Intel E8400 or Q6600 for music production?

By dpcdpc11
Mar 22, 2008
  1. hi.. i'm a music producer... and my main tool is Reason 4 software from PropellerHeads... and i want to buy a new PC... and my dilema is the CPU..
    which one do you think i should buy.. the new 45nm E8400 or the old Q6600??
    the problem with Reason is that it's not biult for multi core CPUs so i guess the E8400 should do the job better... but recently i saw some tests with Reason running on a Q6600 and i was amazed...
    really dunno what to do here. and my mainboard of choice is the Gigabyte G33-DS3R... hope someone could help me on this one!

    thanks in advanced!!
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,457   +1,759

    To Err Is Human....To Forgive Is Not in the Nature of Computers...

    Either the 8400 or the 6600 should give more than adequate performance with music files. (By "more than adequate", I mean spectacular). I don't want to overstep my knowledge here, but I'm guessing that music files don't present the same degree of difficulty as 1920 X 1200 High Def Video encoding. Which I'm sure software engineers are currently rushing to adapt applications for quad (or more), core use. Point being you couldn't go wrong with either CPU.
    BIOS updating can be a tricky and risky affair. That being said, I would check which BIOS version is present in the Motherboard before making a decision on which CPU to buy. The E8400 would absolutely require a BIOS update, whereas the Q6600 might not. IMHO, the plug and play part always wins.
    Then there's always plan "C": wait for a 45nm quad CPU.

    I found this to be quite interesting, I have Nero 6 which is not at least 3 years old. When I use the"advanced analysis" function in "Recode" (essentially "DVDshrink") on my machine with a Pentium Dual Core E2200, task manager is telling me that BOTH cores are operating at 100%. I didn't think that this version of Nero was even written for dual core CPUs, but there you have it, clipping along at up to 1000 FPS, firing on both barrels!
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The Gigabyte P35 boards' BIOSes have some issues with 45nm CPUs, so the Q6600 would be a surefire choice in that case. Both would give you superb performance as captaincranky says, but the quad-core would be much-better utilized for apps like Photoshop, where the extra cores are really used to their fullest.
  4. dpcdpc11

    dpcdpc11 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the G33-DS3R has a G33 chipset which is a bit older than the P35... and from what i've read on forums, ppl have more issues with the P35 chisets than the G33... and apparently Gigabyte has a beta bios update for the G33 which makes the mainboard to support the new 45nm Wolfdale models... dunno how reliable is this bios update though... and the reason i choose this mainboard is that i need one with an integrated VGA feature cause i don't have enough money to buy a video card yet... anyway the E8400 isn't available yet in my country so i'll wait one week, if i still can't find it anywhere around here, then i'm definitely getting the Q6600.

    btw thanks for ur replies!!
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Ah, didn't see that it was a G33 chipset. Sorry about that.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,457   +1,759

    If This Were a Personal Ad.., I'd say I was "Adventurous"....However

    .....I'd be lying. "Beta BIOS Update" sounds way too adventurous IMHO. Key word being "beta". The Q6600 should be plug and play. At the end of the day, even if the Wolfdale chip would outperform the Conroe, (and it would only be a couple of percentage points), I'd pick the parts that are already known to play well together. This way, I could still do my music production and not have to switch hats to "computer enthusiast", due to circumstances beyond my control. As Rage points out Media editing software will be the first place that will receive multiple core software. Adobe writes Photoshop for Mac, and they have been multiple processor platforms for years.
    So, unless your going to do heavy gaming with this thing full time, you don't even need a high end video card, since anything from a GS-8400 up will handle simple high-def TV.
  7. Mansoor

    Mansoor TS Rookie

    To be honest not many programs even utilize the quad core, not to say it isn't a good cpu. Also I know it's possible to overclock the e6600 to great heights, as much as 3.4ghz with some good cooling.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,457   +1,759

    Let's do the time warp again....

    I'm not so sure that whichever CPU has already been purchased since the original poster's last reply was on March 25th.
    But, for the sake of keeping the dialog going consider the following.
    I normally come out in favor of the dual core CPUs quite heavily. This is because a great many of our members are gamers, and I think that that segment of users will be toward the end of people who benefit from the quad core technology, mostly because the games are written with Windows Home Edition in mind and the multi core "revolution" is only recently gotten into full swing.
    It is a different matter in the area of media production. Professionals have been using Power Macs (with dual processors) and Windows pro work stations for years, a great many of which are dual Zeons. It's a bigger leap to expect that games will suddenly all jump to quad thread programming. than to expect programmers to quickly modify multi-thread apps for quad use. This is especially true when you consider professional graphics software runs from the hundreds to thousands of dollars for one license. Competition dictates that the software companies are not likely to drag their feet in adapting to the new technology.
    My recommendation in this thread was based on the intended usage of the computer. If the person said "I want to play games", I would have jumped right on the E8400 bandwagon. Waddya think?
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