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Old 01-16-2009, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Intel i7 920

Hello everyone,

I'm kind of new here (signed up about 2 minutes ago), and I was just wondering if anybody could help me out with a couple of things.

I'm looking to buy a new computer. I'm not ordering individual parts to build my own, so I'm going to buy a pre-made computer with customized options. I'm just going to point out that this computer is going to be mostly for gaming (maybe 90% gaming and 10% homework-related stuff).

I want to get the Intel i7 920, but it only has 256 KB of L2 cache, possibly the lowest available. I read somewhere that L2 cache is extremely important for memory intensive applications, like games. I'm planning to play my games on highest quality, so will this be a problem for me in the near future? I want the computer to be able to last me for at least 3-4 years. Games like Starcraft II are coming out soon, and if I have to reduce the quality of the graphics in a game that comes out in less than a year (hopefully), then I'll have obviously wasted my money.

The question I'm getting to is, is the Intel i7 920 worth getting, or is there another processor I should be looking at? I'm ordering from Dell, so keep in mind that I don't have an infinite amount of options.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Intel i7 920

Quote:
I want to get the Intel i7 920, but it only has 256 KB of L2 cache, possibly the lowest available. I read somewhere that L2 cache is extremely important for memory intensive applications, like games. I'm planning to play my games on highest quality, so will this be a problem for me in the near future? I want the computer to be able to last me for at least 3-4 years. Games like Starcraft II are coming out soon, and if I have to reduce the quality of the graphics in a game that comes out in less than a year (hopefully), then I'll have obviously wasted my money.
The i7 has a much faster L2 cache and a new L3 cache. Don't worry about this, the C2's had a larger but slower L2 cache and no L3.
Quote:
The question I'm getting to is, is the Intel i7 920 worth getting, or is there another processor I should be looking at? I'm ordering from Dell, so keep in mind that I don't have an infinite amount of options.
You could look up the Phenom II 940, it performs similarly to the i7 920 in games, the i7 wins in most other apps, but the Phenom seems to have the advantage in games.
http://www.computerforums.org/showthread.php?t=81005
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Intel i7 920

Thanks a lot! This really clears a lot of doubt in my mind. Just for my own edification though, I'd like to know something:

Quote:
Originally Posted by worshipme View Post
The i7 has a much faster L2 cache and a new L3 cache. Don't worry about this, the C2's had a larger but slower L2 cache and no L3.
How is it that the L2 cache of the C2 generation is slower if it's larger? Also, does the L3 cache of the i7 processor help out the L2 once the L2 is running at its maximum?

Just out of curiosity, the i7 is A LOT better than the C2 E8500 and C2 Q9550, right?
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Intel i7 920

Yes. i7 is the best line of processors out right now. The size of the L2 cache only means that it can hold more information. With the i7, the CPU has a faster method of searching for information in the L2 cache. Instead of checking in everyone, it has the address stored so it can go directly to it. This is what makes it faster. Additionally, the shared L3 will step in if necessary.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: Intel i7 920

Very nice. Thank you very much!
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Old 01-28-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Intel i7 920

Cache isn't as important for gaming as you think. The performance of your games depend on the amount and frequency of RAM (I recommend 800Mhz and nothing over 4g), the frequency and type of CPU (dual-core for gaming, quad for video editing, 3.0Ghz minumum), and the graphics card (check out the 9800gt). A core i7 won't benefit you too much unless you decide to put in multiple video cards. If I were you i'd reconsider the i7 from Dell and wait until the prices become a little more competitive.
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