Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Quad Core CPU

Test Setup & Overclocking

Test Setup
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
Processor(s)
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 3.0GHz 2x 6MB
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz 2x 2MB
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x 4MB
 
Motherboard
• Asus Rampage Formula X48 DDR2
 
Cooling
• OCZ Vendetta 2 + Stock Fan

Memory
• 2x 1gb Cellshock PC2-6400 @ DDR2-800 (4-4-4-12)

Graphics Card
• Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E

Hard Disk
• Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb

Operating System
• Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
 
All testing was performed on a fresh install of Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 (32 bit) with latest updates. Both the chipset drivers and other motherboard related drivers were installed from the CD provided with the Rampage Formula motherboard. Drivers for the X1950Pro GPU were obtained directly from ATI's website and carried version number 8.3.57946 on the install package.
 
Under normal circumstances we would re-install the OS between changes of hardware to avoid any left-over drivers from previous hardware configurations. However, as the changing of processors has minimal effect on the operating system and no installation or removal of drivers is required, the same installation of Vista was used throughout the testing of the three CPU's.
 
The following benchmark utilities have been chosen to show both the synthetic and real-world performance differences in applications and games that either make full or partial use of Symmetric Multiprocessing:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• PCMark Vantage

File Compression & Encoding

• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R
 
 
Overclocking
 
Intel chips just seem to get better and better at overclocking, and the Yorkfield core certainly isn't any different. Using only air cooling, the maximum overclock we could obtain from the chip was 4.27ghz - a massive increase of almost 50% for an already highly clocked CPU. As we can see from the graph below, the E6850 and Q6600 65nm process chips couldn't even come close.
 
QX9650 Overclocking
 
Being able to use upward 0.5x multipliers on the chip certainly gave an extra level of flexibility during our overclocking session, and alleviated a potential trade-off between CPU and Memory speed we would have normally hit using FSB clocking alone. In the end, the settings we settled for were 450FSB x9 with a 1.4500v vcore.
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Most Recent Comments

10-04-2008, 16:19:25

JN
"With a 3.0ghz stock clock, unlocked multiplier and a whopping 12mb cache, how does the QX9650 compare to some of it's more affordable counterparts?"

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...215646766l.gif

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Review

10-04-2008, 16:20:40

ionicle
woah, one hell of a review!

its not even up on the front page yet

EDIT: good review

the dual core got left in the dust for multi-threaded aplications

but that processor isnt THAT much further ahead of the Q6600 tbh..

not really worth the extra IMO

but as you said, the best of the best...

10-04-2008, 16:25:47

Bungral
Wow.. Where did this come from..

Will read it in a min

10-04-2008, 16:34:31

!TIMMY!
yummy! I want, but not enough money, ahhhggggg.

10-04-2008, 16:43:45

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='!TIMMY!'
yummy! I want, but not enough money, ahhhggggg.
Ditto...I was tempted to run off with it to Mexico

10-04-2008, 17:45:48

Socks
Im hopefully getting a Q9450, im not going to even consider spending that much money one something not all that great, a Q9450 = cheap, good for le future useage, and meh, its my b'day in a few weeks so i might as well treat myself.

Anyone else looking at anything similar or sticking with whats already out?

10-04-2008, 17:58:48

FarFarAway
Sticking with Dual Core until Nehalem comes out tbh

10-04-2008, 17:58:49

Pseudonym
My jaw was firmly open throughout. 4.275ghz on air is mad.

Then the price popped up and my jaw stayed where it was. Ouch, but if you want the best you have to pay for it.

When these come down in price they might be an excellent buy.

10-04-2008, 17:59:28

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Pseudonym'
My jaw was firmly open throughout. 4.275ghz on air is mad.

Then the price popped up and my jaw stayed where it was. Ouch, but if you want the best you have to pay for it.

When these come down in price they might be an excellent buy.
Intel's Extreme CPU's never come down THAT much in price...

10-04-2008, 18:24:09

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='sock58'
Im hopefully getting a Q9450, im not going to even consider spending that much money one something not all that great, a Q9450 = cheap, good for le future useage, and meh, its my b'day in a few weeks so i might as well treat myself.

Anyone else looking at anything similar or sticking with what's already out?
I'm gonna buy a Q9450 out in the States beginning of next month. Want an upgrade from my E6600.. Would probably just get a Q6600 if I wasn't going over the pond but as I can save a few quid then there is no harm in opting for the Penryn.

Agreed with Matt though.. Nehalem .. Its probably gonna be a little steep when first comes out though.

10-04-2008, 18:44:00

steve30x
I want one but I cant afford the price, Which is why I opted for a Q6600 instead.

10-04-2008, 19:28:23

tinytomlogan
Great review.

Would love to see a review on the lower spc quads like the q9450, most things Ive read so far is these wont be as good (clocking wise) as the old q6600.

10-04-2008, 20:35:21

nepas
nice review jim.

you put a lot of volts through that chip,isn't 1.4 the max the 45nm's are rated for?Have read a lot about the 45's having seriously shortened lives due to voltage,they don't seem to be able to take being pushed on volts as well as a 65nm can.Either way though over 4.2 on air is good going,but I cant see them going much further due to the voltage issue(unless you can get that far with a lot less volts)

seems weird now,but not so long ago people were not bothered about how many volts you put into a chip,just to get the highest clock possible,you overvolted this new chip to less than my venice takes as standard(still running at 1.59 after 2 years)

11-04-2008, 08:45:36

gdawg304
Impressive chip and all, but hasn't it already been superseded by the QX9770 clocked at 3.2GHz?

A review of that chip on bit-tech described anyone who bought it (retails at 930-odd) as indulging in willy-waving and suggested that a Q9450 for a quarter the price, overclocked to 3.2GHZ+ was a more sensible option....

although the release of those seems to have slipped back to July looking at some retailers!! There doesn't seem to be any official notification anywhere about the 9450 & 9550 release dates.

11-04-2008, 09:00:56

Rastalovich
Great write-up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Intel's Extreme CPU's never come down THAT much in price...
Nope. Cept in the states vS UK price does seem to fluctuate. At the time of release, the X9650 was the same price (give or take), now I think there`s a 100 or so difference.

The mobos make a difference in supplying these beasts. I`m presently running the cpu @ stock @ 1.15v or so.

With the ABit IX38, I can go 4.1x ghz on 1.2xV. Previous IX38 board I had went to 4.2x ghz on 1.3xV. All on air.

That being said again, cpuz gives incorrect readings. Uguru says it`s doing one thing - and it isn`t, and my temps, outside of coretemp are 12 degrees, sometimes hittin 18... on air >.<

X9770 for almost 1k ! sheesh.

11-04-2008, 19:56:07

doug2507
.

12-04-2008, 04:58:16

FarFarAway
Personally I'd say that the Q6600 is more than sufficient for the time being, especially when considering the price.

12-04-2008, 07:08:32

Rastalovich
Building a rig for gaming ? I`d consider more the mobo & gfxcard(s) these days.

There are anything from 4 to 6 cpus out that will destroy games, marginly under that there a good dozen, even when run @ stock in both dual and quad core flavors.

If your doing other stuff in addition to gaming, your emphasis may change.

12-04-2008, 10:16:56

clone38
Ive had one sitting here for weeks now as i need a motherboard for it but my new case needs more modding done costing me nice review cant wait to get this baby under water
Reply
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