View Full Version : contemplating new setup

18-11-2009, 4:18pm
Well it looks like I have got a green light to get a new PC, and was wondering if anyone here is using an intel CPU - specifically the i5-750 ?

From all accounts it is good value for money, and a good performer, but I would be interested in some real world feedback how this chip handles large files in photoshop (especially things like stitching etc) and lightroom, as my 5+ year old PC is starting to protest considerably.

Any feedback would be appreciated.



Richard Hall
19-11-2009, 12:29am
I'm running the i5's bigger brother, the i7 920. I can say that the performance you get from the i7's is pretty staggering, and the i5 isn't that far behind!

The i5's are basically Intel's new mid-range CPUs, slotting in below the i7 and are aimed more at the mainstream market. The most noticeable differences being back to simpler dual channel memory (rather than the i7's triple channel) and the i5's having hyper threading removed, giving them a maximum of 4 cores and 4 threads vs the i7's 4 cores 8 threads. It does hurt the i5's performance in some areas, but that loss is kind of made back up in another way.

From all accounts though, the i5 750 performs incredibly well, not really dropping behind the i7 920 in any areas except those where apps can really take advantage of the i7's hyper threading abilities, as I mentioned previously. Both CPUs feature turbo boost, where the system will self-overclock all 4 cores of the CPU. The i7 920 can increase each core up to 266MHz whilst the i5 750 gets quite a bit more of a bump, up to 666MHz. This really gives the i5 750 a pretty decent increase in performance which is where it gains some ground back lost to the i7 920's hyper threading abilities.

I reckon when you weigh up real world performance figures (have a look at some reviews) compared to price (the i5 750 is about $160 less than the i7 920) it offers pretty amazing performance. It'd handle Photoshop with ease, have a look (http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634&p=11) at the figures when using the Retouch Artist's Speed Test, not a lot in it! In fact some other Photoshop performance tests I've tried where the filters employed don't really use any more than a single core, I believe the extra clock speed gained from the i5's more aggressive turbo boost would probably see it quicker than the i7 920.

The differences in performance with a lot of these higher-end CPUs for tasks such as Photoshop and the like is really pretty minimal. I mean, I couldn't really care less if something I was processing took 16 or 17 seconds in Photoshop, not a big difference. Where I think you really do notice considerable differences is when doing tasks that actually do take a long time to complete as the difference in performance is more pronounced. I do a lot of video encoding and having my hyper-threading i7 churn through an encode, say, 2 hours quicker than a non-hyper threading CPU, well, that's when I reckon the differences really matter. In day-to-day tasks, the differences would go unnoticed.

So whilst I don't have the i5 750, it's performance isn't too dissimilar to my i7 920 (seems to be in the order of roughly 10-15% slower only) and it'll handle anything you throw at it with aplomb. I should point out that I believe to ensure you don't get a bottleneck if you are working on huge, multi-layered files in Photoshop, I would really consider going with a 64bit operating system so you can have the system address more RAM. Throw in 8GB and you'd be good to go. :) There's a couple of threads on 32bit vs 64bit here (http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=43175) and here (http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/showthread.php?t=43700).

19-11-2009, 9:23am
Thanks for your reply Rich - very much appreciated :th3: