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jiewmeng

Intel Core i7 8xx vs 9xx

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which is better Core i7 800 or 900 series? i think 1 of the differences is the use of triple and dual channel rams - for rams, if i do not overclock, will it provide any benifits getting a higher frequency ram - eg. DDR3 1600 vs DDR3 1333? what other differences are there?

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Both processor series use a different socket.

The 800 series (much like the i5 and i3) use the LGA 1156 socket. This is their mainstream stuff that's good enough for just about everyone.

The 900 series uses the LGA 1366 socket. That is their "enthusiast" solution, and it's priced accordingly! If the 4 DIMM slots of the LGA 1156 setups is a limitation you can't live with, then you want this. If you really need that über SLI or CrossFireX rig and need a large amount of PCI-e lanes for it, then 1366 is for you. If 4 cores isn't enough for you, then again you want this (mind you, the 6-core 980X is over $1000 and is unlikely to be cheap anytime soon). If you have extreme needs then they have that solution, but it will cost you. Not only the CPUs cost more, but the boards also do -- easily another $100 e.g. $230 for the "standard" ASUS P6T (1366) vs $110 for either an ASUS P7P55-M or a P7H55-M PRO (both 1156). Also, the TDP of those CPUs is higher (about 130W vs about 80W for the other socket), which means more heat and a higher power bill.

Then again, I wouldn't overlook AMD. The Athlon II X4 620 gives you 50% more bang for your buck (speed/$) than newer Intel quad cores, and there are lots of great & inexpensive boards. Intel has some faster CPUs but they sure cost more. For example, the i7 930 is 2x faster but 3x the price of that X4 620 ($300 vs $100). Or even if you go mainstream, the i5 750 is about 35% faster than the X4 620 (hardly impressive), but at double the price ($200 vs $100). Also, AMD is supposed to introduce 6-core CPUs next month as well (Phenom II X6 1055T and others) which should cost a lot less than $1000 too.

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what about the ram? i guess triple channel is better than dual channel. but for ~ the same price, i can get say either a higher frequency ram. does a higher frequency ram provide any benefits if i don't overclock?

also abt power consumption, if i do not use so much processing power at a time, will the speeds throttle down and reduce power consumption/heat? i dont think i will be using SLI/CrossFire for now

i also see in intel's site that i7 900 uses DDR3-800/1066 vs DDR3-1066/1333 higher frequency by i5, but i am guessing the better processor will counter this downside?

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Also, AMD is supposed to introduce 6-core CPUs next month as well (Phenom II X6 1055T and others) which should cost a lot less than $1000 too.

Les than 1000USD for a whole system ;). Seems that the fastest version (1090 at 3.2GHz) will see a streetprice of say 350USD. Note that Intel also gives you high numbers about the cache, but that is combined cache and not like AMD gives his specs. I can't wait for the Athlon II X6! :P

---

Any way, like CoffeeFiend said, it all depends on what you are going to do with it, so, if you run a heavy database server or so, teh tripple channel would be better but for your average home usage and gaming, dual channel would do just fine. 1333 vs. 1666 will give you 20% more bandwidth but timings, depend on the module configurations and specs, could be worse, however the 20% more bandwidth would make that up. What exactly do you want to know? And what are you planning to do with the system?

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what about the ram? i guess triple channel is better than dual channel.

In theory it's better. In practice, in makes basically zero difference. Precisely it would be 0.6% faster overall, according to tomshardware. Hardly worth paying $200 to $300 extra for, especially when your main bottlenecks are elsewhere (disk I/O speed, GPU's 3D power for games, etc)

does a higher frequency ram provide any benefits if i don't overclock?

Nope. It'll just run at a lower clock speed than it's able to.

also abt power consumption, if i do not use so much processing power at a time, will the speeds throttle down and reduce power consumption/heat?

Yes, but idle power consumption isn't the same for all CPUs, and that kind of information can be a pain to find. Either ways, I personally try to stay away from higher TDPs.

i dont think i will be using SLI/CrossFire for now

So you haven't said anything about needing a crazy amount of RAM, you don't care for SLI or CrossFireX, and I doubt you'll be going for a $1000 6-core beast. So I don't see the point of going with an expensive LGA 1366 system here.

That extra money would better be spent on a SSD (faster booting and apps opening faster), faster video card (nicer graphics in games), faster CPU (faster at encoding HD video or rendering), more disk space or something along those lines (depending on what your needs/usage of your computer).

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does a higher frequency ram provide any benefits if i don't overclock?

Nope. It'll just run at a lower clock speed than it's able to.

Well, you could set it to 5:4 so you can get it work at 1666 without OCing, and if they are the same price I would pick them also; But always check out the voltage that is needed on 1666 DDR3.

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Then again, I wouldn't overlook AMD. The Athlon II X4 620 gives you 50% more bang for your buck (speed/$) than newer Intel quad cores, and there are lots of great & inexpensive boards. Intel has some faster CPUs but they sure cost more. For example, the i7 930 is 2x faster but 3x the price of that X4 620 ($300 vs $100). Or even if you go mainstream, the i5 750 is about 35% faster than the X4 620 (hardly impressive), but at double the price ($200 vs $100). Also, AMD is supposed to introduce 6-core CPUs next month as well (Phenom II X6 1055T and others) which should cost a lot less than $1000 too.

i will look at that, for now tho i feel safer with intel

Any way, like CoffeeFiend said, it all depends on what you are going to do with it, so, if you run a heavy database server or so, teh tripple channel would be better but for your average home usage and gaming, dual channel would do just fine. 1333 vs. 1666 will give you 20% more bandwidth but timings, depend on the module configurations and specs, could be worse, however the 20% more bandwidth would make that up. What exactly do you want to know? And what are you planning to do with the system?

i am wanting to find out what will be optimum for my needs, partially future proof but not overkill. i will be using it for probably software development (Visual Studio, PHP etc) some design (photoshop, illustrator maybe others in the CS suite plus 3D modeling, rendering likely Maya, mental ray)

does a higher frequency ram provide any benefits if i don't overclock?

Nope. It'll just run at a lower clock speed than it's able to.

for example, some motherboards eg. P7H55-M says

4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 2200(O.C.)*/2133/1866/1800/1600/1333/1066 Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory

Dual Channel memory architecture

in intel site

h55_Block-Diagram.gif

says DDR3 1333 so i guess the mother board usually do not overclock by default right? so it means i get a DDR3 1333 RAM will do? maybe with XMP?

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