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Need Upgrade advice for LGA775 CPU. What Core2Quad should I buy?

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September 6, 2012 6:41:21 PM

I'd like to upgrade just my CPU.

I have an older system (about 5 years old now), running an LGA775 motherboard with an Intel Core2Duo 3.0ghz (OC'd to 3.6). The system is very stable, so no worries there. I have a EVGA GTX 670 video card in the same system. My reasoning for wanting to upgrade the CPU is to get better gaming performance without spending any extra money. I originally had plans to upgrade the motherboard/cpu/ram/PSU, but things changed (as in, my computing budget) once I found out my Wife and I are pregnant. :) 

Anyway,

Here's the motherboard I have:
XFX MB-N780-ISH9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i

Here's the current CPU that I have:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775

It supports up to Core2Quad CPU's. I really like my E8400 Core2Duo (great for overclocking), but it's topping out with the newer games I play and it's also a big bottleneck for the video card I have.

What should I be looking for when shopping for a Core2Quad CPU? Any specific CPU I should try and find?

I also read that I should make sure my bios is updated to V.P07 (still need to verify what version my bios is) in order to best handle a Core2Quad CPU.

Thank you!
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September 6, 2012 7:01:15 PM

I believe the 780i supports every LGA 775 CPU out there, so the best bets are probably the Q9550 and Q9650. I believe the Q9550 tended to OC better between the two [its been a while though].
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September 6, 2012 8:50:28 PM

It all depends on the motherbd really but q9550 will probably be slightly cheaper of the two. Either one should hit 3.6-3.8 stabile and anything more depends on how good an overclocker your motherbd is.
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September 7, 2012 12:48:10 AM

The Q9550 and Q9650 seem very pricey, especially considering how old they are.
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September 7, 2012 2:07:14 AM

Thats due to the demand. Used ones are about $150 and new around $400
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September 7, 2012 5:07:32 AM

There still aren't a lot of games out there that really take advantage of quads, although more than there were a few years ago. It's a good move for future proofing purposes, though.

But presently, between your CPU and your video card, I think you generally have a good setup for gaming (at least for most titles) as you are. You could wait until Haswell comes out to see if that reduces pressure on the price of the Yorkfields, but that is a ways off and given your situation that might not be ideal from a timing standpoint.

LordHaHa
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September 7, 2012 4:33:15 PM

Well, most games I play my CPU is above 90%. With all settings max in BF3 (for example), I'm getting around 30 to 40fps (with some dips in the 20's). However, I've seen stats with people using the same video card and Quad-core CPU's getting 70+ fps. Although I understand most games don't fully utilize quad-core CPU's, they are definitely better for gaming from what I can tell.
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September 7, 2012 8:28:15 PM

They are definitely better, I agree there, if for no other reason you have two extra cores managing background tasks. The question really is, is are you willing and/or able to spend $100-150 immediately for a Yorkfield? If not, or if it is a purchase that is not critical to the continued enjoyment of your present games, then you may want to hold off on it until Core 2 Quad pricing drops or a more substantial upgrade opportunity presents itself.

LordHaHa
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