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Old October 17, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Default Budget: ~$1200 - Nehalem or Skulltrail?

Okie dokie. I am itchin' for an upgrade. As it stands now, I can put in a preorder for:

12GB (6x2GB) DDR3-1333
Intel X58 "Smackover" motherboard LGA 1366
Core i7 920 (2.66GHz)
= ~$1200 before tax

OR I can purchase this stuff immediately:

8GB (4x2GB) FB-DIMM 667/800
Skulltrail motherboard (5400 Seaburg chipset) dual LGA 771
2x E5320 (quad 1.86GHz 8MB 1066FSB 65nm), or if I can afford to splurge 2x E5420 (quad 2.50GHz 12MB 1333FSB 45nm)
= ~$1100 (or ~$1300-1350 with the 5420s)


Suggestions, opinions and insults, please.
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:04 PM
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I'd wait for the i7
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Just curious what you're going to do with it?

Not too many folks can make use of 4 cores let alone 8.

edit: I also think your $1200 estimate on the motherboard/memory/cpu for the new platform might be a little low. :)
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:10 PM
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i7 all the way.
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Just curious what you're going to do with it?

Not too many folks can make use of 4 cores let alone 8.

edit: I also think your $1200 estimate on the motherboard/memory/cpu for the new platform might be a little low. :)
Workstation for Windows Server 2008 with VMware and/or Hyper-V, x264 video encoding, and general Creative Suite 4 stuff. Well, CS3 for now, CS4 when the trial is released.

And nope, $1200 on the dot. It's actually less than that, I have a couple of other items worth a few dollars in my order.

Still, why i7 guys? Current benchmarks show it to be only slightly faster than a Core 2 Quad, which should indicate that the whopping 8 cores of Skulltrail should destroy it, even with the clocks down a bit. That 1.86GHz Xeon should easily do 2.8GHz-3.2GHz (I'd say 3.5, but I think 500FSB is beyond the wall), and the 2.5 shouldn't have any trouble hitting up to 3.4GHz.

Then again, early reports are indicating 4GHz on the i7...
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:29 PM
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I7.

Don't forget that Nehalem has hyperthreading, which can give it a virtual eight cores. CS3/4 can use eight cores, so it's not that uneven. Preliminary reports are hinting at slightly better performance, clock for clock, and the DDR3 will be better for moving/processing large quantities of data. You'll have an easier time cooling the thing, too. Not sure about using an Intel motherboard, but your call on that.
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:32 PM
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i7 if just for the longer upgrade path vs the Skulltrail setup. For that much money, I'd go i7 for sure.
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:36 PM
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Jeez ....I would blow the cash on a QX series Processor and stick it in your current rig....bam..if you can get 3.2 out of a Cele I bet your QX at 4.2 or more would rock the socks of the i7 920....but in truth I would wait...maybe blow some small change on a e8600 or q9450 to hold you over till i7 series hit the market for a month or so...either of those can make mince out of CS3 and server 2008 workstation hell I got one running on a E8200 with 2GB of ram just peachy...wooo shell
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Old October 17, 2008, 12:54 PM
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I just downgraded to the E1200. Something to tide me over while I wait for my next build. It's a really fun chip to play with. I popped it in, set it to 3.2, upped the voltage and it just booted up stable. Restarted it maybe once since then.

Also, cwestwell is nuts. Yeah, I know a lot of you guys are down with the Extremes, I'm not. I prefer to get anything from the low-end to the mid-range chips, and then overclock the hell out of them, using the money saved from not getting a QX on extra stuff like RAM, much-needed HDDs, etc. Going with a QX will get me a badass CPU, but then I wouldn't get anything else.

Note that HT is not really added cores. It just adds a more appropriate "queueing" system for executing instructions. This is why the performance gain is marginal, and correct me if I'm wrong, but it's also why I believe 8 Xeon (Core 2) cores would be superior to 4 i7 (Nehalem) cores.

Granted, if I put an i7 to 4GHz, it will probably blow away the Xeons at things like gaming, but any properly multithreaded apps (x264) should be way faster on Skulltrail, no?
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Old October 17, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Well if yah got the cash and the determination I vote for the i7 over the skulltrail...if i was looking for a server board I would look at server boards not a server board dressed up as a gaming board this way you could save a couple bucks and not be limited so much on ram usage...as far as CS4 goes no matter what system you get it will smoke through that studio no problem...unless your working on 20gb images in photoshop which I can do with my e8600 ..however I dig wanting ridicoulous speed...must push pixels faster..yeah wait and get the i7 the bandwidth will let you do bad bad things.

and if and e8200 and 2gb for server 08 sounds nuts you should see what I have to run my virtual machines.....
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