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Thread: i3 to i5 worth it?

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    i3 to i5 worth it?

    Is it worth going from i3 to an i5 CPU?

    My brother has an i3 but wants an i5. Not sure if it is a worthy move or not, with all things considered.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    I always think about upgrades in different terms, cost vs performance gain etc. I would say wait for the next gen CPU's to come out, but that's just me personally because you will obviously get more overclocking headroom with the i5 and better performance.

    Real world terms? Probably only a few frames more in games..

    It's all about what he does aswell! Gamer? I'd ask what his GPU was..
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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Key questions - Which i3 to which i5? And is he using the integrated graphics or a separate graphics card?

    If he's thinking of i3 500 -> i5 600 then the answer is probably not. If he's thinking of moving to i5 750, then the answer is possibly, if his workload justifys four cores and the cost of potentially buying a new graphics card. For most purposes though, it wouldn't be worthwhile. Why is he considering the upgrade? What problems or lack of performance is he experiencing?

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    I agree with spac3d. There will be users for whom it may be worth doing, but they probably would go for i7 anyway. So it's a function of what your brother does with the machine, and how deep his pockets are.

    If he can't elucidate clearly exactly what he expects to gain and why this upgrade will give it to him, then it's because he's got upgraditis and figures that any upgrade is worth it if benchmarks show a percentage improvement, and never mind if he'll be able to tell the difference in real world terms.

    In other words, he wants it just because he wants it. Perhaps a mate has an i5 and he wants to keep up. Or to put it another way, it's about the size of his e-peen.

    But the question was "is it worth it"? It depends on the value he puts on waving his e-peen about. It also depends on whether the tasks he needs the machine for are CPU-heavy or not, and on the spec of the rest of the machine. He might benefit more from extra memory, or from spreading storage among multiple HDs, or RAID, or even an SSD. If he wants bragging rights among his mates, tell him an SSD gives more rights than an i5. If he jumps at it, his interest is in showing off not in system performance. It's then for him to decide if the bragging rights are "worth" the cost.

    What something is "worth" is very subjective. For instance, regulars will know I'm not impressed by the price/performance ratio of SSDs. We've certainly had that discussion on here several times. To me, they aren't "worth" it. But get you'll plenty on here disagree, because to them, it is. Neither side is right or wrong. We just have different perceptions of 'worth' on the issue. What something is "worth" to your brother is what it is worth to him. I wouldn't dream of upgrading i3 to i5. To me, it absolutely wouldn't be worth it. But his mileage may vary .... and isn't necessarily the same as yours, let alone mine.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Well, he uses a 5770 GPU, 4 gig of ram and has a 500g hard drive, not sure of makes.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    What does he actually want to *do* that his current machine can't achieve?

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by psu1 View Post
    Well, he uses a 5770 GPU, 4 gig of ram and has a 500g hard drive, not sure of makes.
    Another HD may (depending on usage) provide significant gains. For instance, apps on one drive and data on another, or a Photoshop scratch drive on a physical drive not used for primary data or the OS (depending on the size of manipulated images). Memory will probably be fine for many apps, except those that are especially heavy on memory. The crunch is what he uses the machine for .... games, 3D modelling, big database handling, or just browsing the web, updating Facebook and a bit of WP.

    i.e. it comes down to what Syllopsium said.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Syllopsium View Post
    What does he actually want to *do* that his current machine can't achieve?
    Another key question! (And worth applying to operating system upgrades too ) has he just obtained an application that is running slowly - and will that take advantage of the capabilities of a replacement processor?

    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with upgrading just for the sake of it, but then it makes the "worth" bit very hard to quantify. Saracen's (eloquent) post refers!
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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    He already has his os on a partition on the main drive i think. He does game and does a fair bit of photoshop work as he works in advertising.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by psu1 View Post
    He already has his os on a partition on the main drive i think. He does game and does a fair bit of photoshop work as he works in advertising.
    That's why I mentioned separate physical drives, though.

    If you're writing a very large file, as you will be with some Photoshop work, a single drive can't be in one place writing data and in another reading it at the same time. Also, you're limited by the drive throughput. Multiple drives have distinct advantages in Photoshop and the bigger the files you work on, and the more layers you're using, the more it applies.

    But heavy Photoshop use is one area where it can be processor-intensive, at least, in some operations. It's also an area where the right video card has benefits, in that it provides hardware acceleration for some of the more demanding tasks under CS4.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    I think his GPU is fine as is his ram. Not sure on anything else.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Just as long as you're aware that there are benefits from hardware acceleration in CS4 IF you have a compatible video card. It might be relevant to a heavy Photoshop user, depending on exactly what he does.

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    Re: i3 to i5 worth it?

    Would it be worth him selling his i3 and getting an i5 as he has a separate GPU card.

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