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Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Retail - 2.40 GHz 1066 MHz FSB 8MB L2 Cache
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Retail - 2.40 GHz 1066 MHz FSB 8MB L2 Cache
 
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Τελική τιμή:
105€
 
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Αριθμός προσφορών:   6   (Δείτε το ιστορικό)
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Η δημοπρασία ξεκίνησε:
01/01/2009 - 09:09
 
 
Έληξε στις:
04/01/2009 - 09:09
 
 
ID:
14660552
 
 
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Περιγραφή

Έχω τρέξει τον επεξεργαστή στα 3.92 GHz με 1.425V με την Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme ψύκτρα με απόλυτη σταθερότητα στο Prime95. O Q6600 σε αντίθεση με αλλους επεξεργαστές μπορεί να τρέξει και με 1.5V O επεξεργαστής πωλούνται 169 εύρω στο Vision Studio Μπορείτε να δείτε τις υπόλοιπες ενεργές δημοπρασίες μου εδώ  Καλή επιτυχία.

Introduction

 

There\'s no doubt that 2006 was one of the most incredible years in technology in recent memory. There were scandals, impressive landscape-shifting mergers, strange new alliances and many new products and technologies unveiled. One launch that stands out in everyone\'s mind is Intel\'s Conroe last summer. We were teased with leaked benchmark results and other information months before the release and once the launch finally hit, we were all relieved to see that it actually lived up to the hype.

After a launch like this, we didn\'t think that a follow-up would arrive for a while. We were wrong. In the early fall, we first learned about Intel\'s quad-core CPU, which is essentially two Conroes under the same IHS. I admit, I didn\'t expect to actually see it so soon, but come November, it was publicly available for anyone to purchase. Intel\'s at the top of their game, and don\'t want to step down anytime soon.

When they first launched their QX6700, they held off launching the Q6600 until early January. We don\'t know the reason for the delay, but now the possibility of having your own quad-core machine without breaking the bank has finally arrived. Let\'s first get the basics out of the way.

 

Oh My Quad

 

The Q6600 is a 2.4GHz chip, like its little brother the E6600. Both CPUs are nearly identical and use the same die(s), except that the Q6600 has two of them. Essentially, everything is doubled. Twice the cores, twice the cache and twice the drool. Like the other Core 2 Duos, Core 2 Quads are based on a 65nm process, although the process requires a slightly higher stock voltage. Since both the Quads are so similar to the Duos, it\'s no surprise to see that the die size is simply doubled as well, resulting in 2 x 143mm^2.

When compared to the top of the line QX6700 chip, the specs are again identical except for the 2.66GHz clock speed. Other than that, the CPUs are the same, just binned differently. When comparing to the top end Core 2 Duo, the differences are a lot more meaningful. While the QX6700 retails for just under $1,000, so does the X6800. However, when considering the QX6700, you receive a lower clock speed in return for twice the cores. At that point, it\'s up to you whether you want or need the sheer clock speed or greater benefits for your multi-thread applications.

To help put everything into perspective, here\'s a simple graph showcasing all of Intel\'s current Core 2 offerings.

CPU Model
Clock Speed
FSB
L2 Cache
TDP
Cores
Pricing
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz 1066MHz 4MB x 2 130w 4 $999
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 1066MHz 4MB 75W 2 $999
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz 1066MHz 4MB x 2 105W 4 $851
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 1066MHz 4MB 65W 2 $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 1066MHz 4MB 65W 2 $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 1066MHz 2MB 65W 2 $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 1066MHz 2MB 65W 2 $183
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.80GHz 800MHz 2MB 65W 2 $163

One interesting point to note is that even though the Q6600 is essentially 2 x E6600, the TDP is not doubled, but rather sits at a comfortable 105W. The higher clocked QX6700 is 130W, however, which is why we don\'t see a QX6800 instead. A TDP of 130W is high to begin with, but considering the much slower 820 D we reviewed less than a year ago also had a TDP of 130W, power consumption still hasn\'t entered uncharted territory, and there are thermal solutions available to deal with that kind of heat.

Below, you can see a highly detailed illustration of the quad-core\'s innards. In case you thought that two dies would be a tight squeeze, think again! Despite having four cores, there\'s still a reasonable amount of breathing room in there. For a more realistic view of the chip with the HS off, you can check out the picture provided by Intel here.

 

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As far as the back of the CPU goes, nothing can better explain it than a photograph. The E6600 sits on the left while the Q6600 is on the right. The only difference is in the number of filtering components.

 

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With introductions out of the way, let\'s explore the reason Quad-Core exists and take a look at its future.

Future Gaming on Quad

 

Dual Core CPUs have been in consumers\' hands for a couple years now, but it was a slow process before we started seeing applications exploit them. Today, things are different. Most of our everyday applications are multi-threaded, including a few that we benchmarked earlier. Nero is one of the ones that stands out in my mind, because I use it regularly. It\'s not always the multi-threaded applications that people care about though, it\'s the fact that they have spare cores to play with.

There\'s been one major gripe ever since we first received Dual Core CPUs, namely that there are no games out there that support them. The benefits would be obvious. Some newer games are not just taxing on your graphics card, but CPU as well. Using a Dual Core, you\'d essentially be doubling the amount of information that can be passed along. It sounds good in thought, but the problem is that few developers are taking an initiative.

The most common complaint from game studios is that making a multi-thread game is not an easy task. In fact, it requires additional training and understanding in order to execute properly. This results in a more costly title in the end. Time is another factor, for obvious reasons. Planning out a multi-core capable game takes a lot of planning to make sure it flows as it should.

That being said, the future for gaming is still bright. It will be a while before multi-threaded gaming becomes commonplace, but later this year we should be seeing a few titles that will effectively use additional cores. Will these extra cores wipe out the need for a physics card? Probably not right from the get-go, if at all. Like GPUs, PPUs are highly optimized for the specific type of calculations they perform. But in the end, we will likely see extra cores used as common practice far before we see a physics card becoming mainstream, simply because -every- gamer out there will have a CPU, while PPU add-on cards are another expense.

While visiting Intel at CES, they showed off two demos, both of which I examined in-depth over the past week of testing. The first was their Ice Storm Fighters, which was developed by Futuremark exclusively for them. There is one reason this demo was developed and one reason only, to show the immediate benefits that a multi-core processor can have on gaming. Reminiscent to the Tie Fighter scene in Star Wars episode IV, Ice Fighters consists of a large snow covered level that has many vehicles and Mechs right in the heat of battle.

There are two options at the main screen, Low and High. High is for quad-core CPUs while Low is for dual-core. This demo stresses ALL cores like no other game, so if you choose High while using a dual-core, it will lag significantly. You have the ability to add or remove bots if you want, but the more you add will simply slow down the demo even further. Even with just 20 units on the screen, it put all four cores to good use.

The cores are essentially being used for physics engines, where all of the AI and particle effects are being placed on each core. Not only is the actual AI stressing the CPU, but everything else in the scene, including left over bullet marks in the snow, which you can see an example of in the picture below.

 

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While this demo can be manually played, it\'s not designed to become a full blown retail release, it\'s strictly a tech demo. What it proves though, is that multi-core processors can be used to their full potential in gaming and have obvious benefits. Instead of bullet-hole decals fading away after a few seconds, the extra CPU power can be used to keep them there, resulting in a more realistic experience. Lets face it, in this day in age it is weird to play a game and see your bullet-holes disappear right after you put them there.

This is just one example though, but it goes to show that extra cores can be put to good use -if- the developers want to go that route. One thing I will mention is that installing the Ice Fighters demo will also install the AGEIA PhysX engine. So while you may not need a PhysX card up front, AGEIA seems to have a good thing going with their API. To give the demo a try for yourself, you can grab it here. You do need an Intel dual-core or quad-core to use the demo; it will error on an AMD.

 

Valve Particle Benchmark

 

In addition to their Ice Fighters demo, Intel showed us even more benefits of multi-core processors using Valve\'s Particle Benchmark. Essentially, this is another physics type demo that throws all of the particle computations onto the CPU. Particles could be a number of things.. smoke from a gun, rain, a waterfall, et cetera. The difference here though, is instead of these being pre-rendered objects, they are all computed in real time, which is why it\'s so taxing on the CPU. The processor is computing the scene as it happens to give a more realistic experience.

 

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That said, unlike the Ice Fighters demo, this is an actual benchmark. It consists of you walking up to a terminal and pushing a button, which will then automatically deliver four "simple" scenes that stress the CPU with particles. As simple as the tests seem, it spits out an even simpler score.

 

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As you can see, as the cores are increased, the results scale accordingly. The E6300 for example had a 100% increase when moving from single to dual core. While this "benchmark" doesn\'t really mean much in the grand scheme of things, it again shows that multi-core CPUs can be used to their full potential in gaming.

The good news is that multi-core games, despite being hard to code for, will become more commonplace as time goes on. It\'s a matter of consumer demand, and bragging rights in pushing the performance envelope. Some engines currently available already offer good multi-core capabilities out of the box, like Unreal Engine 3 which powers such games as UT3, Gears of War and Rainbow Six: Vegas. Game companies that license the engine will likely have an easier time creating their game around a multi-core CPU.

One example benefit of multi-core gaming is in regards to a quote from an interview with a UT3 developer. I haven\'t been able to track down the exact article, but what was mentioned was that UT3 (the artist formally known as Unreal Tournament 2007) -could- use up to five cores out of the box, one for each class of gameplay, whether it be particles, AI, physics, etc. Whether or not that was a quote of "what is" or "what could be", it shows that a few developers are interested in getting the ball rolling on working with multi-core possibilities. It\'s just a matter of waiting it out for now...

Final Thoughts

 

In the past year, there have been many products released that had a lot of potential, but were not worth the money for most people. Although AGEIA\'s PhysX card is gaining momentum, it\'s still been out for a year and there is still little content, so it\'s essentially there for those who really don\'t care about their $250. Then there\'s the Killer NIC... but I won\'t get into that here. When I first heard about Kentsfield, I, like so many people, was a tad skeptical. The fact is though, after thorough testing, I no longer find quad-core to be as needless as I originally pictured it to be.

This is not to say that I recommend a quad-core CPU to everyone, simply because most people will not even touch the sheer power that is available. Heck, most who own a dual-core may not even benefit from it. Without question, hobbyist programmers, graphic designers and also multi-media developers would benefit incredibly from a quad core.

As we found out during our testing though, it\'s not only multimedia and simulation designers who would benefit from the processor, but everyday multi-taskers as well. Nero for example is multi-threaded, so all of your DVD and video encoding projects will complete far quicker on a quad-core compared to a dual-core at the same speed. Aside from single multi-threaded applications, there are further advantages to a quad-core. Multi-tasking will prove a smoother ride than on a dual-core, especially if you run multiple large apps at once. I mentioned in the intro about a common scenario, to play a game while encoding a DVD. Well the quad-core takes it one step further, simply because it will perform that task even quicker while playing that game.

One thing I wanted to consider was whether or not using a quad-core would decrease performance for any current apps, simply because of the larger interconnects. Those concerns were rid quickly. There is no significant decrease in any of the applications or games we tested with. Where there were slight differences between the E6600 and Q6600, they were incredibly minute.

Do you need this CPU? Only you will be able to answer that question. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, then the benefits are there, no question. I am not talking about juggling Solitaire, Notepad and Calculator, but heavier multi-tasks such as recoding a DVD while working on a spreadsheet while watching a video while surfing the web while writing a review about a quad-core CPU. The fact of the matter is, while having four cores at your disposal won\'t matter to most people, if you have the money to spend and enjoy the extra freedom, you\'re not likely to go wrong with a quad-core system.

 

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So, what\'s the cost of going quad-core? Currently, the Q6600 retails for around $900, while an E6600 retails for closer to $325. Essentially, you would be doubling the CPU capabilities for almost triple the price. One added benefit on top of the obvious is the fact that you can have quad-core without a dual socket processor. Another plus is that the power consumption is lower with a quad-core CPU over a multi-socket motherboard solution like QuadFX, with two dual-core processors. The quad-core performance of the Q6600 does come at a premium. It shouldn\'t be too long before we see prices drop though, if you don\'t mind the wait.

While the Q6600 is a great processor, I don\'t recommend upgrading from another Core chip you already have, unless you specifically want the added multitasking and multithreading benefits. Some people are willing to slap down over $900 for a CPU... some aren\'t. Either way, it\'s a great addition to any rig.

You may have noticed that I didn\'t touch on a few points in this review, namely power consumption and overclocking. I have a Kill-A-Watt en route, but of course as is my luck, I did not receive it in time for this review. As far as overclocking goes, I am still in the process of finding the maximum stable overclock. For the record though, I did manage to hit a 100% stable overclock of 2.8GHz on air. Both power consumption and overclocking will be covered in an overclocking-focused article in the near future, so stay tuned for that.

After reading through this review, you probably have a far clearer idea of whether quad-core is for you. Although pricey, it has some huge benefits for those whose application software can make use of the extra cores. For some, the extra performance will greatly overshadow the higher cost. As it stands, this is one fantastic CPU and performs as well as we had hoped. Because of that, as well as its significance in pushing the envelope of performance, it\'s earned itself our Editors Choice award.

 

Discuss in our forums!

 

If you have a comment you wish to make on this review, feel free to head on into our forums! There is no need to register in order to reply to such threads.

 

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