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Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-CoreQ6600

 
 
Matt
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      3rd Jan 2008
Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an
interesting problem:

- Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)

- Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)

Now to my untrained eye, the quad-core seems like an easy choice. Am I
correct, or is the performance benefit from the 2 additional cores
completely lost by the low bandwidth connection between the 2 dies, as
mentioned in a Wikipedia article below:

"A quad-core CPU (as a two-die set in particular), however, can rarely
double the processing ability of each of its constituent halves (e.g.
the Kentsfield rarely doubles the ability of the Conroe), due to a
loss
of performance resulting from connecting them (i.e. sharing the narrow
memory bandwidth, and operating system overhead of handling twice as
many cores and threads)."

Will all applications for Windows eventually become multi-threaded and
fully utilise a quad core setup? Because if so then surely the 2.4GHz
quad core would outperform the 3.0GHz dual core in the future?

Basically this comes down to dual core vs. quad core, and I'm hoping
there's a clear consensus about which to buy!

Kind Regards,

Matt
 
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Patrick Vervoorn
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      3rd Jan 2008
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Matt <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an
>interesting problem:
>
>- Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)
>
>- Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)
>
>Now to my untrained eye, the quad-core seems like an easy choice. Am I
>correct, or is the performance benefit from the 2 additional cores
>completely lost by the low bandwidth connection between the 2 dies, as
>mentioned in a Wikipedia article below:
>
>"A quad-core CPU (as a two-die set in particular), however, can rarely
>double the processing ability of each of its constituent halves (e.g.
>the Kentsfield rarely doubles the ability of the Conroe), due to a
>loss
>of performance resulting from connecting them (i.e. sharing the narrow
>memory bandwidth, and operating system overhead of handling twice as
>many cores and threads)."
>
>Will all applications for Windows eventually become multi-threaded and
>fully utilise a quad core setup? Because if so then surely the 2.4GHz
>quad core would outperform the 3.0GHz dual core in the future?
>
>Basically this comes down to dual core vs. quad core, and I'm hoping
>there's a clear consensus about which to buy!


I had the same decision to make, and I went with the Q6600. At the very
least Crysis detects and uses the 4 cores. SetiBOINC also runs very nicely
using 4 cores.

Regards, Patrick.
 
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John Weiss
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      3rd Jan 2008
"Matt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote...
> Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an

interesting problem:

- Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)

- Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)


Right now it's a coin toss, and depends a lot on your personal usage.

As Patrick pointed out, if you join any of the distributed computing projects,
the quad wins, because they have SMP clients that will fully use all 4 cores.
Folding@Home (http://folding.stanford.edu) is my favorite DC project, but there
are a couple other worthy ones out there.

For single-threaded apps, though, the higher clock speed of the 6850 wins. Once
you offload background apps like antivirus, firewall, etc to another core, your
foreground app can take full advantage of the clock speed of the remaining core.

If you're a gamer, more of them are coming out that are multi-threaded, but I
don't know how many of them will take advantage of more than 2 cores.

I went for the 6850. If I decide a quad will work better in the future, when
the clock speed is up and the price down, I can upgrade with a simple CPU swap.


 
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Brian Cryer
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      3rd Jan 2008

"Matt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an
>interesting problem:
>
>- Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)
>
>- Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)
>
>Now to my untrained eye, the quad-core seems like an easy choice. Am I
>correct, or is the performance benefit from the 2 additional cores
>completely lost by the low bandwidth connection between the 2 dies, as
>mentioned in a Wikipedia article below:
>
>"A quad-core CPU (as a two-die set in particular), however, can rarely
>double the processing ability of each of its constituent halves (e.g.
>the Kentsfield rarely doubles the ability of the Conroe), due to a
>loss
>of performance resulting from connecting them (i.e. sharing the narrow
>memory bandwidth, and operating system overhead of handling twice as
>many cores and threads)."
>
>Will all applications for Windows eventually become multi-threaded and
>fully utilise a quad core setup? Because if so then surely the 2.4GHz
>quad core would outperform the 3.0GHz dual core in the future?
>
>Basically this comes down to dual core vs. quad core, and I'm hoping
>there's a clear consensus about which to buy!


http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000942.html seems to provide an
interesting view on this - just one that stood out when I did a google just
now.

Most of the time my pc (single core) is idle, and waiting for me to do
something. I do run some cpu intensive applications where I'm left waiting
for my pc, but most of the time my pc is idle. To be honest most
applications can't even take advantage of dual core. Its only those
applications that are inherently multi-threaded (or which can be made so)
like databases, webservers, some games, that will be able to truly take
advantage of the move from two to four cores. Whilst the number of
applications that will be able to make use of multiple cores will inevitably
increase, is it something that you need?

Despite all this, my plans are for my next pc to be quad core, and given the
choice that's what I'd go for even if the clock speed is slower. Whatever
you do be sure to chock it full of as much RAM as you can, ie 4GB if you are
using a 32bit OS.

Hope this is useful.
--
Brian Cryer
www.cryer.co.uk/brian


 
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Paul
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      3rd Jan 2008
Matt wrote:
> Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an
> interesting problem:
>
> - Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)
>
> - Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)
>
> Now to my untrained eye, the quad-core seems like an easy choice. Am I
> correct, or is the performance benefit from the 2 additional cores
> completely lost by the low bandwidth connection between the 2 dies, as
> mentioned in a Wikipedia article below:
>
> "A quad-core CPU (as a two-die set in particular), however, can rarely
> double the processing ability of each of its constituent halves (e.g.
> the Kentsfield rarely doubles the ability of the Conroe), due to a
> loss
> of performance resulting from connecting them (i.e. sharing the narrow
> memory bandwidth, and operating system overhead of handling twice as
> many cores and threads)."
>
> Will all applications for Windows eventually become multi-threaded and
> fully utilise a quad core setup? Because if so then surely the 2.4GHz
> quad core would outperform the 3.0GHz dual core in the future?
>
> Basically this comes down to dual core vs. quad core, and I'm hoping
> there's a clear consensus about which to buy!
>
> Kind Regards,
>
> Matt


Is the decision easier to make, if you overclock the Q6600 to 3GHz ?
The G0 stepping seems to overclock pretty well.

Paul
 
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Matt
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      3rd Jan 2008
> All depends on what you're doing, I suspect. I'd take the dual core
> because most of what I do isn't cpu intensive.
>


Thanks for the replies guys.

Most of what I do is work or play games on my PC, so there are times
when it is idle. The thing is I'm upgrading because I want my PC to
perform well at the times when it isn't idle.

I'm also thinking about the future. Four or five years ago when I
bought my XP2000+ CPU it could cope with anything I threw at it, but
now it even struggles when I'm multi-tasking with lots of web browser
tabs, e-mail client etc. running. So getting a CPU that will perform
well now just now, but in the future is paramount.

Multithreaded applications may be scarce at the moment, but in say 2
years time won't every single application I use be ulitising every
available core my CPU has?

Kind Regards,

Matt
 
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John Weiss
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      3rd Jan 2008
"Matt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote...
>
> Multithreaded applications may be scarce at the moment, but in say 2
> years time won't every single application I use be ulitising every
> available core my CPU has?


Are you going to spend the $$ to upgrade all the software to the multithreaded
versions?

Will you still be using the same machine in 2 years? Will there be a Q6800 at 3
or 3.4 GHz available?

Since the price is the same, decide on what will be more useful to you NOW and
in the near future.


 
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Gypsy Baron
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      3rd Jan 2008
Patrick Vervoorn wrote:
-SNIP-
> I had the same decision to make, and I went with the Q6600. At the very
> least Crysis detects and uses the 4 cores. SetiBOINC also runs very nicely
> using 4 cores.
>
> Regards, Patrick.



I have a Q6600 G0 stepping and it easily overclocks to >3,0 GHZ.
Mine is set at 3.25GHZ now and is limited by my memory\FSB frequency
I believe. At 3.25 Ghz it is stable and temperatures never get
anywhere near the upper limits.

Paul
 
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Matt
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      3rd Jan 2008
> Are you going to spend the $$ to upgrade all the software to the multithreaded
> versions?


Given I can get software on student licences, in all likelihood yes
whe my budget allows.

> Will you still be using the same machine in 2 years?


Definitely.

> Will there be a Q6800 at 3 or 3.4 GHz available?


Good point, but that will require further expense.

> Since the price is the same, decide on what will be more useful to you NOW and
> in the near future.


Now is clearly the E6850, as I'm not keen on overclocking due to the
noise consequences of having loads of massive fans around my case;
even though the Q6600 has the potential to reach 3GHz itself. It just
depends how quickly multi-threaded applications (and will all multi-
threaded support quad as well as dual core, or will that come later?)
are introduced.

Kind Regards,

Matt
 
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kony
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      3rd Jan 2008
On Thu, 3 Jan 2008 08:21:57 -0800, "John Weiss"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>"Matt" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote...
>> Hey guys. I'm looking at upgrading my PC and I've come across an

>interesting problem:
>
>- Pay 165 for a Intel Dual Core E6850 (clocked @ 3.0GHz)
>
>- Pay 160 for a Quad Core Q6600 (clocked @ 2.4GHz)
>
>
>Right now it's a coin toss, and depends a lot on your personal usage.
>
>As Patrick pointed out, if you join any of the distributed computing projects,
>the quad wins, because they have SMP clients that will fully use all 4 cores.
>Folding@Home (http://folding.stanford.edu) is my favorite DC project, but there
>are a couple other worthy ones out there.
>
>For single-threaded apps, though, the higher clock speed of the 6850 wins. Once
>you offload background apps like antivirus, firewall, etc to another core, your
>foreground app can take full advantage of the clock speed of the remaining core.


Even a single core clocked at 3GHz would beat the quad at
2.4GHz, as antivirus, firewall and most "etc" things only
use a percent or two of processing time, even less when
running at lower priority in parallel with the forground
app.


>
>If you're a gamer, more of them are coming out that are multi-threaded, but I
>don't know how many of them will take advantage of more than 2 cores.


Only now are a few taking good advantage of 2 cores. On
average a single core at 3GHz is faster than a quad at
2.4GHz... we can certainly find examples of games that _do_
take advantage of 2 cores, seldom more, but these are
noteworthy in being exceptions rather than the rule.
Looking forward it depends on how long one were to game with
the same system, keeping in mind that after a certain point
the system is relatively slow compared to (then) modern
systems and might need upgraded again for best benefit.


>
>I went for the 6850. If I decide a quad will work better in the future, when
>the clock speed is up and the price down, I can upgrade with a simple CPU swap.
>


It was a better choice... keeping in mind the mitigating
factor if one is an overclocker, that they might be able to
o'c the quad more significantly (I mean higher % since it
starts at lower speed), except that significant overclocking
of quad cores, IF one is making use of them for demanding
processing, creates quite a power and thermal load the
system PSU and cooling have to deal with, as well as the
heatsink noise. I remember a few years ago it seemed
(kids?) were willing to have systems that sounded like
hair-dryers just to get high overclock but today reducing
noise seems the status quo even among overclockers.
 
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Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Re: Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-Core Q6600 Brian Cryer ATI Video Cards 4 16th Jan 2008 11:23 PM
Re: Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-Core Q6600 Bob Fry ATI Video Cards 17 9th Jan 2008 10:22 AM
Re: Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-Core Q6600 John Weiss ATI Video Cards 6 4th Jan 2008 10:09 AM
Re: Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-Core Q6600 Patrick Vervoorn ATI Video Cards 1 3rd Jan 2008 10:10 PM
Re: Should I go Dual Core or Quad Core? Intel C2 DUO E6850 vs. Quad-Core Q6600 John Weiss ATI Video Cards 0 3rd Jan 2008 09:54 PM


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