Overclocking: Dual- vs. Quad-Core CPUs

The Processors - E6750 Or Q6600?

Let's begin by taking a look at the component that arguably has the greatest impact on a system's performance - the CPU.

When selecting the right CPU, the stepping plays a very important role. Only the current G0 stepping of the 65 nm generations' dual-core and quad-core CPUs ensures the highest overclocking potential. Also, these processors with this stepping are also more energy efficient.

Our Q6600 uses the popular G0 stepping and is competing against...

...the E6750, which also uses the G0 stepping in our overclocking duel.

Of course, you can also buy CPUs with the older B3 (quad-core) or B2 (dual-core) steppings, but those older versions' overclocking headroom is much lower.

The Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.40 GHz)

Intel's Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66 GHz)

A comparison of the current prices for G0-stepping processors makes a purchase decision easier. Within the quad-core family, the Q6600 sells at an unbeatably low price. In the dual-core segment, the E6750 hits the value-for-money sweet spot of its class.

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Prices for G0-Stepping CPUs
Core 2 Extreme QX6850$1,230
Core 2 Quad Q6600$315
Core 2 Quad Q6700$666
Core 2 Duo E6550$205
Core 2 Duo E6750$227
Core 2 Duo E6850$322

We decided to compare the Core 2 Quad Q6600 and the Core 2 Duo E6750 in this review. In the past, readers have asked about the Core 2 Duo E6850, the price tag of which is almost identical to that of the quad-core part. Since both models reach approximately the same clock speeds, we chose the E6750, which is cheaper and thus offers better value for your money (it is also a main point in this review). In the end, it is your decision whether you choose the more expensive dual-core model - the results presented in this article apply to both parts, as both offer identical performance.

Tom's Hardware News Team

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