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i7 920 or Q6600 for new build?

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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
I have decided to upgrade my existing desktop as it has been a while and it could do with some more oomph, especially as I plan to start using it for running adobe elements once I get using my new 14.2 Mp DSLR and it also struggles when doing multiple threads of video encoding / parring and rarring etc.

Will be used for:
Web / Email
Downloading
HD Video editing (basic cutting / joining / format conversion)
Tools like Quickpar / Win Rar etc. (multiple threads at a time)
Photoshop

I am trying to decide whether to go with the much talked about Q6600, or spend another £200 or so and go i7. I really like the Antec Sonata III Piano Black Quiet Mid Tower Case - which comes with a 500W EarthWatts PSU. Not the highest powered PSU, but am hoping 500w will be enough as I don't need mega graphics for what I do (have been running onboard graphics for the last 2 years!!)

My dad is having this machine, so I am starting from scratch, although I am keeping the two Samsung Spinpoint 750GB SATA 300 32Mb HDDs and the Blu-Ray / HD DVD / DVD RW combi drive that are only a few months old as well as the Vista Home Premium 64 Bit license which I will transfer to this machine, and replace with XP, a DVD RW drive and an older 250Gb HDD (more than enough for him!!).

Will connect up to my Apple 20" Cinema display, not full 1080p HD but close enough ... for now!

I have already decided on the Q6600 if I don't go for the i7.
All prices are ex VAT as purchasing for company use ...

Either 'budget' high end system:

  • Gigabyte EP45-DS3L, iP45 Express, S 775, PCI-E 2.0 x16, DDR2 1066/1333/1600, SATA II, ATX at £69.99
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 SLACR, Kentsfield Core, S 775, 2.40GHz, 1066MHz, 8MB Cache, OEM+Far Cry 2 & Akasa AK-960E Intel LGA 775, Dual/Quad 3.8Ghz+ 3 HeatPipe, Aluminum Fin Heatsink, PWM Fan & EBR bundled together at £129.66
  • 4GB (2x2GB) Corsair TwinX DDR2 XMS2, PC2-8500 (1066), 240Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-15, EPP at £43.99
  • 512MB Sapphire HD 4670, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), 2000MHz GDDR3, GPU 750MHz, 320 Cores, D-Sub/ DL DVI-I/ HDMI £52.89

Total Cost £296.53 (+ case)

or higher spec:

  • Asus P6T, Intel X58, S1366, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), Triple DDR3 2000(OC), SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX & Intel i7 920, Socket 1366 (B), Nehalem, 2.66GHz, Cache 8MB, Retail + Far Cry 2 bundled at £375.92
  • Akasa Nero AK-967 Intel LGA 1366 Heat Pipe cooler, 120mm PWM fan at £22.00 or NH-U12P-E - Noctua NH-U12P SE1366 Exclusive Dual Fan CPU Cooler, LGA1366 only at £45.39
  • 6GB (3x2GB) CorsairXMS3, DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333) 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-24 £79.99
  • 512MB Sapphire HD 4670, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), 2000MHz GDDR3, GPU 750MHz, 320 Cores, D-Sub/ DL DVI-I/ HDMI at £52.89

Total Cost £530.80 or £554.19 depending on the heatsink

Overclockers do an i7 bundle with an i7 overclocked to 3.3Ghz for £434.77:

  • Intel Core i7 920 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) @3.33Ghz
  • Gigabyte EX58-UD3R Intel X58 mobo
  • OCZ 6GB DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Gold (3x2GB).
  • A heatsink & fan (not sure what, put looks quite puny!)

Adding in the GFX card makes £500 ish, but the cooler in the bundle looks a bit pants. That bundle also uses a Gigabyte mobo as opposed to the Asus in the original spec, which is £30 cheaper in itself, hence the price drop from the £530 mark. I assume it is 'guranteed' to overclock to 3.3Ghz which is nice, however I have seen lots of guys here clocking way past that with the i7s, so maybe more is possible if I just pick a standard one?

So what are you thoughts people about spending almost double to get the i7 processor and the extra, higher spec RAM? Graphics card will be the same, as is most of the rest cmopared to the Q6600 package, I just really liked the Antec case and it has gotten some good reviews for being a quiet PSU, all at a good price!

Anything you would change on either option? I toyed with a different fan for the Q6600 but the Akasa one was only £4 more in the bundle and I can always change it later if I want, once I start trying to overclock it.

Recommendations for other mobos / gfx options also appreciated. Don't really want to spend more than about £60 on GFX as this is not a gaming rig!
 
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chinky714

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
I assume since you're posting on an overclocker's website that would like to overclock as well? If money wasnt' a concern for you the by all means go for the i7. You would need a beefier power supply though if i recall correctly the i7's eat up alot of power. If gaming was also your concern you might want to get a 4870 as those are dropping in price from $200.00 to $149.99 these are USD prices though not sure how much you guys pay. Even the 4830 which isn't much more than the 4670 beats it in games performance wise. Also you might want to upgrade the cpu cooling to something good since quadcores produce alot of heat! Get a Xigmatek S1283 which is a great heatsink for the price.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
I assume since you're posting on an overclocker's website that would like to overclock as well? If money wasnt' a concern for you the by all means go for the i7. You would need a beefier power supply though if i recall correctly the i7's eat up alot of power. If gaming was also your concern you might want to get a 4870 as those are dropping in price from $200.00 to $149.99 these are USD prices though not sure how much you guys pay. Even the 4830 which isn't much more than the 4670 beats it in games performance wise. Also you might want to upgrade the cpu cooling to something good since quadcores produce alot of heat! Get a Xigmatek S1283 which is a great heatsink for the price.

Yeah, has been a while since I overclocked anything seriously, but that was my theory behind getting the Q6600 as it is a lot cheaper than the i7. If I got an i7 then I probably wouldn't look to push it quite so far (relatively speaking).

If both chips were running at 3.2-3.4Ghz then would I see a lot of gains with the i7 and everything the architecture brings with it?

Have looked at cooling options, but there are so many different coolers for each chip it is a bit of a maze! That is another reason I joined this forum :)

Am just re-learning the art of overclocking, looks like it has got a lot more complicated than when I started about 10 years ago at university, whack up the multiplier and or bus speed, up the voltages and away you go!
 

chinky714

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
I run a Q6600 at 3.33GHz and with the xigmatek S1283 no core goes higher than 45C load this is at 17C ambient temperature. My case has a pretty good airflow and it is cheap. The i7 would most likely destroy the Q6600 at the type of work you plan to do with it. Even at stock I'm pretty sure a Q6600 at 3GHz+ is still no match. Even though I could be wrong since I never looked at any benchmarks yet. Maybe you should take a look at AMD to see what kind of performance they can offer at cost. I'm pretty sure the X3 720 is cheaper than the Q6600 where you're located and it would perform just as good but at a cooler temperature. As for the heatsink you can't go wrong with any good cooler though, Xigmatek, Thermalright, Thermaltake, Zalman all have great coolers. OCZ even has some pretty good coolers out like the Vendetta 2 or maybe you should look into watercooling.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Thanks. At the moment I am sticking to Intel. Had AMD the last few times, going to give Intel a try this time round.

Don't really want to go the water cooling route, call me a sinic but water + electricity is not a good idea ;) - I don't really want to push anything as far as to need water cooling to be honest. Good stability on a decent air cooled system will do for me.
 

tachi1247

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2008
The i7 will smoke the Q6600 for the video editing you plan to do. I would go that route if the extra money isn't a stretch for you. I have a Q6600 and I can't get it to OC to 3.0 Ghz....stupid high VID G0 stepping.
 

chinky714

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2005
The i7 will smoke the Q6600 for the video editing you plan to do. I would go that route if the extra money isn't a stretch for you. I have a Q6600 and I can't get it to OC to 3.0 Ghz....stupid high VID G0 stepping.

I have G0 stepping my VID is like 1.225 max and min was 1.115 :O I can get it to run perfect at 3.4GHz. My board is what is limiting me, can't get higher than 400 FSB on any cpu. Tried with E7200/7300 and E8400. No go for all of them lol.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
I am going to have to admit that I don't know what VID G0 stepping is ...

If i go i7 then I was looking at either the Asus P6T or Gigabyte EX58-UD3R motherboards, Gigabyte is cheaper but I remember seeing a post somewhere saying it only does dual channel not tri channel for the RAM, was planning 3x2gb sticks to make use of that, any ideas, OC'ers says it supposrts 3 channel RAM, maybe people are just confused as it only has 4 RAM slots not 6 like the Asus?
 

Ancient_1

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2002
Location
Wisconsin USA
The Gigabyte EX58-UD3R will do tri channel, but like the actual intel SmackOver board it only has 4 mem slots. Since I don't have the board I don't know what the 4th slot is used for. Looking at the board you can see the 3 white slots for tri channel and a single blue.
 

KonaKona

Trashcan Man Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
I am going to have to admit that I don't know what VID G0 stepping is ...

If i go i7 then I was looking at either the Asus P6T or Gigabyte EX58-UD3R motherboards, Gigabyte is cheaper but I remember seeing a post somewhere saying it only does dual channel not tri channel for the RAM, was planning 3x2gb sticks to make use of that, any ideas, OC'ers says it supposrts 3 channel RAM, maybe people are just confused as it only has 4 RAM slots not 6 like the Asus?

VID is the voltage ID. It is the stock voltage that the chip runs at. Most Q6600s are somewhere between 1.2 and 1.325. Generally speaking, the lower VID chips overclock better, but this is not always the case.
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Why not get an intel Q9650? :) they overclock to 4Ghz on good air..

how often do you upgrade? if you dont plan to upgrade for a year +, as i say in all the other threads, buy I7, dont buy a more or less dead, dying socket.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Cheers guys, I am leaning towards the i7. Won't upgrade for another 2 to 3 years probably!
 

subverb

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Location
NY
Cheers guys, I am leaning towards the i7. Won't upgrade for another 2 to 3 years probably!

Most definitely go i7 then! If you're not going to be upgrading for that amount of time you may as well get something that will hold its own as long as possible...
 

terran2k

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2004
yeah if you're not going to upgrade for that many years, then the core i7 is your best bet.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Some mixed views. When I upgrade every couple of yearsthen I tend to upgrade everything in one go, so would replace mobo and cpu, therefore no issue with buying a mobo that will not support newer technologies in the future.

Am still struggling to justify the extra 60% cost of the i7 over the Q6600, when they will both 'clocl' to roughly the same speed (on paper). The only differences being the other things the i7 brings to the table through its improved architecture etc.
 

oYAKUZAo

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Location
Asia
well, if u got the money, why not get the i7 rig.. worth a long time man.. rather then u keep changing..

getting i7 is like getting a powerful car. less to modify
getting a Q6600 is like getting a normal car, which u can modify till its as good as a normal i7.
 

Nhut Pham

Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
yeah, it's tough to say right now, not all the i7's have been the greatest for overclockers, and it seems like ram/mobo costs are still pretty high there, but there have been sales.

I personally would hunt for i7 deals or try to find a good overclocking q9650 or the like, I don't feel like all q6600's are good for upper 3's in terms of ghz. I can't personally complain, I have an awesome chip, but if I were doing it right now the decision would be one of the 45nm core2quad's or the i7.
 
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elrao

Registered
Joined
Mar 8, 2009
Well I bit the bullet today and ordered an i7. Ordered the overclockers bundle:

Overclockers do an i7 bundle with an i7 overclocked to 3.3Ghz for £434.77:

1 X Intel Core i7 920 2.66Ghz (Nehalem) (Socket LGA1366) - OEM clocked @3.33Ghz
1 X Gigabyte EX58-UD3R Intel X58 (Socket 1366) PCI-Express DDR3 Motherboard
1 X OCZ 6GB DDR3 PC3-10666C9 Gold Low-Voltage Triple Channel Kit (3 X 2GB)
1 X Akasa AK-967 Nero Direct Contact Heatpipe CPU Cooler

I am assuming they set up the bios on the motherboard with the settings to get it running at 3.33Ghz with the cooler etc. they supply, so will see how it runs out of the box. Also ordered an Antec Sonata III case with 500w Earthwatts PSU with an extra 120mm fan for the front and a Gainward ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express).

Thanks for all the advice, will be a couple of weeks till it all arrives and I can put it together and fire it up!