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Is quad core worth it?

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April 29, 2007 1:58:28 PM

I will soon be building a computer (in the next 2-3 months) and was wondering if it quad core was really worth going for. With my new build i won't want to upgrade for a good few years and would also like to play all games coming out in the near future with all the eye candy!

I was think of going for either the E6600 or the Q6600. If i have to i will splash out the extra cash but would prefer not to... hehe.


Thanks

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April 29, 2007 3:01:25 PM

Well first off C2D is more than enough for any game out there except for Flight Simulator X. Games like Supreme Commander are raising the bar though. The march of progress tells me that it won't be lowered from this point. So the answer is if you don't want to upgrade for awhile and you wish to be more future proof, then I gotta say quad core is the way to go. More developers are going to utilize as many threads as they have cores. Also don't forget that eye candy isn't brought entirely by CPU power, don't skimp on GPU power. If you can't afford both, you need to find a comprimise. Go the C2D with a high end GPU. But hell if you can afford both, might as well break the bank.

Hopefully by the time your ready to build, AMD will have some benchmarks out for Barcelona. Then you can avoid buyers remorse if AMD come out with something better.
April 29, 2007 3:22:51 PM

Depends what your budget is really because if you have money to burn then buy a Quad Core, but they offer little benefit at the moment.
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April 29, 2007 3:31:49 PM

thanks for the replies

well i was thinking about the 320mb 8800gts + the processor, with the evga 680i mobo. Hmmm, would upgrading my monitor to a 22" widescreen be worth the cash aswell? iver got a 19" lcd at the minute but i would like higher res. I could probably forget about the widescreen and go for quad...

Im hoping for the prices of the gpus to go down wen ati release there monsters, so hopefully should be able to afford a better graphics card when the time comes.
April 29, 2007 3:38:25 PM

Quote:
Well first off C2D is more than enough for any game out there except for Flight Simulator X...


FS-X isn't even multithreaded. :? Amazing, considering it can bring the fastest C2Ds to its knees. GG Microsoft! :roll:

Anyway, to the OP, an E6600 will perform the same as a Q6600 in 99.99% of the games available today (the exception is Sup Com of course :p ) but we should start seeing more games taking advantage of quad core within the next 12 months. How much of a difference is anyones guess, for all intents the 'quad core optimised' games may end up GPU limited anyway, just like how Oblivion and COD2 is optimised for dual core but unless you have a very fast GPU there is virtually no difference between single and dual core.
April 29, 2007 4:18:34 PM

As much as having one would be nice, it's not worth it to go quad core right now. The E6600 is a good CPU to go with for a good while. If you start running slow in the near future you can always overclock a bit to keep things on the up and up. In a couple years time it might be a good idea to upgrade the CPU. By that time you'll probably be available to purchase the most powerful CPU Intel (or AMD) will ever make for your motherboard. Would end up being a good time, too, since shortly after that prices may start going up like AMD chips have had happen with socket 939 parts.
April 29, 2007 4:39:47 PM

My view on this is...

If you are buying now and don't need quad core, get a dual.
It will work out cheaper to buy a dual now and get a quad in just few months time if you think you need it.

If you need a quad core, then there isn't much you can do about it, you either buy it or "suffer".
April 30, 2007 1:47:31 AM

yeah, like dj and darious said, do the dual core right now.

when the 45nm bombs drop, watch them slash prices like they did to the pentium d's when c2d was released.

but quad is the way to go, faster everything :D 
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April 30, 2007 4:53:31 AM

Not wanting to be argumentitive, but the OP said he doesn't want to upgrade for the next couple years. So that means that getting a QC in a couple of months or in a year is out of the question. Like I said before computing requirements (gaming included) aren't going to stay static. QC's are here and dev's are going to start to compile for them. So although it may not make much sense now, you might be singing a different tune in 9 months from now. If the OP isn't going to have the money in a years time, but has it now, now is the time to buy if he want's to be future proof.
April 30, 2007 4:55:30 AM

Quote:
yeah, like dj and darious said, do the dual core right now.

when the 45nm bombs drop, watch them slash prices like they did to the pentium d's when c2d was released.

but quad is the way to go, faster everything :D 


Dual-core now, but definitely quad in July (when Q6600 prices get halved). Exceptions: video transcoding/editing (prosumer/professional); Supreme Commander - you have those on your plate, then go quad-core now.


Processor to *avoid*: E6700.
April 30, 2007 5:05:47 AM

very valid point, as going quad core will 'future proof' your system. not being able to predict the future in any way, the cheapest quad core chip now costs what the e6700 did not too long ago! so for roughly 550, you'll be picking up one serious piece of hardware, though clocked slower, performs faster. you can always oc a chip, but you can't add anymore cores :D 
April 30, 2007 5:10:13 PM

cheers for the advice

say if i was going to build a computer in mid june, how long after that would the prices be slashed? would it be worth the wait?
April 30, 2007 5:53:16 PM

Even if i had lots of money to burn i wouldn't go with Quad-Core.
For now Core 2 Duo is the best way to go!
give me a Gigabyte P965 DS3+E6400+2GB Good DDR2 800MHz and i will be the happiest man on earth.(off course when i reach 3.2GHz) :tongue:
April 30, 2007 6:09:16 PM

i don't know when the price slashing begins, but it goes down consistently, some other people will have a better idea of when price drops would be coming around.. however, june sounds really optimistic considering price drops JUST occured.

the only reason c2d is the best way to go now is because of the price differential; the performance increases you'll see with quad don't necessarily make up for the almost 2x the costs. that's why i'm using an e6600 right now [which, oc'd to 3.2, is FAST] and waiting until the quad core chips fall below 300, then i can follow that upgrade path for a faster chip while still getting many months of usage from my old c2d.

i dunno, maybe my logic is fuzzy.
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April 30, 2007 7:26:24 PM

Quote:

well i was thinking about the 320mb 8800gts + the processor, with the evga 680i mobo. Hmmm, would upgrading my monitor to a 22" widescreen be worth the cash aswell? iver got a 19" lcd at the minute but i would like higher res. I could probably forget about the widescreen and go for quad...

Im hoping for the prices of the gpus to go down wen ati release there monsters, so hopefully should be able to afford a better graphics card when the time comes.


A 22" Widescreen is WELL worth it dude. Seriously I didn't think much of it when I got mine. I was dying for desktop space for my internet browsing, chatting, downloading, and what not at the same time. But the Gaming is SO much BETTER. The widescreen aspect just adds so much to the game trust me on this.

Or go for the 640MB gts or something. Honstly no game right now or in the very near future is going to need a Quad. Seriously I am not even thinking about this until it becomes a problem. Just keep all your apps closed during gaming and that's about it.

I vote. MONITOR.

Just try playing Supreme commander on a 17 or 19" with 1280x1024 res. Those stupid bars take up 1/3 of the screen and you can't see squat. Everyone was jealous at the last lan. They all wanted one. I got a Dell, yes you can stone me now, 22" that was on sale for $296. not top notch with all the bells and whistles as the ultrasharp but definiely a decent monitor for the price.
April 30, 2007 7:46:50 PM

there are a lot of 19" monitors that sport 1680x1050 [16:10] resolution, so you're not necessarily getting higher res with a 22", you're just getting more screen real estate. i have a 22" samsung 226bw, and it was well worth the 350 i spent on it.

and tunez, i forget that you want to primarily run games, and in that case, a c2d would be much more than sufficient as most games aren't even optimized for dual core! so, jay is right, you'd be better served with an awesome video card and a good monitor.
April 30, 2007 8:39:45 PM

Quote:
i don't know when the price slashing begins, but it goes down consistently, some other people will have a better idea of when price drops would be coming around.. however, june sounds really optimistic considering price drops JUST occured.


Q6600 will drop to US$ 266 in Q3 (July, August, September) according to some articles I've seen. Hopefully the 8900 GTX will be out too by then :p 
April 30, 2007 9:08:16 PM

I agree with darious00777.

Take a look at the CPU tests on THG. The one place quad-core does better is with the multi-threading tests, where they run several applications that perform long autonomous operations. There is a BIG difference between an app like photoshop processing two 30meg files at the same time, and a game that needs to do its processing in between frames. Only one thread can send the final data to the video card. Multithreading shines much more when doing long batch-like operations.

Then you need to look at the price differences between the 2-core and 4-core CPUs. If it gets to a point serveral years from now that you need more CPU power, you will be able to use the money saved buying a C2 now to buy the latest CPU and motherboard (and possibly newer RAM). By not wasting that money now, you will have it to get a really substandtial upgrade to performance when you actually need it.

Anyway, that is what I am thinking, as I continue to play with my P4 3.0 system. I am still waiting for a compelling need to upgrade, like the existence of an actual DX10 game.
May 1, 2007 6:46:38 AM

More and more games are being multithreaded. I predict that the next hot titles to come out will be almost exclusively multi-threaded and you will need the quad core to play the games with all the bells and whistles on. Even games that were not originally multi-threaded when they were developed are being optimized for multiple (more than 2) cores via a patch. FSX is an example of this. If you don't think you're going to buy any more games in the future, buying the core 2 duo might save you some money to play yesterday's games. If you have the money for quad core, I think it is a worthwhile investmentment.

Rob
May 1, 2007 6:50:34 AM

o man the quad rocks!

double your fun! my q6600 is running 3.3 np
May 1, 2007 8:27:49 AM

Quote:
More and more games are being multithreaded. I predict that the next hot titles to come out will be almost exclusively multi-threaded and you will need the quad core to play the games with all the bells and whistles on. Even games that were not originally multi-threaded when they were developed are being optimized for multiple (more than 2) cores via a patch. FSX is an example of this. If you don't think you're going to buy any more games in the future, buying the core 2 duo might save you some money to play yesterday's games. If you have the money for quad core, I think it is a worthwhile investmentment.

Rob


The immediate hole in that theory is that no game (or even new must-have application) will have shipped that requires more than two cores between now and the expected halving of Q6600 prices (a mere three months out). E6600 today is $236USD (local retail); it was $306USD (same dealer) two months ago (and that was a sale price, while the current price is the new retail number). Q6600 in Q3 will likely be no *worse* than $285USD (again, same dealer), while the E6600 will not only see pricing remain flat, but it will basically be discontinued. Paying over twice as much for two extra cores is no bargain; however, paying less than $50USD more for two extra cores (even if you don't need them most of the time) is a major bargain.

Also, there are other reasons to seriously consider multiple cores; how many people run only one application at a time these days? If you run so much as two IMs and a P2P application in the background at all times (and that would actually be considered *light*), you are a genuine candidate for a multicore CPU today. For each additional two applications you add to the combined load, you can safely add the processing power of another core to your real-time processing loadout. I pretty much stopped running one application at a time when Windows 2000 (and Intel's NetBurst Architecture) were still new (remember, Hyperthreading hadn't gone real-world yet). And don't even get me started on the power required to run productivity applications (such as OpenOffice.org, browsers, or e-mail apps). It's not just multi-threaded applications or games; but multiple single-threaded applications/utilitities running at once that also seriously call for a multi-core CPU. (And *that* sort of processing load is a lot more commonplace than people will want to admit; take a good look at the tasktray of your OS of choice (even, perhaps *especially*, if you are still running Windows XP); add one core for every three icons in that tray.)
May 1, 2007 10:35:13 AM

Quote:
More and more games are being multithreaded. I predict that the next hot titles to come out will be almost exclusively multi-threaded and you will need the quad core to play the games with all the bells and whistles on. Even games that were not originally multi-threaded when they were developed are being optimized for multiple (more than 2) cores via a patch. FSX is an example of this. If you don't think you're going to buy any more games in the future, buying the core 2 duo might save you some money to play yesterday's games. If you have the money for quad core, I think it is a worthwhile investmentment.

Rob


The immediate hole in that theory is that no game (or even new must-have application) will have shipped that requires more than two cores between now and the expected halving of Q6600 prices (a mere three months out). E6600 today is $236USD (local retail); it was $306USD (same dealer) two months ago (and that was a sale price, while the current price is the new retail number). Q6600 in Q3 will likely be no *worse* than $285USD (again, same dealer), while the E6600 will not only see pricing remain flat, but it will basically be discontinued. Paying over twice as much for two extra cores is no bargain; however, paying less than $50USD more for two extra cores (even if you don't need them most of the time) is a major bargain.

Also, there are other reasons to seriously consider multiple cores; how many people run only one application at a time these days? If you run so much as two IMs and a P2P application in the background at all times (and that would actually be considered *light*), you are a genuine candidate for a multicore CPU today. For each additional two applications you add to the combined load, you can safely add the processing power of another core to your real-time processing loadout. I pretty much stopped running one application at a time when Windows 2000 (and Intel's NetBurst Architecture) were still new (remember, Hyperthreading hadn't gone real-world yet). And don't even get me started on the power required to run productivity applications (such as OpenOffice.org, browsers, or e-mail apps). It's not just multi-threaded applications or games; but multiple single-threaded applications/utilitities running at once that also seriously call for a multi-core CPU. (And *that* sort of processing load is a lot more commonplace than people will want to admit; take a good look at the tasktray of your OS of choice (even, perhaps *especially*, if you are still running Windows XP); add one core for every three icons in that tray.)

Its not really that big of a deal. I'm on vista and as i write this, one core of my 6700 is idle and the other is @ 1%. I have 8 programs in my system tray, limewire, and this iexplore window open.

Now, I DO understand your point. I was playing some BF2142 the other day, smooth as silk. I looked down and saw that my hard drive is going crazy. That usually doesnt happen. So, I duck out of the game to see why my disk is accessing like a mofo. Turns out, my defrag was running AT THE SAME TIME as my McAfee decided to do a full virus scan.

No performance hit to my game whatsoever. That's just with 2 cores. I was kind of floored for a minute. Then I told her she's a good girl and went back to fraggin noobs.
May 1, 2007 4:30:05 PM

that sounds like a PLAN,

but bf2142 has a much larger reliance on your videocard, doesn't it?

stealth_jag has a good point to consider when he's talking about multiple apps and the amount of cores being used, but if the op has gaming and some light duty work in mind, a dual core would certainly fit the bill if he were to get a system right now, considering it takes a lot to totally wipe out 2 cores to oblivion at this point. the price differential would be a tough pill to swallow seeing as he's only primarily gaming [which is what he stated].
May 2, 2007 4:03:40 PM

Quote:
I will soon be building a computer (in the next 2-3 months) and was wondering if it quad core was really worth going for.


The price will come down on those in Q3 '07

so, when is Q3..?

edit: line added> and the ANSWER may be,

I went back and looked at the price cut calendar for Intel over the last 6 years..
except for '05,
all the Q3 price cuts have come in July..

(one year as late as July 31st..)
May 2, 2007 6:20:25 PM

well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.
May 2, 2007 6:56:33 PM

Quote:
thanks for the replies

well i was thinking about the 320mb 8800gts + the processor, with the evga 680i mobo. Hmmm, would upgrading my monitor to a 22" widescreen be worth the cash aswell? iver got a 19" lcd at the minute but i would like higher res. I could probably forget about the widescreen and go for quad...

Im hoping for the prices of the gpus to go down wen ati release there monsters, so hopefully should be able to afford a better graphics card when the time comes.




I bought these setup 2-3 months ago...I love it. Most of my games work great: 8)

eVGA 680i Motherboard
Intel E6600 CPU
eVGA 8800GTS 320 MB PCI-X
750 Watts ThermalTake Power Supply
3 Gigs of PC2-6400 DDR2
2 Raptors 74GB SATA
400 GB IDE
May 2, 2007 7:20:19 PM

i say get the quad core if u dont want to upgrade in 2 years. if u plan to upgrande in 2 years. just get the non quad 6600.
May 2, 2007 7:22:31 PM

Quote:
well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.


May :?: 8O
May 2, 2007 8:04:12 PM

What I would do is go with whatever CPU you can live with now and grab a good motherboard that will support Quads (which most do) and possibly Penryn for the future. That way when something better comes along all you need to do is get a new CPU rather than a system overhaul. That's my plan with an e4300.
May 2, 2007 8:34:40 PM

Quote:
well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.


can u say July August Jeptember? Thank you.
May 2, 2007 8:37:51 PM

im in for the bearlake mobo's and a Q6600 in Q3
when the penryn quadcore cpu's drops in price in 2008 i'll probably buy one.
May 2, 2007 8:49:13 PM

Quote:
well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.


May :?: 8O

Calendar Q3 starts in July and goes through the end of September. I have no idea what that other guy is thinking.
May 2, 2007 9:55:20 PM

lawl, bad math :D 
May 2, 2007 10:53:32 PM

Great thread...the steady pace of hardware evolution continues. I swear it was only yesterday when the debate was over whether a dual core cpu could be justified over higher clocked single cores.

Cheers,
Bob

e6600@3ghz
freezer7
x1900xt
badaxe
May 2, 2007 11:02:52 PM

Quote:
I will soon be building a computer (in the next 2-3 months) and was wondering if it quad core was really worth going for. With my new build i won't want to upgrade for a good few years and would also like to play all games coming out in the near future with all the eye candy!

I was think of going for either the E6600 or the Q6600. If i have to i will splash out the extra cash but would prefer not to... hehe.


Thanks

Not yet. Just get a e6400 (or e4300), save money, Good enough. Get all the eye candy. There are not many apps can can use 4 cores yet anyway.
Q6600 is more future-proof, but the Penryn is around the corner will be much better than the Q6600 (faster, uses less power, SSE4, etc).
A 2 core Penryn can render Divx twice as fast as a 4 core Conroe, 20% faster per clock for most things (for example)
So, just make sure your motherboard can handle a 1333 fsb (p965, 680i, etc)
There is no proof a p965 @ 1333 can accomodate a Penryn (since the chip isn't available yet). But many experts (better than me) beleive this will work.
At worst case, there should be a 1067 Mhz version of the Penryn anyway.
The Nehalem will come out in late 2008 and will walk all over the Penryn, but that is new socket, new everything, if you can wait that long.
Confused yet?
May 3, 2007 1:36:16 AM

Quote:
well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.


did you even READ my post..

it has the question AND the answer in it..
May 3, 2007 4:14:34 AM

LAWL, apparently, i didn't! my bust! my bust! :p 
May 3, 2007 4:53:43 AM

If going quad-core means you have to skimp on the display, don't bother. If you're like most people, you'll keep your monitor a lot longer than you'll keep your computer (in its current form at least).

The Viewsonic VX2025wm is a great 20" widescreen at 1680 x 1050 pixels. I'm staring at it now on my desk, worked great since I got it last summer. It'll likely last a while, and that resolution is the sweet spot for the 320MB 8800GTS. Just get an e6320 or e6420, the 8800GTS-320, a decent overclocking motherboard, and a nice 2GB kit of RAM, and you'll be wondering why you thought about quad-core to begin with.
a b à CPUs
May 3, 2007 5:17:06 AM

Quote:
well, split up the year into quarters, and q3 falls anywhere between may-august.

No it doesn't is falls between July and September.

Q1 January to March
Q2 April to June
Q3 July to September
Q4 Oct to December
May 3, 2007 5:38:02 AM

Anybody know if that means the QX6700 price would drop? ^__^"
May 3, 2007 5:41:32 AM

WOW, you people can't let it go, huh? if you looked down further, you would've seen me twice state that it was my mistake, bad math.
May 3, 2007 6:26:21 AM

I would wait. I mean. If you buy a high end dual core. Use it for a few years wait untel the quad core and software to use quad core. Then upgrade

Price will be lower due to newer cpus.

I would like to point out. When the dual core came out how long did it take for software to use dual cores? There only a few out there that use it. Even today there only a few software that will use it.
May 3, 2007 4:52:30 PM

well i've been waiting since Jan. or so, and R600 is all im waiting for [or atleast to make the 8800 gtx cheaper] i kinda dont wanna wait another few months lol
May 5, 2007 2:54:03 PM

I built my system for a Q but got a e6300 to hold me until the price drop. The e6300 is holding me back but it's still much faster then my old rig. The allendales start at $114 us.

The quad's already on my Christmas list.
May 9, 2007 9:20:50 AM

*Not* E6400. No way. Instead, I recommend either E6420 or E6600 (E6420 and E6600 have more on-chip cache than the E6400, and cost around the same, if not less in the E6420's case). In fact, except for the E6600, I refuse to recommend a E6X00 today. E43x0? The Celerons of the Core 2 world. In fact, once the third-quarter price cuts kick in, I may recommend the Q6600 exclusively.
May 9, 2007 12:42:48 PM

i don't think quad core is a good chioce at the moment
May 9, 2007 1:38:04 PM

[quote="PGHammerIn fact, once the third-quarter price cuts kick in, I may recommend the Q6600 exclusively.[/quote]

Ah, but it hasn't yet, so maybe recomment the E6600 and then Q6600 in a few months/a year. It'll be cheaper to do it that way and he won't miss out on much.
Problem is he said he didn't want to upgrade for a good few years.

If it's a more than 2 years, I'd advise Q6600 because E6600 will seem lacking by then.

Lyngvi, who plans to buy a new machine soon, to upgrade it's CPU a year later.
May 10, 2007 1:38:13 AM

Quote:
[quote="PGHammerIn fact, once the third-quarter price cuts kick in, I may recommend the Q6600 exclusively.


Ah, but it hasn't yet, so maybe recomment the E6600 and then Q6600 in a few months/a year. It'll be cheaper to do it that way and he won't miss out on much.
Problem is he said he didn't want to upgrade for a good few years.

If it's a more than 2 years, I'd advise Q6600 because E6600 will seem lacking by then.

Lyngvi, who plans to buy a new machine soon, to upgrade it's CPU a year later.[/quote]

You didn't read the earlier part of my post; the E6600 is the *only* E6x00 CPU I am recommending today. The Q6600, for most users, is (for now) still too expensive. I'm simply saying that post-price cuts, I won't be recommending dual-core at all for desktop use (if anyone had told me that I would actually consider recommending a quad-core CPU for general desktop use prior to 2010 even six months ago, I'd have thought they were crazy; however, a sub-$300 generally-available Q6600 is simply far to attractive to pass on, in my humble opinion).
!