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How to match parts to a Intel Q9550

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April 14, 2010 4:39:10 AM

Hi everyone!
I'm trying to build my first computer, and have been lurking around quite a bit, but I still have many questions. I've decided to get the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB) but I'm struggling to figure out how to find the correct motherboard and memory for it. I think I need a P45 motherboard, like the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L but how do I know what kind of memory is needed, and/or what is the best matching of memory and motherboard to get the best performance out of this processor?

I should mention that I am going to use this computer for (moderate) video editing, graphics design, music editing, etc.

Any help is appreciated!

More about : match parts intel q9550

a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
April 14, 2010 4:48:51 AM

Well, motherboards tend to have very little impact in terms of general performance, and so does RAM speed and latencies (although it does have more of an impact than the motherboard), apart from benchmarking. For a Q9550 processor, all you need is a socket 775 motherboard which supports 45nm based Core 2 CPUs. The P45/X48 chipset based motherboards are the newest in terms of socket 775, and most motherboards based on those chipsets will be fine.

For your RAM, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L uses DDR2 memory in dual channel configuration, and on the site it says the motherboard supports 1.8V DIMMs. Dual channel means you run two sticks simultaneously in a sense, I'm kinda wrong here but I don't know how to explain it properly, so you need a DDR2 memory kit which is 2x512MB, 2X1GB or, preferably 2x2GB which is rated at 1.8V.

However, I'm just wondering why you would like to go for a dead platform - the Core 2 Quad Q9550 costs more than the Core i5 750, but performs worse. Just pick up a Core i5 750, ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (one of the best boards) or any other P55/H55 chipset based motherboard, as well as a dual channel 2x2GB (4GB) kit of DDR3 1.65V RAM.
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April 14, 2010 4:53:53 AM

Lmeow said:
Well, motherboards tend to have very little impact in terms of general performance, and so does RAM speed and latencies (although it does have more of an impact than the motherboard), apart from benchmarking. For a Q9550 processor, all you need is a socket 775 motherboard which supports 45nm based Core 2 CPUs. The P45/X48 chipset based motherboards are the newest in terms of socket 775, and most motherboards based on those chipsets will be fine.

For your RAM, the Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3L uses DDR2 memory in dual channel configuration, and on the site it says the motherboard supports 1.8V DIMMs. Dual channel means you run two sticks simultaneously in a sense, I'm kinda wrong here but I don't know how to explain it properly, so you need a DDR2 memory kit which is 2x512MB, 2X1GB or, preferably 2x2GB which is rated at 1.8V.

However, I'm just wondering why you would like to go for a dead platform - the Core 2 Quad Q9550 costs more than the Core i5 750, but performs worse. Just pick up a Core i5 750, ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (one of the best boards) or any other P55/H55 chipset based motherboard, as well as a dual channel 2x2GB (4GB) kit of DDR3 1.65V RAM.



Thanks Lmeow! I've been looking at the Q9550 because it seemed like everything was more expensive for the i5/i7 chips (motherboards, memory, ect). I was hoping to save some money... from a quick search on Amazon, it seems the i5 is cheaper.... now I'm really confused. Don't the icore line of processors require ddr3 and motherboards that are more expensive?
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a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
April 14, 2010 5:13:36 AM

Well, DDR3 has come down to the price of DDR2, and DDR2 kinda went up in price to match DDR3. So memory price is still around the same, but just the newer motherboards are expensive, but I suppose the price increase isn't really surprising considering it's relatively new, and offers more features than the previous generation.
An example of this is the fact that the ASUS P7P55D-E Pro comes with both CrossFireX and SLI support (previously P45 chipsets only supported CFX), SATA III, USB 3.0 and well support for the new generation Core i3, Core i5 600, Core i5 750 and Core i7 800 CPUs.
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a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 1:12:54 PM

If it were me, and I was buying the parts now, I'd go for the i5 750 and a P55 motherboard. The prices of DDR2 will continue to go up, while the prices of DDR3 should be coming down again.

I think you should be able to build a computer in your price range that isn't a dead socket (like LGA 775).

What is your budget?
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April 14, 2010 1:20:47 PM

huron said:
If it were me, and I was buying the parts now, I'd go for the i5 750 and a P55 motherboard. The prices of DDR2 will continue to go up, while the prices of DDR3 should be coming down again.

I think you should be able to build a computer in your price range that isn't a dead socket (like LGA 775).

What is your budget?


Thank Huron!

I need to spend no more than $1,000 and preferable closer to $600-$800. Now, before you laugh too hard, I've already got a HDD, CD R/W, Monitor, Case, and Software I can use, so I need:

1. Motherboard
2. Processor
3. Memory
4. DVD R/W
5. Graphics Card
6. Power Supply

Does anyone have a good link to resources (or can tell me) how to find out what works together? What I'm understanding right now is that you find a mobo that is compatible with your processor, then memory that is compatible with the mobo- but how is the memory best matched to the processor? For example, I don't want to waste money on memory speeds if my processor won't take advantage of it.

I'm read through the memory forum stuff, but am very confused about 888 1066 1333 etc...
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
April 14, 2010 1:42:46 PM

Well, here's a lsit

1. ASUS P7P55D-E Pro - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. W/e, anything that does the job works

5. Powercolor Radeon HD 5770 - $134.99 w/$15 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6. Well, for the PSU, are you going to add another HD 5770 graphics card later? If you do, then an OCZ ModXStream 500W would suit. Otherwise, get the Corsair HX650W.

Corsair HX650W - $ 109.99 w/$10 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream 500W - $39.99 w/$15 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In total, without the DVD drive, that's $684.95 with the OCZ PSU, or $754.96 with the Corsair PSU.

With regards to memory speeds, the thing that would matter the least would be whether the CPU could take advantage of the memory, what matters is if the memory speed improves performance, which, it doesn't very much, apart from benchmarks. Unless you are going to overclock, high speed RAM is pointless. 800MHz, 1066MHz and 13333MHz simply mean memory speeds.

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a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 1:58:45 PM

What Lmeow listed is good. The only think I might suggest different would be the motherboard - that one is fine, but some of the new boards have the new USB 3.0 spec as well as SATA 6Gbs - nice features going forward (Gigabyte UD3R is a good example)
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April 14, 2010 2:08:48 PM

Lmeow said:
Well, here's a lsit

1. ASUS P7P55D-E Pro - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2GB DDR3 1600MHz - $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. W/e, anything that does the job works

5. Powercolor Radeon HD 5770 - $134.99 w/$15 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6. Well, for the PSU, are you going to add another HD 5770 graphics card later? If you do, then an OCZ ModXStream 500W would suit. Otherwise, get the Corsair HX650W.

Corsair HX650W - $ 109.99 w/$10 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream 500W - $39.99 w/$15 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In total, without the DVD drive, that's $684.95 with the OCZ PSU, or $754.96 with the Corsair PSU.

With regards to memory speeds, the thing that would matter the least would be whether the CPU could take advantage of the memory, what matters is if the memory speed improves performance, which, it doesn't very much, apart from benchmarks. Unless you are going to overclock, high speed RAM is pointless. 800MHz, 1066MHz and 13333MHz simply mean memory speeds.


WOW! I can't believe you looked all that up- thx!

So, memory speed isn't important (outside of overclocking), and the only concern is to buy memory that works with the mobo you want?

Also, if the i5 is LGA 1156- did Intel ditch that for LGA 1336, and when I want to upgrade, will I then need a new mobo?

Finally, I want to use Adobe for video editing, and I want to have two monitors. The Adobe website recommends the following graphics cards: Quadro FX 800, 4800, 5800, and GeForce GTX 285. How do I know if the mobo is compatible with any of these?

I really appreciate your advice!
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April 14, 2010 2:23:29 PM

holy sh!t- i just looked up those video cards... kinda blows my budget up...
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a b V Motherboard
April 14, 2010 4:44:56 PM

You can do dual monitors with most cards (as long as they have dual video out). You'll be fine with the one listed above, or a lower model as well - no worries there. Just make sure the connections on the monitor and the card are the same, or you'll need an adapter (DVI, etc)
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April 14, 2010 5:23:44 PM

Lmeow said:
Well, here's a lsit

1. ASUS P7P55D-E Pro - $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2. Intel Core i5 750 2.66GHz - $199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Lmeow, I looked up the ASUS board, and it looks good- would you look at these other two and tell me if there is any significant difference between the one you recommended and these:

ASUS P7H57D-V EVO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131624
ASUS P7P55D-E: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131620

thanks!
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April 15, 2010 12:14:47 PM

Best answer selected by shultze.
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a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
April 15, 2010 12:27:04 PM

The ASUS P7H57-V Evo is based on the H57 chipset, and the main difference is that it does not have SATA III or USB 3.0, and if you have a Pentium G6950, Core i3 or Core i5 600 processor, you can use the on-die graphics chip, which isn't very powerful.
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