Quad-core Xeon E5430 3.00 GHz v. Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.00 GHz


Nov 8, 2008

This is a question many have tried to ask and for which there has been no satisfactory answer.

Using the same peripherals of the highest standard (ie same video card, same memory (ie highest performance for both types of motherboards and maximum amount for the o/s used), same hard drives - say SAS 15000 rmp) and the same o/s (Windows or Linux) and the same software (whether games or video or office or number crunching programmes) how does the Quad core Xeon E5430 3.0 GHz 771 compare with the Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.00 GHz 775?

How does the answer change if the Xeon mo runs 2 such processors?

I don't mean to be rude, but please answer only if you have the technical knowledge to contribute a useful answer. And answer from Intel would be useful.

Many thanks.



Jul 18, 2006
1) The E5430 is 2.66 GHz, The Q9650 is 3.00 GHz

2) The E5430 goes on a 771 platform; the Q9650, a 775 platform. The 771 platform:
- uses FB-DIMMs, which react slower because of higher latency, but have good bandwidth if set up with all four channels of RAM, and have good capacity, typically 64 or 128 GB max
- supports 2 sockets, for 8 cores total
- cannot be overclocked, unless motherboard is a Skulltrail
- usually comes with SAS support

The 775 platform:
- uses lower latency regular DDR2, but is limited to a max of 8 or 16 GB typically
- is limited to one socket, thus 4 cores
- doesn't support SAS, so you need an add-in card
- can be overclocked with most retail motherboards

3) Intel claims the Xeons have a server-oriented cache profile; review sites suspect this simply means they have disabled a certain type of caching prediction applicable to desktop/mobile applications, but I'm not aware of any benchmarks exposing the difference.

So you're choosing between:

a) 4-core limit, faster RAM, overclocking potential - best for almost every game

b) 8-core limit, slower RAM, no overclocking

You need to know whether the software you use most can take advantage of more than 4 cores.


Jan 3, 2007
lol! an answer from intel? wow nice guy! are we no so lucky to have you grace our presence with such ........

mark you forgot the most important detail what do you use the computer for? maybe instead of worry about noobies gumming up your thread you should have use that sentence to tell us what you use the computer for!

the Q9650 is last of its kind its the final cpu and its sweet - i run mine at 4.2ghz,

if your doing thread intensive work wait for nehalem

if your not and your not overclocking get an 8600

again what are using it for - just for email then either will work fine!

note to intel: someone needs your help!


Jan 2, 2008
Well, dragonsprayer notified Intel of your dilemma so Intel is sending Paul Otellini (Intel's CEO if anyone cares...) directly over to help you!

Oops, I just broke your little rule, well I'll remedy that:

The LGA 771 platform is a server platform, meaning its used in servers not gaming or home computers. Even if you are using your computer for very thread intensive work then the LGA 775 platform will still serve you better as an overclock Q9650 to 4.0Ghz+ will give you all the power you need for a much more reasonable price. If you are gaming... well I read a benchmark for 9800 GX2s in SLI before the drivers were released. Once they were they revisited the benchmarks and they found that a Q6850 @ 3.8 Ghz with 2GB of DDR3 1600 Mhz more than doubled the performance of a Skulltrail system with 2 Q9775s and 8 GB of DDR2 1800 Mhz FB sticks with the exact same cards... not for gamers.