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phenom 9600BE, q6600, or trusty X2 5600?

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February 9, 2008 8:03:53 PM

I played around with a phenom 9500, and a q6600 at cbw today, both had 8800gt video cards and 3gb of memory, both seemed really fast playing games demos, and just general computing, both did'nt seem anyfaster than my trusty x2 5600. Now i know when you get to the nitty gritty, the q6600 is probably much faster, and the phenom 9500 just as fast in some apps, but I didnt see it. I'm only a casual gamer(very casual as of late), but i do a lot of encoding. I know the q6600 would be the best option, however, if I go that route, i will need a board, then the cpu, plus the work of restoring a backup, which was hit or miss last time. If i get a 9600BE, i will have 4 core, possibly get it up to 2.5ghz, but the b-2 revision sucks. My dilimmna do i keep my x2-5600 and order a 3850-512mg today, do i get a phenom 9600 BE today, Or do i whip out the charge card get the q6600 and board and start everything over?
February 9, 2008 8:32:04 PM

wait till AMD fix the bugs in phenom, no matter how long it takes, and keep going with the 5600 if it isn't annoyingly slow for you
February 9, 2008 8:36:37 PM

The 9600BE isn't worth it. If you have to get a new pc, the Q6600 is the way to go. However, if you can wait, then keep your 5600+ until the B3 comes out.
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February 9, 2008 8:36:44 PM

In general computing, your not gonna see a huge difference by getting a quad core. The difference will be in games, and encoding. Surfing the web will be the same, word processing, etc. It depends on what's slowing you down right now. For most games right now, the video card makes the biggest impact in performance, the exceptions being games like Crysis, Supreme Commander.

If you get the graphics card now, you will have it for whatever cpu you get in the future. Graphics cards don't care whether its AMD or Intel. So if you need the speed right now for games, I'd get the video card. Then later on when the CPU market calms down a bit, you can get the rest to complete your system. If your thinking about the phenom, I would definitely get the video card now and wait till it's been reworked a bit.
February 9, 2008 8:40:34 PM

Wait at least for April, Xbit labs reports the following:

Quote:

AMD Phenom processor models 9550 (2.20GHz), 9650 (2.30GHz) and 9750 (2.40GHz) will be released commercially about eight weeks from now, sometime in April, a source familiar with the world’s second largest x86 chipmaker’s plans said. The new chips will be based on the B3 revision of the processor and will not have any issues with Translation Lookaside Buffer. The destiny of the high-speed AMD Phenom 9950 is unclear at the moment.


http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20080208183158...

It might not be accurate, but waiting a couple of months never hurt anyone. At any rate, since some B2 Black Edition Phenom's have been reported with bad cores, I'd seriously consider a triple core for a 65nm part, because I really can't see AMD's QA mistakenly disabling a good core and leaving the bad core enabled, while it's probable that a few parts that should have been binned as triple cores got past quality control and have one bad core.

I have an Athlon X2 4600+ and I'll stick with that 90nm Windsor 65 watt part until I'm sure that the B2 triple and quad core Phenom's are really okay.
February 9, 2008 8:42:14 PM

reconviperone1 said:
I played around with a phenom 9500, and a q6600 at cbw today, both had 8800gt video cards and 3gb of memory, both seemed really fast playing games demos, and just general computing, both did'nt seem anyfaster than my trusty x2 5600. Now i know when you get to the nitty gritty, the q6600 is probably much faster, and the phenom 9500 just as fast in some apps, but I didnt see it. I'm only a casual gamer(very casual as of late), but i do a lot of encoding. I know the q6600 would be the best option, however, if I go that route, i will need a board, then the cpu, plus the work of restoring a backup, which was hit or miss last time. If i get a 9600BE, i will have 4 core, possibly get it up to 2.5ghz, but the b-2 revision sucks. My dilimmna do i keep my x2-5600 and order a 3850-512mg today, do i get a phenom 9600 BE today, Or do i whip out the charge card get the q6600 and board and start everything over?



No brainer, keep the X2-5600+ it has plenty of life in it. I also was thinking of getting a 3850-512 but it is hard to justify because my 7950GT 512 still works great.
February 9, 2008 8:43:00 PM

spuddyt said:
wait till AMD fix the bugs in phenom, no matter how long it takes, and keep going with the 5600 if it isn't annoyingly slow for you

Not slow at all, I have it overclocked to 3.2ghz, i know it wont kick a core 2' ass, but it wicked fast, with a new video card , it would be a good gaming machine, but a quad would be so cool for encoding.
February 9, 2008 9:43:36 PM

You could easily top an E6600 @3.2GHZ.
February 10, 2008 1:21:56 AM

Well, it would appear the first of Intels 45nm quads are right around the corner....meaning the price drop for the Q6600 should also be here soon.
February 10, 2008 9:21:51 AM

maybe.... but don't intel just not change the price of their old stuff, so that stupid people buy out the rest of their products?
February 10, 2008 3:19:49 PM

The Q6600 is expected to drop about $50 (USD)
February 10, 2008 4:17:51 PM

So is there any life left in a FX-60?
February 10, 2008 5:30:32 PM

Your going to have a hard time finding a reasonably priced FX 60 anywhere other than E Bay. The few places that do have NOS are charging ridiculous prices.

Retail NOS FX 60 $756.25 (USD)

For that price, you can build a completely new AM2 or 775 system.
February 10, 2008 5:55:09 PM

xaephod said:
So is there any life left in a FX-60?

The FX-60 is still a good chip. You can use it for another year or so before becoming truly outdated.
February 10, 2008 9:58:43 PM

Evilonigiri said:
The FX-60 is still a good chip. You can use it for another year or so before becoming truly outdated.



I agree with that statement. I still use a single core system for my LAN machine. It has a 3800+ which runs at 2.4 Ghz. Paired with a unlocked X800GTO it runs BF2, Hidden, Flatout and CS great. Too bad the mother board sucks and has very few OC options.

It just depends upon what you use it for. My current system (see my sig) would probably last me another year or more and all I would need to do is upgrade the video card. I would love to see Tom's do some video card testing like Cleeve did with the AGP systems using single, dual and quad cpu's with some new games and see how the single cores do paired up with the latest greatest video card.

Unless someone can show me a link to some testes that have already been done.
February 11, 2008 6:37:17 AM

caamsa said:
I agree with that statement. I still use a single core system for my LAN machine. It has a 3800+ which runs at 2.4 Ghz. Paired with a unlocked X800GTO it runs BF2, Hidden, Flatout and CS great. Too bad the mother board sucks and has very few OC options.

It just depends upon what you use it for. My current system (see my sig) would probably last me another year or more and all I would need to do is upgrade the video card. I would love to see Tom's do some video card testing like Cleeve did with the AGP systems using single, dual and quad cpu's with some new games and see how the single cores do paired up with the latest greatest video card.

Unless someone can show me a link to some testes that have already been done.


Not many games can actually take advantage of quad cores at this point, besides Supreme Commander and Flight Simulator X. However, a good dual core CPU is definitely a must in the latest games - single core just doesn't cut it anymore. Also, I'd hate to say it but K8 is certainly starting to show it's age in some of the latest games... the once mighty FX-60 now struggles to run some of the latest games, especially the RTS titles.

Call of Duty 4 benefits greatly from dual core - you literally get double the framerates!
http://au.gamespot.com/features/6183967/p-5.html

Bioshock also benefits greatly from dual core
http://au.gamespot.com/features/6177688/p-7.html

As does Crysis...
http://au.gamespot.com/features/6182806/p-6.html

K8 starts showing it's age in World in Conflict... and forget about single core!
http://au.gamespot.com/features/6179006/p-7.html

Ditto for Supreme Commander, and C2Q finally starts showing it's muscle in multithreaded gaming...
http://uk.gamespot.com/features/6166198/p-6.html

And finally, just so it's not all gloom and doom, a ray of light for single core gamers: UT3 actually runs pretty well!
http://uk.gamespot.com/features/6183499/p-5.html

So there ya have it... I'm sure K8 still runs older games very well, but times have moved on...

PS. As you can see, this is also why I don't like throwing blanket statements around that gaming is entirely GPU bound - because it's not. To varying degrees, CPU speed still has an impact on gaming performance. The GPU should still be priority 1, but I think its clear that a strong GPU should ideally be matched with a strong CPU for best results.
February 11, 2008 2:41:44 PM

^ Thanks for the links. ;-)
February 11, 2008 4:34:19 PM

caamsa said:
^ Thanks for the links. ;-)


NP. ;) 

I wasn't trying to rain on your parade or anything, just pointing out that single cores A64s are struggling with the latest multithreaded games. Of course there are still lots of slightly older games that run almost as well on single core as on a dual core rig.
February 11, 2008 9:31:53 PM

epsilon84 said:
NP. ;) 

I wasn't trying to rain on your parade or anything, just pointing out that single cores A64s are struggling with the latest multithreaded games. Of course there are still lots of slightly older games that run almost as well on single core as on a dual core rig.



No rain here ;)  All the information was very interesting. I was wondering if the games are optimized for dual core does that mean they are less optimized for a single core? Or is there really no such thing in regards to the programing?

Looks like the sweet spot for CPU speed is 3 Ghz.

Once you go above 1280 by 1024 resolution your CPU is definitely less of a factor than your GPU.


March 8, 2008 8:07:44 PM

Actually, if you do a comparison of Price/Performance (from NewEgg.com prices), the AMD Phenom comes out ahead of the Q6600. According to my rankings (25% NewEgg rating, 25% SYSMark 2007 Score, 25% Multimedia Multitasking, 5% Multimedia Encoding, 15% Photoshop 2D work, 4% 3D rendering, 1% games, 0% power consumption), the Phenom 9500 delivers 84% the performance of the Q6600 for 78% the price. That means it's cheaper, and a better value. But that's just according to my rankings.

Tom's Hardware also ranks the 9500 ahead of Q6600 for price / performance.

So sure, the Phenom 9500 delivers less performance, but it's also cheaper. Go figure, the free market works.

The worst-case scenario for the Phenom 9500 vs. the Q6600 is 3D rendering, where performance is 76% of the Q6600 (according to equally weighted: Cinebench 10 3D Performance 1x CPU, Cinebench 10 3D 4x CPU, 3dsmax 9, Lightwave 9.5 dirty_build_render, Lightwave 9.5 record_player_render, POV-Ray). So the Phenom 9500 is going to take 1.32 times as long as the Q6600 to do 3D rendering. It's not like it's a 2-fold difference.

In games, the Phenom provides 88% the performance of the Q6600, for 78% of the price.

The other thing is that I think right now, AM2+ motherboards are better than the motherboards compatible with the Q6600. They often have PCI-E 2.0 affordably (under $200), and the Gigabyte M/B's in the 790 series support up to 16GB of RAM. These are 4- or 5-star rated M/B's. On the contrast, the only 16GB or greater M/B's that support the Q6600 have crappy NewEgg.com ratings.

And what about PCI-E 2.0, PCI x1, SATA, eSATA, Firewire? If you want to find Q6600-compatible boards that support all that, you're looking at $200 - $350. Whereas:

$149: K9A2 Platinum. 4 PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 1 PCI-E x1 1.0 slot, 2 PCI slots, 8GB max RAM, 1 PATA, 6 SATA, 2 eSATA, 10 USB, 2 Firewire) can be had for $149.

$168: GA-MA790FX-DS5 . 2 PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 3 PCI-E x1 1.0 slots, 2 PCI slots, 1 PATA, 6 SATA, 2 eSATA, 10 USB, 3 Firewire, max 16GB RAM.

Find a Q6600 motherboard that gives you all of that for below $180. There's more to computing than gaming and CPU power. Also think about how many hard-drives you can upgrade to, external drives, RAM, etc. And about value. In terms of value, the Phenom is a better value for your money, in terms of performance per dollar spent, and that's before even considering the superior options you can surround it with due to the better motherboards in any given price-range.
March 8, 2008 9:56:53 PM

computertech82,

The stats I referenced were actually from Tom's Hardware. I just summarized them, and put them in %'s, as well as price %'s. Summarily, at absolute worst case scenario, you're paying 78% of the price for 76% of the performance...that's for 3D rendering...but on average (equally weighted between SYSMark 2007, Multimedia Multitasking, Multimedia Encoding, Photoshop 2D work, 3D rendering, and Games), you're paying 78% the price for 83% the performance.

Plus, you get better motherboard options, in terms of value and what you get with the motherboard.

Again, I ask, where are the Q6600 motherboards for less than $180 that have 4 PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 1 PCI-E x1 1.0 slot, 2 PCI slots, 8GB max RAM, 1 PATA, 6 SATA, 2 eSATA, 10 USB, 2 Firewire), as does the K9A2 Platinium. Or that have 2 PCI-E x16 2.0 slots, 3 PCI-E x1 1.0 slots, 2 PCI slots, 1 PATA, 6 SATA, 2 eSATA, 10 USB, 3 Firewire, max 16GB RAM. That's the GA-MA890FX-DS5.

That's a lot of room for future-proofing and future upgrading. And I'm not just talking about Dual or Quad Crossfire setups. Those x16 PCI-E 2.0 slots may also eventually be used for RAID controllers, video encoding chips, and a variety of other things in the future.

As I said before, games aren't everything. And neither is getting the top performance.

In this day, unless you're a professional, you should be concerned about value, and future expansion options.

But show me the Q6600 motherboards at reasonable prices that give you all those options, and I'll be convinced. (as the Q6600 is more over-clockable, but I don't see why people want to void their warranty by over-clocking...at least wait until the warranty expires).
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