Just a quick explanation of the situation. I built a system for a friend a few years ago. The system specs are as follows, EVGA GTX460(1GB), Gigabyte P45-DS3L, Q6600 @ 3.0Ghz, 8GB (2X 4GB) of G-skill 1000Mhz, NZXT Alpha, WD Black 64Mb cache (1tb) + 500gb Seagate BC 32mb cache as a slave. He wants more processing power and wanted to do a CPU swap. I told him it would be more worthwhile to upgrade the motherboard and ram, something like an i7, but i have not kept up with the latest and greatest from intel and AMD. AMD is an option as well. for the three parts, he has a budget of 550 for cpu, motherboard, and ram.
Any thoughts would be appreciated,
The big kickers right now are the i5 2500k and i7 2600k from Intel, and the Phenom II X4 980, Phenom II X6 1100T, and FX-8150 from AMD. Lots to discuss here.
First off, what is our primary mission here? Tax return calculator? Web and email browser? Video production? Games? Things get weird, because there is no one truly SUPERIOR chip, so I'm going to go over them one by one:
-> the i5 2500k is a fast Sandy Bridge 4 core, with good overclocking potential. It is generally just a workhorse chip with good performance. Good choice for general rigs and games.
-> the Phenom II X4 980 is AMD's answer to the 2500k. Quick, stable, overclockable, but not as fast as the 2500k. But cheaper. Good choice for general rigs and games.
-> the Phenom II X6 1100T actually benches lower than the X4 980, but it is a 6 core design and the extra cores are great for heavy processing, like video production. OK for games, maybe going overboard for general PC usage.
-> the i7 2600k is also a Sandy Bridge 4 core, clocked slightly faster than the 2500k, but the i7 reintroduces hyperthreading, so where it gains little in gaming (most games won't really benefit from the 4 virtual cores hyperthreading offers, meaning the budget price of the 2500k is actually better for gamers), it does gain some kick for heavier processing, and bench wise this is the king of the board.
-> the FX-8150 (based on the Bulldozer architecture) is the odd duck, with 8 cores. Efficiency wise, it is core to core the slowest chip on the list... but... Bulldozer is an overclocking demon if you take the time with it. Gamers shouldn't gravitate towards this, and number crunchers should stick with the i7, but if you are running video production, here you go. Sony Vegas, in particular, dominates on the Bulldozer, as do lots of other encoders that can actually use all 8 cores, but most programs aren't in that league yet. The chip design also shines in Windows 8 DP and newer Linux kernels due to the new scheduled multithreading engine that older versions of Windows and Linux can't adapt to... consider this chip to be a bit over the curve, as well as a little too new to really use right.
Personally, I pitch 4 cores (the Phenom II X4 and i5 2500k) mostly on the fact that they punch hard enough for a good quality desktop, but won't break the bank. Leaping into the i7 or FX court, you are potentially looking at a lot more hardware to back up such a beefy processor, and should keep that in mind.
eire1274, You helping out lots here. I know there are a few other regulars around here that also help out a lot. It's appreciated :)
Hey, my geekiness needs to be channeled somewhere! LOL!
i hear that, i have also been trying to help this forum. its not what it was a few years ago. ill see if i can get some of the guys to come back! :)
I have a Q6600 rig with a budget video card and I can play BF3 and Skyrim just fine. I've built a few i7 and i5 rigs last year for other people. My thoughts are pretty much that I can wait another year before upgrading. I'd say I'm just getting into that 75% performance range with the new games. The i5 I built was pretty much on par with my Q6600 rig, so not worthy of an upgrade. The i7's are nice and fast and have lots of processing power. I need an SSD someday because they help alot and give a nice speed boost, but I still don't trust them with rendering data or long term data. So if he wants to upgrade he should go with an i7 or better to get something fast enough to feel the difference.
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