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oskarha

Can you game on an 8 year old i7?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Can you game on an 8-year-old i7?

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Many of us associate the name Core i7 with high-end gaming rigs capable of pushing high framerates on very intensive graphics settings. We often forget that the Core i7 name is 8 years old and has been through 6 generations since its inception in 2008. Is it still true that any desktop with an i7 and a decent graphics card is able to output 60fps? To find out I have benchmarked one of the early 8-year-old i7, a Bloomfield i7 920, together with a modern high-end graphics card.

 

Do you like epic b-roll of classic i7 and powerful graphics cards? Watch the video I made for this post here:

 

The 8-year-old i7

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The i7 920 is a quad-core beast that features hyper threading, triple channel DDR3, 8BM of L3 cache and a 2,66GHz base clock that can boost up to 2,93GHz. Not bad for a 2008 CPU that can be bought used for the same price as a new Celeron. The i7 920 is based on the 45nm Nehalem architecture, which was groundbreaking at its time (learn more here). I have benchmarked the CPU with my Gigabyte NVidia GeForce GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming. I have run tests with the CPU at stock clock speeds and overclocked.

 

Overclocking

The i7 920 is great for overclocking. I easily overclocked my i7 to 4,2GHz (that’s a 57,5% overclock!). Unlike modern unlocked k-series chips, the Nehalem i7 overclocks using the base clock. This means that your overclock not only depends on your CPU, but also your motherboard. I ended up with a 200MHz base clock on my ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 and an x21 multiplier to get my 4,2GHz overclock. One thing to keep in mind when overclocking these old chips is that they can get very hot. My i7 quickly reaches 80 to 90c when under full load, even with the massive Cooler Master V8 heasink I have for cooling.

@LinusTech has a pixelated guide for Nehalem overclocking on the NCIX Tech Tips channel here.

 

Testbench Specs

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 - Intel Core i7 920

 - ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 (X58)

 - 16GB (4x4Gb) DDR3 1600MHz CL9

 - Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming (1455MHz max boost)

 - Kingston UV400 240GB (OS)

 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 750GB (Games)

 - Cooler Master B600 (600W)

 

Benchmarks:

Spoiler

Benchmarks can be found at 1:11 in the video above.

 

As you can see in the benchmarks, the 8-year-old i7 delivers respectable performance at stock speeds, but the 980Ti really gets to shine when the CPU is overclocked. This clearly demonstrates the potential of these cheap CPUs, especially when overclocked.

 

Should you get one of these old i7 for a budget gaming rig?

These old Nehalem i7s deliver great price to performance, but only if you can get a good deal on a decent X58 motherboard. Old X58 boards are hard to find for a good price, but if you can get a good deal on a motherboard, classic i7s and Xeons like the i7 920 are defiantly worth considering.

 

Spoiler

This post and video has been made as part of my product for my IB MYP10 personal project. Here are two other posts I have made for my personal project:

[BUILD] The Mighty Radeon-Powered Dell

[VIDEO] Evolution of Intel CPUs

 


[GUIDE] LGA 771 Mod for Dell Vostro 220 [GUIDE] LGA 775 BSEL Mod [BUILD] The Mighty Radeon-Powered Dell [VIDEO] Evolution of Intel CPUs

Can you game on an 8-year-old i7? Is the 4-year-old GTX 660 still relevant? Upgrading the HP Pro 3500

Main Rig:

Spoiler

CPU Intel Core i7 4930k @ 4.3GHz | Motherboard ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | RAM Hynix 32GB (8x4GB) 2133MHz CL11 | GPU Gigabyte GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming | Case NZXT Phantom 410 | Storage Samsung 850EVO 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 2TB | PSU Cooler Master G650M (650W) | Monitors x1 Dell U2515H, x2 Dell 1907FP | Cooling Noctua NH-D14 w. x2 NF-F12 iPPC-2000 PWM | Keyboard Logitech G610 ORION BROWN | Mouse Logitech Performance MX | OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64

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The real question should be: "How badly an 8 year old i7 bottlenecks a high-end card" and should be compared to other CPUs. It should be compared to at least one CPU that doesn't bottleneck a 980Ti for sure like 4790K/6700K to show how much performance you actually lose.


CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4,7GHz GPU: MSI GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO 11GB GDDR5X Motherboard: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII HERO ALPHA
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED 16GB DDR4 3200MHz Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400 TG White PSU: Corsair TX650M Gray Unit
Displays: AORUS AD27QD, DELL UltraSharp U2711 Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 120GB, ADATA SP550 240GB M.2, Kingston UV400 240GB, WD Red 2TB & 1TB
Laptop: Acer Nitro 5 CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2500U GPU: AMD Radeon RX 560X 4GB RAM: 16GB Storage: 240GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD Display: 15.6" IPS

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Morgan MLGman said:

The real question should be: "How badly an 8 year old i7 bottlenecks a high-end card" and should be compared to other CPUs. It should be compared to at least one CPU that doesn't bottleneck a 980Ti for sure like 4790K/6700K to show how much performance you actually lose.

I totally agree, but when I did these benchmarks I did not have my i7 4930k to compare it with :P Curently the board is in my server, and I have no plans of removing that board from my server to do some benchmarks any time soon.


[GUIDE] LGA 771 Mod for Dell Vostro 220 [GUIDE] LGA 775 BSEL Mod [BUILD] The Mighty Radeon-Powered Dell [VIDEO] Evolution of Intel CPUs

Can you game on an 8-year-old i7? Is the 4-year-old GTX 660 still relevant? Upgrading the HP Pro 3500

Main Rig:

Spoiler

CPU Intel Core i7 4930k @ 4.3GHz | Motherboard ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | RAM Hynix 32GB (8x4GB) 2133MHz CL11 | GPU Gigabyte GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming | Case NZXT Phantom 410 | Storage Samsung 850EVO 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 2TB | PSU Cooler Master G650M (650W) | Monitors x1 Dell U2515H, x2 Dell 1907FP | Cooling Noctua NH-D14 w. x2 NF-F12 iPPC-2000 PWM | Keyboard Logitech G610 ORION BROWN | Mouse Logitech Performance MX | OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64

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On 2016-11-22 at 8:46 AM, oskarha said:

Can you game on an 8-year-old i7?

 

The 8-year-old i7

vlcsnap-error688.png

Testbench Specs

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Can't help but to give a HUGE like to this AMAZING B-roll video...that said, i wouldn't trow a GTX 980ti to an i7-920...unless you have a 4.6ghz golden sample...and even then it would have to be a 1440P gsync gaming experience IMHO.

 

But for a budget gaming rig with ultra 1080p 60FPS gaming experience in mind, paired with an RX 480 or a GTX 1060...it's as good as an FX-8350 when it comes to modern gaming and even better if overclocked.


| CPU: Core i7-8700K @ 5.0ghz - 1.3v  Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E GAMING  CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i V2 |
| GPU: MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X Trio OC  RAM: 16GB T-Force Delta RGB 3000mhz |
| Displays: Acer Predator XB270HU 1440p Gsync 144hz IPS Gaming monitor | Oculus Rift S

 

Read: My opinions on VR in it's current state, should YOU buy into it?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, i_build_nanosuits said:

Can't help but to give a like on this AMAZING B-roll video...that said, i wouldn't trow a GTX 980ti to an i7-920...unless you have a 4.6ghz golden sample...and even then it would have to be a 1440P gsync gaming experience IMHO.

 

But for a budget gaming rig with ultra 1080p 60FPS gaming experience in mind, paired with an RX 480 or a GTX 1060...it's as good as an FX-8350 when it comes to gaming and even better if overclocked.

Haha thanks :)

I totally agree with you, but I personally don't own a gtx 1060 or an rx 480 to do any testing with.

If you like my b-roll, I have a video coming soon (hopefully by the end of we week) where I upgrade a core i5 HP.

The b-roll for that also turned out quite good.


[GUIDE] LGA 771 Mod for Dell Vostro 220 [GUIDE] LGA 775 BSEL Mod [BUILD] The Mighty Radeon-Powered Dell [VIDEO] Evolution of Intel CPUs

Can you game on an 8-year-old i7? Is the 4-year-old GTX 660 still relevant? Upgrading the HP Pro 3500

Main Rig:

Spoiler

CPU Intel Core i7 4930k @ 4.3GHz | Motherboard ASUS P9X79 Deluxe | RAM Hynix 32GB (8x4GB) 2133MHz CL11 | GPU Gigabyte GTX 980Ti G1 Gaming | Case NZXT Phantom 410 | Storage Samsung 850EVO 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 2TB | PSU Cooler Master G650M (650W) | Monitors x1 Dell U2515H, x2 Dell 1907FP | Cooling Noctua NH-D14 w. x2 NF-F12 iPPC-2000 PWM | Keyboard Logitech G610 ORION BROWN | Mouse Logitech Performance MX | OS Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64

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