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CPU Upgrade: E8500 vs. Q6600

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Hi,I am planning a CPU upgrade, I currently have an E6600.PMDG, I know you already provided informations and suggestions about which hardware is best recommended, perhaps you could help me decide on one of the two CPU's above.My usage scenario is: FSX + ASX + PMDG 747 / MD-11. Currently I don't have any scenery installed due to performance hit. Also I want to be able to play online when SquawkBox is released and add Fs2Crew without performance penaltiles. My target framerate is 30, ok for default planes but my system cannot hold it now with PMDG (only 18-22).Thank you,Cristi

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For FSX go with the quad core...

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>For FSX go with the quad core...Hi,How about changing from E8400 (run at 3.8Ghz) to Q6600 or Q9300 ? you think any improvement in FSX on my Rig? (with Asus P5E, 2GB Corsair DDR2800, 8800GT 512Mb)RegardsShaheedan

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I'm talking about stock speeds here... everything goes out the window when you start talking about extreme overclocks like that... The Q6600 OC's pretty well but not as well as the E8400. The difference between the two of them is probably negligible with the OC.

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Ryan is right. I recently upgraded my E6700 to a Q6600 which unlike the predecesor, was a breeze to hit a stable 3.6GHz, checking with the latest version of Prime95, which was recenlty upgraded to luanch 4 threads for true quad loading. The prices have really come down too. I think my Q6600(G0) was around $239 US on NewEgg.com.Now I haven't noticed a large FPS increase, but it doesn't bottom out in the single-digits at large airporst with the Queen or the LDS and a ton of AI flying around me. Also, I think the textures are crisper further out and clouds seem more numerous, with more layers.Regards,

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I am a little confused on this as well. I am also considering between an E8500, Q6600, or one of the newer 45nm Q9550. I plan on overclocking whatever processor I end up with. With the new "High End" motherboards being offered, overclocking is going to be just slightly more difficult than turning your computer on. I am nearly certain that I will be able to hit somewhere in the 4 GHz range with the E8500, but it is a Core Duo Processor. I don't know what speeds I could achieve with the Quad Core Q6600 or Q9550.With the this information, which one would win out? The Core Duo running at over 4 GHz on two cores? Or, the Quad Cores running somewhere below 4 GHz on four cores? Are the cores more important than the raw clock speeds in this case?Thanks for any help.

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It's probably only an answer you can best do yourself. As Phil Taylor explanined in his early blogs, raw CPU speed plays a very significant role in FS. But the quad-cores do help, especially when overclocked, but the system and all the overclocked components must be well balanced and stable in either case. Since I've been really happy with the Q6600(OC), I don't know that a .4GHz higher clock with two less cores is going to see much of a difference, so if I had to choose, I'd start thinking price, longevity, compatibility with current and future parts, etc...I know this doesn't directly answer your question, but they're too many combinations and personal tastes involved. You might however, post our current specs and upgrade desires up in the FSX Hardware Forum and someone like NicKN or Sam might be able to help you with some bang-for-the-buck scenarios.Regards,

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MHZ's win. Whatever Intel Q or E processor you run the one with the most MHZ's is going to win, regardless of cores with FSX. The 45nm processors are the superior processors for overclocking.I just switched from a E6600 running at 2.8 ghz to a E8400 running at 3.6ghz. The performance gain within FSX scaled with the MHZ's.My friend has the Q6600 running at 3.6ghz and are scores pretty much mirror each other ....maybe a slight edge to my processor. However, mine is consuming something like 65 watts vs his 100 watts (1.22v vs his 1.40 volts). Ken

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100W ? and the rest ...I'm tempted to change my Q6600 (which is at 3.4 gig) to a E8500 for power reasons ...checked my power usage the other day .. and Idle it was 280W (!!)Full Prime95 load - 370W (!!)eek - a Q6600 overclocked to say 3.4-3.5 gig - dependant on Vcore of course - is about 240W on its own !! thats a heck of a lot of powerwhat would people reckon a E8500 @ say 4.0 gig is about 95W full tilt ? thats quite a saving in power !

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I posted a note on my blog about my recent purchase of a Q9450 which I am happy to say is outperforming the Q6600 by 20-30% (at first glance). Power consumption is on par with the new Penryn generation, so you might want to read about it a bit.The most difficult part of all this is actually to FIND the Q9450 as availability is scarce.

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I know what you mean about availability. I am pretty sure this is the direction I am heading into after reading this thread, as well as many hours of research at various sites. I look forward to reading your blog. That is a pretty nice increase in performance.Did you consider the Q9550 when you purchased your Q9450. I know availability on those are even worst, but I was wondering if you considered it. I think there is about a $150-$200 price difference between the two, but you do get more speed with the Q9550 which should help FSX even more.

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My sweet spot is more often than not buying the "second best" CPU that is available en masse. At the moment, if you consider the Q9550 the "best" (not including the Extreme series that is way overpriced), it means that the Q9450 is priced as the best bang for the buck (it ended up being a little less than $330 shipping included).Anyway- I've posted about this in my blog - you're welcome to read it.

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From the masses of research tht I have done into this subject....I have concluded that the consensus appears to be that Mhz is better than nos. of cores....as long as you have a core duo.....unless you are running other utilities in the background.A massive expeiment carried by some guy - I forget who - showed that the best framerates were had when a quad was restricted to using 2 of its cores....ie. setting affinity to cores 3 and 4.Now if you have other utilities then they can be set to the other cores.If you have no utilites then there is no real benefit to using a quad at least in terms of raw frame rates - see below.I run utilities on a client pc networked...so, there is therefore network traffic to control. Also, the main system needs resources as well. So even if you have no background stuff running, the pc could still benefit from "free" cores.Therefore, I think a quad will always be better as long as the speeds are the same - so a core duo at 3Ghz will be slower than a quad at 3Ghz. But, a core duo at 4.3 or 4.5 is gonna trounce a quad at 3.6 - unless you also have Active Sky, Radar Contact etc. running on the same pc ! At that point I would guess that the quad may well cope better.Also, the guy's research only concentrated on frame rates. What about smoothness and loading times etc. I would have thought a quad would come into it's own here. The key though, is to restrict the cores it operates on, leaving the other 2 cores for utilities and the operating system. In fact when he let all 4 cores work in FSX, frames actually fell compared to the 2-core only setup !Personally, if you can afford it, go for a Quad every time. You will at some point use background utilities and they are good for other stuff as well - games, general computing stuff etc.Besides if you can afford a water cooling system, you may well get a Q6600 up to 3.8 - not a huge difference to a E8500 anyway.You could then put the saving of

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I've finally settled into the understanding that it's not an either-or proposition. Core speed and number of cores influence entirely different aspects FSX performance.Clock speed will increase frames per second, and numbers of cores will increase scenery loading capability. For instance a Q6600 at 2.4Mhz will load scenery more quickly, but have reduced FPS when compared to dual core E8500 at 3.16Mhz. (imHo) The best bang for the buck is Still that Q6600 ($200 these days), O/C'd to 3.6 on a $130 P35 mobo. The closest Penryn competitor runs at a stock 2.66, but only has an 8 multiplier. With a standard 400Mhz FSB O/C, that only gets it to 3.2Mhz. The FSB can go higher, but then you must buy DDR2-1066 ram and an X38 mobo to keep up. That's $300+ just to get the performance of the "Old" Q6600.At 3.6Ghz Any CPU is within 10% of anything else, at AnY price (short of that stuff cooled with $3,000 cascade rigs). So why not just go with a quad? I'm still liking that Q6600 / 4 gigs of DDR2-800 ram, an Asus P5Ke mobo + a $250 8800GTS (Hey they're so cheap, why not splurge!) Raid-0 three of those -11 Seagates too. You'll get spoiled right quick. I'm a bit bias though. This is my rig and it's been just fine. I leave the Speed Step function on. That drops the multi to 6x (2.4Ghz) for no-load and pops it up to 9x (3.6Ghz) for loaded conditions. Vista's sleep function works great too. Cut my 'puter runnin' electric bill in half . . . and with that 3 drive raid, recovery is < 5 seconds. Skip the Penryn . . . and that hypertransport / integrated memory controller AMD knock-off, Nehalem too. Sandy bridge in ~ 2010 is the next target. 24-32 cores. Maybe they'll have multi-threaded software figured out by then. BTW, finally got some real 744s to play with. All that Vnav chat is finally starting to pay dividends - big time - . The crews are grandfathered from the 741/2 fleet. Poor guys. This is their first FMS. It's interesting to watch them fight the same learning curve we all went through (we all go through) here. In other words. Thanks. Sometimes is Sooo hard to call this an "addon" for a "video game."

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All well and good, but the information on graphics cards is inaccurate, at least as far as memory is concerned: FSX does NOT take advantage of 2GB of RAM on the card as well as it should, and the problems it causes on the operating system (if not Vista 64) are going to bite you in the ... ;-). The sweet spot for FSX is 512MB of graphics card RAM.

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Exactly my thinking as well with my recent upgrade from an E6700 to my Q6600. For $239 bucks and a garanteed OC to 3.6 MHz and for another $140 for a pair of 2GB DDR2-1066 RAM, my upgrade has been peforming wonderfully. When choosing the new CPU, I remember the decision basically came down to cores, clock, and price; whereby the Q6600 did the trick for me nicely.Regards,

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