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Hey CPU gurus, I need your sagely advice!

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April 18, 2008 5:29:06 AM

I'm building a new machine and originally was heavily interested in a quad core extreme... my bank account told me different though and am now looking into Q9450s.

I plan on slightly overclocking my Q9450 to maybe 2.8ghz or at most 3.0 (I'll be running a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU cooler, not sure if it can handle the 3.0 load)

My question is basically since I don't want to uber overclock (the q6600 would probably work out better for that) is the Q9450 a good investment?


Planning on this mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This CPU cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The stock speed for the Q6600 is only 2.4 versus the 2.66 on the Q9450 which is why I'm wondering.

Thanks for reading and any advice you can give :) 

P.S. I should add I've never overclocked before and I hear theres a program that comes with gigabyte motherboards (called Easy Tune I believe) that helps you do it easier than messing with bios directly. (I get the math part, just dont understand the voltage part :p )
April 18, 2008 5:55:35 AM

stock speed doesnt matter much, the Q9xxx series i would recommend for the sake of less heat, and more cache. Q6600 does great with any quality air cooler to 3GHz, you should be able to hit higher while keeping the heat down with the Q9. Both affordable, both fast.

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April 18, 2008 6:08:47 AM

I think it depends on what your bank account is telling you, again. ;) 

Tbh, both are great chips. You will get slightly more out of a Q9 of course but Im not really sure you will keep it long enough to tell the difference.

Go with what you can truly afford and be happy you have a faster system than 97% of the population...


P.S. You need to forget about overclocking with software. You can get 3.0Ghz with the Q6600 by simply cranking the fsb to 1333 and you dont have to mess with the voltage. Mine is running very stable at that setting. You can do it. When you get ready post here and someone will walk u thru it. :bounce: 
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April 18, 2008 7:34:56 AM

I would go for the Q6600, based on price and availability.
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April 18, 2008 8:05:04 AM

That was how I based my decision and I went with the Q6600 for 199.99.
April 18, 2008 1:38:36 PM

I got the q6600 for $200. I'm using the same Xigmatek cooler, and it handles 3.6 just fine (though warmer weather and my refusal to turn on a/c yet will probably make me keep it at 3.2 just to keep it below 50C load).

My thought process was that the price was great, and this cpu will last me until I want to switch platforms to Nehelem next year. What game or app will come out this year that the q6600 can't handle? Probably none. How much performance advantage is the 9450? Some, but not worth it price/performance-wise to me. (75% higher price vs. ~10-12% performance best-case scenario)

If, however, you're looking to stick with a build for the next couple of years and want something you'll be happy with for the long term, perhaps the q9450 is worth its price. The good news is, there is no wrong answer, you'll have a great cpu either way.
April 18, 2008 1:43:33 PM

all i can say if is go with the new technology, i would say that you shoudl go with the q9300 before you go with teh q6600. having used the q9300 i'm compleatly impressed by it. and i canonly imagine the q9450 to be that + more greatness.
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April 18, 2008 3:27:46 PM

englandr753 said:
I think it depends on what your bank account is telling you, again. ;) 

Go with what you can truly afford and be happy you have a faster system than 97% of the population...




Wow, I think thats the first time I have quoted myself. You could spend another 160.00 and be faster than 97.5% of the population if you want... :sol: 


April 18, 2008 3:48:15 PM

As most people said, get the Q6600 and your free OC to 3G with that cooler. I don't like the push pin mounting, but I haven't heard any complaints on that cooler.

In BIOS MIT page
Manually set PCIe to "100"
Manually set FSB to "333"
Manually set ram to "2" FOR DDR2 667 OR "2.4" FOR DDR2 800

After it posts go back and tighten the RAM timings to the SPD in CPUZ


Never use any windows program to set your OC, they are a joke.
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a c 197 K Overclocking
April 18, 2008 4:04:47 PM

I have a Q6600 in an EP35-DS3P running at 3.3 GHz with an Ultra 120 Extreme. CPU is overvolted from 1.2625 volts to 1.3125 volts. One core kept dropping out of Prime95 until I raised FSB voltage 0.1 volt. After 24 hours of Prime95, core temps go toabout 55 C.

My particular chip needs about 1.42 volts to run at 3.6 GHz. Core temps are just under 70 C under load - too high for me.
April 18, 2008 11:30:38 PM

My only problem with using a Q6600 and OC'ing to the same amount as the Q9450 would be (probably around 3.0) is that it will get much warmer and require more cooling, thus make my computer noisier...

I want a comp I can leave on all night if I want to, to download torrents and such, or new game patches (Yes, I play games with gigabyte patches :( )

The rest of my setup in case you're wondering how quiet it will be besides that:

Antec 900 (damn you newegg for not having these anymore)
Gigabyte mobo: P35C-DS3R
4gb G.Skill PC2-8000 1000mhz DDR2 RAM
Barracuda 7200.10 320gb HDD
74gb Raptor (I know, I know...)
PC Power & Cooling 610W Silencer (heard awesome things about this PSU)
pioneer dvdr/combo
9800GTX
bluegear 7.1 sound card

might even buy some sound dampening materials (saw the reviews on toms for these) if the computer ends up being particularly noisy.

This is my Age of Conan rig :p 

Oh and I bought some Arctic Silver 5... I heard its better than standard thermal paste?
April 19, 2008 5:10:41 AM

bump? :( 

Will it make my computer much noisier?
April 19, 2008 1:25:02 PM

The Q6600 does run hotter, but your temps and noise level will depend on the exact cooler you use. Just buy a good aftermarket cooler and you will have lower temps while overclocked and still remain quiet with a low RPM 120mm fan. If you want to OC beyond 3.0GHz, you should not use the Intel retail cooler anyway.

Oh, and yes Artic Silver 5 is good to use, and lapping can also help lower temps.

!