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Noob question about Intel Core 2 Q6600 quad core

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August 18, 2008 1:41:54 AM

Hi,

I'm working on buying a new computer and have run across something that may or may not be an issue. I'm buying this computer specifically for gaming and one of the games i'm intending to play on it is Warhammer Online. In their minimum system specs they say you need at least a 2.5 ghz p4 single core processor or equivalent, the quad however says it runs at 2.4ghz. I'm wondering if this matters since unless I'm just totally lost quad core means I'll have four of these chips running simultaneously so it should be more than enough together to make up for the fact that a single chip wouldn't be enough correct?

Thanks for any help in advance!

More about : noob question intel core q6600 quad core

August 18, 2008 1:59:44 AM

Don't sweat it, there is a huge architectural difference between Core 2 and P4, the Q6600 at 2.4 is way faster than the P4 2.5, thats without taking into account the 4 cores. There are only a few games that take advantage of multi-core at this time, although that is changing. If all you plan to do is game, then you would be better off with a faster dual core rather than a quad core. Try something like a Core 2 Duo E8400, runs at 3 GHz stock, and is about $25 or so cheaper than the Q6600.
Quad core really doesn't come into its own unless you are doing heavy video transcoding or something of that nature where the software can take advantage of the 4 cores.
August 18, 2008 2:05:47 AM

Only reason I was going with the quad was that I was told it would be better in the long run. Is that really true? Is it something I could upgrade later?

In case it matters i'm looking specifically at an Alienware Area 51 7500, which comes with a Nforce 680i motherboard.

(yes i realize i'm paying alot more if i don't put it together myself but I'm a hardware noob as you can tell by the questions so I can't really do it myself)
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August 18, 2008 2:31:16 AM

The quad will probably be better in the long run, but even on stuff that is not quad core optimized, it is still far better than a P4 2.5.
August 18, 2008 2:36:54 AM

Ok so if I was going for longevity as well as power I should stick with the quad or should I go back to a faster 3.0 dual core?

(Sorry for the nub questions, I just always assumed more always = better)
August 18, 2008 2:53:49 AM

If your primary focus is gaming, then the faster E8400 will serve you better than the Q6600. In either event, I would not recommend any system based on an nVidia chipset motherboard, due to the numerous problems associated with their recent chipsets. Also bear in mind that Intel will be changing socket formats soon, and therefore the upgrade path will change in the next year or two, so take that into account when you are considering future upgrade capability. Unfortunately, this is a poor time in the development cycle to be buying with the intent of later upgrading if you are set on having the latest in motherboard technology for a few years. The X58 chipset, upcoming in the next cycle, is a whole new ball of wax, designed to go with the new processors Intel is introducing.
August 18, 2008 2:53:55 AM

if you want something like "futureproof" for the long run, a quad core will be the best bet because software is going to take advantage of 4 cores later on.
August 18, 2008 3:13:35 AM

Yeah thats the feeling I've been getting as far as how far into the "cycle" i am from all the stuff i've been reading on these boards. However I don't have much choice since my old computer is so old that I can't even put a band-aid fix on it with a new/old graphics card upgrade (AGP Slot only). However my primary interest being gaming I would greatly appreciate a definitive yes or no about getting a quad core. I don't do much of anything else on my computer (aside from office tasks which I really don't need a quad core for either) so even "futureproofing" isn't as big a deal if it doesn't seem like I'll be using those quad cores in the next say 4-5 years or so (about the time this last computer lasted before I couldn't band=aid fix it up in order to run new games).

short version: Assuming i'm keeping this computer for about 5 years and plan to almost exclusively use it for gaming would it be more beneficial to go with the faster dual core or the slightly slower quad core?

I think you've already been implying the quad is the way to go (future software being based on it and all) but I just want to clarify since its a rather big part of the computer, and I don't want to waste money on equipment I likely will never take advantage of.

Thankyou for the help, its very informative.
August 18, 2008 3:31:15 AM

go with the quad core, you may not use it all today, but I bet you will be using it in under five years. The Q6600 also overclocks really well on air cooling, from what I hear it hits 3 GHz easily. So I think that route is the best. but that would require you to overclock. even without overclocking though I would still get the quad.
August 18, 2008 3:43:06 AM

If you do plan on perhaps overclocking, HVDynamo is correct, the Q6600 is a great overclocker. I run mine at 3.2GHz on default voltages, and its steady as a rock, however, I do use aftermarket cooling in the form of the OCZ Vendetta 2 cooler. That said, do not plan on overclocking a 680i board, many of the more serious issues that arise from nVidia chipset mobos come with overclocking. Get an Intel chipset based mobo.
August 18, 2008 3:43:34 AM

If you do plan on perhaps overclocking, HVDynamo is correct, the Q6600 is a great overclocker. I run mine at 3.2GHz on default voltages, and its steady as a rock, however, I do use aftermarket cooling in the form of the OCZ Vendetta 2 cooler. That said, do not plan on overclocking a 680i board, many of the more serious issues that arise from nVidia chipset mobos come with overclocking. Get an Intel chipset based mobo.
August 18, 2008 3:55:12 AM

Well Like I said earlier in the thread I'm currently considering an Alienware computer and it looks like all they really offer is Nvidia motherboards. Is there another company I could look at in roughly the same price range (around 2400) that would get me the same quality of computer?

Looking for:

Quad core
4 gbs of RAM
500 GB of memory
and preferably dual Nvidia 9800 or equivalent graphics cards.
August 18, 2008 4:13:27 AM

Go and get the quad, then when the new Nehalem comes out the 9xxxx series of quads will be even cheaper to upgrade to.
I would not worry about Nehalem for at least 2 years when it comes down in price, for all it's components.
August 18, 2008 4:46:01 AM

rockr23, I agree that a quad is the way to go. The Alienware will OC so if in the future you want to get more out of the Q6600 you shouldn't have trouble. I'll throw a shameless plug in as well as I sell gaming computers and have one up for auction. Not the place for this, but hey, I'm trying to make a living.

Q6600 @ 3.6 GHz water cooled
4GB RAM
500GB HDD
9800GX2
780i MB
Thermaltake Armor case

Seems to meet your qualifications. I'm selling it for $1850 to people on the forums, $1900 on ebay if your more comfortable. Let me know if you're interested.
August 18, 2008 9:22:52 AM

If they had quad cores back then, then the q6600 would be about equivalent to a 4.8Ghz quad core pentium.

So don't worry about the game requirement.
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August 18, 2008 11:12:35 AM

Putting together your own pc is easy. There are alot of books out there that will help you with it. Plus helping out with newbie builds seems to be a specialty here at tomshardware forums. Ask anyone, computers are designed to be assembled by just about anyone. Some people will go as far as to say that lego sets are harder to assemble then PC's

Building your own pc generally nets you a much better warranty as well. A prefab PC will come with a 1 year warranty. However if you buy the parts yourself, a intel chip will have a 3 year warranty, HDD 5 year warranty, power supplies and Graphics cards can have lifetime warranties.

But if you would still rather buy try this one.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8891684&t...
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August 18, 2008 11:23:16 AM

stay away from nvidia chipsets, unless you enjoy BSOD
!