Overclocking: Dual- vs. Quad-Core CPUs

Processor - G0 Stepping Is A Must

Let's move on to the technical details of the processors and how to recognize the right model and stepping.

Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.40 GHz)

Core 2 Duo E6750 (2.66 GHz)
Processor Comparison
  Core 2 Quad Q6600 Core 2 Duo E6750
Code Name Kentsfield Conroe
Taktrate 2.40 GHz 2.66 GHz
FSB 266 MHz 333 MHz
Multiplier 9x 8x
L2-Cache 2x 4 MB 1x 4 MB
TDP 95 Watts 65 Watts
Stepping G0 G0
sSpec Number SLACR SLA9V
Fabrication Process 65 nm 65 nm

The Core 2 Quad Q6600 with the Kentsfield core runs at 2.4 GHz on a 266 MHz FSB (1066 QDR). Its lower FSB gives it an advantage when overclocking, since the motherboard's Northbridge does not need to be able to reach extremely high clock speeds. The CPU consists of four cores, with two cores each sharing 4 MB of L2 cache. Theoretically, its power consumption is twice that of the Core 2 Duo, since it contains twice as many cores.

Intel's Core 2 Duo E6750 uses the Conroe core and runs at 2.66 GHz, which is slightly faster than the Q6600. The dual-core chip's FSB is also faster, which runs at 333 MHz (1333 QDR). This means that the motherboard has to deal with higher frequencies when the processor is overclocked. The CPU's two cores share 4 MB of L2 cache.

Buying The Right Model

The sSpec number in the product code

Not every shop gives you the processor's stepping version. In some cases, the sSpec number, which precisely identifies the processor, can also provide more information. If you buy the CPU in a brick-and-mortar store, the stepping version probably won't be stated, neither on the box nor on the processor itself. This is where the sSpec number comes in, which you can find at the end of the product code of the CPU's retail box.

The sSpec number on the CPU.

Our processors are unfortunately not very good examples, since they are both engineering samples that don't have sSpec numbers.

  1. E6750 Or Q6600 - Which Is The Better Choice?
  2. The Processors - E6750 Or Q6600?
  3. Processor - G0 Stepping Is A Must
  4. Motherboard - Gigabyte Or MSI With P35 Chipset
  5. Highlights Of The MSI Board - Affordable, Heatpipe On Board
  6. Highlights Of The Gigabyte Board - More Features
  7. GEIL Memory - An Overclocking Natural
  8. Cooler - Zalman's CNPS9700LED Is Ideal
  9. Looking At The Bottom Line - CPU, Cooler, Board And RAM
  10. Overclocking I - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.00 GHz
  11. Overclocking II - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.30 GHz
  12. Overclocking III - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.40 GHz
  13. Overclocking IV - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.50 GHz
  14. Overclocking V - Dual-Core E6750 At 3.60 GHz
  15. Overclocking I - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.00 GHz
  16. Overclocking II - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.20 GHz
  17. Overclocking III - Quad-Core Q6600 At 3.30 GHz
  18. Overview Of Core Voltages
  19. Overclocking Yields 25% Performance Increase
  20. Performance Winner - Q6600 Provides 5.3% More Performance
  21. Test Setup
  22. Software Configuration
  23. Benchmarks And Settings
  24. 3D Games - UT2004, Prey
  25. 3D Games - Quake 4, Warhammer
  26. 3D Games - Supreme Commander, Serious Sam 2
  27. 3D-Rendering - Cinema 4D, 3D-Studio Max
  28. Applications - AVG, WinRAR
  29. Applications - Photoshop, PDF
  30. Applications - Deep Fritz
  31. Audio Encoding - ITunes, Lame
  32. Synthetic - Sandra CPU
  33. Synthetic - Sandra Memory
  34. Synthetic - Sandra Multimedia
  35. Synthetic - PC-Mark
  36. Synthetic - 3D-Mark
  37. Video Encoding - Xvid, Pinnacle Studio
  38. Video Encoding - Premiere, Mainconcept
  39. Video Encoding - HDTV, DivX
  40. Video Encoding - CloneDVD
  41. Conclusions: Intel Quad-Core And MSI P35 Neo2 Get Our Nod
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