This might be a dumb question, but I'm looking at possibly getting a q9550 and it's voltage specs on Newegg are .85V-1.3625V. Does that mean it maintains it's warranty as long as you don't surpass 1.3625 when overclocking or is that just its voltage cap?
It is the maximum specified voltage, per Intel data. I have no idea about the warranty, but it does mean that it should be fine for a full normal lifetime of usage at up to that voltage (note that per intel spec, this means basically full load for something like 7 years), as long as other specifications are also adhered to (such as temperature).
Voltage specs show normal operational voltages with 0.85V being as lowest voltage at which processor will work when in idle with speedstep enabled and reduced speed and 1.3625V beingh as highest at stock speeds. Theese values differ from chip to chip. When You buy one You don't know VID of it. It is programmed in each chip individually.
So buying CPU That says 0.85V-1.3625V means that Idle voltage will not be lower than 0.85V( it might be higher like 1V or 1.1V) and full speed voltage will not be higher than 1.3625V( it might be 1.3 or 1.325V ). As for raising voltage when overclocking I think Q9xxx series CPU's are safe to go up to 1.45V or 1.5V I cannot remember on top of my head. As for warranty they cannot check excact voltage You have been using. If You put something like 1.8-1.9V and cause circuit degradation by electron migration if they really want to waste their time taking CPU apart and putting it under electron microscope they can see that.
I wouldn't go up to 1.5v ON q9000 series - I would tend to stick below the rated 1.3625V for the most part. Normal stock voltages are in the 1.1-1.2V range at full speed, so that does give some significant headroom though.
thanks for the help guys. I think instead of the Q9550, I'll probably go with the Q6600 and oc it. Within the next 2 weeks I will be purchasing my new parts and with all the info I've gotten from different people I'm getting excited about making the switch to an Intel system. With that said, the Phenom II 940 looks very nice as well so I might have to look into some comparisons between that and a Core 2 based system. i7 isn't in the budget right now, although it would be nice.
I understand that cjl. My only reasoning for it would be to save some money. I also have to buyanew case to transfer my old stuff into. I still have a couple of weeks to decide. hopefully I can find a deal around then cause i really would like the 9550