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MaysitoJr
08-04-08, 12:08 PM
hello guys, i don't post much but i visit this forum everyday and at all times (kind of lurking hehe) and i believe you are the best to help me.

Currently i have an intel E4300 @3Ghz, 4Gb ram and a visiontek 4870. I game @1680x1050 (22'' LCD), and somehow i feel my processor is bottlenecking my 4870. I have the chance to upgrade to an Intel Q6600 (the only option for me because of my mobo), but i'm not sure if the performance improvement will be noticeable (considering also that i would OC the Q6600 to 3Ghz or 3.2Ghz).

BTW I play all kinds of game but mainly LOTRO, Crysis and UE3 based games.

Thanks in advance, i'd really appreciate your help.

Revs
08-04-08, 12:14 PM
Just get a higher clocking Duo, like the E8400. I don't think a quad would help much in this respect.

Revs
08-04-08, 12:19 PM
FEAR min FPS went from 85 to 104 after installing my Quad. :)

FEAR is one of the most optimised games for quads and/or SLI, along with Lost Planet and maybe a couple of others. You're right that the L2 cache would have helped, though. That's one of the reasons I suggested the E8400 :).

nekrosoft13
08-04-08, 12:22 PM
Unreal Engine 3 loves quad.

I had highly OC'ed E6600 before every single UE3 game used to stutter(CPU usage was at 100%). Once i moved to Q6600 all stutters went away and CPU stays at 40-50%

Bman212121
08-04-08, 12:34 PM
^^

Very good point. Just getting either a dual or quad with higher cache will also make a difference. In another thread we were discussing the benefits of dual versus quad. I was going to do some more testing to see if I could find examples, but from WiC even a game I thought was able to render across multiple cores a higher clocked dual would likely be the better choice.

http://nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=117227

Bman212121
08-04-08, 12:38 PM
Unreal Engine 3 loves quad.

I had highly OC'ed E6600 before every single UE3 game used to stutter(CPU usage was at 100%). Once i moved to Q6600 all stutters went away and CPU stays at 40-50%

That doesn't make any sense Nekro. 50% of a q6600 stock is an E6600 stock. The raw cpu power is exactly the same if you were only using half of the processor. The only thing I could think of is that it would be able to access more cache if it were balancing properly across all 4 cores.

Revs
08-04-08, 12:59 PM
What he means is; Duo at 100% = Quad at 50% (of course with the same clock speed and cache). UT is another one that likes quad. But for me, the (very few) games that work better with quads don't justify the purchase. Also, don't forget a game that isn't optimised for a quad will run faster on E8400 with 6mb L2 cache than a (equally clocked) E6600 with 8mb L2 cache. That, along with the fact that Duo's will clock much higher and produce less heat makes it the winner in my eyes.

MaysitoJr
08-04-08, 01:04 PM
I didn't expect so many replies so quick, thank you all so much for your answers.

At some point i also considered getting an Intel E8400 and OC it to 4Ghz or so, but unfortunately my mainboard does not support it (965 chipset), and personally i think it would be a waste of money getting a new mainboard when the new bloomfields are not so far to be launched.

The only 2 choices i had then was keeping my E4300 or getting a Q6600 only if it was worth.

I guess the Q6600 it is then, do you guys think a Tuniq Tower HSF will be enough to cool it?

Bman212121
08-04-08, 01:05 PM
How does it not make sense? with a dual core cpu if your usage is maxed on both cores and add to the fact that one of those cores are handling your OS in the background then I can certainly see how it would stutter as you are exceeding the CPUs limitations at times.

With a Quad on the other hand your CPU is never stressed as much since you have the load spread accross all 4 cores with plenty of room to spare for any OS overhead.

I know that in ME the Quad made a huge difference, especially in the Citadel. No more hitching and much better Min FPS.

The only problem is that background processes are irrelevant. In both cases there is background stuff going on, but on a slower clocked quad it only uses half of the processor, but on a higher clocked dual it uses all of it. Like Revs said 100% dual -> 50% quad. A Q6600 is 2 E6600's stuck together so it should be pretty comparable at the same speed. 100% of a faster clocked dual should be more than 50% utilization of the quad at a slower speed. That is the part that doesn't add up.

Revs
08-04-08, 01:08 PM
The only 2 choices i had then was keeping my E4300 or getting a Q6600 only if it was worth.

In that case, go for it :thumbsup:

nekrosoft13
08-04-08, 01:09 PM
i got two quad system in my house. mostly because of video encoding/transcoding

Revs
08-04-08, 01:15 PM
Almost forgot. Make sure you get the G0 version :)

Bman212121
08-04-08, 01:19 PM
Sorry but I have to disagree with this because once both Cores are stressed at 100% is has nothing more to give thus the occasional hitching.

4 cores on the other hand has more head room for this type of situation.

I guess to each his own, I have seen first hand what the Quad does for Mass Effect so I really dont need any other evidence.

You aren't following what I'm saying. I think I need to explain it backwards. If you are playing a game on a quad core processor and it has a bunch of stuff running in the background and still only using between 40 - 50%, it should use between 80 - 100% on the dual core. If the quad core were using 60% of the processor then yes it would cause issues because that would be 120% of the dual core. However the dual core is running faster than the quad, so it should have even more headroom to make up for the occasional spike.

Revs
08-04-08, 01:20 PM
Even if a game only uses one core, if that one core is clocked higher it'll make a difference. I've experimented with this and in most situations, games run faster at 4.05Ghz as opposed to 3.6Ghz. I am using SLI though, which does gain from high clocks, so maybe this isn't a fair example to a non-SLI user :).

Bman212121
08-04-08, 01:28 PM
Even if a game only uses one core, if that one core is clocked higher it'll make a difference. I've experimented with this and in most situations, games run faster at 4.05Ghz as opposed to 3.6Ghz. I am using SLI though, which does gain from high clocks, so maybe this isn't a fair example to a non-SLI user :).

I had a whole post typed out, but I lost it. Anyway, do you have World in Conflict? I'd love for you to test something.

Revs
08-04-08, 01:32 PM
I had a whole post typed out, but I lost it. Anyway, do you have World in Conflict? I'd love for you to test something.

Afraid not. WiC isn't my bag :p.

BrianG
08-04-08, 01:43 PM
If you plan, like I do, to hang on to your P965 mobo and memory config for a bit longer, the Q6600 is a great choice. The dual core proponents that have not used a Quad just don't get how smooth everything is and those that have tried the quad but say the dual is enough discount or ignore the improvement in overall performance and consistency. I don't bother closing outlook or IE when gaming. I never notice a single system stutter, especially with 4gB for memory along for the ride. I went from an E6600 to a Q6600 right after the major price cut last year. I have not once thought about getting a different CPU allowing me to spend that money on storage and graphics. Despite the "old" mobo chipset, this system tears it up.

As for cooling, the Tuniq Tower is a great choice. I personally went with the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with an S-Flex D fan when I decided to replace the Asus Silent Square, which BTW was quite good, just not as quiet.

Revs
08-04-08, 01:46 PM
MaysitoJr, what's your current FSB speed?

MaysitoJr
08-04-08, 01:47 PM
Thanks so much again for the feedback :)

I honestly thought all new Q6600's were G0, but if not, is there a way to find out what stepping it is by looking at the serial code in the box or something?

I live in Peru and the local stores in my city don't offer much variety of products (most of the things i own were imported), and i was very lucky to find a store with Q6600 in stock :p, so i believe i'm going to have to take the risk :(.

I'll pick the Q6600 later today and i'll let you guys know what stepping i got :cool:

EDIT: Revs, i currently have the bus at 333 (333x9)

Revs
08-04-08, 01:57 PM
The reason I ask is, if you can up your FSB to, say, over 400Mhz you may not need to upgrade. It can make a heck of a difference.

eg, 450 x 8 (3.6Ghz) is faster for gaming than 400 x 9 (3.6Ghz)

Revs
08-04-08, 01:59 PM
I honestly thought all new Q6600's were G0, but if not, is there a way to find out what stepping it is by looking at the serial code in the box or something?

There is still the odd one about in shops. The G0 will say SLACR on the box.

http://processorfinder.intel.com/Details.aspx?sSpec=SLACR

MaysitoJr
08-04-08, 07:21 PM
I just came back from the store, and they don't have Q6600's anymore :(, though they offered me to get me one in 3 days. I guess i'm gonna have to wait, and i hate waiting :p.... :(

MaysitoJr
08-04-08, 07:27 PM
Why don't you just have a buddy in the US order it from NewEgg or someplace here and ship it to you?

For the following reasons:

1. I dont have a buddy in the US :p

2. Importing computer parts from the US is really expensive in Peru (20% of the price of the product in taxes plus $25-$75 for shipping). Sometimes it's better if the product can be found in a local distributor.

BrianG
08-05-08, 07:28 AM
No I see exactly what you are saying and I agree to a certain point. However in Mass Effect my Core 2 duo was maxed out on both cores quite often while in the Citadel and on this Quad I have seen all 4 cores spike over 60 percent while in the citadel, this is probably why my min FPS are up in this area along with the stuttering being fixed.

At any rate once you peg both cores out to 100 percent I do not believe that more speed will take the place of 2 additional cores that could be used.

Moreover, even if the game only uses 50-60% of a dual core, there are times when the OS and background applications burst, even while gaming, causing the hitches. That is gone with the Quad. The more headroom the better. Plus, you don't have to worry about how many processes are open. You can run system backups in the background, run Quake3 and UT2K4 dedicated servers at LAN parties while playing other games, etc.

I recommend Quad all the way now, especially with a mild OC, as you are ultimately better positioned for future apps. I don't see a need to replace this Q6600 for another year. It slaps around Vista, keeps the 4870 busy and delivers a balanced overall experience. It really is like going from 1GB to 2GB in XP and 2GB to 4GB in Vista.

Tr1cK
08-05-08, 07:33 AM
Moreover, even if the game only uses 50-60% of a dual core, there are times when the OS and background applications burst, even while gaming, causing the hitches. That is gone with the Quad. The more headroom the better. Plus, you don't have to worry about how many processes are open. You can run system backups in the background, run Quake3 and UT2K4 dedicated servers at LAN parties while playing other games, etc.

I recommend Quad all the way now, especially with a mild OC, as you are ultimately better positioned for future apps. I don't see a need to replace this Q6600 for another year. It slaps around Vista, keeps the 4870 busy and delivers a balanced overall experience. It really is like going from 1GB to 2GB in XP and 2GB to 4GB in Vista.

I seen the same type of improvement going from 1gb to 2gb in XP on single core as I did on a friends system going from single core to dual core while remaining at 1gb in XP.

If I were to buy a new chip, I'd probably go towards a highly clocked e8500 until the new quads drop in price. I just couldn't see going for the Q6600 over it. My luck would be that the Q6600 wouldn't clock over 3ghz and wouldn't net me much improvement over what I have now, e4300 @ 3ghz.