Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU [solved]

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Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU [solved]

Postby geoffm on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:21 pm

So I'm tired of my Dell XPS M1330 laptop's poor performance. I want to get a good machine without compromising for performance. I'm currently shopping for the parts top build a system soon.
After some research I narrowed down my CPU choices to the Core i5-4570 and the Xeon X5550. They both have pretty good value according to cpubenchmark.net for around 200$ each. that's around my target budget goal (already got a 250GB SSD)
I understand the Xeon is a cpu for workstations and servers and the Core i5 more consumer-oriented (gamer?). I do a lot of multitask work involving web browsing, email client, messenging, music, downloading, web development (mysql), gimp, inkscape, often all at the same time.
I would also like to run KDE smoothly. No gaming. So it's more the typical use of a workstation. However the Xeon was made back in 2009 and the Core has more technologies embeded, it also has an integrated graphic while I believe the Xeon doesn't. The Xeon scores higher than the Core on the passmark benchmark though, however it's just 2 samples - not so reliable. I think I'd be better off with the i5 but I wonder if the Xeon with its 8 cores (4x2 w/hyperthreading) would better put up with extreme multitasking and hence be a better choice for my use. However, if I get the Xeon I would also have to buy a graphic card, which wouldn't be the case with the i5, am I mistaken?
I'd be happy to hear any opinion about all this.
Last edited by geoffm on Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Custom build w/ Gigabyte Z87MX-D3h | Intel Core i5 4670 | 8GB DD3 | 250GB SSD
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Re: Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU

Postby wayne128 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:39 am

if i were in the similar situation i would go for i5...

by the way you might already read this link..
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Xeon-X555 ... re-i5-4570
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Re: Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU

Postby xenopeek on Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:40 am

Worst buy of the century if you go for the Xeon, IMHO. The Core i5 is half again as fast.

CPU Benchmark for the Xeon is 4746: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+2.40GHz
CPU Benchmark for the Core i5-4570 is 7138: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+3.20GHz

And indeed the Core i5-4570 has integrated graphics, meaning you don't have to splash money on a discrete graphics card (and this being a Haswell processor, it beats out cheap discrete graphics cards with its performance).

I have the Core i5-2500k, a previous generation, which scores below the Core i5 you are considering (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+3.30GHz). It can do all the CPU lightweight tasks you have noted at the same time with ease, as all those tasks you noted primarily need a lot of memory and a fast disk while barely using your CPU... These are all the kind of lightweight tasks that most of the time are waiting for you to do something, meaning the CPU is sitting there twiddling its thumbs :)

On an average day, I'll have a few terminals and editors open, run a few virtual machines (though often running up to a dozen), have music playing, have a web browser open with many tabs, probably some LibreOffice tasks, and so on. It all runs fine at the same time, and is barely using my CPU.

So go for the Core i5! Though because this is Haswell, and a very new processor, make sure you are running the latest kernel as you'll want to get the latest drivers from Intel (which are included in your kernel). So probably pick Linux Mint 15, and in Update Manager enable level 4 and 5 updates so that you get the latest kernel.

A side note; heavy multitasking means you will be using lots of memory and frequent disk access. You already have the SSD for fast disk access, but how much RAM are you intending to install? I considered buying 8 GiB RAM but spent fifty or so bucks more to get 16 GiB RAM instead. Most days I would get by on 8 GiB RAM, especially if I wouldn't need to run so many virtual machines, but I'm very happy that I got the 16 GiB RAM. 12 GiB RAM would have sufficed, but that wasn't an option.
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Re: Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU [solved]

Postby geoffm on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:58 am

Thanks for the advice. I did buy the i5 4670 after all. (This is my build)
Well worth its price, it's so blazing fast!! Really happy with it.
Custom build w/ Gigabyte Z87MX-D3h | Intel Core i5 4670 | 8GB DD3 | 250GB SSD
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Re: Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU

Postby catweazel on Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:37 am

You should only consider the Xeon if you intend to put two of them onto a single motherboard, in which case you won't know what hit you, speed-wise. You can use the Xeon for all the things you listed, but to get the benefit you'll need more than one.
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Re: Building a PC : opinions about choice of CPU

Postby MartyMint on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:26 pm

Well put, catweazel.

:)
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