Understanding Differences in Core 2 Duos

Hello, I am trying to decide what Intel CPU to put in a new build. I have been looking at Q6600s ($180), but I don't think I really need a quad core. As such, I started looking at Core 2 Duos, and I could use some help defining performance benefits. This Intel link provides some basic differences, but I would like to know a little more, for example, power usage/temperatures, overclocking abilities, and general performance.


Specifically, E7300($120), E8200($160), E8400($165), Q6600($180), Q8200($190).

I will be using a 20" monitor, ATI 4850, and Vista 32 for gaming, a very little bit of photoshop, and general multitasking (watch/listen to a streaming hockey game while playing Diablo 3 type of thing...). Opinions from people with similar setups would be very much appreciated. Thanks
16 answers Last reply
More about understanding differences core duos
  1. Best bang for buck:
    Multi tasking + multi threaded apps : Q6600
    Gaming: E8400

    1. Do you plan to OC?

    2. Is this a gaming build?

    3. What's the rest of the specs? (motherboard,etc)
  2. Hey, thanks for the reply. I plan to OC only if I have to. This is a $1000 gaming build. Mobo is probably ASUS PQ5 Pro or something, 4GB Memory (corsair xms2?), 250 or 320GB WDAAKS HDD, Antec 300 case, PC power&cooling 610W PSU.
  3. If you overclock, I'd go with a quad, but at stock clocks, go with the E8400 or E8500.
  4. Between these two, E8400 has 45nm arch, 1333 FSB, 6MB cache; Q6600 has 65nm arch, 1066FSB, 8MB cache.

    So E8400 at stock 3GHz vs Q6600 OC'd to around 3GHz, I assume the q6600 has better performance because of the cache advantage, but how much? Also, which one will run cooler?
  5. edit: ^ 45nm will run cooler. Here is a nice comparison of what you need:

    If planing to game and OC : E8400 or E7200 (both can hit 3.6Ghz easily).
    if mult tasking Q6600 OCed to 3.6Ghz. The Q8200 isn't recommended by quite a lot of people due to lack of Virtualization.
    (compare: http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SL9UM
    and http://processorfinder.intel.com/Details.aspx?sSpec=SLB5M )
    I have also heard Windows 7 is suppose to take advantage of VTT, not sure exactly how that works.
  6. Thanks, I suppose my main concern for performance increase over my current system (3 yr old laptop, so everything will be an increase!) is on the gaming side of things.

    I see the E7300 (2.66GHZ, 3MB cache) on newegg for same price as E7200, so that's good I guess ($120). I see the E8400 (3GHZ, 6MB cache) for $165. How much of a difference will I see between the 2 if the E7300 is OC'd to 3GHZ?
  7. The q6600 @ 3ghz will not out perform the e8400 at the same speed in anything that doesnt use more than 2 cores. The newer core2s are a tad bit faster at the same clock as the older ones.

    If your going to bring overlclocking into it. I think you should consider it for all the chips. I dont see why you would buy a q6600/e7300 and overclock them but leave the e8400 at stock.
  8. I was just trying to get an idea of performance differences due to anything other than clock speed. I guess the E8400 is the way to go for me, as it seems to be OC'd easily to 3.6GHz, though I doubt I would take it that high. I would still like to know someone's thoughts on temperatures of the E8400 vs the Q6600 at stock and OC to say, 3.3GHZ for either.
  9. Quote:

    If your going to bring overlclocking into it. I think you should consider it for all the chips. I dont see why you would buy a q6600/e7300 and overclock them but leave the e8400 at stock.

  10. The 8400 uses less power at stock and overlocked. Which in return of course causes less heat. If you are using the same cooler on both chips running at the same speeds the dual core 45nm part is going to run cooler/use less power.

    The thing that is main thing that determines performace other than clock speed is the amount of cores. It your running a app that does use 4 cores the quad at the same speed or clocked lower will beat the dual. Cache does have a impact on gaming but not a alot on the cpus you're considering. The even lower cache models suffer more. But once the core2s get 3mb of cache its not that big of a difference.
  11. Thanks for the clarification, I think the E8400 is what I will go with. I don't see 4 cores being of much use at this point, or even in the next couple of years for my computing needs. So... any suggestions on a complimentary motherboard, or should I take that to the appropriate section in the forum? Thanks again for all the answers!
  12. ^I recommend P45-DS3L for a no frills board (ie no RAID,etc) or ASUS P5Q Pro P45.

  13. Hey, those are pretty much the two mobos I was thinking of. Looking through the specs, the Gigabyte looks a little better, maybe, but what do you think? As I see it, the Asus has 1 PCIe 16 and 1 at only 8. Does that kill the ability to use 2 gfx cards?
  14. The ASUS has RAID and can do CrossFire. The Gigabyte board can't. Imo, get the ASUS for future proofing.
  15. Get Vista 64, do not bother with 32 bit versions.
  16. ^+1. Providing the OP has the needed Vista x64 drivers for printers,etc.
Ask a new question

Read More

CPUs Product