Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Last overview of my Core2 QUAD PC rig before upgrade

Some people asked me about hardware I am working on. Some of them, who already know that, consider it "outdated" because release dates but, the prices of new "enthusiast" hardware on the market is still high in comparison with this, absolutely solid, LGA775 QUAD platform. I've been working on this about 4 years now... Its all about basics:

Motherboard - ASUS P5Q PRO
CPU - Intel Core2 QUAD 9550 (12mb L2 cache!)
Memory - 8GB of DDR2 1066 Kingston HYPER X.

The most important thing about this combination is absolute stability with good performance. These are good overclocking components but... besides benchmarking software like EVEREST or AIDA, I think if you are a professional, its not worth of burning CPU, thermal paste, questioning system stability or even giving away money for expensive exotic CPU coolers just to get few percents more of performance. With its default BIOS settings, there is really no reason to risk or lose time looking for best overclocking combination cos it works just fine!

Just for fun (not work), I managed to push this PC to work stable from stock 2.8  to solid 3.6Ghz (standard Intel cooler). Motherboard and RAM allowed me to stay with DDR on 1066mhz (CL 5-5-5-18). Motherdboards BUS can go up to 1600mhz so I could go even more but didnt want to go too far.

Overclocking, of course showed some progress. In general around 15-20% (games and 3Ds MAX rendering) but temperatures screamed up to 100 Celsius as shown bellow (with stock Intel cooler):

Second core sensor shows "minus 26" cos it goes above 100 C and get confused. Better cooler would surely help but, I repeat, machine works fast enough with default BIOS settings. I rather prefer stock speeds, normal temperatures and stability than risk of data lose.

Another thing I like on this motherboard is its first generation CROSSFIRE feature. I used it to install 2 graphic cards, not for gaming but to connect 3 monitors. First one is primary more powerful 3D card and another is much cheaper one, just for 2D tasks on 3rd monitor.

I could talk about specs for each component but those info can be easily found on internet. It is older configuration but still works good for money value. I am sure I would like to have this machine as my backup or some firewalled server cos this motherboard supports up to 6 (+1) individual SATA2 disk drives with RAID 0, 1, 5,10 capabilities and EZ backup function for 2 drives.

On the end, here is some overclocking capabilities of Core2 QUAD 9550: