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First Timer, i7 960 vs. i7 2600k, Suggestions Please!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey All,

I need some help building a new computer. This is going to be my first time building a computer, and I've been researching for the past week, trying to figure out what is best for me. I will have some experienced friends helping me install/setup the rig once I have all the parts bought. Here are some reference points to consider while deciding what to buy for my build:

Purpose - Gaming (MMOs, RPGs, FPS)
I will be playing games such as WoW or Rift, and the new Star Wars of the Old Republic Game and Diablo 3 When it comes out.
Photoshop and Video Making/Editing
I have CS5 and I plan to be using Photoshop and After Affects for media creating/editing purposes.
Movies and Entertainment
I am a big movie-buff so I will be watching tons of movies with this machine.
Overclocking
Because I am fairly new to the whole computer-building/performance world, I don't really know what overclocking truly is. But I see how people are really into it, most likely I will catch on and be into it later on.

Budget - My budget will be roughly around $1200. This is my first rig, and I want it to be future proof for the next 3+ years. Some other things to consider for purchasing parts are-- I have Amazon Prime and I live near a Microcenter location. I currently don't have all the money to buy everything, but I do plan to have enough money and purchase everything by August, so if anyone knows when prices will be dropping, please let me know!

So far this is my plan. I can't decide what I want between an i7 960 or an i7 2600k. When I first planned everything out I had plans to get an i7 960, but now I've been hearing differently. I have all the parts for an i7 960 in mind, but haven't figured out everything for an i7 2600k because of the socket difference (new things I've learned about).

i7 960 Build
Case-
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP) ($150 - microcenter)

Motherboard-
ASUS Socket 1366/Intel X58/SATA3&USB3.0/A&GbE/ATX Motherboard P6X58D-E ($220 - microcenter)

Processor-
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-960 ($200 - microcenter)

Ram-
Corsair XMS3 12GB ( 3 x 4GB ) 1333mhz PC3-10666 240-pin DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kit for Core i7 12 Triple Channel Kit DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CMX12GX3M3A1333C9 ($135 - Amazon)

Video Card-
EVGA GeForce GTX460 SE 1 GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card 01G-P3-1366-TR ($150 - Amazon)

Hard Drive-
Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 GB/S 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Bulk/OEM 3.5-Inch Desktop Hard Drive ($85)
or
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ ($60 - microcenter)

Power Supply-
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 ($110 - microcenter)

DVD Writers-
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x 8x 16x (DVD) 48x 32x 48x (CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST (Black) ($25 - microcenter)

Sound Card-
Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card ($80 - Amazon)

Operating System-
Windows 7 ($30) [Student Discount]


i7 2600k Build
Case-
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced Full Tower Case with SuperSpeed USB 3.0 - (RC-932-KKN5-GP) ($150 - microcenter)

Motherboard-
ASUS P8P67 DELUXE LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported Intel P67 DDR3 2400 ATX Motherboard ($240 - microcenter) **

Processor-
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-2600K 3.4GHz 8MB LGA1155 CPU BX80623I72600K ($280 - microcenter)

Ram-
?

Video Card-
?

Hard Drive-
Western Digital WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA 6 GB/S 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Bulk/OEM 3.5-Inch Desktop Hard Drive ($85)
or
Samsung 1 TB Spinpoint 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.5 inch Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive HD103SJ ($60 - microcenter)

Power Supply-
Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750-Watt TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel Core i7 and Core i5 ($110)

DVD Writers-
Asus 24x DVD±RW Drive DVD-RAM/±R/±RW 24x 8x 16x (DVD) 48x 32x 48x (CD) Serial ATA Internal OEM DRW-24B1ST (Black) ($25)

Sound Card-
Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card ($80)

Operating System-
Windows 7 ($30) [Student Discount]

* For other peripherals, I already own a good set of Logitech Mouse/Keyboard, Klipsh speakers, and an Asus vh238h HD LED Monitor
** Oh and can someone tell me the difference between the ASUS P8P67 Deluxe and the P8P67 Pro motherboards? Is the difference worth the $50 price difference?

Please feel free to offer me any advice for suggestions for anything, I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 24
i am wondering the same thing... i mean i heard the sleep problem and other p67 problems but i wonder if it will be fixed with bios or a board return
post #3 of 24
I suggest an i5 2500k. Every bit as much power as the 2600k but no hyper-threading. Unless you're looking at running applications that use up more than 4 thread, you won't need it. Even when they use more than four threads, the net gain is often very small. It's there, don't get me wrong, but for the majority of applications, it's not going to be noticeable to the average user.

The i5 2500k will outperform the i7 960 easily, post-overclock.

The only difference between builds will be the motherboard and potentially the cooler (1336 vs. 1155/6 socket coolers - but most coolers will cover both anyway).


RAM you get for one will be compatible in the other, as will the hard drive, graphics card... etc etc.

When you're spending this much on a PC, get a better GPU than the 460 SE. At the very least get a regular GTX 460 (there is quite a performance difference).

The GPUs I'd suggest for value for money (and minimum level performance) would be:

GTX 460 // 6850
5850
6870
(In order of approximate performance 460 -> 6870)


However, all are approximately equal in performance.



If you're looking for the ability to expand later, you'll need a motherboard with two PCIe x16 slots, each at least capable of x8 bandwidth.

Also, you won't need a 750W power supply. You can easily scale back to a 450-500W supply if you're not looking to add a second GPU in later, and if you're looking at the 6850, 600W ought to be enough for crossfired GPUs as well.

Another thing you'll want to change is the RAM. When going with the 1155 slot, they have dual channel and not triple channel RAM. That means getting a dual channel kit.

It's not a huge issue at all, but I'd suggest maxing out at 8GB. Unless you're into really heavy-duty photo/video editing, you won't need more than that. If you find it insufficient, you can go up to 12 or even 16GB later on.



The average person doesn't need a sound card. A lot of people don't know this. Even if you were aware of it, my general advice is that unless you're an audiophile, you likely won't need one. Especially on this budget.

Edit: I'll post up a full specs list from newegg in a few minutes. I'm not native to the US, so pardon my lack of use of other sites. Anyway, onto product finding for you...
Edited by Korlus - 5/21/11 at 3:35am
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post #4 of 24
Go with the 2600K build, as you will benefit from HT when video editing, encoding, rendering. Long term the 2600K will be more beneficial if you really are going to be editing regularly on your computer.

If you're primarily playing video games, then the 2500K will do the trick.

Motherboard, I suggest a Z68 board instead of a P67 board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131730&cm_re=z68-_-13-131-730-_-Product

Here are some others to consider:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=z68&x=0&y=0

There's no point in getting a P67 board, as they are about the same price, and z68 boards are better.

For the RAM, I suggest you go with 2 x 4GB kit, Corsair Vengeance 8-8-8-24 timings.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233147&cm_re=2_x_4gb_8gb_ddr3_1600-_-20-233-147-_-Product

Video card, stick with Nvidia as you will benefit from CUDA, which help with your encoding / rendering.

Something like a 560TI will be great. I recommend that you check this link on a daily basis, as well as the online deals section here, since NewEgg has open box deals couple times a week. You can get a 560TI Hawk for $183.

Hard drive, I recommend the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-HD103SJ/dp/B001U3S5S0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1305983276&sr=1-1"]Samsung F3 for $53[/ame], it is the best price / performance drive.

You can save some money with this power supply, 15% off w/ promo code MAY15SAVE, ends 5/22, plus you get a $10 rebate on top of that. Don't cheap out on the PSU.

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139020

Skip the sound card, as on board will be fine for now. Instead, use that $80 towards a good cooler like the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Heatpipe-Bearing-Cooler-NH-D14/dp/B002VKVZ1A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305982651&sr=8-1"]NH-D14[/ame] or if you want to save some money, go with the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Air-Performance-Cooler-CAFA50/dp/B003IT6RDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305983041&sr=8-1"]A50[/ame].

Case go with Fractal Design R3, it's a nice and quiet case. There's also the CM 690 II
Edited by 2010rig - 5/21/11 at 6:09am
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post #5 of 24
Aren't Z boards out now?

If you plan to render/encode/edit, HT is nice, however a Z chipset with either the i5-2500k or i7-2600k will flat out smoke the P chipset or 1366 even with a GTX580 helping (encoding).

HT is nice, but not worth the $100 price difference. As 2010rig said, sticking to a nvidia gpu it will help in editing as well.

There is only one board at microcenter with the Z chipset, and the only one I would suggest (it seems gigabyte left out the lucid chip on their boards) that they have is the pro which is currently out of stock.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131730


Its not a game breaker, but it is a performance increase when it comes to encoding and the use of quick sync.


Edit: Ninja'ed by 2010rig.
Edited by BallaTheFeared - 5/21/11 at 4:11am
    
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post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone for your inputs thus far!

yeah i see why you guys are telling me to get the 2500k instead, but idk i really want to get the 2600k i guess just because im stubborn haha.

but yes thanks! i think i will definitely try to get the asus z68 mobo. so with that said, i won't need a soundcard? or at least one anytime soon because of my mobo?

and for a gpu, im thinking gtx 560ti, what are you guys' opinions on that?
post #7 of 24
CPU: Intel i5 2500k ($224.99)
Motherboard: Asus 8P67 Pro (Rev 3.0) B3 ($184.99) (Total: $409.98)
RAM: G.skill sniper Low Voltage (2x4GB) 1600 Mhz ddr3 1.25v ($99.99 - $85 after promo) (Total: $495.97)
Hard drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm ($59.99 - $49.99 after promo) (Total: $545.96)
Case: Coolermaster HAF 932 ($154.48) (Total: $700.44)
Power supply: This one's a bit awkward, so one of the following:
RECERTIFIED: OCZ StealthXStream 600W ($34.99)
[url=http://www.newegg.com/Product
[i/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017]OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W[/url] ($74.99 - $59.99 after rebate)
Antec EarthWatts 650W ($64.99)
Antec High Current Gamer Series 520W ($59.99)
Corsair TX 750W ($104.99 - $89.99 after rebate)

I'll get into why later, but let's just assume that what we take costs ~$60 (the modal number). New total: $760.

Heatsink: XIGMATEK Dark Knight ($52.95 - $32.95 after rebate) (Total: $792.95)
Graphics Cards: EVGA GTX 560 Ti 1GB ($229.99 - $209.99 after rebate) (Total: $909.99)


With this you get a few free pen drives, a free edition of Photoshop Elements 9 and free 3dMark 11 Advanced Edition.

You could probably splash out on a better CPU Cooler, but it ought to do the job well. The motherboard I'd probably recommend if you didn't like that one would be one of the newer Z-series (but I don't know enough of them to recommend one).

Also, the power supply you want varies depending on what you want to get. You might even want a 750W if you're looking to sli later on with 560's.

The basic idea is that if you'll never go for a second graphics card, and you know that for sure, buy one of the cheaper models I've listed. They're all good power supplies. If you want one without rebate, or not recertified, I've included options for you. If you think you might want to get a second GTX 560 Ti sometime down the line, then I'd go with the 750W supply you picked out.


Edit: added another power supply + info on them.
Edited by Korlus - 5/21/11 at 6:08am
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post #8 of 24
i went from i7 950 to 2600k.. will choose 2600k all day every day.. even a 2500k is faster imo
post #9 of 24
the 960 is a great processer, and i dont think you can go wrong with either choice, I will suggest getting a gtx 560/570/580 if you can dont buy a gtx 460 ( imo)

2500k is not as fast or as powerfull as a 2600k ( although a great bang for buck cpu)

from guru 3d review=
When a product is good, we say it's good, flat-out and simple, that's the Core i5 2500K alright. The Core i7 2600K however is nearing perfection.

http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7-2600k-review/
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post #10 of 24
Here are some general benchmarks to show the difference between a 2500k and a 2600k:

Pre-posting edit: drat. The other guy beat me to it. Ah well... For the other side of the coin...


The 2600k is better in any poorly optimized multi-threaded task. How much better will vary. The idea behind hyper-threading is that whenever a CPU core sits idle ("stalls"), the second, virtual core will take over.

Obviously then, the virtual core is inferior to the "real" core, as the real core will work 100% of the time that it is able to (based upon the code given to it), and when it is unable to, the second, virtual core takes over.


Many programmes are multi-core viable, but the majority of programmes the average gamer will play will see little/no benefit beyond the first two cores. Even fewer programmes seem able to run on more than four.


The programmes that can are the heavy-duty programmes that require a lot of CPU power. Things such as video/audio encoding, or zipping/unzipping files (e.g. with 7zip).

In some tests, where multi-threadded applications are created efficiently, you will see a tiny increase in performance from a hyper-threaded processor, but in the vast majority, a larger increase will be seen.

An example of a real-world application:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7-2600k-review/15

A 1s difference between the i5 and i7 at stock clocks when transcoding with Mediashow Espresso , or a 5fps difference in Handbreak.


If we take both processors in a non-multi-threadded programme, such as Far Cry 2, you'll see how the performance is much closer:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i5-2500k-and-core-i7-2600k-review/20

The fps difference is likely due to the difference in clock speed. As I said before, hyper-threading is the only real difference between these processors.


Here in another review, you can see some more figures for yourself:
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/i7_2600k_i5_2500k_2300_1155_sandy_bridge_review/4

An i5 2500k overclocked to 5Ghz performs about equally to a 2600k when running at stock clocks. I know that that might not initially sound amazing, but it means that you get ~2600k performance for an awful lot less money. Money that can be spent elsewhere on your machine.


One more:
http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews/cpu_mainboard/i7_2600k_i5_2500k_2300_1155_sandy_bridge_review/5

In Cinebench, you'll see that performance is almost identical again.


I hope that that helps show you why I don't think the 2600k will be worth the extra cash you'd spend on it unless you're doing almost industrial levels of work.
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