Which should I get: a faster CPU, or more memory?
May 7, 2010 2:08 PM Subscribe
I'm ready to buy a new desktop PC with Windows 7, and I can't decide whether to spend more money on a faster CPU or more memory, if either. Which would be better in the long run: i7-860 (or even i7-920) with 6 GB RAM, or i5 with 8 GB of RAM? Considering the CPU alone, is an i7 instead of an i5 worth the extra money?
posted by Tin Man to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not a gamer, but I'm a fairly heavy computer user -- I usually have several tabs of Google Chrome open as well as iTunes (both of which are pretty memory-intensive), and I do a lot of multitasking and occasional downloading of applications. I watch a fair amount of video, too.
I'm planning to buy a Dell, if that's helpful. (No Dell-bashing here, please; my current computer is a Dell and it's held up fine for seven years, and through my job I can get a really nice discount on another one.)
My main concern is future-proofing. I'm sure an i5 with
6 GB would be fine for right now (especially compared to my current computer, which is 7 years old and has 1 GB of RAM -- the max it can take -- and a Pentium 4). But I'd like to be able to use my new computer comfortably for at least the next five years without it getting sluggish. It seems like I wouldn't see an appreciable difference in speed between the i5 and the i7 right now, but will that change as my computer fills with bloat over the next few years and newer, more resource-intensive operating systems and applications come out? Or should I spend the money on more memory instead?