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Core2Duo or Core2Quad?

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First post, by Rikintosh

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I'm building a cool computer for the year 2007, but I'm in doubt about which processor I should use, c2d or c2q?

The answer seems obvious, the core2quad has four processors, and it would be faster, however, at that time many programs weren't optimized for multithreading, and the quad had low clocks, which made the c2d better in some respects.

My intention is just to run the most diverse games from that time

My current motherboard is an Asus P5B-Plus, which has an fsb of only 1066mhz, so 1333mhz processors are out of the question here

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 1 of 29, by cyclone3d

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You could get a Core 2 Quad Extreme and run it at a higher multiplier. The QX6850 CPUs don't go for very much on eBay.

Also remember that background tasks such as I/O can use the extra cores / threads as well.

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Reply 2 of 29, by dr_st

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The only advantage of the C2D at the time was in single-thread performance at a given price point, because for the cost of a C2Q you could get a higher-clocked C2D.

The relative price differences are not so relevant now, and especially, considering what cyclone3d wrote - the OS itself can benefit from the extra cores.

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Reply 3 of 29, by BitWrangler

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If fan noise bothers you, you might wanna stick with the dual, as the lower power quads don't have very high core speeds. So you'll need a bit of a jet turbine on the faster ones. If you want "stupid high" clocks, you can mess around with running allendale and wolfdale pentium dual core 800 fsb chips at 1066.

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Reply 4 of 29, by shamino

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My office PC used to have an E8400 but I switched it out for a Q8200, trading a beefy dual for a wimpy quad with lower clocks and half the cache per core. I found that with modern usage and especially for video decoding the quad was faster. Gaming wise, Steam in-home streaming (using that PC as a client) worked a lot better on the quad.
But if your machine is dedicated to 2007 games, it's likely that a faster clocked dual is usually better unless you get a quad of equal speed.

Do you have anything now with 3 or more (real, not hyperthreading) cores? If so, you could use that machine to test whatever games are the biggest concern for you and watch the CPU usage in the task manager. If it goes much above 66% on a tri or 50% on a quad then the game probably benefits from more than 2 CPUs.

Reply 5 of 29, by dr_st

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-09-04, 17:32:

If fan noise bothers you, you might wanna stick with the dual, as the lower power quads don't have very high core speeds. So you'll need a bit of a jet turbine on the faster ones.

Not really; there are plenty of coolers from that era that can keep a high-powered C2Q cool while staying quiet. I've been running a QX9650 with a Scythe Mine Rev.B, and it's probably the best, quietest cooler I've ever had. Not sure you can get that exact model now, but there were certainly quite a few others, higher-end ones.

BitWrangler wrote on 2021-09-04, 17:32:

If you want "stupid high" clocks, you can mess around with running allendale and wolfdale pentium dual core 800 fsb chips at 1066.

That's an interesting idea, provided that the chip can handle a 33% overclock. Did C2D support downward unlocked multiplier? I think so, then you could do something in between.

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Reply 6 of 29, by Rikintosh

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I currently have two processors, an E7500 (which I believe has a performance similar to the E8400. it's in the socket of the board, and I'm using it to test it) and a Q9300. The problem with the Q9300 is that it has an fsb1333, and my board is 1066. I looked at quad processors which are 1066, and I only found crap, the best I could find was an x6800.

I wouldn't want a noisy computer, I'm looking for a "vintage" cooler that does the job, i'm thinking about zalman cnps9500.

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 7 of 29, by canthearu

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It shouldn't be particularly hard to find a decentish 400FSB motherboard. P45 or similar.

Run that Q9300 sucker at 3ghz using 400FSB. Shouldn't require more voltage or putting any extra stress on the CPU. It will be fast enough for anything 2006-2010ish. A good 775 coolers shouldn't be that difficult to find either, to keep it cool enough without making lots of noise.

Reply 8 of 29, by Rikintosh

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canthearu wrote on 2021-09-05, 00:51:

It shouldn't be particularly hard to find a decentish 400FSB motherboard. P45 or similar.

Run that Q9300 sucker at 3ghz using 400FSB. Shouldn't require more voltage or putting any extra stress on the CPU. It will be fast enough for anything 2006-2010ish. A good 775 coolers shouldn't be that difficult to find either, to keep it cool enough without making lots of noise.

I live in Brazil, around here things are more difficult and especially EXPENSIVE to obtain. My intention is to use an Asus Rampage 775, but I need to work a good few months (or years) to buy one. Ebay is really full of cool items, but adding my coin that's worth 5.5x less than the dollar, with shipping costs, and federal import taxes, makes it impossible to buy.

Loving computer parts in third world country is really a challenge. I have had some luck buying damaged items at a more affordable price, and fixing them here at home.

I'm developing a game manager frontend for Win 9x, take a look: https://rikintoshsmultimediamanager.blogspot.com/

Reply 9 of 29, by pixelatedscraps

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Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-05, 00:25:

I currently have two processors, an E7500 (which I believe has a performance similar to the E8400. it's in the socket of the board, and I'm using it to test it) and a Q9300. The problem with the Q9300 is that it has an fsb1333, and my board is 1066. I looked at quad processors which are 1066, and I only found crap, the best I could find was an x6800.

I wouldn't want a noisy computer, I'm looking for a "vintage" cooler that does the job, i'm thinking about zalman cnps9500.

I seem to remember the Zalman CNPS series being more form over function than top of the line at the time - was the Tuniq Tower 120 out yet? That was a big leap over the Zalmans I remember.

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Reply 10 of 29, by canthearu

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Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-05, 01:22:

I live in Brazil, around here things are more difficult and especially EXPENSIVE to obtain. My intention is to use an Asus Rampage 775, but I need to work a good few months (or years) to buy one. Ebay is really full of cool items, but adding my coin that's worth 5.5x less than the dollar, with shipping costs, and federal import taxes, makes it impossible to buy.

Loving computer parts in third world country is really a challenge. I have had some luck buying damaged items at a more affordable price, and fixing them here at home.

Yep, ebay prices suck. Even for us people in higher income areas, it is crazy how much it costs for some of this bog standard crap. New, very nice motherboards cost lest than the Rampage 775.

I'd be on the lookout for a basic P35, P43 or P45 based board where you adjust the FSB to 400mhz.

Fancy motherboards are all show, usually no better practically than a midrange or even lowrange board.

Reply 11 of 29, by cyclone3d

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Gigabyte EP45-UD3P or sister boards. Best overclocking 775 boards.

Lga775 is really nice once you get the fsb up really high.

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Reply 12 of 29, by Kahenraz

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The performance of the Core 2 series was incredible for the time. If you're not very picky about the part, even the cheapest model will provide significant gains over the previous generation. The performance leap was similar to AMD's Ryzen processors where the entire market was turned upside down and everything else on the market immediately became obsolete.

This would be the time I decided to upgrade from my Athlon 64 3400+ to the lowest model, the Core 2 Duo E4300, and the difference was stunning. I paired it with a GeForce 6800 GT and ran everything at max settings for years and never felt bottlenecked.

I eventually upgraded to a Core 2 Quad 9550 when the prices became more affordable but I can't tell you that there was any need to do so besides improved multitasking. The Core 2 series as a whole is legendary in my mind.

Reply 13 of 29, by dr_st

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Rikintosh wrote on 2021-09-05, 00:25:

I looked at quad processors which are 1066, and I only found crap, the best I could find was an x6800.

Do you mean X6800 (a dual-core) or QX6800 (a quad-core)? The X6800 is equivalent to the E7500 in terms of base speed, just with an unlocked multiplier. The QX6800, on the other hand, is a kick-ass CPU - like the X6800 but with 4 cores. It's the best 1066MHz Core 2 CPU there is.

Your board does support overclocking, as far as I know, and you can definitely take a Q6600/Q6700 and overclock it a little bit. But, honestly, if you can get a Q6700 a 2.67GHz, then even at stock speeds, I would prefer it to your E7500 any day of the week.

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Reply 14 of 29, by jesolo

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Bought a Core 2 Duo E8400 back in 2008 and that CPU served me well for a number of years.
I upgraded to a Q6600 (that someone donated to me) around 2013 and used that as my daily driver until 2019. I did overclock the Q6600 to 3.0 GHz (1333 MHz FSB) without having to change any voltage settings - probably one of the easiest overclocks I've done.

However, I still prefer the E8400 over the Q6600 (nostalgia I guess) and my plan is to build this up together with my Asus P5QL Pro motherboard for a Windows XP build.

I'm still wondering whether a 3.0 GHz Q6600 will perform faster than an E8400 (running stock) in a Windows XP environment.

Reply 15 of 29, by dr_st

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jesolo wrote on 2021-09-05, 08:26:

I did overclock the Q6600 to 3.0 GHz (1333 MHz FSB) without having to change any voltage settings - probably one of the easiest overclocks I've done.

I've been running my 3GHz QX9650 at 3.6GHz for many years with a similar one-setting-change FSB overclock. From my experience, if you leave everything else on "Auto", it does raise the voltage, automatically. That may be motherboard-dependent, though.

jesolo wrote on 2021-09-05, 08:26:

I'm still wondering whether a 3.0 GHz Q6600 will perform faster than an E8400 (running stock) in a Windows XP environment.

Some say XP can't really handle more than 2 cores effectively, but I would expect it still gives some benefit.

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Reply 16 of 29, by 386SX

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I'm actually using the E8600 @ default clocks and is quite a fast cpu considering how obsolete it is. I might upgrade to the Q9650 but for now this is quite a solid processor. Too bad the GT610 passive card I'm using on this config even changing thermal paste, have absurd high temperatures and not even two case fan can keep its temperatures into safe ranges. I don't understand why they did passive cooled vga if not intended to work in ANY situation.. If I'd run an heavy benchmark temperature would go up without stopping.

Reply 17 of 29, by BitWrangler

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dr_st wrote on 2021-09-04, 18:28:
BitWrangler wrote on 2021-09-04, 17:32:

If you want "stupid high" clocks, you can mess around with running allendale and wolfdale pentium dual core 800 fsb chips at 1066.

That's an interesting idea, provided that the chip can handle a 33% overclock. Did C2D support downward unlocked multiplier? I think so, then you could do something in between.

Well I've heard of ppl getting 100% on those, from 2160s, not that every CPU will do that and it won't take a lot of tuning. But in the region of 50% tends to be attainable with average luck.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 18 of 29, by cyclone3d

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386SX wrote on 2021-09-05, 11:16:

I'm actually using the E8600 @ default clocks and is quite a fast cpu considering how obsolete it is. I might upgrade to the Q9650 but for now this is quite a solid processor. Too bad the GT610 passive card I'm using on this config even changing thermal paste, have absurd high temperatures and not even two case fan can keep its temperatures into safe ranges. I don't understand why they did passive cooled vga if not intended to work in ANY situation.. If I'd run an heavy benchmark temperature would go up without stopping.

Mount a case fan blowing down on top of the card via a modified slot bracket.

On another note, I had my Q6600 overclocked to 3.84Ghz for quite a few years. Still have that CPU but it is not being used.

3.2 Ghz with no voltage bump is a pretty standard overclock for the G0 Q6600.

Last edited by cyclone3d on 2021-09-05, 16:39. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 19 of 29, by BitWrangler

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386SX wrote on 2021-09-05, 11:16:

I'm actually using the E8600 @ default clocks and is quite a fast cpu considering how obsolete it is. I might upgrade to the Q9650 but for now this is quite a solid processor. Too bad the GT610 passive card I'm using on this config even changing thermal paste, have absurd high temperatures and not even two case fan can keep its temperatures into safe ranges. I don't understand why they did passive cooled vga if not intended to work in ANY situation.. If I'd run an heavy benchmark temperature would go up without stopping.

Was it this heatsink or a shorter flatter one?

asus_gt610_sl_1gd3_l_geforce_gt_610_graphics_1237364.jpg

Just wondering, as I've got one of these that had been getting moved around, used for testing, but not committed to a system yet, so wanna make informed decisions about cooling. It's a bit of a PITA actually that thing makes it a 2 slot card, think I'd rather have single slot active cooling on it. Might be 3 slot if I try to strap an 80mm on top of that.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?