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Q9550 and q9450 rig suggestions anyone?

Last response: in CPUs
June 7, 2008 4:19:04 PM

Hi all,

I'm trying to decide whether to get the q9450 or the q9550. I'm wanting to get lightening fast pop up/load times (i hate waiting for things to load), I use 6/7 int explorer windows at a time, burn dvds, watch videos/ dvd's, you tube etc and will have vista ultimate (not really going to be using for games). I'm also wondering what's better, to have 4GIG (4x1) ram at 1333mghz or same at 800mgz and wondering about video cards too (is geforce gts 8800 the best value?) - by the way i've only started learning about rigs in the last week so doubt I'll be getting into overclocking just yet - any advice would be great : )
June 7, 2008 4:54:12 PM

If money is not an issue, get the Q9550. It has a higher multiplier and is faster at stock and, due to the higher multi, will overclock better, should you be entertaining that. I'd surmise that 4 sticks @ 1.33Ghz would be better faster than 4 @ .8Ghz...but my logic might be flawed.

I don't think its cost effective yet to get DDR3...stick with DDR2 for today. If you've got $$ to burn get 8GB instead of 4GB for use on your 64bit operating system (hint, hint).

In my experience there is a perceptible performance difference between 4 and 8GB on a 64 bit OS. If you're sticking with 32bit for now just stick with the 4GB.

Hopefully, the video card enthusiasts will chime in too. Good luck.
June 7, 2008 5:27:16 PM

to keep it short abt video card, YES! u got it right.. its a great vid card!! and shud handle ur needs!! But, if u need the bleeding edge,and money not an issue, hold on just a little longer for newer card from both ati and nvidia..

PS.. if u plan to overclock, get 1333mhz ram, if not, stick with 800mhz.. There is no noticable performance difference.. Just a very slight gain in benchmarks.. not really worth it, if u not gonna overclock beyond 400mhz or 1600FSB..
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June 7, 2008 9:14:47 PM

if its not for games, then there is no need for anything as powerful as an 8800gts, you could save some money with an 8600 gt or something similar
June 7, 2008 9:36:39 PM

I'd go for the Q9550 and then get a 2x2 set of DDR2-800 ram. Then if you decide to get more ram later, you just add another 2x2 kit and you have a full 8 gig. Patriot is starting to come out with some DDR3 ram that is getting closer to reasonable, but its still about twice the cost of DDR2-800. That said, if you have the budget for it, DDR3 ram, with the appropriate mobo, is the path to the future.

As to video cards, the 8800 GTS 512 is a good card. So is the HD 3870, whcih is a bit cheaper the last I looked. It all depends on what you're doing.

Definitely get a 64 bit OS. There is no good reason to use a 32 bit OS on a modern computer.
June 8, 2008 3:22:15 AM

Go for the Q9550, should be a good choice. Get a decent cooler if you are planning to overclock, probably the TRUE.
June 8, 2008 5:01:50 AM

I would choose Q9450. No big difference anyway. Save money for Nehalem!
June 8, 2008 5:12:18 AM

Thankyou to everyone who has replied so far, that info helps a lot! Looks like I'll go with the Q9550 and 8 GIG of RAM (if it makes any perceivable difference in speed with loading times etc it's worth the $'s to me) plus the GTS 8800 (a hundred bucks difference in price seems worth it for GTS over the GT) - in regard to the 1333 vs 800 ghz RAM... wouldnt the 1333ghz marry up to the 1333 FSB capability on the Q9550? Forgive me ignorance here, just trying to get my head around it all - and is the FSB speed determined by the CPU or the board or the RAM support or something else? I definatley want my FSB running at 1333 (if possible to do without getting into overclocking) - again any opinions/ comments would be greatly appreciated : )
June 8, 2008 5:26:17 AM

just had another thought (s)... does having (8x1) gig ram make the systems faster than having (4x2) gig ram and I've been reading about the 975X express chipset - what sort of chipset should I have for super quick performance if running 8gig ram with the Q9550?
June 8, 2008 5:38:27 AM

one more question if anyone will answer it for me - halcyon and sailer mentioned the 64bit OS - is that referring to the ' bus highways' between the CPU and RAM? If so, what do I buy to ensure I have that 64bit 'channel' I read that you can only get 64 ghz highways on some home servers so I gave up on that idea - but having that 64 bus seemed like one of the most obvious things I should have to avoid bottlenecks between the CPU and RAM - I would pay a fair bit of $ for 64 bus between the cpu and ram... would even better to have more than 64, anyone know of these things?? : ))
June 8, 2008 10:29:12 AM

When we mention a 64bit OS, we mean a 64bit operating system (i.e., Vista 64bit or XP Pro 64bit). It is the opinion of many that 64bit operating systems (that support for googobs and googobs of RAM, amongst other things) are the way of the future. With a 64bit OS the OS can use all of the 4+GB of RAM as opposed to a 32bit OS using 3-3.5GB of RAM out of 4+GB. Simply stated.

The Q9450 and Q9550 run on a 1333Mhz front side bus (or 1.3Ghz, as I sometimes like to write) natively. Unless you're going with the inexplicably (IMO) more expensive DDR3, your RAM won't likely be doing 1.3Ghz, however.

DDR3 is, at a relaxed pace, dropping in price. So if you're set on having the state-of-the-art, regardless of price, that's the way of the immediate future. Good DDR2 (that can run signifcantly faster than 800Mhz) can be had for wonderful prices today. So I'd say that is something to take serious note of.

If you can purchase the Q9550 it'll give you more speed and more overclocking room but it is significantly more expensive for the potential performance gain.
June 8, 2008 11:01:20 AM

Stick to 4X2GB ram, no need for P975X chipset.

Indeed, the 8800GTS is the best value, but if you don't plan on gaming at all, there's no need for it. You could go for a 9600GT, as it serves your needs.
June 8, 2008 12:08:56 PM

you dont need ram over 800mhz if you dont plan on even get the full bandwidth from the 800mhz ram your FSB would have to be set at 1600mhz...and its 1333mhz want DDR2 with LOW 4-4-4-12...there is no reason to by DDR 3 now...even if you have a motherboard that supports it you get MINIMAL single digits or percentile its a big rip off right now...people may say, go ahead and get the DDR 3 then you can use it with not listen to them...when Nehalem comes out the DDR3 ram will be twice as fast and like half the price...dont even think about a 975X chipset...its like 18 months old....if you only plan on using 1 video card you need a P35 or P45 chipset...and if you wanna save money the P35 will be just fine...the P45 has JUST been released but really isnt worth the price difference...if you plan on using 2 video cards in a Crossfire setup which is with an ATI(AMD) video card then you should get an X38 or X48 will be fine with X38...but if you have the extra cash then you can get the X48....if you plan on getting an Nvidia video card you will need to get the Nvidia 750i or 780i chipset...but ONLY if your going to run SLI...if not then I would get the P35 or P45 if I was using just 1 card reguardless if its Nvidia or ATI(AMD)

A Q9550($599.99)(2.83Ghz) is $264.00 more bucks than a Q9450($334.99)(2.66Ghz) on zipzoomfly and it is .17ghz faster...are you willing to pay $264.00 for .17Ghz...come on now thats insanity which is probably why newegg doesnt even carry the processor(q9550)...they both have the same cache as well...2x6mb

On the video card it really is worth the wait...the cards Nvidia and ATI(AMD) are releasing this month will be a huge jump in performance and well worth the price...for example the ATI 4870 will probably be between 250-300 and will have about 1.5x the performace of a card that is currently in that price range...the 4850 will be around 200 and well worth it....the Nvidia cards will be $449.99 for the 260 and over $600.00 for the unless you have deep pockets I wouldnt even look at those cards right now...the Nvidia cards come out the 2-3 week of June and the ATI cards come out the final week of at least if you wait for these cards to come out you will see a price drop on the older cards

When your talking about getting the 64 bit channel or whatever...there is no spec you have to look for in current motherboards like the P35, P45, X38, X48...they all have it...and there is no spec to look for in RAM for it just so its DDR2

You should get at least 4 gigs of ram...2x2 or 4x2 if your getting 8 not get ram that has timings above 5-5-5-15.....make sure the volts your ram uses is between 1.8v and 2.2v...and like I said before I would get 4-4-4-12 800mhz ram since you dont plan on overclocking...but if you wanna get faster ram just in case you decide to overclock then I would get 1066mhz with timing of 5-5-5-15 or better(lower numbers=better)...most 1066mhz ram is just factory overclocked 800mhz ram...if you were to overclock I think you would drop your ram to 667mhz to match up with your 1333mhz frontside bus(667x2=1334) then when you increase your frontside bus your ram will go with 1600mhz FSB your ram will be at 800mhz...this is how you must overclock a system....800mhz ram should be able to OC to 900mhz-1000mhz without any trouble just so you get a good brand so you should be safe with 800mhz DDR2
June 8, 2008 12:46:14 PM

Thankyou to all of you for those responses, they are very helpful! Sounds like Vista 64 bit, 8 GIG of RAM (4x2) @ 800mhz (and low speeds) and DDR2 is the way to go, I had considered the point about the Q9450 being a lot cheaper, I guess I was going to go the Q9550 because originally I wanted 3ghz but didn't want to pay the $ difference to upgrade to the QX9650 so I'm already compromising on ghz - the .17ghz gain is still x4 (potentially)... I'm just trying to get a lightening fast system really, feel like compromising down again to 2.66ghz x4 is very sobering compared with 3ghz x4 : ) I guess $ is always a consideration - come to think of it I saw an article on Intel dropping it's prices, here have a look

It says the Q9550 for $316 (I think that's what the 316 is, ie. $'s), which makes it worth it I think, if anyone has any more thoughts on my proposed rig I would greatly appreciate them, thanks again to everyone whose helped me thus far : )
June 8, 2008 12:59:00 PM

Does anyone have any morecommets on 64 bit machines ie. the hardware, I've heard 64 bit machines can create massive/ expodential performance gains (have also heard that you have to have a 64bit machine to run Vista 64)?? When I say 64 machine I mean the bus speed (or whatever it is that transfers data from ram to cpu)...: )
June 8, 2008 1:19:27 PM

I had seen that article maybe a few weeks will be discontinuing the production of the q9450 and q9300...I just dont know when in Q3 this will happen...I guess it just depends on how long your willing to wait to build your system....I overclocked my 2.4ghz e6600 to 3.4ghz and I cannot tell a difference in the 2 speeds unless I am encoding a video because of the amount of time it takes. I can justify the Q9550 at 316.00 but not at 599.99 because you could overclock a q9450 to 3.0ghz on the stock heatsink and fan and most likely without even having to change any of the may be intimidated by the whole overclocking thing but really its very very simple...if you read for about 10 minutes about it you could easily do it...especially since there is software you can use to do it while your on your desktop...and if you go too far your system will just go back to its originally settings
June 8, 2008 1:47:53 PM

Thanks Wormie, that's very interesting about you not noticing much of a difference b/w the speeds (maybe I am too hun up on CPU ghz) - I probably will get into OCing at some point, would be fun I think, the third quarter starts at July 1st so maybe we'll see it then - I saw that yesterday, will probably wait and use the time to research more, get the truly right set-up for me, thanks for your help : )
June 8, 2008 4:07:31 PM

The reason I dont notice it is because things like internet explorer arent cpu in they arent going to put the CPU at 100% load for any extended period of time...for instance it may take 1 second to load a web page with the q9450 clocked at stock speeds(2.66Ghz)...then if you overclock it to 3.66ghz...that page may load in .8 seconds....but lets say if I were encoding a video and it took 5 minutes at might take 3:30-4:00 minutes at 3.66Ghz and thats because the computer is doing something that constantly has a 100% load on the CPU and it is taking it long enough to complete the operation that you can see the advantage of the higher clock speed
June 8, 2008 7:42:05 PM

But overclocking will be easier with the q9550 with the 8.5 multiplier compared to the 8 multiplier on the q9450 even though its not the best price for the cpu. If he has the cash, I would go for the q9550 or maybe wait till Q3 of this year, when prices drop.