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Core2 Quad Cache: 8MB or 12MB?

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November 19, 2009 6:45:16 PM

Hi All:

Upgrading from Core 2 Duo to Core 2 Quad. Motherboard Asus P5W DH Deluxe, 4GB RAM, Sapphire HD5770 video card.

Wondering if I should get the:

1. Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W, or

2. Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W

There are those who say that beyond around 6MB of cache, there are little, if any, differences in performance.

Price wise, the Q9400 2.66 6MB is around $190, and the Q9550 2.83 12MB is $260. So what really does the $70 buy me in terms of real-world performance? Very little? Substantial?

I'd appreciate hearing comments from the knowledgeable folks here. Thx in advance.
November 19, 2009 6:50:58 PM

on lga 775 platform , cache has substantial importance , but if I were u , i wouldnt buy any of these . ' cos , the platform is old version . sell ur mobo , cpu , ram and build a new conf. it can be i5 platform with ddr3 ram .. why not ?
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November 19, 2009 6:51:08 PM

extra cache will only really show its muscle in productivity applications like video editing,rendering ect but not much impact on gaming
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November 19, 2009 6:51:12 PM

I wouldnt bother with a socket 775 anymore.


Put the money to either a AMD AM3 system with a 965 black edition - will cost you the same as a 9550 and is faster, or a i5 750 1156, motherboard and some ddr 3 ram as it is quicker than the 9550 and is more future proof.

socket 775 is virtually end of life now.
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November 19, 2009 7:01:51 PM

If you are going to upgrade your present system, get the Q9550 especially if you plan to overclock it. With the 5770, that should stretch the lifetime of your system another 2 or 3 years.
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November 19, 2009 7:12:52 PM

At this juncture, I'd go for the 9550 - It'd have the most lifespan. Albeit not by much.
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November 19, 2009 7:18:20 PM

Scotteq said:
At this juncture, I'd go for the 9550 - It'd have the most lifespan. Albeit not by much.



but he could sell his current board and chip etc to raise the money for a 1156 board and add some dosh for a 750 and ram..


anyway its his choice and has been given these options.
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November 19, 2009 7:20:06 PM

Very true. :) 

I'm just coming at it from a simple "Either/Or" perspective on the presumption the OP doesn't want to take the whole system apart and rebuild. :) 
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November 19, 2009 7:42:11 PM

Scotteq said:
At this juncture, I'd go for the 9550 - It'd have the most lifespan. Albeit not by much.



I agree and if you live near a Microcenter, walk in only 169.99.
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Either way, this upgrade brings your system up to one of the best gaming machines available. Which is what I hear all the time lately. Why would he tear apart his sytem to go AMD when he would need new ram, motherboard and possibly after market heat sink and not have any more performance availlable than what the Q9550 will give him. Almost the fastest intel 775 quad made ? Used computer parts don't fetch very much ? Unless you want to keep posting your auction over and over.
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November 19, 2009 7:57:22 PM

Yeah but i5 750 is 150 at miceocenter
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November 19, 2009 8:10:07 PM

ryohei said:
Yeah but i5 750 is 150 at miceocenter


Yes , then he would need new m/b , ddr3 ram.

Heres a comparison of the two cpu's the OP asked about. The cache does effect some games. And performance.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=50&p2=76
edited for Q9400 not 8400
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November 19, 2009 9:13:22 PM

Thank you all for pitching in to help me think through this.

I'm bummed that Microcenter (brick and mortar only) has the 9550 for a whopping $100 less than Newegg, which is really the undisputed seller of pc parts. gosh golly.

Nonetheless, it is what it is, there's no Microcenter near me and I can't get to the 2 closest ones, and they don't ship. There we have it - Microcenter's deal is a no-go for me, unfortunately.

So I now have the same $190 versus $260 decision.

Yes, those of you who wrote that there's little incentive for me to rip out my motherboard, buy new RAM, etc etc. I'm just not up to it. This is humming along fine as it is with my Core 2 Duo. It'd be nicer and will likely have a longer life if I put a Core 2 Quad in it with an Arctic Cooling cooler in it. I'm hoping for something like another 2 years or so.

For a relatively "light" user, I'm really wondering if the extra $70 of the faster processor w/more cache will be totally wasted? The link to that comparison is super useful, btw. Thx so much for providing it.
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November 20, 2009 1:46:43 AM

its really hard to recommend the q9550 now that it jumped 50 dollars. for 270, its overpriced, old, and just not a good deal.
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November 20, 2009 2:42:02 AM

ryohei said:
its really hard to recommend the q9550 now that it jumped 50 dollars. for 270, its overpriced, old, and just not a good deal.


May I ask if you're certain that the Q9550 really was $220 and that it has recently "jumped $50"?

I am not sure...

Can anyone else pitch in to confirm? Thx.
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November 20, 2009 9:01:45 AM

The q9550 is still a VERY competent CPU. And if you want to stretch 2-3 years out of that lga775 system I'd say the q9550 is your cpu. Think about it this way, yea it's $70, but you're going to be keeping this system at least 2 more years, so really the cost isn't that bad. Plus the q9550 will OC decently enough with a nice HSF.
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November 20, 2009 10:03:54 PM

dualmonitors said:
May I ask if you're certain that the Q9550 really was $220 and that it has recently "jumped $50"?

I am not sure...

Can anyone else pitch in to confirm? Thx.


it used to be 229 at newegg, about a month ago it went up to 279


EDIT
well i just checked newegg, the price is 229 again! which is great news!
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