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Old 07-25-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Worth going i5 over i3?

I just spilled water on my out of date gaming rig and it gave me an excuse to upgrade. I'm right in the middle of partout business so I can spend some decent cash, but I would like to keep it as low as possible since the cash goes towards my next car.

I have to replace my motherboard and videocard. Both got hit with water. The processor is fine but unfortunately it's an old LGA socket 775 motherboard so it's not worth upgrading (It's also DDR2-800 and has a PCI-E x16)

I was browsing around parts websites and I was wondering if it's worth spending 60 dollars more for quad core computing (159.99 core i5 3.3ghz) or a dual core (99.99 core i3 3.1ghz).

The box will be used for light gaming, PS2 emulation (The BIG resource sucker, I'm thinking i5 might be worth it just for that), movies and internet browsing.

I'm trying to keep it under 400, but naturally that's a bit difficult with 3 major components needing replacing.

My list:
-Some sort of socket 1175 MOBO with 4x DDR3 and a PCI-E x16 x2 or whatever the new one is. - 130
-Some sort of videocard (GDDR5, hopefully 1gb) - 140
-Core i3/i5 -(99/159)
-4gb ram - 30

60 over with the i5, but to be honest I'm leaning towards that so I can do it right the first time and not have to redo it in a year.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
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I'd definitely consider it worthwhile if building a new machine from scratch.

Question: PS2 emulation? I honestly had no idea that this was practical. If whichever application you are using for this is multi-threaded, then it will benefit from a multi-core CPU.


Just took a quick peek at the PCSX2 install guide- the only reference I can find in it to multi-core operation is applicable only when using Software Rendering, rather than graphics-card acceleration.


Still, it's only $60. Go for it.
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:57 PM   #3
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AMD and ATI card will be cheaper and work as well or better.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:14 PM   #4
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Jeff knows so much about computers that he's functionally a virgin, heed his advice.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
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AMD and ATI card will be cheaper and work as well or better.
This message is Jeff approved. I've always used AMD proc's in my builds with great success.

Have a look at AMD Phenom-2 x4 based setups.
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Old 07-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #6
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Phenom 555 black, 955 if your looking for a quad core vs dual.

Cheap as hell and easily overclocks to 4.0 on air cooling.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:46 PM   #7
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Went i5... Because I've had luck with Intel.

Now loading Windows 7 from a USB DVD drive because I forgot to buy a SATA cd drive.... See y'all in 10 years.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:49 PM   #8
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Buy AMD. Support my race car. These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'd definitely consider it worthwhile if building a new machine from scratch.

Question: PS2 emulation? I honestly had no idea that this was practical. If whichever application you are using for this is multi-threaded, then it will benefit from a multi-core CPU.


Just took a quick peek at the PCSX2 install guide- the only reference I can find in it to multi-core operation is applicable only when using Software Rendering, rather than graphics-card acceleration.


Still, it's only $60. Go for it.
Ps2 emulation works but it isn't practical. The ps2 is something rediculously low spec like 800mhz and I lagged with a 3ghz C2D. I also did some googling, PCSX2 does support multi-threading, but I don't know how it's going to react to windows 64 bit since I have only ever run 32.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:08 AM   #10
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Intel = S2000

AMD = Turbo Miata driven by Hustler after 7 Cappuccinos
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:08 AM   #11
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Your luck with PS2 emulation will depend on which games you want to emulate. Some are playable, some are not, even if you spend $1500 on two GTX 590s and $1000 on an I7-990x. It just won't matter.

I went with an I7-920 back during thanksgiving of last year, (or was it the year before that?) and this thing will gobble up everything I throw at it. From hosting servers to hardcore gaming to video encoding, it just keeps asking for more.

When building my GF's HP Envy 14, I opted for the I5 over the I3. I am quite impressed with it.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:09 AM   #12
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BTW, new specs:
-Core i5 3.2ghz
-Intel DH67CL mobo
-4gb cheapo-ram (DDR3-1333)
-Raedon HD6670

Also got a new PSU in case my old one was blown... Didn't want to spend money I didn't have to replacing everything twice..
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Your luck with PS2 emulation will depend on which games you want to emulate. Some are playable, some are not, even if you spend $1500 on two GTX 590s and $1000 on an I7-990x. It just won't matter.
Unfortunately this seems to be the case. The videocard doesn't really matter for emulation - it's going to run whatever the games can throw at it because they're so low spec. Where it runs into trouble is the processor, because by emulating you are literally running two operating systems at once, Windows and the PS2. Which is why it sucks down so much processing power.

I figure more-cores and x64 will help significantly with this.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:17 AM   #14
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I don't think the ps2 emu took very good advantage of multiple cores IIRC. You'd be pretty well off with a 10GHZ i5.
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:24 AM   #15
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Makes me think back to the days of overclocking the Pentium D to 4.4ghz with water
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Old 07-26-2011, 12:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rider384 View Post
Where it runs into trouble is the processor, because by emulating you are literally running two operating systems at once, Windows and the PS2. Which is why it sucks down so much processing power.
It's not because you're running two OSes at once. I've got both XP and Ubuntu running on a pair of virtual machines in the background right now.

It's because emulating hardware is a difficult thing to do. Different architectures. And not just the main CPU, but the GPU as well. Everything has to be translated in realtime. It's like running a program written in Java or Applesoft Basic vs. running real software.

A Pentium 1 running Win2k will "emulate" a 16 Mhz 286 running DOS quite easily, because the instruction sets are compatible. The same machine will struggle to emulate an 8 Mhz Amiga 500.


Quote:
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I don't think the ps2 emu took very good advantage of multiple cores IIRC. You'd be pretty well off with a 10GHZ i5.
Or, you know, just buy an actual PS2. $99 at Amazon.

BTW, just noticed your sig.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:10 AM   #17
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Is 64 bit **** still around? I got sucked into it and it's crap. Nothing runs on it. I have to keep my old computer around just for iTunes so I can keep my phone updated. Total lame.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:15 AM   #18
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I use to always go AMD. But the latest i7s just seem to take the cake lately. I did go with ATI for my GFX card on my gaming rig.

Works great in windows, but I wanted to try cpyrit with APP but had no luck successfully getting it to work on my Ubuntu setup. My GT250 on the other hand was very simple to shake hands with cyprit and amazingly fast vs my cpu.
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:16 AM   #19
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Is 64 bit **** still around? I got sucked into it and it's crap. Nothing runs on it. I have to keep my old computer around just for iTunes so I can keep my phone updated. Total lame.
What are you running where you can't run 32bit apps as well?
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Old 07-26-2011, 01:32 AM   #20
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Is 64 bit **** still around?
I have had very little trouble with it on my home machine. The only app I couldn't get to run was my old copy of AutoCAD 2005, so I run that in a virtual machine.

We do have a couple of applications I use at work that don't run under x64, as they rely upon a fairly old (and obsolete) .NET library that hasn't been supported for years. We're working on fixing that, until then, I do keep a couple of 32 bit machines around for that purpose.

And of course I still have the one 486 running DOS (yes, actual DOS) as there was never a Windows version of the M-Sys reflash tool created, and we still need to support those damned things every now and then.
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