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Does the Q9450 offer significant gains over the Q6600 in normal tasks?

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April 12, 2008 3:31:09 AM

I had heard a while back that some time around April 20th, Intel would start dropping prices on its processors, which has made me wonder... for a new system build, would a Q9450 be worth an extra $100-$150 over a Q6600? This decision is pretty big for me, because it also decides whether I go with an nForce 780i motherboard, or an Intel X38. The 780i would go with the Q6600, and allow me to use SLI. The X38 would be for the Q9450, and possibly Crossfire. Which processor should I get for my new build? Any help is greatly appreciated.
April 12, 2008 4:30:22 AM

The Q9450 is about ~15% faster than the Q6600. It also runs a lot cooler than the Q6600, so it'll save you a few bucks off the power bill.

I still think the Q6600 is the better value though, some places have it for less than $200.
April 12, 2008 5:00:21 AM

The Q9450 over clocks better than the Q6600. If you over clock I would get the Q9450.
April 12, 2008 5:07:54 AM

I have the X3350 and it's average temperature is 44C.
Before that I had the Q6600 (I still have the cpu) and it's average temperature was 38C.
So the die shrink in my personal experience has not reduced cpu temperature.
Both the Q6600 GO and X3350 C1 (Q9450) are rated at 95 watts.
Physically the Q6600 distributes it's heat output over a larger surface area when compared to the Q9450.
The Q9450 has extra SMID instruction and a higher FSB rating giving it a higher clock speed which gives it a higher performance rating.

You have the final choice. At the end of the day it comes down to how much money you can justify is fair for the product you are purchasing.
April 12, 2008 5:18:00 AM

spencercpu1983 said:
The Q9450 over clocks better than the Q6600. If you over clock I would get the Q9450.

If you read the xbit review quoted above you will see the Q6600 overclocks better due to the higher multilier putting less strain on the FSB. However, due to the chips architecture it has the potential to overclock further but the rest of the PC components WILL hold it back. If you are just after a mild overclock and power consumption is a consideration the Q9450 or the cheaper Q9300 are both good choices.
April 12, 2008 12:37:48 PM

zpyrd, power consumption is down significantly compared to the Q6600. The TDP may be the same but the Q9450 actually draws less than 65W under load whereas a Q6600 goes close to 95W. The temp differences could come down to temp sensors calibrated differently, btw are you running the same type of cooling on both CPUs?

Major_Trouble, that is true, though the Q9450 does have a higher multiplier than the Q9300, and should hit a higher overclock, all things considered.

With a good quality P35/X38 board a Q9450 should hit at least 450FSB or 3.6GHz. Granted a Q6600 can also hit such speeds but its slower clock for clock and would also consume a LOT more power since you would need to up the Vcore to around 1.4V, whereas with the Q9450 you'd most likely do 3.6GHz at or near default voltage.
April 12, 2008 3:29:59 PM

Q9450 is bad for overclocking when motherboard fsb is the bottleneck. So, if you use anything other than x38/48 chipset board for Q9450, it won't clock as high as Q6600. 1600mhz fsb = only 3.2ghz for Q9450. With x38/48, it'll clock higher.

I've got Q6600 to 4ghz prime95 stable, on air cooling at 70/70/68/68 stablized full load, but only at a vcore of 1.65, which is far too high. Q9450, should do better vcore and temperature wise, if fsb is not the bottleneck.
April 12, 2008 3:30:40 PM

So basically, it's all up to me to decide just how much I'm willing to spend. If I can spend a little more, I should go Q9450. If I can't, Q6600. I do have one final question though: After thinking it over a bit, I'm pretty set on using a 780i as my final motherboard for my build. It has absolutely every feature I need, including SLI, and I'd really like to just use one for my build. Now, I just wonder if the 780i is capable of maintaining a high FSB when paired with good DDR2-1066 RAM. Can anyone give me an answer on this? If I were going for a Q9450, I'd want at least 450 MHz on the FSB, and for a Q6600, probably only 400 MHz. (Both will allow 3.6 GHz clock speeds)
April 12, 2008 3:33:21 PM

nerr said:
So basically, it's all up to me to decide just how much I'm willing to spend. If I can spend a little more, I should go Q9450. If I can't, Q6600. I do have one final question though: After thinking it over a bit, I'm pretty set on using a 780i as my final motherboard for my build. It has absolutely every feature I need, including SLI, and I'd really like to just use one for my build. Now, I just wonder if the 780i is capable of maintaining a high FSB when paired with good DDR2-1066 RAM. Can anyone give me an answer on this? If I were going for a Q9450, I'd want at least 450 MHz on the FSB, and for a Q6600, probably only 400 MHz. (Both will allow 3.6 GHz clock speeds)



780i runs at 1333mhz fsb natively, and can reliably oc to 1600mhz fsb (3.2ghz for Q9450, 3.6ghz for Q6600). X38/48 runs at 1600mhz fsb natively, and can reliably oc to 2000+mhz. 450x4 on 780i will not happen.
April 12, 2008 3:35:57 PM

Shoot, that's what I was afraid of... Maybe I should start looking at reviews for some ATI GPUs, so I can go for an X38/X48 motherboard instead! If only Nvidia and Intel could get along and allow SLI on Intel chipset motherboards...
April 12, 2008 3:38:33 PM

nerr said:
Shoot, that's what I was afraid of... Maybe I should start looking at reviews for some ATI GPUs, so I can go for an X38/X48 motherboard instead! If only Nvidia and Intel could get along and allow SLI on Intel chipset motherboards...



Why don't you just use single card instead? Graphics development moves way too fast for sli/crossfire to make sense in term of best bang for the buck. :p 
April 12, 2008 3:42:04 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Define "normal".


When you hit your thumb with a hammer and scream "S#@# G@#%$ M#@ F#$@@#"... that normal.
April 12, 2008 3:42:43 PM

I guess you're right, but it's always been my mindset to think that you shouldn't waste the second PCI-E 2.0 slot by leaving it empty... Maybe I should start looking at faster single cards, like the 3870 X2, or possibly the ATI HD 4XXX cards. Any suggestions? I've had my mind set on SLI 8800GTS G92s for the longest time, and the only card that can match that is the 9800GX2... which also costs a fortune.
April 12, 2008 3:58:51 PM

nerr said:
I guess you're right, but it's always been my mindset to think that you shouldn't waste the second PCI-E 2.0 slot by leaving it empty... Maybe I should start looking at faster single cards, like the 3870 X2, or possibly the ATI HD 4XXX cards. Any suggestions? I've had my mind set on SLI 8800GTS G92s for the longest time, and the only card that can match that is the 9800GX2... which also costs a fortune.



I think you should just save the money and get a single 8800gt or g92 8800gts for now. It handles well enough with current games. Then wait and see if the HD 4000's are any good when they come out. The current crossfire choices from ATI are not attractive.
April 12, 2008 8:51:52 PM

nerr said:
I guess you're right, but it's always been my mindset to think that you shouldn't waste the second PCI-E 2.0 slot by leaving it empty... Maybe I should start looking at faster single cards, like the 3870 X2, or possibly the ATI HD 4XXX cards. Any suggestions? I've had my mind set on SLI 8800GTS G92s for the longest time, and the only card that can match that is the 9800GX2... which also costs a fortune.


What resolution do you game at? Unless its 1920 x 1200 or higher, you don't really need a multi-GPU setup for the vast majority of todays games, Crysis being the obvious exception.
April 12, 2008 9:41:22 PM

dagger said:
The current crossfire choices from ATI are not attractive.

Couldn't disagree more with you there chap.
3870X2's or 3870's in CF are pretty nice set-ups :) 
April 12, 2008 11:56:12 PM

I'll be gaming on a 24" monitor, 1920x1200 resolution. Multi-GPU setups should help me out. And right now, I'm looking at a Sapphire HD 3870 X2. Should suit me well... at least until the HD 4870 X2 comes out. :) 
April 13, 2008 12:17:28 AM

ATI isn't at its best right now. hd3870 is only as fast as a 9600gt, for higher price. hd3870x2 is far more expensive, but only perform slightly better than a 8800gtx, or overclocked g92 8800gts. It has some compatibility problems too, like crushing UT3 at any resolution when antialiasing is enabled.

With hd4000s coming fast, this is a bad time to go expensive on ati. Supposedly, the hd4000s is ati's cure for Nvidia domination recently and take back the graphics market, meaning it should offer good performance value. If that's the case, your relatively weak hd3000s cards will devalue fast.
April 13, 2008 1:02:29 AM

To: epsilon84

Quote:
zpyrd, power consumption is down significantly compared to the Q6600. The TDP may be the same but the Q9450 actually draws less than 65W under load whereas a Q6600 goes close to 95W. The temp differences could come down to temp sensors calibrated differently, btw are you running the same type of cooling on both CPUs?



The cpu cooler and temperature sensor calibration have no relevance to the point expressed in this excerpt from your post:

"The TDP may be the same but the Q9450 actually draws less than 65W under load whereas a Q6600 goes close to 95W."

I will show reasonable doubt of your point by asking five questions.

1) I have two identical cpu's in my hand. One cpu is manufactured using the 65nm lithographic node, the other cpu is manufactured using the 45nm lithographic node. How is cpu power affected using the 45nm lithographic node when compared to the 65nm lithographic node?

2) When a cpu is operated beyond it's specified limit (overclocked) how does it affect cpu power?

3) Does the Intel Q9450 cpu have the same clock frequency as the Q6600 cpu?

4) Does the Intel Q9450 cpu have the same number of transistors as the Q6600 cpu?

5) When the transistor count of a cpu increases how does it affect cpu power?

Do the answers to the questions asked give a reasonable explaination to why Intel gives the same Thermal Design Power specification for the Q6600 cpu and the Q9450 cpu?
April 14, 2008 7:43:56 AM

Re the thing about two cards vs single card i.t.o. bang for buck, if you've got the budget to BUY two cards at a time, you have the budget to REPLACE two cards at a time.
April 14, 2008 2:37:16 PM

nerr said:
I'll be gaming on a 24" monitor, 1920x1200 resolution. Multi-GPU setups should help me out. And right now, I'm looking at a Sapphire HD 3870 X2. Should suit me well... at least until the HD 4870 X2 comes out. :) 

If you're going to be gaming I don't no that the Q9450 will be a good value for you. I just purchased one but that because it has a new instruction set that video editing apps can use making it much faster for that task.

The Q6600 seems to a be an amazing value and if I wasn't doing the editing that's what I'd get.

However, my understanding is that for gaming, you might find better performance/$$$ with a dual core instead of quad core. Since I'm not a big gamer I haven't verified that but I do seem to read it a lot.

April 14, 2008 4:07:22 PM

dagger said:
ATI isn't at its best right now. hd3870 is only as fast as a 9600gt, for higher price. hd3870x2 is far more expensive, but only perform slightly better than a 8800gtx, or overclocked g92 8800gts. It has some compatibility problems too, like crushing UT3 at any resolution when antialiasing is enabled.

With hd4000s coming fast, this is a bad time to go expensive on ati. Supposedly, the hd4000s is ati's cure for Nvidia domination recently and take back the graphics market, meaning it should offer good performance value. If that's the case, your relatively weak hd3000s cards will devalue fast.


Actually one thing you are not considering is that if he gets a single HD 3870 or an HD 3870 X2, when the HD 4K series are released if he still wants more processing power he can buy another card and use it in unison with his current HD 3k cards, unlike nvidia's SLI approach, which in my mind justifies the costs a little when comparing multi-GPU solutions. I guess what I'm saying is... if you're considering multi-GPU setups even if nvidia is faster now, Ati will be better in the long run because you'll be able to pair your HD 3870 with whatever HD 4K cards they release.
April 14, 2008 4:38:10 PM

emp said:
Actually one thing you are not considering is that if he gets a single HD 3870 or an HD 3870 X2, when the HD 4K series are released if he still wants more processing power he can buy another card and use it in unison with his current HD 3k cards, unlike nvidia's SLI approach, which in my mind justifies the costs a little when comparing multi-GPU solutions. I guess what I'm saying is... if you're considering multi-GPU setups even if nvidia is faster now, Ati will be better in the long run because you'll be able to pair your HD 3870 with whatever HD 4K cards they release.


I would still be hesitant untill I see HOW good this works.
April 14, 2008 4:47:32 PM

B-Unit said:
I would still be hesitant untill I see HOW good this works.



Not good. Due to the nature of dual gpu processing, tasks are divided by exactly half, which means the faster card will be pulled down in performance by the slower card. Sli/crossfire setup can only go as fast as the slowest gpu.
April 14, 2008 5:22:43 PM

I think ATI's offerings are a great long-term choice. You can get a 3870x2 now, then grab another in a few months when they're much cheaper (or even wait as long as a sale like Black Friday). That would be a heck of a $/performance boost, especially as drivers mature and more games provide better support for multi-gpu systems. Or even just a single 3870, nice to have the option.

About the processors, I think you'll be fine for a long time overclocking any of those quads past 3.0ghz. 3ghz is plenty fast for gaming, and the quad will only provide better performance as more games come out that can take advantage of the all the cores. That said, if you can find the Q9300 for the sameish price as the Q6600, I'd probably take the Q9300 for the lower power consumption and less heat, and like the xibitlabs reviews shows, it's on average 7% faster still than the Q6600.


April 14, 2008 6:02:25 PM

B-Unit said:
I would still be hesitant untill I see HOW good this works.



AMD wouldn't promise something and then not deliver it.... (cough... QuadFX Upgrade... cough...)
April 15, 2008 3:47:36 PM

780i? BMW makes 'em that big?
April 17, 2008 7:28:17 PM

dagger said:
Not good. Due to the nature of dual gpu processing, tasks are divided by exactly half, which means the faster card will be pulled down in performance by the slower card. Sli/crossfire setup can only go as fast as the slowest gpu.


That's true with SLI but not with crossfireX.
The faster GPU will just render a bigger part of the frame.
I'm not saying it's gonna be faster than SLI, this is just the way it works.
April 17, 2008 9:11:33 PM

tjoepie said:
That's true with SLI but not with crossfireX.
The faster GPU will just render a bigger part of the frame.
I'm not saying it's gonna be faster than SLI, this is just the way it works.


I heard about that, but looking at benchmark performance of uneven crossfire setup, the compensation don't go very far. If the new hd4000s card outperform the hd3000s enough to win over nvidia, the difference between them would be too high.
April 18, 2008 3:38:05 AM

The Q9450 is a 2.66 ghz processor whereas the Q6600 is a 2.4 ghz processor...


Shouldnt' you be comparing the Q9450 to Q6700?

While I'm on the topic how come the Q6700 is like 200 dollars more than the Q9450?
April 18, 2008 12:31:09 PM

Shocking said:
The Q9450 is a 2.66 ghz processor whereas the Q6600 is a 2.4 ghz processor...


Shouldnt' you be comparing the Q9450 to Q6700?

While I'm on the topic how come the Q6700 is like 200 dollars more than the Q9450?


An excellent point. I did read somewhere that, clock-for-clock, the Q9450 is 7-10% faster than a similarly-clocked Q6660, but I couldn't tell you where that was.

For that matter, the Q9550 is a full $200 more than the Q9450 for a whole extra 170 mhz. I wonder how many of those will actually be sold...?
April 18, 2008 11:20:57 PM

theres a lot of people who don't think logically that can still assemble a computer... I know, I used to be one.
April 19, 2008 12:48:36 AM

Spending more money makes people happy. Is there really a difference between 120 and 125fps? For people who are happier when they see the 125 on FRAPS, there is.
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