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Quad core or Core 2 Duo??

by joeblokey / August 12, 2007 7:15 PM PDT

Hia ppl

I'm not much of an expert on processors, or most hardware come to that, and I needed some advice as I am about to purchase a new PC.

There are two options that seem likely to me regarding processors:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0GHz 1333Mhz Socket LGA775, 4MB

They are priced almost exactly the same, and I have no idea which is better.

Considering that I am looking to play graphically-intensive games as well as do a bit of website-building and graphic design, which would you say matches my needs best?

Could someone please break down the pros and cons of both to me, I would be very grateful.



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While I'm for the Quad...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 12, 2007 11:07 PM PDT

Since you didn't note video editing the Core 2 Duo will do just fine.


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what's a "bit" of graphic design
by ramarc / August 12, 2007 11:43 PM PDT

adobe photoshop is already optimized for multi-threaded operation and can take full advantage of a quad core. if you regularly process large raw photos, you'll see a big speed boost from the q6600.

even if you don't do much professional editing now, i still recommend the quad core to better handle your future needs. since they're both the same price, the q6600's 4 CPUs will definitely offset the 25% speed advantage of the e6850's 2 CPUs.

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by ozos / August 12, 2007 11:47 PM PDT

I'd go with the quad core mostly because they cost the same, and it offers more performance, so why not get it? If it was hundreds of dollars more, then I would take the C2d because your needs won't max a quad core, however given that you've said they cost almost identical amounts, why not?

Additionally, I can think of at least one game that will benefit from the quad core (Supreme Commander) and I'm sure its not the only one to be made (however currently its the only one that really nets an advantage from having multiple cores).

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by joeblokey / August 13, 2007 2:05 AM PDT

thanks everyone, I think I've got an idea of what to go for now - probably the quad core, because newer games (such as call of duty 4) will probably take advantage of the extra cores.


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Will Windows XP even support a Quad CPU?
by fred dunn / August 14, 2007 6:15 AM PDT

I know that it will support dual hyperthreaded CPUs but I thought XP was limited to two physical cores.

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Sorry. Microsoft answered that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 14, 2007 6:27 AM PDT

They limit XP to dual CPUs. But they define a dual core as a single CPU unit. Clear as mud!

The quad core is a single CPU (socket) so even XP Home will do fine.


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Thoughts, opinions, FYI
by Dango517 / August 17, 2007 4:04 PM PDT

The question is Quad or dual?

How are these computers set up for cooling? I think unless something is done PCs as we know them will hit a wall. That wall is heat. No one has devised an effective cooling systems for PCs since the advent of hyper thread CPU. If the dual cores and hyper threads are a problem how do you think the quad cores will behave?

Some Gamers run water cooled systems that are most likely unsafe. Granted they are DC powered but AC does run too but not through them. A computer with water running through it is an appliance. The thought of leaks inside of a $5,000.00 gaming machine doesn't make since either. So the choice is yours. Will it run faster? Yes. Will it run better, probably not, at least not for long.

Releasing products before there ready might have to do for the big software developers but it won't float for the chip and computer manufacturers.

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intel's stock coolers are very effective
by ramarc / August 18, 2007 2:12 AM PDT

and heatpipe based coolers are even better. water cooling is only needed for serious overclocking. quad cores have been out for 10 months and they work just fine.

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(NT) We agree to disagree
by Dango517 / August 18, 2007 2:28 AM PDT
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Broad Statements
by Prometheua / August 20, 2007 8:05 PM PDT

Not trying to hijack the thread, but 'most' of what you wrote in reply to the OP was opinion not fact, especially the following paragraph;

"Some Gamers run water cooled systems that are most likely unsafe. Granted they are DC powered but AC does run too but not through them. A computer with water running through it is an appliance. The thought of leaks inside of a $5,000.00 gaming machine doesn't make since either. So the choice is yours. Will it run faster? Yes. Will it run better, probably not, at least not for long."

My stove is an appliance, and I'm pretty sure it has no water running through it....come to think of it....my Microwave is an appliance too.

I digress...my point is, many technologies benefit from combining engineering to solve problems. Take the car, for example; Imagine how far you'd get in a car with no water in it's radiator? Not very far. While there were and are cars that rely on air cooling, the reality is, they aren't as 'good' as many other cars that use water cooling. Last I checked, if you get water in your gas, water in your cylinders, or water on some of the electrical hardware on your car, it will cause problems if not outright failure of the car as a system.

Does this mean that we should not use water to cool the car's engine because if the water is not properly controlled it can cause damage or failure? No...we must find a way to PROPERLY contain and control the car's cooling system. Which....we have done.

The other day I was reading an article about a PC completely submerged in mineral oil, both for cooling and silent operation. If you are interested, here's a linky to the entire build of a submerged PC: http://www.flixxy.com/mineral-oil-cooled-computer.htm

Also, speed doesn't necessarily play the key role in how hot CPU's get. On a basic level it's a direct relationship with the size of the die and the amount of power used. That's why GPU's are so heat intensive. Compared to CPU's they are behemoth's that use LARGE amounts of power and thereby get REALLY....toasty, hehe. My stupid ATI X800-XT GPU used to get up to 98* C under heavy load in the Summer here in the Southern USA. It weathered that kind of heat and kept on trucking reliably.

As for the OP's question, I'd look for a good deal on one of the new ATI mid-range cards, get a good deal on an Nvidia 8600 GTS, or even check out a Gforce 7900 GTX...they still hold their own in many games. But....if you are wanting to play some of the new games coming out at reasonable or near-max specs....you are going to have to raise your budget of 200.00 closer to 400-500.00

They did a test at MaximumPC magazine between a budget PC and 2 other PCs, each costing about double the one a step down from it. Just for kicks they swapped out the high-end GPU (Nvidia 8800OCGTX or ultra, I can't remember which) with the budget PC's GPU and tested it AGAINST the mid-range PC with a Mid-range GPU. Guess what? The overall performance of the budget PC was on par or in rare cases...EXCEEDED the graphics performance of the Mid-range PC. They stated that this shows that the major performance gain with a GPU of a certain caliber is pretty much lain at the feet of the GPU....and not the rest of the PC.

Whatever you decide, just remember that you will not be able to experience DirectX-10 enabled goodies in any games with DX-10 content unless you have Windows Vista installed....I know....it's a friggen conspiracy! Grrrrr.

Anywho, I hope I didn't muddy the waters even more than they already were. Take care and good luck with whatever solution you choose!


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by Dango517 / August 21, 2007 6:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Broad Statements

When electricity is used in or near fluids special precautions are required to insure your and my safety. With appliances most products have a UL listing that indicates that an appliance is safe for use. These precautions appear to be missing on water cooled computers, especially after market systems that home users might install.

Would you use a hair dryer in the shower? I noticed no one put there hand in the aquarium after the oil was added but then again, that might have made the video better. Nothing better then a shocking ending to spice up a flick.

Automobile electrical systems are DC current not AC. DC burns at high voltage, AC electrocutes, in other words, stop your heart beat.

I'm running an eGeForce 8600 GT graphics card on my Vista equipped system and the temperatures it's running are just fine. GPUs aren't my concern, CPUs are. This computer runs best at between 36-45C, between 46-52C minor problems develop, over 53C major problems develop, temporary crashes, etc.. For best performance temperatures below 53C should be maintained on a continues basis.

Is your computer equipped with temperature monitoring software? I'd suggest SpeedFan. You might be surprised how many of your system problems are heat related.

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Stirring the aquarium....
by Prometheua / August 21, 2007 4:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Reply

Two points. One, when the guy in the mineral oil video submerges the PSU unit in the first test, he quite pointedly stuck his finger in the mineral oil beside the PSU and stirred it with no ill effects, because mineral oil is non-conductive, otherwise - things would have gone south rapidly when he added the mineral oil. (Large power station transformers use oil also)

Two, Intel recommends that owners of the new Quad-Core CPU's ensure the ambient air temperature INSIDE A PC CASE, be limited to 66C.... Now if the AIR inside a PC case is 66C....I daresay the CPU temp will be MUCH higher than that. Granted Intel is staying "Mum" about EXACTLY how hot the "limit" is for a given CPU, but that statement from them is a pretty telling one about those who say that the "limit" is near 50C. As with most things that have variables....'your mileage may vary'.

Good point about the UL testing and lack of an advisory. It seems to me that in a country where you can be sued because you sold someone coffee that was {gasp} actually hot, that some sort of warning advisory would have been issued before now so that a 10-yr old doesn't pour water directly into their PC case...Hehehehehe.


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by Dango517 / August 21, 2007 5:39 PM PDT

Please note that impurities (detergent, metal fragments) can make this practice dangerous:


This is recent, I would say that inordinate might be defined as excessive.


Intel is quit clear about a specified upper limit for there processors. I believe that 52C should be the upper limit to insure reliability and high quality of PC functionality. I believe anything less is poor quality. You and they may believe as you like.

This post has become a loop, we disagree, end of posts.

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Your looking at the wrong piece of hardware
by link48010 / August 23, 2007 4:54 PM PDT

If your looking for graphic-intensive machine, look for Video cards rather than Processors (processor is important, but a duo core is pretty much all you should need.) ATI is my graphics brand of choice, although for high preformance gaming, an Nvidia (make sure it works with 3D acceleration and such before getting it) would do you best. Not many games can multithread to a quad core so it's kind of like worthless amounts of power.

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Quad core or Core 2 Duo??
by dexterdavid / April 20, 2010 10:00 PM PDT

Well for it be definitely be the Quad core, and the reason for that is quad core divide your processor into 4 CPUs while the Core 2 duo even powerful but not enough because it divides it's CPU into 2. That's why the Quad core better

Best Regards,
Graphic Designer

"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job,
wait until you hire an amateur."

Message was edited by: admin to edit out personal information. Note to user, posting such information in a public forum is not recommended unless you want the whole world to see it.

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Locking for spam attractions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2010 10:49 PM PDT

As the spammers have locked on. This thread is now closed.

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