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Best mid-level cpu for intensive graphics

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by cutcopypaste, May 25, 2010.

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  1. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    I'm putting together a new system and trying to decide if I should go all out for a core i7... everyone seems to be raving about them, but how much of a difference is it really between that and a much, much less expensive AMD with similar specs?
    People say that the i7 is great for processor intensive stuff like graphic and video editing, which is something I'll definitely be doing (moreso graphics, but some video as well), and that's what I'm leaning toward. But I am looking to shave some money off of my build and I wonder how much of a difference it will really make...
    I'm not interested in overclocking and I intend for this machine to last me a good number of years.
    ~$300 is about my maximum.
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    They do scale up in general performance as much as their price does climb up from cheaper AMD alternatives. If you don't want to break the bank, these two are decent options:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.382180
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.404664
    Add some decent RAM (2x2GB) and you're at ~$310 to $400
    These builds are quite enough for some level of graphics editing but I am not too experienced with such so you could want to ask experiences from others using the programs you plan to use and work with around same size and complexity projects...
    You can never know how intense projects you'll be doing in the future, of course, so you could always jump to the next tier, i7 860 or even X58-based i7 9[2/3]0 with triple channel RAM but that's always more expense too.
    My personal opinion would be that the i5 750 build is well enough for regular graphics and video editing for a good few years, at least unless there's some revolutionary and mandatory processor-eating technology coming out soon.
     
  3. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    Yeah I'm having difficulty finding a good place with lots of people involved in the same tasks. i think most would say 'get a mac' :p
     
  4. BG-0

    BG-0

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    What exactly are the tasks you plan on doing? I mean, what kind of projects for both graphic and video editing?
     
  5. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    Well I'm a multimedia student with an interest in graphic design for print and web, so for school a little bit of everything. Most commonly using rather large images in photoshop (large as in lots and lots of layers moreso than just dimensions), and also with illustrator and indesign open at the same time. I also love music so I'd want to have mediamonkey running as well.. and all the while several versions of firefox or IE open with lots of tabs.. that's the main using I'll be doing, I'm a pretty heavy multitasker. I also use after effects/premiere sometimes for personal projects... I would like to keep doing that, but not totally sure I will and can't call it a main use.
    I'm really stuck between the money saved going with the Phenom II X4 that could be saved/used to bump up RAM/GPU (I also dig the motherboard you can get for a pretty low price with that setup) vs the alleged superiority of the 920 in processor heavy tasks, which is what I'll be doing.

    I should have mentioned that my ballpark price there was for the processor alone (and also I'm working CAD not USD).
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Whats your full budget then? The AMD Phenom II X6 1095T 6-core processor can keep up with the i7-920 and you'd save a lot on the motherboard and RAM.
     
  7. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    I have a build up to about $815 right now (already have OS, HD, monitor, DVD drive, keyboard and mouse, so I need CPU, GPU, Mobo, Case, PSU, RAM) which includes:
    Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz
    MOBO - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128412
    GPU - http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150448

    I'm a bit higher than I wanted to be right no so going to AMD 965 and saving about $140 over what I'd statted out previously is tempting.. (ps where does the RAM savings come from? going DDR2, or what?). I can go where I'm at or even a bit higher... I can justify this as a work/school expense and i haven't spent money to upgrade my system in a very long time, it's just trying to determine if the extra cash for the i7 or i5 would be worth it..
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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  9. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    ah I see.. dual vs triple channel. I was looking at the 860 which is also triple channel (mainly to save on mobo cost)
     
  10. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Nope, the i7-860 is a socket 1156 processor and it only has a dual channel memory controller. All socket 1156 processors are dual channel, and all socket 1366 processors are triple channel.
     
  11. cutcopypaste

    cutcopypaste Thread Starter

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    yeah sorry, i meant also double channel. Do you have any experience with the difference between the Phenom and the i7/i5 when it comes to heavy multitasking and graphic editing type tasks?
     
  12. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Not personally, wish I could afford both. Check out the benchmarks, there's tons posted around the internet.
     
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