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I am looking at purchasing a new PC (not decided if I will build it myself or get one that is custom built due to not having much free time..) and I have been looking at processors...It used to be that the i7 processor was clearly the best one to go for, where as now, it seems to be about 50/50 between i5/i7 processors...Can anybody give me some pointers on these? Clearly out of the loop now in terms on these...I am aware its going to cost a fortune already, and want to get a machine which will last a good few years :)

 

Any help appreciated!

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CPUs priced over $220 offer rapidly diminishing returns when it comes to performance in games. As such, we have a hard time recommending anything more expensive than the Core i5-3570K, especially since this multiplier-unlocked processor is easy to tune up to 4.5 GHz or so with the right cooler. Even at stock clocks, though, it matches or beats the old $1,000 Gulftown-based Core i7-990X Extreme Edition in game tests.

We have seen a small handful of games benefit from Hyper-Threaded Core i7 processors, though. Because we believe this is a trend that will continue as developers optimize their titles, we're including the Core i7-3770K as an honorable mention, now selling for $320. In a vast majority of games, the Core i7 won't demonstrate much advantage over the Core i5. But if you're a serious enthusiast who wants some future-proofing and values highly-threaded application performance, this processor may be worth the extra money.

 

In addition, there's certainly an argument to be made for using LGA 2011 as the ultimate gaming platform. LGA 2011-based CPUs have more available cache and as many as two more execution cores than the flagship LGA 1150/1155 models. Additionally, more bandwidth is delivered through a quad-channel memory controller. And with 40 lanes of third-gen PCIe connectivity available from Sandy Bridge-E-based processors, the platform natively supports two x16 and one x8 slot, or one x16 and three x8 slots, alleviating potential bottlenecks in three- and four-way CrossFire or SLI configurations.

 

Although they sound impressive, those advantages don't necessarily translate into significant performance gains in modern titles. Our tests demonstrate fairly little difference between a $225 LGA 1155 Core i5-2500K and a $1,000 LGA 2011 Core i7-3970X, even when three-way graphics card configurations are involved. It turns out that memory bandwidth and PCIe throughput don't hold back the performance of existing Sandy Bridge-based machines.

Where we do see the potential for Sandy Bridge-E to drive additional performance is in processor-bound games like World of Warcraft or the multiplayer component ofBattlefield 3. If you're running a three- or four-way array of graphics cards already, there's a good chance that you already own more than enough rendering muscle. An overclocked Core i7-3970X or -3930K could help the rest of your platform catch up to an insanely powerful arrangement of GPUs.

 

To summarize, while we generally recommend against purchasing any gaming CPU that retails for more than $220 from a value point of view (sink that money into graphics and the motherboard instead), there are those of you who have no trouble throwing down serious money on the best of the best, and who require the fastest possible performance available.

 

Although, its primarily written for gaming recommendations, its still worth a read

 

TL;DR

If multi-threading, photo editing e.t.c. is the kind of stuff you do, then go for a i7. Otherwise, i5 is a great option for almost everything.

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These days the type of processor you have will mean very little when it comes to CPU speed. 
If you do alot of video/photo editing, get a i7, otherwise any ol i5 will do for all round goodness :)

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I can give you a few pointers, yes. For instance, 0xC0FBA749BEE02740, that's a nice one... *cough*

 

 

Looking in your sig, you are currently running quite an OC'ed i7-920 and a single 7970. Based on that, I doubt you'll be getting the expected increase in performance. The old Nehalem can still kick hard. Put an SSD in it, if you haven't one already, and despite not having SATA 6Gbps, it keeps up nicely.

 

Raw power, last drop of performance Ivy Bridge-E (LGA2011, 40 lanes of PCI-E 3.0 at last) is around the corner. However, 4820K will be about the same as 3770K and the rest (Extreme) will cost not just a fortune, but a damned one, together with a bloody parrot and a peg leg.

 

In that light, I also think i5 vs i7 debate doesn't really matter that much.

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for gaming,it doesn't make much difference. if you don't care for speed increases in other applications,then an i5 is adequate with a good graphics card.

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These days the type of processor you have will mean very little when it comes to CPU speed. 
If you do alot of video/photo editing, get a i7, otherwise any ol i5 will do for all round goodness :)

 

The type of processor you have will mean very little when it comes to CPU speed.. what?!

 

for gaming,it doesn't make much difference. if you don't care for speed increases in other applications,then an i5 is adequate with a good graphics card.

 

For gaming, it doesn't make much difference. Are you serious?!

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For gaming, it doesn't make much difference. Are you serious?!

 

it really doesn't. I even think the full potential of an i5 is not even used. all you have to do is just look at the benchmarks. marginal fps increases. for the price difference,id get a better gpu, if its primarily for gaming. If I want the speed increases because I do a lot of photoshop,video compression stuff,etc.. id definitely get an i7 because that's where it will shine. 

 

just go here

 

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/551?vs=288

 

this is comparing an i5 2500k,which isn't even the best i5, and a i7 3770k, and the difference is tiny.

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i7 are quad-core with HT, the OS will think theres 8 cores there.

i5 are dual core with HT, so the OS will think theres 4 cores there.

 

They all scale frequencies now, going from like 1.8-2GHZ up to 3.4GHz. Your L1/L2/L3 cache sizes come into play.

 

The HUGE selling feature for the i7, aside from '8 cores' is that it does REAL virtualization. So if you wanna play with virtual machines they will get hardware-level access, which previously wasn't possible.

 

Aside from that I own both an i7 and i5 and both are just as snappy doing everything, The huge difference is going to be which SSD you use, as that will be a bigger bottleneck than an i5 vs an i7.

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it really doesn't. I even think the full potential of an i5 is not even used. all you have to do is just look at the benchmarks. marginal fps increases. for the price difference,id get a better gpu, if its primarily for gaming. 

 

If you get a better GPU, then you are going to be limited by the CPU if you get an i5.

 

Those benchmarks at the anandtech link are using crappy GPUs that a gamer wouldn't even touch (HD5870) as soon as your drop a GTX 670 or 680 in you are totally limited by the i5 CPU and just wasted your money.

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If you get a better GPU, then you are going to be limited by the CPU if you get an i5.

 

Not if we are talking about the top of the line i5s

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If you get a better GPU, then you are going to be limited by the CPU if you get an i5.

 

Those benchmarks at the anandtech link are using crappy GPUs that a gamer wouldn't even touch (HD5870) as soon as your drop a GTX 670 or 680 in you are totally limited by the i5 CPU and just wasted your money.

how can you be limited by the i5 when games dont use 8 threads. that's simply the difference between them, 8 vs 4. if the cache and frequency is similar, you wont see much or any difference at all.  and if you look at any benchmarks,even with higher end gpus,you still wont find any difference in fps.

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i5 -> i7 price jump isn't worth it imo, but obviously depends on your needs!

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i7 are quad-core with HT, the OS will think theres 8 cores there.

i5 are dual core with HT, so the OS will think theres 4 cores there.

 

They all scale frequencies now, going from like 1.8-2GHZ up to 3.4GHz. Your L1/L2/L3 cache sizes come into play.

 

The HUGE selling feature for the i7, aside from '8 cores' is that it does REAL virtualization. So if you wanna play with virtual machines they will get hardware-level access, which previously wasn't possible.

 

Aside from that I own both an i7 and i5 and both are just as snappy doing everything, The huge difference is going to be which SSD you use, as that will be a bigger bottleneck than an i5 vs an i7.

 

 

i3 are dual core with HT (2+2 HT), i5 are quad-core without HT (4 core) and i7 are quad-core with HT (4+4 HT), as of hardware virtualization, i3 has VT-x and i5 and i7 have VT-x and VT-d.

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If you get a better GPU, then you are going to be limited by the CPU if you get an i5.

 

Those benchmarks at the anandtech link are using crappy GPUs that a gamer wouldn't even touch (HD5870) as soon as your drop a GTX 670 or 680 in you are totally limited by the i5 CPU and just wasted your money.

Bullsh*t. i5 3570k vs i7 3770k with 680,

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i3 are dual core with HT (2+2 HT), i5 are quad-core without HT (4 core) and i7 are quad-core with HT (4+4 HT), as of hardware virtualization, i3 has VT-x and i5 and i7 have VT-x and VT-d.

 

There is one i5 which is a 2 core with hyperthreading (3470T), but right, in general, the i5 is a real quad-core. See here for handy reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Desktop_processors

 

As for the i5 vs. i7 debate, if you're not sure which one you need, you don't need the i7. 

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I haven't used new systems in a while but it was always my conclusion that CPUs don't matter for general computing these days. The basic i5 is more than fast enough for those needs. When you get into specific job types (rendering/editing and such) then you might benefit. Gaming (in recent years) has always been GPU limited rather than CPU (IMO)

 

As for the OP, i'd go for the i5 and call it a day. My Core i3 is still chugging along nicely and all I did was put a SSD in there and it flies now as a result. Still I want to upgrade my laptop with a Haswell version and i'll prolly get a Core i5 this time for more demanding tasks that I plan on doing.

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Buy whatever you can afford to, simple as that.

 

Why would you buy an i5 if you have the money for an i7?

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Buy whatever you can afford to, simple as that.

 

Why would you buy an i5 if you have the money for an i7?

 

Why would you buy a Ferrari if you're driving it to work every day. 

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The type of processor you have will mean very little when it comes to CPU speed.. what?!

 

I mean the processor i5, or i7 - these days you cant visually tell which is faster without looking in the properties of the computer. 
Eg - threw a SSD in my sisters 5 year old laptop, now it performs as fast as any laptop today, the cpu has little to do with performance unless doing hardcore number crunching like video editing.

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Look, to solve the argument just get an i6!

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