Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (45 nm Technology) and FSX

I haven’t posted in a while as I’ve been busy with other work; however, I expect the rate of posts will increase a lot once I build the new computer towards the end of December.

Anyway, I spent a little time today researching processors for the new system. As mentioned in a previous post there is a lot of dicussion about how FSX is a very processor heavy application and how therefore a kick-ass processor is required just as much as a kick-ass video card. Intel has just recently brought forward their first chips manufactured with 45 nm technology. The QX9650 is part of the Intel Core 2 Extreme line of quad-core processors (currently listed on newegg.com for $1,295). Yes, that’s right… for the price of just a single chip you could purchase several complete low-end systems. So does the performance of the QX9650 cure the symptoms of sticker-shock and specifically how does it handle FSX? Those are the questions I’m asking now before I decide if I should shell out the big bucks for this state-of-the-art monster or go with something a bit cheaper.

After searching around a bit, I came across a few different benchmark tests including the one listed below:

http://www.simhq.com/_technology2/technology_115d.html

The takehome message seems to be that on the whole the QX9650 is an amazing processor but, oddly, when it comes to FSX there wasn’t much increasing on performance over other slightly older high-end processors (e.g. the QX6850). The specific report cited showed that some performance increase was observed at ‘low’ quality settings but that at ‘high’ qualtiy settings there was little difference. However, the obvious point there would be that FSX has many performance tweaks and not just a ‘low’ and ‘high’ setting. As such, there may be a lot of opportunity to squeeze out some additional performance from the QX9650 with some careful experimention with the FSX settings.

The takehome message would seem to be that the QX9650 is an amazing processor, but won’t give you a massive increase in FSX performance. That said, however, it’s still very tempting to lock in tomorrow’s technology today… I’ll let you know what I decide.

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One Comment on “Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 (45 nm Technology) and FSX”


  1. Be sure to read the subsequent posts about the QX9650 and 680i motherboards…

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