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Intel 6700K or 6950X for new PC?

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Oct 31, 2008
Hi all,

I've been planning a new PC build for a while for my girlfriend, and have put £3,000 aside for it so far (excluding peripherals) so that's roughly my budget although I could save more if needed.

I specced up some parts a few months back and settled on a 1151 6700K based system, which was coming it at around that £3k mark all told. However, researching today it seems there's a new kid on the block - a revamped socket 2011 (V3) series, including the glorious 10-core 6950X. I haven't finished putting together a sample basket yet, but I'm expecting it to come to around £1k more at least, given that the CPU costs around £1400 vs the £290 for the 6700K.

My question to you is - is it worth the extra cost? The PC is likely to be used for gaming, some light video/photo editing and web browsing etc, nothing too strenuous outside of games for the moment, however it'd be nice if the system is fairly future-proof for any application years down the line. IIRC both the 2011 and 1151 socket are reaching the end of their respective runs anyway so upgrading in the future looks like a no-no - in other words, I want the rig to be able to last long enough until a totally new system needs building, so up-front future proofing is important. That said I'm aware how multi-core utilisation has been touted for quite a long time now with no significant uptick in most programs, especially games, so I'm wondering if 10 cores (and the relatively small performance increase for the money) is worth the big £££ investment.

Thanks for any insights!

Edit: P.s, I'm currently running a 2011 system with a 5960X on my personal PC. Would it be worth it for myself to also consider an upgrade to the 6950X (CPU & Mobo) or would there not be a significant increase in performance? Same kind of general use - lots of games, a little bit more video editing but not render-farm levels or anything like that.
imo just stick with what you have, 5960X is crazy powerful.
Put that money to a gpu upgrade instead (if you play games)
imo just stick with what you have, 5960X is crazy powerful.
Put that money to a gpu upgrade instead (if you play games)

Thanks for the tip on my upgrade :). What do you reckon I should do for the new build PC though? 6700K or 6950X? Any upgrade for me would just be icing on the cake at the moment tbh as I have to prioritise the new build anyway,
No point whatsoever to upgrade CPU at this point as Joe88 said, advantages are minimal between platforms and the Skylake itself is in very early stages, so you'll likely have to go through several BIOS revisions before everything works as it should. To be honest for the workload you're putting on it it's insane overkill, a 4690k/6600k would be much cheaper. Get a new GPU (possibly wait for the 1080Ti) and possibly a better CPU cooler and overclock it, you're golden :thup:
Cool, I'll hold off on the upgrade for my own PC then. For the new build though, do you reckon I should stick with the 6700 vs the 5960? I assume if the 5960 is overkill for me, it's overkill for the other rig too? I've just thrown a cart together with all the bits and bobs and it comes to well, well over £4000, which is well over £1k more than my original budget for the new build, so yeah - high premium.
From what you have told us so far, there is ZERO reason for you to spend $1700+ on a CPU. A 6700K system will be fine for gaming for the next few years.

AS far as it being worth the extra cost... that is up to you.. its your wallet and subsequently, your worth. Look at reviews (see ours on the front page) and see how it performs. ;)

EDIT: Cliff's Notes - unless you work on heavily multi-threaded things, it will not be any better than a 6700K in most tasks. If you are only gaming with it... no reason for a 5960X or 6950X... period. Now, if you want to blow your wad of jack on it, be our guest, but its not getting you anything unless you can actually use all those cores.
From what you have told us so far, there is ZERO reason for you to spend $1700+ on a CPU. A 6700K system will be fine for gaming for the next few years.

Yeah, no hugely heavy video editing or other multi-core stuff, just a bit in AVS and some photoshopping along with all the usual browsing, streaming etc. Heaviest usage will be games but AFAIK most can't take advantage of more than 4 cores anyway. Thanks for the advice :).
There are some games that use more then 4, but are few and far between for now :(
Id go 6700K, get a good 2560x1440 monitor with half the money you saved on the CPU and snag a 1080/108ti and call it a few years. :)
After hunting around a bit more I came across This after it was mentioned on another review also saying that the 5960X isn't really worth it. Dayum, the 6700 even bests my own 5960X, ouch! So, 6700 it is :).

I'll take your advice EarthDog - was planning to pick up a 1080 (hopefully one for each rig if I can swing it, SLI seems overkill tbh and don't want to risk microstuttering anyway) and maybe an Asus PG279Q if I can find one without horrible QC (Amazon to the rescue!) so that'll be less hard on the wallet.

Thanks again all for the advice :).
Thats because of skylakes high ipc, games rarely use over 2-4 cores.
If you were to look at heavy multithreaded benchmarks, video encoding, rendering, photoshop, cad, ect... your 5960X would easily beat it