Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern GPUs?
Introduction, Test System
We've done so. And just for fun, we've added overclocked CPU results into the mix as well.
The Q6600 we originally tested was one of the best-selling enthusiast processors of its day, but dual-core chips were very much the norm. At the time, there were only a handful of games that could even take advantage of four cores and both Intel and AMD priced by core count. That's changed now, with multiple games using up to four cores.
So, can older Core 2 Duo's still keep up? Let's find out.
Our test bed, the ASUS Rampage Formula X48 Motherboard, from days of yesteryear.
EVGA's GeForce GTX 660 SuperClocked backing-up the Core 2 Duo with muscle.
We tested the E6850 and Q6600 in the same Asus X48 Rampage Formula motherboard with 3GB of DDR2-1066. An EVGA GTX 260 and GTX 660 were used to compare graphics performance. Our overclocked figures were measured using the Q6600 (SLACR core) with its FSB bumped to 1333MHz, up from 1066MHz.
As before, we present performance figures for the GTX 260 and GTX 660. Overclocked performance with the Q6600 at 3GHz and the GTX 660 is also given. The primary question we want to answer is how much a new GPU can help the performance of an older dual-core CPU. In our default configuration, the Q6600 has twice the cores, but the E6850 enjoys a 25% clock speed advantage.