Quad Core or Dual Core

I'm looking to buy a new pc. I can afford a high end 3.2 core2duo, or a highish 2.6/2.8 quadcore intel

Which should I buy?

I do a LOT of multitasking; usually have at least 6 windows open: an average screen, for me has:
A Pdf or two
Two windows of FireFox, each with 6 tabs
Photoshop or Indesign
A few file manager windows
Foobar 2000 (a media player, playing music)
and Outlook.

And that's normal - sometimes its more.

What should I get then? Is quadcore going to sort my life. The thing is, its not like im physically using each other these programs all the time. I dont have 3 programs all rendering at once; but they are open, and will probably be doing background processes, and the like.

Also, is it worth going for 1050mhz ram, rather than 800mhz?

Looking forwards to your replies!



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32 answers Last reply
More about quad core dual core
  1. I would suggest a quad core....I running a Quad (Q6600 2.4GHZ) 64-bit system and it does wonders!

    I also multitask and I have I never have an issue with slowup or lag. I also have 8GB DDR2 800MHZ that I do plan on upgrading to a 1200MHZ after I get another GPU for SLI and test some overclocking.

    I only use my computer for photography, graphic design, 3DS MAX 9 & a little gaming. Also if you plan on dealing with rendering I would suggest running scratch disk, they help with performance. I have 2 500GB HDD setup as Raid 0 and 2 500 GB for boot/storage including an external 320GB HDD.

    Hope this helps!
  2. Q6600 ;)
  3. Q6600 and 800 MHZ ram.
  4. i can afford a q9400 or q9550 - is q6600 better?
  5. bigonroad said:
    i can afford a q9400 or q9550 - is q6600 better?

    The Q6600 isn't better in performance however its a great bang for the buck CPU. Also it overclocks very well and is very popular to those who wish to overclock. Since you don't seem to plan on overclocking I would advise either the Q6600 or the Q9400 as their price isn't that far apart. But in my opinion the Q9550 is just isn't worth it and is literally a few dollars away from the price of a new i7 920.
  6. q9550 and 800 MHz RAM. At least 4GB, more is better.
  7. Definitely a candidate for a Quad Core processor. The recommendations given above are perfect IMO. And definitely go for 4GB of RAM. Whether it's 800Mhz or 1066Mhz really isn't going to matter to you. Only reason to go for 1066Mhz is for heavy overclocking anyhow. Even then, with the Q9400 or Q6600 it isn't really needed.

    Get a Quad Core, and get 4GB of GOOD 800Mhz RAM. Use the money you save on the 800Mhz RAM to put into a graphics card or something else.

    Even if you don't plan to play games, put a graphics card in your computer. Don't rely on the onboard video. Having that many tasks open, and switching between screens, can slow down a bit with integrated/onboard video.
  8. Get a Core 2 Quad Q6600... if you want to overclock it to 3ghz (which it'll do fine with stock cooling.) The quad will really do great with all those programs running at once, after all, a quad core was meant to be used with heavy users. And as far as the ram goes 800mhz RAM will be cheaper so get that or even 667mhz and just overclock it.
  9. Without overclocking this is the best bang for your buck.
    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Combo deal

    Are you using 64bit OS?
    Yes, use 2 of these kits. 8GB total
    No, use 1 kit.....4GB total
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
  10. bigonroad said:
    i can afford a q9400 or q9550 - is q6600 better?

    If you can afford the Q9550, go for it, it is a great processor.

    The Q6600 offers similar performance for less cash and is the better “deal” but it is not as fast.. It’s up to your wallet really.
    Either way, stick with the 800 MHz ram, 4 gigs.
  11. If price is not a problem, go for the Q9550 or Q9400.

    If you're on a budget, AMD Phenom II X4 940 is the best bet.
  12. Any Intel Quad or Any AMD Phenom II with 4-8gb of branded ram (eg Kingston etc) and a decent ASUS or Gigabyte motherboard - perfect!
  13. ok. what graphics card would you recommend? I think i will get 4gig ram for now, and leave two slots, then in 2 years i can get another 16gig or something lol.
    I'm gonna look at motherboards now!
  14. what is the best value good motherboard, that will support Q9550 or Q9400, and has support for DDR2 and DDR3, to make it a bit more future proof?
  15. I've never liked the motherboards that support both DDR2 and DDR3. Besides, with the FSB architecture, there are other bottlenecks before the memory is a problem anyways. I'd just get a DDR2 board, 2x2GB of DDR2-800, and not worry about it.
  16. yeh, i think its not worth it, having looked at the differences.
    So what graphics card and mother board would you recommend for the Q9550 or q9400?
  17. have a look at

    before you head down the quad core path
  18. Yeh, but none of these tests are great at looking at multitsking. As long as im using a decent os, it should be putting different applications on different cores anyway - so im less concerned about apps being thread optimised, and thus better suited to 2 cores. Ultimately, in two years a lot more is going be designed for two cores.

    I think quad core is the way to go, so what graphics card and mother board would you recommend for the Q9550 or q9400?
  19. I use:
    INTEL Core2Quad Q9450 2.66 GHz LGA775 12MB Cache
    Model EU80569PJ067N
    OC to 3.6666 (via ntune which is included on the drivers disk to the motherboard)
    Rock stable (for 3 days now) with low temps, when stock-cooler is hastily removed and another

    plased instead.
    Only one pci express * 16, but dont need more.
    corsair ddr2 1066 5-5-5-15-2.1v. 2*2 gigabyte ram
    Small cooler included.
    Noctua NH-U12P
    antec 900
    The 4 fans included are still a little noisy when set to low.
    But very cool case, inside too. Can take all of the biggest coolers and VGA cards.
    Corsair HX520W (modular, because not much space in the antec 900 for cords and the like)
    More or less soundless.
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640 GB with 32 mb cache.
    Fast and nearly soundless
    wista ultimate 64 bit
    I can recommend the above mentioned system to people who use Photoshop, Dreamweaver, CaD and the

    "Multitasking" is not a problem! Photoshop cs3 is up, under 2 seconds...
    This is a costly system, because I live in Denmark....
    with naked icebears walking the streets ;-}
    I started to get the stuff together last year, and finished/assempled 3 days ago.
    As you, i was reading a lot in the forums.
    Advices needed are given her.
    Have happy days
  20. With the new archetechture out the Dual Core is becoming an ancient artifact... go Quad to get the most life out of your processor.
  21. Quad. Most benchmarks out there will show less FPS on a Duo using todays best GFX cards. For most high end GFX solutions (GTX 260 216 or higher), Duos are CPU limiting the rest of the system.

    Unless not building a gaming rig, there is almost no point for a Duo now that Quads are less then $200.
  22. SuperNova19 said:
    Q6600 ;)

    agreed :)
  23. hang on. so im not planning to overclock. still go for q6600 over a faster one?
  24. Since you're not overclocking Q9450. 9550 is priced too close to an i7 to really make it worth getting instead of building an i7 rig, and the performance isn't that different between the 9450 and 9550.
  25. Ok, I've been getting a lot of advice on these forums, and I've made some decisions.

    I've chosen the following setup - can I have some constructive criticism/confirmation:

    Q9550 with an Intel DP43TF board.
    Coupled with 4 gigs of good ddr2 800
    With a ATI Radeon HD 3850 512meg

    Is this machine going to serve me well?

  26. mamw93 said:
    With the new archetechture out the Dual Core is becoming an ancient artifact.

    I assume you're referring to Intel's quads... in which case... you do realise Intel's quad core architecture IS their dual core architecture, right? Just with two of them on a chip. Be careful with your words. ;)
  27. I've looked at I7s, and its gonna cost me £20 more for the processor, £50 more for the motherboard, and about another £30 for the Ram. That takes a pc thats scraping £600 up to £700. I'm not sure i can afford that.
  28. Another alternative is waiting till April 20th for the Phenom II 955, it's X4, 3.2ghz stock speed. Not sure if it's black edition, but if you're not OCing then it won't matter much. Also, the release of the 955 might push down the price of the 940 3.0ghz X4.
  29. Guys, he can afford a Q9550. Stop recommending the Q6600 over a clearly better chip.
  30. gamerk316 said:
    Guys, he can afford a Q9550. Stop recommending the Q6600 over a clearly better chip.

  31. Hi Silviajdm

    I'm currently in search for a powerfull yet reasonably priced pc for me to use for rendering with 3dsmax 9 as my current pc is struggling. The specs you have for your pc are pretty impressive and i don't think i'll need quite as much hard disk space as you have, however I'm trying to find out what type of processor you have. I've been concidering getting a gaming pc with an amd phenom 64 quad core 9.2ghz. However i'm not sure if that will work with 3ds max.

    If you don't mind contacting me by e-mail my e-mail address is: edmundis@hotmail.com.

    Your help will be greatly appreciated!
  32. Hey Fedtmusen

    If you don't mind me asking how much did your pc cost in total?

    I've got a pretty large desktop case, but it's insides aren't doing it any justice for the amount of room it takes so i'm looking to upgrade with as low cost as i can get at the mo to be able to run 3ds max9 64bit.
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