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Newbie Question - best chip?

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Last response: in CPUs
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What is the best chip for gaming?

Total: 35 votes (11 blank votes)

  • Core 2 Duo E6850 @ 3.0GHz ($200)
  • 0 %
  • Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4GHz ($230)
  • 25 %
  • Core 2 Quad Q6700 @ 2.66GHz ($300)
  • 9 %
  • Core 2 Quad Q9300 @ 2.5GHz ($290)
  • 9 %
  • Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0GHz ($205)
  • 59 %
April 22, 2008 1:04:46 AM

I'm having some problems picking out the right CPU for my upgrade. I'm set on an Intel chip. I'm probably not going to over clock right away, but might later. I really like the Q6600, but I'm also considering a couple of others, hence the poll. Also, to show that I'm really a noob, what is the difference between a desktop and server chip? I've seen some attractive prices on Xenon chips, and they're the right socket, but I don't know if there's actually any benefit or disadvantage to using them. I'm willing to spend up to $300 (or $400 if someone can make a convincing argument, so mention that as well if you think that would be a better choice).

*Edit* the last two choices didn't make it in:
Is the Q6700 worth the price increase over the Q6600?
Is the Q9300 better than than the Q6600?

I'm strongly leaning towards the Q6600, but just wanted to find out about the other chips as well.

More about : newbie question chip

April 22, 2008 1:16:41 AM

I like my Q6600, but that's an opinion. Also, you said that it was an upgrade, and that you were a noob (not to insult you; you said it), so you might want to make sure that your motherboard has the right socket.

For Intel:
Desktop= LGA775
Server= LGA771

A server processor might fit into a desktop mobo, but it might not work. Basically server processors are desktop CPUs that are specially picked out for stability and quality.

I'd go desktop, because it is a lot cheaper for the mobo and memory. For a server, you have to have FB-DIMMs, which are more expensive.

You might want to take a look at the new 45nm CPUs (E8xxx's and Q9xxx's)
April 22, 2008 1:27:07 AM

Errr, I pressed enter too early. Other choices were the Q9300 and the Q6700, so mention those as well.

Also, I'm a noob in that its my first computer build, but I do know more or less the basics. I've looked at the E8400 and E8500, but I've seen the Q6600 get better reviews so they didn't make the review. I've only seen the Q9300, but forgot to add it to the poll, so include that in your choice.
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April 22, 2008 1:34:22 AM

Really? I'll add that one to the poll as well.
April 22, 2008 1:36:14 AM

None of the above.

The E8x00 chips are the best for gaming, unless you are talking heavily multithreaded games like Supreme Commander or Flight Simulator X, then the quads will be best.

EDIT - I see you've now added the E8400 as an option. ;) 
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April 22, 2008 1:50:04 AM

Q9450(X3350) is better then the Q6600 and Q6700 and cheaper then the Q6700. It has 12M cache and runs at 2.66.
April 22, 2008 2:48:12 AM

1haplo said:
Q9450(X3350) is better then the Q6600 and Q6700 and cheaper then the Q6700. It has 12M cache and runs at 2.66.


It's better, but its not cheaper than the Q6700. News flash - Intel has cut prices on the 65nm quads, the Q6700 is now $266. ;) 
April 22, 2008 2:53:14 AM

epsilon84 said:
It's better, but its not cheaper than the Q6700. News flash - Intel has cut prices on the 65nm quads, the Q6700 is now $266. ;) 

Damn, that's what I got my Q6600 for! Well, it wasn't like it wouldn't ever happen.
April 22, 2008 3:13:13 AM

Fry's had the retail box Q6600 for $180 + $6 shipping making it a better value than any in the poll IMO. I'm all about a bargain, so e8400/Q6600, whichever is cheaper, gets my vote for gaming.

As for best chip mentioned so far I like the (edit: was a 9650 not 9450) Quads, even if it doesn't clock as high, still seems to beat the e8400 quite often:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=737&p=2
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April 22, 2008 3:34:01 AM

For simply gaming go with the E8400.
April 22, 2008 4:02:14 AM

Dont go with Q6600- for gaming, E8400- and if you are set on quad core, upgrade with for new technology, not Q6600, but the 45nm's like the Q9300....
April 22, 2008 4:08:05 AM

That is partly why I was looking at the E8400, for the 45nm, but why is it so much better than the Q6600? Is it just the clock speed? If we're just going for the clock speed, why not the Q9300, since it has the same clock speed and two cores?
April 22, 2008 4:09:55 AM

Another thing...for you poll up there ^^...you can pretty much rule out the E6850 (E8400 pwns it) and the Q6700 b/c if you want 90nm quad chip, go with the Q6600, and just give it a slight overclock and it will pass up the Q6700--no sence in paying all that extra money on the Q6700- its not worth is for the amount of ghz you get
April 22, 2008 4:11:07 AM

....E8400 is better for gaming...games nowadays dont utilize quad core yet. so the E8400 has higher clock speeds over the Q6600, and its more useful for gaming...and personally for you...your needs...unless you doing some insense video editing...you dont need the Q9300
April 22, 2008 12:09:36 PM

Same ole arguement. There is not a single game the Q6600 will let you down in. And max overclocked it can beat a much higher clocked dual core. If you are going to game at stock speeds, get the e8400. if you are max overclocking, the Q6600 can trade blows with it no problem. Priced like in your poll, the e8400 offers you more game for the money for sure. Priced like I have seen them (Q6600 cheaper than e8400) I'd take the Q6600 for every system except an HTPC gamer (for power consumption/heat reasons).

Notice the Q6600 at lower clocks beating the e6850 in each game they tested, sometime by alot. If you are going to OC the Q6600 is a valid gaming option just like the e8400. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...

Here's a small stock speed comparison:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=735&p=5

And this one shows an e8500 vs Q6600. Notice impressive e8500 numbers, but also results at 800x600 aren't anything like the results you would see at high res when actually gaming. Stock 2.4GHz Q6600 managed to pull ahead of a 4.17GHz e8500 in UT3 (Quad threaded game) but also in other games. Anyway, too bad they OC'ed the e8500, but not the Q6600, as reviews like Xbit show the Q6600 is a beast at 3.6GHz or beyond. Results would have been more interesting.
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/intel_core_2_duo_e8...
April 22, 2008 1:01:46 PM

I agree with you on both of those points.
April 22, 2008 1:34:27 PM

But if you were happy to spend $300 on a Q6700, wouldn't it be worth it to go with the q9450..?
it may not overclock as easily, but drawing less power and, i think i read clock for clock faster than the Q6***? (Value for money, the Q6600 may well be far better though....)
April 22, 2008 1:41:18 PM

Good gawd.... This kind of topic has been asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... and did I mention over, and over and over and over and over and over....

If you like 2 cores.. then go for the E8400.

If you like 4 cores... just flip a coin between the Q6600 and Q9450.

I'm happy with my Q6600 at 2.850ghz. :p . o O(and it was actually fast enough for me at 2.4ghz)
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April 22, 2008 3:02:34 PM

Grimmy said:
Good gawd.... This kind of topic has been asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... and did I mention over, and over and over and over and over and over....


Like a monkey with a miniature cymbal?
:D 
April 22, 2008 4:10:19 PM

Quote:
^ and thus the 8400 would run better in single or dual threaded games but worse in heavily multi-threaded games compared to the Q6600

No, not really. Look at Xbit Labs - Fear is single threaded and the Q6600 won at lower clock speeds vs a dual core e6850. Quake 4 is dual threaded yet the 3.6GHz Q6600 again beat the Dual core at 3.85GHz. It's not as simple as clock speeds = win.

Sure, quad threaded Lost planet was a blowout for the Q6600, but that was also low res no fsaa. And then we see low res 800x600 tests where the high clocked e8500 (or 8400) pulls ahead. But in all these cases who games at 800x600, 1024x768, medium details, low res and no fsaa, etc. ? I think the important thing is gaming settings where you see the Q6600 at stock speeds match or slightly beat the overclocked e8500 in the FS review. How is it such a better gaming chip if at 4.17GHz it can't beat a 2.4GHz stock quad at the settings we game at? Even Lost planet that so favors the quads if set up properly, is there any difference at playable settings over an e8400? I kinda doubt it's a bigg difference, that's why I don't see either as better really. I am not anti e8400, just anti anti-Q6600 as I think it's just as good for gaming in general. I just don't see either as a bad choice and get a little disturbed when one is pushed as being alot better performer than the other. That's where IMO the Tom's charts testeting 10x7 6 months apart are misleading people who don't understand that most games are GPU limited and 200fps vs 180 fps at low res means didly when gaming at 1600x1050 2xaa/16x1f. .
April 22, 2008 4:16:18 PM

Grimmy said:
Good gawd.... This kind of topic has been asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... and did I mention over, and over and over and over and over and over....

If you like 2 cores.. then go for the E8400.

If you like 4 cores... just flip a coin between the Q6600 and Q9450.

I'm happy with my Q6600 at 2.850ghz. :p . o O(and it was actually fast enough for me at 2.4ghz)

:lol:  True, but unfortunatelty we still have new people who don't know it's been covered, so it's important they know/understand both sides of the issue, which were not being discussed. Otherwise come next thread they'll be pitching the same ole line they were fed in their thread. :non: 

April 22, 2008 4:22:23 PM

Gah... I just wonder if its the same person with a different account just messing with our minds.

. o O (bwhahahaa.. lets see how far we can drive these guyz nutz)
April 22, 2008 4:29:31 PM

LOL, that's a great idea. :) 
April 22, 2008 4:40:09 PM

i have built a sytem with a q9300 and it is tremendous.
the + side to the q9xx0 series it that it encorperate the best of 45nm and Quad core.
April 22, 2008 7:48:53 PM

Grimmy said:
Good gawd.... This kind of topic has been asked over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... and did I mention over, and over and over and over and over and over....

If you like 2 cores.. then go for the E8400.

If you like 4 cores... just flip a coin between the Q6600 and Q9450.

I'm happy with my Q6600 at 2.850ghz. :p . o O(and it was actually fast enough for me at 2.4ghz)


I realize it's a frequently asked question, which is why I put the newbie part in front of it. People who don't like the same threads over and over again need not apply. The reason for the thread is that most of the charts on Tom's Hardware have the Q6600 and the E8400 even and swithing almost at random, and it's almost impossible to decide which is better, hence why I'm asking for the opinions of the people on this board, who I think could be accurately described as enthusiasts. Oh, and I'm not a newbie who's just continuing posting new threads to piss people off, just someone trying to determine which chip is the best. I've not included the Q9450 or the E8500 because I can't find either of those chips. So far though, there has been a convincing argument for the Q6600 despite the popularity of E8400.
April 22, 2008 9:14:21 PM

Don't take it personally, it's just a never ending discussion that carries from thread to thread. The same-o same-o gets posted over and over and it does get tiring for all who have been involved. But It's also very understandable that you would want opinions and reasons for spending your money on a certain chip.

Quote:
So far though, there has been a convincing argument for the Q6600 despite the popularity of E8400.

As I have said, I am a Q6600 person if priced about the same, unless it's for an HTPC where power consumption, heat, airflow all become very important. But honestly, the lower power consumption, less heat, and great overclockability of the e8400 are very impressive too. If it saves you $25+, keep it on your list of processor choices. Prices have almost settled down to where they belong ($189) and when that happens it's even a better option. Shoot, both are outstanding gaming options for a reasonable price, perfect match for a high end GPU or multi GPU setup.

Keep your eye out for the extreme sale though on any of these chips as last week the Q6600 retail box was $179.99 +6.80 shipping from Fry's and they were in stock too until their price jumped back up to $260. I already have a Q6600, but can tell you I have plans to buy an e8400 for another system when I find a good price like that ($180).


edit: Just wanted to add, Fry's dropped the Q6600 price again , but just to $200 + $6 shipping. Still makes it about equal $ to the e8400 which is $202.80 shipped at ZZF:
http://shop3.outpost.com/product/5101696
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...


April 22, 2008 10:46:08 PM

It's not for a HTPC, but if it has the right ports, I might put it on a stand next to my TV and hook it up, but I won't be confining it into a small place without air flow, just above the dust on the floor. I'll probably save up and get the best chip I can for about $300 (especially if the Q9450 or E8500 are finally available), otherwise, I'll just make my decision (either a Q6600 or a E8400) based on how many games in the future are quad core.
!