Mainstream Quad-Core CPU Performance Comparison

By Julio Franco · 51 replies
Sep 11, 2009
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  1. With more powerful quad-core processors becoming mainstream, and with so many options currently available, we wanted to know which CPU provides users with the most value at under $300. That said, we won't just be evaluating the value of the individual processors, but also their accompanying platforms.

    Read the full review at:

    Please leave your feedback here.
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Love this review. The truth is...everyone wants a quad core pc. Dont lie, yeah I'm looking at you too. Well maybe not everyone, but for those of us that build are more often than ever(pre 2007 when "dual core" was dominant) wanting more out of our computers. To make a review with a specific price point is/was a great idea for people jumping into the multi core pc market. So again, great read and review.
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    Geezus your mean! :haha::p:wave:

    anyway great review. the quad core market just more exciting and it seems that quad computing is on the verge of actually arriving. im accumulating parts for an i7 build, and setting aside $$ to snap up four of the DX11 cards this fall......oh yes, and waiting for some benchmarks....(ahem)^:D
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Yea yeah Red I know. I'm on a netbook as we speak, working on reassembling my desktop with vertex ssd's a new case and flashy lights.
  5. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

  6. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

  7. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    LOL , just givin ya the needle :)

    I thought you hated flashy lights!

    glad you brought that up, are those the best?, and what case did you decide on?
  8. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    We were well aware of those prices when writing the article. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion I think there is little denying that the Core i5 750 is by far the best value quad-core processor right now. In fact I will be proving this very soon in an upcoming clock to clock performance article.

    On another note thanks for all the great feedback guys.
  9. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    Sorry, I was not aware of the article. I was only responding to Julio's question (thread). I was also not aware of the Core i5. I will read more about it.
  10. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Ahh no problem I thought you just read the article, enjoy :)
  11. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Brilliant review. Hope the i5 releases in India soon. Will definitely make it my first preference when building my friend's rig later this month. :)
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

  13. That's where I got it for my son's computer. I expected the new line-up to come out and screw me royally price-wise but wanted to build a computer in time for my son's birthday. I'm, personally, now looking at the i5 for my main machine.
  14. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    the best bang for the buck right now is still the Q6600. overclockable up to 4ghz with a mere $180 price tag, not to mention what really makes it the bang is the low price of DDR2 (you can easily get total of 8gigs of them for dirt cheap), and a decently priced P45 mobo.
  15. gguerra

    gguerra TS Guru Posts: 319

    Don't mean to hijack the thread. I OC'd my Q6600 to a modest 3.0Ghz with a cheap cooler (slightly better than stock). I only increased FSB to 333 and didnt mess with any other settings. Running on a Asus P5K-VM Mobo with integrated graphics. What other settings would I change to go higher speed? Isn't 4Ghz kind of stretching it? What type of cooling would you use to OC it to 4Ghz.
  16. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    it all depends on the temperature of your overclock and the quality of your mobo. when the above two are satisfied, all that limits your speed is the quality of the cpu silicon and the amount of patience you have. from the looks of your specs, you're limited by both of these factors. you need at least a Xigmatek S1283 heatsink or equivalent, and a quality mobo like an Asus P5Q Deluxe or Gigabyte P45 UD3P. these are just the two major factors (aside from speed of your ram, and quality of your power supply).
    4Ghz is a bit of a strech for most general public, but not for a water cooled setup. I've got two Q6600 at home one does 3.5ghz while the other at 4Ghz. the one @ 4Ghz requires water and voltage of 1.5v to the core. but with decent air cooler, it does 3.5~3.6ghz easy.
    most of the Q6600 G0 stepping are well capable of 3.4ghz and above, so it's really a good deal consider how cheap DDR2 and P45 mobo is.
  17. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 729

    One benchmark I would like to see with these processors is a video encoding or DVD ripping test, using a software like Handbrake. I'm interested in seeing if hyperthreading would have any significant benefits there, as those processes are highly thread-able.
  18. Badfinger

    Badfinger TS Rookie Posts: 155

    I'd like to see how the much more expensive 9xx Intel series CPUs faired, just for comparison sake.
    I'm still satisfied with my E8400 dual core rig, waiting as long as possible before upgrading, atm.
    I was on newegg and several users said these aren't a big upgrade from good dual cores, and QX6600's.
    If upgrading from lower, definitely go for it, however! 8)
    Regular hard drives are still holding Windows back, no surprise really, damn resource piggy.
  19. Sir very nice review :) I totally agree with it except the pricing Point of view. You yourself have posted the link of AM3 motherboard , please look once I saw a $77 AM3 based Mb then why you have only included $180 while you have given a price range in i5 segment .?

    Please edit it as it creates FUD. a 400$ system for Phenom II with top of the line CPU makes more sense :)

    Edit : Just a $60 Am2+ Mb in which Am3 based processor will work

    There is plethora of options there why you only included $180 Mb ?

  20. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    Before I begin let me just say that we are going to add Core 2 Quad Q6600 results in the next 12 hours or so ;)
    At howzz1854, how can the Q6600 be the best bang for your buck at $180 US right now? You can’t but it as far as I am aware and have not been able to for quite some time. In any case the Q6600 is orders slower than the Core i5 750 and at $20 US less you would have to be crazy to go for the Q6600 instead and DDR2 memory is going to save you just as little as will a good quality P45 motherboard.
    At gguerra, we were able to overclock the Core i5 750 to over 4.0GHz on the ASUS P55 motherboard by doing nothing more than increasing the base clock, no other settings were messed with. You can probably reach 3.4 – 3.6GHz with a little fine tuning.
  21. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    I got a mountainmods ascension case, and its huge.
  22. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    The core temp threshold is a lot higher on a i7/i5 model as well. I think intel says 80C, but I've primed mine for over 5 hours at 95C. You also couldnt oc a q6600 on a stock cooler to 4ghz, and from what I read getting it that high is a little more luck than ease. So by the time you purchase 40dollar heatsink and hours spent trouble shooting you'll just say, man I should have got that i5.
  23. windmill007

    windmill007 TS Rookie Posts: 308

    Running a Intel Wolfdale E8500 Overclocked to 3.8GHz. Would I really see much more performance from a I7 or even I5 for everyday use and gaming? For the price right now there is really no benefit going to the new I7 or I5. Sure if you are doing major video editing or just have to have a quad core to say u have one...then by all means...but for the majority they will see nothing any faster. Save some bucks... The Wolfdale cores rock and are very overclockable. I overclocked one of the cheap ones E5300 ($69) to 3GHz and it was super fast.
  24. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    For gaming no its not worth it, not now at least, maybe next year, but for production software sure.
  25. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,869   +2,039

    For gaming you can get away with a lot less than an overclocked E8500 like supersmashbrada said. At least for now :)

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