The reason I'm asking is I'm going to buy a GTX 460 soon, and I'm afraid my E6550 will hinder its capabilities. Which processor should I upgrade to? Should I even upgrade? Have quad processors really been utilized... yet? Will they ever?
Funny... I remember when people were asking this in 2007...
Quad if you are going to over clock 8600 if not. I have a q9400 myself have not found a game that stops me. Newer games will bog down a duel no questions about it but they like speed. That q9550 can over clock to 4ghz or close my q9400 has run 3.8 for a little over 2 years now no issues. I would only recommend this if you can get either quite cheap for 300 or less you could go with intels new 2500 mobo and proc included... The issue is if the game only uses 1 or 2 cores then you would want your quad running at speeds near what that dual would be running to have the same experience...
Nowadays many new games can benefit from more than 2 cores, so the quad should be a better overall gaming processor.
The E8600 is heavily overpriced and it is a dual core, simply not worth it.
The Q9550 might make more sense, but it is also overpriced for its performance.
If you can afford a bigger upgrade, then the newly released core i5 2500k smokes both in any application or game, and the CPU itself is cheaper than both of them.
I would try overclocking the E6550 before anything else.
Hmmm... don't know if I'm ready for a new mobo. My 6550 is overclocked to 2.6, which is fine for now... just don't know what will happen with the new graphics card. Maybe a cheaper quad core that can overclock well. Decisions decisions.
I wouldn't buy either CPU. It's crazy to do so considering the prices for them. The Q9550 is $300+ (new) and the E8600 is close to that price. Both a waste of money, it'd be better to get a new mobo/cpu/ram that is more current, even if you had to pay a little bit more.
The E8400 would be OK, it's only $170 @ newegg. Stock 3ghz and will easily OC past the E8600's 3.33ghz.
Don't listen to the people telling you to buy a Q9550, unless you can find a really awesome deal for one.
You guys are making suggestions, but don't know what it's going to be used for. That's a big factor.
What's this going to be used for?
Everything. Mostly gaming... some motion graphics.
I mean, if the 460 drops significantly it will be the best bang for the buck, but I want to make sure my processor doesn't hold it back. I don't know what to do. I'd get a quad... but for the price of an actual "good" quad (i.e. fast quad) it's more worth it for the 8500/8600.
Or maybe I'll just buy an iPad and stop using personal computers all together. Oh well...
@mal Yeah, I had overclocked it to 2.6, and would overclock to it 2.8 on stock cooling and think it would be fine. It never got over 65 C at 2.6.
Anyway, I'm only considering this because of the concern of the 460 being bottleneck'd by my current processor. If I wanted to actually upgrade entirely, I'd just buy a whole new PC. It's not worth it to spend that much on a single part (the processor). I honestly don't think it will be an issue, and I might keep my 8800 as a dedicated phsyx card... though I heard it isn't very beneficial. Just wanted other people's input.
I was just faced with the same decision. I have an I5 in my media center / gaming machine, but I also game in my other room with friends, I had a celeron e3300 and didnt want to buy a whole new mobo and ram to upgrade. I suggest that you do the same as me.
I looked for quad core processors and all were as everybody says, overpriced. I looked at the 8600 which was also overpriced, I could have bought a new motherboard and ram with a quad athalon or an I3 for the same price. I ended up deciding on an e8400, with the 8400, you can just change the multiplier in the bios and make it an e8600+ plus, amazon sells them used, I just bought mine for 84.00, at that price you can consider it worth it. I also got a 460 with it and it can play whatever you throw at it. most games really are not fully threaded anyways, and the few that are that would lag would do so with a q9550 (my roommate just got rid of his for an i5 2500k).