Okay, time for an update.
Got the processor on Thursday. Installed it at work and cleaned the PC up. Turned on, worked fine. I got the E0 revision, which is the one you want (not that you have a say in which you get; same processor) as it runs between 25-30C vs. the 45-50 of the C1. Lucked out there.
The problem is that a lot of stuff still isn't optimized for multiple cores. Or if it is, they've just grasped the concept of dual cores, let alone quad. That's one of my major beefs with how quick both Intel and AMD are to jump to multiple cores - the software needs to catch up to even fully utilize what you already have (Intel has announced 8-cores for 2011).
Because of that, obviously we're going to see situations where a higher clock dual will outperform a quad, and that was a big concern to me. But the thing is, the 12MB of cache on this processor makes this thing absolutely wicked. It's true that there's not much day-to-day difference unless under heavy load, but I do utilize multiple instances and/or multiple applications open, or the processes at least running in the background.
Here I saw this thing take off. The ability to jump between stuff is a lot better. I do a lot of gaming, particularly COD4. In between games I'd jump back to Windows to check IMs or other applications, and the E7200 would have a heck of a time trying to get back quickly, let alone re-maximize. The Q9550 eats that task alive with room to spare. I defragged my VelociRaptor (PerfectDisk - epic application) while playing COD4 without a hitch. Ran beautifully (though you can attribute that to the Raptor as well).
Another issue was that I was struggling with FEAR2. I could only play the game at about 3/4th the graphics settings, and even then when it auto saved there'd be a momentary lag. I couldn't pinpoint it as I tweaked the GPU (OC'd) and it still seemed to have issues; shouldn't have had to even OC given how robust GDDR5 is. Put the new processor in and now I'm running full graphics without lag at any stage.
Overall, I'm very happy. In fact, I just set the order for the WD 1TB Black (that I've been delayed on getting about 10 times already), along with 5 new 120mm case fans, so those will be coming soon (LEDs are fun, but not when the PC is on 24/7 and next to your bed). Score one for LGA775.
Last edited by Vilgent; 03-21-2009 at 11:14 AM.