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X38, x48 or P45 chipset? (Q6600 + 2x 6870s)

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a b K Overclocking
November 25, 2010 1:58:06 PM

Hey guys, Seeking some general advice here.

Im after getting a new Mobo to push my Q6600 past 3.4ghz (atm its unstable cause im on a 680iLT).

I have weighed up the pros and cons of the various chipsets, ive narrowed it down to X38, X48 or P45.

In the future ill be running Crossfire, which is my first issue. P45 is stuck with 8x/8x. Ill be running 2 6870s.

However I have read the P45 is much better for overclocking and its more stable.

The X38 and the X48 are both awesome OC's but im looking for a big hitter here, I want to know which one would cut it best

Also, weighing up the Performance difference between x16/x16 + Good Overclock against x8/x8 + Better Overclock.

Thanks in advance,

Deadjon.

a c 241 K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 8:19:46 AM

post test prime95, intelburn test , 3Dmark06,
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 8:22:55 AM

Sorry mate, I dont quite understand, Im asking for Advice on a new mobo purchase, im not interested in stabalising this one
Related resources
November 26, 2010 8:52:24 AM

Q6600's dont generally like going past ~3.5ghz - keep in mind these are 65nm parts - my Q6600 maxed out at 3.5ghz, and any board that will give you any increase will only be in the field of a few mhz - not worth the effort :) 

8x vs 16x PCIE lanes wont make much difference with a Q6600

you want more performance? get an i5/i7 rig
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 9:40:27 AM

The fact is, I get instability crashes at 3.4Ghz regular, sometimes at 3.2 and at 3ghz im fine, Its my board limitating it, im fully aware of that, the 680i chipset is TERRIBLE.
(Im very attatched to my Q6600 I want it to be at its fastest before I replace it with a Bulldozer rig in 2K11)

Either way, im bidding now on a Gigabyte x48 high end board.
a c 122 K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 3:00:59 PM

1) There will be very little difference in FPS with x8-x8 vs. x16-x16 and dual 6870 cards. You are looking at low single digit differences.

2) How well does 3.4 perform before the crashes? I suspect that even if you get it stable with a better motherboard, you are not looking at a meaningful fps gain.
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 3:23:39 PM

Hey dead, this isn't the advice you looking for but, like said already, a good q6600 will get 3.6 maybe a tad over on good air cooling. And that is pushing the voltage close to safe max if not to it's max.

If you can get a stable 3.3 or 3.2ghz, I really don't see the point in going through the trouble for a few hundred mhz. Even with a great mobo, 3.6 and beyond is not guaranteed.
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 4:20:15 PM

Hmm, Would a Q6600 get killed by any game when combined with a Single 6870?

I.E would it be a GFX or Processor Bottleneck?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++EDIT+++++++++++++++++++++++

Could it be my tight ram timings killing my possible overclock?
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 4:29:27 PM

From what I see your overclocking your ram, so it is definitely possible. In my experience it's always best to overclock one thing at a time. So maybe set your ram to 1:1 ratio, then start working on the cpu again. You can always tweak the ram after you have a stable cpu your happy with.

At 3.4 and above I don't think there will be any significant bottlenecking, and should be capable of running any game out there, flight sims being the exception, perhaps.
a c 122 K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 4:29:50 PM

I think your Q6600 and a single 6870 will be about matched and give good performance at 1080P resolution.
Do you have enough ram? 4gb at least?
I don't think I would invest much in a system that is two generations old, going on 3.

For long term planning, I would think about sandy bridge. Read about it here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

There should be single card graphics solutions available for upgrade so long as you are using a single monitor. If you should go to a 2560 x 1600 monitor or triple monitor surround, only then wouldthe expense of sli/crossfire be appropriate.
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 4:37:03 PM

As a reply to both Sportsfanboy and Geofelt...

Im gonna do some tweaking tonight. Its seems best to leave it and wait for bulldozer/Sandy bridge (depending on release benches)

Ill recycle my 6870 for my updated rig in 2011, im running 2 8800GTs atm and a single 6870 should destroy them for performance.

I guess you've saved me a good £70 :p 
a c 122 K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 5:03:20 PM

deadjon said:
As a reply to both Sportsfanboy and Geofelt...

Im gonna do some tweaking tonight. Its seems best to leave it and wait for bulldozer/Sandy bridge (depending on release benches)

Ill recycle my 6870 for my updated rig in 2011, im running 2 8800GTs atm and a single 6870 should destroy them for performance.

I guess you've saved me a good £70 :p 


To help clarify your situation, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help.
a b K Overclocking
November 26, 2010 6:28:28 PM

Yeah dead, in this case I don't think the juice is worth the squeeze. I would save the money for a future upgrade to a more modern platform.
!