• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Relative advantages of i7 860 vs. 920

Corsairs

Member
Feb 28, 2005
54
0
0
Well, today's the big day. I was finally able to snag a Radeon 5870, and with that I'm just about set to start putting together my first new system in almost 5 years. If you're at all interested in the planned build, see this thread.

In that thread, I receive some advice from a forum member who suggests that I would be better off purchasing an i7 920 rather than an 860. This was the portion of my build that I was least confident in, and since receiving that advice I've been reexamining my research to determine what's the appropriate path for me. From what I understand, 920 has these advantages over 860:

  1. Better Crossfire support (16x/16x)
  2. A higher maximum overclock ceiling
  3. A better upgrade path (Gulftown coming on Socket 1366)
  4. Triple-channel memory on Socket 1366, allowing for more overall system memory (8GB vs. 12GB)
For my purposes, I have no intention of using Crossfire, so that difference doesn't register. I do intend to overclock; however, I'm not planning on pushing my system to the bleeding edge, so I'm not sure how big a deal a higher OC ceiling is for me. The upgrade path is nice to have, but more important to me is to get the best processor for my purposes in the here-and-now. Triple-channel memory may actually be the biggest advantage. I want at least 6GB. If I got the 920, I would simply buy one 6GB kit. If I got the 860, I would buy two 4GB kits, which is more expensive (and might slightly hamper my overclocking).

What about the other direction; what advantages does the 860 have over the 920? Given my stated goals and given that this is going to be designed as an enthusiast rig to play games but also a system to do general work on (Photoshop, Excel, etc.), do you have a suggestion as to which CPU is right for me?
 

Absolution75

Senior member
Dec 3, 2007
981
2
81
Cheaper CPU (Unless you live by a Microcenter)
Cheaper Mobo
Turbo Mode
Mobo's tend to run cooler (CPU + P55 instead of CPU + X58 + ICH10R)
Newer? This really isn't an advantage per say, but I tend to think that P55 will be around longer than X58, this isn't backed by an evidence really though. I'll be using this CPU/MB until I either see excellent 32nm parts, or some 8core beast comes out.
PCI-E latency I suppose is also lower, also not really an advantage.


Really, it is just what your budget allows, compare your favorite combo of P55 compared to your favorite X58 combo. See what you think is worth your money. For me it was P55.

Personally, 4GB is enough IMO for awhile longer (I had 8GB on my P45 board and I tend to use quite a lot of ram - multiple instances in visual studio, games, other ram hungry programs running in the background) - at least for most people.
 

GLeeM

Elite Member
Apr 2, 2004
7,199
128
106
What about the other direction; what advantages does the 860 have over the 920?
The reviews say the 860 uses less electricity so if you leave your computer on 24/7 that would be something to consider.

If you don't OC alot, then the better boost of the 860 is an advantage.

I'm glad I got the 920, but then I run F@H 24/7 at 3.99GHz with HT on.
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
21,303
3
81
For extreme OCing, i7 920 definitely will get farther on average.
(4+ GHz range)
For moderate OCing, there is no advantage really.

Better upgrade path is mostly speculation right now, as there are no affordable 6 core chips on the roadmaps, meaning unless you like spending $1000-1500+...

Triple channel is meaningless in real world results; beneficial only in synthetic benchmarks.
RAM clocks higher on P55 than X58 if you want to go crazy w/ RAM OCing, anyway.

I'd say that for your stated need, X58 offers nothing beneficial over your planned i7-860 build.

I would recommend you do NOT spend a lot on the motherboard on P55 though, as that totally defeats the purpose of P55 IMHO.
[The whole benefit of P55 = better pricing.]

The boards in your other thread's OP are very pricey...at that price range you should be going X58, no doubt.

I don't know why you think you need to spend that much.

There are lots of solid < $175 P55 boards.

I'd suggest the Gigabyte P55A-UD3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2&amp;Tpk=p55a-ud3
$135 w/ USB 3 & SATA 3.

That saves you more than enough to to get 8 GB DDR3.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231280
^ Nice pricing on nice RAM.
 
Last edited:

Corsairs

Member
Feb 28, 2005
54
0
0
Thank you very much for clearing this up for me. This has been my biggest area of confusion. Reading this over, I see that the relative advantages of the 920 are minimized given my planned usage. I also appreciate the lower power draw of the 860. I'll be going that route, and I'll give serious consideration to toning down the mobo choice to something a bit more economical.
 

stipalgl

Member
Jul 17, 2008
118
0
0
It should be noted, as others have not specified, that the relative power draw of an 860 compared to a 920 is completely thrown out the door when overclocking is taken into account. Once you go past stock, all the power advantages of the 860 cease to exist as it sucks roughly the equivalent amount of electricity as an overclocked 920 at the same frequency.

Hope that helps somewhat.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
given that this is going to be designed as an enthusiast rig to play games but also a system to do general work on (Photoshop, Excel, etc.), do you have a suggestion as to which CPU is right for me?

Would a Core i7 860 work better with photoshop than a Core i5 750?

Since you have a HD5870 do you plan on running Eyefinity?
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Better upgrade path is mostly speculation right now, as there are no affordable 6 core chips on the roadmaps, meaning unless you like spending $1000-1500+...
What programs will be able to make use of a 32nm hex core chip?
 

Corsairs

Member
Feb 28, 2005
54
0
0
Would a Core i7 860 work better with photoshop than a Core i5 750?

Since you have a HD5870 do you plan on running Eyefinity?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I am planning on running Eyefinity on this system. That was something I was curious about - whether my proposed build was up to Eyefinity. I'm hoping that one 5870 will be enough to keep frame rates reasonable in modern games (obviously my hopes are tempered for something like Crysis.

At any rate, I don't want to derail this thread with too much talk about my proposed build. You can check the link in my first post if you're interested in that, along with greater detail on how I intend to use it. As far as this thread goes, the info here is very useful. It almost seems to me that, once you start overclocking, the differences between the 860 and the 920 are fairly minor, and now you're down to which platform (1156 or 1366) has the mobo you like best.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Yes, as a matter of fact, I am planning on running Eyefinity on this system. That was something I was curious about - whether my proposed build was up to Eyefinity. I'm hoping that one 5870 will be enough to keep frame rates reasonable in modern games (obviously my hopes are tempered for something like Crysis.

If you are planning on using Eyefinity with HD5870 then the cpu selection doesn't really matter that much for gaming.

Even with a single monitor Core i5 is the maximum someone could utilize. (there are no games above four threads to my knowledge.)
 
Last edited:

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,500
9,557
136
For gaming you don't need anything above a Core i5 750.

The real question is how much of the CPU does Photoshop use?
Wrong. For ultimate high end the extra PCIE 16x lanes, and the extra slots for SLI can make a difference. You get 4 PTX295's or 4 5970's or something, those extra lanes will make a difference.

Also, the platform can go up to 24 gig of memory. vs I think 16 for the I5. I doubt games will need more than 16 gig, but those 4 gig sticks are awful expensive, and more than 8 could be a possibility on some higher end games on win7.
 

Griswold

Senior member
Dec 24, 2004
630
0
0
Also, the platform can go up to 24 gig of memory. vs I think 16 for the I5. I doubt games will need more than 16 gig, but those 4 gig sticks are awful expensive, and more than 8 could be a possibility on some higher end games on win7.
Talking about more than 4GB for games is nonsense today and for quite some time to come. Show me a game that (besides being 64bit or specifically large-address-aware flagged as a 32bit EXE) actually uses more than 3 or even only 2GB. I cant think of one. Not even crysis with its 64bit executable does that here on my machine with 8GB.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,500
9,557
136
Talking about more than 4GB for games is nonsense today and for quite some time to come. Show me a game that (besides being 64bit or specifically large-address-aware flagged as a 32bit EXE) actually uses more than 3 or even only 2GB. I cant think of one. Not even crysis with its 64bit executable does that here on my machine with 8GB.
Yes, in the future for the memory, except those running Win 7 64 bit (like me), other apps can be a real hog I am using all my 6 gig without even running a game...But the extra lanes of the X58 are a real question, and real value for high end gamers, that was my real point.

Also, I was trying to argue his point that "gamers don;t need anything over I5", and thats just wrong. You get a high end gamer with a 27-30' Dell display running 2560x1920 (I think thats the res), you may not only need a quad-core, but a fast one, and at least 2 slots at 16x, maybe 3 running fast cards in SLI.

And lat, I really hate closed ended statements like "gamers don't need anything over I5", that's like Bill Gates saying "nobody will ever need more than 640k" (if he really said that, not verified)
 
Last edited:

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
And lat, I really hate closed ended statements like "gamers don't need anything over I5", that's like Bill Gates saying "nobody will ever need more than 640k" (if he really said that, not verified)
Has anyone tested two HD5890s on a P55 board? Are we absolutely sure they would be maxing out the PCI-E 2.0 x8 lanes?
 
Last edited:

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
Also, I was trying to argue his point that "gamers don;t need anything over I5", and thats just wrong. You get a high end gamer with a 27-30' Dell display running 2560x1920 (I think thats the res), you may not only need a quad-core, but a fast one, and at least 2 slots at 16x, maybe 3 running fast cards in SLI.
Well this is a video card issue, not a cpu issue.
 
Last edited:

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
That may be, but there are ony quad cores for socket 1366, and you need them for virtually any game that needs that much GPU.
I do not like 45nm for LGA 1366.....but the new upcoming 32nm quad core 12mb cache (based on Gulftown) will probably change my mind.

Too bad Intel won't sell a cheaper version of this CPU without the hyperthreading.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY