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Recently I using Quad Core Q8400 with Asus P5g41t - mlx within FSP Aurum 650 Watt 80 Gold plus. OS Windows 10.

I've planning to upgrade my processor to xeon X5470. I used my desktop to design graphic.

According to this site said Q8400 is the winner. In fact, from the technical specification they are different. I thought X5470 should be the winner.

From ark intel site, Q8400 have specification like this bellow :

Product Collection
Legacy Intel® Core™ Processors
Code Name
Products formerly Yorkfield
Vertical Segment
Desktop
Processor Number
Q8400
Status
End of Interactive Support
Launch Date
Q2'09
Lithography
45 nm
Recommended Customer Price
$179.00
Performance
# of Cores
4
Processor Base Frequency
2.66 GHz
Cache
4 MB L2
Bus Speed
1333 MHz FSB
FSB Parity
No
TDP
95 W
VID Voltage Range

And X5470 are bellow

Product Collection
Legacy Intel® Xeon® Processors
Code Name
Products formerly Harpertown
Vertical Segment
Server
Processor Number
X5470
Status
End of Life
Launch Date
Q3'08
Expected Discontinuance
Q4'2010
Lithography
45 nm
Recommended Customer Price
$1467.00
Performance
# of Cores
4
Processor Base Frequency
3.33 GHz
Cache
12 MB L2
Bus Speed
1333 MHz FSB
FSB Parity
Yes
TDP
120 W
VID Voltage Range
0.850V-1.3500V

However why CPUBoss said the Q8400 is winner? Which one the best? if its worth it to upgrade to xeon x5470? Why the price of Q8400 is still expensive if we got the better performance on cheap price? Let say core 2 extreme QX9650 is still more expensive than xeon X5470.

Last but not least, I know x5470 designed to LGA 771 Chipset. My Motherboard on LGA 775. Is it safe to use modded processor? Do i need to update BIOS because recently I've view from Youtube and do some update bios.

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  • A lot of different questions here, I'll try to answer them all, but many aren't right for hardwarerecs.
    – JMY1000
    Jan 1, 2018 at 23:08

2 Answers 2

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TL;DR: Because CPUBoss doesn't compare on pure performance basis, I wouldn't bother upgrading, the X5470 is better, high prices are a result of ease of use, it won't hurt anything but if it works depends on the motherboard.

CPUBoss

CPUBoss doesn't evaluate from a pure performance, but rather a more wholistic perspective. For example, the Core 2 Duo E8400 scores a 5.9 while the i7 5960X scores a 5.8, despite the E8400 being worse by miles in every way except price.

Anecdotally, I've found that CPU/GPUBoss provide very poor metric for comparing hardware, outside of their aggregation of benchmarks and specifications (and even then, those are often lackluster compared to the original sources, i.e. GeekBench, Passmark, and ARK.)

Which processor is better?

I'd recommend looking just at the Passmark numbers. The X5470 wins with 4662 compared to the Q8400's 3187.

Is it worth the upgrade?

I'd say no. Compared to other LGA 775/LGA 771 processors and even newer platforms, the X5470 is incredibly expensive at around $40. You'd be better off jumping ship to a slightly newer platform, or investing in solid cooling (which can transfer in the future) and overclocking heavily. I won't go too in depth, but with more info on budget and requirements (read: another question) I'd be happy to.

Price of old processors

The Q8400 isn't expensive, at around $17. The QX9650 is expensive at around $60 because it's a top tier chip, and those tend to hold their value because of their ongoing usefulness as a way to squeeze a little more performance out of old systems. Notice also the X in the name: this designates it as a Core 2 Extreme processor, which–besides just being top of the line–means with it comes with an unlocked multiplier.

I won't go into too much detail, but basically, it's easier to overclock these processors than ones with locked multipliers. Compared to processors from after the switch to QPI (anything after LGA 771/LGA 775/PGA 604), where effectively only unlocked processors (K, X) can be overclocked (base clock overclocking is difficult and largely ineffective at squeezing more performance these days), FSB overclocking was common and quite effective. This lead to less demand for chips with unlocked multipliers, and thus, even higher rarity of these chips.

Xeons processors tend to hit the used market in large quantities with low prices as server which aren't economical to run anymore because of high power consumption compared to newer processors are parted out after 5-10 years. Though the delta between old Core 2 Quads and their equivalent Xeons is falling as Core 2 Quads become increasingly obsolete even in consumer PCs and LGA 771 Xeon availability falls as the server supply dwindles, this still holds somewhat true, and very much so for newer Xeons.

LGA 771 "modding'

Because the mainstream LGA 775 and server LGA 771 platforms are so similar, buying cheap Xeons salvaged from old servers and "modding" them to work in consumer motherboards allows better (higher base clocks and better binning), cheaper chips to be run in cheaper motherboards that support overclocking and other consumer features.

This does require modifications both to the chip and the motherboard in the form of a pad-flipping sticker and removing the CPU guides respectively. Though I won't go into too much depth as this isn't the focus of the answer, you can read more about it here. Note that it is motherboard dependent: Nvidia based chipsets (650i, 680i, 780i, 790i) and some Intel chipsets (P35, P45, G31, G41) should work fine, while other Intel chipsets (X38, X48) only work with X33 series Xeons. Beyond this, some motherboards outright won't work anyways; the best you can do is Google if anyone else has had success with this (since the CPUs won't be on the QVL anyways), update your motherboard as much as possible, and give it a shot.

This articles lists the E5472, X5460, X5450, E5420 (E0), L5420, E5405 as working with the mod and your motherboard.

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  • Really good explanation here. Should be the correct answer. Anyway, how about Core 2 Extreme QX6850? its worth it to upgrade?
    – Yohanim
    Jan 2, 2018 at 5:21
  • IMO still no. For that money (or close to it) you could get an H55 motherboard and a 4c/8t X3440 and overclock it.
    – JMY1000
    Jan 2, 2018 at 5:38
  • Anyway, if I'm do check on PassMark site, it will tell me that Xeon X5470 scores 4662 rather than Q8400 only 3187, even Q9650 only got 4191. So basically the X5470 are the winner for this competition? So for that 4 series that we talked before, which one recommended to use within my motherboard Asus P5G41T MLX?
    – Yohanim
    Jan 2, 2018 at 6:56
  • Yup. Given that you've already got a Q8400, I'd invest in a decent air tower cooler like the Cryorig H7 that you can transfer to a future machine (or whatever you've got) and then just overclocking to fill the gap; you should probably be able to hit 3.4GHz. If you feel like it's time for more of an upgrade, switch platforms and sell your old gear.
    – JMY1000
    Jan 2, 2018 at 7:15
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I have the same MB as you P5G41T-M LX with a X5460 porcessor (overclocked from 3.16GHz to 4.0Ghz), 8 Gigs of DDR3 (1333 Mhz) Ram and a GTX1070. All I can say is now I can play some modern games since I swith from the Q8400 to de X5460, games like The Shadow of The Tomb Raider, The Call of Cathulhu, GTA V... The difference is enormous.

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