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Bloomfield or Sandy Bridge?

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I am finaly about to upgrade or replace my desktop. I've been doing a bit of research but am not sure about which way to go with the CPU. I'm kind of torn between either an i7 960 Bloomfield at 3.2ghz or an i7 2600 Sandy Bridge at 3.4 ghz. The 2600 is a bit faster and I've heard it might be a bit more stable for over-clocking, but the 960 can be over-clocked successfully and it has more bandwidth in its PCIe slots. I don't know that I will be doing all that much over-clocking, but I have done it before successfully so ya never know. This will be primarily a gaming machine. The rest of the system I'm planning is...

Asus Rampage III Black edition MB(If I go with the 960 CPU. Love the RoG Thunderbolt LAN/Audio combo)
Asus P8Z68 Deluxe MB (If I go with the 2600 CPU)
Sapphire FleX HD6950 2gb DDR5 256 bit Graphics
16gb of G.Skill Ripjaws or Sniper DDR3 1600
Hitachi Ultrastar 7K3000 2tb SATA 6.0
Kinawin LZG-1000 1KW Power Supply
Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler
Win7 64 bit Pro
Possibly a Cooler Master Storm Sniper case but may see if I can stuff it all into my old Dell XPS 710 case.

Also looking at possibly an Asus P6X58-E or an EVGA X58 motherboard instead of the rampage. But I do like that Thunderbolt with the Rampage.
I was thinking of maybe an SSD for the OS to go with the Ultrastar.
So, which CPU is better for serious gaming, the 960 or the 2600? Also, if anyone sees a compatibility issue or whatever with any of these components, please let me know. I have built my own systems before so I have some experience with that but it's been a while and I'm not totaly up on all of the new stuff. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Edited by brettt777, 04 July 2011 - 06:45 PM.

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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Overclocking of components is never guaranteed, so dom't buy something with the expection of overclocking the bejesus out of it.

The 960 uses the i7 Socket 1366 route, which is depreciated now in favour of Sandy Bridge. Therefore if you buy it, you can't expect to move much further from it processor wise without replacing the board again. Sandy Bridge is relatively new and therefore there will be a wider market to upgrade with in the future.

It has been proven that the graphics card has more of an impact in gaming than the processor.
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