Building for 4 Ghz with a Q9550 on air?

Rich3077

Senior member
Oct 11, 1999
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I was wondering if building a system around a Q9550 with the more expensive ram and motherboard is an reliably achievable goal.. or is the 4 ghz mark still pushing my luck??

Should I just buy the chip from newegg or search locally for one with an E0 stepping??
Also what motherboard and ram combos have been known to reliably reach 4 Ghz on air?
I would like to stick with DDR2 if possible.

If 4 Ghz cant be had with carefully selected hardware then I can probably save some money shooting for 3.6 Ghz instead.

Thoughts??
 

Foxery

Golden Member
Jan 24, 2008
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4.0 may be possible with the new stepping, but not easy. Extremely unlikely with the older stepping. 3.6 is much more reasonable -- the farther you push, the harder each extra mhz becomes.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
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Performance difference between 3.6 and 4.0 isn't much, outside of Epeenability. Best to stay with a known highly reachable/stable speed, and focus on improving other areas of performance (memory timing, drivers, OS streamlining), which will pay off better for overall smoothness and capability.
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
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It's possible, but you'll need some luck & skill with OCing.

Anything over 450 FSB gets pretty hard on the mobo, & you'll need 471 to be @ 4 GHz.

On my Q9550, i pretty much hit a brick wall around 465.

I did get almost stable @ 471, but either Blend/Large would always eventually fail (FSB), or the system would just freeze randomly.
I eventually gave up & settled on 8.5x465...

Keep in mind it's easy to pass small FFTs or even Intel Burn Test @ high FSBs, but that's because those don't really stress the FSB much it seems.

Large/Blend find FSB stabillity issues though.

I even have a screenie of Blend running for 2 hrs. then erroring @ 8.5x471....i tried so hard to get that working, but it just wasn't happening, as it'd always flake out at some point, or as mentioned, something just in the OS it'd freeze.

There are people who have gotten that though, & getting to 4 Ghz is a piece of cake.
It's getting that stable that's very hard though.
 

n7

Elite Member
Jan 4, 2004
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Originally posted by: Ocguy31
3.8 is probably more likely, but it's worth a shot.

I'd basically look at 8.5x450 (3825 MHz) as what you can expect with a good mobo & an E0; anything more as a bonus :)

That's what i did with mine, so i cannot complain at 3952.5 GHz, as i got my goal & a bit more.
 

Rich3077

Senior member
Oct 11, 1999
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Thanks for the replys.. I bit the bullet and went over to Microcenter and picked up a Q9550 E0 on sale for $299 and a Biostar Tpower I45 Mobo as well as some other needed goodies.
I have never considered Biostar before.. but this board got nothing but good customer reviews. I ran out of cash so I have everything but an aftermarket CPU cooler and RAM.
I am gonna throw this thing together using some old GSkill PC2-8000 that I have and the stock intel cooler to make sure all the hardware works. I will post back in a week or so with my results.. and probably some questions as well.
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
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Kindoff a Noob here... I've been out of the loop for long...

I'm thinking along the same lines but will consider water cooling as an option.

I'd assume I could get 4GHz and above with an average WC solution?

What would be the best I could expect with a 9550?

As far as Mobo go, is Asus P5Q a good option?


 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
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I believe you need a good high end board to give good power to the quad chip so a cheap board would probably not get you to 4. as for cooling i think you can cool it well enough with a top cooler like Tuniq//Xigmatec//TRUE. memory you just need something that can do up to 1000 or so which is available widely. like previous poster said you need to get a E0 to ensure a 4. older gen will top out at 3.8 or so.

on a personal note I don't think it's too wise to push for the max, because sometimes you have to really up the voltage to hit max but can skate by with much lower voltage say you just shoot for 3.6 or so. save you electric bill, easier on your motherboard and cooling systems. you will hardly notice that much gain going to the max. just a personal opion. if you still want to shoot for it just make sure you get a decent cooler.
 

nccr

Member
Jun 9, 2001
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I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but it is a lot more feasible if you don't populate all your ram slots (like 4x2gb). The reason I commonly hear is that it stresses your NB a lot more. My overclock was wrecked (3.8+ to 3.6 on an E6850) when I did that.
 

Rich3077

Senior member
Oct 11, 1999
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nccr, Glad you mentioned that.. I have never owned a quad.. let alone overclock one, so I set out to do some research on any success I may or may not have with the motherboard I selected. (Biostar Tpower)

**WARNING Newbie quad overclocking information beyond this point, read at your own risk**

At first I was dissapointed because most of the info I found said it didnt overclock quads very well due to having only 4 phase power, several site/threads I found mimmicked this same information.

Then I found this long 50 page thread about my motherboard and overclocking.
It seems its not so much the power that is holding a lot of people back.. but the memory settings. The quads have additional cache that adds to the overclocking woes and is the reason older quads clock better because the newer quads have seperate L2 banks for each sets of chips. I read all 50 pages of that thread and learned a lot.. and as a bonus I learned a lot of tricks to help me get a stable overclock as many people have the same mobo/chip combo as me and have gotten 4+ Ghz on air. (Although some are using less than safe voltage) Took me a few hours to get through it all.. but it was worth it.

I now look forward to my quad core challenge before me. I will be doing everything I can to tilt the odds in my favor such as removing the heatpipe from the motherboard and cleaning off all the usless TIM and remounting with a bolt mod with some good TIM. (For example, obviously much more I must do) I have the rest of my system sitting in my wish list on newegg untill payday when I hit the order button.

On a side note.. I love this motherboard.. have it set up now with the stock cooler and such and it is stable as a rock with no weird glitches. I will be replacing the motherboard in my C2D rig with this one as soon as I am done paying for christmas. (The quad setup is my duaghters christmas gift) It already has a mild overclock on the stock Intel cooler.

I will post some results after christmas, as its gonna take a bit of tweaking and such to find a good result.

Peace
Rich
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,133
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Hmmm I just set up my new Q9550 with a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P... I haven't tried to overclock yet, but, I was wondering if there is a thread on using this setup as I want to try to get to 3.2 first for awhile then maybe bump up to 3.6-3.8... See how it goes from there. I'm not too interested in hitting 4.0 unless it's extremely easy to do. I just want the easy / semi safe way balance. :)

Running seti right now with all cores maxed out. So far I really like this CPU.
 

Rich3077

Senior member
Oct 11, 1999
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Originally posted by: drextremeops007
the tpower i45 snt good for OCing quad as I find. It does very well for Dualies.. Good luck though.


Which brings me back to my original question. What board(s) are the overclocking kings in the quad world?
 

theaquatic

Junior Member
Oct 29, 2008
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Originally posted by: ghost recon88
I'd recommend ether the Gigabyte EP45-UD3P or the Asus Maximus Formula II.

I second the Gigabyte EP45-UD3P. I bought this board for my Q9550 and it works great. I just locked the voltages to the "normal" value in bios (1.2V for Vcore, 1.168V actual in CPU-Z) and bumped up the FSB up to 450, giving me 3.82Ghz without so much as a whimper from this setup. It didn't have any issues with my 8GB (4x2GB) of G Skill DDR2-1066 either, which is currently running slightly OC'd at 1080 and stock timings. Everything is Prime Stable, and I haven't had a single issue. For the $100 I paid for this board, I am beyond happy.

I have heard of great results with the ASUS boards too, but for the price ($116 after rebate right now at newegg) it's hard to pass up the UD3P...
 

Caveman

Platinum Member
Nov 18, 1999
2,532
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Kindoff a Noob here... I've been out of the loop for long...

I'm thinking along the same lines but will consider water cooling as an option.

I'd assume I could get 4GHz and above with an average WC solution?

What would be the best I could expect with a 9550?

As far as Mobo go, is Asus P5Q a good option? What does the Gigabyte board have that the Asus doesn't?