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First post, by mr_bigmouth_502

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Right now I'm using a Pentium Dual Core E6300 overclocked to 3.98GHz, and I've been thinking a lot about throwing a better CPU in this thing, since the CPU I have almost suits my needs, and I don't quite want to shell out for a whole new platform just yet. I've heard tons of great things about the Core 2 Qud Q6600, though the one thing I've noticed about it is its lack of SSE4. SSE4 is offered in some of the other Core 2 processors, but the only reasonably priced ones tend to be dual cores.

Now, if I wanted to increase my performance in PCSX2 (a Playstation 2 emulator) and Dolphin (a Gamecube/Wii emulator), what would win out; having more cores, or having SSE4? I'd suspect having more cores, but I don't 100% know for sure.

I know I really should upgrade to a newer CPU platform some time if I'm serious about using CPU-intensive emulators, but what I currently have almost meets all of my other requirements, and simply picking up a used LGA775 CPU would be much cheaper for me than investing in a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
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Reply 1 of 21, by Mau1wurf1977

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SSD or upgrading the whole lot to S1150.

I don't think going from DC to QC on your system is going to do much...

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Reply 2 of 21, by Old Thrashbarg

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The problem with a CPU upgrade is that you have a P965 board (at least according to your sig). It only really supports the 1066FSB, whereas most of the newer dual and quad core chips use 1333FSB. Now, it may be able to run a 1333FSB chip at stock speed, but there wouldn't be much headroom for overclocking.

And it appears that neither PCSX2 or Dolphin support SSE4 or quad cores, so you wouldn't really gain anything regardless.

I'm inclined to go with Mau1wurf, stick in an SSD and call it a day.

Reply 3 of 21, by mr_bigmouth_502

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The thing is, I can get a newer LGA775 CPU for $50, while a new motherboard, CPU, and ram would cost at least $250, or $350 once you factor in a copy of Windows 7 since I doubt that the newer boards support XP.

Also, the GSDX graphics plugin for PCSX2 supports SSE4, and the MTVU speedhack can take advantage of 3 cores. Going with a quad core would give me the extra core I need to make the most of the speedhack, along with another core for running background tasks or whatever.

As for Dolphin, there are builds that support SSE4.1. Doesn't seem to have any quad-core support however, except for the openMP texture decoder.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 4 of 21, by F2bnp

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Don't. If PCSX2 and Dolphin are the only two things you want to increase your speed, you'd probably be better off upgrading your GPU. What GPU do you have anyway?
If you do manage to find a cheap Q6600, by all means get it, although you'd have to really push the clock high, by default it is clocked at 2.4GHz, although getting it at 3GHz is practically just one click away. Make sure you have a good CPU cooler, which I presume you have, otherwise I'm afraid about your CPU as it is right now, at 4GHz 😜.

Despite your chipset, your motherboard seems to support the last C2Q with 1333MHz FSB. I absolutely adore these CPUs. They are a bit faster per clock, have more cache and higher FSB. The Q9400 and Q9500 are good deals, although Q9450 and Q9550 are the same thing with twice the amount of cache, 12MB of L2 cache!

It all boils down to the price. In my country, Greece, the Q6600 generally goes for 50 Euro, where as the other ones range from 80 to 100. Do not spend more than 100 Euro on your platform. If I were you, I'd start keeping money every month and once a satisfactory amount has been collected, I'd sell the current system and get a newer one. In fact, that's what I did, I sold my Q9450, Asus P5K and DDR2 RAM and went to Phenom II x6 1055T, DDR3 and ASUS M5A97. 😁

Reply 5 of 21, by gulikoza

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Anything out of Core i line will beat the crap out of Core2. It's like discussing should you change 386sx for 386dx when there's already a pentium available. Q6600 are quite slow and hot, Q9xxx is slightly better (but used ones are quite expensive), but still I'd save any money for the new cpu and think of upgrading mobo and ram as well.

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Reply 6 of 21, by Forevermore

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Any of the wolfdale CPUs would offer a nice speed boost without shelling out too much cash. They overclock like no ones business too.

So many combinations to make, so few cases to put them in.

Reply 7 of 21, by Old Thrashbarg

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Any of the wolfdale CPUs would offer a nice speed boost without shelling out too much cash. They overclock like no ones business too.

Except that he already has a Wolfdale. With a pretty good overclock on it.

Reply 8 of 21, by nforce4max

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Upgrading a already maxed out 775 rig isn't worth the expense, you could buy one of the 45nm quads but tweaking them requires a much better board. I suggest that you save up and build a new i series rig. It doesn't have to cost much if you know how to shop and it doesn't have to the latest gear even a first gen i series will beat anything that is Core2. I got a i5 760 and it does everything that I need of it plus it is so easy to overclock. Anything newer you will end up wanting a K model i series like a i5 2500k ect. The gains after SB (Sandy Bridge) are small so the costs are not really worth it except for bragging rights.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 9 of 21, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I have an Alienware laptop with a first-gen Core i5, and it doesn't run as nicely as my Pentium Dual Core box. 😜

F2bnp wrote:
Don't. If PCSX2 and Dolphin are the only two things you want to increase your speed, you'd probably be better off upgrading your […]
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Don't. If PCSX2 and Dolphin are the only two things you want to increase your speed, you'd probably be better off upgrading your GPU. What GPU do you have anyway?
If you do manage to find a cheap Q6600, by all means get it, although you'd have to really push the clock high, by default it is clocked at 2.4GHz, although getting it at 3GHz is practically just one click away. Make sure you have a good CPU cooler, which I presume you have, otherwise I'm afraid about your CPU as it is right now, at 4GHz 😜.

Despite your chipset, your motherboard seems to support the last C2Q with 1333MHz FSB. I absolutely adore these CPUs. They are a bit faster per clock, have more cache and higher FSB. The Q9400 and Q9500 are good deals, although Q9450 and Q9550 are the same thing with twice the amount of cache, 12MB of L2 cache!

It all boils down to the price. In my country, Greece, the Q6600 generally goes for 50 Euro, where as the other ones range from 80 to 100. Do not spend more than 100 Euro on your platform. If I were you, I'd start keeping money every month and once a satisfactory amount has been collected, I'd sell the current system and get a newer one. In fact, that's what I did, I sold my Q9450, Asus P5K and DDR2 RAM and went to Phenom II x6 1055T, DDR3 and ASUS M5A97. 😁

I have a Radeon HD 4650 with 512MB of either GDDR3 or GDDR5. GPU-Z says GDDR3, but I could swear it said GDDR5 on the box. It could probably use an upgrade, but I actually want to be able to play more games using PCSX2's software renderer, since the hardware renderer can't properly do the texture mipmapping in the Ratchet and Clank games. As for Dolphin, my performance is more than adequate for most games, with the exception of TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, which runs like a dog. Maybe I should consider getting the PS2 version and emulating that instead. 🤣

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 10 of 21, by Old Thrashbarg

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I have an Alienware laptop with a first-gen Core i5, and it doesn't run as nicely as my Pentium Dual Core box.

That's not surprising. The mobile chips suck compared to their desktop counterparts... even the best mobile i5 of that generation can only barely edge out the lowest-end desktop i3 chip. And though the i3 chips are significantly faster clock-for-clock than the Core2, the high clock speed you're running on your current chip is enough to make up the difference.

So, in other words, if you compared your system to a "real" i5 (especially an overclocked one), it would hardly be a contest.

Reply 11 of 21, by SavantStrike

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With the clock you're running on that C2D, the only chip I'd even consider is a C2Q, and the 1066mhz FSB limitation is going to drag you down quite a bit.

You'd be stuck with a Q6600, and to get that up to the 4ghz ceiling you're at, it's going to draw quite a bit of juice. Motherboards designed around that tend to be pretty beefy. At the end of the day you'd have an extra two cores provided you keep your VRM's cool enough on your motherboard, and keep the q6600 cool (at 4ghz they can throw off a good deal of heat). I'm not sure many of the p965 boards were ever designed for that kind of current.

I'd say leave it as is and watch ebay for a while. Something sandy bridge or ivy bridge might come up for a cheap price at some point.

Reply 13 of 21, by Forevermore

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Old Thrashbarg wrote:

Any of the wolfdale CPUs would offer a nice speed boost without shelling out too much cash. They overclock like no ones business too.

Except that he already has a Wolfdale. With a pretty good overclock on it.

My bad. It was late, I was tired 😵

So many combinations to make, so few cases to put them in.

Reply 14 of 21, by F2bnp

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sliderider wrote:

What about an early core i7 like the 920?

Not a good investment right now since there's no SATA 3 or USB 3.0. If you are going to transfer to a new platform get something relatively recent.

Reply 15 of 21, by nforce4max

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sliderider wrote:

What about an early core i7 like the 920?

Somewhat if the price for the board and cpu are low enough, Sata 3 doesn't boost things that much except for a few synthetic benches and SSDs with enough to saturate the controller. $20 and almost any machine with a pci-e slot can have usb 3.0. The two factors that make the socket 1366 platform something to avoid is finding a decent board and that at stock the cpu is 130w.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 16 of 21, by Skyscraper

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nforce4max wrote:

The two factors that make the socket 1366 platform something to avoid is finding a decent board and that at stock the cpu is 130w.

An i7 920 only use 130w or more if you overclock.
130w is definitely a worst case scenario for a higher clocked model at stock speed.

Out of the box an i7 920 with d0 stepping will not use over 100w and if you lower the voltage ~50w @3ghz should be possible.
I used to run a 920 d0 at 3.33ghz@1.1v The same CPU need 1.27v to reach 4ghz and 1.42v to reach 4.2 ghz.
That CPU is a great overclocker but all s1366 cpus with d0 stepping should reach 3ghz at really low voltage and 4ghz with less than 1.4v.

Or why not get a s1366 6-core, you can run those underclocked with only ~0.8v 😀
You dont even need active cooling if you use a good heatsink and have at least some airflow in your case.

s1366 is cheap, bargins to be made. Here in Sweden the going rate for an i7 920 or 930 is ~75$ and about the same for a decent motherboard.
Be sure to get a large tower cooler if you want to be able to increase voltage because at high voltage they DO use loads of power.

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Reply 17 of 21, by mr_bigmouth_502

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I just briefly looked up some LGA 1366 stuff, for some reason I noticed that a quad core Xeon in the format can be had for dirt cheap! 😳 What is the catch with using a Xeon, though? Does it mean that I have to start looking into server motherboards and ECC memory, or will I do just fine with a consumer-grade board?

EDIT: The boards are expensive as hell though. I'll have to do a comparison between this and the Ivy Bridge Pentium build I was planning earlier.

My NEW(ish) desktop:
p8cqsw-2.png

Reply 18 of 21, by Skyscraper

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mr_bigmouth_502 wrote:

I just briefly looked up some LGA 1366 stuff, for some reason I noticed that a quad core Xeon in the format can be had for dirt cheap! 😳 What is the catch with using a Xeon, though? Does it mean that I have to start looking into server motherboards and ECC memory, or will I do just fine with a consumer-grade board?

EDIT: The boards are expensive as hell though. I'll have to do a comparison between this and the Ivy Bridge Pentium build I was planning earlier.

Many consumer-grade boards will accept the Xeons.
Pretty much any board will take the single QPI-link Xeons since they are just the normal i7 with diffrent names and official support for ECC. They work just fine with normal DDR3.
Many boards will also accept the dual QPI-link ones intended for dual CPU boards and they also work with normal DDR3.
Most boards top out at around 200 mhz buss speed. Default buss speed is 133 mhz so even the Xeons with very low multiplier will do 3+ ghz.
For example a e5620 can be had for next to nothing but they support 18x + 1x multiplier so they can do 3.8+ ghz (all cores) on a good motherboard.
*55xx/*56xx are the dual QPI versions so its important to check that the motherboard support them. *35xx/*36xx are the single QPI ones. *x5xx is 45nm, *x6xx is 32nm.

edit u --> n

Last edited by Skyscraper on 2013-10-29, 20:48. Edited 1 time in total.

New PC: i9 12900K @5GHz all cores @1.2v. MSI PRO Z690-A. 32GB DDR4 3600 CL14. 3070Ti.
Old PC: Dual Xeon X5690@4.6GHz, EVGA SR-2, 48GB DDR3R@2000MHz, Intel X25-M. GTX 980ti.
Older PC: K6-3+ 400@600MHz, PC-Chips M577, 256MB SDRAM, AWE64, Voodoo Banshee.