Friday, November 23rd, 2007

My plan for QX9650 Penryn + SLI issues…

Following on from some of my previous posts about the QX9650s not working with the motherboards required for SLI I’ve had to figure out what the plan should be for my upcoming FSX system build. At the moment there is still very little news regarding the status of 680i based boards and the QX9650s. There are lots of rumors that a BIOS update will be able to fix things, but then others who have said that even after such an update the 680i boards will only be compatible with 45 nm dual-core, not quad-core, chips. Furthermore, the now delayed 700 series boards should be fully compatible with all the new 45 nm chips, but there is no word yet on their official release.

Therefore, unless there are some rapid developments it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to build a solid system with a QX9650 and dual 8800 Ultra’s via SLI before my mid-December build date. My general rule of thumb with technology is to buy / build something when you want to and not wait around for new technology since, of course, no matter when you buy something, something better always comes out in 3 months anyway. The two options at the moment would then be to build a QX9650 based system and put the SLI on hold or build an SLI system and put the QX9650 (or other new 45 nm processor) on hold. The solution there is basically a no-brainer.

Although most benchmarks show the QX9650 to edge out the current 65 nm based chips on performance, it’s not a massive breakthrough. The major advantage with the 45 nm chips at the moment seems to be the lower power consumption (due to smaller transistor size and new component compositions). This obviously has the overclockers happy, but in terms of general chip performance at default clock speeds the difference is marginal. The point being that in terms of overall system performance the difference between a QX6850 (65 nm) and QX9650 (45 nm) isn’t worth sacrificing SLI! Here is a nice comparison between these two chips and also note the site in a previous post about FSX performance between these two chips:

My gameplan at the moment is to continue montioring the developments between QX9650 and 680i motherboards, but if it’s not all sorted out rather soon then I’ll likely just go with a QX6850 based system to keep the dual 8800 Ultra’s. That’s likely going to be the current best combination for optimal FSX performance. If I end up holding out on the QX9650 for those reasons then a new motherboard and even faster 45 nm chip could be in store later if performance updates are needed (and the new chips look like they will bost performance).

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One Comment on “My plan for QX9650 Penryn + SLI issues…”

  1. Yeah I would just use the nVidia video card instead. Those cards seem to last longer in the market before they come out with something better so I think it is better investment. Just my opinion though.

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