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i5 2400 vs i7 940- What to choose?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am originally after the i5-2500k but I happened to find 2 local deals that turned out rather nice.

I happened to find two locals selling an i5-2400 3.1Ghz and another selling an i7-940 2.93Ghz at an extremely good price, both of which I can see are decent CPU`s and in fact I can see the 940 can be OC`ed quite a bit, but I`m still not entirely convinced I should consider these.

What`s your experience with these CPU`s guys, considering their performance up against the i5-2500k 3.3Ghz?
post #2 of 5
I'd get the i5 2400 solely because it's a 1155 socket processor which is currently an up to date platform. The i7 940 would be faster if you are rendering or using those extra threads(HT). But clock for clock it's slower than the i5, and is an outdated platform. If you go the 2400 route you are open to Ivy Bridge or an unlocked SB which will be superior than the 940. The 1155 being the current platform also has many motherboards to choose from often which are updated/supported by the manufacturer. If you are buying a Gen3 board, you are getting PCIe 3.0 if that's a concern. Z77 also has TRIM support for RAID 0, and native USB 3.0.

If this is for gaming, the performance shouldn't matter much as both of these CPUs are quite fast, and the 2400 should lead in games. But compared to a 3.3GHz 2500k, the difference would be very small for the 2400.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dipanzan View Post

I'd get the i5 2400 solely because it's a 1155 socket processor which is currently an up to date platform. The i7 940 would be faster if you are rendering or using those extra threads(HT). But clock for clock it's slower than the i5, and is an outdated platform. If you go the 2400 route you are open to Ivy Bridge or an unlocked SB which will be superior than the 940. The 1155 being the current platform also has many motherboards to choose from often which are updated/supported by the manufacturer. If you are buying a Gen3 board, you are getting PCIe 3.0 if that's a concern. Z77 also has TRIM support for RAID 0, and native USB 3.0.
If this is for gaming, the performance shouldn't matter much as both of these CPUs are quite fast, and the 2400 should lead in games. But compared to a 3.3GHz 2500k, the difference would be very small for the 2400.

You actually got a very good point there, I would be better of with the i5 2500 CPU. It is a lot cheaper in fact than the other processor. I save €80 on that or $103 that would be. A decent saving there and then I can future proof the motherboard to ensure that I can upgrade that at a later point. Good trade off actually.
post #4 of 5
The only thing the i7-940 has over the i5-2400 is that the i7-940 has a triple-channel memory controller and HyperThreading support. HyperThreading support can be useful for things like video encoding and other highly-parallel capable processes (folding@home, compiling code, video and audio encoders, some compression software like 7Zip). A triple-channel memory controller gives the CPU 150% of the memory transfer bandwidth of a CPU that has a dual-channel memory controller (like the i5-2400). You would have to use three of the same DIMM in order to take advantage of triple-channel memory (triple-channel kits are hard to find and getting harder since these processors are no longer being produced... you would have to buy single DIMMs in threes or find a dual-channel kit and a single DIMM that matches the kit).

When it comes to gaming, neither triple-channel memory nor HyperThreading do anything at all to improve gameplay. You might see marginal benefits using programs like Photoshop (64-bit). I don't know a lot about the first generation Core i series CPUs. Looking over the Intel ARK page for this chip (the i7-940), I don't see Intel VT-d support (probably doesn't at all matter to you, but it comes in handy if you're into virtualization technology). The 940 doesn't support the AES instructions, and it doesn't have the built-in graphics processor. It has a max TDP of 130W, whereas the 2400's max TDP is 95W (45nm vs 32nm processes), so the 940 will run hotter.

The i7-940 was $555 when it was first introduced, while the i5-2400 debuted at only $195. The line of processors that the 940 was a member of were the enthusiast-class series (X58 chipset). The added memory channel is one expensive benefit, but they also have 36 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes. Really, their successor is the Sandy Bridge-E line (X79 chipset). Personally, I would have a hard time deciding between those two chips if they were both offered to me really cheap, but if you just want to build a gaming computer out of them, the i5-2400 would be the absolute best choice. It would give you the opportunity to upgrade later to one of the Ivy Bridge processors if you got the i5-2400 and a Z68 (and performed a BIOS firmware upgrade before upgrading to IB) or Z77 motherboard. If you are doing heavy multitasking or anything that requires a lot of memory bandwidth like RAW digital photo processing or video editing, then the 940 would outperform the 2400, and you would likely be looking to upgrade past Ivy Bridge anyway.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by N0BOX View Post

The only thing the i7-940 has over the i5-2400 is that the i7-940 has a triple-channel memory controller and HyperThreading support. HyperThreading support can be useful for things like video encoding and other highly-parallel capable processes (folding@home, compiling code, video and audio encoders, some compression software like 7Zip). A triple-channel memory controller gives the CPU 150% of the memory transfer bandwidth of a CPU that has a dual-channel memory controller (like the i5-2400). You would have to use three of the same DIMM in order to take advantage of triple-channel memory (triple-channel kits are hard to find and getting harder since these processors are no longer being produced... you would have to buy single DIMMs in threes or find a dual-channel kit and a single DIMM that matches the kit).
When it comes to gaming, neither triple-channel memory nor HyperThreading do anything at all to improve gameplay. You might see marginal benefits using programs like Photoshop (64-bit). I don't know a lot about the first generation Core i series CPUs. Looking over the Intel ARK page for this chip (the i7-940), I don't see Intel VT-d support (probably doesn't at all matter to you, but it comes in handy if you're into virtualization technology). The 940 doesn't support the AES instructions, and it doesn't have the built-in graphics processor. It has a max TDP of 130W, whereas the 2400's max TDP is 95W (45nm vs 32nm processes), so the 940 will run hotter.
The i7-940 was $555 when it was first introduced, while the i5-2400 debuted at only $195. The line of processors that the 940 was a member of were the enthusiast-class series (X58 chipset). The added memory channel is one expensive benefit, but they also have 36 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes. Really, their successor is the Sandy Bridge-E line (X79 chipset). Personally, I would have a hard time deciding between those two chips if they were both offered to me really cheap, but if you just want to build a gaming computer out of them, the i5-2400 would be the absolute best choice. It would give you the opportunity to upgrade later to one of the Ivy Bridge processors if you got the i5-2400 and a Z68 (and performed a BIOS firmware upgrade before upgrading to IB) or Z77 motherboard. If you are doing heavy multitasking or anything that requires a lot of memory bandwidth like RAW digital photo processing or video editing, then the 940 would outperform the 2400, and you would likely be looking to upgrade past Ivy Bridge anyway.

That sir, is a good full answer, I couldn`t have asked for more. Thanks a lot for taking the time! I will most definitely be going for the i-2400 for now and then possibly update in a years time to a better CPU.
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