I am a CS student embarking on a side project his summer involving testing some multi-core programming theories I have, and I have come to the conclusion that I can't test several of them without a quad-core processor. I don't have the cash right now for a system overhaul, so I am looking to just replace my Core 2 dual-core with a Core 2 quad-core. Problem is, the current line of Core 2 quad-cores all have a 1333 fsb, and my board (a ga-p965-ds3 rev 1.3) only supports up to a 1066 fsb. I was going to buy a Q6600, but I'm having the darndest time finding one in stock anywhere, and a E8300 would cost me about 70 bucks less anyway.
So my question is whether or not I could drop an E8300 on my board and have it work, perhaps by underclocking the CPU. I found several threads on this topic in the context of the Q6600 vs. the E6550/6750/6850 from several years ago, but many of the posts seem contradictory, and I don't trust my knowledge of this stuff enough to come to a conclusion myself. I don't really feel like dropping a hundred and fifty bucks on what may turn out to be a paperweight.
I believe that, if I do recall, the Core 2 Quad should work just fine in your computer, it just won't run at the full FSB speed, at the very least you could contact Gigabyte and check to see if a specific processor will work.
I would not however, drop in another dual core processor. Do Quad or nothing really, but I don't see any problems with adding a quad on your board. But like I said contact gigabyte to make sure.
965 chipset supports E6600, the Q6600 runs at the same spec so FSB/clock wise its supported, but you must check to see if your VRM and bios support the Q6600 - check on the gigabyte website, and i doubt a 45nm chip would work or work well in your older motherboard, no point upgrading from one dual core to another either, and the Q6600 is kinda ancient now.
As for people saying dual-cores are better then quad cores are absolute idiots - its the same argument every generation, now its "6 cores are crap quads are faster still" etc etc - just like in the day the dual cores first came out, now look where we are Extra cores dont slow anything down, with every new app they are more and more supported so you actually gain performance as time goes on if anything.
As for getting a Q6600 - what are your other system specs, it may not be worth it if everything else is limiting you in your system etc.
I have that board and the best you can do with it is a q6600. I went to microcenter and got a x4 630 and cheap mobo for $100 put it in and booted up windows 7 it found new drivers for mobo and cpu and still have all of my programs and games