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Thread: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

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    Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Thats basically the question, though i7 is more expensive, i'm wondering whether i should save, or stick with the q6600 as I had planned to used in my latest build..?

    Is the cost of the cheapest i7's worth it over the q6600?

    And what sort of price will I be looking at for an i7 motherboard, as they are pretty new?

    Final question, would i really need to use DDR3 in an i7 system, or would DDR2 1066Mhz suffice?

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    £200~£300 for a x58 mobo and you need DDR3 RAM for the motherboard.
    so you're talking about £400 for the motherboard and RAM.
    then add £250 on top for the CPU.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    i7 is DDR3 only no option to use DDR2.

    So pricing, a X58 motherboard (only available chipset for i7) will cost £200+, 3GB of DDR3 is £100+ and the i7 920 is ~£250. Total = £550+

    Q6600 £150, 4GB DDR2-800 £40 and P45 motherboard £100. Total = £290

    The is definitely benefit to the i7 over the Q6600 if it is worth the £270+ premium (for MB, Mem and CPU) is debatable. Only you can decide if you think it is worth it or not alos if you need to save prices on the memory and possibly motherboards will drop a bit over the coming months.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    the core i7 is quite a bit faster at stock and can be quite well ovdrclocked. Is it worth the extra cash?I would say no, its still to expensive. It is worth waiting for prices to drop though
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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    I think the only thing that's really grabbed me so far about i7 is the motherboards are now crossfire AND SLi not one or the other

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    I think the only thing that's really grabbed me so far about i7 is the motherboards are now crossfire AND SLi not one or the other
    Well that was one of the perks of i7 wasn't it?
    If only Nvidia weren't so stupid to make it exclusive to their ****ty chipsets.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    I was having the same dilema a few weeks ago, and went with the C2Q option, purely on price. It may depend on what you are doing with the rig. I built mine for gaming, and I can run pretty much everything at 1920x1200 with the rig I have.

    If there was a point where my system didnt seem enough, I would definitely do the GPU as thats probably the weakest thing in there. But by the time that happens, well, hopefully i7 will have dropped in price.

    But as with all threads of this ilk, let us know what you are going to use the rig for.

    JP

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    I would say go for whatever that you require, as the q6600 (overclocked) handles pretty much everything well right now, i'd say spend half the money for it.

    By the time you need to upgrade, the I7 would have dropped down in price considerably. Paying premium for a Tick release is only for people who won the lottery

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    If your Q6600 does everything you need (and it should), then buying into i7 now is just throwing money down the drain. Treat yourself to some more DDR2, get it while it's cheap, that'll give your system a good performance bump with minimal expense (assuming you don't already have 4 or 8GB of memory) when you push your system.
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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aden View Post
    .....

    Is the cost of the cheapest i7's worth it over the q6600?
    ...
    In my view, it depends what you do, and how you value performance.

    For my money, in general performance terms, no it isn't worth it. Nowhere near. The performance boost isn't that huge, and most of what I do, most of the time, doesn't need a Q6600 let alone anything faster.

    But ... there are architectural benefits and there are areas where i7 is designed to score, such as memory bandwidth. So IF you're doing something that's currently most constrained by memory bandwidth, that's where you'll see the biggest benefit and where it's most likely to pay off. And that includes things like rendering and media encoding. For me, it's Photoshop. Photoshop's single biggest limitation is memory bandwidth and, in theory, i7 ought to suit that well. But I haven't yet seen any detailed tests that support whether it does or not, and if it does, what real world difference it'll make.

    So for me, it comes down to ...

    - how much does Photoshop benefit from increased memory bandwidth?
    - how much does that affect my real-world usage?

    And the jury is currently out, but tending towards not guilty (not enough effect). But othess may get better (or worse) mileage from it, depending on use.
    - if that cost-justified?



    Oh, and .... do you need to do the build right now? As they've only just launched, they;re likely to be at a price premium right now and, subject to any further drops in exchange rates, will probably become more cost-effective in a couple of months. So if you are seriously tempted and don't have to upgrade now, it might be better to wait. If you do have to upgrade, then unless the performance benefits are not only clearly measurable for you, but will be of real, practical advantage as opposed to just theoretical, measured benchmark advantage (or you want the willy-waving benefits), then stick to the Q6600 as it's currently a LOT cheaper.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    yeah...i have about the same opinion as the others...Corei7 requires a lot of hardware update and the performance increase(yes there is an increase ) is not worth the money. It's inevitable though that upgrade time will come but IMO now is not the right time...

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    I too had the same issue and decided to wait for a year or so until the 1366 platform goes through another process of die nm shrinking and decided to get the Q6600.

    The Q6600 is pretty good (actually its DAMN GOOD) and flies through everything I throw at it, including vista x64 and all the games I play

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rud91 View Post
    (yes there is an increase )
    We all know that, but like you said it's not worth unless you're buying from new or haven't upgraded in years.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    But ... there are architectural benefits and there are areas where i7 is designed to score, such as memory bandwidth. So IF you're doing something that's currently most constrained by memory bandwidth, that's where you'll see the biggest benefit and where it's most likely to pay off. And that includes things like rendering and media encoding. For me, it's Photoshop. Photoshop's single biggest limitation is memory bandwidth and, in theory, i7 ought to suit that well. But I haven't yet seen any detailed tests that support whether it does or not, and if it does, what real world difference it'll make.
    Even at that, photoshop, 3ds max, etc are more constrained by memory volume rather than memory bandwidth when working with them in a heavy professional capacity.
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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    Even at that, photoshop, 3ds max, etc are more constrained by memory volume rather than memory bandwidth when working with them in a heavy professional capacity.
    Not according to Adobe .... though it's a moving target, depends where you're at with other things, depends what your work profile (file sizes) are and as always, it's a blend of issues.

    But, even assuming you're on a 64-bit OS, there's limited gains from taking memory up much above 8GB. Small gains, maybe, but according to Adobe's tests, very small. So .... multiple cores gives benefits in some functions but isn't really that beneficial, certainly once you get above 2. You'll gain rewards from increasing total disc I/O with multiple drives, and from RAID (hardware controllers and performance oriented levels, like 0, 0+1, etc).

    Overall PS performance is obviously going to be constrained by the weakest link in this chain, so it's apparent that you need to be somewhere near the optimum configuration, within the bounds of budget. You'd be better served by increasing a single disc to two or three as opposed to increasing memory from 8GB to 16GB, but what if you've already got three "drives", with the scratch disk on a RAID 0? Then what do you look at?

    Increasing memory to 6GB, or 8GB, is clearly a pretty cheap option these days, and for a heavy Photoshop user is pretty much a no-brainer provided you're using a 64-bit OS, and that is pretty much a no-brainer providing you can get drivers for essential hardware, etc.

    But, according to Scott Byers (Principal Scientist at Adobe) Photoshop is a memory-bandwidth bound app. Part of the reason for that is that some people use VERY large files, and they aren't going to fit in memory. And even if they do, as soon as you start working on them, you're going to be creating layers etc and you'll rapidly need several times the size of the file which, if you're working with GB-sized files, is a serious demand. But also, and perhaps more importantly, when you're applying filters and effects, the critical point is how fast you can get data from main memory to cache for the CPUs to get hold of it, and that is where bandwidth hasn't been keeping up with CPU development, etc, over the years.

    And i7 shows some signs of changing that somewhat, because of those architectural changes I mentioned.


    In other words, going back to the OPs question ..... is i7 worth it over the Q6600? I come back to what I said - depends what you're doing, but bandwidth-limited apps like Photoshop might be the justification. After all, if increasing memory was going to add benefits, given the relative cost of an extra 4GB, he'd add that in either way. If spending the extra £250-£300, or more, on i7 is an option, the extra on memory didn't ought to be a problem.

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    Re: Save for i7 or stick with q6600?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Not according to Adobe .... though it's a moving target, depends where you're at with other things, depends what your work profile (file sizes) are and as always, it's a blend of issues.

    But, even assuming you're on a 64-bit OS, there's limited gains from taking memory up much above 8GB. Small gains, maybe, but according to Adobe's tests, very small. So .... multiple cores gives benefits in some functions but isn't really that beneficial, certainly once you get above 2. You'll gain rewards from increasing total disc I/O with multiple drives, and from RAID (hardware controllers and performance oriented levels, like 0, 0+1, etc).

    Overall PS performance is obviously going to be constrained by the weakest link in this chain, so it's apparent that you need to be somewhere near the optimum configuration, within the bounds of budget. You'd be better served by increasing a single disc to two or three as opposed to increasing memory from 8GB to 16GB, but what if you've already got three "drives", with the scratch disk on a RAID 0? Then what do you look at?

    Increasing memory to 6GB, or 8GB, is clearly a pretty cheap option these days, and for a heavy Photoshop user is pretty much a no-brainer provided you're using a 64-bit OS, and that is pretty much a no-brainer providing you can get drivers for essential hardware, etc.

    But, according to Scott Byers (Principal Scientist at Adobe) Photoshop is a memory-bandwidth bound app. Part of the reason for that is that some people use VERY large files, and they aren't going to fit in memory. And even if they do, as soon as you start working on them, you're going to be creating layers etc and you'll rapidly need several times the size of the file which, if you're working with GB-sized files, is a serious demand. But also, and perhaps more importantly, when you're applying filters and effects, the critical point is how fast you can get data from main memory to cache for the CPUs to get hold of it, and that is where bandwidth hasn't been keeping up with CPU development, etc, over the years.

    And i7 shows some signs of changing that somewhat, because of those architectural changes I mentioned.


    In other words, going back to the OPs question ..... is i7 worth it over the Q6600? I come back to what I said - depends what you're doing, but bandwidth-limited apps like Photoshop might be the justification. After all, if increasing memory was going to add benefits, given the relative cost of an extra 4GB, he'd add that in either way. If spending the extra £250-£300, or more, on i7 is an option, the extra on memory didn't ought to be a problem.
    Clearly for me then, the Q6600 is much better. i7 is too expensive.. and probably no benefit, considering I'm upgrading and used to a 3.0ghz Pentium 4

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