In general, we can say that overclocking definitely pays off, regardless of whether you choose the dual-core or the quad-core CPU. Either one of these processors is capable of a 25% speed increase, which is noticeable even with everyday computing tasks. The increased energy cost that results from overclocking is not especially pronounced with Core 2 processors – their share in the system’s overall power consumption is so small that overclocking always pays off. The question whether you should opt for a dual-core or quad-core processor is easily answered as well.
In video-editing and 3D-rendering scenarios the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is noticeably faster than the dual-core CPU. On the other hand, it still trails its sibling when it comes to gaming. In our benchmark suite, only one of the six games supported the additional cores, allowing the Q6600 to catch up with the E6750. Bear in mind though that upcoming gaming titles, especially those expected this holiday season, will change this situation, bringing much better quad/multi-core support to the table. Once this happens, the quad-core processor will get our recommendation even for the gaming enthusiast.
The quad-core can offer the user advantages even if applications offer “only” dual-core support, namely when background processes take up additional CPU time. Take anti-virus software scanning in the background, for example, or an archiving program that is extracting a file, stealing processor time from your main application. These interfere with the main task much less when there are more cores at the system’s disposal.
Seen from this perspective, the only argument remaining in favour of the dual-core Core 2 Duo E6750 is its lower price.
Even though the dual-core model is able to reach higher clock speeds, the quad-core wins in the final analysis thanks to multi-threaded software. If you have the extra €60 to spare for the Q6600, we recommend you choose it over its little brother. In our opinion, the dual-core version simply isn’t worth it any more. The situation is even more dire for the E6850, which costs as much as the Q6600, making it an even tougher sell.
That brings us to our other recommendation – the motherboard. Gigabyte and MSI provided us with review samples, and both boards proved to be excellent overclockers able to reach high FSB speeds. Of the two, we recommend the P35 Neo2-FR or P35 Neo2-FIR made by MSI. Despite their low price, these boards come with a heatpipe solution, which is the better choice for an overclocking board. As an added benefit, the MSI boards allow you to create a crossfire configuration and offer an indispensable CMOS-reset function, which resets the BIOS at the touch of a button without clearing your settings.
To complete our overclocking system, we further recommend the CNPS9700 LED cooler by Zalman and GEIL’s Black Dragon GB22GB6400V4DC memory modules.
- E6750 or Q6600 – Which is the better choice?
- The Processors – E6750 or Q6600?
- Processor – G0 Stepping is a must
- Motherboard – Gigabyte or MSI with P35 chipset
- Highlights of the MSI Board – Affordable, Heatpipe on Board
- Highlights of the Gigabyte Board – More Features
- GEIL Memory – An Overclocking Natural
- Cooler - Zalman's CNPS9700LED is Ideal
- Looking at the Bottom Line – CPU, Cooler, Board, and RAM
- Overclocking I – Dual-Core E6750 at 3.00 GHz
- Overclocking II – Dual-Core E6750 at 3.30 GHz
- Overclocking III – Dual-Core E6750 at 3.40 GHz
- Overclocking IV – Dual-Core E6750 at 3.50 GHz
- Overclocking V – Dual-Core E6750 at 3.60 GHz
- Overclocking I – Quad-Core Q6600 at 3.00 GHz
- Overclocking II – Quad-Core Q6600 at 3.20 GHz
- Overclocking III – Quad-Core Q6600 at 3.30 GHz
- Overview of Core Voltages
- Power Consumption and Energy Cost – Less is more with Dual-Core
- Overclocking Yields 25 Percent Performance Increase
- Performance Winner – Q6600 Provides 5.3% More Performance
- Test Setup
- Software Configuration
- Benchmarks and Settings
- 3D-Games - UT2004, Prey
- 3D-Games - Quake 4, Warhammer
- 3D-Games - Supreme Commander, Serious Sam 2
- 3D-Rendering - Cinema 4D, 3D-Studio Max
- Applications - AVG, WinRAR
- Applications - Photoshop, PDF
- Applications - Deep Fritz
- Audio Encoding - iTunes, Lame
- Synthetic - Sandra CPU
- Synthetic - Sandra Memory
- Synthetic - Sandra Multimedia
- Synthetic - PC-Mark
- Synthetic - 3D-Mark
- Video Encoding - Xvid, Pinnacle Studio
- Video Encoding - Premiere, Mainconcept
- Video Encoding - HDTV, DivX
- Video Encoding - CloneDVD
- Conclusion - Intel Quad-Core and MSI P35 Neo2 get our Nod