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Intel Core2Duo. Yay or Nay?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Cockles, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Hello all

    In the reasonably near future, I will hopefully do a full system upgrade. At the moment, I am running an AMD XP2800, which to all intents and purposes is still going strong. However, I am quite a keen gamer and do a lot of graphics rendering. I last upgraded in June 2004. Problem is, PCI-E is the big thing now (so I have been told) which my board doesn't support, so it looks like I'll have to do the whole board.

    So far, I've run AMD through and through, and can't complain about them a bit, but I keep hearing about the power of the Core2. However, I did read somewhere that there was an issue with running the Core2 with Nvidia GPUs, and whilst being very powerful, were not too great for gaming machines, is that correct?

    Any advice greatly appreciated

    Ta chaps
     
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  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Its true that there isn't that much difference between a Core2 Duo platform and a top-end AMD one for gaming.

    However, when buying a new system you should always have the future firmly in mind. There are so many other benefits now with the Core2 Duo that its worth, for the first time in years, switching to Intel from AMD (IMHO)

    Check out this analysis for a better insight into gaming performance
     
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  3. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Also bear in mind the E6600 can perform as good and better in most instances as a FX-62
    the price points are significantly different
     
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  4. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Cheers Zeb. That's my main concern is making it as future-proof as possible. My current system cost me just over 300 notes when I bought it, and that was virtually everything new (motherboard, case, PSU, memory, chipset, graphics card, hard drive). That was over 2 years ago and like I say, it is still good quality, but some of the top end games like F.E.A.R. of FarCry need to be run at mid/low settings, and all I hear about is PCI-E expansions and Core2Duo chips

    I might give it a while longer and see what churns out. I reckon if anything AMD will drop their prices to compete if I want to stay on that path
     
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  5. Gaz 45

    Gaz 45 Kilobyte Poster

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    AMD have been slashing their prices recently in order to combat the Core 2 Duo, but it's just such a phoenomenal chip that I honestly can't see a reason to buy an AMD chip at the moment(and I can't believe I just said that!) unless you're going for anything under £90-£100 (and even then it's close!)

    Phoenix is right about the E6600 - it is comparable to the FX-62.
    The E6400 is pretty good too - it'll overclock something silly and only costs around £130-£150 (the E6600 is around £200-£220).

    There's a good rundown of current processors in this month's PC Pro (and a summary on their website).
     
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  6. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    I was going to quote that earlier! PC Pro has to be the best mag on the market (even setting aside Jon honeyball's M$ fanboyism). Some of the regular columns in there are great (I love Steve Cassidy's networks column) and the reviews are spot on. The piece on processors is superb - I found the graph of 'price v performance' absolutely staggering!
     
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  7. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    I just checked on Novatech (where I normally shop) and the AMD FX-62 was going for something like £562, a little bit out of my price range (well, quite a lot)

    Looking at the analysis you put up Zeb, I may be able to get away with just upgrading my GPU. At the moment I have a GeForce FX5200 128MB, which I think is slightly redundant now, running with my XP2800 at 2.08 GHz. I'm not in any mad hurry to do this, but if I could get away with spending a bit on the top GeForce AGP for hte time being, I may do that. Does that sound even slightly sensible?
     
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  8. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    I'm thinking about subscribing to PC Pro, but I have a (probably daft) question - what's the difference (apart from price) between the CD and DVD subscriptions? :blink

    Cheers,

    J.
     
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  9. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Ah, don't worry I've sussed it. :rolleyes:

    Thanks anyway guys. :biggrin

    J.
     
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  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    The DVD - having more space - tends to have more software on it. However, in my experience it is usualy something easily downloaded like a Linux Distro.

    So, IMHO, the DVD only makes sense if you are on dial-up.

    Harry.
     
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  11. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

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    Thanks Harry! :thumbleft

    I should have waited for your words of wisdom though, I just stumped up for the DVD version. :dry B0ll0cks. :rolleyes:

    Cheers, :biggrin

    J.
     
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  12. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

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    Intel Core 2 Duo I am not a big fan of...Now as for AMD...alot of you will know I am the proud owner of an AMD X2 4400 SPU...its normal clock speed is 2.2GHZ but I have managed to get it upto 2.4GHz...prices and that aside I still and will always be a big fan of AMD...in fact I have been using their CPUs since 2000...and I am more pleased since they merged with ATI...cos I use ATI for graphics...so I am with AMD all the way and say a big NO to Intel...sorry chaps...:biggrin
     
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  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I recently built a new system with an E6300 Core2Duo, the lowest end C2D you can get. Allow me to confirm that performance is ab-so-lute-ly outstanding. Supposedly, it overclocks like a monster, though I haven't tried.

    I'm using an ATI card, so I can't address the Nvidia concerns. However, this is the first I've heard of it, and I hang out on a PC enthusiast board (Anandtech, forums here) and did quite a bit of research before pulling the trigger on a C2D proc.
     
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  14. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Can you explain why Noel? I've never understood this dedication to one particular manufacturer. Surely, you should buy whatever suits your wallet and needs at the time? Blanket excluding whole manufacturers severly limits your choices, especially when there are only two main players in the market anyway. When I bought my GPU that I use on my main machine, the best money could buy was an Nvidia, and it's awesome. I'm likely to upgrade inside the next twelve months and I think this time my money will go to ATI because they seem to have the edge at the moment. It's the same with CPUs - I own both Intels and AMDs, each bought based on different needs from a system. I think my next CPU purchase will definitely be a Core 2 Duo though.
     
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  15. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I agree whole heartedly with Baba on this
    who makes your CPU makes no difference what so ever, the objective is to get the price performance point that meets your needs, I come across this attitude time and time again in meetings with clients who are 'intel' or 'amd' houses

    I too share a mixture of AMD and Intel and whilst I am upgrading my main Rig to a Core 2 Extreme QX6700 I am about to splash out on some Athlon X2s for my ESX farm, this again comes down to the processor doing what I need at a price point that is acceptable to me

    A bit off topic but said time and time again in any chat involving CPUs! :)
     
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  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I agree with Baba and Phoenix completely. I had an Nvidia GeForce Ti200 that performed great, but when I found a great deal on an ATI 9600 Pro, I jumped on it.

    Same holds true for processors. I've always purchased Intel in the past, as they gave me the stability and performance I wanted. That being said, I hadn't upgraded my 2.4 GHz P4 processor for four years, and during that time, AMD had fixed any lingering stability issues and clearly took the performance crown from Intel... at a much more attractive price to boot. Had Intel not released the Core 2 Duo at the exact time I was building a new box, I'd have most definitely gone AMD this time around.
     
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  17. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Absolutely concur, 100%

    I'll buy whatever seems best value at the time, or gives best performance/reliability, or a combination of all three. I've never been 'married' to a particular brand - processors are a perfect example of this.

    In the last three or four years, most systems I've built have had AMD processors because they gave more 'bang for your buck'. For my money, at the moment, going with a Core Duo rig is just common sense, since the performance benefits over a similarly priced AMD are astronomical. I daresay that when AMD's multicores get to market, they'll prove to be an attractive option, and may well entice me back to them but, for now, Intel is the only way to go for me!

    Incidentally, I'm just about to get a new main box (following a horrendous PSU disaster that took out my mobo, RAM, GPU, kettle, lights and garage door) and, for the first time in six years am considering getting a pre-built one from Cube. I just can't be arsed to spend the time building it, soak-testing everything, returning parts that don't work etc etc, so am considering this little puppy. Anyone used these guys before?
     
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  18. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    No haven't used them but I like their philosophy and I like that system Zeb. 8)
     
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  19. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Zeb mate
    AMDs multi cores have been available for a while, there is however no architectural change, its just two athlons on a processor
    the Intels had a MAjor (and thats a capital MA) architectural overhaul at the same time (no way two netbursts on the same processor would of been advisable!) :)
    I am interested to see what AMD have in the pipleline as the Opteron has remained unchanged significantly since its launch
     
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  20. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    Blimey, what a response, thanks guys

    My plan at the moment is either:

    a) Just upgrade to the best AGP GPU at the monment (which I beleive is a GeForce FX 9200, or something like that), run that for 12 months or so then do a whole upgrade.

    b) Wait a few months and spend a lot on a mobo, case, PSU and GPU (already got RAM coming out of my ears)

    Even though I'm only running an XP2800, it still is bloody fast for my work based stuff I do, working in Photoshop and that it still renders what I need very quickly, hence why I may just go with option a at the minute and see what Intel and AMD throw at each other in the next year or so.
     
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