Which Processor for Photography Software use is better, i5 or i7 with...

Started Jan 24, 2010 | Discussions thread
Bob Collette
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Re: Which Processor for Photography Software use is better, i5 or i7 with...
In reply to Oscarroos, Jan 24, 2010

Actually, there are a few differences between the i5-650 and the i7-920. First, the i5. First, and probably most importantly, the i5-650 is a dual-core CPU, whereas the i7-920 is a quad core. So, you have twice the theoretical computing power in the i7-920. Both CPUs support HyperThreading, so Windows thinks that they have twice as many cores as they actually (physically) have.

The second difference is that the i7-920 supports triple channel RAM, whereas the i5-650 supports dual channel RAM. While the triple channel RAM is theoretically superior to dual channel, in practice, you probably won't be able to detect any difference with real programs.

Thirdly, and this I believe is more of a chipset difference (i5-650 uses H55/H57/P55/Q57 chipset while i7-920 uses X58 chipset), the i7-920 CPU & X58 chipset have more PCIe x16 lines available (sorry, don't know exact specs). So, if you're a heavy gamer, particularly if you run dual graphics cards in SLI mode, you'll get smoother video response with the i7-920/X58 combination.

The i7 line of CPUs (note that there are two families: i7-8xx and i7-9xx) overclock quite well, as does the i5-750. I would expect that the i5-650 would overclock well also. One other option you might want to consider, is a system based on the i5-750 or i7-860 CPU with P55 chipset. Both CPUs should overclock in the high 3GHz region (3.7-3.9), given sufficient cooling. The difference between the i5-750 and i7-860 is that the i5-750 is quad core without HyperThreading, while the i7-860 is quad core with HyperThreading. The i7-860 stock clock speed is 2.8GHz versus 2.66 for the i5-750.

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