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New build, have questions

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January 11, 2010 8:18:57 PM

I was thinking of upgrading my current system this year and I had a few questions.

I currently have a Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz which I mostly use for Flight Simulator X, as well as the usual web browsing and other stuff.

I normally upgrade my computer every 18-24 months or so. Just wondering what kinds of performance increases I would see between using my current Core 2 Quad Q9550 versus an i7 860 or i7 870 w/TurboBoost enabled? Not sure if there's a big difference between an i7 860 and 870 in terms of performance though given the prices.

I play FSX on occasion which is heavly CPU bound (not only multi-cores, but it likes as much GHz as possible), but I also play other games which rely more on the GPU.

So what kinds of benefits should I see if I upgrade from a Q9550 to an i7 860 or 870?

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a c 159 à CPUs
January 11, 2010 8:23:21 PM

Your best performance boost would be to try overclocking the 9550. To change out the cpu, board, and memory isn't very cost effective unless you already have sold your old stuff for a good price. I would try listing it first on craigslist or ebay before upgrading. The performance difference isn't worth it.
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January 11, 2010 8:39:41 PM

I don't really feel comfortable with overclocking. I've tried it before and my CPU temps shot up 10 C from 50 C at load to 60 C at load. This was only going from 2.83-3 GHz. I run a Antec P182 w/three 120mm fans (top out, rear out, front in), and a Arctic Freezer 7 Pro w/MX-1 paste.

Basically just changed the CPU multiplier to 8x375, left Vcore as is and saved the BIOS changes. Then I did a test with RealTemp and my CPU temps went from 50-60 C at load for only a 170 MHz increase. To me, it's not worth it.

What about the performance difference on a CPU bound game like FSX? Most stuff probably won't see a difference, but with FSX, this game is designed for multi-core and such. It needs as much CPU speed as possible to make it run well.
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 8:50:20 PM

60'C is still well within the safe zone of CPU temps for a quad core. Your temps are fine as long as they are kept under the 80s'C. As with the Core2Quad and Corei5/i7 chips, these chips only suffer major degradation when their cores are in the 90s'C, and start to throttle/shut itself off in the 100s'C

60s'C is absolutely fine for Prime95 load.

If you're using stock, then a cheap $35 HSF will be significantly better. ie. CM N520 or Artic Cooling Freezer Pro 7, allowing you to overclock to around 3.8-4GHz or so

You will see little performance increases from a top of the line Core2Quad to an i7 860/870.
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January 11, 2010 8:56:07 PM

Only thing I was concerned about was voiding my warranty with overclocking, but even trying to make it to 3 GHz voided it. Normally my CPU runs around 40 C at idle with the Freezer 7 Pro which is okay. I was just worried that if I started overclocking it that I would break something and I would have to go buy a new processor.
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 9:04:18 PM

magnetite said:
I was thinking of upgrading my current system this year and I had a few questions.

I currently have a Core 2 Quad Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz which I mostly use for Flight Simulator X, as well as the usual web browsing and other stuff.

I normally upgrade my computer every 18-24 months or so. Just wondering what kinds of performance increases I would see between using my current Core 2 Quad Q9550 versus an i7 860 or i7 870 w/TurboBoost enabled? Not sure if there's a big difference between an i7 860 and 870 in terms of performance though given the prices.

I play FSX on occasion which is heavly CPU bound (not only multi-cores, but it likes as much GHz as possible), but I also play other games which rely more on the GPU.

So what kinds of benefits should I see if I upgrade from a Q9550 to an i7 860 or 870?


Overall, You wouldn't notice a major difference between core 2 quad 9550 vs core i7 860 in gaming. (even FSX dont notice much of a difference.)

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=50&p2=108
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-gaming,2403...

If you were doing any rendering or video editing (where the core i7's shine) then you would notice a difference in performance.
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January 11, 2010 9:17:09 PM

So maybe hold off until they come out with 6 cores or more? Or when there would be a more significant increase to justify upgrading my system?
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 9:19:53 PM

magnetite said:
Only thing I was concerned about was voiding my warranty with overclocking, but even trying to make it to 3 GHz voided it. Normally my CPU runs around 40 C at idle with the Freezer 7 Pro which is okay. I was just worried that if I started overclocking it that I would break something and I would have to go buy a new processor.


A lot of people overclock on regular basis and gain significant performance boost from it. It save them some money by getting the equivalent of a more expensive processor or extend the life of an old processor to meet requirements of new games/applications. I have yet to read in any forum a person who reports that his CPU or any other part was damaged by overclocking.

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January 11, 2010 9:25:29 PM

Doesn't overclocking shorten the lifespan of your CPU since it runs hotter?
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 9:29:04 PM

magnetite said:
Doesn't overclocking shorten the lifespan of your CPU since it runs hotter?


It can, although scene the cpu is almost always the highest quality parts in your computer, the overlcocked cpu will still last much longer than an HDD or PSU.
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 11, 2010 9:29:07 PM

magnetite said:
So maybe hold off until they come out with 6 cores or more? Or when there would be a more significant increase to justify upgrading my system?

Intel has a core i7 780X. This is a 6 core processor but it's at the price of the high end i7 when it came out: $1000.
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a b à CPUs
January 11, 2010 9:32:55 PM

enzo matrix said:
Intel has a core i7 780X. This is a 6 core processor but it's at the price of the high end i7 when it came out: $1000.


not to be a grammar nazi or anything but dont you mean "when it comes out" than "when it came out".

It makes it sounds like it already release. :lol: 
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a c 172 à CPUs
January 11, 2010 11:26:11 PM

magnetite said:
Doesn't overclocking shorten the lifespan of your CPU since it runs hotter?

I have been overclocking for years and I have never blown a CPU chip. Of course, I stay withing recommended thermal and voltage limits use good cases and coolers.

By the way, the ACF7P is, at best, a medium quality cooler.
----------
Overclocking since 1978 - Z80 (TRS-80) from 1.77 MHz to 2.01 MHz
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January 12, 2010 12:01:55 AM

jsc said:

By the way, the ACF7P is, at best, a medium quality cooler.


Probably why it costs $30 while the other ones cost $60+.
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