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that depends on that, what u gonna do, couse i3 processor has only 2 cores +ht (2 virtual cores) but 15 has 4 cores without ht, whats the difference both processors have 4 threads, but if ull run for example 2 photoshops on i3 processor ht will not work, so u will lose performance, for other cases ht will give you UP to double production or lower that depends on software. If ull buy i5 processor u will always have 4 core production except old software without multicore support (for i3 processor it sounds wery bad, couse there will be only 1 working core) for software without multicore support i5 will use turbo boost wich will shut down idel cores and add more voltage, and frequency to working cores. diference is big, couse 4 cores allway will be better than 2 +ht and i5 has turbo boost, if there is a question in prices, i3 are much cheaper.
but if u plan to upgrade ur pc later, than i suggest you to buy i7 cpu couse they have much better memory bandwith i3/i5 have up to 2,5gtextels i7 up to 6,4gtextels but teh price is high, suggest u to bou with lower frequency tehey are best value/performance processors
p.s. sorry for my bad english..
Thank You for the insight.
I should probably go with the i5 661 while I wait for the Sandy Bridge, but the idea is to shrink the current size by not having to have a graphics card for meger 2D needs.
The i7's are great CPU's but that would require a graphics card, or a Supermicro mobo with the pathetic 16MB onboard graphics RAM.
If they would only build a board 128MB of graphics RAM that I could overclock the CPU w/o having the GPU or PCI-e controller getting juiced I would be happy.