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I am really confused, duo or quad for gaming?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I came across this thread: http://www.overclock.net/benchmarkin...ts-thread.html

And did a huge "what the heck?".

I've been out of the loop in terms of computer hardware for a good 3-4 years so I am still learning a lot and getting really confused at times.

My choice of CPU for the PC I am building the beginning of next month was originally the Q6600, Q6700, or Q9450 (Q6600 being my overall choice for overclock potential).

But then I come across these chips, the E8400 and E6850.

How do dual cores out perform quads? I'm sure there is a really long and huge explanation for this, but I'm interested in knowing. And interested in knowing if maybe I should be looking the way of a duo instead of a quad.

I'll pretty much just be gaming on this PC and watch video's also. What is most beneficial for me if I'm looking for a high FPS in games?

Are the duo's as easy to overclock to higher speeds? (like the 3.8 and 4.0 in the chart there)
post #2 of 26
The general mentality around here is that quads are great for multitasking and CPU intensive tasks like video encoding. The e8x00 Wolfdales are great for gaming due to their super high clocks (~4ghz is not uncommon).

Edit: If I were building a rig right now, I'd go for a quad since I like to do some video encoding and they do work well for gaming. Plus, more and more apps are being designed to make use of the extra cores.
     
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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
I use my laptop for everything else. So no multitasking, just gaming pretty much.

It's not the money, though I would like to save some to get SLI cards, but more about performance in games.

I'm curious to know why I should go with the Q6600 if the E8400 is performing that well in Crysis, over the Q6600. I don't play Crysis, pretty much MMO's and other RPG's.

And why is it doing so well over the quad in that game? I feel like such a noob, but I have to understand or it will drive me nuts.
post #4 of 26
Short version:

The duo cores overclock easily. An E8400 should hit 4.0GHz without too many problems. The Quads don't overclock as well, but a good Q6700 should hit 3.6GHz (stay away from the Q6600 right now; the current bins don't overclock very well).

Most current games use one or two cores. Some use all cores they can find, but that's rare. Thus, a high-clocked dual core will outperform a quad. Personally, I think we're talking about small differences though. Either chip won't be much of a bottleneck (I know I'll be flamed for this, but I don't believe much in CPU bottlenecks.. it's totally overblown).

Given that the Quad just offers more functionality (multitasking, and better performance in applications that use the cores), I advice the Q6700 as the chip to get at this moment. If it's for gaming ONLY though, then the higher clock speed of the dual cores (after overclocking) and the lack of support for more than two cores in games make them the winner (but again, not by that much, since you'll be talking about a 10% difference in clock speed, assuming you get the Quad up to 3.6GHz and the Dually up to 4.0GHz).
    
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post #5 of 26
I personally would go Dual Core After reading this http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000942.html

By the time they do something impressive with Quads to boost an Apps performance...there will be way better chips out anyways.
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post #6 of 26
I have a e6750 @3.4 and a Q9450 @ 3.4 and have played COD4 with both of them. I can tell you I didnt notice any difference while playing at all. Someone posted an article here about duals vs. quads while gaming and the higher speed cpu's help at lower resolutions but as the resolutions went up the speeds and whether it was a dual or quad it didnt really matter unless the game actually can uses all 4 cores which at this point there isnt many games that do. Its more about the GPU than CPU when it comes to gaming for the large majority of games.
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabid_Rotti View Post
I personally would go Dual Core After reading this http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000942.html

By the time they do something impressive with Quads to boost an Apps performance...there will be way better chips out anyways.

That duo core is very interesting. Since I'm only going to be gaming on it (my laptop doesn't do to well with gaming anymore) it makes it more viable. The only improvement according to that link is in programs I don't ever use. (Excel? lol) but worse in games?

"Typical users will be better off with the fastest possible dual-core CPU they can afford."

What is the fastest? E8400?


Edit: Will Warhammer utilize all 4 cores? I'll be playing on a 24" LCD.
post #8 of 26
Everyone keeps talking about how the current batch of q6600's won't overclock well. What does this mean? That they can't hit 3.6, or that they can't OC at all? I'm buying a new system with a q6600 in a few days (trying to wait for HD 4850 benchmarks) and now im worried it can't overclock.
    
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post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
I keep hearing that too auditt241, which is why I had still considered the other 2 quads. The only local store that seems to have them is 100$ more than newegg/amazon.

But this duo seems like the answer.

Oh and I'll do SLI down the road (around Sept-Dec when I can get another 280). I don't think that matters though.

I found another link: http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=714&p=3
post #10 of 26
Chozart pretty much nailed it...

Dual cores produce less heat, clock higher (4.0GHz+ seems fairly common for Wolfdale CPUs), and will perform better in games due to their higher clock speed. Quads will obviously perform better with ANY app that supports the extra cores, but produce more heat (newer models don't run quite as hot...).

Since your rig will be used mainly for gaming, I would suggest going with a dual core (e8400 is looking like the one of the best dualies right now). Lap the CPU, toss on some high quality air cooling (or better yet, water), and shoot for a fatty OC (4.5GHz... or more!). This will give you the best gaming performance. Keep in mind that a the GPU dictates gaming performance way more than the CPU does these days...

What are you considering for your GPU(s)?
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