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9950 Phenom vs Q6600

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August 30, 2008 3:23:30 PM

I am looking to build a mid-level gaming/programming rig within the next 3 weeks for the release of Warhammer Online (I currently have no desktop computer). I was speccing parts and leaning toward a Q6600. However, I saw this deal on NewEgg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . The price seemed competitive with the best prices I found on the Q6600, and it comes with a $60 discount (i.e. free) on the Antec 300 case.

If I overclock either processor, I will not be looking to push them too hard.

1) If both processors are the same price, which is the better value?

2) If the Phenom comes with a combo offer that is $30 better than the Q6600, which processor is the better value?

3) Are there any hidden costs that would come with the Phenom over the Q6600 (for instance: more expensive mobo would be necessary, more expensive after-market cooler, would need a better PSU, etc)?

4) Any general thoughts on whether or not this will still be a good deal if I wait 2 weeks before I buy parts? Any other thoughts about whether or not this is a good deal)?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

More about : 9950 phenom q6600

August 30, 2008 3:28:22 PM

i will get the Q6600 for its great overclocking ability and cooler running less power hungry compare to the 9950.
August 30, 2008 3:32:40 PM

If you get the 9950, you should most definately go with a 790G motherboard to unlock the full potential (either CPU shoudl OC well)
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August 30, 2008 3:39:55 PM

yeah, AMD generally has better MOBO's, so go with them. I saw the exact same price yesterday and I was shocked that it was that low. It was early december last year when I got my 6000+ for $159, and now its down to $93.
August 30, 2008 3:41:33 PM

but clock for clock amd processor is slower then Core 2 CPU.
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2008 3:43:45 PM

I noticed that deal on the Phenom 9950BE too.
What you will want with it is a new motherboard with the 750 Southbridge chip.There is a selection of 790GX boards out there right now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I would choose the ASUS board myself

Now there is only one 790FX board available right now with the 750SB but more will be coming.I've heard that an ASUS one will be available soon.

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

The Intel Q6600 over clocks better than the AMD 9950BE however the 750 Southbridge Chips have improved the situation somewhat for AMD.
Generally AMD based motherboards are less expensive than Intel Motherboards.The 9950BE comes with really nice CPU cooler however if you're planning on over clocking it's best to get an aftermarket cooler for either the Q6600 or the 9950BE.


a b à CPUs
August 30, 2008 3:52:13 PM

I think that with the 750 SB the 9950BE will go up to 3.4 Ghz on air overclocked.
August 30, 2008 3:58:20 PM

well the Q6600 can go upto 3.6Ghz on the OLD P35 if you ask.
August 30, 2008 4:00:43 PM

Q6600 and a P45 mobo, can't go wrong
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2008 4:04:49 PM

iluvgillgill said:
well the Q6600 can go upto 3.6Ghz on the OLD P35 if you ask.


True the Q6600 is a great system to go by.
But the 9950BE has gone down in price so either way the OP would be happy with either system.
Build a 9950BE system or build a Q6600 system you will be happy.
August 30, 2008 4:10:06 PM

jj463rd said:
The 9950BE comes with really nice CPU cooler however if you're planning on over clocking it's best to get an aftermarket cooler for either the Q6600 or the 9950BE.


Heh.. wasn't aware that the B/E came with HS. But I double check on the 1st link: Cooling device not included - Processor Only

So you will have to buy a 3rd party HS, which shouldn't be a big deal.

The DFI MB I got was $139 bucks and the Gigabyte matches the price. But it would be interesting if someone got some personal reviews on how high it can clock.

I see both as pretty well matched, but then even for me OC to 3.6ghz, that is abit too hot fer me. Maybe I'll save that OC fer winter. :lol: 
August 30, 2008 4:15:18 PM

Personally, I would go with the Q6600, clock it to 3.2GHz at default settings on a Gigabyte board. I have AMD systems as well, and I find they are much more difficult to get a reliable overclock on. A decent aftermarket cooler such as the Xigmatek S1283 or the OCZ Vendetta 2 is a good investment regardless of which processor you choose, I prefer the OCZ for its slightly better cooling, with either cooler get the Xigmatek Crossbow retention accessory, it will make your life easier on installation and gives you slightly better cooling performance out of either cooler.
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2008 4:18:47 PM

Grimmy said:
Heh.. wasn't aware that the B/E came with HS. But I double check on the 1st link: Cooling device not included - Processor Only

So you will have to buy a 3rd party HS, which shouldn't be a big deal.

The DFI MB I got was $139 bucks and the Gigabyte matches the price. But it would be interesting if someone got some personal reviews on how high it can clock.

I see both as pretty well matched, but then even for me OC to 3.6ghz, that is abit too hot fer me. Maybe I'll save that OC fer winter. :lol: 


I think that it is a typo.If an AMD processor says BOX on the end of
HD995ZFAGHBOX then it comes with a heatsink and fan.
I got one with my 9850BE CPU.It was really a pretty nice CPU cooler with copper pipes although I opted to get an aftermarket Zalman 9700NT CPU heatsink and fan.
August 30, 2008 4:20:48 PM

Interesting. Going back to that link, it does say:

Model HD995ZFAGHBOX

Must be a typo somewhere if you indeed got a HSF.
August 30, 2008 4:26:50 PM

But... in that review, they list the AMD chipset RD790, which is paired with the SB600, instead of SB750?
August 30, 2008 4:35:35 PM

rfatcheric said:
That link compares a 9550 to an extreme intel quad... And it barely beats the 9550.... I'll take the 9550 based on that comparison any day.


Because Crysis is not CPU intensive?

http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/14424/1

This should be much more conclusive than Expreview's benchmarks.
August 30, 2008 5:07:40 PM

i just noticed that the 9850BE is on sale for $180...wow...well I would go for a phenom just because the overall budget build would end up cheaper than the intel one and would still provide more than enough processing power for me...with the saved money, I could spend it on other parts of the computer, such as gpu, cpu cooler, ram, or whatever...
August 30, 2008 5:23:56 PM

Q6600 is the better choice. Price is not a consideration, since the $179.99 price tag for q6600 is only $3 more than $176.99 for 9950BE:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some people have been able to push 9950BE to 3.4ghz, but it's not the typical oc. The cpu is too much overvolted and somewhat shaky at that point. That compared to 3.6ghz for q6600 that's rock stable and very often used. The q6600 can push to 4ghz, at which point it's about as overvolted and shaky as 3.4ghz 9950BE.

As for performance per ghz, here are benchmarks between a stock 2.4ghz q6600 and stock 2.6ghz 9950. q6600 wins overwhelming majority of tests despite lower clock rate. So it definitely does more work per cycle.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/4/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/5/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/6/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/7/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/8/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/9/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/10/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/11/

And since it also overclocks higher, q6600 clearly has higher final performance after oc.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/12/
The pro-benchmarkers managed 3ghz for 9950, which is somewhat typical oc, just like 3.6ghz for q6600. While some have been able to push it to 3.4ghz, it's rather shaky and more like 4ghz for q6600. Not to be counted on for everyday operation.

9950 consumes more power for less performance:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/13/

As for AMD having better chipset motherboards, it's not as valid a reason as it used to be. Modern p43/45 chipset boards can perform on par with the best, while costing as little as $75:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
August 30, 2008 5:40:45 PM

i think its pretty clear that people who buy new should go for a Q6600 in this case. for those who are on AMD platform already should get the 9950 instead,
August 30, 2008 5:43:41 PM

iluvgillgill said:
i think its pretty clear that people who buy new should go for a Q6600 in this case. for those who are on AMD platform already should get the 9950 instead,


True, although if you plan to overclock, the difference in performance can be significant enough to justify spending $75 more on a p43 motherboard. :p 
August 30, 2008 5:55:10 PM

yes i know when Overclock the memory latency and speed will be narrowed by the OCed Intel. so i would say when OCed the AMD hold no advantage at all.
August 30, 2008 5:58:43 PM

jj463rd said:
I think that with the 750 SB the 9950BE will go up to 3.4 Ghz on air overclocked.


Hi..
May i ask ur source on this?? Since AnandTech did a huge review on this thing.. And they found that the SB750 DOES improve overclocking headroom, however its not a guarantee.. Also, the voltages required to reach 3.4 is a lot higher than the q6600..
The 9950 is a great chip, but I think the average overclock u can expect wud be around 3 to 3.2ghz.. That with a good cooler and lot of moving air..
August 30, 2008 6:00:37 PM

iluvgillgill said:
yes i know when Overclock the memory latency and speed will be narrowed by the OCed Intel. so i would say when OCed the AMD hold no advantage at all.


You have to keep in mind that those "advantages" are only in theory, and did not actually reflect benchmark performance. The bottom line is, the 9950 is slower regardless, and those are just wasted on the slow cpu. According to benchmarks, AMD held no advantage before oc, and it certainly doesn't after.
August 30, 2008 6:02:42 PM

^yes i know but i dont wanna be too pessimistic about AMD because people might know me for anti-AMD for some reason. but i was telling the truth anyway people just think im a intel fanboy:( 
August 30, 2008 6:06:30 PM

@cmashwin
You're right, the 3.4ghz oc for 9950 I mentioned is certainly not average. I was just cutting the 9950 A LOT of slack just so no one can argue that I'm being unfairly biased against AMD. In reality, to get it up to 3.4ghz is quite a bit harder than pushing q6600 to 4ghz.
August 30, 2008 6:08:05 PM

ahslan said:
i just noticed that the 9850BE is on sale for $180...wow...well I would go for a phenom just because the overall budget build would end up cheaper than the intel one and would still provide more than enough processing power for me...with the saved money, I could spend it on other parts of the computer, such as gpu, cpu cooler, ram, or whatever...



How so? Phenom 9850BE requires 790FX or 790GX to function, which easily costs 150USD (according to AMD's website). Unless of course you go for crappy Nvidia chipset, which is around 80~100USD. On the other hand, you can pair Q6600 with anything, including Intel 965 chipset. A much better P35 board can be had for around 80USD.

So now it actually costs more to go for AMD's solution, which is slower, dissipates more heat, and consumes more power.
August 30, 2008 6:13:07 PM

yomamafor1 said:
Because Crysis is not CPU intensive?

http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/14424/1

This should be much more conclusive than Expreview's benchmarks.


I'm not saying the q6600 isn't better, I'm saying that if you're going to make the argument that it is better, dont use an extreme quad and a bad test platform to back up your claims.

I'm a huge AMD supporter, but I currently have an intel chip in my tower, because thats what seems best for the money at the moment.
August 30, 2008 6:19:00 PM

well i checked out prices for p45 mobos and realized that ur right man...the prices are about the same as th 790GX mobos...so I guess I would have to revert me original statement...
August 30, 2008 6:23:47 PM

dagger said:
Q6600 is the better choice. Price is not a consideration, since the $179.99 price tag for q6600 is only $3 more than $176.99 for 9950BE:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some people have been able to push 9950BE to 3.4ghz, but it's not the typical oc. The cpu is too much overvolted and somewhat shaky at that point. That compared to 3.6ghz for q6600 that's rock stable and very often used. The q6600 can push to 4ghz, at which point it's about as overvolted and shaky as 3.4ghz 9950BE.

As for performance per ghz, here are benchmarks between a stock 2.4ghz q6600 and stock 2.6ghz 9950. q6600 wins overwhelming majority of tests despite lower clock rate. So it definitely does more work per cycle.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/4/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/5/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/6/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/7/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/8/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/9/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/10/
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/11/

And since it also overclocks higher, q6600 clearly has higher final performance after oc.
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/12/
The pro-benchmarkers managed 3ghz for 9950, which is somewhat typical oc, just like 3.6ghz for q6600. While some have been able to push it to 3.4ghz, it's rather shaky and more like 4ghz for q6600. Not to be counted on for everyday operation.

9950 consumes more power for less performance:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/735/13/

As for AMD having better chipset motherboards, it's not as valid a reason as it used to be. Modern p43/45 chipset boards can perform on par with the best, while costing as little as $75:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...


rfatcheric said:
I'm not saying the q6600 isn't better, I'm saying that if you're going to make the argument that it is better, dont use an extreme quad and a bad test platform to back up your claims.

I'm a huge AMD supporter, but I currently have an intel chip in my tower, because thats what seems best for the money at the moment.


I already linked benchmarks of stock 9950@2.6ghz vs stock q6600@2.4ghz, and the q6600 outperforms it on overwhelming majority of cases despite being lower clocked. Check them out.
August 30, 2008 6:25:36 PM

Here is a Slick Deal for the 9950 BE.
You can get a Free Antec 300 Case.
http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?sduid=34929...

At Stock the 9950 is about the same as the Q6600
(The 9950 runs faster but the Q6600 does more per clock.)

The Q6600 will also OC better.

With the 9950BE you need an aftermarket CPU cooler, but if you are going to get one for the Q6600 (needed to OC much) then this is not an issue.

If going 9950BE be sure to get a Mobo that specifically supports 140w Quads.
a b à CPUs
August 30, 2008 6:26:19 PM

Either cpu would be fine but If i was you I would go with Intel. You said you if you overclock the cpu you wont be pushing them to hard. The G0 version of the q6600 fits that perfect. Most of them will do 3GHZ on stock volts. Just by upping the fsb to 333. The motherboards can be very cheap for the intel actually. I always see people go on and on about AMD boards are cheaper but its nonsense. Your going to need or at least want basically the top end board for the phenom while the intel board could be a old p965 or something like a GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L for 85 bucks.

With the phenom it is also a good idea to get DD2 1066ram.

Either way the systems should end up costing close to each other. They peform about the same for most tasks. The intel uses less power and overclocks easy. But if you can save the 60 bucks and get the free case you cant go wrong there either.
August 30, 2008 6:31:13 PM

@dagger..
That clears it up :) 
But, dont get me wrong.. BOTH are great chips.. But from performance, price and overclocking perspectives, (FOR A NEW SYSTEM), the Intel route seems to be better now..
And also, about the new SB750, please wait a bit and do some research (google it up), before jumping the bandwagon.. Anandtech has reported some problems and clearly they are still stumped about HOW the SB750 ACTUALLY works.. So just to be safe, hang back for a while..
August 30, 2008 6:46:18 PM

i think the best combo will be Q6600 with a P35 because the CPU will max out on a P35 without the needs of P45's High FSB capability. but of course if budget allow get the P45 always.
August 30, 2008 6:48:23 PM

iluvgillgill said:
i think the best combo will be Q6600 with a P35 because the CPU will max out on a P35 without the needs of P45's High FSB capability. but of course if budget allow get the P45 always.


The price difference isn't that big. P43 starts at $75, $65 if you count in mir, P45 starts at $90, so why stick with the lower performing p35, which is going out of production soon.
August 30, 2008 7:15:05 PM

people needs that few bucks you know.
August 30, 2008 7:21:50 PM

iluvgillgill said:
people needs that few bucks you know.


I'm not seeing any savings there. The cheapest p35 is $65, same as p43 after mir. The second cheapest p35 is $80.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
Older hardware that are being phased out tend to cost more because they're becoming increasing rare.
August 30, 2008 7:35:04 PM

meh its just newegg.its totally different for UK here.
August 30, 2008 7:36:02 PM

if you are not updating the cpu within a year buy phenom 9950 as it can support sse4 newer instructions which are going to be used in future games and give more performance then sse3.

if not q6600 is very fine
August 30, 2008 7:41:00 PM

Q6600 can always offset by its better performance clock/clock. SSE4 will never make a big impact. leave the 9950.
a b à CPUs
August 31, 2008 5:07:48 AM

Actually considering that the combo deal comes with a free $60 case it's a pretty good deal.Considering the price of the 9950BE @ $177 - the $60 case
that comes to $117 for the processor.
I found this video which shows the heatsink and fan which comes with the 9950BE.You will see the heatsink and fan at 2.00 minutes in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No6EbLcTspE

The heatsink and fan is probably worth $25 so if you subtract $25 from the $117 figure your getting the CPU for only $92

August 31, 2008 5:20:21 AM

Really is no reason to get a P35 for a new build, at all. Considering the P43/P45's have comparable prices AND offer PCIe2.0 and Crossfire........Dont think its worth saving $5-$15 by buying a board that has been succeded and is on its last days of production.
August 31, 2008 6:06:31 AM

Grimmy said:
Heh.. wasn't aware that the B/E came with HS. But I double check on the 1st link: Cooling device not included - Processor Only

So you will have to buy a 3rd party HS, which shouldn't be a big deal.

The DFI MB I got was $139 bucks and the Gigabyte matches the price. But it would be interesting if someone got some personal reviews on how high it can clock.

I see both as pretty well matched, but then even for me OC to 3.6ghz, that is abit too hot fer me. Maybe I'll save that OC fer winter. :lol: 


Yeah he's right, every Phenom BE I've bought has came with that HSF unit in the box. Actually a pretty capable cooler for a stock cooler, and quiet. When I built the X2 4200+ 65w system for my mother I used that heatsink that came with my 9600be on it. Runs at 35c idle, and about 37c load, 4pin PWM fan barely even needs to spin up with that proc. Only reason it idles that high is because I've got the min heat PWM setting set to that in the bios.

dagger said:
You have to keep in mind that those "advantages" are only in theory, and did not actually reflect benchmark performance. The bottom line is, the 9950 is slower regardless, and those are just wasted on the slow cpu. According to benchmarks, AMD held no advantage before oc, and it certainly doesn't after.


Hmmm, Lets see, we all know Excel uses a lot of integer math, intel procs have always been better at Integer math. A lot of the other benches were close or in favor of the 9950. Thats going by the legit reviews one. Not to mention performance on the k9a2 plat can change just by using a different bios. That and they were using DDR2 800, and not 1066, that will also make a difference.

dagger said:
I already linked benchmarks of stock 9950@2.6ghz vs stock q6600@2.4ghz, and the q6600 outperforms it on overwhelming majority of cases despite being lower clocked. Check them out.


Are we even reading the same benchmark results?

You can actually get the FoxConn 790gx board for around $130.

This Combo deal with the MSI 790gx board + 9950be isn't bad either http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Just watch out with that since MSI bios support can be hit and miss when it comes to good OCing options. OC ability has changed depending on the bios with the k9a2 plat for example.

If you were already leaning towards Q6600 though, there is nothing wrong with those either. Either way you'll probably be happy.
August 31, 2008 1:12:31 PM

Biostar TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX is only $99 Free shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and you get $30 off with the 9950BE. I own this motherboard. It's a good board, the onboard ati 3300 video card is pretty good as well. It's no 4870 but it's nice for free. They did do a bad job with the design layout. They made the primary PCIe slot on the bottom and the slave on top. Which means if you put a big card in it like the 4870, the fan case will block 1 of the pci slots, and make is a tight fit for the card in the last one PCI Slot. Which could also block air flow to the fan. But it does have 2 PCIe x 1 slots above the card so you could still use a sound card there. Personally, the onboard sound is just fine to me though.

So. that's a 9950BE and Board for about $250, plus the AM3's will be able to run on this board as well. So future upgradability too. The 3300 can play most of the games out there. It played every game I tried. CS, Trackmania, GRID. GRID was on low, but it still looked good.

I had bought the 5400BE this Biostar board Autooverclocked it to 2.8 to 3.22ghz was running 90F underload, so it running very cool, I haven't tried to push the board anymore then that. But I didn't have one single problem setting it up and running it. Windows XP Pro 32bit. 2gigs 800mhz ram. WD 640 HD.

I'm a computer technician. All of my computer are intel's. But I still believe AMD has the more mature motherboard. It's very hard to pick a Intel board, Most them seem to have issues. Also, isn't the 775 Socket basically dead now. At least with the AM2+ you still have a chance to upgrade to AM3.

Like I said, I use Intel, but I tend to build and sell AMD's, and for some reason, they always feel faster to me, then my intel's.

In most cases though, you won't be able to tell the difference between a q6600 and a 9950BE only the benchmark is going to say one's faster then the other. But while playing a game, it will rely more on the GPU in most cases, and less on the CPU. So, the CPU won't matter that much either way. Unless your running low resolutions, but still either should be plenty fast enough to get the job done.

Right now, I'm looking at buying this combo. It's cheap, well made, and fast, and you can still upgrade to future cpu's.

All this talk about Watts... You could run your computer 24/7 for a month, and probably wouldn't cost $10. I think it's more like 5 or so. I'm not going to jump up and down over that. Just make sure you motherboard can support the cpu of your choice and go with it.

September 1, 2008 2:54:42 PM

Thanks a lot for the input everyone. I did not expect such a huge response. Based on the suggestions here, I decided to wait a while longer and see how the Q6600 prices shake out after labor day.
a c 108 à CPUs
September 1, 2008 3:15:18 PM

I would ten to pick the Foxconn AMD 790gx over the Biostar (though both are good choices) - it's only $25 more but has better cooling.

I believe the Foxconn 790gx was the mobo used at Anandtech in their preview. IIRC Gary got 3GHz CPU and 2600MHz NB/IMC at stock volts with the Phenom 9950BE.

If you stick with Intel consider a 45nm quad over the Q6600. SSE4 (as opposed to some comments here) is important and may well be utilized in your programming activity.

!