What are the current value kings in CPU-land?

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
0
As the title suggests, would be keen to understand what people are recommending these days in terms of value processors (value not neccessarily meaning cheap!)?

I'm plugging away with my Q6600 here, as this would suggest, I haven't looked at cpus for a while :)

It's prime happy at 3.4GHhz if I leave the BIOS settings in 'auto' for vcore (haven't tried any higher, just dialed the FSB up in BIOS), but I usually run it at stock and turn the vcore right down in the BIOS in conjuntion with the Asus EPU-6 thingy, spends most of its life at .96vcore from CPU-Z, loads at ~1.2vcore). Accoordingly, I can't really justify a new toy, but it's always nice to get a handle on what I could/should get ;)
 
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PingviN

Golden Member
Nov 3, 2009
1,848
13
81
Core i5 750 is a good choice, Phenom II 965 if you aldready have an AM3-compatable motherboard.
 

Rubycon

Madame President
Aug 10, 2005
17,768
485
126
What do you do with your PC?

If it's just surfing then you will see no difference (outside of a thinner wallet!) of a platform change...
 

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
0
What do you do with your PC?

If it's just surfing then you will see no difference (outside of a thinner wallet!) of a platform change...

Outside of office and firefox, games and a bit of photo processing (just with Nikon View).

I can't imagine that any of those things will practically justify a platform change (video card is just a 512mb 4850@770/1068 and it's probably a bit stretched for 19x12, so that would be my logical next upgrade I suppose...), but I like to have some idea of where the people who understand the shifting sands of CPUs would recommend spending money these days.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
56,339
10,044
126
If your current CPU is a Q6600 at 3.4, personally, I wouldn't bother upgrading the CPU to one of today's current-gen top CPUs. There's just not enough difference.

(The exception would be if you were doing video-editing 8 hours a day on the machine, for business purposes. In that case, I would say you could justify the expense of upgrading to a Core i7. But short of that, no, I wouldn't bother.)
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
106
If your current CPU is a Q6600 at 3.4, personally, I wouldn't bother upgrading the CPU to one of today's current-gen top CPUs. There's just not enough difference.

(The exception would be if you were doing video-editing 8 hours a day on the machine, for business purposes. In that case, I would say you could justify the expense of upgrading to a Core i7. But short of that, no, I wouldn't bother.)

x2.
 

halley

Junior Member
Mar 17, 2000
23
0
0
As the title suggests, would be keen to understand what people are recommending these days in terms of value processors (value not neccessarily meaning cheap!)?

I'm plugging away with my Q6600 here, as this would suggest, I haven't looked at cpus for a while :)

It's prime happy at 3.4GHhz if I leave the BIOS settings in 'auto' for vcore (haven't tried any higher, just dialed the FSB up in BIOS), but I usually run it at stock and turn the vcore right down in the BIOS in conjuntion with the Asus EPU-6 thingy, spends most of its life at .96vcore from CPU-Z, loads at ~1.2vcore). Accoordingly, I can't really justify a new toy, but it's always nice to get a handle on what I could/should get ;)

I excitedly built my own rig with an Intel GO Q6600, overclocked to 3.4 GHhz a few months after that quad was released. I also own a couple of AMD-equipped machines, including an unlocked cheap Phenom II 550. All of them adequately serve my video hobby.

I wouldn't consider upgrading until nvidia CUDA or ATI stream processing reach desirable maturity. Presently any CPU that costs more than $200 is unnecessarily expensive to me. Video equipment (monitor and video card) is another story.
 

edplayer

Platinum Member
Sep 13, 2002
2,186
0
0
Check back after the USB3/32nm stuff drops sometime in '10.


apart from blowout sales (which I can always resell for close to/more than I paid) this is what I will wait for.

Might be a bit longer though. I think we will have to wait till Sandy Bridge for Intel's chipset with both of those but AMD has an 890 coming up soon with SATA 3 but no USB 3 built in.
 
Nov 26, 2005
15,099
312
126
In my past experience, the Q9550 has been one of the greatest cost per performance deal. People argue because it's EOL but they are good chips. The 775 Q9x50 chips are good overclockers making them a good value. You can save it you have a MicroCenter nearby and get a cheap i7 920 D0 for 199$ last I heard but you are looking at a minimum of 500$ for the platform switch - my rig in sig2 cost just a hair over 500$ when i bought it...
 

MrK6

Diamond Member
Aug 9, 2004
4,458
4
81
For all intents and purposes, the Q6600 was and still is a great value processor. That chip really set the bar for "bang-for-your-buck" for future generations, especially the G0 revision.

All that said, after a lot of research, I upgraded from my Q6600 to an i5 750 and I must say, it feels like another great value chip, although I think the "bang-for-your-buck" market is much more competitive now. For $310 shipped after rebates and CB on launch day, I got the chip and a Gigabyte P55M-UD4 (could have gone with the UD2 and saved another $30-40, but w/e). It's currently running happily at 4GHz with little effort in my small Lian-Li case. Unless you're heavily into encoding or other processor intensive work, I find it difficult to justify the cost of an i7 set-up over it (socket 1156 or 1366). The fact that for ~$175 and with a little tweaking you can have one of the fastest CPUs available is pretty darn valuable in my book :).
 

COPOHawk

Senior member
Mar 3, 2008
282
1
81
I am in the same boat. I have been running a q6600 at 3.4 ghz for about 2 years now. I use this workstation for business (IT support) and gaming. Although I feel the desire to upgrade...I am going to wait on the core system for another year...because a processor upgrade wouldn't be that noticable for me. I haven't once pegged my processor to 100% even with all the multi-tasking I do, including multiple AS/AV scans, etc.

As for upgrades...I am going to upgrade the video card (currently an 8800GT)...but the big bang for the buck is an SSD.

I just installed an Intel XM-25 80 G2 for a customer on a one month old Core i720 system along with Win 7 Ult and the SSD makes a large noticable performance difference over the standard 7200 RPM drive...and it will make a difference over my Raptor as well ;)

HTH...
 

dug777

Lifer
Oct 13, 2004
24,778
4
0
Thanks folks, you have helped reduce the upgrade itch!

I think it will be a 5850 for me once the prices sort themselves out :)
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
11,528
5,045
136
If you have a MicroCenter nearby......

i5 750.....$149

Gigabyte P55A-UD3 (built-in SATA3/USB3)......$139

4GB DDR3 RAM.......$79-89 (AR---OCZ, Corsair)
 

lurk3r

Senior member
Oct 26, 2007
981
0
0
I'm in the same boat, Abit ip-35, Q9450 4 gigs with a 1Gb Palit 8800, dying to upgrade but there's nothing really signifigant / cost effective. I already boot off a Raptor, waiting on a decent Nvidia card to drop below $200, and SSD's to settle down. I'm very tempted to grab the I7 from microcenter, but without doing the whole big migrate from XP 64 to windows 7 on an SSD I just don't really see the point.
 

Acanthus

Lifer
Aug 28, 2001
19,915
2
76
ostif.org
I'm in the same boat, Abit ip-35, Q9450 4 gigs with a 1Gb Palit 8800, dying to upgrade but there's nothing really signifigant / cost effective. I already boot off a Raptor, waiting on a decent Nvidia card to drop below $200, and SSD's to settle down. I'm very tempted to grab the I7 from microcenter, but without doing the whole big migrate from XP 64 to windows 7 on an SSD I just don't really see the point.

I was in the same boat, but i couldn't resist the 4890 1GB for $140 AR.

I was an ATi hater for a long time after my shitty Radeon 8500 drivers compelled me to switch back to Nvidia. Now their drivers are fantastic. 0 issues since switching from my 9600GT.
 

v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
2,720
0
0
Athlon 620 for those who overclock. it keeps up with the Phenom 2 965 - which keeps up with the Intel Q9550.

for $99, that's a good deal.

One minor flaw with that theory. If you're willing to overclock a 620 then why not overclock the 9550, 965, i7 or i5? I have a hard time believing a 620 at any practical OC will keep up with an i7 at 4.2 ghz, for example.
 

lurk3r

Senior member
Oct 26, 2007
981
0
0
I was in the same boat, but i couldn't resist the 4890 1GB for $140 AR.

I was an ATi hater for a long time after my shitty Radeon 8500 drivers compelled me to switch back to Nvidia. Now their drivers are fantastic. 0 issues since switching from my 9600GT.

Oh there's no way I'm going back. 2 PC's ago I had a shuttle that would intermittantly just power off, turns out it was the x800xl, and I tried to 'upgrade' my last pc from a 7900gt to an 1900xtx, two days of screwing around with drivers and I still got half screen banding and an 2nd monitor that refused to operate. The only way I'll go to ATi again is if Nvidia is completely out of the running.

A similar dilemma aplies to the new Sony TV deal, you can get a decent Sony 46" LCD and basically a free PS3 for $950, you just have to deal with the 3 most evil companies in the states, Walmart for the purchase, Sony for the products, and Microsoft for the cashback. And at the end of it you end up with products made most likely in China lol.
 

MrK6

Diamond Member
Aug 9, 2004
4,458
4
81
Oh there's no way I'm going back. 2 PC's ago I had a shuttle that would intermittantly just power off, turns out it was the x800xl, and I tried to 'upgrade' my last pc from a 7900gt to an 1900xtx, two days of screwing around with drivers and I still got half screen banding and an 2nd monitor that refused to operate. The only way I'll go to ATi again is if Nvidia is completely out of the running.

A similar dilemma aplies to the new Sony TV deal, you can get a decent Sony 46" LCD and basically a free PS3 for $950, you just have to deal with the 3 most evil companies in the states, Walmart for the purchase, Sony for the products, and Microsoft for the cashback. And at the end of it you end up with products made most likely in China lol.
Yeah, cause nothing changes in four years, especially after a buyout. You can continue to sulk and swear off companies because you had one or two bad experiences while the rest of us laugh and enjoy great products at a cheap price.
 

wwswimming

Banned
Jan 21, 2006
3,702
1
0
One minor flaw with that theory. If you're willing to overclock a 620 then why not overclock the 9550, 965, i7 or i5? I have a hard time believing a 620 at any practical OC will keep up with an i7 at 4.2 ghz, for example.

I have a hard time believing it too.

who said the 620 would keep up with the i7 or i5 ?

the OP asked about "value", and it looks like the OC'ed 620 does a good job keeping up with the stock Athlon 965 (in the tests at Inside HW) - which is about as fast as a stock 9550.

i call that value.
 

nyker96

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2005
5,630
2
81
i think depend on budget, 100 range can't beat x4 620, 150 range probably get a PII quad or Q9xxx (used), at 200 range will be i5 750 or if you live near a microcenter i7 920.