU for the system unless you plan to really add to the system (thinking two more GPUs, a few more HDDs, etc.). I would look for an 80+ Gold on some of the different PSU review sites (johnnyguru is probably the best IMHO) and around 600w to 800w depending on what plan to upgrade down the road.
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,715
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Go with the 1366. At least you have an upgrade path to 6 cores down the line! LGA 1155 is going to be stuck with 4 cores.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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6 core 1366 chips start off at 500$ > lol and the majority of 1366 chips won't overclock like the 'K' SandyBridge chips. And if they do, you have spent way too much money to get it to do so. I've seen more 5Ghz SandyBridge overclocks than 4.5Ghz 1366 overclocks.

For gaming at stock speeds the 2500K is THEE best chip to get and needless to say scaling it with overclocking along side a 1366 chip will give the same results. It's also better in thermal performance ,more efficient in power consumption in idle and load states, and cost less than whats left on the 1366 NIB market.
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
81
There won't be any practical difference in gaming between the two systems

You are right in that while someone is sitting there gaming, they probably won't be able to notice a difference between the two. However, the 2500K setup is technically faster when both systems are overclocked, costs less and in the OP's config has 2GB more RAM. It also uses less electricity and puts out less heat. Overall, IMO a win. Oh yeah you can also get cheaper motherboards with Sandy Bridge.
 

smartpatrol

Senior member
Mar 8, 2006
870
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Unless you are doing a lot of HD video editing, you will see no benefit from triple-channel RAM vs dual-channel.

Not only that, but the Sandy Bridge system you listed will actually have the same theoretical memory bandwidth! It's only dual-channel but the memory clock speed is 50% higher than in the i7 system, so the actual bandwidth should come out to be almost exactly the same.
 

bunnyfubbles

Lifer
Sep 3, 2001
12,248
3
0
Go with the 1366. At least you have an upgrade path to 6 cores down the line! LGA 1155 is going to be stuck with 4 cores.

you mean to say the 6 core Westmere chips that Sandybridge 4 cores already best more often that not?

upgrading down the line to 6 core 1366 really isn't that wise of a move either if you expect any of the 6 core 1366 CPUs to drop below the $500 range, because they won't, not barring some fluke

We saw the Q9550 drop as low as $180 but now its back up to $300 as the a dead end upgrade for anyone still clingling to a s775 rig, of which $300 will go most of the way for a complete SandyBridge overhaul.

"Thanks" to ecomonmy of scale we'd have to be fools to believe the i7 970 will ever drop into a price range that would make it a reasonable upgrade, the 980X and 990X will certainly never drop much below their $1000 MSRPs, none of the extreme chips ever do.
 

Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,717
1,051
136
yeah running cooler is a huge thing. my i7 @ 4ghz idles at like 180 watts or something. it's kinda disgusting. gets my room all hot and stuff. im pretty sure it takes a lot less power to get a i5 overclocked to like 4.5ghz

How much vcore?
 

tweakboy

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2010
9,517
2
81
www.hammiestudios.com
Stay away from small companies Chinese products,

get quality get ASUS and EVGA for gaphics card, nvidia will give him no problems, as ATI drivers do. thank you imo gg gl
 

Inspire

Member
Aug 2, 2001
87
0
0
Hello,

I'm building a new computer and have a couple questions about the specifics. I approached two friends and they suggested two different setups for the processor, motherboard, and memory. The have been having a small debate on which is actually the better setup. I asked two more very computer-savvy friends their input and they are split as well.


Any help or advice would be extremely appreciated! If there is a "better" setup you can suggest for a similar price, go for it. Who do I trust?

Thanks! :D

This is the first machine I am building. Thus, I know very little.

Donald is the closest. Although I wouldn't trust him either. MSI motherboard? They are ok but Asus, Asrock or Gigabyte. Heck both picked MSI o_O

Frank: Crucial memory is somewhat sub par. Its like buying gas for a Ferrari at 7-11.

At least they didn't suggest ECS motherboards. :)

1000W PSU is waaay overkill from a so-so brand. Get either a Seasonic or Antec. Seasonic X-660 should be more than enough.

I don't really like the Raidmax case. Coolmaster 690 II Advanced, Coolermaster HAF 922 or Antec P183 V3.
 

Bartman39

Elite Member | For Sale/Trade
Jul 4, 2000
8,878
51
91
Stay away from small companies Chinese products,

get quality get ASUS and EVGA for gaphics card, nvidia will give him no problems, as ATI drivers do. thank you imo gg gl

You smoke crack...:rolleyes: (or your living in the retro days...?)

BTW I have both a 2600K @ 4.6Ghz with 2X4gigs of memory @ 1866mhz and an I7 920 @ 3.8Ghz and of course triple channel 3X2gig memory running just shy of 1600mhz...?)

In benchmarks that measure memory bandwidth & read/write the 2600K system is the clear winner but with identical video cards (XFX 6950HD`s 2gig with shaders unlocked) the benchmarks about basicly the same scores except for a few which are more memory intensive... Also when rendering video the 2600K really shines even more... One other note is I tried them at the same clock speeds too and the 2600K system is still king its just a better series of cpu... Normaly the 6950HD`s are in crossfire in the 2600K system, just waiting to decide what I want to put in the I7 920, might go with a 5XX series Nvidia so I can do more comparisions...?

More to the point triple channel ram is nothing special but quad channel with a 2011 cpu should be real fireworks...:thumbsup:

Newer tech means less heat and what I`ve found tends to be more stable as well... ;)
 
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Makaveli

Diamond Member
Feb 8, 2002
4,717
1,051
136
You smoke crack...:rolleyes: (or your living in the retro days...?)

BTW I have both a 2600K @ 4.6Ghz with 2X4gigs of memory @ 1866mhz and an I7 920 @ 3.8Ghz and of course triple channel 3X2gig memory running just shy of 1600mhz...?)

In benchmarks that measure memory bandwidth & read/write the 2600K system is the clear winner but with identical video cards (XFX 6950HD`s 2gig with shaders unlocked) the benchmarks about basicly the same scores except for a few which are more memory intensive... Also when rendering video the 2600K really shines even more... One other note is I tried them at the same clock speeds too and the 2600K system is still king its just a better series of cpu... Normaly the 6950HD`s are in crossfire in the 2600K system, just waiting to decide what I want to put in the I7 920, might go with a 5XX series Nvidia so I can do more comparisions...?

More to the point triple channel ram is nothing special but quad channel with a 2011 cpu should be real fireworks...:thumbsup:

Newer tech means less heat and what I`ve found tends to be more stable as well... ;)

He's is smoking something that is for sure. Rest of your post is spot on tripple channel really only has an effect on server works loads and not desktop ones. Having the extra two slots does make a difference however if you need to load up the system with 24GB's of ram. Other than that it would be silly to go 1366 now unless you got it for Dirt cheap!
 

Bartman39

Elite Member | For Sale/Trade
Jul 4, 2000
8,878
51
91
Sad but it got me to thinking what do I need the I7 920 system for...? Just put it up for sale and might put the $$$ aside for a socket 2011...:biggrin: (love the idea of quad channel and SB or IVB kick`in it)...:thumbsup:
 

Jacky60

Golden Member
Jan 3, 2010
1,123
0
0
you mean to say the 6 core Westmere chips that Sandybridge 4 cores already best more often that not?

upgrading down the line to 6 core 1366 really isn't that wise of a move either if you expect any of the 6 core 1366 CPUs to drop below the $500 range, because they won't, not barring some fluke

We saw the Q9550 drop as low as $180 but now its back up to $300 as the a dead end upgrade for anyone still clingling to a s775 rig, of which $300 will go most of the way for a complete SandyBridge overhaul.

"Thanks" to ecomonmy of scale we'd have to be fools to believe the i7 970 will ever drop into a price range that would make it a reasonable upgrade, the 980X and 990X will certainly never drop much below their $1000 MSRPs, none of the extreme chips ever do.

I agree with all of the above. If building now I'd definitely go with 2500K Sandybridge. Less heat, equal or better performance and cheaper. Its really last generation vs this generation. And I own i7 920.