Dual or Quad for Games

Hey guys,

As you can probably see from my sig I already have a q6600 but I fancy a change. I have done quite a lot of research and it seems something like the e8600 is perfect if not the best for games....(this is excluding i7, I cant afford them). I dont do any multi-tasking on this particular machine, it is simply for gaming. So my question is, is dual core really as good as they say for game? Or should I really be sticking with Quad?

Up until today I was under the impression that some of the tope of the range dual cores were very overclockable and gave excellent performance in games - that was better than most Quad cores and even gave a few of the low-end i7's a run for their money. But now I am not too sure.
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More about dual quad games
  1. Well up until now yes the Dual cores perform better than the quad cores...It is because the games generally prefer higher clock speeds rather than the number of cores...
    But you should have heard that the GTA IV plays better on a quad rather than a Dual core...It only means that future games will be more optimized to utilize the number of cores as well...

    So if you want to see significant gains in current games, I would suggest you overclock you Q6600 to say mayb 3.4GHz or higher if possible...

    And spending so much money on the E8600 is rather not advisable...instead overclock the max of your CPU and save some money for a complete new build later...

    Or looking at you sig, I would suggest you invest that money on a second 4870 in crossfire...As games rely more on GPU power than CPU power...
  2. Hmm....

    Yes I thought it was the case that more games were being optimised for Quad cores, but it from a resent, comprehensive test I read in the latest copy of CustomPC it seemed that still dual cores performed better.

    Crossfire, itsn't reall an option for me at the moment because of my chipset being P45...thats in the future - lol

    With regards to my current q6600, I have been having a lot of trouble getting it over 3.0GHz, infact it wont at all, think I have a bad chip. I have tried everything, testing the PSU, the RAM, the MoBo, it seems to all come back to the chip :(

    So it appears the only way to improve my gaming performance is to change my processor. Is getting a dual core really a bad idea?
  3. Hi Peaks

    Well, I would not suggest the E8600 if price is a major consideration.

    With your motherboard you could (not un-feasibly) get an E0 E8400 (much cheaper) to near 4 GHz, which will provide the performance you are looking for. With water you could get near 4.5 on most of them.

    All you are practically paying for with the E8600 is the extra multiplier, which enables higher cpu frequency for the same fsb, but you should have no problems getting your fsb up to 450+ on that motherboard (4.05 GHz).

    Some will say that you can be more sure of a good OC on the more expensive E8600, and they do have a point. But Intel have the E0 stepping down and you would be unlucky not to be able to hit 4 GHz on an E8400.

    Regarding Dual vs Quad for gaming, you will be ok for now with a dual, but you will soon find yourself moving up to a quad for upcoming games. The real issue, as you seem to know, is that the Q6600 is simply slower clock-for-clock than the wolfdales. Waiting a few months might well see the Q9550 drop in price, which would make it your ideal sweet-spot cpu, and you would be future-proof for gaming for at least the next 18-24 months.

    Hope it helps.

    Ps. Yeah, I guess I am slightly biased as I run an E0 E8400 and couldn't be happier with it for the price. I get stunning performance out of the littler blighter at 4GHz :sol: Crysis is now so realistic (with the lighting mods) that it scares the bejezus out of me :cry:
  4. Unlucky on the CPU. What stepping have you got?
  5. I got the B3 stepping :(

    Was unaware of this when I purchased it.

    @MrSiko - Thanks for your help dude it did help. What I am getting from your post is that an upgrade of my current CPU to an e8500 or e8600 would see an improvement in games - especially with an overclock, but tbh I should be looking at a quad core otherwise I will find myself searching for a new processor sooner than I think.

    Am I right?
  6. Peaks said:
    Hmm....

    Yes I thought it was the case that more games were being optimised for Quad cores, but it from a resent, comprehensive test I read in the latest copy of CustomPC it seemed that still dual cores performed better.

    Crossfire, itsn't reall an option for me at the moment because of my chipset being P45...thats in the future - lol

    With regards to my current q6600, I have been having a lot of trouble getting it over 3.0GHz, infact it wont at all, think I have a bad chip. I have tried everything, testing the PSU, the RAM, the MoBo, it seems to all come back to the chip :(

    So it appears the only way to improve my gaming performance is to change my processor. Is getting a dual core really a bad idea?


    Well as the model number of your mobo suggests, it has 2 pcie slots and supports Crossfire...And you can always use the 4870 for the future build also...
    And buying the E8X00 series over your Q6600 doesnt makes sense...It is just wasting cash on an dying socket.
  7. Hmm...seems that you are stuck on the Dual core...
    Then get the E8400/E8500 with EO stepping and overclock it...Dont waste money on E8600...

    But +1 for the Q9550...Youshould be able to get one for the same price as the E8600...the Q9550 are also highly overclockable and they will perform significantly better...
  8. Well there is one idea though...
    Sell your Q6600 and with that money, you should be able to get a E7X00...Heard they also overclock very well...So overclock them to the max and you wouldnt find much difference in performance between those and the E8X00 once they are overclocked...
    So no money wasted and yet you get a faster dual core...:P
  9. gkay09 said:
    Well as the model number of your mobo suggests, it has 2 pcie slots and supports Crossfire...And you can always use the 4870 for the future build also...
    And buying the E8X00 series over your Q6600 doesnt makes sense...It is just wasting cash on an dying socket.


    Thats crazy I thought you couldn't go crossfire with a p45 chip as they usually have one x16 lanes and one x8 lane. Shows that I need to read into things more. That is a definate option for the near future then, cheers.

    I agree with your comment about wasting money on a dying chip, I always thought that until I read the review in customPC. For now I do want to get a new CPU over anything, so was thinking maybe the q9550 or the q9650??

    Thoughts??

    EDIT: Oops hadn't refreshed the page didn't realise you had posted
  10. Peaks : "Am I right?"

    Yup :D
  11. ^+1 for you suggestion of the Q9550...
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