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Core i3 vs. i5


Dave
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Hey BYOB and builders,

 

Background:

I mentioned in show 98 that I had some hardware on the way for a future build. I want to build a nice box for Vail testing and migrate it to a permanent Vail server when it's released. I was going to try to use board I had laying around but it's looking like it's dead. I didn't want to buy a new mobo and processor for a server that's not going to be in production for a while but it's looking like I might have to.

 

You guys have sold me on the Gigabyte GA-p55 series boards. 8 SATA ports and USB 3.0. It looks like an excellent board. Sold.

I have 4 gig of DDR3 laying around so I'm hoping it will play nicely with it.

 

Lastly, I am having trouble making a decision on i3 or i5. I see most of you guys going with i3 for your htpc's and WHS's and the price is certainly attractive. It has the video processor onboard right? So it's a Core i3 vs. Core i5 fight.

 

Another dilemma. I like to build and pass down. Meaning, always build myself the latest and greatest and pass my current hardware on to servers or family, etc. I currently have an i7, 12 Gig DDR3, Asus P6t board. It's been great. The i7 is the 2.66 variety.

I did a post on it long ago. My link

 

It would probably be overkill for a WHS but I always try to think about upgrading and passing down. I wonder if any of those parts would pass down to my Vail server and allow me to improve my own PC.

 

Looking forward to your comments.

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There's actually quite a bit of overlap between the i3 and i5 offerings. The key differences between the dual core i3 and dual core i5 is Turbo Boost and improved onboard graphics. Turbo Boost really only kicks in for single-threaded applications, and with a WHS box, improved graphics is kinda lost. Even if you decide to pass the hardware down at a later date, I'm not sure the slightly improved graphics would be worth the extra $30-$50 today.

 

The Quad core i5 processors, on the other-hand, are a different story. Those are definitely worth considering, especially if you want to run a lot of plug-ins. But, again, the $50-$100 price jump causes me hesitation.

 

Overall, I would likely stick with the i3-540. It's got a lot of power for a lower cost, making it one of the most value-councious CPUs on the market. Given where we are with software still trying to catch-up to hardware, the i3-540 will still be a solid CPU even 3-4 years from now.

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Good points. The cost difference between the i3 and the i5 is comparable to a 2TB drive. Hard to justify the i5 right now when I could use a big drive to help me transition the data. I guess the good thing is the 1156 socket has a great upgrade path from i3 up to i7.

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My two cents. First off the P55 does not support on board graphics only the H55, so the graphics will not buy you much. If you are building a server, then the core I3 530/540/550 will be fine or the low end I5 depending on your budget. I am running vail on a new core I3 and it runs great. Sever hardware is hard to pass down. I would build a server with enough power for vail or aurora and leave it. Your Core I7 X58 is still one of the fastest processors so I would just keep that for now and focus on a power efficient fast processor for your vail server.

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Guest no-control

Only reason I would even consider Core i5 for this is if you wanted to run the 750/760 for a VM server. Otherwise i3 even if you were running a Diehard amount of plug-ins. Also nix the P55 no point in using a slot for GPU on a server, go H55 and save the slots for nics or expansion cards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I say buy what can "afford"... obviously both chips are a little bit overkill but, hey, why not when you have that nice mb/ram combo ;)

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Only reason I would even consider Core i5 for this is if you wanted to run the 750/760 for a VM server. Otherwise i3 even if you were running a Diehard amount of plug-ins. Also nix the P55 no point in using a slot for GPU on a server, go H55 and save the slots for nics or expansion cards.

 

If a 7 is a serious earthquake on the "Richter" scale. Is 7 a serious amount of add-in's on the "Diehard" scale? smile.gif

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