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Quad or Dual Core for Gaming?

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April 16, 2011 5:00:27 AM

I've been out of the high-end gaming for a while now (Yes, I went back to console...I'm sorry) and theres a few questions that need asking.
Seeing as many of today's games only use one or two cores, and a few use four, would one still be better off getting a 2.66ghz QUAD over a 3.0 DUAL, both at 1333? I have very little doubt that TESV:Skyrim won't support quad cores, but I'm still playing games like Oblivion and such that only technically use a single core. Does 2.66ghz still stand up well? (I'm having purchase doubts. Second guessing myself.)

The build so far:

P5QL-VM DO mobo
Q8400 Dual Core at 1333mhz, 4m cache, 2.66ghz.
2x 2ghz 800mhz RAM (Corsair)
Nvidia 9800GX2
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W ATX 20/24PIN

;; I guess this is sort of my way of double checking to make sure everything fits and works together. I'm no expert; I just match and double check the numbers and such.

More about : quad dual core gaming

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April 16, 2011 5:03:24 AM

Are you upgrading or building a new rig?
April 16, 2011 5:06:41 AM

ghnader hsmithot said:
Are you upgrading or building a new rig?

New Rig. The board and video card were given to me for free, which is helping to keep the cost down. Either way, its a big upgrade over my Single Core Athlon 64 2.21ghz 1m L2 Cache. I'm just trying to build the best gaming rig in my range right now. The 2.66 quad and 3.00 dual are nearly the same price.
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April 16, 2011 5:17:09 AM

It really just depends, old games will take more advantage of the dual but newer games are greatly benefited from quad cores. So to future proof, go with the quad. Just my opinion.
April 16, 2011 5:22:38 AM

neonmonkey said:
It really just depends, old games will take more advantage of the dual but newer games are greatly benefited from quad cores. So to future proof, go with the quad. Just my opinion.

I was thinking the same thing. Either way, itll outperform my old single 2.21 in Oblivion, so I guess I should just be happy. I really hope I ordered the right parts; that everything fits and such. I get terrible buyer's remorse.
April 16, 2011 9:54:31 AM

Go Quad!!

I had a Core 2 Duo E6750, 4G of ram and a ATI 6870 and games were fine, but I recently upgraded to a core i5 2500k, 4G of ram and the same Video Card and to be honest, I wouldn't go back to my old Rig (Now I'm using it like an HTPC).

Games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 now loads fast and FPS are smoother, so yes go Quad =)
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April 16, 2011 10:01:57 AM

Diggle, he doesn't have the E8400.

If you are only going to play older single threaded games, get the faster clocked dual. I'd keep the quad however as it will help you play newer games as well. 2.66GHz is a bit slow, so if possible OC your quad. 3.2GHz or higher is what you'd want.
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April 16, 2011 10:20:16 AM

If possible go for the Q9550 as it's the closest to the E8400 in games or apps that don't use three or four cores.
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April 16, 2011 11:42:06 AM

You can buy a used Q6600 for $100 or so. The Q9550 is usually around $200 or less. Even at those prices it might make more sense to buy new stuff. You can always sell your old stuff, add it to your CPU budget, and get a new much more powerful setup.

I'm at this point. I could spend $100 and get a Q6600 for my x38 board. Or I could sell my E6600 for $50, my 4GBs of DDR2-800 for $40, and my X38 board for $60ish. DDR3 ram is the same price, so that gives me around $110 + $100 or $210ish for a new CPU and board. I could get a nice 8xx series board and an Athlon 635 for that. Now that I mention it....
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April 16, 2011 3:38:43 PM

@Zaku99

What most tend to overlook is even with a single threaded application, you still have background programs running in the operating system or at least you should have, Internet Protection constantly running, and various required OP/SYS background services running.

So when you get to a game or application like video converting that can actually take advantage of multicore and you're stuck with a dual core, well that's Old School.

More and more games and applications today are multicore capable and personally I wouldn't even consider spending money on less than quad core CPU today.

Hope this helps make up your mind regarding the decision you're facing.
April 16, 2011 8:09:01 PM

Quote:
if all else fails buy a Xbox


Don't do it! LOL! :kaola: 
April 16, 2011 8:13:58 PM

I went from a Dual-Core to a Quad-Core and have had nothing but awesomeness since. Not so much on older games but all the newer ones are starting to use Multi-Core more. But if you really want to know if you need to upgrade, open your Task Manager and open the Performance tab. Go up to the View tab at the top and switch the refresh speed to LOW. Then open the Resorce Monitor at the bottom. Then run your game or whatever for 5 minutes or so. Then exit the app your using and go look at your CPU usage graphs. See if any of your cores hit 100% and if the other core(s) picked up the slack. I hope this helps.
April 16, 2011 9:51:57 PM

get a new sandy bridge cpu quad core
get a k chip for overclocking
that will last for years to come
April 16, 2011 11:00:55 PM

I've settled on the q8400, stuck in a P5QL-VM DO motherboard. With the default cooler, can I SAFELY (Safely being the key word!!!) overclock it to 2.8-3.0ghz from 2.66?
April 16, 2011 11:03:28 PM

4Ryan6 said:
@Zaku99

What most tend to overlook is even with a single threaded application, you still have background programs running in the operating system or at least you should have, Internet Protection constantly running, and various required OP/SYS background services running.

So when you get to a game or application like video converting that can actually take advantage of multicore and you're stuck with a dual core, well that's Old School.

More and more games and applications today are multicore capable and personally I wouldn't even consider spending money on less than quad core CPU today.

Hope this helps make up your mind regarding the decision you're facing.

Good to know! Very important facts! Thank you!!
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April 16, 2011 11:29:20 PM

4Ryan6 said:
@Zaku99

What most tend to overlook is even with a single threaded application, you still have background programs running in the operating system or at least you should have, Internet Protection constantly running, and various required OP/SYS background services running.

So when you get to a game or application like video converting that can actually take advantage of multicore and you're stuck with a dual core, well that's Old School.

More and more games and applications today are multicore capable and personally I wouldn't even consider spending money on less than quad core CPU today.



unless of cores that dual core is fast enough to handle those multiple apps that really don't use multi cores more and more since most apps have to run on a laptop also where the vast majority of CPUs are still dual cores with plenty of single cores still out there compared to their desktop brethren.

as for vidoe games, the vast majority still play just fine on a dual core CPU including new games just launched like DA2, Civ5, wow cataclysm, SC2, and Crysis 2 (even the i3-540 can outpace those ever so lovely bang for your buck athlon II x4 series)

so while you may not purchase a dual core, something like the i3 dual core still is a better gaming option over the multicore phenom II series, athlon II series, or older Intel quads*.

* as proven by Tom's best under $200 article where the SB i3 outpaced similar priced quads
!