Choosing a CPU

While AMD CPU's offer the best mid-range performance for the money, at the top end they aren't even in the race.  In order to avoid CPU bottlenecks in later phases, with multi-GPU's, I'm gonna need the fastest chip available - and that's an Intel.

At the moment the Gulftown Core i7-980X Extreme Edition is king, but it is also very expensive.  I can pick up a Bloomfield Core i7-930 for less than a third the price.  It has 2 less processing cores and a lower clock speed, but it is still a socket LGA1366 chip, with the associated higher system bus speed.  The necessary X58 chipset gives it access to more PCIe lanes than the P55 chipset used by socket LGA1156 CPU's - and 3-channel memory, too.

It looks like socket LGA 1366 is here for a while.  All of the latest high-end motherboards use it, as do Intel's latest CPU's.

So, I'm gonna go for the i7-930 and hope that watercooling and overclocking it will let it hold up its end until the higher-end chips come down in price.  If the i7-980X EE drops by just a third, over the next few months, it will pay for itself.  Meanwhile, I get to spend the difference on other goodies instead - like a pair of solid state drives for the system partition, to make boot and load times fly by!

1 comment:

  1. Actually, socket LGA 1366 will not be here for a while. Intel is notorious for their excessive socket changes. A new socket is slated to show up as soon as early 2011. Might be a little later on in 2011, but it's coming soon, nonetheless. By the way, have you ever checked out the site anandtech.com? They have great reviews and articles (much more reliable info, IMO) and also some very helpful forums.