Newbie Question on Processors...


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Nick H.    10,779

Alright, this is a stupid question. I should know better. But I'm getting confused over the idea of a processor to get.

 

I work with the idea that - using Intel as an example - the i9 should be better than the i7. But it seems that it depends. I just don't get it. More cores in an i7 compared to the i9? But then why would someone choose the i9? What do you gain with the i9 over the i7?

 

Like I said, a newbie to the field. Any feedback - condescending or not - would be appreciated.

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eddman    475

Which i9 and i7 models exactly? Desktop or mobile? IINM there is no i7 with more cores than an i9, at least on the desktop side.

 

Don't compare models from different generations. It's not unexpected for a cheaper model from the latest gen to perform better than a high-end one from previous generations.

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Nick H.    10,779
1 minute ago, eddman said:

Which i9 and i7 models exactly? Desktop or mobile? IINM there is no i7 with more cores than an i9, at least on the desktop side.

Let me rephrase and make it simpler: If you could pick a processor, what would you go for and why?

 

I don't pretend to have started my own research, but I would like to know the basics when going in.

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eddman    475
54 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Let me rephrase and make it simpler: If you could pick a processor, what would you go for and why?

It depends on what you want to do. In my case, since the heaviest workload for me is games, I look for models that have the best (or near best) price/performance ratio in games for my budget.

 

I bought a ryzen 2600 last year. I couldn't afford an i9, i7 or ryzen 7; and since i5 models back then didn't have hyper-threading, and considering games were starting to require 8+ threads to run optimally, 2600 was the best choice for me.

 

If I had to pick a processor now, it'd probably be a ryzen 3600. I could maybe go with a 3700x, but it's a bit out of my budget, although it might be the better option overall due to its extra 2 cores, which might come in handy with XSX/PS5 class games in 2-4 years time.

 

If I had an even bigger budget, I'd get a 10700K. It has top-notch gaming performance and its 8 cores should probably be enough for the foreseeable future. A 3900X is just ~$20 more expensive but is currently slower and I don't think its 12 cores would be fully utilized in the upcoming generation of games. The i9 is simply too expensive and unnecessary IMO.

Edited by eddman
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Jim K    16,025

"More cores in an i7 compared to the i9"  -- huh?  Confused.

 

Think it would be helpful to know which gen you're referring to?  For example, the 9th gen i7's didn't have hyper-threading (ignoring the i7 9*** X series) whereas the 10th gen do.  You can also get more cores with the 10th gen i9's vs. 10th gen i7s.  

 

It also depends on the tasks/usage.  If strictly (and especially) gaming, watching YouTube, etc ... the i7 10th gen would be the pick over i9.  If needing a little more cores for things like video editing, compiling code, etc then the i9 (or Ryzen series) would be the pick.

 

Basically, IMO, I wouldn't get an i9 ... I would get a Ryzen instead.  If I just wanted a CPU primarily for gaming...I would probably go with the 10th gen i7.  

 

My next build will be AMD (waiting for the new Nvidia cards and Ryzen CPUs).

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Mockingbird    3,007

Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Ryzen 3, Ryzen 5, Ryzen 7, and Ryzen 9 are just marketing terms.

 

They don't really mean anything much.

 

 What are you looking for?  That would give me a better idea.

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goretsky    1,218

Hello,

 

Here are the types of questions I like to ask to help people zero in on a new computer purchase:

 

  • What do you need the computer to do?  (i.e., primary, secondary and tertiary uses of the computer, if any)
  • What software are you going to use to accomplish that? 
  • What is your budget for the initial purchase outlay, and how much do you want to spend per annum in upgrades until you replace the computer in its entirety?

I find it better to try and figure those out first, otherwise, you may end up spending a great deal of money on a computer and not making use of the extra features you paid for, or the computer may be expensive, but perform poorly for the intended use because that required some other type of hardware, and so forth.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

 

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Mockingbird    3,007
On 8/8/2020 at 6:31 AM, Nick H. said:

Let me rephrase and make it simpler: If you could pick a processor, what would you go for and why?

 

I don't pretend to have started my own research, but I would like to know the basics when going in.

Software, in general, currently don't scale well beyond 8-cores/16-threads.

 

(Obviously, there are notable exceptions in some professional softwares).

 

So, I would look into 8-cores/16-thread processors.

 

...specifically the Ryzen 7 3700X ($283.55) or Core i7-10700 ($309.99)

 

Ryzen 7 3700X is 3% faster than Core i7-10700 on average (Techpowerup)

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LaP    2,391

First thing the next gen consoles will have 8 cores and 16 threads (and will become the lowest common denominator in the next 3 years) so i would not buy anything having less than 6 cores and 12 threads so forget about the used core i5. If you build a computer primarily to work (compiling, encoding, rendering, ...) with casually gaming on the side then buy Ryzen. Buy the one fitting your budget from Ryzen 5 3600x to Ryzen 9 3950x with a b550 motherboard. Just to let you know that Ryzen 4000 series will be released soon (next 3 months probably) and should give you around a minimum of 15% more for the same amount of money. If you buy primarily to play games then buy Intel. I would probably avoid the core i7 10700 as it will not perform much better than the core i5 10500 in gaming and while it will do better in applications if work related tasks is important then buy Ryzen. If you got the money the core i9 10900 is the best gaming cpus around. If you don't plan to overclock then avoid the Intel K models as you'll pay for a feature you wont use. Be very wary of most reviews of the core i5 10400 as it has often been reviewed with an expensive z490 motherboard which doesn't make sense at all. When paired with a h470 motherboard the core i5 10400 performs not as well since the ram speed is limited on those motherboards. If you can't afford the Core i5 10600 then Ryzen with a b450 motherboard (MSI Tomahawk MAX ideally for future support) is probably a better options even for gaming.

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bikeman25    78

As  an Intel 10Th Gen I7 User, previous PC was Intel I7 7700,  my primary task is gaming, so i decided to choose an Intel I7 10700 back when i was having heat issues with my old Intel I7 7700 case, and video card, so shop i had them doing the work, suggested B460M-DS3H Motherboard with Intel I7 10700 combo, thought about it over night back then, and i was like yes i'll take it next morning, as i never planned to overclock,  just got an EVGA 1660 Super video card.

 

Figured at the time if i asked on AMD Ryzen combo, i may have no been able to afford it 

 

Performance wise the difference is night and day, games run so smooth, Windows runs very smoothly,  overall very very happy,  Temps with new PC case and Processor/motherboard are decent these days,  no signs of overheating or thermal throttling at moment.

 

Whatever you decide on i think you'll be happy with or i hope you'd be

 

**This is coming from an user that only has I7 experience, never used an I9 processor or Ryzen 3000 Desktop chip**  so no idea how they perform if they do better or if Ryzen performs better..

 

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adrynalyne    14,222
48 minutes ago, bikeman25 said:

As  an Intel 10Th Gen I7 User, previous PC was Intel I7 7700,  my primary task is gaming, so i decided to choose an Intel I7 10700 back when i was having heat issues with my old Intel I7 7700 case, and video card, so shop i had them doing the work, suggested B460M-DS3H Motherboard with Intel I7 10700 combo, thought about it over night back then, and i was like yes i'll take it next morning, as i never planned to overclock,  just got an EVGA 1660 Super video card.

 

Figured at the time if i asked on AMD Ryzen combo, i may have no been able to afford it 

 

Performance wise the difference is night and day, games run so smooth, Windows runs very smoothly,  overall very very happy,  Temps with new PC case and Processor/motherboard are decent these days,  no signs of overheating or thermal throttling at moment.

 

Whatever you decide on i think you'll be happy with or i hope you'd be

 

**This is coming from an user that only has I7 experience, never used an I9 processor or Ryzen 3000 Desktop chip**  so no idea how they perform if they do better or if Ryzen performs better..

 

Everything runs cooler these days than a 7700k. That was bad. I came from one myself to a 3950x and temperatures are night and day different. 

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xMorpheousx416    92

I have to go with the others.. when asking about a CPU.

 

What are you planning on using it for the most?

 

However... one thing they have yet to mention.. whether you use it for gaming, or.. like myself, use it primarily for video encoding, is matching your CPU to the proper GPU. It may be arguable to some, but to me, that is also a plus to have them as compatible with each other as possible. Basically.. so that neither bottleneck each other. Kinda like, back in the day.. when we used to have 1:1 FSB specs between the CPU and the RAM.

 

When I was doing some research on the max possibilities of my older FX-8350.. most of it boiled down to the GTX 1060 as being the GPU that wasn't kept waiting for instructions, nor was it keeping the CPU idle while doing it's own job. Pretty much an even keel between the two.

So what did I do? I opted for the 1660 Super. I may not get max performance yet from the GPU, but I get max performance from my CPU.. as I do a ton of video encoding, and not all my apps use the Nvidia NVEnc libraries which the GPU does to help with the process. (even when I do use the Nvidia encoder, it doesn't completely lift the burden off the CPU)

 

So.. all in all, it really does boil down to what your plans are. Add that to your budget, and the focus on what's available becomes clear.

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Brandon H    3,993

thread cleaned

 

Please take off topic discussion/arguments to PM

 

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

 

back on topic. the i9 is really for niche use cases such as high end 3D rendering and such. the i9's tend to run quite a bit hotter than the i7 and below. If you don't have good cooling then the i9 is going to throttle pretty badly making it no better and possibly worse than having an i7 in the same system.

 

for most general use cases including gaming an i5 is plenty IMO.

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Mockingbird    3,007
33 minutes ago, Brandon H said:

the i9's tend to run quite a bit hotter than the i7 and below. If you don't have good cooling then the i9 is going to throttle pretty badly making it no better and possibly worse than having an i7 in the same system.

data to support

 

Power consumption:


116012.png

Edited by Mockingbird
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Nick H.    10,779

Sorry all, I was caught up over the past few days with some other matters. I see quite a few replies, many thanks for the information.

 

I guess the most important question people have asked is, "what are you going to use the machine for?" I don't do film or photo editing (well, maybe a small touch-up to a photo now and again) but it would be good to have a decent machine for gaming, perhaps even make sure that it is "future-proof" for later releases.

 

If I look at the data provided by those graphs then it looks like the i9-10900K provides the most power, which would be best for a gaming machine? But then where I have an issue is I don't understand how the data says that the 10900K is going for $488, but the i9-7920X is going for $1189 and seems to offer less power?

 

Like I said, I'm a complete newbie on what I'm reading from the data, and what the difference in processors is in general. I'm just trying to understand the basics of things.

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Mockingbird    3,007
19 minutes ago, Nick H. said:

Sorry all, I was caught up over the past few days with some other matters. I see quite a few replies, many thanks for the information.

 

I guess the most important question people have asked is, "what are you going to use the machine for?" I don't do film or photo editing (well, maybe a small touch-up to a photo now and again) but it would be good to have a decent machine for gaming, perhaps even make sure that it is "future-proof" for later releases.

 

If I look at the data provided by those graphs then it looks like the i9-10900K provides the most power, which would be best for a gaming machine? But then where I have an issue is I don't understand how the data says that the 10900K is going for $488, but the i9-7920X is going for $1189 and seems to offer less power?

 

Like I said, I'm a complete newbie on what I'm reading from the data, and what the difference in processors is in general. I'm just trying to understand the basics of things.

Actually, the graph just show power consumption. (As in, how much electricity is being used).

 

AMD latest processors are far more power efficient than Intel latest processors (that's why they tend to be on the upper portion of the graph)

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Also, could you provide a budget for your PC?

Edited by Mockingbird
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Brandon H    3,993

i9 is really overkill for gaming. especially from a pricing perspective.

 

in most cases a modern i5 (or Ryzen 5) are plenty for gaming. now that they have multi-threading at that level that pretty much future proofs you. higher models will give negligible improvements as far as gaming goes.

The GPU will be more a defining factor in this use case as expected.

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Mockingbird    3,007

This would be good for a gaming PC

 

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: *AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor  ($283.55 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: *ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($89.99 @ Newegg) 
Memory: *OLOy OWL 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory  ($52.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: *Team GX1 480 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($45.99 @ Amazon) 
Video Card: *MSI Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB MECH OC Video Card  ($369.99 @ B&H) 
Case: *Cougar MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($50.98 @ B&H) 
Power Supply: *Antec Earthwatts Gold Pro 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply  ($95.87 @ Amazon) 
Total: $989.36
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-08-10 11:38 EDT-0400

 

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Jim K    16,025
1 hour ago, Nick H. said:

Sorry all, I was caught up over the past few days with some other matters. I see quite a few replies, many thanks for the information.

 

I guess the most important question people have asked is, "what are you going to use the machine for?" I don't do film or photo editing (well, maybe a small touch-up to a photo now and again) but it would be good to have a decent machine for gaming, perhaps even make sure that it is "future-proof" for later releases.

 

If I look at the data provided by those graphs then it looks like the i9-10900K provides the most power, which would be best for a gaming machine? But then where I have an issue is I don't understand how the data says that the 10900K is going for $488, but the i9-7920X is going for $1189 and seems to offer less power?

 

Like I said, I'm a complete newbie on what I'm reading from the data, and what the difference in processors is in general. I'm just trying to understand the basics of things.

Honestly, if you are on somewhat of a budget and looking primarily at gaming and general everyday tasks then you can't go wrong with an i7-10700k and use that extra ~$150 savings (over the i9-10900k) for other components.  If really no budget and you're wanting to stick with Intel...nothing is wrong with the 10900k (only real negative is it wants all your watts)...but you'll have 2 extra cores and 4 more threads for... something.

 

Nothing is really "future proof" ... 

 

 

(this post was meant to be right after yours...but work kept interrupting me)

 

Edit: Also, don't forget that Nvidia may be dropping their new cards soon.  

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Mockingbird    3,007
41 minutes ago, Jim K said:

Honestly, if you are on somewhat of a budget and looking primarily at gaming and general everyday tasks then you can't go wrong with an i7-10700k and use that extra ~$150 savings (over the i9-10900k) for other components.  If really no budget and you're wanting to stick with Intel...nothing is wrong with the 10900k (only real negative is it wants all your watts)...but you'll have 2 extra cores and 4 more threads for... something.

 

Nothing is really "future proof" ... 

 

 

(this post was meant to be right after yours...but work kept interrupting me)

 

Edit: Also, don't forget that Nvidia may be dropping their new cards soon.  

Core i7-10700K is too expensive.

 

Core i7-10700 is $100 cheaper.

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Brandon H    3,993
1 minute ago, Mockingbird said:

Core i7-10700K is too expensive.

 

Core i7-10700 is $100 cheaper.

comes down to if overclocking is important to you are not on that choice 🙂 

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eddman    475
2 hours ago, Nick H. said:

it would be good to have a decent machine for gaming, perhaps even make sure that it is "future-proof" for later releases.

 

If I look at the data provided by those graphs then it looks like the i9-10900K provides the most power, which would be best for a gaming machine? But then where I have an issue is I don't understand how the data says that the 10900K is going for $488, but the i9-7920X is going for $1189 and seems to offer less power?

Go for a Ryzen 5 3000 series, like 3600, etc, or a 10th gen i5, like 10600K or lower. You can check a few reviews to see which exact model suits your budget best. If you want to save money and still have good performance, 3600 is probably the best.

 

You cannot really future-proof a PC; still, since the upcoming consoles are 8-core zen parts, go with an 8-core Ryzen 7 3000, like 3700X, or 10th gen i7, like 10700K. Again, ryzens are the better price/performance option.

 

That graph shows power consumption, not performance. Ignore i7 and i9 parts that end with an "X". They are completely different and not suitable for games, and regular customers in general.

 

Honestly it's not easy to cover the topic of CPU differences in its entirety with forum posts. I'd say the main factors nowadays are the following... probably (it's not like we are masters of hardware either):

 

1. Number of cores. More is usually better, but not always worth the money.

2. Number of total threads. It's either one thread per core, or two. For example, a 9600K has 6 cores/6 threads (one per core); a 3600 has 6c/12t (two per core). Again, more is usually better but depending on the workload, sometimes 8c/8t can beat 6c/12t, and vice versa.

3. Performance of each core. Sometimes a few powerful cores can outperform many weaker ones.

4. The type of the workload plays a significant part. The processor A could be faster than B in games, and yet slower in video encoding.

5. ....

 

If you're really interested, the best approach would be to research these yourself.

 

P.S. if you are not in a hurry, wait for Zen 3 based Ryzens and Geforce 30 series.

Edited by eddman
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Steven P.    17,453

 If you are not video editing or running a Plex server on your PC then an i5 is great for games and cheaper. I built mine last summer with an i5-9600K and 32GB of G.Skill Ripjaws (PC3200) and with a 2070 RTX Super I can run Quake Champions in Ultra graphics settings 😛 BTW I also have a 49" superwide Samsung screen (5180x1440) that gets around 100 FPS (dips with complex busy scenes) despite Ultra settings (I play for fun, not with everything on low settings and/or cheater wallhack /aimbot tards). 

 

 GOOD LUCK  

 

Also:

1 hour ago, Jim K said:

Edit: Also, don't forget that Nvidia may be dropping their new cards soon.  

😢 dropping? won't they break? 😢 

 

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Jim K    16,025
44 minutes ago, Mockingbird said:

Core i7-10700K is too expensive.

 

Core i7-10700 is $100 cheaper.

Cool...why are you telling me?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

I wouldn't get the 10700 due to its lower base/boost clocks plus it being locked.

 

I mean you could suggest to the OP that the 10700 gives strong performance, is less power hungry and is cheaper ($50 RCP difference...though right now the k is selling above RCP while the non-k is below). 

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Jim K    16,025
4 minutes ago, Steven P. said:

 Also:

😢 dropping? won't they break? 😢 

Possibly.

 

Bank account: Definitely. 😀

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