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CPU Stick with Q9550 or go i7? Possible upgrade routes

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by deadlyavenger, 14 Jul 2010.

  1. deadlyavenger

    deadlyavenger What's a Dremel?

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    My system is as follows:
    Intel Q9550
    4Gb Crucial Ballistix Dominator 1333Mhz DDR3
    Asus Maximus Extreme x38 Motherboard
    Crucial M225 128Gb SSD
    ATI Radeon 5850
    Creative X-Fi Titanium PCI-E

    Basically I've had my rig like this for a while and am wondering what to spend some money on as I've just started a new job.

    I'm starting to thing that I'm going to need a new motherboard because I'm having problems with peripherals not responded correctly and my X-Fi is having lots of issues, even though it's been replaced so I'm beginning to think it's related to the motherboard causing interference. Basically - the quality on the microphone input is awful with lots of static/noise in it and things like moving my mouse causes the speakers to make a noise.

    Should I...
    - Spend some money on making my PC look really sexy by watercooling the whole thing and overclocking to the max
    - Upgrade to an i5 + new mobo (and use my DDR-3 ram or maybe get 4Gb more?)
    - Upgrade to an i7 + new mobo + new ram
    - Just buy a new mobo? (Maybe combine with the watercooling option)

    Are there any 755 motherboards with DDR3 that would be comparable in performance/overclocking ability with my Q9550/DDR3 RAM?

    In terms of the maximum budget - I don't really want to spend any more than I have to - so probably wouldn't go the i7 route as it means new cpu + new ram + new motherboard

    Any thoughts/comments/questions are appreciated :)
     
  2. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Assuming you're simply doing the w/c & new mobo option, imho, it's really whether you can find a 775 motherboard for a sensible price...

    Anyway, from my experience/out of the 2 x48 boards i have (i tend to skip a processor gen otherwise it gets ridiculously expensive & since i know what my QX9770 will do...) -

    the Rampage Extreme seems to be marginally the better overclocker - though it took a hell of a time to get a 100% stable 4.2GHz out of my QX9770 with 8GB of DDR3 on it (well, without setting some ridiculous vCore voltage of course), though admittedly that was with an early bios...

    but the P5E3 Premium is probably the better board overall - getting a 24/7 3.8Ghz from a QX9650 took about 20-30mins (though that's with 1600MHz DDR3 running at native speed & an unlocked processor - 9.5x400) & didn't bother trying anything higher as the usage doesn't require it, & the additional pci-e slots have come in handy.

    Yeah, as & when i build my next one (prob Jan/Feb next year assuming the new processors & mobos are out by then), it'll be the P5E3 Premium & QX9770 i'll hang onto as my 2nd machine.

    Oh, & whilst the Rampage came with some X-Fi thing, it was worse than useless imho - but have no issues with a X-Fi Elite Pro on the Rampage or an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro on the P5E3.
     
  3. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    I wouldn't spend any money on water cooling an old rig, especially one you're not happy with. Sounds to me that at some point you'll want, or need to take that motherboard out, and doing that once you've got your loop up and running is depressing... plus, refitting the loop to a new motherboard isn't that simple as pipe lengths may not be the same etc.

    Sounds like upgrade time to me :)
     
  4. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Aren't the first Sandy Bridge CPUs due at the end of the year? I'd vote for saving a bit + waiting for those.
     
  5. roosauce

    roosauce Looking for xmas projects??

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    My 2c
    - i5 is certainly a good jump for you, but I haven't seen any indication that socket 1156 is going to have any major new parts beyond what we see now. It seems like a dead end.
    - i7 obviously has a better upgrade path - at least to 32nm hyperthreaded hex-core. Sounds like it's expensive for you right now however.
    - Spending fresh money on this particular rig isn't worth it. It's absolutely solid as it stands ... aside from the interference problem ... but no point throwing good money after it. I also think that re-building older rigs can often cause more problems that it solves.

    I would either:
    a) Try to hang on .. try another sound card or on-board sound if it is decent. Do what you can, save up, and strike out for an i-7 or Sandy Bridge platform upgrade in a few months.

    b) Consider AMD AM3 platform. I've said it before in other threads - hex cores available today, new bulldozer architecture and 8-cores probably supported on AM3 in the future. It is a worthwhile upgrade for you and you can keep your RAM. You could even sell that Intel quad for decent money to offset the costs.
     
  6. deadlyavenger

    deadlyavenger What's a Dremel?

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    @roosauce
    I'm now on my 2nd X-Fi and the problem still remains - hence why I'm starting to think that it's the motherboard that's causing the issues.

    Also - the AM3 idea is quite appealing. Looked at some benchmarks and for a AMD Phenom T1055 with mobo is about £300 - which is probably about what my budget would be and looking at benchmarks it looks like a fairly decent upgrade. Can you recommend any decent motherboards? It's been a while since I've looked at AMD Chipsets.

    @PocketDemon
    I am reluctant to replace the motherboard because I'm spending money with no performance improvements - which makes me a sad panda. Especially if I'd be looking at a X48 board which is in the region of £150
     
  7. docodine

    docodine killed a guy once

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    Any Asus, Gigabyte, [insert brand you trust here] 890FX mobo within your budget will suit you fine.

    Look for the ones with USB3 if you feel like being fancy.
     
  8. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

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    The other half's PC is an i5 750 on a Gigabyte UD3Lwrrasasd-thingy (don't remember the exact acronym, so sue me!) and I have to be honest, and say that I don't notice any tangible speed increase between that and my E6850 (dual 3ghz 4mb).

    Sure some benchmarks may show her raw CPU is better, but personally I do nothing except for play computer games, and there's a point of diminishing returns once you get fast "enough" - its then on your graphics card.

    Having said all that, I've had a similar fault with Xfi on my motherboard (Asus P5KC - a P35 board). It was a PCI Express Music, and it eventually died. I replaced it with a PCI-Ex1 Xfi card, some oem thing, and its been 100% fine since.

    I know I'm being controversial, but unless you're doing something that requires every last fractional amount of CPU power, I'd suggest you stick with your Q9550, and dump off the Xfi. Try Xonar or something.
     
  9. roosauce

    roosauce Looking for xmas projects??

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    The 890 series was mentioned - that's new and high end. It looks like at least the 7xx series chipsets and upwards will support the hex cores. My money would robably be somewhere around here - GA-880GA-UD3H or GA-890GPA-UD3H.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2010
  10. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    it was simply that you'd had replacing the mobo as a suggestion & so was passing on the experience of my two & had said that it was about finding one for a sensible price...

    Well, whilst i'd bought the Rampage new for some foolish sum, the P5E3 Premium was £111.03 16-17 months ago 2nd hand inc postage (it wasn't worth spending more than this at the time & got a good deal on a cpu/had 4GB of high voltage memory kicking around/etc), which would suggest that 'if' one came up today it would be cheaper still.

    Even if they'd only fallen by a tenner, that would leave you with £200 (from your £300) give or take, to stick into w/c-ing which is a reasonable start - & something which should all be re-usable (other than some tubing/the liquid) as & when you do a major upgrade...

    ...well, unless your whole machine died & so you *had* to buy a replacement, at this point i'd wait (as i actually am) for the next gen of intel cpus - prob the beginning of next year.
     
  11. okenobi

    okenobi What's a Dremel?

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    Umm, really? This machine is totally fine! Don't waste your money.
     
  12. roosauce

    roosauce Looking for xmas projects??

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    He's having stability problems - peripherals not working well, some sort of electromagnetic shielding issue impacting sound cards, etc. Otherwise I'd agree.

    Spending any money replacing parts or upgrading on this platform would be the waste of money I think.
     

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