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Thread: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?




  1. #1
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    Default should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    Yes I know its an old board and there are lots of faster stuff out there. But not ready to make that big of an investment yet, so thinking about juicing the last bit of performance out of my GA-P35-DS4.

    Currently have 8GB of 800mhz memory, its overclocked a little higher to around 900mhz.

    Currently have Q6600 (G0) cpu which overclocks easily to 3.2ghz, which is how I've been running it.

    I've read that the Q9650 might work on this mobo. Back in the day before i7, this was a pricy cpu, but they can be found for not too much now. This cpu could theoretically OC to even higher than I have been doing with the Q6600...and from what I understand it does more work per clock cycle as well, plus has larger cache.

    So the question is, what does it take to run that cpu on my DS4, and will it make my system run significantly hotter then it does now or do I need to worry about any other incompatibilities with my cooler, ram or anything else?

    Lastly, is there a different cpu that I should consider which might run even faster than the Q9650?, basically small investment to stretch the life of this system a few more years.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    The first thing you need to check is the BIOS version you have, which must be F14 or later to support that CPU. Verify that by searching for the Q9650 on Gigabytes CPU compatibility list for your board, which is still listed on their web site. It looks like all revisions of your board will support that CPU, with the correct BIOS.

    The Q9650 actually has a lower TDP than the Q6600, 95W vs 105W, so extra cooling may not be an issue. The FSB of the Q9650 is 1333, which may be supported by your board, depending on the revision (unknown to us now.)

    The only alternative would be a Core 2 Extreme CPU, if it was compatible, and you could get one.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    GA-P35-DS4 rev 2.0 F14 is what I have. I believe all the revs of that mobo support 1333 FSB, but am I missing something you were asking? Does it matter if my RAM is PC26400 (ie 800mhz)?

    Here is what I found on gigabyte's website:

    GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Socket 775 - Intel P35 - GA-P35-DS4 (rev. 2.0)

    Looking at that list, there are several Extreme's listed as supported, though they have a comment on a few of them that says "by overclocking" which I didn't understand. I'm not familiar with the extreme's, what is the low down on those? Different stepping? Does that make them more overclockable or something of that nature? Can you elaborate a bit on the Q9650 vs QX9650, the difference as they are both supported it would appear, but the QX is 130Watts.

    There is a QX9770 that also appears to be supported, but I'm dubious about that one, 1600 FSB it says. but any thoughts about that?

    The same question will apply though will I run into any heat issues with those? I don't want to spend any more money on new cooling. What I have now runs the Q6600 perfectly cool at 3.2ghz..., I do have an aftermarket heatsink/fan...not water cooled or anything fancy like that.

    And if anyone know whether any of those CPU's had any issues with this mobo, even though its on the list..

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    I wouldn't spend a cent on my old system (GA-X38-DS5 with Q9450 and 4GB) and the speed-up is overrated. There is a GA-EX58-UD5 with an i7-930 and 6GB sitting next to it and on day-to-day work it isn't much faster either. Save your money for a new system :-) From my point of view it's more worthwhile to figure out *what* slows down your system. For my opinion there are far too many programs and libraries loaded at boot time that never or seldom get used and cleaning up this mess is freeing up memory, speeding up the boot and making the system overall more responding. A SSD (128GB or larger) is also something I would consider speeding up an old system :-)

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    I backup Krokodil' s advise, save money and invest in newer system (Haswell coming soon).
    You already have system overclocked to speeds of Q9650.
    You're best bet with that system would be a fresh install of Windows7 on a SSD for operating system everything else to 7200rpm mech. drive hd.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    well I may or may not make that decision yet, right now just gathering some facts. Looks like the Q9650 would be the one to get and they can be gotten now for not much more than $100, so I don't see that as being a large cost if I can get a bit of performance out of it for another year or two. I am building a hackintosh and next machine I am going to spend the coin for a full blown mac Pro, but that is not in the budget this year...

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dewdman42 View Post
    GA-P35-DS4 rev 2.0 F14 is what I have. I believe all the revs of that mobo support 1333 FSB, but am I missing something you were asking? Does it matter if my RAM is PC26400 (ie 800mhz)?

    Here is what I found on gigabyte's website:

    GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Socket 775 - Intel P35 - GA-P35-DS4 (rev. 2.0)

    Looking at that list, there are several Extreme's listed as supported, though they have a comment on a few of them that says "by overclocking" which I didn't understand. I'm not familiar with the extreme's, what is the low down on those? Different stepping? Does that make them more overclockable or something of that nature? Can you elaborate a bit on the Q9650 vs QX9650, the difference as they are both supported it would appear, but the QX is 130Watts.

    There is a QX9770 that also appears to be supported, but I'm dubious about that one, 1600 FSB it says. but any thoughts about that?

    The same question will apply though will I run into any heat issues with those? I don't want to spend any more money on new cooling. What I have now runs the Q6600 perfectly cool at 3.2ghz..., I do have an aftermarket heatsink/fan...not water cooled or anything fancy like that.

    And if anyone know whether any of those CPU's had any issues with this mobo, even though its on the list..
    The "by overclocking" refers to the FSB speed. Notice on the mobo specs in the CPU compatibility list, some boards have rated FSB speeds of 1066, 1333, and 1600 by OC, which means the 1600 speed is an OC for those boards, while others are rated to 1600 normally. In other words, the 1600 by OC is not guaranteed. Your board will do 1333 normally, so the 9650 that is rated to use a 1333 FSB, should work. CPUs beyond using a 1333 FSB will be hit or miss.

    You'd really need to find someone that uses a configuration that you are thinking about, which is not me.

    Like the others that have posted here, IMO the CPU is not the bottleneck in PC performance. Does your use of that PC cause the CPU to operate at 90%+ usage on all the cores most of the time? I don't see a one generation difference in CPU design, like a 9650, making a big difference in performance. If you're not using a SSD now, that would be the best investment in performance, as the others have said.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    I do music/audio which can definitely need as much CPU as possible. But moving data around the busses is also part of the equation for sure. But definitely we crank a lot of cpu when we're mixing a lot of plugins, etc. Every little bit of CPU helps. Also the newer processor is using SSE4. It also has a larger cache. I'm willing to bet I can see 15-20% improvement in performance, which is well worth the $100-150 or so to get the CPU on ebay, plus i can sell my old one for about $50.

    Here are some benchmark comparisons:

    Intel Core2 Quad Q9650 vs Q6600

    A solid state drive is not going to make much difference for what I do. My boot drive performance is not nearly as critical as readwrite large amounts of audio data to secondary drives. SSD do improve the launch of apps and a lot of typical stuff that a lot of users do, accessing email that is stored on their boot drive, etc. But its not the bottleneck generally for audio workstations. When I get my next power machine I will definitely put one in that though for good measure.

    Anyway I am not really interested in debating with you all about whether it makes economical sense to do this or not, I was mostly looking for friendly advice about what I need to watch out for if I decide to do it. There are plenty of other forums where they debate all night long about that. This is the Gigabyte support forum, so was just looking for any specific info I need to know about.

    Thanks for the info so far.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    I'm sorry, but I agree with the other guys that are saying that its a waste of money, but hey if you have it to burn then go ahead... to get any noticeable differences you pretty much have to double what you currently have...

    I've done upgrades similar to this in the past, 2Ghz to 3Ghz dual cores, and initially had a placebo that is was faster, benches supported the though of improvements, but then using the system over the span of a week or two I realized that the difference what not nearly as noticeable as I had hoped.

    You want an improvement? Get a used X58 with DDR3, or get a used i7-2600k and OC it to 4Ghz+ on air... don't bother with a new Ivy, wait for haswell

    You can read all the numbers you want, you want a noticeable difference, the numbers need to be near doubled in the benchmarks.

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    Default Re: should I upgrade my GA-P35-DS4 to Q9650?

    Regardless of whether it's a good or poor choice, the Q9650 will work on your board, has a lower TDP than your Q6600 does, and shouldn't be a stress on the rest of that PC, although we have no idea what other hardware you use. Hopefully it will OC as well as your 6600 does, and given its lower TDP, should be a nice little upgrade.

    The Core 2 Quad Extreme processors all have a TDP of 130W or more, so will need additional cooling. They were also not cheap in their day, almost $1000 for the QX6850. Some of those need a 1600MHz FSB speed, which is considered an OC on your board. So those look like less of an option.

    Why myself and others are reluctant to agree with you on the amount of performance improvement is due to our experience and also what we don't know. You seem to assume the 9650 will OC just as well as the 6600 does, but that is an unknown. You may find that a 9650 will OC well according to information on the Internet, but mother boards are not identical in OC capability.

    The difference in the performance comparison you linked to, overall performance using all cores: 6.8 to 6.3, a difference of 0.50. 10% of 6.3 is 0.63, and 1% of 6.3 is 0.063, so the 0.50 difference in score is just a hair under 8%. Some of the other scores looked better than that, but that was the overall scoring.

    Of course all of that ignores the big $$$, which is what you are trying to minimize.

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