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CPU Comparison Question

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August 18, 2009 2:23:03 PM



I currently have a Gateway PC that I purchased in 2006 with an AMD X2 4200+ processor. I am looking at putting together a new "budget" system and plan on buying the year old Intel Q9550 processor.

In my mind I am thinking wow this is going to be a huge upgrade but my lack of knowledge on processors has me rethinking this.

The AMD is dual core and has the following

2.2ghz clock speed
1000 front side bus
128kb of L1 Cache
2x512kb of L2 Cache

The Intel is quad core and has the following

2.83ghz clock speed
1333 front side bus
2x6mb of L2 Cache


The cache is the big big difference. A game is only going to pull from 1 core so 2.2 and 2.83 isn't a huge difference right? The cache is huge and the age between the technology is huge as well.

Will, I be amazed at the speed difference?
August 18, 2009 2:43:04 PM

Yes, the speed increase it will noticeable but the problem remains the videocard especially for the games. Could you tell us the rest of the components?
Do you intend to upgrade the videocard too?
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August 18, 2009 3:02:33 PM

hefox said:
Yes, the speed increase it will noticeable but the problem remains the videocard especially for the games. Could you tell us the rest of the components?
Do you intend to upgrade the videocard too?



Old system
AMD Athlon x2 4200+
Gateway Mobo
4x512mb DDR PC3200 Ram
PNY 7600GS 512mb PCI-E Video Card
2x320GB IDE hard drives
Windows XP Media Center Edition

New system
Intel Q9550
Asus P5Q-E
2x2GB Mushkin DDR2 Ram
EVGA 9800GT 512mb PCI-E
1TB WD Sata hard drive
Windows 7 Ultimate

Like I say I am on a budget and my PC is going out but I can't afford the newest of the new like i7. I know most of the components of my system are about a year old but that brings them into my price range.

Should I go ahead and build this system or wait another year. It seems like the technology that I have spec'd out is far enough along to make an upgrade from my old gateway reasonable.

What do you think?
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August 18, 2009 3:16:13 PM

You should wait less than a month for i5.
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August 18, 2009 3:31:47 PM

2.2Ghz to 2.83Ghz isn't an accurate example, clock speed is only compared like that in the same product line. The C2Q architecture is faster than the old K8 architecture in your Athlon X2, a 2.83Ghz C2Q will out perform any Athlon X2 including the X2 6400 @3.2Ghz.

Also most new games are using 2+ cores now, not just 1 like they did back in 2006.

I do agree to wait on I5 if you can, even if you can't afford that, it'll rock the boat and cause price drops else where which should save you money.
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