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E8400, E6600, or Q6600. Newbie could use some help.

Last response: in CPUs
April 28, 2008 5:22:21 AM

Hey guys. I am new to all this computer stuff. I try to research and learn some of the key factors but there is a ton of info to look through and learn. It seems like it may take a while for me to fully understand it all.

Anyways, I'm wanting to build a new computer that can A) run a lot of programs at once (my 4 year old piece of junk freezes up when I have a few apps open), B) that will run top notch games at high frames per second, and C) will last 2-4 years. While looking through processors, these two have been mentioned a lot. The prices seem fair and the reviews are decent as well. Which would be the best for what I am looking for? Should I be ignoring these and looking at something newer? Thanks for any responses guys.

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor

Oh and by the way. I am trying to work this into a $800-$1100 budget.
April 28, 2008 5:52:44 AM

After doing a bit of reading, it seems the Q6600 is going to be the best choice. What do you guys think?
April 28, 2008 6:04:16 AM

You got it Tool Band. Go with the Q6600. Watch for the "package" specials at Newegg and CompUSA. Just picked up an Intel X38 mobo, 2MB DDR3(Corsair), and a Q6700 for $599. Not bad. Sign up for their email specials and you might find something that will help your budget stretch.
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April 28, 2008 6:05:03 AM

Agreed. You can overclock the Q6600 to E8400 speeds while gaining 2 extra cores for a little more future-proofing.

Since you are a computer noobie, you probably won't be overclocking much at first, but when you do understand it better, it will be an option and you'll be thankful for your choice in the Q.

If you DON'T plan on overclocking, go for the E8400. That processor will beat the Q at its stock speed (3GHz vs. 2.4GHz) in most games but will fall behind the Q in heavy multitasking.

If you plan on running a lot of things at once while playing a game (not highly recommended but it's your choice), then get the Q. Many games will use 2 cores, and with a quad you will have 2 extra cores for your background apps. You'll feel the performance hit more with a dual-core + many apps than a quad-core and lower speeds. It's all up to you. Good luck on your choice :) 
April 28, 2008 6:10:57 AM

Definitely the e8400 or the Q6600. For longevity and multitasking, the Q6600 sounds like your horse. The e8400 is a faster chip, but it is dual core as apposed to quad core.

Learn how to overclock it to get the most out of the Q6600. In order to overclock, you need a decent motherboard and decent ram. Don't skimp. Especially since ram is like 25$ after mail in rebate.

Graphics card is more important than processor for gaming. Next generation of Graphics cards might be coming out over the summer (don't hold your breath though)
a b à CPUs
April 28, 2008 8:38:04 AM

rickpatbrown said:
In order to overclock, you need a decent motherboard and decent ram.

And cooler!
a b à CPUs
April 28, 2008 1:39:17 PM

April 28, 2008 4:06:18 PM


his budget was for a whole system no a cpu. though it would be good!
a c 123 à CPUs
April 28, 2008 4:52:11 PM

Do you need a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and any other miscellaneous peripherals? O/S or other software? If the answers are No and No, then you probably can fit that Q9450 into your budget. I just did, on an Abit IP35 Pro. It runs well; no complaints, although I really haven't stressed it yet.
To run lots of programs at once, consider 4GB of RAM. Be aware that a 32-bit O/S will only see about 3.2GB of it. DDR2-800 is a good choice, and cheap. DDR2-1066 might be a tiny bit faster, but some P35 mobos may have trouble with it (like the otherwise popular Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L).
April 28, 2008 7:58:03 PM

Hey guys. Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate it. Since I am new to this all, I will probably skip on overclocking for now but maybe once I become more exprienced, I will try it. I'm almost 100% sure I'm going to go with the Q6600. I think in the long run I will be way more satisfied. Now I need to carefully pick my other components. Only other part I'm sure of is the 8800 GTS 512 MB G92.

To answer your question jtt283: Yes, I do need some of those other miscelleaneous peripherals. I at least need the OS and I am strongly concidering buying me a nice 22" LCD widescreen monitor. I really need to win some big bucks next time I hit up the slots, lol.
April 28, 2008 8:01:07 PM

Oh, one more thing I thought I'd ask...

Is now a good time to buy? I know prices change frequently, but does anyone know if prices of these processors will be dropping anytime soon?
a b à CPUs
April 28, 2008 8:11:33 PM

Yes, very good time now. The Q6600 sounds best for what you describe, and it just had a price cut. Shop around for best prices.
April 28, 2008 8:13:43 PM

Since you want new monitor, you need OS and so on. Maybe you should consider AMD and save you some money plus you not going to overclock anyway so whats the point of spending extra $
April 28, 2008 8:15:15 PM

And if you will overclock and decide to go with AMD to save you some money you can get 5000BE and overclock it to about 3gz. or Just get stock 6400BE at 3.2 GZ will do the trick just fine.
April 28, 2008 8:26:07 PM

Now is a good time if you don't care about three things that will happen in the next 1-2 months:

  • Intel will start making the Q9450/Q9550 in greater quantities.
  • ATI will release the 4800 card.
  • Western Digital will release the new VelociRaptor.

    April 28, 2008 11:06:22 PM

    snajper69 said:
    Since you want new monitor, you need OS and so on. Maybe you should consider AMD and save you some money plus you not going to overclock anyway so whats the point of spending extra $

    I should say I'm using a dual Opteron (socket 940) system as my main rig.

    I would only recommend a system based around an AMD CPU for someone on an extreme budget just now. Although I have just built up 2x systems based on second-hand DFI socket 939 motherboard for folk.

    I read that a lot of AMD motherboards still haven't switched to solid capacitors which would not be good for longevity/stability... Also what about the whole Barcelona/Phenom joke where the B3 stepping still cannot be overclocked... Never mind the fact that the Core 2 architecture walks all over the K10 architecture.

    The Q6600 is selling for a song the UK (+ the good deals mentioned in the US). It is the best deal of the processors originally suggested and fairly future proof...


    April 29, 2008 12:05:14 AM


    I've built many a system from back in the 386 days and the lastest was this;

    Asus p5k ($139) nice board solid caps and heat pipes. fb 1333
    4 gig of corsair ddr-800 ($59 total after rebate)
    E8400 ($189)

    It has a faster front bus than the q6600, at the time was $100 less (q6600 now $199!) and I could jack the memory to 1066. What I found was plug and play! I'd buy a GOOD psu, corsair or antec, coolmasters 600w extreme only lastest 2 months :kaola:  , using the old 350 watt with no problems now. Stay away from multi bus 12v psu, they tend to be lower per bus which I think crapped out mine. SLI certified didn't make it any better just extra 6 pin 12v plugs buy only if your doing the multi sli cards.

    She crushes my old giga-byte x2-4200 box :sol: 

    I'd go to the MicroCenter site, I can drive to one of their stores in Ohio, below on sale;

    Q6600 + XFX 680i $399

    Q6600 + intel DP35DPM atx $299

    E8400 + intel DP35DPM atx $319

    Boxed processors;

    E8400 $199 :o 

    Q6600 $199 :o 

    OEM Q9300 $249 (watch out for warranty on OEMs) :fou: 

    AMD X2 6400+ $159 :sleep: 

    AMD Q9600 $189 :sleep: 

    AMD Q9850 :o  NO PRICE GO TO WEBSITE. You'll need a 790i chipset for the amd quads to kick some, pricey MBs.

    Download their pdf ad. It's like a being in the old candy store with a pocket full of quarters!!