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Buy a Q9550 or buy i5-750 setup

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April 18, 2010 2:17:39 PM

Hi all,

I am am a gamer looking to upgrade my system. I currently have:

-C2 e6550 processor (socket 775)
-asus p5k wifi M/B
-4GB DDR2 667
-Radeon 4830

I will be looking to add a new GPU in the near future (probably a 5850 or a 5770).

I am considering two upgrade options:

Option 1:
Buy second hand Q9550 from eBay - around £160

Option 2:
i5 - 750 : £160
4gb DDR3 1600 : £100
1156 M/B : £100
Sell existing S775 kit: -£50-100
Total : £260 to £310

Price difference between the two options is £100-£150. So all else being equal are the performance benefits of option 2 worth up to £150?

I am willing to spend money on either setup and a 5850/5770 (another question!), but only if it offers "bang for buck".

I realise gaming is largely GPU orientated but I want to play Bad Company 2 and the new GTA, both of which as far as I am aware, quite CPU dependent.

Any opinions?
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 2:27:13 PM

personally i would buy a Q9550.. It will play all the games you want and wait for Sandy Bridge to come out at the end of the year, Also AMD has just released the AMD 6 Core processor which will be worth a look at. It seems to be on par with a 920 i-7..

Sandybridge is a great leap forward to current tech and to save you mucking around and installing a new os.. You will need 800MHz ddr 2 btw to make the Quad work well.

A new video card a 5000 series will work in the new systems..

Were only talking 4-6 months away so for the intirim go for a quad 9550 or a e8500 which will speed it up.
a c 78 à CPUs
April 18, 2010 2:54:43 PM

My recommendation... You will be better off in the long run going with the i5 750 build over upgrading to the Q9550, if the price difference is acceptable. The Q9550 is the best CPU for the LGA 775 socket in my opinion and is plenty strong enough for your needs... http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/50?vs=109

Your GPU purchase is dependent on your gaming resolution. If you are playing (or plan to play) at 1920x1080 or higher, the 5850 is your best option, as it will provide the best performance. If you are gaming less than 1920x1080, the 5770 is your best option.

Related resources
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 2:58:24 PM

What motherboard do you have? If you have a really early socket 775 mobo it may not support the 45nm Intel chips, so check that first before you purchase an upgrade CPU.

If the motherboard supports the newer C2s, then for gaming I would say an E8400 will do what you need for the most part. But you can go for better if you want.

Get the new rig if your motherboard doesn't support the newer CPUs.

Then for the GPU, get the 5850 if you have a high res monitor(somewhere around 1920x1080) or plan to get one. The 5770 will push a lower res monitor just fine.
April 18, 2010 4:07:19 PM

Thanks for all of your replies, I'm leaning towards the q9550 or the e8400 now - I know that Bad Company 2 takes advantage of quads now, so I'm assuming new games will start going that way too?

I haven't heard about putting in 800MhZ RAM for quads... My MB supports 1333FSB (333MhZ x 4) so wouldn't the 667Mhz RAM be bang on the right speed (333 x 2)?

Also tecmo34 is right I have checked and my MB should run quads with a BIOS update.

I would have liked to do some overclocking but my RAM is at its limit at stock, and with DDR2 RAM so expensive nowadays I wouldn't want to spend out on DDR2 800Mhz when I could go DDR3 for a bit more...

Can anyone clarify that I need 800Mhz DDR2 to run a q9550? If so I would probably just put the money towards i5.

I game at 1680x1050 so I will go 5770 - thanks for this.

a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 4:31:01 PM

If you live near a Microcenter, you can get a Q9550 for $180.
April 18, 2010 4:46:22 PM

its about 3000 miles, don't think I can afford the petrol! :) . I live in the UK where things seems ridiculously expensive - £160 second hand q9550 here - or $180 new in America.
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 7:46:18 PM

It will work with 667 ram but obviously 800 is better :) 
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 8:07:30 PM

dave_angel said:
its about 3000 miles, don't think I can afford the petrol! :) . I live in the UK where things seems ridiculously expensive - £160 second hand q9550 here - or $180 new in America.

may be if you walk, u can afford :D 

anyway, the i5-750 is a no brainer. Performs faster & is much more future proof than your 775 setup
April 18, 2010 8:08:10 PM

Hellboy said:
It will work with 667 ram but obviously 800 is better :) 


But is it? If I don't overclock wouldn't 800 run at 667 speed? I know the timings etc make a difference - but in terms of speed I thought 800 would only be of benefit if I upped the FSB to 400?

So would what would the performance hit be by only running at 667?
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 8:41:18 PM

Your 667 ram will be fine, I say get the 9550 or any other intel quad and a decent cooler and overclock it, I know your mobo can OC. Then start saving money for the next best thing when you cant game on a quad anymore at the required settings you like.
a b à CPUs
April 18, 2010 10:20:45 PM

youll be fine... go for a e8500 or something near or a q9550..

its still got some life in it and as i said before, it will give you some more time to save for something better...

Good luck for what ever you choose.
April 19, 2010 1:28:22 AM

dave_angel said:
Hi all,

I am am a gamer looking to upgrade my system. I currently have:

-C2 e6550 processor (socket 775)
-asus p5k wifi M/B
-4GB DDR2 667
-Radeon 4830

I will be looking to add a new GPU in the near future (probably a 5850 or a 5770).

I am considering two upgrade options:

Option 1:
Buy second hand Q9550 from eBay - around £160

Option 2:
i5 - 750 : £160
4gb DDR3 1600 : £100
1156 M/B : £100
Sell existing S775 kit: -£50-100
Total : £260 to £310

Price difference between the two options is £100-£150. So all else being equal are the performance benefits of option 2 worth up to £150?

I am willing to spend money on either setup and a 5850/5770 (another question!), but only if it offers "bang for buck".

I realise gaming is largely GPU orientated but I want to play Bad Company 2 and the new GTA, both of which as far as I am aware, quite CPU dependent.

Any opinions?



I'd say if your looking for "bank for your buck" definitely get the 5770 which is £100 compared to the 5850 £187, and the 5770 can definately max out Bad Company 2 with maybe only AA turned down a bit. Plus if you ever want to get another 5770 for crossfire you'll be looking at 5870 performance for only £200 :) 
!