Advice? Intel or AMD - Upgrading from Q9550

Discussion in 'Processors and motherboards Intel' started by Hayden202, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Hey everyone,

    I know this question comes up a lot but my situation is a bit unique I think.

    I am trying to decide on an upgrade for my system. I am fairly happy with my current rig but my motherboard is outdated and I'm having a hard time getting a super stable OC on it as the board works best with dual cores b/c of the bios limitations with respect to the GTLREF adjustment ranges.

    I have been on and off the overclocking for a year or so now and I have been battling with bluescreens and crashes even after weeks of careful, precise, stress testing.

    At this point I just want a new motherboard/CPU/ram combination that will allow me to keep my SLI 460's and enable me to have a nice stable computing and gaming rig all the time.

    I really like the affordability of the Phenom II stuff (and i heard bulldozer got delayed) but I figure a sandy bridge setup will offer the biggest raw speed increase over my current rig.

    I am a bit limited in teh AMD market just because I have this SLI setup that I do want to stick with for a while longer. So I suppose the Intel route while more expensive will offer more options.

    Just wondering if anyone could offer some advice on a nice setup where I can see big gains over my q9550 and still keep my SLI setup for under say $450?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Anything from the Phenom II line would offer you zero performance increase, so if you were thinking that route it would be better just to get a new motherboard only and keep everything else.

    Sandy bridge would be a decent performance boost, but it's a question of whether or not you want to spend all that money for an improvement that won't show up in most games.
     
  3. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Yeah, I understand what you mean. Well I did look over some benchmarks and even at stock speeds my Q9550 still outperforms some of the Phenom II stuff.

    I mean, I need a backup PC neway, so grabbing some new components for this rig is worth it to me as with games like Dirt 3 do suffer FPS wise from my slower CPU. I have run several tests overclocked and at stock and I usually gain 8-10FPS during races with multiple cars on the track when overclocked from 2.83 to 3.4ghz.

    So basically it is worth it to me for the Sandy Bridge because I am tired for having blue screens and crashes dues to this mobos limitations when overclocked. And I think a sandy bridge would probably blow away a stock Q9550 right?

    Plus I am really into super graphically intense games so squeezing the most outta my graphics cards is really big for me.

    Thanks for the help ice445.
     
  4. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    In terms of performance, yes it blows away a Yorkfield quad or Phenom 2. You'll have higher frames all around and most likely much higher minimums in your games (Which is nice). Just grab an i5 2500k, it's much cheaper than the 2600 and more gaming oriented.
     

  5. Amdgameplayer

    Amdgameplayer Master Guru

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    i would say intel as i just upgraded from a 6 core amd that the sandybridge outpreforms in gaming definatly
     
  6. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Awesome, thanks for the advice.

    Any major differences between the i5 and i7 sandybridge cpu's other than clock speed?
     
  7. ---TK---

    ---TK--- Ancient Guru

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    i5 has no HT and 6mb l3 cache
    i7 has HT and 8mb l3 cache
     
  8. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Since you have a decentish rig already (I know not a Sandy-Bridge good), I would wait and see exactly what the Bulldozer actually brings. If it is really good over the Sandy-Bridge, you have to consider that the goodness isn't taking in to account yet the benefits of the two 128-bit avx instruction combining, XOP, FMA4 etc. All good stuff!

    In any case, it will most likely cause a price drop on the Intel side of things. Maybe get a Fx-8100 when it releases and in a few months and upgrade to a FX-8170P when it comes out a couple of months later ;)
     
  9. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    Just get an i7 2600K/2500K. No point in waiting for bulldozer. Not likely it will outperform it and even it does match it, the sandy bridge cpus will still outperform it in games. Most games are built for intel architecture anyways
     
  10. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Using the term 'will still outperform it' is a little misleading, there is absolutely no guarantees of that. In any case, nothing is certain until it is actually released. Games are usually generically optimised anyway. Besides, the Bulldozer now supports all the instructions Intel does (including SSE 4.2 and AVX), plus adds on FMA4, XOP etc, and whilst its unlikely game engines will make use of FMA4, XOP etc due to the focus on consoles, it does mean that there would be less of a difference between optimisations for new Intel CPU's and AMD. I doubt whether games are optimised using ICL 12 etc, and I'm not sure whether ICL still includes the de-optimsation strategy it got take t court for with previous releases (de-optimisation in that if an Intel CPU isn't detected it uses the slowest code path).
     

  11. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Yeah I def would like to try and wait for bulldozer, b/c it will probably be at least as good as sandy-bridge and if it is slightly less intense performance wise, it will still be cheaper hopefully.

    But my big issue the lack of SLI supported AM3+ boards taht will be available after bulldozer launches. I mean, there is a limited selection of SLI ready boards with the Phenom II platform already right?

    Btw, thanks for all the responses and info, very helpful!
     
  12. IcE

    IcE Don Snow Staff Member

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    Nvidia is fully on board for SLI support with AMD this time around, so we should start seeing proper boards soon.
     
  13. Snappy

    Snappy Member Guru

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  14. thatguy91

    thatguy91 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah the 990X based boards are probably more practical features vs price than the 990FX boards, without resorting to the 970 based boards.
     
  15. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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  16. crap daddy

    crap daddy Master Guru

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    You can now get an i5-2500K, a decent mobo and 2 sticks of 2GB RAM for around 430$. Best setup money can buy today. If you are willing to wait 2 more months you'll also have the option for Bulldozer but generally speaking you get what you pay for. I don't think Bulldozer will offer better perf for less money.
     
  17. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Thanks everyone. That is a lot of good info. I didnt realize Nvidia was onboard this time around to release SLI support on AMD boards, good to hear. The i5-2500k is def a sweet option as well.

    Will the lack of HT on the i5-2500k, cause any big gaps in performance with respect to gaming over an i7 with HT?
     
  18. crap daddy

    crap daddy Master Guru

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    In today's games no. Tomorrow never knows.
     
  19. Exodite

    Exodite Ancient Guru

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    None whatsoever.

    Gaming isn't a workload that plays nice with HT overall, encoding/rendering/archiving/compiling might but unless you do those things a lot of the time the 2600K isn't a worthwhile investment.

    Put the extra money towards an SSD or an awesome 3rd party cooler instead.
     
  20. Hayden202

    Hayden202 Master Guru

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    Gotcha, well I am currently working on developing a video game with a buddy of mine so Im doing a lot of UDK and Blender work. Plus I use Cubase 5 for all the music recording I do for both the video game and my own personal stuff.

    I feel like I probably would get some benefits from the HT, but jeez thats another $100. Yikes.

    Well I will have to make a decision on the CPU. What do you guys think of this mobo?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131714

    I am looking for something that will OC decently well, has the NF200 (at best 2 true 16x PCI-E lanes) and is SLI compatible. Any recommendations welcome.

    Again, thanks for all the help so far.
     

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