Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > CPU's and Motherboards

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 05:23 PM
magictorch's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Annapolis Valley, NS
Posts: 1,838

My System Specs

Default core 2 to i7 is it worth the upgrade?

Ok I must confess I haven't been able to read most of the reviews of the i7 platform yet although I'm encouraged by the recent deals.

So the question is (for the average gamer, gpu-folder)--- Is it worth making the change right now or waiting for things to settle a bit in terms of pricing and steppings/mainboard revisions?

4870X2 or 2 4870's, GTX 260,280 SLI are likely bottlenecked by the current chips even at 4.0ghz. Will the i7 be able to unblock these cards in cf or SLI?
__________________
White Night:: i7920 (4ghz), Rampage III extreme (A1), Mushkin XP 1600 (9,9,9,24),SLI480., white MM horizon.
CPU: Feser 220 int.|Apogee GTZ|S.Res.rev2| MCP655.

GPU: PA120.3|S.Res.rev2|2x EK FC blocks| MCP655.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 05:31 PM
Banned
F@H
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,628
Default

You'd get more out of the SMP client than gpu, methinks, with i7. 8*threads in a single cpu...mmmm....

When it comes to games, 4ghz is not a bottleneck. 3ghz isn't even really a bottleneck. Disk I/O is though. FSB in Core2 as well, especially with quads which use FSB for communication, but raw mhz isn't nessecarily the answer. i7 won't fix this issue, and although it works towards a solution, all issues, primarily disk I/O, must be dealt with as well.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 05:39 PM
magictorch's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Annapolis Valley, NS
Posts: 1,838

My System Specs

Default

Yes that's true the folding of the i7 compared to GPUS is going to be interesting I was more interested in the platforms boost to the GPUS performance though.

As for bottlenecking I know Im bottlenecked at 3.8 in farcry-when these GPUs are overclocked they see massive gains in Farcry with each CPU overclock-especially min framerates. Although I wonder if the I/O will become the weaklink as you say at some point even with the i7.
__________________
White Night:: i7920 (4ghz), Rampage III extreme (A1), Mushkin XP 1600 (9,9,9,24),SLI480., white MM horizon.
CPU: Feser 220 int.|Apogee GTZ|S.Res.rev2| MCP655.

GPU: PA120.3|S.Res.rev2|2x EK FC blocks| MCP655.

Last edited by magictorch; November 20, 2008 at 06:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 05:51 PM
Banned
F@H
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,628
Default

Well, if you want to deal with specific applications, then this is another story...programmers are working within a set of constraints than most cpus nowadays don't have...applications just aren't threaded enough for cpus to be utilized to thier fullest extent...

Now, if, as you say, gpu's overclocked give a large gain in minimum framerates, then the problem is most definately NOT the cpu...if it was a cpu constraint, then the gpu speed increase would only have a minor benefit...

Also, when looking at raw mhz performance increases, one must also consider how the program runs on the cpu, because the performance gain given by raw mhz could simply be a small single thread, like physics, that is not coded to effectively use the hardware available. After all, when each rendered frame depends on user input, there are many things which must happen before a single pixel gets colour...so you must consider many things other than just hardware when trying to overcome a bottleneck.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 06:03 PM
magictorch's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Annapolis Valley, NS
Posts: 1,838

My System Specs

Default

At 3.4ghz I'd average ~63.5 in the Farcry benchmark, at 3.8 I'd get to an average ~69.9fps with the same oc on the GPU's. The min frame-rate jumped by about 10fps. I kept the memory speed more or less the same. The FSB increase is from 425-475. So far this has been the only game Ive seen react really well to cpu/FSB overclocks over 3.4.

Either way I'd love to see a max oc on a 45nm quad vs. the i7 max overclocks in Farcry 2 with a 4870X2 or GTX280SLI to see how high the fps can go.

Mind you after reading your responses Cadaeva Im not sure i7 is such a great idea right now as there are so many other variables that need to be worked on to make good use of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca View Post

"Now, if, as you say, gpu's overclocked give a large gain in minimum framerates, then the problem is most definately NOT the cpu...if it was a cpu constraint, then the gpu speed increase would only have a minor benefit..."
__________________
White Night:: i7920 (4ghz), Rampage III extreme (A1), Mushkin XP 1600 (9,9,9,24),SLI480., white MM horizon.
CPU: Feser 220 int.|Apogee GTZ|S.Res.rev2| MCP655.

GPU: PA120.3|S.Res.rev2|2x EK FC blocks| MCP655.

Last edited by magictorch; November 20, 2008 at 06:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 07:14 PM
Banned
F@H
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,628
Default

Mainly the software...
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 08:01 PM
belgolas's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: St. Thomas, Ontario
Posts: 3,953

My System Specs

Default

Well according to tomshardware i7 is much better for gpu scaling then c2d. I would say wait though because prices will only go down and new revisions will come out. Although it is your choice and i7 can easily be overclocked to 4.0ghz but after that you will need to water cool. Although you have a dual and you would go strait up to a quad 8 thread beast so farcry 2 will see atleast 10 FPS from going to a quad over a dual core. So I think it might be a good idea but waiting never hurts either.
__________________

Sponsor a child!
Fight poverty.

Qoute by Perineum
"ID10T. I just BETCHA he's got 9 toolbars on his web browser right now."
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 08:03 PM
Banned
F@H
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 1,628
Default

Core i7 is faster for gpu scaling because the memory control and cpu communication are not on the same bus, and then do not interfere with all the other traffic.

I mean really, go AMD and you get the same thing...
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 08:14 PM
enaberif's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgahree, AB
Posts: 10,679
Default

At this point in time I see no reason at all to switch to i7 unless you want to be bleeding edge tech and be a guinea pig.

Current C2Ds are plenty for what is out right now.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old November 20, 2008, 10:47 PM
Chilly's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,593
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
At this point in time I see no reason at all to switch to i7 unless you want to be bleeding edge tech and be a guinea pig.

Current C2Ds are plenty for what is out right now.
Agreed. I do not see any reason to upgrade to i7 currently. The small boost in performance is, in my opinion, no greater than the e6xxx series to the e8xxx series was. Only difference then was that if you wanted to upgrade, you needed not get rid of your motherboard and ram. Decent, small increases all around but not enough to warrant an upgrade(also consider that unless using a DDR3 motherboard, an "upgrade" to i7 is pretty much a whole new PC).

That being said I see it as worth it, only if your planing on and or building a whole new with a budget of approx 1500+. Then in that case it makes no sense not to go i7 if simply just for the fact you'll have a socket that is and will be supported for many years to come. Plus, seeing those 8 virtual cores = hawt.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes