Ultimate decesion : Quad or Duo ?

Hi,

I'm building a gaming system and I'm facing a decesion that is really hard to answer. Quad or Duo ? I know that most of the current games doesn't realy use more than 2 processors but I could perfectly run current games with a Q6600 processor. The questions is what will come?

As I see it now, most of the new systems are build with quad processor and that is ultimately what the game designers will look at - what people have. Please help.

Also take into consideration that a Duo 3Ghz processor costs about the same as a Quad 2.4 processor. Don't compare same processor speeds, my funds are not unlimited :) . thanks
25 answers Last reply
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  1. well if you have unlimited funds go with the Quad. :D
  2. hi
    see if you are a casual gamer and not a hardcore one like getting the juice out of your silicon piece and extract every bit of it's compuiting power then Q6600 will do fine the E84xx series is also good.Get a descent cheap card for casual gaming like the ATI 2400 od 2600(these are really cheap) or any nvidia 8800/8600 series card.I play bio shock on my Q6600 and ATI 2400 series card and it runs fine all the effects on!!.i am a casual gamer and play on stock speeds.If you have any more doubts check the cpu charts from ----http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/desktop-cpu-charts/supreme-commander,397.html?p=1268%2C1266%2C1264%2C1262%2C1260%2C1259%2C1241%2C1303%2C1298%2C1239%2C1236%2C1288%2C1294%2C1297%2C1225%2C1232%2C1230%2C1283%2C1277%2C1222%2C1282%2C1318%2C1315%2C1314.
    Bye :bounce:
  3. If you plan to upgrade your processor in the next year or so go dual. If you want a more long term solution go Quad. Games are going slowly going quad so that is where the future lies. But Intel's new processors architecture is coming out Q4 08/Q1 09 which will limit your upgrade path. You could get an e8400 now and then whatever 3.0 GHZ quad is available in a year, or just grab a Q6600 and a good heat sink and overclock it to 3 GHZ. I would say get the quad now and next year upgrade your platform for nehalem.
  4. Its s tough decision as the current Intel chips are so good u dont really lose either way.
    I went with a Q6600 when the B3's were all that existed. Knowing what i know now, i would still go quad.
  5. I've been wondering about the same thing. A Duo E8500 is comparatively priced with the Q6600, so if I were a gamer who plays Crysis and other
    graphics intensive games, which cpu would I choose? I wouldn't say I'm a hardcore overclocker, but I will OC within reasonable amounts.

    I don't do much video work or 3d design or whatever.
  6. Heres the thing if your not hardcore in the game thing, go dual and save the money. As it is now most games really dont push dual core. The exception are games like Command and Conquer, and such games will perform better on a quad. If your more of an enthusiast then you would want to go quad. However, when two really great CPU's are price against each other go with the better of the two. It becomes more of a business type choice. Where price/performance play a bigger role than being a casual gamer or enthusiast.
  7. what a nice discussion, thanks guys.

    I'm no a hardcore gamer, however I want to enjoy the newest games at the best details (1680x1050). I'm building a system with 2x HD4870 (I'll buy the second one later, there is no need to have two of them now). I play racing sims a lot, I'm preparing for Fallout3 and Spore... I don't play FPS as much anymore, don't have time for that... Anyway a realize that whatever I buy now, it will be a very hard decesion how to upgrade because of Nehalem.... I'm thinking of getting the second 4870 whithin a year. I really doesn't make much sens to me to think that I will be able to upgrade CPU in 1-2 years without changing mobo. From that point of view, I just need to get what(CPU + Mobo) will perform good enough for next 1-2 years and then get a new CPU and mobo, probobly keep those two GPUs. hmmm.....
  8. forum search is much better imo.this is the 100th time ive seen a thread like this
  9. get a e8400 instead of the e8500 and with the money you save get a nice mobo and overclock it to 3.6 on stock cooler and thats being safe. buy a heat sink and overclock it to 4 ghz
  10. Sounds to me like you want a powerful gaming rig if you are going to Crossfire 2 4870's.
    It's really this simple. If you are comfortable overclocking, get a 6600 Quad, and overclock to the speed of an 8400. It is really easy to do, with no voltage changes or heat problems. Then you have a Quad core running at 3 Ghz. (same as the 8400)
    If you are not comfortable overclocking, get an 8400.

    For gaming though, it's really personal preference. Either of these will run anything out there (especially the games you mentioned) very, very well.
  11. +1 e8400

    $175 at The Egg
  12. lasttarget: The difference in ebuyer between E8400 and E8500 is £23. I'm getting a nice mobo anyway -Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 iX48

    jitpublisher: I'm not an overclicking expert but I'm planning on OC whatever I get, there are good guids on Tom's Hardware... Does E8400 not overclock?

    Nik_I : thank you :)

    BIG_FOOT: I don't have that much money to spend, Q9450 is for £200 (== $400). That's too much for me now...


    MrsBytch : Q9300 doesn't look so sexy... although is only £160, it has only 6mb cash....



    well I'm planing on OC anyway. I'm definitelly getting a CPU cooler (probobly the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 or the Arctic Cooling AC-FRZ-7P Freezer 7). The Q6600 can ho up to 3 Ghz and the E8500 can probobly go up to 3.8 Ghz. So which one of those is a better pick looking 1-2 Years in the future? Please don't consider prices rebates on Egg, I don't have the possibility of shopping there as I'm in UK...

    Prices on ebuyer:

    E8400 £110
    E8500 £134
    Q6600 G0 £116
    Q6700 £148
    Q9300 £160
    Q9450 £200
  13. both CPU's overclock like monsters, 3.0 ghz is practically free OC, and 3.6 is attainable with voltage for the q6600, and 4 ghz and above isvery much a possible speed for the e8400/500, so for games now (e.g. crysis) get dual if not get quad
  14. Think of it another way... if you wanted an E8400 to be a quad, you'd have to be 2 of them, and glue them together, which would cost £220.... :oops:
  15. go for quad future proof
  16. OC the Q6600 to 3G or 3.2G. I have mine at 400base FSB, CPU multi 8 and DDR2 800 1:1 with no voltage increase. You might find that you don't need to jump on the Nehalem bandwagon so soon. When you upgrade you can keep the Q6600 and upgrade your mother's/wife's/girlfriend's machine. Quad is definitely the way to go.
  17. My girlfriend is getting this notebook (5920G) and my mother has my previous system:D . I guess it will be fathers turn :) .

    Anyway thanx guys, I guess I'll go with the quad core
  18. Let me break it down for you... No game utilizes all four cores of the quad core processors, because no game requires anywhere close to that much computing power. It is all in the graphics cards. What make more of a difference is high clock speeds. The E8500 performs just below the crore2 extremes @3.2 ghz, and the difference does not become noticable even when both are overclocked. It is all about the graphics card, and then after that it is all about the clock speed. The E8400 clocked to four ghz performs better then a q6600@3.6 ghz even on command and conquer (all though only by one fps). No game is processor intensive enough to push these chips to the limit. Both are over kill. I would get the E8400, because it is lower wattage, cheaper, and easier to cool. The nehalem processors are supposed to be 20-30% more powerful then todays quad cores, so when quad cores actually show any real measurable increase in performance with games then an upgrade could be in order. Get a motherboard that can support the core2extremes, and then get something like that one those prices come crashing down in the wake of the new releases.
  19. very interesting, thank you. Is there something special on mobos to support core2extremes ? Does Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 iX48 have that something special?
  20. Anything with a max 1600 fsb and LGA 775 socket compatibility can support any intel processor on the market today. If you are shopping at newegg.com (if your not you should be), it will say in the specifications wether or not is supports core2extremes. The motherboard you listed will do it adiquately, although I think it is a little pricey. The crossfire X compatibility is what you are paying for, and unless you plan on using more then one ATI card I would get the Asus P5Q pro, or a biostar T power motherboard. Probably the latter would cause you the least problems.
  21. mothergoose said:
    Let me break it down for you... No game utilizes all four cores of the quad core processors, because no game requires anywhere close to that much computing power. It is all in the graphics cards. What make more of a difference is high clock speeds. The E8500 performs just below the crore2 extremes @3.2 ghz, and the difference does not become noticable even when both are overclocked. It is all about the graphics card, and then after that it is all about the clock speed. The E8400 clocked to four ghz performs better then a q6600@3.6 ghz even on command and conquer (all though only by one fps). No game is processor intensive enough to push these chips to the limit. Both are over kill. I would get the E8400, because it is lower wattage, cheaper, and easier to cool. The nehalem processors are supposed to be 20-30% more powerful then todays quad cores, so when quad cores actually show any real measurable increase in performance with games then an upgrade could be in order. Get a motherboard that can support the core2extremes, and then get something like that one those prices come crashing down in the wake of the new releases.



    This is incorrect. There are currently several games which will make use of more than 2 cores, including Lost Planet and Supreme Commander. That said, there are thousands of games for the PC, the vast majority of which are single threaded. Currently, as has been pointed out, higher clock speeds are of greater benefit than core count for most games. This will change slowly, over time, but for the moment, in regards to the CPU, clock speed holds greater importance for gaming.

    Over clocking changes the significance of the building budget allocations. How much money you may save by buying a cheaper processor and over clocking it is an indeterminate variable. Given the costs of today’s top end processors, you can achieve the same level of performance for a much smaller investment by over clocking, but the question is do you need that small increase in performance? Regardless, if you are sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are going to over clock, you must insure you buy a motherboard, HSF, and ram capable of supporting your intentions, which means if you were only looking for a mid grade processor to start, then the money saved buying a lower end CPU is lost on the mobo, ram and HSF

    In regards to 'future proofing', there is no such thing. Since July of 2005, Intel alone has released so many new processors and new steppings that it has become extremely difficult to keep track of them all. In terms of product release, the 3 year old E6300 is now, for the most part, obsolete. In reality, it is still a viable processor, however with AMD and Intel competing in the core # and clock speed race, high-end processors are being superseded at a surprising pace. With both manufacturers racing to reduce die size in efforts to improve the number of dies yielded per wafer, they are rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns in regards the clock speed they can achieve. The offset for this is to increase the number of cores per die, or per module. What this means is that the quad core of today will be superseded or obsolesced by the 6 and 8 core CPUs both AMD and Intel are working to develop. The catch to this is that due to the difficulty of developing software for multicore processors, for the foreseeable future the typical 'home' PC user has little use for 6 or 8 core CPUs.

    In regards to your purchase, if you are absolutely sure you are going to over clock, are going to try and achieve clock speed at or above 3.0GHZ, and are interesting in playing the newest games or future releases, then a cheap quad core may be in your best interest. If you are only going to try a mild over clock and are not waiting for the newest game releases, then a faster dual core will probably serve you better.

    Ultimately, if I were you, I would look for benchmark testing of the games you want to play and look to see the relative performance in dual vs. quad core at the same or similar clock speed. If you are waiting for unreleased games, go to the developer’s web site and read the game specs to see if they are being developed for quad core. Contrary to popular misconceptions, all new games being written are NOT being written for quad core. However, be cautious of the statement "supports multicore"...it doesn’t mean a program will use all four cores of a quad, only that it will use more than one.
  22. assassins creed uses more than 3 core, err quadcore.
  23. Quote:
    This is incorrect. There are currently several games which will make use of more than 2 cores, including Lost Planet and Supreme Commander. That said, there are thousands of games for the PC, the vast majority of which are single threaded. Currently, as has been pointed out, higher clock speeds are of greater benefit than core count for most games. This will change slowly, over time, but for the moment, in regards to the CPU, clock speed holds greater importance for gaming.

    Over clocking changes the significance of the building budget allocations. How much money you may save by buying a cheaper processor and over clocking it is an indeterminate variable. Given the costs of today’s top end processors, you can achieve the same level of performance for a much smaller investment by over clocking, but the question is do you need that small increase in performance? Regardless, if you are sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are going to over clock, you must insure you buy a motherboard, HSF, and ram capable of supporting your intentions, which means if you were only looking for a mid grade processor to start, then the money saved buying a lower end CPU is lost on the mobo, ram and HSF

    In regards to 'future proofing', there is no such thing. Since July of 2005, Intel alone has released so many new processors and new steppings that it has become extremely difficult to keep track of them all. In terms of product release, the 3 year old E6300 is now, for the most part, obsolete. In reality, it is still a viable processor, however with AMD and Intel competing in the core # and clock speed race, high-end processors are being superseded at a surprising pace. With both manufacturers racing to reduce die size in efforts to improve the number of dies yielded per wafer, they are rapidly approaching the point of diminishing returns in regards the clock speed they can achieve. The offset for this is to increase the number of cores per die, or per module. What this means is that the quad core of today will be superseded or obsolesced by the 6 and 8 core CPUs both AMD and Intel are working to develop. The catch to this is that due to the difficulty of developing software for multicore processors, for the foreseeable future the typical 'home' PC user has little use for 6 or 8 core CPUs.

    In regards to your purchase, if you are absolutely sure you are going to over clock, are going to try and achieve clock speed at or above 3.0GHZ, and are interesting in playing the newest games or future releases, then a cheap quad core may be in your best interest. If you are only going to try a mild over clock and are not waiting for the newest game releases, then a faster dual core will probably serve you better.

    Ultimately, if I were you, I would look for benchmark testing of the games you want to play and look to see the relative performance in dual vs. quad core at the same or similar clock speed. If you are waiting for unreleased games, go to the developer’s web site and read the game specs to see if they are being developed for quad core. Contrary to popular misconceptions, all new games being written are NOT being written for quad core. However, be cautious of the statement "supports multicore"...it doesn’t mean a program will use all four cores of a quad, only that it will use more than one.


    thank you for a very much for that opinion. I'm going to OC mild as you called it. I could find any info about Fallout 3 saying how much is it going to be multithreaded but just knowing that it is going to be realeased for PC, XBox 360 and PS3 it has to be multithreaded as those consoles really need multithreading. And Spore doesn't look to be demanding at all... so.... I'm still undecided but I have a feeling that whatever I do, I cannot go wrong... hopefully
  24. I have a E8400@3.8 ghz and ATI 4850

    I can play CoD4 and Assassians Creed at highest settings at more than playable framrates (91 FPS cap in CoD4)
  25. stevozilik said:
    thank you for a very much for that opinion. I'm going to OC mild as you called it. I could find any info about Fallout 3 saying how much is it going to be multithreaded but just knowing that it is going to be realeased for PC, XBox 360 and PS3 it has to be multithreaded as those consoles really need multithreading. And Spore doesn't look to be demanding at all... so.... I'm still undecided but I have a feeling that whatever I do, I cannot go wrong... hopefully


    Nah Spore wont be very demanding. I have the creature editor and it doesn't even touch my system with everything maxed. Of course it may be a bit more stressing when they release the full thing.

    Either way multithreading is the way of the future. But if you plan to build a new machine in less than 2 years a dual core will be best. If you want to keep it for more than 2 years (say 3-4+) then a quad may be a better choice.
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