Core 2 Quad @ 3.4Ghz comparison and upgrade question

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Core 2 Quad @ 3.4Ghz comparison and upgrade question

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:58 am

I have a Core2Quad (q6600) running at 3.4Ghz stable in my machine along with an Ati Radeon 4870 and 8 gig of ram.
Ram is DDR2 running at 1600mhz but not overclocked.
(monitor resolution 1920x1080)

I was wondering how this chip compares with a Core I5 2500k?

Would my processor drive the newer Radeon 7870 without being a major bottleneck or should I consider upgrading everything at once?

I am a little cash strapped so I would prefer to just upgrade my video card if I can get away with it.
If not I'll save my pennies till I can do a complete over haul.

The 4870 is getting to the point where I have to turn down some of the goodies before it will run a (new) game without lag or tearing at 1920x1080. I really wanted to run skyrim with everything turned up but the system just couldn't cut it.
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Re: Core 2 Quad @ 3.4Ghz comparison and upgrade question

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:30 am

My opinion is that what's holding you back is your video card. Here's about the closest comparison I could find to your Q6600 @ 3.4Ghz vs a 2500K: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/ ... 0.49.48.47

In games, they're not too far apart. Though the 2500K destroys the Core 2 Extreme Quad in pretty much everything else.

Compare that to the GTX 660 review with the skyrim as a benchmark: http://techreport.com/review/23527/revi ... ics-card/5

Take notice to the GTX 260. The 260 and 4870 are fairly equivalent on many games, though it looks like Radeons don't do as well as the GeForces on Skyrim. Note that that's on 2560x1440 resolution but lowering the res to 1080p probably won't get you above 60FPS with your 4870.

My advice is to absolutely update the video card. You will notice the biggest increase from that.

*Edit*

If you're really strapped for cash though I would honestly just recommend turning down the resolution and upping the image quality settings. If the upscaling from 720p to 1080p bothers you, see if you can't just tell the graphics driver or your monitor to display the image as 1280x720 on your monitor and leave the other pixels black (though the smaller size of the image and black bars might bother you more).

Here's what I'm talking about by the way: http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pa ... aling.aspx
Last edited by Ryhadar on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:37 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Core 2 Quad @ 3.4Ghz comparison and upgrade question

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:32 am

Assuming that the i5 enjoys a 40% linear per-clock improvement over the Core 2, a handy back of the envelope calculation indicates the i5 2500k at stock would be (3300 *1.4 = ~4.62 GHz) in terms of an effective speed comparison relative to what you have now, assuming that its new instruction set support doesn't come into play. A speed boost of 35% isn't trivial, but given current requirements in games the 4870 is likely your bigger bottleneck. At that high a clock speed I'm hard-pressed to imagine a Core 2 Quad seriously bottlenecking your GPU in a way you'd really notice. More to the point, the 4870's ongoing driver support was recently dropped, and it will not improve with time. Snag the 7870; in the event that proves insufficient, THEN start saving your pennies.
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Re: Core 2 Quad @ 3.4Ghz comparison and upgrade question

Postposted on Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:17 am

Thanks for your advice guys.

This is what I suspected but its nice to have confirmation.

I do like to overclock, so when I do finally upgrade I'll be getting an Intel i5 K processor and then ratcheting the clock speed.
I'd be more than happy with 4ghz which seems quite easy to get otherwise 4.1 to 4.5ghz would be very cool.

The reason I picked the 7870 is that when compared to the 4870 it's almost exactly twice as past in the same power and heat envelope.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/513?vs=548

I paid $200 ($25 rebate) for the 4870 I'm just waiting to see if the price for the 7870 ghz edition hits the same price by Christmas.

Now I just need to put a Radeon 7870 on the Christmas wish list along with Borderlands 2 and see if I get both. :D
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