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Thread: i7 upgrade advice

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    Question i7 upgrade advice

    Hi all,

    Hoping to get some advice please on a PC upgrade.

    I currently have the following bits, which I was intending to keep ...

    MSI 768Mb GF 8800GTX
    Dell 24" Widescreen + Viewsonic 17"
    Akasa Eclipse 62 Case
    Seasonic 600W S12-600
    Various SATA HDDs
    DVD-RW and DVD-ROM drives


    ... the following bits which I am intending to replace ...

    Core2Duo E6300 1.86Ghz
    2x1Gb 1066 RAM
    EVGA NF680i Mobo


    ... and I've found the following things which I was intending to purchase ...

    6GB (3x2GB) Corsair Dominator DDR3, PC3-12800 (1600), 240 Pin, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 8, DHX - £103.33
    Asus P6T SE, Intel X58, Sok 1366, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 2000/1866/1800, SATA 3Gb/s, SATA RAID, ATX - £140.50
    Intel i7 920, D0 SLEBJ S1366, Nehalem, 2.66 GHz, QPI 4.8GT/s, 8MB Cache, 20x Ratio, 130W, Retail - £204.90
    Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk OEM + Windows 7 Offer Form - £151.33


    Can I please get some advice about firstly whether I'll definitely notice the upgrade (I do a lot of Photoshop work and am a Web Developer, so use Eclipse which is pretty resource-hungry), and also about whether I've made the best decisions regarding what to keep, what to upgrade, and what to upgrade with? Is there anything I've forgotten about?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    DaKid
    Last edited by DaKid; 19-07-2009 at 09:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    I was thinking of doing the same with pretty much those same components, as I might be able to sell my current MB/CPU/RAM to someone. One thing I would look at is getting a better cooler for the CPU (120mm fan size). The D0 stepping is supposed to overclock like a dream (I've read 4GHz). Get it upto that speed, and you should definately see some sort of improvement!

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    So, there's basically nothing I've forgotten and that's the best way to spend that money?

  4. #4
    jim
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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    You should definitely check whether you'll need Windows 7 Ultimate - you could easily grab a pre-order for Windows 7 Home Premium for £45 and save yourself a bundle.

    You won't be able to do an in-place upgrade installation to Windows 7 either, whatever you do, so you could easily use Windows 7 RC for free until late October when your pre-ordered Windows 7 disc arrives.

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    You should definitely check whether you'll need Windows 7 Ultimate - you could easily grab a pre-order for Windows 7 Home Premium for £45 and save yourself a bundle.

    You won't be able to do an in-place upgrade installation to Windows 7 either, whatever you do, so you could easily use Windows 7 RC for free until late October when your pre-ordered Windows 7 disc arrives.
    Sorry; forgive me for being a bit dumb here. My pre-order is only about a tenner, as I'm getting it with Vista Ultimate, which I do know that I need because I want domain authentication so that I can use my work's VPN without problems (without domain stuff I can't see all the work network machines).

    Also, I don't quite understand about not being able to do an "in-place upgrade installation". Is there some resource you could point me at to explain what you mean, please?

    Many thanks,

    DaKid

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Is you motherboard compatible with the later 45nm Core2 processors?? Even if it cannot accept 45nm CPUs you can get a DFI X48 motherboard for around £80 delivered from Novatech:

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...html?DFI-DKX48

    Why don't you get a Q9550(around £160 to £170) and another 4gb of PC2-8500 DDR2(around £40)? Even a Q6700 would be a massive upgrade and an OEM one can be had for around £130(it will need a cooler and you can get one for around £20 if overclocking is not involved) and should be fine in your motherboard AFAIK. The 8800GTX can also be used to accelerate CS4 using CUDA I believe(and OpenGL like ATI cards) and for me a Core2 upgrade makes more sense as it is better value for money. This will cost you around £200 to £300(dependent on whether you need a new motherboard or not) and will be a massive upgrade over what you have for Photoshop. Put the money saved towards a decent SSD at some point in the future.

    The Q9550 is not much slower than the Core i7 920 in Photoshop. Even the 2.4ghz Q6600 is not that bad and the Q6700 is clocked higher too!





    Some details about CUDA and CS4:

    http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?op...=9602&Itemid=1
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 19-07-2009 at 11:38 AM.


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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Thanks for that ... interesting reading. Unfortunately, I have CS3 rather than CS4, but the stats are still interesting.

    I guess I would prefer to upgrade the CPU/RAM/Mobo now really, rather than doing it a bit and then saving for other bits, so I do really appreciate the suggestion, but it's possibly not what I want at the moment. Was certainly something to consider though

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DaKid View Post
    Thanks for that ... interesting reading. Unfortunately, I have CS3 rather than CS4, but the stats are still interesting.

    I guess I would prefer to upgrade the CPU/RAM/Mobo now really, rather than doing it a bit and then saving for other bits, so I do really appreciate the suggestion, but it's possibly not what I want at the moment. Was certainly something to consider though
    The thing is that you are unlikely to really notice any difference between a higher clocked Core2 quad and an i7 920 in real life for Photoshop and the former is certainly cheaper and consumes less power too. We use various image editing programmes like Photoshop and other imaging and image processing software at work and the Core2 quads are certainly fast enough. We certainly do not feel the need to upgrade them yet. If anything having loads of RAM and fast hard disks(or an SSD) makes more sense.

    Also having to re-install or re-register software when you make significant hardware changes is also a PITA too.

    Also you really should look at CUDA and Photoshop too.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 19-07-2009 at 05:16 PM.


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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Ok, thanks for that, Cat. Some interesting stuff to think about. Shiny new CPUs are always tempting, but if I can resist the shiny, new stuff then it seems I have a real alternative

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Well, I agree that the 920 D0 won't give that much performance boost at stock, however, no one bugs the 920 D0 for stock speeds anymore. Consider buying an TRUE or Megahalems, and increasing the speed to around 3.6GHz. Then the difference might be noticable. Still, a quad core will also do just fine, so it depends on the following:

    Do you want to make your computer uber or do you get the job done? Because getting an i7 and overclocking it just to get photoshop rendering quickly takes a lot of time and money considering you can get a decent performance increase by going to a Q6600 and not overclocking it.
    Desktop (Cy): Intel Core i7 920 D0 @ 3.6GHz, Prolimatech Megahalems, Gigabyte X58-UD5, Patriot Viper DDR3 6GiB @ 1440MHz 7-7-7-20 2T, EVGA NVIDIA GTX 295 Co-Op, Asus Xonar D2X, Hauppauge WinTV Nova TD-500, 2x WD Caviar Black 1TB in RAID 0, 4x Samsung EcoDrive 1.5TB F2s in RAID 5, Corsair HX 750W PSU, Coolermaster RC-1100 Cosmos Sport (Custom), 4x Noctua P12s, 6x Noctua S12Bs, Sony Optiarc DVD+/-RW, Windows 7 Professional Edition, Dell 2408WFP, Mirai 22" HDTV

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    Re: i7 upgrade advice

    Quote Originally Posted by DaKid View Post
    Sorry; forgive me for being a bit dumb here. My pre-order is only about a tenner, as I'm getting it with Vista Ultimate, which I do know that I need because I want domain authentication so that I can use my work's VPN without problems (without domain stuff I can't see all the work network machines).

    Also, I don't quite understand about not being able to do an "in-place upgrade installation". Is there some resource you could point me at to explain what you mean, please?

    Many thanks,

    DaKid
    Okay, I'm with you now. Clearly you need the features of Windows Vista/7 Ultimate, and so what you're doing is perfectly reasonable.

    You buy Windows Vista Ultimate x64, install it, and then you should be able to get your free Windows 7 Ultimate x64 upgrade disc. However, you're in the UK, so while your Windows Vista disc will come with Internet Explorer on it, your Windows 7 disc will not come with Internet Explorer due to the EU's meddling in what software can be bundled with Windows.

    Consequently, you can't just pop the Windows 7 disc into your drive, click the upgrade button, and wait 20 minutes until your PC reboots as Windows 7 with all of your programs installed and just as it was when you left it. You'll have to wipe the entire drive and start again.

    My original point was that whether you use Windows 7 RC or use Windows Vista, either way you'll have to wipe the hard drive before you install your new OS so you may as well have used the RC for a couple of months and pre-ordered Windows 7 very cheaply, but given your circumstances you'll be best off buying Windows Vista Ultimate so my advice in the previous post can be ignored .

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