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Overclocking (Q9550 or Q9650)

Last response: in CPUs
February 2, 2009 2:25:42 PM

Hey everyone,

I have been trying to research this but i haven't found a definite answer.

I am looking at 2 different quad core processors for my upcoming gaming rig.

Q9550 @ 279$

Q9650 @ 339$

The heat sink i will be using is the Zalman CNPS9700 with a better thermal paste of course.

My goal is 3.5ghz or 3.6ghz (Want it to be slightly overclocked, preferably no voltage boost)

I figure at that frequency, the processor would perform really well for a long time.

Just which would would be able to achieve it better?

I know the Q9650 would be able to, but then again, if the Q9550 could just as easily, then i will go with the cheaper one.
I WILL not be overclocking any higher, maybe slightly but never to the extreme 4ghz.

(Optional info just in case)
Power Supply: 750w
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R
Thermal paste: (maybe) Arctic Silver Ceramique (non-conductive preferred, so i can't mess up too bad XD )
February 2, 2009 4:09:13 PM

Either will hit 3.6 no sweat, go for the 9550 only for price.
February 2, 2009 6:27:06 PM

4ghz is barely extreme anymore. Pretty much every chip in Intel's lineup should be able to reach that mark, with a decent board and air cooler anyway.
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February 3, 2009 5:25:47 AM

Might wanna get a better cooler =)
February 3, 2009 8:52:46 AM

Yea teh Q6600 can hit 3.6 so the Q9550 is no problem.

Real difference between the 2 was that u could get C1 step with teh 9550 vs. the much better E0 of the 9650. Q9550 can hit around 4.0GHz on a good chip and ive seen 9650s hit around 4.2+ (higher was usually on water and benching only)
February 3, 2009 10:02:42 AM

Well if you want no voltage increase get the Q9650 whitch is a garentied EO stepping CPU and you can 3.6GHz on stock voltages. You may need to increase other voltages though.
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February 3, 2009 11:27:21 AM

Assuming the QX9650 and Q9650 are simmilar, you should get to around 3.6 or so just on the FSB at around 1.38 volts. After that is where I hit my brick wall...I did get to 4.2 at 1.42 volts, but that was beyond my comfort zone of staying under 1.4...500mhz shouldn't be too difficult on either, but remember results are not guarenteed.

I recently had a friend get a Q6600, and I couldn't get the thing past 2.6. I swapped it with one a had in a currently unused (stock) PC, and hit 3.4 effortlessly. There is some random chance, but 500mhz should be doable.
February 16, 2009 5:16:25 PM

Hope the OP doesn't mind me replying here but I basically have the same question as him.

I'd like to buy a Q9550 or Q9650 and OC it moderately. I've never OC'd before. I have a generic 550W PSU and an ASUS P5B mobo.

Do I need to upgrade my PSU? I also have an Antec Earthwatts 500 if that makes any difference.
What heat sink and / or fan can you recommend?

Thank you very much for your time.

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February 16, 2009 5:40:56 PM

Todd- the biggest factor in your PSU choice will be what video card setup you want. You'll have to post that information. Your best bet would be to post a question in the "new build" forum along with a more complete list of the components you want to use.

Vos- either of those CPU's should hit 3.5 real easily. A little added voltage won't hurt anything either. And consider that "a long time" in computer terms is just a few years anyway.
February 16, 2009 5:45:58 PM

Thanks Cadder,

my video card is a Quadro FX 1500 with a dual screen setup.