I'm planning to get myself a Quad this week. There are three things on my mind.
1. Power Consumption.
2. Performance (even with a lower cache in case of Q9400)
Ok, the power consumption on the Q6600 is what bothers me. And, that is why i was suggested the Q9400 which has a far lesser power consumption and better performance (even with a 2 mb less cache) to the Q6600. Now is that true? Plus, i was told it was better value for money as not only was it a better performer to the Q6600 it was low on heat and power consumption and future proof (2-3 years). And as i need a Quad, saving on the electricity bill would be something i would prefer. Now is the power consumption difference that high between Q9400 (or maybe even the Q9450/9550 Vs. Q6600).
Now, plz plz plz as per my need, guys i need a good word. Which Quad to take.
260mhz diff between the two isn't going to yield a huge performance difference. 20 watts isn't going to matter a whole lot either. But given your goals the q9400 would be the way to go. But w/ it's huge overclocking potential, (mine runs at 3.0 ghz on stock voltage) the q6600 is a incredible value at nearly 100 dollars less then the q9400.
45nm you dont gain much heat, but OC potential aren't that great. My Q6600 is running at 3.6Ghz @ 1.4v., a friend of mine got his 3.8Ghz @ 1.45v. It actually depends on the chip - I can't go 3.8 without raising it to 1.53. These are more than 50% OC values - but we're running on watercooling. My Core temps are 53,53,50,50 at 100% CPU load in prime and I got 4850 crossfire in my loop as well, ambient 28. So yeah.. I'm happy with my setup.
If this is your first quad, then go with the Q9400 - not much OC potenial but it should run cooler and faster.
In regards to performance and power consumption, both aren't noticable in real life applications. The power you save with the Q9400 is like what $20 a year? The oc capability is better on the Q6600 with its 9x multiplier vs 8x on the Q9400. The Q9400 is not more future proof imo since LGA775 is a dead socket now.
The 9 series cpu's run a lot cooler at idle and under typical load.
The Q6600 is a nasty chip to overclock - if your not prepared to work on handling the heat then don't push one of these far.
While they are easy to OC they are hard to cool.
I should get an aftermarket cooler ... whats a good one I don't need to mess with a backplate and mobo transplant ?
Get your self an arctic freezer 7 pro thats wat i did. its cheap as hell and efficient. it was my first time ocing so made a bit of a mess attaching it with the thermal paste not on the chip or anything tho. but it comes applied and it took my temps down alot. like 15 degrees. you can adjust the fan speed too so ive got mine running at 70% which is practically silent and oc'd to 3ghz on stock voltage. its cool for me i can run all games smoothly. ive got an oc'd 8800gts too which runs at 80% fanspeed which is silent too. only crysis seems to phaze me but not with AA turned off
Notice how the Q9300 performs very similarly in most cases, even though it has a much smaller cache. I very much suspect that the Q9400 would be the same case, performing as well as the Q9450 if not better. Obviously there would be some instances where the smaller cache would hurt performance, but for most real-life situations it doesn't seem to take a huge hit.