View Full Version : Is this processor a worthy upgrade?

Paul G
06-10-2008, 04:28 PM
I'm keen to avoid having to buy a complete system every 18 months or so, when I feel like upgrading my system. Presently I have an EVGA setup (mb with 8800GTS 320mb video card), with an Intel Core 2 Duo 6400 4Mb.

I'm looking at a quad core option below about $400 US/CAD. This seems to be the best you can get for this kind of money:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Quad Core Processor LGA775 2.66GHZ Yorkfield 1333FSB 12MB

I have some questions:

1. What kind of performance gains should I expect by just upgrading the processor?
2. What's the 1333FSB, and will that make much difference compared with, err, a lower FSB :) ?
3. Is it easy to replace a CPU but retain the motherboard? I expect Vista will ring alarm bells like it did last time I made a far more minor change.
4. Is there any other Intel processor around my price mark, that would be better?

As always your advice is appreciated.

Thank you


06-10-2008, 05:25 PM
I'm going to explode your budget here....

That is a nice CPU. It's going to want a new motherboard and the bigger number for FSB (Front Side Bus) is better. 1600 is the current speed limit on that but it will soon take a back seat to the 2000 FSB motherboards coming out. That's the one you really want. It should last you well into FS11.

This also means you sould opt for a new video card but the one you have should work for now.

06-19-2008, 07:21 PM
Just my 2c worth here :)
Paul, I bought my system last month and I gave this DUO and QUAD a lot of thought and asked a lot of questions before I bought my PC as money was not an issue.
I buy a new PC about every 3 to 4 years so what I got now is gonna have to last.
Basically FS2004 does not see multicore processors so going to a quad you will definently go backwards as only one core is used.
They say FSX sees multicores or there is a patch, check on that first.
Also as Andy says, once you have the proc, you gonna find you need a better mobo, then faster memory and so it goes on and on.
I have actually disabled one of my cores as it improves performance on non multicore applications.
I recently read somewhere on the Simviation forums someone who traded their 3 gig Core 2 Duo processor in for a 2.56 quad and he lost performance.
For games that are dedicated to multicore processors like UT3, a quad will rock.
What you have atm, I would stick with for another year or so, maybe a new graphics card as 320 meg is bit little.


06-19-2008, 08:09 PM
The big question is:
FSX or FS9? If you go with FS9 then almost any new system will run it exceedingly well. If you go FSX, then go for all you can get.

06-20-2008, 05:14 AM
If you go FSX, then go for all you can get.
Plus the kitchen sink :)
Modern PC's run pretty well on FSX if you are a pilot that spends most of the time in the cockpit behind instruments and autopilot or in spot view roaming around at 10,000 feet plus, but when you come down to competitive sport levels in a fast and powerful single seater with no AP, then its a entirely different story.
The other thing is does FSX see multicores properly, if it does then all well and good but if it does not then I would not venture past a E6850 3 gig Core 2 Duo.

06-20-2008, 01:02 PM
I agree with all said, but I wouldn't expect more than 10% (roughly) better performance with the suggested CPU upgrade. It's probably worth staying with a system for 3-4 years as you will be guaranteed of a large leap in performance each upgrade. Unless you go all out with the new 45nm processor at 1600FSB, DDR3 RAM, Video Card etc, etc, etc, your not going to see vast improvement. Yes FSX does see multi cores since SP1 but only for loading of scenery and other sundries. I don't think it utilizes it in-game.

And Andy's right, it will rocket along with FS9 whether dual or quad core. FSX is another matter but a mid-range system will still serve you well today. I'd perservere with your current setup and save your money for 12 months down the track when DDR3 and the latest motherboards come off the top-shelf list and into the bargain bins.


06-20-2008, 01:39 PM
I would not go for this quad core cpu because it runs at only 2.66 GHz.

FS9 only uses one core (and FSX most of the time only uses 1 core) so you will be better of with a E8500 dual core cpu running at 3.16 GHz.

But looking at your current cpu, I'd advice to keep the money in your pocket and wait for another 12 months.


Paul G
06-20-2008, 02:06 PM
Thanks for the responses to my question. I really wasn't expecting it would make such little difference, but I'm glad I'm finding out here and not after having put the money and time into a new system. Sounds like clock cycles is the thing to look for, over numbers of processors.

I have a principle with PCs that I will stick to here. And that is to only buy the new PC when you absolutely have to. There's always a new technology about to come out, or a massive price drop about to happen, or a significant upgrade around the corner, to what you were about to buy, for the same money. Never a good time to buy, but never a bad time either following this line of thinking.

Constantly tweaking the system, defragmenting frequently, being ruthless about removing add ons that don't provide good benefit to performance hit, and experimenting with the display settings seems to be what is most likely to have impact. And none of this costs anything apart from time (and even then it can be doing it while you're building your sim).