Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern GPUs? - HotHardware

Can Legacy Dual-Core CPUs Drive Modern GPUs?

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Battlefield 3:

BF3 is known for maintaining a consistent frame rate and runs extremely well on older hardware. We benchmarked the game with custom detail settings -- everything was set to "High", save for MSAA, which was enabled at 4x. We benchmarked the Operation Firestorm map in a 64 player game.


Battlefield 3 paints an interesting performance picture. Equipped with a GTX 260, the difference between dual and quad-core configurations is tiny -- and actually favors the 3GHz Conroe. Once we switch to the GTX 660, the tables turn. The GTX 660 delivers a respectable 15% performance boost for the E6850, but the Q6600 pulls ahead in absolute terms.

Overclocking the Q6600 improves the CPU's performance enormously. The gain is noticeable even without Fraps; the game is much smoother.

Borderlands 2:
Borderlands 2 doesn't have presets, so we've dropped in a handy screenshot with the settings we used.



In Borderlands 2, we forced FXAA on via the graphics driver as well as enabling it from in the in-game menu. This somewhat improved the visual quality but didn't impact performance much on either card.



In Borderlands 2, the Q6600 has a significant performance advantage with both GPUs. The E6850 + GTX 260 combination is slow enough to drag noticeably when there's a lot of action on the screen; the Q6600's frame rate dips at these moments, but not to the same degree. Switching to the GTX 660 gives the E6850 a 60% frame rate increase, compared to a gain of 50% for the Q6600. Here, the benefit of overclocking is fairly modest -- a 25% clock speed boost yields a 12.5% performance gain.

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I was just thinking about putting in an old q6600 in to my nephews pc to replace his E8750, now i can confirm it will be a nice upgrade :)

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Definitely. And if you're up for overclocking, the results are even better.

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That's a very good article there, Joel - very enlightening. Thanks for that!

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Good article Joel. I guess that this puts some of the comments on the original piece to rest.

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Nice... Thought the first article was interesting but just less practical for most, this piece answers questions that pertain to more of us and results are still good! I figured the quad core would have faired much better than a dual core of that era but here are the results! My current PC (yes I call it a PC because I run win7) is a 2.66ghz dualcore iMac so I can't even upgrade the videocard lol but hey it was free!

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PC sounds like the right terminology to me. And a free iMac is a damn good thing too. I miss the one I had.

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Good friend of mine recently upgraded to he new one and this one has been dropped the corner dented with the glass broken but other than that perfect but he saw it as a damaged hand-me-down. 24" so it's great for YouTube viewing with friends in th garage. Runs dota2 just fine but that's all I e thrown at its gforcce 9400m =\

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The era of dual cores ended at the beginning of 2010 with the release of BFBC2, which was extremely core-heavy. It ate dual cores for breakfast, launch and dinner... and have only showed that a dual core, no matter how fast it is, just didn't cut it anymore.

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Inquisius,

Given that Intel's cheapest quad-core is $179, I'm not sure I'd agree with this sentiment.

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What does the price of a chip has to do with it's performance? If you kept with the times, you maybe wouldn't even have bothered to write this article off because it was known that dual cores DIED once 2010 came in:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i5_661/15.html

More so, the fact that you're suggesting people second hand Q6600's is pure absurd. Yeah, surely the Q6600 does better than dual cores in the majority of games nowadays, but what's the point in investing money on such old, inefficient, and dead platform when you can get a Sandy or Ivy combo from Microcenter for not so much more?

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