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Quad Core i7 or higher Dual Core?

Discussion in 'CPUs' started by aarste, 20 Oct 2009.

  1. aarste


    Joined: 27 Jun 2007

    Posts: 17

    Building a new PC has been on my mind for some time, but I somehow have doubts about the i7 bringing better performance to games as the common i7 is currently at 2.66GHz, and most games, especially world of warcraft only uses 2 cores.

    My current CPU is a Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz and I think it's a bottleneck in WoW as upgrading from a Radeon x1950XT to a Geforce 260 SSC (which is about 6 tiers higher according to a Tom's Hardware chart over the x1950xt) only improved fps by about 10-15 some months ago.

    I am wondering, for now, if it's better to buy a small upgrade such as a 3.0GHz Wolfdale to get 6GHz total from the 2 cores: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP-192-IN&groupid=701&catid=6&subcat=793

    And if it is, is it compatible with the current motherboard I have? It is PC #1 in the sig. I did have a BIOS update for it that had "support 1333 strap" or along the lines of that in the changelog but I'm not certain if it's related to this.
  2. BIGBC

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jun 2009

    Posts: 1,668

    Location: Chester/Loughborough

    2.66GHz of i7 doesnt directly relate to 2.66GHz of Core2 as they are using differnt architectures.

    The 1336 i7's overclock very well, hitting 4GHz with relative ease.
    Have you tried overclocking your current CPU ? Would probably be the cheapest option.

    How much do you want to spend and is WoW your only use ?
  3. aarste


    Joined: 27 Jun 2007

    Posts: 17

    I have overclocked it to 2.80GHz before, stable in Intel Burn Test V2, prime95 and memtest but WoW doesn't like it, freezes up occasionally or shows the dreaded Error #132.

    So I'm not very comfortable with overclocking in general. Besides I know nothing about voltages, I've always left it up to the BIOS to automatically adjust CPU and DDR2 voltages.

    I do play a few other games, Batman Arkham Asylum which ran very well with everything on max with AA and PhysX disabled, except for the slight fps lag at opening doors.
    Last edited: 20 Oct 2009
  4. JonJ678


    Joined: 22 Dec 2008

    Posts: 10,371

    Location: England

    Leaving such things up to the bios would be why you had problems. Take the time to learn how to overclock and your system will be much faster and precisely as stable as before.

    If unwilling to do this, you want to look at P55 and the chips with turbo. This is a poor relation of overclocking, but it is automatic and will run far quicker than your dual core. Even when only using one core.
  5. COYS

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 Mar 2007

    Posts: 1,307

    Ive just gone from a E6700 C2D to a Q9550 and dont notice much of a difference.

    I had my C2D at 3.2Ghz easy so have a play with it, read some guides and see if it helps give you a boost befoe buying.
  6. SkodaMart


    Joined: 27 Jul 2009

    Posts: 3,645

    Location: Manchester

    You are in good company, I went from an E6600 @ 3.4 Ghz to a Q6700 @ 3.4 Ghz and I also didn't see any real advantage.
    In fact I was so disappointed I sold my Q6700 and put my E6600 back in.

    I am now considering trying a Wolfdale, I fancy the E8600 as I only have 800 Mhz Ram. I am looking for around 4.0Ghz with the 6mb Cache.
    I didn't really want to go sky high on FSB as I have a 780i mobo
    Last edited: 20 Oct 2009
  7. setter


    Joined: 14 Dec 2005

    Posts: 28,160

    Location: armoy, n. ireland

    You wont notice much difference with games with the quad compared to a dual at the moment, very few games actually use 4 cores, arma 2 and supreme commander being good examples. However if doing a lot of encoding the quad will really shine.