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How well will Q9650 @3.8Ghz work with GTX680 / HD7970 GE?

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February 23, 2013 2:42:24 AM

Good day Forum!

In 2009, I bought a Q9650, took the next 6 months to overclock it to 3.9Ghz stable then back it down to 3.8Ghz so it runs really cool with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. I believed that because I took time to do it the old hard way, it has been very stable for the past 4 years.

In 2008, I got myself an Asus Radeon HD 4870x2, gamed until it died in 2011, got a replacement from Asus with the MARS HD5870. It's still running great. Everything I bought up to this point had paid back the initial investment in my humble opinion.

My current problem: The HD5870, as solid as it is, is having to drive a DELL U3011 at 2650x1600 and that is some seriously hard work when it comes to gaming.

I am considering either a GTX680 or a HD7970 to game at the above resolution. I love overclocking and plan on building another rig to have fun doing just that, but not now because I have no time.

So, my question is: how well will the Q9650 handle either GTX680 or HD7970 at the above resolution? There is absolutely no plan for SLI or CrossFireX.

Other info. regarding my specs are as follows:
CPU: Intel Q9650 @ 3.8GHz (Bus speed: 423Mhz, Rated FSB: 1692.1Mhz)
MB: Asus Maximus Formula X38 chipset
RAM: 4GB of Corsair Dominator DDR2 overclocked to 846 MHz effective (FSB:D RAM = 1:1)
PSU: Corsair HX1000W (never been utilized at its full potential)
Storage: OS on OCZ Vertex 2, Games on 500GB Barracuda, other storage are on dual 3TB Barracuda

Overall, system has been very solid. I am only worried about the Q9650's ability to work with latest graphic cards given the 2650x1600 resolution and DDR2 memory system.

Thank you very much for your input! Have a nice day!
February 23, 2013 3:07:00 AM

Yeah get a 7970. It can handle higher resolutions much better.
The core 2 quad is still very capable , if fps worries you then overclock your cpu.
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February 23, 2013 5:27:13 AM

I would agree that the core 2 quad would be fine, what might get u is the 4gb on ddr2, not that ddr2 itself but the 4gb part. Get a $400-500 gpu, and u only have 4gb of ram? lol Theres certain 680s and 7970s that have either 4gb or 6gb or vram, and stock ones have 2-3gb lol ur gpu would have the same amount as ur system uses
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February 24, 2013 1:22:10 AM

Thanks for the response!

And I agree that one of my concerns from the beginning is that system RAM may not be sufficient to allow the Q9650 to properly do its job.

Back in the day of Crysis and Crysis: Warhead, I used to run game then Tab out to see how much system RAM was used up. Surprisingly, utilization of system memory never went above 3.2GB for these games.

I would love to know how much system RAM will be required for the Q9650 to adequately feed data to the GTX680 / HD7970 given these graphic chips are far more powerful than the HD5870.

To further complicate things, games nowadays are different from the era of Crysis and Crysis: Warhead. I do play games like Starcraft 2, Total War, Crysis 2 etc... from time to time.

Could anyone with a configuration similar to mine provide some data regarding system memory utilization when those kinds of games are being played? I know it will not be accurate but it will give some directions.

Again, thanks for the response! Have a good day!
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June 27, 2013 4:51:20 AM

If you never went above 3.2gb usage it's because you have 32 bit windows and that's the max beforehand using swap
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