Upgrade path for 1366 Owners?

{NG}Fidel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
6,286
I am currently sitting on an i7950 and Gigabyte motherboard at the moment. The performance is great still but I am itching to upgrade. I am not exactly loaded on cash at the moment and I was wondering what cheap upgrades would still equal out to a performance upgrade. Its been a longtime since this chip was released and the options available now are vast.
From new i7s/i5s to 6 core X5660s.

What do you guys think would net the biggest performance gain for reasonable price.
Ram Mobo CPU Included (budget like 600-700)
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
First and foremost: What will you be doing with this PC?
 

plugwash

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
1,547
A 6-core haswell-e system will be out of your budget. I just took a quick look on newegg and you would be looking at spending $580 on the CPU, $180+ on the motherboard and $200+ on the ram.

You could fit a 4-core haswell-e system in your budget but unless you have an unusual use case that demands large amounts of PCIe I would consider such a system a waste of money.

So assuming you don't have any special requirements you have a few reasonable choices within your budget.

1: drop a 6-core into your current system, apparently there are used 6-cores going on ebay for relatively small ammounts of money. This is a good choice if you have applications that can spread over lots of cores but for applications that can't (E.g. most games) you will see negligable performance upgrade.
2: look for a used 6-core SB-E or IB-E setup. This would give you two extra cores and a slight bump in the performance of those cores.
3: move to a mainstream haswell system. This will likely be the best option if gaming performance is what you care about but you will still only have four cores (and limited PCIe if you care about that).
 

{NG}Fidel

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
6,286
So Haswell IPC is better than the Xeon 5690 OCed.
Im just thinking handbrake would love the extra cores. Or should I not worry.
Right now I am looking at one hour and twenty minutes per 10Gig movie.
 

pws328

n00b
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
13
If you like your current system and just want a performance bump, get a Xeon x56xx and OC the crap out of it, but I'd check around to make sure your board will support it. The extra cores will definitely help in multithreaded apps like handbrake, but games will be pretty negligible over your 950.

Like plugwash said, if you want better ipc but can cope with a 4core/8thread part, get a z87/97 mobo with a 4790K. With that you'll see improvements in both gaming and encoding, but maybe not as much of a boost for multithreaded apps.

The other consideration is the platform features of the newer gen hardware. Do you want a bunch of native USB 3.0 ports, PCIe 3.0 (although this isn't that big of a deal for now), Sata III/Sata Express, better audio components, better boot times, more feature rich bios's? Go with a new board and a haswell processor.
 

RanceJustice

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 9, 2003
Messages
6,130
I was /am in your shoes recently. I have been waiting for years for a suitable upgrade to my old Core i7 920 / Rampage II Extreme, and despite good performance overall was still feeling the burn of lacking certain newer tech (USB 3.0, SATA III etc..). Personally I took the "big" leap forward (admittedly, thanks to some holiday gifts) and now have a Haswell-E system core (5960x, Rampage V Extreme, 16gb DDR4 2666)to replace my old Nahalem gear (still listed in my sig). Unfortunately, this cannot be done with the price range you prefer.

Others have some great suggestions here. If you don't want to go for a whole new platform (ie step down to a newer, mainstream offering like a 4790K.) for your particular uses, you can always drop in a socket 1366 Xeon; they will add cores and performance for relatively cheaply these days, especially if you purchase used. I may very well buy a Xeon and port my X58 platform gear over to secondary duty on my server box. If you decide to stay on X58, you could probably upgrade to 12gb of RAM easily and cheaply, which may help in performance too. In addition, I'm not sure if you're just focused on CPU/Mobo/RAM, but it may be worthwhile to consider some other overall performance enhancers - GPU, SSD.

Your 7970 is nothing to sneeze at, but for your gaming and GPU-using features (including hardware encoding etc..) an upgrade might be nice. If you wish to purchase now, I'd say that Nvidia's 970 and 980 are likely the way to go, but then again you may be able to find a 290X for cheaper these days especially if used. If you can wait on this front, I'd consider waiting for the next gen AMD high end GPUs.

From your sig, I don't see the inclusion of a solid state drive. Adding a SSD will likely make your system feel a lot faster, if you've been using 7200rpm HDDs primarily. These days there are good SSDs for just about every price range. I'd suggest the 256gb area as the sweet spot, to give you room for your OS and some other programs that will benefit, but 128gb will do in a pinch. Samsung 850 Pro is top of the class and latest generation these days, but can be a little expensive. Intel's 730 series, Crucial, and especially the Toshiba-made, AMD Branded SSDs seem to be quality and reasonable priced.

Hope this helps a bit!
 
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