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Not sure which Intel processor?

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September 4, 2008 2:38:47 PM

Hi

Im after a new comp at the moment but not sure which processor
i should go for, im mainly a gamer. I was thinking:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 2 x 3.33Ghz

but any would be grateful as theres quite a few to choose from.

thanks

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September 4, 2008 2:47:19 PM

E8500 at $190 and 3.16Ghz is a better deal than E8600 at $275 and 3.33Ghz. (Newegg prices, I'm assuming you're in the USA.)

Q9550 at $330, 2.83 GHz but with 4 cores instead of 2 is even better bang for the buck IMO. Even if your games use only 2 cores, it's good to have 2 more to handle Windows services and downloads and antivirus and whatever else you might have in the background. Also consider the Q6600, one of Intel's best selling CPUs ever.

Anyway, if you spend $200 or more on a CPU these days you're guaranteed a good experience, regardless of which you buy, they're all very fast. What you really need to worry about for a gaming PC is the video card, not so much the CPU. What is the rest of your setup?


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September 4, 2008 2:49:15 PM

+1 @aevm on all points.
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September 4, 2008 2:53:34 PM

go for q6600 and then you will overclock it above 3ghz making your system futureproof when games will start using more than 2 cores.......if you have more dought you get q9550 since it has 12mb cashe then 8mb in q6600
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September 4, 2008 2:56:15 PM

+2 aevm
save the money and put more into your graphics card
September 4, 2008 3:47:00 PM

is he willing to OC? because an e8600 has that new stepping which loves to OC.....
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September 4, 2008 4:00:30 PM

+3 aevm
September 4, 2008 4:00:49 PM

You might want to get somthing like a E8400. I got one recently from Ebay Boxed and brandnew for £90 ($180), overclocks easily to 3.6 on air. Put extra dosh into your graphics card.
September 4, 2008 6:06:11 PM

Hi, im from the uk but all your advice is still really good, as for the rest of my set up and buying that new too. This is what i had thought about.

BFG NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ OC 512MB
Asus P5Q Deluxe
Corsair XMS6400 4GB DDR2 (2x2GB)

what are you thoughts are these new 896MB cards??
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September 4, 2008 6:58:10 PM

I like the P5Q Pro more than the P5Q Deluxe. It's cheaper, and you can install an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro on it without having to bend any pipes or cooler fins. Also, for about the same price as a P5Q Deluxe you can get a P5E Deluxe (based on X48 instead of P45) which is better for Crossfire setups.

The new 896MB cards are called GTX 260 (as I'm sure everybody has figured out already:)  ). HD 4870 and GTX 260 are very close, and each wins in some games. 9800GTX+ and HD 4850 are very close to each other too, and weaker than HD 4870 and GTX 260 (but cheaper). Here's a sample benchmark:
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-4870-review--asus/12
If you play on a 20" or 22" monitor you'll probably be happy with any of these 4.

If you have a 24" or bigger monitor, I'd recommend something like P5Q Pro + HD 4870X2. Or maybe P5E Deluxe + HD 4870 + a second HD 4870 added later. I don't know much about pricing in the UK. At Newegg the Pro+4870X2 costs less. Then there's the eVGA 780i+GTX 260 SLI solution too. What's best for you in particular depends mostly on your favourite games and screen resolution.


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September 4, 2008 9:05:18 PM

aevm said:
E8500 at $190 and 3.16Ghz is a better deal than E8600 at $275 and 3.33Ghz. (Newegg prices, I'm assuming you're in the USA.)

Q9550 at $330, 2.83 GHz but with 4 cores instead of 2 is even better bang for the buck IMO. Even if your games use only 2 cores, it's good to have 2 more to handle Windows services and downloads and antivirus and whatever else you might have in the background. Also consider the Q6600, one of Intel's best selling CPUs ever.

Anyway, if you spend $200 or more on a CPU these days you're guaranteed a good experience, regardless of which you buy, they're all very fast. What you really need to worry about for a gaming PC is the video card, not so much the CPU. What is the rest of your setup?


I agree overall but if he decides for a dual core and to OC the E8600 will be better with the higher multiplier.

If he does decide for a quad the Q9550 is the best bet overall until the Q9650 comes down to the sub $300 dollar range.

The one advantage of getting the 4870X2 over CF 48702 is that the 4870X2 uses a bit less power. Its about 50w+ if I remember correctly and it scales just as well as a CF setup and in some games better.
September 4, 2008 9:48:05 PM

get the Q6600 and a good cooler and spend more on the GPU since it will influence game performance the most.
September 4, 2008 10:02:47 PM

Get the E8400 it costs 170.00 bucks and it runs at 3Ghz and is all you need. Not necessary to OC. But if you want to OC it will do well in that department too.

Just get a decent video card.
September 4, 2008 11:52:59 PM

e8600 has the E0 stepping which is supposed to be pretty darn cool for OC'ing. I think there is an e8500 that is soon to come with the E0 stepping... if you can wait, it should save some bread.
September 5, 2008 12:03:50 AM

Using some of Aevm's recommendation:

e8400 w/ a good cooler, on the ASUS P5E motherboard with an HD 4870 is a solid price/performance point with a good upgrade path (drop in a quad core processor and a second 4870 later on).
September 5, 2008 8:18:05 PM

thank you for all your advice :D 
!