CPU confusion

Hi there,

My current system spec is as follows:

Athlon 64 x2 4200+
EVGA superclocked 8800GT
2 Gig DDR 2 800
500w PSU

I mostly use if for gaming and so the upgrade will be for this.

Now, I have been looking into what CPU to get but it all seems confusing. I think I am right in saying that Intel have the upperhand in performance at the moment and so I have been looking at the Intel chips.

What I don’t understand is the numbering system Intel are using, if possible can anyone post a link to something that explains this. i.e. what is the difference between the Q9300 and E8200. After reading the forums the Q6600 seems popular, is this just because of its overclocking potential?

If you guys had say $400/£200 to spend on a CPU for a gaming rig which one would you choose?

Bearing in mind my current CPU is an Athlon 64 x2 4200+ how would you rate the CPU you choose over this? The reason I ask this is I am wondering how much of an upgrade the highest end Athlon dual core would be 6200+ I think?...

Obviously I have to choose between dual and quad core and from reading the boards it looks like dual core is best for gaming at the moment - although if I did go for a quad core, would games optimised for dual core be able to use 2 of the cores on a quad core?

This is really confusing for me so any informative information would be a great help as I don’t want to regret buying the wrong CPU.

Also, could you recommend a chipset to go with the CPU you recommend.

Oh an one last thing - I haven't researched this yet but I will probably get a new grapics card as well so I was thinking of buying another 8800GT and putting them in SLI. Would this be a good idea or would getting 4850 be a better idea?.

Thanks for reading
6 answers Last reply
More about confusion
  1. What make/model is that PSU/? What display resolution? SLI does not help much at 1280x1024. What games are you having problems with?

  2. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for the reply. Im using Vista Home Premium and XP home dual boot.

    I might just end up going for this:


    it would save buying a new motherboard.
  3. Can we please stop all the "fast duo > quad" talk; Quads are faster simply because you have ~33 Windows tasks in the background. A 2.66 Quad will beat a 2.83 Duo, for instance.

    Unless you get a 3.16 or higher Duo, you'd be better off with a Quad. Within the next year, you'll see more games take advantage of Quads as well, so I really can't recommend getting a Duo anymore.
  4. Hi Mike,

    I dont know what model the PSU is its not a branded one (i know shame on me) but it works fine on my current setup so i've had no reason to change it.

    I play at 1650 x ...... widescreen.

    As for games, i play WoW (i know) - not the reason for the upgrade..

    Supreme Commander.

    Crysis Warhead.

    The upgrade will be for games which are coming out soon like Far Cry 2, Red Alert 3,

    GTA IV
  5. yeah!! i just got rid of the same amd cpu,because i read an article here on tom's that indicated that not to bottleneck the 8800gt one should have at least a 2.6 ghz cpu,,so i got me an amd 5000+be,which is presently running at 2.9ghz with no sweat,i had a quad core 6600 never seen a hdd formated so fast before,but, other than that i was disappointed in the overall performance
    guess i am used to the onboard memory controllers of amd chips data transfer rates are really wicked,very useful when you are moving around large 4g plus files and my monitor's native rez is also 1680x1050..:)
  6. Crysis Warhead is a good enough reason to upgrade in itself.

    If you are money conscious, then go for the AMD6400+ as you specified earlier. It will unlock more potential from your current video card.

    If money isnt an object then I would get a Q6600 and a 4850/4870 video card and a new motherboard that could do crossfire so you can add a second card if you want to be able to further upgrade later.

    I do recommend getting a good quality power supply. Newegg is having a great deal on their corsair 750 watt (overkill for you but for the money its worth it and is semi future proof)
    It was 99 but now is 109. I just remembered that you are not in the US so you will likely have to buy from elsewhere. I do think you need to focus on buying a Corsair or PC Power & Cooling power supply if you upgrade your entire system. Tbh, it may be a good idea for you to anyway if you have the money to do so. I hate chancing on blowing out my motherboard and no telling what else to save a dime on a low grade power supply...
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