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View Full Version : How much would a Quad Core CPU help?


HydrogenHuman
05-16-2011, 02:25 PM
I'm thinking of upgrading my Intel E6600 Dual Core processor to a Q6600 Quad core. It's an older model (LGA775) of the Intel quad core, but I wanted to know if anyone thinks my performance would increase decently if I bought it.

My specs are:
E6600 2.4 GHz
4 Gigs DDR2 800Mhz Ram
Nvidia GTX 260 OC Edition

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:31 PM
As an owner of a q6600 since 2007 I say its an awesome processor, however I hope you are getting it for super cheap. You can buy some nice modern amd quad cores compared to the expensive i5/i7 intel series.

As of right now I'm playing game just fine with my q6600, but it is starting to show its age.

my rig:

q6600 2.4ghz oc'ed @ 2.8ghz
6gb ddr2 pc6400
1tb HDD Segagate xt
Geforce gtx 560ti
Geforce gtx 460 (my physics card)

Runs games pretty good at 1920x1080

If you have those nice 27" monitors or kickass IPS monitors with high resolution then you will definitely need a better more modern processor.

Taineract
05-16-2011, 02:32 PM
For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed (quad cores are generally clocked lower than dual cores because of heat and power consumption).

95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores. Only a handful even fully utilize the 2nd core on a dual core.

Aside from a number of random games that you could count on one hand (Bad Company 2, GTAIV), the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2.

Strictly for gaming, the best way to go is to get a top of the line dual core. Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores. In case you were wondering, I game on a dual-quad (octo) core that I monitor the performance of very closely.

HydrogenHuman
05-16-2011, 02:33 PM
What are the settings for your game though? I don't need to play the game on Super Ultra Mega High settings, but I do like to play most games on High.

zerorate
05-16-2011, 02:34 PM
For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed (quad cores are generally clocked lower than dual cores because of heat and power consumption).

95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores. Only a handful even fully utilize the 2nd core on a dual core.

Aside from a number of random games that you could count on one hand, the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2.

Strictly for gaming, the best way to go is to get a top of the line dual core. Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores.

Worst advice ever.

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:34 PM
Actually Taineract most modern games are now using 4 core processors

Most of the older games that only use 1 core are the ones giving problems and there are fixes to get around those issues.

So I totally recommend a 4 core proc, just maybe not something so old

Respiratoryguy
05-16-2011, 02:34 PM
The new sandy bridge is decently priced and runs incredibly well. They overclock insanely good as well. Then again you would need new memory and motherboard as well to go that route.

JamieKirby1981
05-16-2011, 02:36 PM
I have learnt from experience that you get what you pay for.

If you pay for something cheap, you get a cheap piece of crap, i have always used intel since my nightmare experience with AMD a few years ago.

But i am sure there are some people that have had trouble with intel, but none with amd.

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:37 PM
I have it all maxed out so no issues there

Again your experience will depend on a lot on your graphics card, what resolution you want to play it.

As far as nvidia cards go the game seems to play nice on it, I haven't heard anything about ati cards though

HydrogenHuman
05-16-2011, 02:37 PM
My only concern is that some games are as well optimized as other games. If Witcher 2 is well optimized like they claim, then I'll be fine.

I would love to get the new sandy bridge processors because they own, but I simply don't have the money for it. I bought a Laptop recently that could probably play Witcher 2 lol.

At most I'll be willing to spend $200

Also I play at 1920*1080

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:39 PM
By no means am i saying that i5 isn't worth it, but it is pricey when you add ram, mobo and proc

the i5-2500k (which I recommend) is going for $199.99, a decent mobo will cost $129.99, and some decent brand ram (corsair, patriot, etc) will cost $60-75 for 8gb

HydrogenHuman
05-16-2011, 02:40 PM
I'll just see how it will play. I can play Dragon Age 2 on High, and that has terrible optimization. The only game I've had some trouble with is Shogun 2, and that was with settings on Ultra I think.

Taineract
05-16-2011, 02:40 PM
Worst advice ever.

care to back up that statement?

Actually Taineract most modern games are now using 4 core processors

Most of the older games that only use 1 core are the ones giving problems and there are fixes to get around those issues.

So I totally recommend a 4 core proc, just maybe not something so old

Only partially true. True, that more games are "utilizing" 4 cores, but if you run any kind of tests or do any research, it will show the vast majority of these games only very idly using 1-10% of the last 2 or 3 cores. There is almost no performance increase over a similarly clocked dual core.

Of course, it could be wise to invest in a quad core anyways, and hope that more developers fully utilize all cores in their games in the near future, but even for the games that are coming out RIGHT NOW, quad cores are somewhat a waste of money when you could be getting the same or better performance for a much cheaper dual core (strictly from a gaming perspective). Sure, if you have the money to burn why not get a quad core. Just saying you're not going to be seeing any kind of performance increase in the vast majority of games.

One such example:
http://www.overclock.net/pc-games/659536-contagion-review-dual-core-vs-quad.html
Link is over a year old, but really not much has changed since then.

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:42 PM
@hydrogen if you can play da2 just fine, then you can play witcher 2 with what you have

Save your money up

so i'm curious what gfx card are you rocking.

HydrogenHuman
05-16-2011, 02:46 PM
It's a Gigabyte GTX260 Overlocked edition. It's a fantastic card for me. Runs cooler than my 8800GTS, and has more ram (1 Gig I believe). I'm more than likely not going to do any further video card upgrades to my computer because I know it will bottleneck eventually.

I'm actually going to be more curious to see if Witcher 2 will play on my new laptop. It may very well play at medium/high settings with a decent framerate if I'm lucky.

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:49 PM
oh thats a good version to have

I had the evga overclocked edition

I've been using my q6600 since 2007 so I've had run with a

8800gts
gtx260
gtx460
gtx560ti

I bough that proc and graphics card for crysis 1 (2007) holy ♥♥♥♥ that was so long time ago

I'm starting to feel old.

AmuroRX
05-16-2011, 02:51 PM
That card is starting to get old though

I really recommend upgrading it soon, even with your current cpu.

zerorate
05-16-2011, 02:52 PM
care to back up that statement?

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=289&i=47.48.49.50.51.52.60.61.62.129

Taineract
05-16-2011, 02:57 PM
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=289&i=47.48.49.50.51.52.60.61.62.129

What a silly example. That particular quad core is clocked higher than the dual core w/ more L2 and L3. If you were comparing 2 dual cores of course you would get similar results.

Mad Dog
05-16-2011, 02:57 PM
For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed (quad cores are generally clocked lower than dual cores because of heat and power consumption).

95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores. Only a handful even fully utilize the 2nd core on a dual core.

Aside from a number of random games that you could count on one hand, the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2.

Strictly for gaming, the best way to go is to get a top of the line dual core. Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores. In case you were wondering, I game on a quad core that I monitor the performance of very closely.

Not to offend you but thats alot of flaws at once.

1) "95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores"
Care to use modern games in the statistics? A vast majority of the modern games use all 4 cores of the CPU.

2&3)"For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed"

Not only do you get a huge performance increase over Dual Cores in modern games, some games like Crysis 2 will simply annihilate Dual Cores on the higher settings.

A performance decrease? Name me one modern game, which suffers from performance loss on a Quad Core and back up your statement as to why such a loss should occur.

Also there is no such a thing as an individual clock speed when it comes to Processors. All of the cores are clocked at the same exact speed.

4) "the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2"

And every DX11 based/modern game out there.

5) "Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores."

How come? Better performance in games and alot faster video rendering etc. is not worth the extra money? Guess I must have ripped myself off hard when I built my i7 rig then.

gentlefury
05-16-2011, 03:01 PM
For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed (quad cores are generally clocked lower than dual cores because of heat and power consumption).

95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores. Only a handful even fully utilize the 2nd core on a dual core.

Aside from a number of random games that you could count on one hand (Bad Company 2, GTAIV), the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2.

Strictly for gaming, the best way to go is to get a top of the line dual core. Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores. In case you were wondering, I game on a quad core that I monitor the performance of very closely.

You should let my 8-core Xeon box know that...because it screams like a banshee!

Taineract
05-16-2011, 03:13 PM
Not to offend you but thats alot of flaws at once.

1) "95% of games just don't use more than 2 cores"
Care to use modern games in the statistics? A vast majority of the modern games use all 4 cores of the CPU.

2&3)"For the vast majority of games and situations, you won't get any performance increase from upgrading to a quad core. In fact, in many cases, your performance will actually suffer, depending on each individual core's clock speed"

Not only do you get a huge performance increase over Dual Cores in modern games, some games like Crysis 2 will simply annihilate Dual Cores on the higher settings.

A performance decrease? Name me one modern game, which suffers from performance loss on a Quad Core and back up your statement as to why such a loss should occur.

Also there is no such a thing as an individual clock speed when it comes to Processors. All of the cores are clocked at the same exact speed.

4) "the only games that you will see any kind of performance increase out of from getting a quad core would be CPU heavy RTSs like Starcraft or Supreme Commander 1 & 2"

And every DX11 based/modern game out there.

5) "Generally speaking, your money would be wasted on anything more than 2 cores."

How come? Better performance in games and alot faster video rendering etc. is not worth the extra money? Guess I must have ripped myself off hard when I built my i7 rig then.

Not offended, just disagree :)

I think you're misunderstanding my point, and perhaps wrong in a few cases :p

A quad core similarly priced to a dual core is generally going to have a lower clock speed than the dual core. In layman's terms, this is because a similar quality quad core processor has to be clocked lower to compensate for the increased heat and power generated by the extra 2 cores. Of course if you have a 3ghz dual core and a 3ghz quad core, there won't be a performance decrease. The quad core will, however, be significantly costlier than the dual core.

As for a "vast majority of modern games us(ing) 4 cores," its simply just not true. Even in the case where they do technically support all 4 or more cores, its basically the same case as Crysis. They made a huge deal about it using multiple cores - and technically it does "use" them... but with literally a 0 to 1% performance increase. Google around a bit. You'll see very piddly increases going from a similarly specced dual core to quad core. Even with DX11 rendering.

Its a very disappointing upgrade for most games. That money would be better spent on a better GPU or SSD.

You should let my 8-core Xeon box know that...because it screams like a banshee!

I'm currently typing from an 8 core Xeon machine that I game on. Certainly it does scream when I'm encoding huge chunks video. Its awesome for gaming too, no doubt. Just not that much more awesome than what I could have got for a fraction of the price with a similarly specced dual core (if all I was worried about was strictly gaming).


Now all this could be moot, because Witcher 2 could use multiple cores fantastically, like Bad Company 2 or Starcraft. We just don't know yet.

Mad Dog
05-16-2011, 03:29 PM
Not offended, just disagree :)

I think you're misunderstanding my point, and perhaps wrong in a few cases :p

A quad core similarly priced to a dual core is generally going to have a lower clock speed than the dual core. In layman's terms, this is because a similar quality quad core processor has to be clocked lower to compensate for the increased heat and power generated by the extra 2 cores. Of course if you have a 3ghz dual core and a 3ghz quad core, there won't be a performance decrease. The quad core will, however, be significantly costlier than the dual core.

As for a "vast majority of modern games us(ing) 4 cores," its simply just not true. Even in the case where they do technically support all 4 or more cores, its basically the same case as Crysis. They made a huge deal about it using multiple cores - and technically it does "use" them... but with literally a 0 to 1% performance increase. Google around a bit. You'll see very piddly increases going from a similarly specced dual core to quad core. Even with DX11 rendering.

Its a very disappointing upgrade for most games. That money would be better spent on a better GPU or SSD.



I'm currently typing from an 8 core Xeon machine that I game on. Certainly it does scream when I'm encoding huge chunks video. Its awesome for gaming too, no doubt. Just not that much more awesome than what I could have got for a fraction of the price with a similarly specced dual core (if all I was worried about was strictly gaming).


Now all this could be moot, because Witcher 2 could use multiple cores fantastically, like Bad Company 2 or Starcraft. We just don't know yet.
Im a bit lazy so I wont pick out the phrases again, I hope I still come across understandable :)

1) Of course with more power comes more energy consumption and more heat, yet that power is to be reckoned and well worth it(my 4GhZ i7 stays under 60C on a 8 hour prime run so the difference isnt that significant). The clockspeed itself is not really a drawback. If you feel like you need more, you simply give it a little overclock.

2) Price is unarguably better when it comes to Dual Cores, as they are older. Price/Performance goes to the Quad cores(specifically the i7 series), as they are great overclockers and reach a much higher level of performance than a Dual Core on equal clocks.

3) So far I havent played many games, which fail to support a Quad Core and are based on DirectX11. Care to name me some?

aznguyen316
05-16-2011, 03:40 PM
The Witcher 2 makes use of all your cores and multithreading. That's what the FAQ stated. 4 cores, 8 cores whatever! So it will help, just unsure how much.

Cerabret100
05-16-2011, 03:49 PM
I'm sure quad cores will help improve performance.

The problem is the cost per unit of gain probably dimishes quite a bit.

I'd say it's a bit like 4GB vs 8GB of ram. yes technically the 8 gives better performance, but in practice it's probably not worth the extra cost in terms of gaming since most games work just fine with good quality 4GB ram.

Taineract
05-16-2011, 03:51 PM
Im a bit lazy so I wont pick out the phrases again, I hope I still come across understandable :)

1) Of course with more power comes more energy consumption and more heat, yet that power is to be reckoned and well worth it(my 4GhZ i7 stays under 60C on a 8 hour prime run so the difference isnt that significant). The clockspeed itself is not really a drawback. If you feel like you need more, you simply give it a little overclock.

2) Price is unarguably better when it comes to Dual Cores, as they are older. Price/Performance goes to the Quad cores(specifically the i7 series), as they are great overclockers and reach a much higher level of performance than a Dual Core on equal clocks.

3) So far I havent played many games, which fail to support a Quad Core and are based on DirectX11. Care to name me some?

1) Whether its worth it or not is subjective, and I guess we just disagree there. As far as overclocking, you could make the same argument for dual cores.

2) You can't really classify dual cores as "old" as they are still making them and still making new ones. Rest of your statement is mostly true, but your use of "much higher" is arguable :p

3) I never said DX11 games "fail" to support quad core. I just stated that this "support" is questionable at best for the majority of them that do. Examples (I really don't feel like going back and finding specific benchmarks for each one tbh):
Metro 2033 (http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/metro_2033_performance_guide,6.html)
Dragon Age 2
Aliens vs Predator
Homefront
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Call of Pripyat
Mafia 2 (not dx11, but still... this is a game that actually recommends a quad core) (http://www.overclock.net/pc-games/797635-mafia-ii-cpu-benchmark-single-vs.html)

Hell, there's not even very many games that use DX11. Even the majority of the ones that do don't use multiple cores very well. The only ones that do well with quad+ cores of the top of my head are:
Bad Company 2
Medal of Honor
Lost Planet 2
Civ V

The Comfy Chair
05-16-2011, 04:06 PM
If you want to play real PC games at any decent rate beyond this year, get a quad. Simple as that.

You'd have to be addled to buy a dual core in the age of 60 quads.

gentlefury
05-16-2011, 04:09 PM
1) Whether its worth it or not is subjective, and I guess we just disagree there. As far as overclocking, you could make the same argument for dual cores.

2) You can't really classify dual cores as "old" as they are still making them and still making new ones. Rest of your statement is mostly true, but your use of "much higher" is arguable :p

3) I never said DX11 games "fail" to support quad core. I just stated that this "support" is questionable at best for the majority of them that do. Examples (I really don't feel like going back and finding specific benchmarks for each one tbh):
Metro 2033 (http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/metro_2033_performance_guide,6.html)
Dragon Age 2
Aliens vs Predator
Homefront
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. : Call of Pripyat
Mafia 2 (not dx11, but still... this is a game that actually recommends a quad core) (http://www.overclock.net/pc-games/797635-mafia-ii-cpu-benchmark-single-vs.html)

Hell, there's not even very many games that use DX11. Even the majority of the ones that do don't use multiple cores very well. The only ones that do well with quad+ cores of the top of my head are:
Bad Company 2
Medal of Honor
Lost Planet 2
Civ V

Well there are phones with dual cores now, so not a great argument.

Sargoth
05-16-2011, 04:14 PM
Depends really on what you're gonna use your system for. I need 8 cores with 8 gig of ram, to do Photoshop, 3D max, sound creation and stuff like that (usually at the same time too) without a hitch and also be able to run the latest games for testing. And I'm doing all that on a laptop. lulz

cybertom69
05-16-2011, 04:20 PM
I would recommend buying a SSD (or three for a RAID 0 like myself) - it really speeds things up, I wouldn't go back to a normal hard drive anymore.

Mad Dog
05-16-2011, 04:25 PM
I would recommend buying a SSD (or three for a RAID 0 like myself) - it really speeds things up, I wouldn't go back to a normal hard drive anymore.

SSDs only speed up the loading time when it comes to games. 3 in RAID 0 are just overkill btw.

gentlefury
05-16-2011, 05:03 PM
SSDs only speed up the loading time when it comes to games. 3 in RAID 0 are just overkill btw.

Not if you edit feature films at 4K resolution!!

I work on visual fx for feature films at 2k and my SSD can run 2k film frames in real time.

Foulplay
05-16-2011, 05:50 PM
Other than the hugely impressive Windows performance increase, in my personal experience SSD's for gaming only offer a noticeable difference for games with frequent/long loading times, or MMO's when you go into crowded areas. I deleted SC2 before I got my SSD so I cant talk for RTS games, but I never had any performance issues with that game anyway.

Rift load times got cut by 50% which was very nice, for the 5 seconds it saved me whilst I waited for my character to enter the world (err...yipee?). And WoW is a bit more impressive when I load up the game next to the auction house in Stormwind and have zero lag and instant loading of the 100 or so people around me :-)

Gameplay performance remains unaffected for the most part, and not many of us edit feature films :p

I will never ever go back to a normal HDD for Windows though.

gentlefury
05-16-2011, 06:00 PM
Other than the hugely impressive Windows performance increase, in my personal experience SSD's for gaming only offer a noticeable difference for games with frequent/long loading times, or MMO's when you go into crowded areas. I deleted SC2 before I got my SSD so I cant talk for RTS games, but I never had any performance issues with that game anyway.

Rift load times got cut by 50% which was very nice, for the 5 seconds it saved me whilst I waited for my character to enter the world (err...yipee?). And WoW is a bit more impressive when I load up the game next to the auction house in Stormwind and have zero lag and instant loading of the 100 or so people around me :-)

Gameplay performance remains unaffected for the most part, and not many of us edit feature films :p

I will never ever go back to a normal HDD for Windows though.

I agree on the added performance of SSD...my comp is great as a result....but I don't see a need to spend $1500 on 3 of them when the result will be negligible at best.

Miken420
05-17-2011, 12:15 AM
AMD Quadcores are fine. They're extremely overclockable just like Intel CPUs and are cheaper.

Yes Intel is faster pound for pound. But if you want a budget quadcore that you can overclock 700Mhz-1Ghz using a simple $25-30 CPU cooler and a decent case ON THE CHEAP, then nothing compares to AMD.

My recommendation for a gamer on a budget is a Phenom II X4 955 or 965 Black Edition.

It has an unlocked multiplier and you can reach 3.8-4Ghz stable with it easily by upping the multiplier and setting the voltage anywhere from 1.45v-1.48v with a Hyper 212+ CPU cooler.

If you have a bit more money to throw around, the i5 750 on the P55 chipset is a pretty nice sweet spot for Intel CPUs, especially since the sandy bridge cpus are out now. Once again, an extremely overclockable CPU.

Personally I'm running a Phenom II X4 945 C2 that I got for super cheap back in Feb 2010. Even though it's multiplier is locked, and it's 125w TDP instead of 95w; I still managed to get it up to 3.7Ghz stable on a humble 790GX chipset (way cheaper than the 790FX was at the time). I paired it up with dual Radeon HD 5770s in Crossfire (The first one was $150 USD, and the second one I was able to pick up later for $110 USD) and my performance even with AA going in any game I've played to this point has been nothing short of phenomenal. (I was able to play Metro33 with solid maximum framerate while emulating Physx with my CPU *no nvidia card*)

It's all about what kind of deal you can get. Unless you're rich. If you're rich then just throw money at newegg until you rule the world of computing. Sandybridge i7 @4.5Ghz with Tri-SLi GTX 580s would be a start.

Of course you could also wait until June/July for AMD's Bulldozer CPUs. It's their first full architecture revision in over a decade, and I have a feeling Intel won't be the hands down king of CPU's for much longer. Bulldozers after all, can dedicate multiple cores to a single thread. There are no walls on the cores and AMD is poised to finally deliver a blow to Intel's famed Hyper-threading technology.

I guess we'll find out if it's all true in the coming months.

cybertom69
05-17-2011, 01:05 AM
I agree on the added performance of SSD...my comp is great as a result....but I don't see a need to spend $1500 on 3 of them when the result will be negligible at best.

I don't know where you buy your hardware, but my 3 OCZ Vertex 2 60 gig drives cost me around 330.- The same amount of money I'd have had to pay for a single 180 gig SSD, but with triple read/write speed.

Yes, for games it "only" speeds up start up and loading times, which is a huge gain in my opinion.

Miken420
05-17-2011, 01:47 AM
Everyone should have at least one SSD for Windows.

Even my poor ♥♥♥ was able to pick up a 30gb Kingston SSD.