What CPU for Gaming ? Core 2 E8600 or Quad Q9550 ?

Geege

Well-known Member
My computer will be used for internet browsing, itunes, watching movies but mainly playing modern games such as Crysis, Fallout 3 etc...

What CPU should I go for, a top of the range dual core CPU such as the 3.3GHz core 2 E8600 or a 2.8GHz quad core Q9550 ? Surely where games are concerned it is best to go for a faster clock speed as it is not as though I do any video encoding etc.

I could save myself a decent £60 or so by getting the E8600, and could always upgrade to quad in a year or so. What do you think?
 

kempez

Well-known Member
Well Crysis takes full advantage of your quad core and really games are moving onto decent multi-core programming so I'd get the quad. Some people will argue for the dualie, but personally after switching from a fast dual core I won't go back.

Hell you could just grab a q6600 and give it a mild overclock?? Now that is a great value CPU. I should know, mine sits here at 3.6GHz (stock volts) all day long....for £120
 

Geege

Well-known Member
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jetinder

Novice Member
The Q6600 may be "old" but with 1066 FSB it has more room to overclock than cpu with 1333 FSB.

Dual cores will great now, but a time will soon come when they will be on their way out as more and more software will go after quad cores.

A 8600 OC 4ghz x 2 cores = 8 ghz max with the right application.

A Q6600 OC 3.3 ghz x 4 cores = 13.2 ghz max with the right application.

A Q9550 OC 3.3 ghz x 4 cores = 13.2 ghz max with the right application.

As you can see with the right software qaud cores win.
 

kempez

Well-known Member
Firstly: don't use Tom's - there's many better sites out there who are independent and unbiased :)

Secondly sure most games would be faster as they're not multi-threaded and the single faster clocked dual core will win out. However, it's all about real world performance and not just numbers on graphs. I've been reviewing, gaming and benching for years and I know that a quad core clocked up a little will easily out-do a dual core CPU, the game 'feels' smoother. Plus you'll have plenty of CPU left for other things whilst your gaming :)

As I said, just clock up the q6600 (very very easy to do and will easily get to 3Ghz) and you have a beaut of a CPU. More and more games will start being multi-threaded as that's where the market is going, plus it's £20 cheaper :)

Anyway it's totally up to you but I personally swapped a 3.6GHz e6700 for a 3.6Ghz q6600 and am well happy. Sure I could have grabbed a new dualie but the ease at which your multi-threaded apps run with the quad made the difference for me.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Personally, I would go with the Q9550 (I have it's younger brother the Q9450). Whats the point in getting a Dual now and upgrading to a Quad in 12 months time.

The Q9xxx series over clock like a beast too. But then again, I've seen some pretty impressive E8600 OCs aswell.

The Q6600 may be "old" but with 1066 FSB it has more room to overclock than cpu with 1333 FSB.

Dual cores will great now, but a time will soon come when they will be on their way out as more and more software will go after quad cores.

A 8600 OC 4ghz x 2 cores = 8 ghz max with the right application.

A Q6600 OC 3.3 ghz x 4 cores = 13.2 ghz max with the right application.

A Q9550 OC 3.3 ghz x 4 cores = 13.2 ghz max with the right application.

As you can see with the right software qaud cores win.
Please ignore this post. It not right at all. Just because you have 4 cores running 3.3 Ghz does NOT mean you have 13.2Ghz processing power at all.
 

kempez

Well-known Member
Just to clear things up are you buying all new? If so i7 all the way.
i7 is good, very good in fact.

Worth the extra for the average person? I personally do not think so.
 

jetinder

Novice Member
Please ignore this post. It not right at all. Just because you have 4 cores running 3.3 Ghz does NOT mean you have 13.2Ghz processing power at all.
Singh400

If its not then be civil and explain things or ask the moderator to delete the offending post as i will not get in to a slanging match with any one.

As far as i am aware the total processing power of a single quad core cpu running on all 4 cores at 99 - 100% would with the right software (which can make use of all 4 cores) would = 13.2 ghz = total performance and output from a single cpu with 4 cores.

As far as i know there aren't any current or future cpus which have a single core which can run at 13 ghz. The max ghz current cpu designers can get out of one core (not over clocked) is around 3ghz but with variouse cpu designs (use of multiple cores and lots of cache) the total processing power and output is = to single core cpu running at a much higher speed.

But in order to use such technology you need software which can make use of the parrallel processing (dual core and quad core cpus).

If the above wasn't true then a 5 year old single core cpu running at 3 ghz could keep up with or beat any current or future dual or quad core cpus running at 3ghz per core, but in real life current multi core cpus can out run 5 year old single cores running at the same speed.
 
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skull_bone

Novice Member
The E8600 is the best Dualie, but if you want max power, then Quads win hands down. Crysis would love a Quad. But the E8600 is very overclockable. i7 is ferociously expensive just now, and is due a refresh very soon. So, IMHO, i'd get the Q9550 or the E8600. The Q6600 is still a stunning CPU, and shouldn't be written off by any means. It is very overclockable, maybe not to the 4.5/4.6ghz on air levels of the E8600, but certainly, it remains the best bang for buck CPU on the market.
What about the new 45nm Q8200? It's a great value quad, based around the same manufacturing process as the E8600, so it's cooler, faster, and also cheaper. From what i've seen, the Q8200 is a good clocker too.

Ok, my final word. Q8200 or the E8600.
 

jetinder

Novice Member
What about the new 45nm Q8200? It's a great value quad, based around the same manufacturing process as the E8600, so it's cooler, faster, and also cheaper. From what i've seen, the Q8200 is a good clocker too.
From what i read (in different computer mags) overall the Q8200 isn't as fast as the Q6600 and when over clocked the Q6600 can beat the Q8200 and Q9300.

People keep on going on about "old" things being slow and bad and "new" ones being good. Concorde was "old" however from A to B Concorde could and CAN still beat ANY passenger plane including "new" passenger planes.

My point is just because some thing is "old" doesn't mean it can't do a good job.
 
Have you got a decent graphics card in mind too??


When I built this PC i went for a Q6600 (B3 -older version) which wouldn't overclock for toffee

Then went for an E8400 which easily managed 3.6Ghz.

I'm now back with a Q6600 (G0 - newer version) which overclocks to a very nice stable 3.2Ghz, which is plenty :smashin: I wouldn't go back to a dual now.

I can quite easily encode videos while playing Fallout 3 without slowdown in either. This is overkill and totally unnecessary, but it shows what a quad can do :D

if you're considering quad, it definately has to be the Q6600, there's absolutely no reason to bother with the Q9xxx's, unless you're desperate for SSE4 extentions, which you probably arent (enhanced video encoding speed is about all it offers at the moment)
 
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Houghsx

Distinguished Member
i7 is good, very good in fact.

Worth the extra for the average person? I personally do not think so.
Would you call a gamer an average user?
Also, if your starting a new build the extra cost isn't that much.
I guess it also depends on the games coming through now. They do seem to be leaning towards quads.
If the current trend of PC games being ported from consoles then these are already programmed as multi-thread, just a thought.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
Singh400

If its not then be civil and explain things or ask the moderator to delete the offending post as i will not get in to a slanging match with any one.
Woah mate, I wasn't getting in a slanging match. Just stating that you don't get "X Ghx" times "numbers of cores" at all.
 

Oggie

Distinguished Member
E8600, i got one and mainly use for gaming. OC it to 4.1GHz just on air by changing FSB to 410 and touching nothing else :smashin:
 
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broona

Moderator
If the OP can afford a decent quad, then he may as well get one.

More and more games and applications are being optimised for quads now, so there's nothing to lose really. :smashin:
 
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Oggie

Distinguished Member
:oops: Always mixing up them GHz's and MHz :rotfl: You know what i meant....running to edit other post :rolleyes:
 

kempez

Well-known Member
Would you call a gamer an average user?
Also, if your starting a new build the extra cost isn't that much.
I guess it also depends on the games coming through now. They do seem to be leaning towards quads.
If the current trend of PC games being ported from consoles then these are already programmed as multi-thread, just a thought.
yes in a basic sense that i7 core improvements benefit a small number of functions and mainly those aimed at the extreme power user. Core i7 improvements for a gamer are minimal in real terms.

Also a nice ddr2 based c2q setup will be a good couple of hundred cheaper than an i7 setup.

What is the OPs decision in the end?
 

Geege

Well-known Member
Thanks for everyone's replies so far. I'm not considering the core i7 due to the expense. I'm happy to stick with socket 775 for now and upgrade to core i7 in 1-2 years when prices drop.

I am happy with my graphics card (8800GTS 512MB G92) for now, I'm wanting to bring the CPU up to speed of the Graphics card so the CPU isn't bottlenecking performance, like it is now on my old socket 939 system.

Bear in mind that I also play some old games like Far Cry, Prey, Terrorist Takedown 2, STALKER and the likes, so I guess a fast dual core would be better than a slower quad core, but I also do internet browsing and listen to iTunes and do word documents. I'm not bothers about video encoding or photo shop and it is FPS in games and its smoothness which is important to me.

I like the over clocking potential of the E8600 so I think I am swaying towards this unless anyone can convince me otherwise.
 
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Oggie

Distinguished Member
I build my rig about a month and a half ago and was in same boat as you. Now very happy went for E8600, it does everything well i throw at it. I have not had any probs with any games i've been playing ....even Crysis i play on very highest setting.
Regarding i7 i think you are right to wait, i'm waiting till end of next year till prices become cheaper and hopefully 32nm die shrink of i7 will be out as well
 
If you gaming get the dual core - there are so few games that use the other 2 cores there almost non existant. I beleive that the person who said Crisis uses 4 cores is incorrect as I havent found any thing to support this - I could be wrong but googling about shows no stats or info to support it. Many game are rumored to do quad but dont - crisis Is one of these. Halflife 2 is another - is was a tech demo and quad support was never released by valve.

If the costs of both processors were identical and there clock speed were also the same then it would be a no brainer, but there not - and please do not fall into the "get a e6600 quad - there cheap" as they cannot compete with a E8500 for example in gaming. You do not get any real benfit from having 2 cores "doing stuff in the background" - many game dont use more than single core for the game and the other core for game sound this is often due to the dificulty splitting certain types of process easily over muliple cores and many developers do not want to spend the time/money of developing software for such a small improvement as its mostly about the graphics card you have and not the CPU.

This trend has almost nothing to do with the power in the hardware and everything to do with the way the software functions and also how games work - there are a lot of poeple who have spent a lot of money and have effectively got overpowered kit for what they do if they have got a highend quad PC and there not video encoding or similar. I have a dual Quad Core PC at work (thats 8 cores) but it wont play my games any quicker than the dual at home - heats the room nicely tho.

Get a dual core for gaming - by the time games are written for quads we will all have them already. - use the savings to get a better gfx card.
 
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jetinder

Novice Member
I have a dual Quad Core PC at work (thats 8 cores) but it wont play my games any quicker than the dual at home - heats the room nicely tho.
That simply becuase the games where not re-written to make use of multi cores, ones which will be, will on quad cores be able to out run the E8600 and any other dual core around.

Go for the E8600 Much better in Gaming than the quad cores out there !
An E8600 runs at 3.33 ghz, has 6mb L2 cache and 1333 FSB.

You easily overclock a Q6600 to the same level, but the Q6600 has 8mb L2 cache so its just as fast as the e8600 but you have 4 cores instead of 2 running in over clocked mode ........

Go for the E8600 Much better in Gaming than the quad cores out there !
This reminds of the days when i was teenage kid in the 1980s, then it was case of Sinclair (Rubber key) 48k Spectrum v Commodore 64 with 64k + better graphics and better sound chips........

Some people said the Spectrum was better others said it was the Commodore 64.

If you look at both now its clear the Commodore 64 with its better graphics and sound had better looking games than a Spectrum 48k.

Same principle applies now.
 
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Oggie

Distinguished Member
E8600 can be overclocked to 4.0 GHz easily while Q6600 cant do that. Also Q6600 is 65 nm chip with highest recommended temps of 62.2°C while E8600 is 45nm and max temp of 72.4°C. Means that E8600 uses less electricity and runs at lower heat, can also be overclocked to higher speed cuase of temps :cool:
 

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