Should I get the I7-975 quad core processor or the I7-980X hex core processor?

by on May 1, 2010

Q: I’m looking to buy a processor for a Intel 1366 socket, and I’ve picked two out:

The first is the I7-975. Quad core, 8MB cache and 45nm lithography.

The second is the I7-980X. Hex core, 12MB cache and 32nm lithography.

All other specs are the same and they have the same recommended price.

I can’t understand this, is the difference in lithography as good as an extra 2 cores and 4MB cache?

One Response to “Should I get the I7-975 quad core processor or the I7-980X hex core processor?”
    Picked as best answer

    The ‘lithography’ commonly called die size, which is the size of the silicon wafer used for the CPU. Manufactures try to use smaller and smaller die sizes because it allows them to manufacture more chips from a single sheet of silicon. Smaller die sizes also can translate to less power consumption and heat. Die size isn’t a really important consideration for CPU performance.

    What CPU you should buy will depend on what your planning on doing with it, and if spending $1,000 for a CPU really makes sense in the first place.

    As your comparing 1366 socket options, divide the price of the CPU with a CPU benchmark. It is very common to spend $100+ for only a few percent of performance gain.

    Anyway, Anandtech has a great write up about the I7-980X, and they compare it to the 975 and other similar processors. I suggest you take a look at their review: