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Thread: CPU and case dilemma

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    CPU and case dilemma

    Hi all
    My situation is as follows. I have a core 2 duo 6700 overclocked to 3ghz and stable. A few months ago I installed a 4850 graphics card into my case and due to the fixed HDD cage it just fitted.

    So my dilemma is: is it worth upgrading my CPU to a Q6700 to get quad? (While I can still get one) Or should I wait as the benefits are few, change my case and upgrade to a new mobo, i7 CPU etc.

    This may sound like a daft dilemma but if a Q6700 will show a marked difference in general running I would do just that and upgrade the rest of the system in a year.

    If the difference is minimal and not worth doing I would save my cash and save to change the case and mobo etc in a few months.

    My PC is mainly used for gaming, surfing, office work and converting movies to my WDTV (rarely)

    Thanks for looking.
    i2500K @ 4.3CPU, P8Z68-V, 8GB Kingston RAM, GTX 570, XFI sound, Intel 160GB SSD, Samsung 750GB F1, Thermaltake Toughpower 750 PSU and Corsair H60.

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    Ex-MSFT Paul Adams's Avatar
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    Re: CPU and case dilemma

    Quote Originally Posted by Anastie View Post
    I have a core 2 duo 6700 overclocked to 3ghz and stable.
    ...
    So my dilemma is: is it worth upgrading my CPU to a Q6700 to get quad?
    ...
    My PC is mainly used for gaming, surfing, office work and converting movies to my WDTV (rarely)
    Unlikely, I think.

    If you are just going from an E6700 to a Q6700 then you will only get a performance gain if the system is currently at 100% CPU load for long periods of time - I would imagine that even a dual core system spends a lot of time with an idle logical processor, and your bottleneck is more likely to be with the disk subsystem that anywhere else.

    To measure this, assuming you are using Windows, run Performance Monitor on your current system - one of the default counters on XP is Processor / % Processor Time / _Total.
    A single thread trying to use CPU time flat-out will generate a constant ~50% for this counter on a dual core system.

    Another useful counter to look at is System / Processor Queue Length - if you have a queue constant queue length of >10 then it's time to look at extra cores (or reducing the number of busy threads).


    I would guess that most intensive games would use 1 logical processor flat out while they are running because they tend to be single-threaded; for example World of Warcraft on my quad-core hyperthreaded system used almost bang-on 12.5% CPU time while it's running, never more - whereas my wife uses 3D rendering apps on her identical system and it loves parallel processing.

    Most users tend to use single instances of single-threaded apps, many of which take no CPU time if even if they are running but not being interacted with, so going from single to dual core is useful as Windows can use all logical processors, but after that I would guess diminishing returns.


    A CPU with a faster clock speed or FSB is more likely to give a difference you might notice, so the same number of threads get to execute faster - but again this is subject to wherever your current bottleneck is (graphics, disk, RAM) and this is dependent entirely on what you are demanding of the system.
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    Re: CPU and case dilemma

    Thank you for taking the time to give me such a detailed reply. I will look at that.
    i2500K @ 4.3CPU, P8Z68-V, 8GB Kingston RAM, GTX 570, XFI sound, Intel 160GB SSD, Samsung 750GB F1, Thermaltake Toughpower 750 PSU and Corsair H60.

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