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What CPU to buy (read further for more details)

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March 2, 2010 3:49:04 PM

Hi, I am considering upgrading my processor from an Pentium Dual Core E5200 to a Core 2 Quad.
My options are (prices directly converted from South African Rand to dollar): Q9400 for $251.62 (R1935), Q9550 for $402.47 (R3095) and the Q9650 for $406.37 (R3125).
I was originally going to go for the Q9550 since it is usually a whole lot cheaper than the Q9650, but strangely there is nearly no difference in price between the Q9550 and the Q9650. Which one would you recommend with these prices in mind?

Thanks a lot,
Charl

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March 2, 2010 4:30:24 PM

well the LGA 775 socket is a dead socket means no more processors for it. I would suggest to go for and Intel i5 quad core or a AMD Phenom II X4 955.....may i know what are you going to se the comp for, i mean home level, gaming, professional ...what kinda
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March 2, 2010 4:34:06 PM

Get a cheap $15-$20 aftermarket cooler and overclock your E5200...it's very overclockable. It should reach 3.6GHz without much trouble (making it faster overall than an E8400) and sometimes even 4.0GHz.
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March 2, 2010 5:04:25 PM

shravankale said:
well the LGA 775 socket is a dead socket means no more processors for it. I would suggest to go for and Intel i5 quad core or a AMD Phenom II X4 955.....may i know what are you going to se the comp for, i mean home level, gaming, professional ...what kinda


I mainly use my PC for gaming but I often use Photoshop and various audio editing tools. I can't afford buying a new motherboard (and new ram that goes with it) as well as a new CPU. I was hoping I could make the most of my current platform (LGA775) as I read that the performance of the Q9550/Q9650's are near that of an mid-high end Core i5/i7 CPU.

Regarding overclocking, I'm not a huge fan of it and prefer to avoid overclocking when possible. I do light overclocking on my E5200 to get it at E5200 but anything above 2.95 gives me problems. (probably overheating due to stock cooling)

My system specs, just in case anyone needs to know it:

MSI 7528 (Intel G31 chip) motherboard
E5200 @ 2.8ghz with Stock Cooling
Nvidia 9800GT 512mb
2gb RAM
Windows 7 Ultimate
Good quality 400W Power supply (cant remember the brand)

Thanks.

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March 2, 2010 5:04:50 PM

Not to sure what you can get in south Africa but if you can find a Phenom II x4 955be and a motherboard and ram should be cheaper then the Q9650 for everything and it will be a faster system.
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March 2, 2010 5:18:13 PM

saaiello said:
Not to sure what you can get in south Africa but if you can find a Phenom II x4 955be and a motherboard and ram should be cheaper then the Q9650 for everything and it will be a faster system.


I can get the Phenom II x4 955be, as well as a new motherboard + RAM but this is probably going to stretch my budget pretty thin. How much of a performance boost (fps boost) in games would I get if I were to take this upgrade path?
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March 2, 2010 5:26:33 PM

At stock speeds its just a little bit faster

Compareing Q9550 and a phenom II x4
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=102&p2=50...

But the phenom is a great overclocker you can get this puppy up to 4ghz no problem for a gameing build on a budget this is what you should be looking at.
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March 2, 2010 5:29:59 PM

Now i just looked at the compatibility list for your motherboard they have the Q9550 and the 9650 as not tested not saying it wont work but it could be a problem. Also the G31 chipset is quite old and does not overclock well with quads so your best bet would be to upgrade that too.
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March 2, 2010 6:05:13 PM

Would getting a motherboard with AM3 (compared to a LGA 1156 / 1366) help me in future proofing my PC better than getting a LGA1156/1366? I'm still not sure if I will be able to get a new motherboard so if all else fails, which one of the original 3 quads do you recommend at those prices?
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March 2, 2010 6:24:41 PM

At those prices none way overpriced the socket AM3 should be good for the next 2 to 3 years AMDs 6 core line up will most likely be on that socket. And between 1156 and 1366 the 1366 is what you want the 1156 socket i have a feeling is not gonna last long.
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March 2, 2010 7:10:18 PM

saaiello said:
At those prices none way overpriced the socket AM3 should be good for the next 2 to 3 years AMDs 6 core line up will most likely be on that socket. And between 1156 and 1366 the 1366 is what you want the 1156 socket i have a feeling is not gonna last long.


I have noticed that I can get R435 (roughly $57) off of each of those prices.. . So the new prices are:

q9400 - R1500 ($195)
q9550 - R2660 ($345.90 --- way overpriced)
q9650 - R2690 ($349.80 -- much cheaper than the average price for this processor in South Africa, avr. price = +- R3500 or $455.14)

As to it being overpriced, its South Africa so everything is overpriced :(  (see http://www.buycomputers.co.za/default.asp?catname=speci... or http://www.cafeviva.co.za/ for examples of prices for many computer parts in SA, just convert it to your currency )
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March 3, 2010 12:48:56 PM

Potty391 said:
I can get the Phenom II x4 955be, as well as a new motherboard + RAM but this is probably going to stretch my budget pretty thin. How much of a performance boost (fps boost) in games would I get if I were to take this upgrade path?


Well U don't need to buy new RAM modules. Thanks to AMD it's some processors have backward compatibility means you can use AMD phenom II 955be which is a AM3 socket with a AM2+ motherboard with DDR2 ram....so u have to get just the processor and motherboard
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March 3, 2010 3:36:47 PM

Would this give me much of a performance boost over going for a Q9550/Q9650 (with current mobo)?
I noticed the Q9550 and the Phenom II x4 955BE are about equal in performance with different results in different programs (q9550 higher on some, Phenom higher on others) so if I stick with my same ram and opt to go for a new motherboard (with DDR2) then I wouldn't have much of a difference in performance compared to going for just the q9550 /q9650. Or am I missing something?

This upgrade is sort of a short-term upgrade, I'm hoping to replace my whole PC with new parts (new mobo, new CPU, RAM, etc.) in a year or two so I'm not sure if its really the best idea for me to spend more money on a new motherboard as I will probably replace it in a few years.
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March 3, 2010 4:18:50 PM

At those prices, I'd get a Q9650. It's effectively as fast as a Phenom 955/965 BE (it actually beats them when overclocked), and wouldn't require a new mobo/RAM/etc. I agree with the above posters that LGA775 is a dead socket, but that (to me) just means that you shouldn't buy a new motherboard/RAM for it, or try to base a new system around it. If you have a working system, and are just looking for a CPU upgrade, it should be fine, and it's a good idea to just upgrade the CPU rather than the whole system.
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March 3, 2010 4:56:57 PM

well if it's a short-term upgrade you can do with a intel quad-core and technology keeps on advancing, innovations happen as we speak, so currently instead of buying a mobo + processor just get a intel quad core/dual core
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March 4, 2010 12:16:46 PM

Thanks for all the help guys, going for the Q9650
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March 4, 2010 12:17:24 PM

Best answer selected by Potty391.
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March 4, 2010 12:24:36 PM

I hope you looked at compatibility of that processor for your board the list i looked at wasnt sure if it would work.
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March 4, 2010 12:59:05 PM

saaiello said:
I hope you looked at compatibility of that processor for your board the list i looked at wasnt sure if it would work.


I checked on this page: http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=prodcpu2&prod_no=1470... and it is there under supported processors, so I shouldn't have any problems. I might have to update the bios but thats not hard to do.
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