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Advice on new CPU

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February 2, 2010 11:03:11 PM

Hey!

I am planning on buying a new cpu for my gigabyte ep35-ds3 mobo. I currently have an e4600. I want to upgrade to a quad but am not sure which one to choose. My options are q8300 for 130€, q8400 for 150€ or q9550 for 210. I'm just wondering if the extra cache is worth the extra money for q9550. I don't overclock to much but i would like to have good use of this motherboard for a few more years so i was just wondering what you think is the best option? I would also upgrade the graphics in a year or so, but for now the hd3850 is doing just fine.

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a c 131 à CPUs
February 3, 2010 1:04:36 AM

Depends.
Do you play games?
If so which games? Some games are very CPU bound and in extreme cases will see more performance improvements from a CPU upgrade than a GPU upgrade (ie, FSX)
What setting and resolution?
How long do you intend to keep this new processor?
Do you plan any overclocking, either now or within the next few years?
What kind of video card do you intend to upgrade to?

And finally... What are your reasons for not getting a q9550? Cache improves game performance by quite a bit (though it varies from game to game). But keep in mind you would also be paying that extra $60 for not only 12mb of cache but a clockspeed increase of nearly 200Mhz. Plus if you can get that thing for $210, that's a deal (and because it's a deal, it brings that processor down to actually a more reasonable price). Still, I don't think it's cost is worth it over the q8400.

On the otherhand, I'm sure the q8300 will be enough for what you have in mind for the next couple of years. Note I said couple of years, not a few years. I personally don't think 100MHz extra is worth $20 for the q8400.
February 3, 2010 6:03:53 AM

So, the prices are in euro so thats not such a great deal as you might think.

For now my old configuration runs all games pretty smooth except gta4. I run games on a 3 years old LG screen at 1280x1024 resolution, mostly on high with aa and af turned off. I would like to keep the cpu for the next 3 years or so.

Would i see a major performance increase from all three of these cpus, compared to the old e4600?

My reasons for not getting a q9550 are: I don't want to spent more money then required for the next 3 years or so. I might do some overclocking in the future, but for now i would stick to stock speeds. I also think the 100 Mhz is not worth 20 €.

So it comes down to q8300 and q9550. I could also get the q9400, which is 170€. I'm guessing quads won't be around to much longer thats why i want to buy this new cpu now, cause i dont want to spent 500€+ in a year building an i5 or i7 rig.

So what would be the best deal for the next 3 years or so?
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a b à CPUs
February 3, 2010 6:36:52 AM

Some games take a lot of advantage of the two extra cores of Core 2 Quad.

I won't recommend you to go for €210 for an old CPU.
Buy any thing around €120-140.
with a good clock speed.

But, If you can, I would suggest you to go with i5.
If you cannot afford the motherboard now, why not wait a bit, arrange some money and then go for the new technology?

It won't take €500.Something around €350-400 should do it
Since you'll only needing CPU, motherboard and DDR3 RAM

What do you think?
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2010 1:59:08 PM

Is your e4600 cpu overclocked? If not, why not? You can get another 20% performance gain if your overclock it and then if your games become smoother, save your money for a new build (new cpu/motherboard combo) after you sell the e4600 and EP35-ds3 mobo.

Consider the AMD Phenom II X2 Black Edition that you can get for less than $100 and then you can unlock 2 other cores for a quad core!
February 3, 2010 2:22:42 PM

Now I'm leaning towards the q9550. I had the e4600 overclocked to 3,0 Ghz but the whole system got really loud and i didn't see such a big performance improvement. I would need a new fan to make a decent overclock. I did some checking about the i5 system and I'm not sure if there is such a big performance gain in comparison to just putting the q9550 in my old system, which as i saw is also a great overclocker so i could do that aswell when i decide. So now i'm thinking i will get the biggest gain in performance for least money by buying the q9550. Do you agree? I don't care if the system and cpu are old if they work well together.

Does anyone know how much the price for a year and a half old e4600 would be?
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2010 2:53:50 PM

Q9550 will make a huge performance jump and is a solid performer... it's an expensive chip for it's age but it does a good job and I would recommend it if what you want is to save the complication of backing up, change mobo, reformat, reinstall and so on...
(I also think there is a version ofthe Q9550 with 6mb L2 cash instead of 12mb and also performs very well)

For the price I would recommend an AM3 motherboard that uses DDR2 Ram.
Reuse the ram and get an Athlon 630 (2.8 Ghz quad)

The motherboard and cpu will cost you a little less or the same as 1 Q9550 and will perform very well.

Then you have an available upgrade path to all the latest phenom cpus and probably some that will come out mid 2010 including a 6core...
February 3, 2010 3:07:01 PM

Just ordered the q9550. I really don't want to go through all component upgrades. So I hope this chip will work good for me.

Thanks for all the advice!
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2010 5:50:50 PM

Since your board can overclock to 1600 FSB (and maybe beyond 1800 FSB?), you will probably overclock your new quadcore. Did you order a beefy cooler for it?
February 3, 2010 7:54:14 PM

i'll think about that when i see the need for it. I'm gonna stay with stock cooler for now and maybe upgrade sometime in the future.
February 9, 2010 12:38:58 PM

Hi again! I installed my new q9550 yesterday and i am testing it a bit now. I am using the intel stock cooling and running it at stock speeds. I have a question about temperatures. while running prime95 i get max temps at 67, 63, 65, 65. Are these temperatures normal or should i try to resit the heatsink. I saw these intel pushpins can be quite a problem. I installed it twice and the temps are same both times. I installed it with the motherboard in the case. Should i worry about these temperatures or just leave it running like that??
a c 131 à CPUs
February 9, 2010 4:14:17 PM

It's running a bit hot for my liking but not by too much. What is your case and fan setup?
February 9, 2010 4:50:21 PM

As i said i left everything on stock settings. My case is awful. Its some 8 years old case and my graphic card barely fits in it. If you think its still running within normal temps then i won't bother with it anymore. When i decide to overclock I'll get an aftermarket cooler. I would get some 3 to 4 degrees lower temps with an open case. I was just wondering if this temps might show that the heatsink isn't placed correctly on the cpu. I get idle temps around 38. 25% load around 50 and on full load around 65 maybe a bit more. So if thats normal for stock settings I'll just leave it like that. Thanks for the reply.
a b à CPUs
February 9, 2010 5:48:52 PM

Those aren't bad temps but they are just a bit on the high side. I think your HSF is on properly because if it wasn;t your temps woudl go 80s or 90s. But since you installed it a few times, did you use Artic Silver 5 thermal paste? You can also see if the push pins are locked down if you take a small light and see if they are flushed against the motherboard.

You can a basic $20 cooler that's much better than the stock cooler or you can go for a $50 cooler that's even better.

Here's one for $29. It's my next cooler when I order a Phenom II X4 Black Edition.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
Hyper 212 Plus wins a 10/10 review from Maximum PC
February 9, 2010 7:22:15 PM

benko said:
Hi again! I installed my new q9550 yesterday and i am testing it a bit now. I am using the intel stock cooling and running it at stock speeds. I have a question about temperatures. while running prime95 i get max temps at 67, 63, 65, 65. Are these temperatures normal or should i try to resit the heatsink. I saw these intel pushpins can be quite a problem. I installed it twice and the temps are same both times. I installed it with the motherboard in the case. Should i worry about these temperatures or just leave it running like that??

hi
For maximum, your temps are fine. considering the fact that your casing is 8 years old, i assume it will not have good ventilation. and also at 100% load, your temps are normal. in my opinion there is nothing wrong with it. just go on and enjoy it.
a c 131 à CPUs
February 9, 2010 10:14:45 PM

benko said:
I would get some 3 to 4 degrees lower temps with an open case.

I think this makes what the problem is pretty obvious. And that 3-4 degrees would bring the temperatures to a more normal level.
February 14, 2010 3:31:31 PM

Thank for all the replies! I'll just use the cpu as it is for now. And when i decide to get something more from it I'll use some better cooling options.
!