Phenom II 940 - Core 2 Quad Q9550

tomstar

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I'm a few weeks away from buying a new computer and I've already chosen most of my computer parts. The only part I am not too sure about is the CPU. At the moment my future computer consists of a p5q mainboard and a Q9550 processor. Videocard will be bought a little later on.

At first I wanted to build a computer that was just capable of playing full HD movies and playing some games but I decided to build a future proof computer. This means that the CPU must be a quad core because I think that in the future more cores will come in handy.

I chose for the Q9550 because it "felt" like a high end quad core (i7 isn't making much sense to me right now.) and also performs like one. I started fishing trough reviews to see what the Q9550 performs like and I accidently found a review that compared the 9550 with a phenom II 940.

I thought, whatever, the 940 wont perform even close to the 9550 untill I noticed that it did. Next I checked the price at my local shop and at an online retailer not too far away.

Online:

940: 229 euro's
9550: 279 euro's

Local:

940: 265 euro's
9550: 323 euro's -> noticed the price rose, in times of competition? (was 310 euro's yesterday, I'm sure.)

The question I have is,

Should I go with the 940 or the 9550. Since I'm not planning on starting a flame war or intel/AMD fan boys I just want benchmark based answers.

Believe me I have been searching for benchmarks for hours and haven't found more then 2 so I'd like some more.


In the ones I have seen the 940 performs equal, a little less, a little better in games. Where the 940 will get 100 fps in UT3 the 9550 will get 98 or 102 for example. This difference, since it is spread over the type of benchmarks, isn't enough for me to be able to make up my mind, therefore I realy need some opinions.



So, 940 or 9550 for gaming and converting movies?

Your input please.
 

Hellboy

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Personally I would go with a I core 7 920 and future proof yourself for a bit longer..

DDR3 will certainly future proof your more than ddr2 as it is still quite new.. and the socket has only really just been released..

Pay the extra euros and you will not regret it.
 

someguy7

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I would go with which ever one you can build a system with that comes out cheaper. As stated about the upgrade path. There isnt going to be hardly any new cpus for socket 775(minus low power models) The new AM3 cpus are supposed to run on socket AM2 boards.
 

enigma067

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I would choose a system that offered a better deal with regards to power/cost ratio.

Ci7 965EE/3.2GHz LGA1366 6.4 GT/s $1079.99
X4 940 / 3.00GHz Socket AM2+ 1800MHz (3600 MT/s) $239.99
-------------
Savings: $840.00

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/category_cpu.asp?name=CPUs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwcKyrHHQac

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1EJKifq6JM

$840 is a lot of money that can be used for ................two 4870 x2's?
 

tomstar

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The problem is that the i7 platform needs a very expensive mainboard. And since I do not need an X58 but rather a P58 which isn't going to come out anytime soon, I don't want to pay over 150 euro's for an i7 platform mainboard.

The processor itself is ok but everything around it isn't. I'll try to build an i7 system under 700 euro's and if I manage to that I will give it another thaught, however, shouldn't AM2+ give upgrade possibilities too?

Or will there be AM3 only CPU's around next year?
 

tomstar

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He makes a strange comparison... i7 965EE vs P2?

Anyway, A phenom 2 940 system will cost me about 600 euro's where the i7 platform will cost me 720, chose a smaller hard drive, no DVD writer etc. can buy that stuff later on.

Question is, is the i7 platform worth the extra 120 euro's? Or should I get a P2 platform and get a better videocard instantly?

At the moment I am solely looking at the CPU. I hate spending cash but when I spend it, I want it to be spend good. So in other words, If i need to spend something I don't mind paying extra for future proofness.

:p

I take it that are no major bugs in the i7 or anything.
 

cjl

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The i7 is an excellent platform to be sure, but if you are on a tight budget, there is a good case to be made for either the Phenom II or the Q9000 series CPUs. I have an i7 and love it - I would highly recommend it to anyone, and that's probably what I would chose in your situation though.
 

uguv

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Ignore him, he's nothing but a troll. His post didn't even have anything to do with your question. He posts the same stupid AMD marketing videos every time.



I'd probably pay the extra for the i7, but I really don't think you'd be disappointed with the PII 940 either. It keeps up fairly well with the Q9550 and costs 50 euro less for you. If you do decide to go with the Phenom II make sure you get a board that is compatable with the AM3 processors coming out in the next couple months.
 

blackpanther26

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hmmm..... Well I would say if you are on a tight buget go with the AMD system as it is cheaper and you can Use that extra $$$ to go toward somthing else. But if you want the better of the two at the moment would be the Q9550 or Q9650.
 

medjohnson77

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I think either way you go you will be happy, I have the Phenom II 940 be, on a Asus 79-T mother board, and 4870 setup in one of my builds. I love it and it does everything I want it to, no issues. I just added two more GB of 1066 ram to my 4gb I already had and it is all running at 1066, which the mother board says it will default to 800mhz instead of the 1066mhz rating with more then 2 dim sticks in. So that is a good thing. My Phenon II is on water, and at 3.6 stable 24/7 with a multi of 18 and 1.35 volts. One of the best things about the Phenom II is that cool and Quiet now works perfect. Even with my over clock of 3.6ghz it will Idle down my processor to 800mhz and only .99 volts on all cores, and when you need the extra power, it jumps right back up 3.6ghz, no lag, no issues at all, even playing games. Most of the time I can multi task, surf the web and watch or burn a movie and it only use's what it needs, to do the task I am running. I really like that it save's power when its not needed.

If I had a choice between the Q9550 I would pic the Phenom II 940 which I did with the build I have now. Both are very good processors and either way I think you will not be dissapointed.

If you have the money for I7 I would go with it, I do not have this build yet, but I did run to Micro center in Chicago IL, and picked up the I7 920 for $229 dollars last week. I will be putting it all together soon, just not sure what mother board I m going with yet. Stuck between Asus PT6 and another board. I am sure that the I7 build will be a great computer.

Do research and pic which system you think will suit you best, price and performance wise. Good luck with your build
 

tomstar

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Phenom II build:

Phenom II 940 3.0 GHz (not going to overclock) 229 euro's
GigaByte MA790X-DS4 (not sure if it is compatible with AM3.) 109 euro's
4GB DDRII Ram (OCZ fan.) 50 euro's
520 Watt powersupply (OCZ fan :) 69 euro's
Antec threehundred 50 euro's
rest doesn't realy matter.


i7 build:
Ci7 920 (279 euro's)
P6T (229 euro's)
same case
same power supply
2GB of ram, (one stick) -> upgrade a few weeks later to 4GB or 6GB


Q9550 build:

asus p5q (106 euro's)
Q9550 (279 euro's)
4GB ram (50 euro's)

So i think the prices should be somewhere near:

720 euro's for the i7 build
600 euro's for the phenom 940 biuld
650 for the Q9550 build.

As you can see prices are pretty close and I don't know which one get's the upper hand. i7 is good for multitasking and stuff, I will be doing alot of converting avi's to DVD's and stuff but i'll be gaming as well.

Gaming the Q9550 and phenom 940 perform, let's say, equal.
I'm no AMD fan and no Intel fan so... I can say they perform equal :p (atleast from the benches I have seen.)

Plus, the 940 will be the cheapest build.

The i7 however, costs over 700 euro's and that's without a videocard. So I think I'll be dropping the Q9550 chose as it is more expensive, and performing equal to 940.

Therefore the choise is between the i7 nd the phenom.

What I like about the i7:

It is the ost future proof system of all, but expensive. With a videocard this build will cost me close to 920 euro's. If I go for the i7 i'll be expecting atleast 5 years from it. I might upgrade the videocard and stuff in the meantime but i'm only looking at th eprocessor now.

What I like about the 940 PII:

It is cheap, 600 euro's plus a videocard, 4850/70 that would be 800 euro's for a very good gamin set-up.

How ever, I dislike the fact that AMD is in the middle of an upgrade with their AM3. So I don't want to have an outdated system within the next few months.

I'm not sure what AMD is planning to do, release AM3 only processors? I don't know but if they would do so I might go for the i7 because I know the 1399 socket or whatever it was, will last.


So the price difference is about 150 euro's and the phenom will give me more for the money. 600 euro phenom build will give me a bigger hard drive, more ram, where the i7 build had a lesser hard drive, and ''only'' 2GB of ram.


Does anybody know if AMD is going to come with a 45nm AM3 processor that runs faster then 2.8 GHz? within 2 months?
 

tomstar

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True, true, true and true.

But, will i5 perform better then i7? If i7 is aimed at the niche market and i5 at the mainstream public then i'd find it weird if the i5 would outperform i7 unless intel comes with newer i7 CPU's ofcourse.

775 is, indeed, a dead end. I also think i7 is overpriced but it is also very future proof. So maybe, if I want a future proof computer I should go with Phenom II on an AM3 mainboard?

There should be AM3 boards available in belgium after 9/02 so that's... 5 days from now.

AM3 and phenom 940 the way to go?
 

vochtige

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haha lol, same threat that i started some weeks ago!!

i'm also from belgium, and 10 feb is my birthday (remember it all!!)

so am3 9feb? that's good news for me!! ahah, so it's a real good reason to wait!!

 

Ken168

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@tomstar

If I were you I'd go for PII.

I have said this over and over... as already tested there is only a negligible performance different between DDR2 (AM2+ board) vs DDR3 (AM3 board), so why spent the extra $$$ for DDR3 when a good AM2+ board can also support AM3 CPU (for your future upgrade say in a year or two).

PII 940 is here right now, cheapest compare to others, the platform is future proof (support AM3 cpus) and it is fast. Did I mention how cold it is running? Some one said running his PII 940 @ 3.6 on water with default voltage. I run mine at 3.5ghz stable on stock cooling & voltage... guess what, the heatsink isn't even warm. Having said that, I have decided not to buy a proper cooler - less money to spent. I'm still using my old nvidia 7800gt... and it still run game pretty fast (Need for speed undercover - all at high setting@1680x1050), same to COD4.

Bleh, was gonna link you to Anandtech review few days ago re comparison of the 3 cpu you mentioned above - noticed the review has gone? :(
PII 940 run much smoother with generally higher minimum fps.

Anyway, it is your money... whichever you choose, you will be happy with the performance.
 

medjohnson77

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Tomstar,

I am also a fan of ocz, I have the memory fan cooler, I have 4 gb of there ddr2 800mhz ram in my X 2 6400+be build, I have the 2 gb total of there reaper 1066 (2x1) kit, and it is pair up with my G.skill 4gb kit of 1066. All timings are the same with the G.skill and ocz 1066, only difference is max bandwith, the G.skill show up as 6.4 max bandwith and the ocz 1066 show up as 4.8 i think. I have had no issues with this ram working together for 6gb total at 1066.

I believe from what I heard they will be releasing the new AM3 phenom II's in acouple months. I had the same choice, what to upgrade my 9850be that I had at 3.1Ghz or upgrade with the 940 or wait till the 945 came out that will support DDR3 ram. I really don't think there will be a hugh increase in performance with the DDR3, but there might be. I looked at it like this, I already had my Jetway HA04 extreme mother board lying around, So if I bought the P II 940 i now have two quad builds, Spider and dragon. Dragon is much better, but the 9850be spider is also a good gaming rig.

I figured the I7 920 at micro center couldn't be beat for $220 bucks, so I am waiting a little bit before I make the jump to get the mother board and the DDR3 ram, maybe prices will drop within the next month.

I have never used ocz power source's so not sure on the quality on them. I have Two Rosewills, the RX-750 and the Rx-950 and have never had any problems with either and I am going on a year. I also have Two PC power cooling, 610watt and a 750watt and they are some of the best PSU. I only got the Rosewills because they were on a combo deal with my 6400BE and my 9850be and they were on Johny gurus site and were tested and given there approval for a clean stable power supply. If you can afford the Pc cooling brand I would go with a 610 watt atleast for your build. But other then that, I would say you could go with the Phenom II and a AM3 mother board right now, not wait for the Phenom II that supports ddr3 and it will do everything you want it to, and you will be very happy with it.
 

tomstar

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My internet shop doesn't have AM3 boards available or even listed at the moment, a bit odd. Anyway, correct me if i'm wrong.

I should go with an AM3 board because I would be able to upgrade my processor later on.
If I go with an AM2+ board I would only be able to use AM2+ processors and Phenom II but not newer phenom II processors that might come later on but I can use the 940 on an AM3 board.

Pro: I can upgrade proc.
Con: I have to use DDR III, let's face it, it's not that expensive...

I wonder why there isn't a 3.0 GHz quad core for the AM3 socket at the moment...
 

Malcolmk

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If your into games then go for the AMD because the Phenom II is smoother in games than any of the intels and that's more important than a few fps in some benchmark. If you do 3D animation for a living then go for the i7 because it's quicker at rendering.
 

tomstar

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Think I made my choice. I'm going with phenom. I'm just not too shure about, wether I should wait for a new AM3 CPU or not. Currently there is only 1 Quad core for AM3 which is running at 2.6 GHz which I don't find fast enough since I'm not into overclocking.

I figured it would be best to go with an AM3 board since I'm looking for a future proof system. SO, 940 or wait for new processors?
 

uguv

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The "feels smoother" thing sounds nice but there's not really any way to actually test it. Anandtech did mention in their latest review they had smoother gameplay in 2 of 7 games using the PII 940 (versus the Q9550) and that the others were about equal. They also mentioned that the i7 was the best performer. You're making generalizations that are untrue.


@OP - You can get AM2+ boards that will be compatible with the new AM3 CPU's. I believe most of the manufacturers have a list on their web sites. That way you can keep the board, grab a PII 940 now, and upgrade the CPU down the road if you wish.
 

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