Hi all. I've been looking around, and have been unable to decide whether I want a Q9450 or an E8500. My rig is mostly used for gaming, apart from the usual web browsing, email, word processing, etc. I've gathered that at the moment a speedier dual core beats quad core for gaming, but it seems that soon quad core could become more important for gaming. I do intend to overclock, and I probably won't upgrade for at the very least another 2 years. Any help would be much appreciated
[EDIT] I sort of left this to the last moment, and need to order today, for various reasons, so any help before then would be great
Yes fast dual cores perform better than the quad atm..it will change in the future for sure...quads are MOSTLY useful for vid editing...you haven't mentioned vid editing...E8400 is surely a great CPU..overclocks very well too...get it if its urgent. You wont be disappointed. Or if you can wait, then wait for the q9450 to release.
At the level of the E8500 or Q9450, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu. At that level, overclocking is good for bragging, but it will not net you as much increase in FPS as a better vga card will. Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores. Flight simulator X is an exception. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs, and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run. I don't see this changing in the next couple of years, and then nehalem will be upon us.
Net: E8500 for the increased clock speed.
Also, go to 4gb, ddr2 is cheap, and it insulates the game from interference while multitasking.
How much do you plan on overclocking? Duals overclock better, but if you're going for mild/moderate, then either will do. I agree with the 2nd post, Intel's next new chips coming out will be on a whole new platform. Qwertycopter give a brief but truthful aspect of the next-gen platform.
How much do I plan on overclocking? Well as far as I can stably get it without upping the heat or voltage too much: even if I am going to have to essentially build a new rig when I upgrade in 2-3 years, I'd like to avoid burning anything out and keep my current components as spares, so I won't just ignore heat and voltage, but I'm not averse to a bit of an increase here and there