Which processor should I purchase?

By Hockeydude
Oct 13, 2009
  1. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,876   +332

    It's hard to say since you didn't state what you will be using the PC for but between the two you listed, I would choose the Core 2 Duo E8500.
  2. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    As I realize this, I want to use it simply for gaming, processing video, any other editing using CS4, and listening to music while doing all this. Specifically for games are the Dolphin Emulator for Gamecube and possibly Wii games. For specific full fledge games, it will be Call of Duty 4, The Sims 3, Burnout Paradise, GTA 4, Starcraft 2 and The Command and Conquer Series (my flavor of games is a wide range), along with furture release of these games. I will also be upgrading and using Windows 7 to play all of these games, though I will keep my XP serial and MAY dual boot for better gaming performance. Basically because XP uses much less resource consumption.

    Thanks for your base idea now can you re-assess that with this further info?
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +8

    Well, right now the E8500 should be the winner in games as it has a higher clock speed and double the cache per core compared to the Q9400. However, for programs relying on more number of cores and content creation, the Q9400 will have the edge.

    IMO, this should be a better deal. And you'll be able to OC it to much higher clock speeds.
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Something that may or may not be important to you with Win 7 just weeks away.....

    If you will be running Win 7 and you have any devices and/or apps you want or will need to run in XP compatibility mode, i just recently discovered your CPU must support virtualization (VT). See this post. Also includes links to Intels site to check VT support per Intel CPU model
  5. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    my vote is the q9400 just clock it up to around 3.2Ghz and call it a day :)
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,876   +332

    Just to clarify, the XP mode virtualization that is a special feature of Windows 7 is not the same as the run of the mill compatibility mode that Windows 7 has in common with Vista and XP. It is the former that needs CPU support.

    BTW, all currently shipped AMD processors except Sempron support virtualization.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +181

    Hi mailpup

    I haven't tried running Win 7 at all yet. Could you clarify the distinction? As anything i try googling about Win 7 / XP compatibility mode seems to be about VT (and i'm guessing you mean something like a "compatibility" check box in a programs Properties? like we saw in Vista?)
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,876   +332

    Yes, that is exactly what I meant.

    @ Hockeydude, the more multitasking you want to do, the more I would go with the Q9400. For strictly gaming I prefer the E8400 but since it is the graphics card that is the most important in most modern high end games, the Q9400 might be better for you. Choose a good graphics card though.
  9. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I already have a great graphics card, its an old PCI but I just got it, 1GB DDR2, GeForce 9400 GT, here's the Newegg link. (It's what the first thread I posted is asking for help on, lol)

    Now also, I have NEVER overclocked before, and I want my CPU to last, I am 16 and I'm doing all this on an extremely low budget. So I don't know if OCing is for me, i have heard it ages your CPU.

    Also on a side note, I AM NOT gonna be using Windows 7 Virtual mode thing. I already have XP and 7 setup on my PC, except the version of 7 that I have is only the release candidate, I just partitioned my hard drive into thirds and put XP on one, 7 on another, and the third is for anything really.

    Now, I am leaning towards the Quad core as I LOVE to multi-task when using Photoshop, Flash, any adobe product. (Music / Internet / IMing) I also like to listen to my own music during full-screen games. So thats a plus. I found out that Dolphin does not support 4 Cores so with that it does not make a difference anymore.

    IF I DO go with the Dual core, AND I do want to OC slightly, why

    would this one -

    be a better option than this one -

    Thank you everyone for the replies, you guys are all great, now with the more info can you try to come to a more pin-point decision, I know it's down to my choice, but I am still stuck between, leaning slightly towards the quad. I have had a few people in real life tell me to go with the quad, including my A+ Certification teacher.

    Sorry for the wall of text guys, Thanks Again
  10. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Now I looked at one last thing, and the recommended requirements for Call of Duty 4 (The only game that even CAME CLOSE to a problem) is a 2.4 GHz or better dual core. So a 2.66 Quad core using only 2 cores is still over the requirements.

    I am now almost decided upon the quad core, I still want to hear your opinions based on the post above.

    Thanks again for all your help. : D
  11. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    lol even overclocked the cpu will last 5 or more years i mean how long are you actually going to use that cpu lol
  12. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Oh, well then what the hell, I guess I am gonna start overclocking.
  13. Great1122

    Great1122 TS Enthusiast Posts: 109

    I think overclocking requires a pretty good psu, but yeah that quad-core with OC is better. Based on their specs however they seem to be the same, except for the Stock speed and cores of course.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,426   +142

    Not much more than what would power the PC anyway, but its good to have a high quality powersupply.

    CS4 will thank you for the quad core, meanwhile games may perform marginally better with the dual cores.

    Both dual cores are identical except for a minor difference in the multiplier, but its already high enough so that, with overclocking, it won't make a difference.

    If you are going to be getting a new motherboard, windows may not want to work with the new one and will ask you to purchase a new version. Also, you may consider something newer. I personally love the AMD Phenom II X3 720, triple-core is a great compromise :).
  15. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

  16. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +8

    That's a decent PSU. If you love multitasking as you say then take the Q9400. However, as HK points out, games may perform slightly better on the E8500 for the reasons I already mentioned before.

    OCing should not be an issue as long as you have temperatures under control. Ensure you have good airflow in your case and a good aftermarket HSF.

    There was a processor, the Q9450, which would have been a good option. However, I can't seem to find a pricing for the product as it's been discontinued by the looks of it.
  17. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,426   +142

  18. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    Ok, it's decided, I will be getting the quad. Now one more thing needs to be answered. I have been running my computer with no case on shelves. With the new CPU would this be an ok thing to do with the stock heat sink and fan without overclocking, then once I get my new case and HS + F in a little while I will be able to overclock?
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,215   +154

    a quad wont hurt at all in games...just wont offer an advantage, at least until the the new gen of games come out soon
  20. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,215   +154

    you will be able to OC with the stock HS/F, just monitor temps. you wont break any records of course, but you will be able to get a productive OC from it.
  21. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +8

    I'm not sure I understand. But the stock HSF should do fine for now if you aren't OCing.

    EDIT - My OC guru (red1776) has spoken. So it shouldn't be an issue now. :D
  22. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    I have no case, all my parts are on three different shelves, my PSU, mobo, and fan are on the middle shelf, my hard drive, optical drive, power cords, modem, and router on the top shelf, and the funniest thing is that my old fan does not fit into my new mobo so I am running my old mobo without a CPU, ram, or anything and just running a fan for my CPU on the new mobo. (I will get a pic up in like 5 min but it will be off a cell)3

    But as for my question, thanks, you guys are awesome.

    Sorry for horrible pic quality but its all I have atm to take em.

    Here's a view from the right


    A view from the left

    And here's the old mobo only running the fan.
  23. Hockeydude

    Hockeydude TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 30

    OK, so I received my Core 2 Quad today and installed it flawlessly.

    The only problem I came into was that the heat sink fan combo that Intel sent me is being my motherboard, so I only clipped in 2 or 3 of the 4 clips and left the last one or two almost clipped.

    Thank you so muhc guys, i can already see the difference from my old Pentium 4 POS.
  24. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,426   +142

    Intel heatsinks are indeed scary to put on, but you really should put it on, possibly even new thermal paste, but its not necessary unless your getting high temps. I guess the same goes for the clip. Wait, your new CPU came with a heatsink+thermal paste...
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