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Price/performance processors

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January 23, 2009 1:28:08 AM

I know these threads spread faster than wild fire but its eating at my brain.
I been constantly looking up benchmarks and all and i found this processor.

Q9400 for 229.99 on new egg.

So far i thought i was dead set on getting a E8400 and just overclocking it
because all i want to do with my pc is play video games, and other basic stuff.

I know the dual cores are better for games, and i can push the E8400 to 4ghz easily.
Though, the price for this quad was interesting because of its low heat, FSB, and
starting at 2.6ghz is not bad at all.

I just want the best buy for now/future games.

What does everyone think? Is there a better deal on something else?

I will overclock, but not a insane amount as i see people do, whatever is stable and i know won't significantly shorten the processors life. thanks for any opinions and suggestions.

More about : price performance processors

January 23, 2009 1:37:37 AM

Vos hope ur ready for a fight lol

Imo, I wouldnt get that Q9400. If ur going to go quad with overclocking, u want the Q9550 or 9650 or Q6600 cause of their higher multipliers (8.5, 9, and 9 respectively (still lower than the duals though which is one reason the duals OC better).

But if its between that and an E8400. Grab the 8400. Much higher OC potential. Or get the E5200/7400 which are also amazing for the price
January 23, 2009 1:39:42 AM

Is this processor worth it? Q9650 for 334$

I was looking at reviews and people were takin this thing to 4.0ghz easily o.o

Quad at 4ghz? prolly would dominate for a long time in gaming..

opinion on price and estimated time before i'd have to upgrade just to play the latest games? lol
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January 23, 2009 1:48:12 AM

The new deal on the Q9650 is amazing imo. Its guaranteed E0 stepping which is great for OCing (unlike my pew pew C1 stepping)

If i could dump my Q9550 and grab a Q9650 i would.
Its a 9x multiplier just like the Q6600 and well...enough explained.
January 23, 2009 1:51:01 AM

Think its worth the extra 150$? Honestly i don't mind spending the extra money, waiting a extra paycheck longer, or whatever.

If its performance i will notice, a decision i will not regret.

I also heard that quads are better for RTS, will starcraft II greatly benefit from it? if u read any of my other threads, like i said, im building a pc that i hope will last till end of 2010 at least before upgrading
January 23, 2009 1:52:24 AM

Not only that the Q9650 can overclock to 4GHz just like the E8400.
January 23, 2009 1:55:38 AM

i can see that, i am still just wondering if the 150$ is a good investment for future proofing. I know there is no such thing, i don't want to hear it.

What i mean is will that processor actually last me LONGER than the E8400.
January 23, 2009 1:57:35 AM

Hard to say

If ur down hard, dont want to touch the computer till 2010 then maybe. A dual would probably suffice till then. But i cant predict the future.
As for...longer than the E8400, depends when developers start making software utilize multiple cores.

I probably splurged when it came to my PC and got the quad. Like if u could pocket the money for say a better GPU later...its probably money better spent
January 23, 2009 2:03:00 AM

I am already gonna get the hd 4870 1gb. so i think i am good on the video card department already. I pretty much have my entire computer configuration set up except for the processor.

Lets put it this way, i have a laptop right now.

T9300 @ 2.50ghz, 8600m gt, 4gb of ram.

this thing pisses me off, im tired of the only game i can play good on this thing is counter strike source, but hey my old desktop with a 9800pro and 1gb could run that game on very high. (2.8ghz p4)

I am just starting to get back into the pc game. It would be great to know if i would be getting a dramatic improvement over this over expensive dell crap.

Q9650 looks great, i honestly think with DX11 coming out for windows 7, which is suppose to boost GPU performance with multiple cores, the quad would start to easily out perform the duals. (Especially since they said ANY DX10 card will be supported by DX11 so the 4870 was a great choice there)
January 23, 2009 3:03:10 AM

I'd probably go with the Q9550 instead of the Q9650, little lower multipler & overclock potential, but probably $50+ in savings.
January 23, 2009 3:59:50 AM

i have made up my mind due to the following reasons.

Benchmarks of the Q9650 compared to the E8400, show the
Q9650 just narrowly out performing the E8400. Assuming they run neck and neck when compared at the same ghz even when over clocked. This shows that this cpu is just as high end with games as the Dual core.

So really, later on when games are written for multi-core, this processor should out perform the dual core. Especially when DX11 comes out.

So way i figure it, why not have the best of both worlds. The problem before was Ghz vs. cores
But this way, i can have nearly 4ghz on a quad core and i sacrificed nothing.

Plus the Q9650 does not exeed my budget, bring my pc only to 930, 70$ less than 1k (plus i love how newegg doesn't charge taxes so i know its exact =] )
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January 23, 2009 4:01:12 AM

If you are talking Q9650 for $334, why wouldn't you go ahead with an i7? They can go to 4GHz or better. The mobo and ram is a little more expensive, but you get more processor power too.

This question almost answers itself, and the original question at the same time. If the price of the i7 combo is acceptable, then it is the best futureproofing you can do. If the price is too high, then drop back to the dual core and save the money for the future. It's like if you want more than the dual core then there isn't a good stopping point until you go all the way, and if you can't go all the way then don't go just part way.

Another strategy might be to get the E5200 or E7200 and overclock them as much as you can. You save a lot of money up front and later on you could drop in a 9650 if the price eventually drops farther and you decide you need more cores. This is what I'm considering.
January 23, 2009 4:29:42 AM

E8500 ~$778

Q9650 build ~$923

I7 build ~ $1,147

From every benchmark i have looked at, the Q9650 out performs or matches the i7 940, leaving not much hope for the 920.
I don't mind spending 150$ more from a Dual to a quad for making sure it last a few years. But just cuz you think im going "half way" it justifies another 225$ jump?

I can see justifying 150$, just 375$ for a overkill is not worth it right now to me. I know i can get about 3 years out of the q9650, the i7 would be out dated, and they will prolly have some other Overkill of a processor on the market (I saw intels road map, a 12-core processor in 2011? wtf?)
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January 23, 2009 5:16:01 AM

The q9650 is a monster. Its now at a great price. Its the saught after stepping. It overclocks like mad.

The bad is that you aint ever going to be upgrade the cpu. Where as a i7 you could hope intel doesnt screw ya over and have a upgrade path.

You're building a gaming machine which is basically the only thing the i7 doesnt beat the snot out off the q9 series in. At least in single video card systems. Or gaming at the highest res. One of those things the i7 starts to show what it can do.

But that q9650 is a monstor and should be fine for the life of your system for games.

a b à CPUs
January 23, 2009 7:23:03 AM

Go with the Quad. My Q6600 @ 3.6 doesn't slow up any game I've thrown at it yet, the 4870 always bottlenecks first.
January 23, 2009 9:32:12 AM

mi1ez said:
Go with the Quad. My Q6600 @ 3.6 doesn't slow up any game I've thrown at it yet, the 4870 always bottlenecks first.

Finally, someone that actually understands :bounce: 

I really want that 9x multi 9650. Sort of pissed its at the same price as my 9550 :(  . (Maybe a friend wants mine and i can get the 9650!!)
January 23, 2009 12:42:24 PM

The way i think of it is that the Q9650 is guaranteed the E0 stepping (Not hoping i get a good one with the other processors) So thats one worry off my mind. Plus it is a quad core, i understand games are just starting to be written for dual core, well i figure i have the best of both worlds, a high operating frequency + 2 cores.

So if DX11 does what it is suppose to, then a quad core will start to significantly out perform a dual core, due to relieving a lot of the work off the GPU.

The i7 920 is just a quad core processor with hyperthreading, making your computer think there is 8 cores cuz each core is able to process 2 threads.
Really don't think games would benefit any more from 2 threads on one core, shouldn't it make the load on each core even more, produce more heat, and just be plain awkward?
January 23, 2009 1:28:44 PM

Vos, its just going to keep going on and on with questions on q6600, q9650, q9550 and the dual. If you have the money to get the cpu, get it. It's not going to hurt you in gaming, it's just going to make it better. Quad for gaming as of now is just starting on its first baby steps. Not saying its a bad thing. Windows 7 multicore thing they got going will probably make the duals old and die out and quads will arise. I dont think Duals will get any better than an E8500 or E8600.
+1 on quads for the future gaming
January 23, 2009 2:10:12 PM

Alls i needed to know, Q9650 ftw =]
January 23, 2009 2:17:39 PM

goodluck. have fun
January 23, 2009 5:51:08 PM

Agreed good luck...
January 23, 2009 7:05:49 PM

Great choice the Q9650 will scream!
a c 927 à CPUs
January 23, 2009 10:30:30 PM

First of all, a E8400, even without overclocking will play most games very well, using a 4870 card.

It will be the next upgrade to the vga card that might cause you to want more cpu horsepower.
Starting to play multicore optimized games like FSX or supreme commander might lead you to a quad.

Here is how I see the progression:
E8400 $165
crossfire capable P45 mobo $115
4gb ram $50
--------------------total $330
Q9650 $334
crossfire capable P45 mobo $115
4gb ram $50
--------------------total $499 an increase of $169
i7 920 $290
crossfire capable X58 mobo $185
4gb DDR3 ram $85
--------------------total $560 an increase of $61

For that $61 difference, I think you should reconsider the i7.

Actually, your gaming would probably be better if you stayed with the E8400 and used a 4870X2.
January 24, 2009 3:21:02 AM

185$ mobo? 85$ ddr3
ram? where are u seeing these prices. either the ram is cruddy as hell or the mobo is. possibly both. If these 2 things dropped within the passed few days. I never saw any of them that cheap
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January 24, 2009 5:06:54 AM

Mmm... buy an E5200 now and find a Q6600 on the street a few years later... best value =).
January 24, 2009 6:26:00 AM

Vos17 said:

Q9650 looks great, i honestly think with DX11 coming out for windows 7, which is suppose to boost GPU performance with multiple cores, the quad would start to easily out perform the duals. (Especially since they said ANY DX10 card will be supported by DX11 so the 4870 was a great choice there)


Currently, W7 is NOT dx11 compatible, nor are there any GPU's that I am aware of that would take advantage of dx11. W7 is supposed to be now feature-complete, so adding a brand new API at this date would be unlikely.
January 24, 2009 12:07:13 PM

? every review i read said windows 7 will have dx 11 and taking full advantage of it. Also microsoft clearly stated that any direct x 10 compatible hard ware will be able to run dx 11.

As for the post before, i see the benefits of getting a quad core, especially when games are written for multi-cores coming up. But i just don't see a huge benefit for a quad core with hyper threading, i just don't think the price justifies the new hardware yet.
January 24, 2009 12:55:09 PM

C_i7 is only for professionals. It has a huge advantage in CPU heavy rendering. For example 3Ds Max, Maya, Lightwave applications uses as much cores as you desire for rendering, just look at TH CPU Charts. So if you want to play video games, you will hardly be able to benefit from many cores. But personaly I always prefer more cores, the future belongs to multitasking.
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January 24, 2009 1:00:36 PM

windows 7 is dx11, i am running it now.
January 24, 2009 2:33:04 PM

i know, i just think the q9650 is a great deal, especially if it can be overclocked to 4ghz on air.

This is what i am thinking, i was going to go with the E8400 because of the overclocking and most games benefit from the higher clock. This is true and that is why i chose it. Because the Q6600 was just a low clock and didn't perform as great.

Then i saw this processor, Q9650. 4 cores, and easily OC'd to 4ghz. Meaning i get the best of both worlds. If games go just towards higher clock, i got it covered. more cores, got it covered. And even if it's more cores, i have a really high clock AND 4 cores! XD it's just a win-win

i understand the i7 920 can reach 4ghz too, but a extra 150 for a mobo (good one) and extra 150 for good memory. i don't think so. just not right now =]
January 25, 2009 3:01:52 AM

i saw the gigabyte, looks good. I knew about that one but when i first looked it was 230, so i can see it dropped since i last looked. But from everywhere i looked. the X58 chipsets are triple-channel, so only getting 2 RAM sticks would actually lower my performance (read in threads and benchmarks)
So the reason mine was higher cuz i was getting 3 2gb sticks.

Although i still don't see a justifying reason to get i7, if anyone has opinions, feel free to throw them at all (exclusions: NO VIDEO EDITING, i don't, won't, will never, video edit. So the fact that more cores helps with that, need not be mentioned) Like i said, i consider myself a old hard core gamer, who wants to get back into the hard core gaming on the pc =]
a c 927 à CPUs
January 25, 2009 4:04:59 PM

Vos17 said:
i saw the gigabyte, looks good. I knew about that one but when i first looked it was 230, so i can see it dropped since i last looked. But from everywhere i looked. the X58 chipsets are triple-channel, so only getting 2 RAM sticks would actually lower my performance (read in threads and benchmarks)
So the reason mine was higher cuz i was getting 3 2gb sticks.

Although i still don't see a justifying reason to get i7, if anyone has opinions, feel free to throw them at all (exclusions: NO VIDEO EDITING, i don't, won't, will never, video edit. So the fact that more cores helps with that, need not be mentioned) Like i said, i consider myself a old hard core gamer, who wants to get back into the hard core gaming on the pc =]


Actually the i7 memory controller is very good, and is able to deliver data to the cpu very well using only two channels. Any performance loss comes from just one channel, and there is not much improvement using three channels. I am talking about real application performance, or FPS, not the synthetic bandwidth benchmarks. The 4gb is just for an apples to apples comparison. I would get a 6gb kit up front, but it is not absolutely necessary, and I suppose you could always add more later.
January 25, 2009 4:09:10 PM

i7 will cost you $100-$150 extra, but that money can be better used on a GPU so the Q9650 is still the better deal for you.
January 25, 2009 5:45:38 PM

Vos17 said:
i can see that, i am still just wondering if the 150$ is a good investment for future proofing. I know there is no such thing, i don't want to hear it.

What i mean is will that processor actually last me LONGER than the E8400.


When you do the math and see the volts you have to shove in those things to keep them stable at higher clocks you will soon realize there is no future for them. They are not going to stay at that clock for very long.
January 25, 2009 5:58:03 PM

jerseygamer said:
When you do the math and see the volts you have to shove in those things to keep them stable at higher clocks you will soon realize there is no future for them. They are not going to stay at that clock for very long.


depends on the CPU and depends on the overclock. most Core2's will allow for nice overclocks on stock voltage settings being that most will run factory clock undervolted. if your going to overclock it is a given you will be watching your temps.
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January 25, 2009 8:04:22 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
i7 will cost you $100-$150 extra, but that money can be better used on a GPU so the Q9650 is still the better deal for you.


Yeah, the i7 doesn't justify its cost.
a c 927 à CPUs
January 25, 2009 8:39:25 PM

The_Blood_Raven said:
i7 will cost you $100-$150 extra, but that money can be better used on a GPU so the Q9650 is still the better deal for you.

For today, for gaming, I think that is probably true.

If the extra $150 gets you to a GTX280/4850X2 class card that you would otherwise get, then that is where you should spend it today for best gaming.
That and a E8400 will let you play any game out there well. For cpu bound , multicore enabled games like supreme commander and FSX, then a quad is in order, and the i7 is a winner in that category.

If the $150 is used on a faster card than the gtx280, then you are looking at diminishing returns.

A year from now, the i7 will still be looking good. A i7 quad running at 3.2 will still be able to run any vga configuration out there today.
The vga card that you spent the extra $150 on will replaced by the next generation of card by then.

As to safe overclocking, taking it to the stock frequency of the top chip should be safe.
The QX9770 tops at 3.2
The i7 965 tops at 3.2 also, but is faster, clock for clock(>10%?) and has hyperthreading(8 tasks).
I see the safe potential of the i7 as higher.
January 26, 2009 2:20:09 PM

An E8400 isn't better than a quad core at games. It's just not that much worse than a quad core at many games and "good enough" in a few others where a quad core excels.

When people say an E8400 is better at games its just because many games only care about the top speed of a single core and the dual cores are usually clocked higher. They were also able to overclock them higher because they had locked multipliers that were higher.

Celeron processors used to be the overclocking champs a few years back because the small cache size made them easier to crank up. No one ever said Celeron Processors were better than Pentium 4's. They were just a better value in some situations. Just like the Atom Processor is ideal for certain tasks and not a good choice for others.



If you run a q6600 and an e8400 both at 3.0 Ghz the Q6600 would beat it by a slight margin based on the larger cache and the OS making some use of the rest of the cores for background services and such.

A dual core E6300 was $180 and a quad core Q6600 was $500. Now that an E8500 and a Q6600 are the same price. I would get certainly get a quad core today at the current price points. I wouldn't turn down a $180 Q6600 for a $240 E8600. Even if the E8600 would play Crysis slightly faster.

Toms did an article recently which showed at around 2.5ghz or so the benchmarks seemed to be limited by the graphics cards more than the CPU for a 8800gt level CPU.

A 4850 might scale higher to around 3.1ghz or so before the video card is capped out.

There are diminishing returns for each video card where more CPU speed just doesn't get you much bang for your dollar.


At my office I buy dual core chips for our Dell optiplexes because there still about $200 less than a quad core for some reason. That really adds up if you have to order 30 or 40 systems. The dual cores are good enough for running Excel and Outlook.
January 26, 2009 2:26:37 PM

comparing a e8400 to a Celeron is ridiculous. people making the dual core claims on gaming are going by what any benchmark chart shows with them in it. right here on TH you can find charts that make their case. it certainly isnt future proof but for the time being, there is no compelling reason to go quad if you already have one.
January 26, 2009 2:41:02 PM

Honestly a quad seems a better way to go since i am building a computer from scratch. I am deciding now though, between Q9650 or i7 920. both are quads, just the i7 build would be about 200$ more. and if i wanted to make a even better case, i can even use that 200 to get a 4870x2 2gb for the Q9650 and be the same price as a i7 config with a lower end video card.

I saw the benchmarks, E8400 beats out alot of quads, but thats with Todays games, but from what i saw, The E8400 bottlenecked the higher end 4870x2 amd gtx 280. Meaning the dual core would NOT be ideal for future cards.

I know that seems rediculous, but that is what i noticed from the benchmarks. As Nvidia and ATI have a way of doing it, The cards they came out with always seem to be twice as good as the ones they came out with before. I see the Q9650 (OC'D to maybe 3.6ghz, and that aint pushing it) would last 3-4 years.

The only reason i think the i7 920 could last longer if intel continues support for the 1366 socket, and if they don't well it's not a good choice at all to invest the extra 200$ on mobo and CPU.

Plus from what i read, some people way back bought Lga 775 mobos before they came out with quad cores. Even though the quad cores had the same socket. Most motherboards, couldn't even support the quad forcing people to upgrade.

So from what i am thinking.

1: Q9650 would be good for years to come (High Clock, 4 cores)

2: Most games are just startin to take advantage of 2 cores, the way i see it, games are going to max out very soon. If dx 11 does what it says and uses multiple threads to do different things in games like physics, graphics, and all that. Shouldn't frame rates sky through the roof? (dependin on gpu of course, lol)
January 26, 2009 3:01:06 PM

Told you... lol, just going to keep going onnn and onnn and onn.. reviews are reviews either way, it's the guys choice. What he picked up on is going to give him a really good performance anyways and in the future, he's already going to have the stuff he needs while other people will have to buy it then. Yall are making it seem like a Q9650 isn't going to give him a great advance, that he needs a dual for gaming only. Q9650 is still ftw..
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2009 6:08:43 PM

i7 if you do want uber graphics to get bottlenecked as much
January 26, 2009 10:27:10 PM

I'm going to buy the quad core. I'm just going to have to play crysis on medium I guess.
January 26, 2009 11:51:54 PM

average joe said:
I'm going to buy the quad core. I'm just going to have to play crysis on medium I guess.

What?!?!

Since when does ur CPU judge what quality ur playing at. Ur actually believing in the bs some ppl are writing? Whether u can play on high has almost everything to do with ur gpu. I have a quad and run mine high fine....

Edit: Why the heck does THF keep changing their look?? Drives me nutz...cant find any of the right buttons.
January 27, 2009 12:15:25 AM

Silverion77 said:
What?!?!

Since when does ur CPU judge what quality ur playing at. Ur actually believing in the bs some ppl are writing? Whether u can play on high has almost everything to do with ur gpu. I have a quad and run mine high fine....

Edit: Why the heck does THF keep changing their look?? Drives me nutz...cant find any of the right buttons.



I'm sorry.. I was joking.