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I5-750 versus Q9650 - DAW use

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December 1, 2010 4:20:35 PM

Picking up thread from earlier this year re: i5-750 versus Q9650. I have a Gigabyte LGA775 board which currently has an E8400. My primary application is for DAW use... Cubase 4. My cost-containment upgrade options are to pop in the fastest supported quad (supports up to QX-9650 and I think QX-9770 as well) or bite the bullet and get new board/cpu with i5-750. Yes I know the i7-xxx are the bad boys, but again, this is cost issue. The bottom line question: is there a *significant* (not just a wee bit) performance difference between these two? If so, what makes the i5 a better quad? I get overwhelmed with charts and benchmark data trying to research this. For example, I note the 12mb of L2 cache on the Q9650 versus 8mb on the i5-750. This is confusing in terms of performance difference, when the forum talk generally says i5 is better. Thanks for any help on this.

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December 1, 2010 7:31:22 PM

@ shonun - welcome to the forums! what are you working with now? getting a Q9950 is also another route - i guess cheaper...but i agree with the overpricing issue at hand. It happened to a friend of mine.
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December 1, 2010 7:31:26 PM

Thanks for the info, and thanks CT for the Anandtech link. I also note I was mistaken about the cache memory. What's the situation with the memory controller? I have some understanding this was moved "onboard" the i-series. Onboard from where?
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December 1, 2010 7:34:16 PM

If i'm not mistaken, prior to the core i's, the memory controls we're relayed from the NB and then intel took that NB and moved it onto the CPU die.
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December 1, 2010 7:38:36 PM

Lutfij... sorry, didn't see your reply until I posted and did screen refresh. I have the E8400. I gather from the replies that I can move up to the Q9xxx or even the Quad Extreme, and avoid buying a new Socket 1156 mobo PLUS i5 cpu PLUS compatible memory, and come out OK cash-wise and still incur a performance upgrade. I do note that my current mobo only supports DDR2 memory whereas the Socket 1156 mobo will support DDR3, so that gives me some pause in terms of performance.
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December 1, 2010 7:51:28 PM

no worries mate!

a read for your memory controller - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_controller

Further note - what are your other specs.

Before you go ahead, i wan't to dispel a myth, DDR3 wasn't mean't for C2series integration, I've read on most forums of how they were a tad down in benchmarks and real world performances. DDR2's seemed to hit the sweet spot with good latencies and prices with the C2's. When overclocked, the C2Q's showed great potential and everyone picked up on its news.

Post back - with rig specs - i have more to say :D  lol
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December 1, 2010 7:52:18 PM

First of all check to see if your apps benefit from a quad core processor, many do not and a quad core would help very little. Right off the bat your best upgrade is to put a good aftermarket cooler on your processor and overclock it. An E8400 can overclock very well. An i5 or i7 quad can overclock well too, and if you run an E8400 at the same speed as an i5 or i7, then the i5/i7 will have like 15-20% advantage over the E8400. At the limit though you can probably overclock the E8400 a little higher and reduce that advantage. The Q9xxx probably can't overclock as well as the E8400 or the i5/i7.

If you are running stock speeds then the turbo mode of the i5/i7 will provide more advantage over the E8400.

You will have to spend a lot of money to go from the E8400 to the i5/i7, maybe not worth the increase in performance.

I'm typing this on an E8500 running at 3.8GHz. At home I have a Q9400 at 3.4GHz, and I've built several machines with i5's that ran at 3.8-3.9GHz. A stock i5 in turbo mode will come close to my Q9400. An i5 at 3.5GHz (which is what we actually run ours at) will equal or do a little better than my E8500 at 3.8GHz. This E8500 has run 24/7 for almost 24 months now without any problems so it likes the overclock.
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December 1, 2010 8:03:19 PM

The i5-7xx has the HT disabled and the i7-8xx series is in essence an i5-7xx with Hyper Threading enabled. Tests have shown, the core i5/i7 is superior.

The E8400 is a better option for overclocking as it has a multiplier that goes beyond the Q9550 or the Q9xxx series. But the Q9550,Q9650 or the QX9650's (for that fact) cache gives an upper hand at multitasking, rendering and photoediting.

I have my Q9550 at 3.8Ghz for everyday use, but i know i can push it to 4.1Ghz, just didn't take the time, but I have the turorials handy for when i'll go crazy on attempting it.
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December 2, 2010 1:59:25 AM

I wouldn't go with a q9650 or a q9550 at this point because they are way over priced and are being phased out quickly. Upgrade your board and memory I think that's the way to go.

I have a q9550 running at 3.5ghz and it is slightly under-volted. I'm using an MSI P45 Platinum board and with the latest beta bios this was easy to accomplish, but before I upgraded to that bios I couldn't get a decent overclock. My q9550 is E0 stepping.

Does anybody know how much a difference I would see going from 3.5ghz to 3.8 or 4.0? I'm hesitant to do it if it's only going to be a small improvement from what I have now especially if it causes my chip's lifespan to be severely degraded in comparison. I know for a fact that it is possible, but I would seriously have to up the voltage from what it is now.
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December 2, 2010 3:28:18 AM

^ I don't remember where i read it , but the life degradation of a chip under OC'ing stress and heat tends to make the chip last 2/3 rd of its intended lifespan. I Don't have the link with me now, cos of a clean install and my chrome bookmarks are acting up...but the benefits of the overclock are based solely on applications used. Some benchmarks showed a benefit with a 4GHz OC while some applications showed a better output with a 3.8GHz OC. My opinion, 24/7 use - 3.6GHz-3.8GHz is ok, play games with crazy settings then you'll need an extra boost for gaming GPU's : 4.0GHz is good.
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December 2, 2010 4:50:07 AM

>>>Further note - what are your other specs?

Thanks again for the info - useful to know DDR2 vs DDR3.

My rig - I'm in the middle of building it actually, thus the cpu question. I gathered parts several months ago, but was too busy to mess with the whole process of hardware migration. So, I have a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R, the E8400, 4gb Corsair DDR2-1066 (couldn't find faster DDR2 at the time, the board will support 1333), nVidia GeForce GS7200 PCI-e 512mb video card. Remainder of hardware will come from current rig running a P4-3.4ghz. I use XP-SP3. Vista too buggy for me, hated the way it worked on friends' machines. Stayed with XP. Not excited about W7, but maybe there will be enough to sway me. I know, I probably have my head in the sand! Anyway, I didn't want to bother with the E8400 (new in retail box) if it was just too far behind the power curve. I do hate to buy another board though - the Gigabyte board got good reviews, and I would like to try the C2Q route since I already have board and memory and only have to fork out cash for the Q9xxx cpu. Otherwise, it's a full-on upgrade of everything.

Thanks also for Wiki link to memory controller info.


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December 2, 2010 4:51:15 AM

Whoops, forgot to retain the quote in above message. I was responding to Lutfij previous question....
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Best solution

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December 2, 2010 6:42:39 AM

Lemme see:

rig 1:
CPU -E8400/yet to buy
GA-EP45-UD3R
Corsair 4GB DDR2 1066MHz
Nvidia 7200GS 512MB

rig 2:
P4-3.4GHz

The GA-P45 is an awesome beast when it comes to overclocking. Prior to buying my rampage extreme x48, i was looking heavily into the Maximus II Formula P45...and stumbled across alot of threads on OC'ing the GA-EP45. In game benchmarks, they were a lil lower than the Maximus II but in real world multithreaded applications, the GA-EP45 had the upper hand.

Most tests ran an E8400, but most enthusiasts ran a Q9550...which at that time was cheaper than the Q9650 and you could overlock the Q9550 to Q9650 specs and have more room to breath, plus the extra OC multiplier.

More to look @ multipliers -
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/259899-29-core-overcl...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254402-29-memory-over...

If i find the GA-P45 link at overclocker.net then I'll post it here, otherwise you could google it:) 

EDIT - BOOM! and this Yorkfield thread for Giagbyte owners , Asus' Maximus II Formula had a good win7 support...the GA-P45 will also fair well with win7 + you'll find its GUI delighting :)  in-a-nutshell: its Vista's GUI with XP's speed and user friendly apps.

with about $300 you can get an amd rig, but when you'll pop in that C2Q, you'll apprecaite it more than the amd rig - http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&biw=1920&b...
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December 9, 2010 5:21:06 AM

Thanks to all. I had a cost ceiling to deal with, and since there wasn't a dramatic performance difference between my two original choices, I decided to skip a new CPU/board/memory, and settled on a Q9550 which I will slightly overclock on my GA-EP45 board per Lutfij (thanks for that info). Found a good Ebay deal so price was in the right ball park.
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December 9, 2010 5:21:36 AM

Best answer selected by shonun.
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December 9, 2010 12:48:03 PM

Thank YOU for the vote, PM me if you need anything else! and another note, for that Overclock, you might wanna look up the Cooler Master Hyper 212+
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