Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

QUAD vs DUAL (6600 vs 8500) (...sorry!)

Tags:
  • CPUs
  • Quad
Last response: in CPUs
Share
October 3, 2008 10:27:11 AM

Guys,

Sincere apologies in advance for what must have been asked many times before. I'vesearched ountless forums including this one and have seen recetn threads on thsi subject but none attacks the question 100% specific to my needs and also threads even a couple of months old seem obsolete as new options/software/mobos/OC-options etc come into play.

I understand it's very difficult to say whch is better: QUAD is perhaps more future proof but DUAL is, right now (given higher clock speed for same price) a possibly better choice.

What confuses me is that people rave about future-proofing and quote games like Crysis (uses 4 corse allegedly) BUT if you look at Crysis benchmarks the 8500 whoops the 6600's butt!!!! So I can imagine buying a QUAD thinking "ok, any time now the games/apps are going to be finally written for this thing in mind" but then when those games do come out it seems a 8500 would beat a quad on them anyway!!?? Seems like a nobrainer to me but then I see that a lot of enthusiasts still swear by 6600 and I just can't see why!

Aaaaaaaargh!

So anyway... this is what I'll be using this comp for:

1) GAMES: I'd like to be able to play games like oblivion, crysis and the latest games and have them performing qutie nicely (I won't be going for a super expensive graphics card though)

2) PRODUCING MUSIC:

This will be my mainstay. I use Cubase along with multiple plugins and various other software during various phases of track development

So... my Q is (and I kow there will be no hard and fast answer)... which do I go for given what I want to do...?

(BTW I'm open to overclocking if it's fairly easy and doesn't need an expensive mobo, so pls take that into account. If it requries a high end mobo or it takes a lot of time then I probably won't)

More about : quad dual 6600 8500

October 3, 2008 11:01:47 AM

Simple - if Cubase utilised multiple cores like 2+ then go for a decent chip like the Q6600 or the Q9950. Both are easily highly OCable and decent prices. So you get the benefit of future proofed gaming and it will contribute to your music producing by utilising the multiple cores.
a b à CPUs
October 3, 2008 11:09:31 AM

I were in the same situation and "emp" which is a guru here in this forum told me something that i never forget when comparing Quad vs Dual:
"U always can OC a QuadCore but u cant add cores to a dual core"
Related resources
a b à CPUs
October 3, 2008 12:09:43 PM

For music production, you're more likely to use multi-core optimised software, for which a quad core CPU will be much better, but as always it depends on the specific software title you will be using.

If I were you I would go with Dannyboy and get the Q6600 or Q9950 and a fairly good OCing mobo (my p5k-e took my 6600 from 2.4 to 3.2 only upping the CPU voltage slightly, less than £100), Asus and Gigabyte are favourites around here, but check reviews for how easy they are to OC.

Hope this helps

Miles
October 3, 2008 12:14:02 PM

Quad owners will tell you to get the quad, dual owners will tell you to get the dual. A 45nm quad let alone a 65nm quad can never OC as high as a 45nm Dual. The multithreading revolution has yet to happen although you can try to force yourself to need megatasking. At any rate if the E8500 is E0 stepping it will OC to 4.5GHz while relative ease (safe voltages), at that speed it's almost untouchable. Yeah the quad core has 2 more cores, well you know what? When you're not using them and that will be most of the time they're just heat generating extra baggage, limiting your OCs and warming the rest of your components up.
October 3, 2008 12:14:49 PM

DannyBoy27 said:
Simple - if Cubase utilised multiple cores like 2+ then go for a decent chip like the Q6600 or the Q9950. Both are easily highly OCable and decent prices. So you get the benefit of future proofed gaming and it will contribute to your music producing by utilising the multiple cores.


I agree.
October 3, 2008 12:27:36 PM


Hi m8.
Here u have another thread
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/253986-28-advice-expe...

My advise, ignore it because, Im probably the one here with less knowledge in these area.
I think ... maybe im wrong: "U should focus in a good game PC , because games have really very high requirements, and probably cubase is not soo hard to move than crysis.

October 3, 2008 1:42:33 PM

I know that most of the games and apps are optimized for dualcore CPUs, and you get better performance using a dualcore CPU with a single app running, but if you want to use 2 or more apps alongside together, I mean multitasking, like winrar and a video encoder/decoder together, you will get a better performance with a quadcore CPU, because the system resource manager will optimize the affinity given to programs.
in another way, preference of dual core CPUs is more OC capability and the preference of quadcore CPUs is better performance in multitasking ( running 2 or more applications together).
I think this is it.
October 3, 2008 2:48:34 PM

"U always can OC a QuadCore but u cant add cores to a dual core"

Yet a dual core will OC further than a quad core.
October 3, 2008 2:51:37 PM

Maziar said:

"U always can OC a QuadCore but u cant add cores to a dual core"


Except for that statement being false. You can always TRY to OC a quad. Doesn't mean you can or can get it high enough to match the higher clocked dual. I've said it before and say it again:

If you NEED a 3.0Ghz processor buy one. Don't buy a 2.4Ghz because you might be able to OC it close to 3.0. If you only need the 2.4 by all means buy it and try to OC however high you want.

For those of you who give the "Buy the Q6600 and OC it" advice. I hope with that advise comes the willingness to purchase the Q6600 from the person that receives a sample that does not OC well.

Dave
October 3, 2008 4:03:27 PM

Generally any Q6600 G0 should hit 3ghz fairly easy, and be just as stable. That's more based on what I've read people get their Q6600 at.

It's more based on the chipset your using that may not give the Q6600 a stable OC. For example, my old 650i chipset could OC to 3.375 at the max from what I could do on it.

Although, it didn't seem that stable. I did manage to get it stable to 3.2ghz, then my NB cracked since I switched out the cooling on the chipset, to something that didn't quite work out.

Now my P35 chipset, OC's the Q6600 nicely at 3.2ghz. And I am talking about the same quad I used on my 650i MB, which is trash now.

To me it has to do with the MB chipset rather then what Q6600 you get, unless your really trying to get the highest OC, then there would be a difference since not all Q6600 are not exactly the same.
October 3, 2008 4:24:19 PM

nah, its very simple. just get the fastest dual core you can get. crysis is a single threaded game, so clock speeds matter. but wait, all games are single thread. i dont remember any mainstream application that can utilize all four cores, they're usually for professional/work/server stuff.
and power/cooling can be more expensive and difficult with a quad core.

there is no future proofing with a processor especially with a video card. by the time games gets coded with two or more threads, the processor you bought would be outdated. in the processor market, things get cheap fast.

October 3, 2008 4:45:46 PM

^Umm... I use a quad on Vista64 bit, all my cores are not at idle (30-50% all 4 cores) when I run Crysis in window mode. I can understand that the makers of the game would perhaps want people to buy the game and play it even if they don't own a dual or quad CPU.

Even a dual core doesn't exactly run at 100% on both cores, but the GPU is basically doing most of work when ran at high resolution.
October 3, 2008 5:15:34 PM

I think the current quad cores are in a bad position and are not future proof. Since very few programs and games use all the cores and since those games that actually do tend to be reliant on the video card the quad still fails to beat the dual. So this simply leave apps that make use of the quad being faster in the end.

The reason why I say its not future proof is simply because by the time quad's become the standard where its expected for every program to use every core your old quad may not be up to the task with the new requirements. Also you may run into the problem of having to buy other new hardware that may not be compatible with your old quad. For example you decide its time for a new video card and PCI-E 3 is out and either the new cards are not back compilable for some reason or the performance difference is to large to justify using it on a PCI-E 2. Now you have to get a new motherboard as well but none of the new motherboard are compatible with your old quad. So even if your processor could handle the future can the rest of your hardware?
October 3, 2008 5:19:33 PM


quad if you are doing music production, as long as cubase is multithreaded of course, which im guessin it is

most games arent multithreaded well, but they will be in the future

the current exceptions are games based off of unreal engine 3, here's a list
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_game...

supreme commander, ms flight sim x are two other examples of multithreaded games

cryengine2 (crysis) is apparently multithreaded as well
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CryEngine_2

dont know how well they have coded it though eheh

but either way for music production you want to go with a quad

the q6600 is supposed to be a good cpu, OCs well with a nice cooler

and this is coming from the proud owner of an e8400 :) 
October 3, 2008 5:26:21 PM


i mean the easiest way to check if a game is multithreaded (if you have a dual core at least of course) is leave task manager running, play the game for a while, and then look at the chart of cpu usage :) 

source games usually have one core maxed and the other kind of just sits there, games based off of source (counter strike source, tf2, hl2, portal, etc etc) dont have good multithreading and they have just recently added multithreading in a beta form that works for like an hour only before crashing, mind you the engine is form 2004 where dual cores werent that common

now games based off of UE3 with a dual have both cores running at 100%

and games like supreme commander will fly on quads cuz heavily optimized and multithreaded well

:) 
October 3, 2008 5:43:43 PM

I've got to say, unless you want .9 ghz more power (which isn't that much no matter what anyone tells you) in your oc'ing than the quad is best..

I mean... come on, saying "dont get a quad" just because it cant overclock to 4.1 ghz when it can to 3.2? I'm a gamer and i still have my quad at 2.4ghz and everything STILL runs like butter..

Not to mention you get two more cores for the same price..
October 3, 2008 6:05:32 PM

Let's do a quick recap:

Dual Cores:

A faster possible clock speed equates to better performance in applications that only utilize one or two cores. Most PC games that are released today have limited Multithreading support; you're quite lucky if they'll take advantage of that second core, let along a third or forth. Dual cores have more headroom, and the Wolfdales (45nm) are just insane; dual cores processors also create less heat.

Quad Cores:

Slower possible clock speed equates to poorer performance in applications that only utilize one or two cores. Better suited for multitasking. Any application that is threaded for more than two cores will run faster on a Quad Core. Notable titles (Supreme Commander, Unreal Engine 3, Microsoft Flight Sim X...) fully support Quad Core processors. Quad cores have less headroom, and create more heat; underutilized cores (2,3) are creating more heat for no real gain.

Basically we could go back and forth on this all day long. Let's focus on what these two processors can do in the here and now:

Dual Cores:

Most applications will run faster due to the higher clock speed. If you are a computer enthusiast, or a gamer, or just an average user, you cannot go wrong with a dual core processor.

Quad Cores:

Any applications that support all four cores will run faster. If you produce music, or are a visual artist, if you are a programmer, or a "Security Analyst" (Cough), anything that has professional(ish) undertones, the applications that you use will probably take advantage of those extra two cores. Multitasking will be golden.

Now I don't know about you fellows, but I for one cannot "see" the future (My Alphabet Soup Told Me To Kill You All...). I have no idea whether or not games, or any other commonly used applications, will take full advantage of Quad Core processors in the near future. At the end of the day, it is your call.

I for one am going to put my money on innovation winning out.

-SnuffleKitty
October 3, 2008 6:17:47 PM

Only thing I can add, the OS does play a part in how well multicores will get used.

I've noticed on my XP or 32bit Linux have a high threshold on CPU usage. In other words, one core has to be 100% before the other cores will take on a load.

On Vista 64bit, I've already explained its different, but some might say the Vista 64bit might be, lying. :lol: 

I know Crysis will take advantage of my other cores simply by playing in window mode. I've even played the demo Q3 game which is a single thread game, and it does show only one core being utilized (80-90%) while the other 3 cores stay 0-10%.

The only other thing is, even though you can have a dual core perform better FPS wise, in some cases, that's not really going to matter much. As well as having more cores for other task to be taken care of without affecting the smoothness of game play. I use Avast, which updates automatically. Can't mention how many times the database has updated on my dual core system, causing interruption in smoothness on a game, while the quad handled it better. Of course it goes back to the OS, which I think Vista 64 has more of a loose threshold which cores take over tasks that on XP seems to be tight.

Overall, I think a Quad can do just as good as a dual in gaming and then some. I don't think I'd spend my time saying this if I didn't experience it.
October 3, 2008 6:32:58 PM

Last time I saw a benchmark for Q6600 vs E8500 the E8500 was performing better at stock settings, but when both were overclocked the Q6600 was way ahead in performance.
a b à CPUs
October 3, 2008 7:08:51 PM

dhvd79a said:
Except for that statement being false. You can always TRY to OC a quad. Doesn't mean you can or can get it high enough to match the higher clocked dual. I've said it before and say it again:

If you NEED a 3.0Ghz processor buy one. Don't buy a 2.4Ghz because you might be able to OC it close to 3.0. If you only need the 2.4 by all means buy it and try to OC however high you want.

For those of you who give the "Buy the Q6600 and OC it" advice. I hope with that advise comes the willingness to purchase the Q6600 from the person that receives a sample that does not OC well.

Dave


Yes u can try but 90% of Q6600 G0 steppings hit 3.0GHZ+
October 7, 2008 5:03:58 PM

dual for maximum speed on 1 or a few apps.

QUAD for multitasking

Loving the q6600 oc
I run about 20 -40 windows 10 -15 programs maybe more in a day. The extra 2 procs have helped to keep everything running smooth whereas my core 2 would bog down after a few apps.

ALSO crysis warhead runs much smoother now on quads.
and can keep games running alt -tabbin instead of closing games to do other tasks.
nice
October 7, 2008 5:36:07 PM

Unless you're running multiple instances of crysis most tasks such as audio/video players alongside games and antivirus software work fine on duals because they're not that taxing. I've got a dual and I play Supreme commander forged alliance and crysis warhead and clear sky on maxed settings no exceptions super smooth.
a b à CPUs
October 7, 2008 6:14:46 PM

Heres my problem with the arguement: all these benchmarks are usually done on a "clean" system. Even a clean Windows has 35-40 processes running in the background. Within a few months of normal use, 45-50 processes is not uncommen. A Quad helps significantly keep those background tasks from interfearing with the rest of the System.

Quads OC really well, and heat wise, the 45 nm models run nice and cool with even stock cooling. I went from a Pentium D to a core 2 to a quad, and subjectivly, the Quad does most everything faster.

Unless you can get a duo to greater than 3.8 GHz, you'd be far better off getting a Quad. More and more, programmers are writing more core compliant code, and I suspect Windows 7, like Vista, will greatly improve multi-core performance.
October 7, 2008 7:28:04 PM

This might be offtopic but Linux distributions like Gentoo are an absolute dream to use with a quad core.
!