Get an i7 or wait for something more powerful?

#1 Posted by Stete (748 posts) -

Welp, after rocking a Q6600 for 6 years now, I think I'm due for an upgrade. So you duders and dudettes think I should invest in an i7 or wait until something better comes along?

#2 Posted by crithon (3338 posts) -

I'd say do it, there's a massive leap in performance with an i7. There's getting to a point where something like Metal Gear Rising the i7 is doing more of the work processing that game.

#3 Posted by TobbRobb (4746 posts) -

@stete: The I7 is iterated on constantly. And intel diconstinues the older versions quickly as they go along. You will get a very modern and powerful CPU if you buy one. Compared to the Q6600 (<3 I loved that thing back in the day). It's a David and Goliath battle.

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#4 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2027 posts) -

That said, an i7 way more powerful than is necessary for modern games, an i5 will be more than enough to not bottleneck even in CPU intensive games. You're better off investing the extra money you'd spend on a better videocard.

#5 Posted by aznan (99 posts) -

@rollingzeppelin Agreed. Although a bit old, this advice from Rock, Paper, Shotgun still holds true:

...the [£160 i5] 2500K sports four cores based on precisely the same architecture as the £850 Core i7 3960X and running at a similar 3.3GHz base clockspeed. And four cores is all you need for gaming, now and for the foreseeable future. Critically, the Core i5 series doesn’t have HyperThreading. For gaming, that’s actually a good thing since today’s software can’t tell the difference between a real core and a virtual core conjured up by HyperThreading. The danger here is that instead of running two intensive threads on separate cores, you end up running both on a single core. And that will kybosh your frame rates.

#6 Edited by crusader8463 (14423 posts) -

I'm running an Intel i7-3770k 3.5 Ghz pared with an Asus GTX 670 DirectCu II 2 GB and 16 GB of RAM and everything runs smooth as silk for me. I have had it for about a year now.

#7 Edited by GaspoweR (3174 posts) -

@stete: I think Intel is also due for the Haswell successor, Broadwell, later this year or early next year. You can probably wait for that so you can nab a Haswell on a sale or price drop when Broadwell comes out which is rumored to be sometime late 2014 or early 2015. I don't know if you are willing to wait that long but if you can't then upgrading to the new Haswell (as well as changing the mobo too since the socket it uses is an LGA 1150) would also be fine.

EDIT: I'll reiterate what everyone else is saying here and go for an i5 if all your doing is gaming (a locked i5 if you are NOT planning to overclock), and if you are not planning to stream games, or do any video capture of your play-through, etc. The only advantage an i7 has is Hyper Threading which games at this point of time don't take advantage of since video rendering is mostly done through the video card but if you are doing or are considering to stream or do video capture, then getting an i7 would be well suited for those tasks.

#8 Edited by StarFoxA (5161 posts) -

If all you're doing is gaming, get an i5 4670(K if you're overclocking)!

#9 Posted by Hunkulese (2787 posts) -

If it's just for gaming there's no reason to get an i7.

#10 Edited by chiablo (955 posts) -

I went from a Q6600 to an i5 4670K. There's no reason to go to an i7 if you're focusing on gaming, the only difference between a 4670K and a 4770K is hyperthreading (and $120). Hyperthreading will only really show itself when running CPU intensive applications (like CAD or video rendering.)

My recommendation, get the 4670K, and spend the extra money on a really good motherboard that will be able to overclock it well. The Asus Maximus VI Hero is a fantastic board and the definitive overclocking board: http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VI_HERO

#11 Edited by Stete (748 posts) -

Wow, this is some great advice duders, ill get an i5 and save me some money then, you guys rule!

#12 Posted by Tussler (39 posts) -

I'm in the same boat, using a ancient Q9550 (GTX560ti, 4gb ddr2 ram) and looking to upgrade. But honestly this old dog still runs almost all games just fine with resonable graphic settings. So I've decided to wait untill I really need to upgrade, and I'm pretty sure that will be when the consumer version of oculus rift is realeased. Or star citizen. Whichever comes first.. but still atleast a year away. And we should see a refresh of CPU/GPUs by then, probably chipsets too? DDR4?

That'll give my PS4 a year to still feel like a new shiny console. Might actually play some games on it.

#13 Edited by Aviar (446 posts) -

I have an older I7 and no game has come close to even pushing my cpu. I went with an I7 as I like to run VM's at home as I work in IT, but if it wasn't for that, an I7 isn't needed for gaming like so many others have stated.

I have never seen a game able to cause my cpu to be the bottleneck, now video card, that's a different story! I'm waiting for Nvidia to start releasing their 8XX series this year as I want one of those!

#14 Posted by Korwin (2893 posts) -

That Q6600 incredibly inadequate for modern games (The entire Core2 lineup for that matter), has been for years. Even first gen i7/i5 is falling behind unless you overclock the snot out of it, even then it will still fall behind anything current by a large margin. The best option on the gaming front at the moment is the i5 4670K, it's not really any slower than the 4770K in games for the most part (you get a minor boost from the extra cache) and costs a good $120 less.

The next major platform update for Intel will move everything to a DDR4 base which of course will be very expensive initially (remember paying $650 for 6 gigs of ram?). Will take another 1-2 years after that point for pricing on DDR4 modules to drop to an affordable level for most people.

#15 Posted by Butano (1746 posts) -

I actually recently upgraded from the Q6600 to an i5 3570K, as Frys had it and a motherboard combo for around $160. Definitely worth it.

#16 Edited by Stete (748 posts) -

@korwin: I wouldn't say it's completely inadequate, sure its not 1080p60fps at max settings but I was pretty much able to run all the games this generation had to offer at a notch or two below the max settings and get good performances out of them (granted I started with 9600GT, then a GTX560Ti and now a Radeon HD7970 so that helped alot). Going way back into my head, this is the 6th major pc upgrade I had and that little bugger lasted significantly longer than all my previous CPUs before it started to show it's age. Granted, I doubt it will be able to handle the upcoming PS4/XBONE multiplatforms with any decent grace, but the damn thing had a pretty good run.

Also, thanks for the tip on the 4670K vs the 4770K. Glad to see everyone is digging the 4670K, so I went ahead and got myself one of those.

#17 Posted by Korwin (2893 posts) -

@stete said:

@korwin: I wouldn't say it's completely inadequate, sure its not 1080p60fps at max settings but I was pretty much able to run all the games this generation had to offer at a notch or two below the max settings and get good performances out of them (granted I started with 9600GT, then a GTX560Ti and now a Radeon HD7970 so that helped alot). Going way back into my head, this is the 6th major pc upgrade I had and that little bugger lasted significantly longer than all my previous CPUs before it started to show it's age. Granted, I doubt it will be able to handle the upcoming PS4/XBONE multiplatforms with any decent grace, but the damn thing had a pretty good run.

Also, thanks for the tip on the 4670K vs the 4770K. Glad to see everyone is digging the 4670K, so I went ahead and got myself one of those.

The Q6600 was a great CPU no doubt and could totally keep things running, however it's probably holding you back a lot more than your realise (that 7970 is gasping for air, even the 560 Ti was).

http://www.tested.com/profile/korwin/blogs/5335/

I threw that together a few years ago to demonstrate just how much the Core2 was holding back a lot of people in modern games. Looking at it now ... man I wish there was an edit button because fuck I should have properly proof read that thing(numbers still hold true though).

#18 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

only upgrade if that cpu just simply doesn't cut it for you anymore and the games your wanting to play. If it doesn't, then get a new cpu n stuff, the problem is that intel is going to be releasing the new 8-core (16 threaded) CPU later this year, but its supposed to 4th Quarter this year, meaning around august time so thats still a fair ways away right now so what I personally did was bought a cheap AMD CPU+motherboard for half the price of a current i7 and then I'm just simply going to upgrade that later this year when the new top end stuff gets released. In gaming there isn't really a lot of difference between AMD and Intel anyway, not in actual live game performance at least, other stuff intel is much better though.

#19 Posted by Unstoppable (79 posts) -

Im still rocking a Q6600 with 3.5gb of ram and a radeon hd 4870 that is only 512mb. I just finished Tomb Raider and I can play most games just fine. I beat Bioshock Infinite, that game definitely tested my system but it was fine. I was able to press alt+enter because for some reason it started windowed mode in Steam.

This solve a really big issue with AMD card's. Anyway save for a new PC instead of an upgrade. Q6600 is just fine. Is battlefield 3 or battlefield 4 really worth it? I rather just play bad company 2.

#20 Posted by VACkillers (1074 posts) -

yeah the new BF games are very good, BF4 is probably better than BF3 as it seems DICE defintely took more time with the maps and the destruction on everything is much closer to BC2 then BF3 ever was... BC2 is a fantastic MP game, but it can be really hard to find decent servers now that everyone has switched over to the newer games.

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