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I am currently choosing between Intel Core i7-3770 (quad, Ivy) and Intel Core i7-3930K (6 cores, Sandy Bridge-E). This machine will be used for both work (Adobe, Autodesk software, graphic and coding-related) and gaming.

Even if some applications I will use are capable to utilize all 6 cores at once, is it worth preferring Sandy Bridge-E to newer Ivy Bridge? Games aren't and probably will perform better on Ivy, won't they? 6-core is also twice as expensive as a quad Ivy.

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closed as too localized by Canadian Luke, soandos, TFM, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Synetech Nov 22 '12 at 18:30

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Ivy Bridge introduced PCIe 3.0 support, Sandy bridge has only 2.0 - that is the difference. – Robert Nov 22 '12 at 14:59
@Robert, thanks, I see now, edited the question. – creitve Nov 22 '12 at 15:38
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The speed improvement you can get from PCIe 3.0 compared to a PCIe 2.0 is currently not large. Furthermore it only matters if you copy e.g. textures or other data onto the video card or if the on-card is not large enough to hold all data.

Lets compare the processors:

Sandy bridge i7-3930K

  • 6 cores
  • 12 MB cache
  • frequency 3.2 - 3.8 GHz
  • TDP 130W

Ivy Bridge i7-3770

  • 4 cores
  • 8 MB cache
  • frequency 3.4 - 3.9 GHz
  • TDP 77 Watt

AFAIR Ivy bridge is up to 5% faster with the same frequency.

Conclusion: If your software is capable to utilize all six cores the Sandy Bridge should be faster - otherwise if your software often can utilize 4 or less cores the Ivy Bridge should be faster.

Furthermore the Sandy bridge takes much more power and is therefore louder - only matters if we are talking about a desktop system.

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