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Quad Core vs Dual Core for Gaming

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May 19, 2008 12:05:42 PM

CPU: Pentium D 2.8 gHz
MB: ASUS P5NSLI
PSU: CoolMax 500w
Vid Card: xfx 7900 GS 256mb - Upgraded to: eVGA 8800 GT 512 MB
RAM: Corsair X2 3gigs
HD: 500gb SATA 7200 rpm
Case: CM690

I am considering upgrading my CPU to a Quad Core but what I want to know is if that's better for gaming? Now when I say gaming I'm not talking just World of Warcraft. I mean high intensity gaming with particles flying everywhere and high definition (First Person Shooters). Also does my current Pentium D hinder my 8800 GT from performing at it's best (I have not tried the 8800 GT yet)? The choices are:

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6550 (891191) - $219
• 2.33GHz processing
• 1333MHz front side bus
• 4MB L2 cache

Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (BX80562Q6600) - $319
• 2.4GHz processing
• 1066MHz front side bus
• 8MB L2 cache

Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E6850 (BX80557E6850SLA9U) - $319
• 3GHz processing
• 1333MHz front side bus
• 4MB L2 cache

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
May 19, 2008 12:07:57 PM

do u plan to OC?
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May 19, 2008 12:14:04 PM

I'd go with the 8400 over the 2 duals listed, but as jone said, it depends if you're overclocking and also what specific games you're playing.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 19, 2008 12:41:59 PM

For gaming, even with the new Core technology, raw Mhz is still the trick. More than 2 cores doesn't mean much in gaming. The reason people buy the quads though is because they will overclock easily to Core 2 speeds and beyond. If you can achieve 3ghz on a quad, might as well have the quad and get the benefits of 4 cores for multitasking and programs that can make use of more than 2 cores. When you clock a quad to higher Core 2 speeds, games will very slightly favor the quad.
But, at stock speeds and if you don't plan to overclock, buy the processor with highest frequency for gaming.
If you don't overclock, get an e8400 3.0Ghz based on the new 45nm technology.
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May 19, 2008 12:50:52 PM

Quad at 3.0+ ghz is great; simple to achieve as well. It comes in handy when running SupCom. Even at stock, the Q6600 runs well...add some speed and it performs well.

Didn't we (Tom's forums) have this EXACT same forum discussion last week over the EXACT same processors? :) 

Yes, your Pentium D is holding you back...they never really were great performers...just a half-ass dual core option before the Core 2's came out.
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May 19, 2008 1:17:40 PM

That's odd...it will support older D820/830's, the QX6800 and the newer Q9550, but not the Q6600? Wouldn't the Q6600 and QX6800 be considered siblings and of the same supported cores? That is quite a broad range...never seen a board that supported the D series dual cores (800/900's) as well as the newer Q6xxx series, let alone the Q9xxx series.
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May 19, 2008 1:30:10 PM

rubix_1011 said:

Didn't we (Tom's forums) have this EXACT same forum discussion last week over the EXACT same processors? :) 


And the week before, and probably the week before that.
!