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Upgrade to Core 2 Quad on a P965 Chipset; is it possible?

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May 18, 2010 8:49:51 PM

I am looking to upgrade my computer which sports a P965 Intel chip-set. This computer was built in August 2006 when the Core 2 Duo was released. I am looking to upgrade the processor to a quad-core Core 2. The problem is I do not know whether the P965 chip-set supports quad-cores and 1333 MHz buss speeds. If it does, then the bios definitely needs to be flashed and updated. Current Components are:
CPU: Intel E6400 2.13 GHz
Mobo: Abit AB9 Pro
Mem: Upgraded to 4 GB Corsair 800 Mhz DDR2 4-4-4-12 2.1V
Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.9 250 GB
GPU: Silent Gigabyte 7600GT
PSU: Upgraded to CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W
Cooler: Upgraded to Noctua NH-U9B

My main question is: can the P965 chip-set support Core 2 Quads with 1333 MHz buss speeds?
I am also looking to upgrade the video card as well, to a quiet HD5770/5750. Any suggestions?

Hopefully I won't get a response telling me that the PSU is too weak; it has one 6 pin cable for graphics, and frankly... the current system is not even probably half way there.

P.S: Overclocking is not an option. I have pushed this processor to 2.6 Ghz stock voltage and held it there for 2 years. It then started becoming unstable. So it's back to 2.13 GHz. The north bridge is fine since I am able to hit high front side busses with a low multiplier.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 8:59:30 PM

The P965 chipset does support Core 2 Quad chips, but does not officially support 1333MHz FSB chips. According to the CPU support list they haven't tested any 1333MHz FSB quad core chips on the board, but they did test some 1333MHz FSB dual core chips. It's going to be a gamble trying an unsupported CPU.

http://www.abit.com.tw/cpu-support-list/mb/intel_p965_a...
May 18, 2010 9:11:41 PM

Thank you so much for the link! The extreme quad-core QX6850 at 1333 MHz FSB is supported, but not on any 45 nm silicon. I'm going to Google for similar scenarios.
The cheapest Core 2 Quad on Newegg is the Q8300 at 2.5 GHz and 144 dollars. I'm weary about buying old parts on Newegg since they sometimes charge a premium on outdated processors. But, the Q8300 seems like a good deal.
The chip-set is very capable of reaching 333 MHz base clock for that 1333 MHz FSB. In fact, in an ancient article from 2006, the AB9 Pro was capable of hitting over 400, even though it is probably different with each batch.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 9:16:47 PM

It may be a good deal, but the P965 chipset doesn't officially support any 45nm chips. If it was a quality manufacturer like Gigabyte or Asus I would say to go for it since they came out with BIOS revisions that supported the "unsupported" CPUs. Abit on the other hand...I wouldn't do it.

You didn't say what your budget for this upgrade is. You could always get a new motherboard that supports any LGA 775 chip. It's just hard to justify spending the money on dead-end technology. Replacing the motherboard would also require reinstalling the OS.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $84.99 - $10 MIR

Better yet, you could part out your old system and use the money to build a new system around current technology.
May 18, 2010 9:32:17 PM

Well I need to include 150 bucks for a video card... plus 150 for processor. I guess around 300.
Abit does not produce any more motherboards. Yeah, I usually use Asus and Gigabyte in builds for other people, but the AB9 pro was recommended buy for 2006 on Toms Hardware.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=544...
This guy upgraded to a E8400 on 45 nm. It didn't work until he upgraded to version 23. The list you provided was on version 22.

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=50700
A different forum with more input.

Apparently, not all dual cores on 45 nm work.
Now to find people running quad cores on 45 nm.

Or I could try to find a cheap Q6600. I don't want to buy a new motherboard, I could then just build a new computer since I'm going to buy a new video card anyway.
May 18, 2010 9:43:18 PM

Buying a new motherboard is starting to look more attractive. I would probably go with AMD then since it is more attractive with a small budget.

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a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 10:08:02 PM
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Well, if you're going to replace the motherboard, CPU, and GPU I would just build a new system. If your dead-set on just upgrading those components here's some suggestions:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $214.98 (GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX Motherboard + AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition combo)

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $159.99

You haven't really given enough information to offer very meaningful advice. What's the budget for these upgrades? What will the system be used for? If it's used for games, what games and at what resolution?

If you're on a tighter budget and won't be doing much gaming at high resolutions here's another combo to consider:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $305.97 (AMD Phenom II X4 925 + GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G Micro ATX Motherboard + XFX HD-575X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5750 combo)

Edit: You can also save an extra $15 on the motherboard with either combo if you use promo code EMCYSZR46 which ends on 5/20.
May 18, 2010 10:29:01 PM

Purely for Games. I have read your previous recommendations for 500 dollar gaming computers.
I do play Crysis currently on my laptop sporting a gt240m and 2.53 Ghz Core 2 Duo. On high with Custom Crysis Config Mod, I get around 28 fps with no AA. I was surprised that at 28 fps, the game is very playable because of all that motion blur. I am looking to buy Modern Warfare 2.
Most of these games don't need a quad-core, but GTA IV greatly benefits from one.
The reason I wanted to upgrade my old PC was in order to beef it up for LAN parties.

Resolution is 1680 by 1050.
Games: Modern Warfare 2, Crysis, and older multi-player FPSes that are already maxed out on a old 7600GT.
Budget: 300 for a pure upgrade.
500 from scratch.

I was looking at used Q6600s on Ebay with g0 stepping for around 120 bucks. This may be a cheaper option since I was planning on building a new computer anyway over summer in 2011. 120 dollars for a Q6600 makes perfect sense if it was brand new... seeing that a 2.5 GHz quad core is 144 bucks; but, every site charges around 190 bucks for brand new Q6600s.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 10:35:44 PM

At your budget and for your intended use I would just get an Athlon II X3. Here's another nice combo deal:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $134.98 - $15 with promo code EMCYSZR46 = $119.98

If you add the Sapphire 5770 linked above for $159.99 you would have a very nice upgrade for $279.97.
May 18, 2010 10:46:52 PM

Thank you so much... the combo is a life saver ;P I'm not going to buy this week though.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 18, 2010 10:50:38 PM

That sucks. You'll miss out on the extra $15 off with the promo code in that case. It expires this Thursday. I hope you're planning on buying before the end of the month since the Newegg combos usually all change at the beginning of every month.
May 19, 2010 3:30:35 AM

Oh, you'll miss out on $15, hope that doesn't cut into the grocery money!

Quit being a CHEAP BASTARD shortstuff_mt...
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2010 1:47:58 PM

marcellis22 said:
Oh, you'll miss out on $15, hope that doesn't cut into the grocery money!

Quit being a CHEAP BASTARD shortstuff_mt...

Wow, that was a helpful comment. I'm here trying to get the OP the best components for the money and you come up with a very weak attempt at flame-baiting. Go troll somewhere else.
June 1, 2010 11:09:35 PM

Best answer selected by akorzan.
June 5, 2010 3:20:42 PM

Hey akorzan,

Before you pull the trigger on a whole new setup or even just another processor consider a few things.

I have some of those same parts -- the *awesome* AB9-pro motherboard, E6400 Conroe core, 4 GB Corsair DDR2-800 & Geforce 7900GS KO. The thing's been a solid system. Of late I've decided to just overclock the thing instead of putting in any significant money into a "dead-end" system.

I got my processor up to 3.2GHz with only a slight bump in cpu voltage. And I've messed around with a few configuration settings and ended up with:
* 8x multiplier
* 350Mhz system bus
* underclocked the memory bus to 533FSB, but that comes up to just under DDR2-800 speeds (@ 4-4-4-12-15 memory timings I believe -- it's auto-detecting them) when combined with the faster system bus. Now it's running at 2.8GHz at normal temperatures. Oh yeah, use the uGuru -- under FAN EQ set your CPU & various fans to 'cool' (you may have to enable monitoring them in the BIOS uGuru section. That E6400 has lots of room to grow. That Abit board is pretty dang solid (R.I.P. Abit...). Your & my systems are certainly out of date but you can squeeze it for more CPU performance for exactly $0 if you're up to it. Your video card is weak though.

June 5, 2010 6:17:49 PM

Thank you, Yes i do know I can overclock the processor and have been running at 2.6 GHz for a couple of years, but I can't keep it at 2.6 stable at normal voltages and whatever memory ratio I set anymore; Prim95 passes fine for many hours though at 2.6. Running at 2.13 again prevents any random crashes. I find it really odd that at 2.6 it can survive a whole day of Prime95 but when using it normally it crashes. It may just be that my Windows is a little off after I had to resurrect the boot sector after a Trojan.
Now I underclocked the computer to 1.6 and am using it as a homtheatre PC.
I disagree with a previous poster that ABIT is not a good company. ABIT made some very solid boards that were capable of reaching higher FSBs than its competition. It's just annoying that they were bought out because now there are no new bios revisions; It's a pitty cause I've seen many cheap 45 nm Core 2 quads for 120 dollars running at 2.53 GHz.
I'm actually going to build a Core i7 build now that will serve me for another 4 years, but I'm a little worried that when Intel releases Sandy Bridge, the succesor to the Nehalem Architecture, in a couple of months, I could of had a better computer.
!