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C2D or C2Q for Gaming?

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May 26, 2008 3:20:53 AM

Hello everyone,

I am currently in the process of building a computer, and in the following weeks I will be purchasing a CPU, I have 2 CPU's I am looking at, but I am not sure which one to go with.

Remember, this CPU will mainly be for Gaming! I do some CS3, and Video Rip, ...and the normal everyday surfing; but I don't care how fast or slow those things are. My AMD64 3000+ does the job just fine for these things!

Which one to buy?

INTEL CORE 2 DUO E8500 (3.16G / 1333 FSB / 6M Cache)

VS.

INTEL CORE 2 QUAD Q6700 (2.66G / 1066 FSB / 8M Cache)

They are both at the SAME price and those are the ONLY two CPU's I am considering!

I have 2 Motherboard's in sight; An ASUS or EVGA, both have a FSB of 1600 Mhz and both provide 3 PCI-Express Slots for quad SLI (I think that is what it is called..)

I'm not aiming for the longest term CPU, but for short term power and efficiency, as my Mobo will accept C2Q as well for the 'future'.

A second question is: do intel CPU's have any issues with ASUS or EVGA mobo's?

Thank you all for your time, and keep in mind to be nice to others even if they have a different CPU 'religion'! ;) 

More about : c2d c2q gaming

May 26, 2008 4:01:54 AM

Why not E8400/Q6600? If you're overclocking it's not really worth paying the extra, and as you're not looking at having the CPU long term then running it hard shouldn't be a problem. Put the difference into better memory.

I just chose an E8400 over the Q6600 because it's mainly going to be for gaming, and secondly because it's easier to OC dual cores, so I've got a good chance of getting a lot more out of it with my water cooling set-up (4GHz should be easy).

Non Intel chipsets (Nvidia) are fine for Intel CPUs, they're just not quite as good for OCing, as the stable FSP isn't quite as high as with Intel's own.

I've got the EVGA 780i, and it's all round a great board. I heard a lot about stability problems with Asus 780i's during initial reviews (may have been fixed with BIOS updates), so I waited a bit for the EVGA, as it was rock solid in all the reviews (plus the step up comes in handy if something new's coming out in the next 3 months, or you want a 790i for DDR3 if it drops in price in that time).

May 26, 2008 4:57:45 AM

Id have to agree the Dual will be better for gaming in the short time because of its higher clocker frequency
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May 26, 2008 2:45:52 PM

Thank you Polarity for you're reply.

I'm actually getting 6 GB's of PC-6400 CL4 ram. So from what you're saying is that it would be better for example if I went with an E8400 which is almost $80 cheaper and put in maybe something like PC-8500 or PC-9600 ram instead. But then for the same $ i would have to put CL5 ram. Not that it's SUCH a big difference...

Will the difference in quicker Ram speed but higher latency timings affect things more than that extra 160 mhz between the E8400 and E8500?

...and about overclocking, I will see, I've thought about it, but my budget might not allow me a water cooling system, as I am buying everything from scratch: Monitor, keyboard, mouse.... etc and I am not looking at discounted or cheap products but only top of the line. I have the Antec Nine-Hundred case which does offer LOTS of air cooling and also some water cooling features. So I will be sticking with air for the moment.

May 26, 2008 9:07:40 PM

its really depending on what games you'll be playing, the newer more games might do better on quads, like supreme commander forged alliance, but duals currently own quads in most of the games, im getting the quad because i play supcom, so its really based on which games you play the most
a c 472 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
May 27, 2008 12:21:54 AM

dual core.

Many current games aren't even optimized to use dual core yet.
May 27, 2008 1:18:59 AM

I am mainly a first person shooter fan, so I want to play games like Oblivion, CoD 4, Crysis, Stalker, R6 Vegas 2, etc.. and eventually at the end of the year, Fallout 3... I mostly play online, and don;t play much strategy, which I imagine would work better with multi-core cpu's... I think I'll stick to the Dual-Core for this year, if things change by next year, we'll see then.

Dual-core seems to offer much more brute force over multi-tasking, which IS what I am looking for. The only time I run multiple programs is when I browse, listen to music and maybe Photoshop... once in a blue moon it'll be a DVD rip, but then I do that while I'm watching a movie... so Quad-Core for me would almost be pointless I guess.
May 28, 2008 8:11:20 AM

There's no difference in shader model 3.0 performance 3.4Ghz and up regardless of dual core or quad core.
May 28, 2008 1:06:46 PM

Ugh, here we go again. They are equal for gaming now, don't be persuaded either is better. Most games are GPU limited and either has enough CPU power to feed a beastly GPU in current games.

OC both, even if the dual is clocked higher they will game the same. I agree consider e8400 or Q6600 to save money.

Look over these links before believing dual core is better, or Quad has big gains. They trade blows and if anything a quad slightly leads at high clocks, even if not as high clocks as the dual.

3.6GHz Quad beats a 4.2GHz Dual: (check all games not just crysis)
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=737&p=2

Low res cpu scaling test keep in mind. Will you game at 1024x768 no fsaa? Anyway, at higher gpu demanding resolutions little scaling would take place. Note even in single threaded Fear, 3.6GHz Quad beats 3.85GHz dual at these low res settings.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...


At high details where is the advantage of either:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=735&p=5


Again, note difference between 800x600 no aa and the higher res settings you would normally game at? Look at all the games. If you want to own 800x600 scaling tests believe the high clock e8500 hype. If you want to game at normal resolutions, buy either. Where's the mighty e8500 clock advantage again at gaming res? A stock Q6600 trades blows with it. Again, check all games not just the one I link -
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/intel_core_2_duo_e8...



I'll stop, but really, for $190 don't fear e8400 or Q6600 as neither will hurt your games. Both OC well too. Personally I'd rather have the Q6600 in my gaming rig, but that depends on pricing at time of purchase. Save money on the e8400....fine. Shoot, even consider a cheaper dual like an e8200 and OC. I get so tired of the dual is better bologna, as well as the Quad gaming rules nonsense. The results above prove otherwise, yet over and over and over, thread after thread after thread, one solution gets pushed as better for gaming.

May 28, 2008 10:32:40 PM

ok... I took a look at all those, but something is fishy there! That is the opposite from what I've read EVERYWHERE! I've done ALOT of research as I was very uncertain... And also they compare the AMD Phenom Quad, and that CPU is know to kinda suck compared to Intel Quads.. They say the Cache of the Quad is what beats the Dual-Core, but everywhere I've read, they say the difference between 8 MB and 6MB is not even noticable considering Dual-Cores have a higher FSB and Clock Rate. And cache is not that noticable with games, only with Apps.. And if you look at the expensive gaming rigs for sale, they mostly have Dual cores... although some do have quad.

On those benchmarks you posted they don't say what were the system specs on which they tested these CPU's.. Why would everyone say [including every other benchmark I've ever seen] that the dual-core with it's lower cost is better at gaming than it's quad-core partner???

I dunno, most websites say the quad-core is better for multi-tasking but when it comes to running 1 intensive program like a game or something the Dual-Core offers better performance..

And not to be mean, but 1024x768???????? I'm building a gaming rig so that I can play at 1920x1200 or minimum 1680x1050, on a 24' monitor. 800x600 or even 1024x768 would 'destroy' the purpose of it all. With my current computer I've never played a game under 1600x1200. and I don;t intend on lowering my 'standard'.

I appreciate your suggestions and reply, but I believe I will stick with the E8500, and by the end of the year if I see I need to change for a Quad, I'll just switch the CPU.
May 29, 2008 12:50:11 AM

godspeed7 said:
ok... I took a look at all those, but something is fishy there! That is the opposite from what I've read EVERYWHERE! I've done ALOT of research as I was very uncertain... And also they compare the AMD Phenom Quad, and that CPU is know to kinda suck compared to Intel Quads.. They say the Cache of the Quad is what beats the Dual-Core, but everywhere I've read, they say the difference between 8 MB and 6MB is not even noticable considering Dual-Cores have a higher FSB and Clock Rate. And cache is not that noticable with games, only with Apps.. And if you look at the expensive gaming rigs for sale, they mostly have Dual cores... although some do have quad.

On those benchmarks you posted they don't say what were the system specs on which they tested these CPU's.. Why would everyone say [including every other benchmark I've ever seen] that the dual-core with it's lower cost is better at gaming than it's quad-core partner???

I dunno, most websites say the quad-core is better for multi-tasking but when it comes to running 1 intensive program like a game or something the Dual-Core offers better performance..

And not to be mean, but 1024x768???????? I'm building a gaming rig so that I can play at 1920x1200 or minimum 1680x1050, on a 24' monitor. 800x600 or even 1024x768 would 'destroy' the purpose of it all. With my current computer I've never played a game under 1600x1200. and I don;t intend on lowering my 'standard'.

I appreciate your suggestions and reply, but I believe I will stick with the E8500, and by the end of the year if I see I need to change for a Quad, I'll just switch the CPU.



AH, you are almost catching on. You caught a major point but misread why I posted it. The e8500 does better low res scaling tests in the firing squad review. My whole point is who cares? At the resolutions you game at, look at how the quad at 2.4Ghz hangs with it, matches it, even beats it. Look how a quad of lower clocks 3.6Ghz beats it at high res gaming even if it's at 4.2 GHz in the legion review.

The problem is, you have fallen victim to those who test at low res in scripted time demos and assume that means a cpu is better for gaming. Too bad that is far from true. Too bad also people keep spreading the fud to others when the truth is the quads and duals are pretty stinkin' equal trading blows.

I posted 4 reviews from 3 sites, so not sure which you are referring to. Every one of them specifies the system specs. Did you check the other pages or only the one I linked?

here are the specs for all 4 links:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=737&p=1
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=735&p=1
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/intel_core_2_duo_e8...

And With all due respect, I read every review I can get my eyes on, and every review doesn't show a dual outgaming a quad. Far from it. I gave you 4 already that show a dual does not have an advantage over a quad. I can provide more too. Can you provide links to some of these reviews from "everywhere" that show the dual core outgaming the quad core?? Do any of them test at the higher resolutions and settings you game at? They are equal and if anything the quad wins by a tiny margin at high clocks.

But it's your money and your decision. Just letting you know there is no actual gaming advantage whatsoever to a 4.2GHz e8500 vs a 3.6 GHz Q6600 right now. COuld change in the Quads favor down the road. I'm doubtful it would change in the duals favor, especially talking 45nm quads and duals. So if priced the same, I'll take a Quad even in a pure gaming rig. That's exactly what I did after much research myself, and All I do is on that system is game, benchmark, and a tiny bit of video recording/editing.
May 29, 2008 9:40:57 PM

Well, I did more research! Guess what!

You're absolutely right! and I was pretty wrong! Actually I found a great website that benchmarks CPU's.. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
The Quad 6700 is quite alot higher than the fastest dual!

So I owe you an apology, and set my mind on getting the Q6700 CPU!
Thanks again for the time and effort in your posts!

To all others here, I've been doing alot of research, and The Q6600 & Q6700 are usually better for gaming than even the E8500 or E8400, sometimes it does happen that the Duals outperform them, but the margin is so so slim (like 1 or 2 FPS max!), that it is a better thing to go for the Q6700 (which is actually a few dollars cheaper than the E8500). I've read alot of forum posts on other websites as well, and many say that they actually felt as though games ran smoother when changing from the powerfull E8400/E8500 to a Quad core.

pauldh was right also with the lower res thing. Dual Cores perform better at low resolutions, but they lose their charm at resolutions of 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. If you already own the E8400/E8500, I don't think the Perfromance change is enough to switch from it to a quad... but if you're building brand new, getting a few more FPS squeezed in there at lower cost is nothing but logic! Buy some candy while you're at it... :p 
May 30, 2008 12:39:32 AM

Quote:
Well, I did more research! Guess what!

You're absolutely right! and I was pretty wrong! Actually I found a great website that benchmarks CPU's.. http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
The Quad 6700 is quite alot higher than the fastest dual!

So I owe you an apology, and set my mind on getting the Q6700 CPU!
Thanks again for the time and effort in your posts!



^ hey no problem. Honestly you do not owe me an apology whatsoever. I am not offended to have my views ?'ed. That is why we are all here, to share our love of hardware and help each other learn.

There are reasons to buy both the quads and the duals. Neither is best for all people. Both game extremely well. For instance, on a budget, a cheaper CPU like an e8200 could allow for a higher GPU budget. It's never wise to skimp on the GPU. Overclocked e8200 / 8800GTS G92 will in most games way outgame an e8500 or Q9450 / 9600GT combo when it comes to max playable settings.
May 30, 2008 12:58:10 AM

price is no object qx9650 at 4ghz
you game but you want it future proof pc or the next 3-5 years q6600 at 3.6ghz

i game and i am cheap E8400 at 3.8ghz

i game only and i want the best, but i am tight on cash! E8500 4ghz+
May 30, 2008 2:52:45 AM

But the Q6700 is cheaper than a E8500 and shows more prowess at high resolutions, so why not go for it!? ...and it will last a 'sweeny' little longer... next year I am planning to switch to the newer 45nm Quad-cores, but I prefer to wait for the price to go down, I want to focus on GPU power for now.

Btw, I'm getting an EVGA 9800GTX , my evga motherboard can take 3 PCI-E 16x and has the 780i SLI, I'm planning to have 2 or maybe 3 9800GTX's SLI'ed by the end of the summer. Overkill? Isn't Overkill just great!?

I'm also getting 6 GB's Ram, Crucial PC-6400 2GB x2 kit, the balistix one. Has a nice latency of CL4 Timing, and Also a Crucial 1GB x2 Balistix Tracer.. The Tracer version is PC-6400 with a CL5 Timing, this extra 2 gb's is only for 'looks' as it has led's on it that move at the rate of the ram usage, and a blue glow on the bottom.

I will later switch to PC-9600 ram when the Balistix Tracer comes out at that speed.

I got the Antec Nine-Hundred, but I am switching all the blue fans to green ones.

I'm kinda building a 'Bio-Technological PC' {that's what I call it... :p } Green makes me think of that..

What are you're views?
May 30, 2008 3:28:01 AM

If you are going to buy a new 45nm quad next year anyway, why not spend $200 or less now on the CPU. e8400, e8200, Q6600, etc.? Are you going to reuse the Q6700 in another rig? Clock any of those up above 3.4GHz, you are all set for any game, even with a beast of a GPU solution.
May 30, 2008 3:34:11 AM

Here is a look just how GPU demanding current games are. You'll note at high res with eye candy in COD4 and UT3, and in Crysis even without fsaa, even the mighty 8800GTX is struggling to provide enough performance to space the CPU's apart. Check out each game:
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/$500_gaming_pc_upgrade/page7.asp

I am not suggesting there are no gains of going beyond a $100 CPU, as surely there are CPU demanding areas that the cheaper cpu will dip a lower minimum fps. But in reality if you crank the settings enough, these games are mostly GPU limited on any single GPU available today.
May 30, 2008 4:09:43 AM

Yes I figured that, but the price difference between a Q6700 and a Q6600 is so slim here, only about 50$, so honestly, I prefer getting the most bang for the bucks! Maybe I will change it next year maybe not. I will see..

{Q6700}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=27093
{Q6600}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=543
{E8500}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=28747
{E8400}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=28746
{QX6800}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=26690

I believe the E8400 is the best deal for Performance/Cost. But seeing how I've already budgeted the cost of the CPU, I believe I will stick with the Q6700.

This store is 5 minutes away from where I live, so I buy everything there. It's one of the only specialized boutique in my area... and I don't want to buy anything online. This store offers really good service, I had a defective part in the past, and one
I just wanted to exchange, the boxes were open and everything, I didn't even have to insist! I'm just saying this in the case someone wants to show me some good online deals, thanks! ...but no thanks!

Thanks again for you tips and ideas pauldh!
May 30, 2008 4:16:24 AM

I see your system specs, you have a X-Fi... I always seemed redundant to spend $$$ on sound cards, considering my motherboards always had 7.1 good quality sound.. from your own experience, do you honestly see enough of a difference to actually explain a 85-100 $ expenditure?

With your system specs, which seem pretty similar to what I am building, can you play crysis, oblivion, stalker, frontlines, etc... at max graphics? if not, what is the limiting factor? FSAA?
May 30, 2008 4:41:46 AM

godspeed7 said:
I see your system specs, you have a X-Fi... I always seemed redundant to spend $$$ on sound cards, considering my motherboards always had 7.1 good quality sound.. from your own experience, do you honestly see enough of a difference to actually explain a 85-100 $ expenditure?

With your system specs, which seem pretty similar to what I am building, can you play crysis, oblivion, stalker, frontlines, etc... at max graphics? if not, what is the limiting factor? FSAA?


Oh man, in Windows XP anyway the X-fi rules. I have not used one in Vista. Yes I totally hear a difference with headphones or my logitech 5.1 speaker system. I don't always put in sound cards, but in my main gaming rig, I will not go back to integrated sound. Depends on your ear, your speaker setup, and whether the cost makes you skimp elsewhere on the system. But on integrated sound the system isn't complete IMO.

I haven't played stalker with SLI, but I'd imagine no problem based on reviews I have seen. I'll have to try it but one 8800GT does very well. Oblivion is simply amazing. One 8800GT does very well 16x10 max. With two, I play oblivion maxed, 16x10 4xaa/16xaf and with very high fps even out in the most demanding waist high lush foliage. You can even experiment with higher/ other fsaa options no problem, although some at the expense of blurrier textures. Crysis, no I can't max it out. Maxed In windows XP with 2xaa/16xaf it plays well enough, much better than on one 8800GT. But if I was running Vista DX10, then max would be beyond what my rig could do. (Win XP very high hack performs better than DX10 very high) Nothing really maxes crysis DX10 well right now. Can't comment on frontlines. But I am thrilled with the rig. A single GPU would have almost been enough, apart from crysis. But I am an fsaa junkie and do like some level of fsaa at my 16x10 native res. The more the better if it's still smooth. And AF is a must but doesn't hurt a single card as much as aa.
May 30, 2008 4:51:39 AM

godspeed7 said:
Yes I figured that, but the price difference between a Q6700 and a Q6600 is so slim here, only about 50$, so honestly, I prefer getting the most bang for the bucks! Maybe I will change it next year maybe not. I will see..

{Q6700}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=27093
{Q6600}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=543
{E8500}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=28747
{E8400}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=28746
{QX6800}http://www.microbytes.com/computer/ordinateur/product_info.php?cPath=2022004&products_id=26690
I believe the E8400 is the best deal for Performance/Cost. But seeing how I've already budgeted the cost of the CPU, I believe I will stick with the Q6700.

This store is 5 minutes away from where I live, so I buy everything there. It's one of the only specialized boutique in my area... and I don't want to buy anything online. This store offers really good service, I had a defective part in the past, and one
I just wanted to exchange, the boxes were open and everything, I didn't even have to insist! I'm just saying this in the case someone wants to show me some good online deals, thanks! ...but no thanks!

Thanks again for you tips and ideas pauldh!


I agree, at those prices I like the e8400 too. $30 more isn't bad for the Q6600 either though. That would be a rough decision for me. But I understand/respect your desire to grab the Q6700 if it doesn't limit the rest of your system budget. I myself would still save $50 anyway and go Q6600 if going quad. That is a G0 stepping Q6600, and if you OC anyways chances are it will clock very high. My Q6600 is currently running 3.1GHz at stock voltage with the lame Intel retail fan and temps being the only reason I have not gone higher. I already have a freezer 7 to put on it and will then see what she can do when I find the time.

I really want a QX6700 for it's unlocked multiplier. If that was $50 more I'd order immediately. :)  I got spoiled in the past having so many unlocked chips, I kinda drool over them a bit. But unless they are priced really, really well I wouldn't buy them.
May 30, 2008 7:43:26 PM

n00biee said:
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/05/30/...

basically what to take from this article is: C2D for single gpu and C2Q for SLI

That is just PCmark not gaming. Who here plays that one? :)  And really, they are testing one and two GX2 (2 or 4 GPU's). Funny to base their conclusion for gaming on that. (which I see they did, not you did)
May 31, 2008 8:21:16 AM

Ive read pretty much all this thread, and I know its OT, but....GET a EVGA 9800GTX or whatever card you end up buying, that way, in 3 weeks, if you decide the newer cards coming out from nVidia are better for an upgrade, which is more than likely, you have 90 days to upgrade to that newer card. It may save you some disappointment early on. You can use their step up program. Look into it
May 31, 2008 7:21:47 PM

^ Yeah true. Just before new launch the high price can be recouped. Especially works good if cards are rare and streets prices higher than retail, but not too rare that evga keeps them off the tradeup list or jacks the price up like they did on the 8800GT. I could have traded my 7800GT CO for a 7900GT, that way, but honestly supply was aweful from the start, not to mention all the burning issues those 7900's had anyway (so I am glad I didn't upgrade).
May 31, 2008 9:50:21 PM

Yeah, I'm probably going to get something like 2 9800GTX or either buy one, and then 2-3 months later step up to a 9800GTX x2... or I also heard talk of the 9900GTsomething which will be like the GTX but in x2 version.. so better clock and memory speed than the current GTX x2..

Is there any loss of speed or power in a SLI configuration? What i mean is; you know how the 9800GTX x2 has a lower clock speed and ram speed than the 9800GTX, does SLI'ing a 9800GTX {single core} reduce the speed of ram and core to that of a GTX x2? How much more beneficial to have SLI over Dual core GPU?
June 1, 2008 1:33:16 AM

SLI doesnt scale 100%. Anywheres from nothing to 80%, and other issues too, but mostly it works. The 9900GTX is now known as the G280, and itll be around 20 to 30% faster than a 2x9800GTX, but itll run hot and cost $. The G260 will perform well also, so if you can, wait another week and check em out, also watch for falling prices on the "older" cards, like the 9800s
June 1, 2008 3:43:20 PM

Yes I am getting the Video Card last, so that will be in about 3 - 5 weeks. When I get it I want to have the most options available. I've been seeing video benchmarks for crysis, 2 9800GTX cards performs better than a single 9800GTX x2; About 5 FPS more.
June 1, 2008 6:04:22 PM

E8500. Games right now don't take good advantage of 4 cores except for some. Just get the Dual.
!