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I've gradually upgraded my PC as I've pushed my system with video editing. I regularly edit several large sections of HD video at once and need a CPU to be able handle that.
Ideally, I should be using an even more powerful processor, but I'm on a budget and just cannot entertain buying something costing £200-£300 or more such as an Intel i7 CPU.
This is a good compromise. It quad core offer the power I need and it handles pretty much whatever I throw at it without too much trouble. With the right cooling, I've read that you can also overclock this CPU to increase the performance significantly, but I'm happy with it running at 'stock' speed with the supplied heatsink and fan.
Because it's a processor ideal for multi-tasking, you can run several programs at once and it performs well. Obviously it depends on your RAM and the type of programs you are running as to the performance. Running a video editing package and expecting the internet and office software to run at full speed is pushing expectations a little, but it definitely far better than the Intel Core 2 CPU I had before.
Overall, a strong choice for those wanting some flexibility and power but can't afford the high end Intel CPU.
I certainly don't feel the CPU is the weak link in the system anymore, which was the case before.
I got my Intel 2 Core Quad Q6600 processor 1.5 years ago (February 2009), and even though it was cheap then, it can still pack a mighty punch today!
The Q6600 is a budget quad core processor. It somehow struck the perfect balance between performance and price and became an incredibly popular processor. For a couple of years now, this processor has been incredibly popular, even in scenes such as the home recording community. I belong in that group, using this processor in my home recording studio. For those of us who demand performance and are on a budget, the Q6600 has been a solid alternative for a while, and it is only now, when Intel's i5 and i3 line of processors are starting to come down in price, that the Q6600 has a real contender. Of course, we would all love the i7 processors, if we could afford them.
February 2009 I payed £350 for a full desktop computer with an Intel Q6600 processor. I'd estimate the actual processor cost something in the lines of £120-150. Today you might be able to get it for around £100. Although the Q6600 is not really a product you would be buying new today. You'd be more likely to look at something like Intel's i3 or i5 processors to fill that same low budget powerhorse spot. That being said, the Q6600 has aged incredibly well, and updating is only necessary for the power users that play groundbreaking games, record music, etc. For more casual PC users, the Q6600 could last a long time. Although, if you were to acquire one today, it would probably be second hand.
My old processor before the Q6600 was a Pentium D805, one of the very early dual core processors. In comparison, the Q6600 is more stable, more quiet and keeps a lower temperature. To be honest, I am still amazed at the punch this processor is delivering, considering the low price, although we should soon be seeing an Intel i3 or i5 taking over that some low budget spot.
It's a bit odd reviewing this processor at this point of time, as it's not a hot product any more, and hence anyone reading this are likely to either be on an even lower budget than I was 1.5 years ago, or they might be looking in the second hand market. I think the Q6600 was the first quad core processor for very many people, and the transition from a dual or single core computer to the Q6600 is so significant, I am sure any consumer would be blown away.
It's a rock solid processor, and it is coping very well with the demands I am putting on it on a weekly basis with my recording sessions, although, of course I wish I had the money to upgrade, just to get even more power at my fingertips.
to date this is the best processor i have ever ownd, its cool quick and quiet. i have it running on an Asus SLI motherboard with 4GB of RAM and 8800GT 512mb graphics card and it flies. i can still play all the latest games at near top spec settings including crysis, Call of Duty World at War, Batman Arkham Asylum...you name it, this will run it.
i paid £140 for it off ebuyer, and still to date thats a bargain for the amount of processing power available. i can still see myself using this same processor in 5 years time and it still being able to keep up with my needs! short of needing to do on the fly bluray editing there is no need for a more expensive or powerful processor when this will do everything you need and more for much much less. highly recommended to all
At first this just appears to be a fairly standard quad core processor from intel. Decent value for money, decent speed, nothing amazing. But realy, its some what of a hidden gem, thanks to one thing. Overclocking. The stock speed is faily low at 2.4 GHz, but if coupled with a good motherboard and good cooling, it can be pushed to much further. I got mine running incredibly stable (tested for 6 hours on prime 95) running at 3 GHz fairly easily. This means that this processor is great for a gaming enthusiast on a budget, who can afford the latest core i7s (like me...) If you have a decent graphics card (i have a nvidia 8800 GT) then it will easily be able to handle crysis on medium/high settings, which is excellent. It is also a very good choice for a media center setup, if you dont overclock it, it easly handles any decoding task you trow at is, and is relitivly quite at stock speed with a decent fan. Overall, the Q6600 is a great value processor, and will be for some time.
When purchasing PC bits I always aim for the point where value meets performance and for quad-core processors this is it! After reading many in depth reviews of this processor rating its performance as only inferior to its own upgrade that costs 50% more I decided to take the plunge.
It's a great piece of kit that stands up to the current best-of PC games. The retail box includes a nice new heatsink design that really knocks the socks of the standard "block of steel" heatsinks that you use to get from Intel. If you're one of those people that have previously snapped motherboards with the previous "Push til you hear a crunch" heatsink installations then you'll be very pleased with the new locking mechanism that puts very little pressure on the motherboard and sits the CPU using plastic pins that twist into place.
I'll admit I immediate scraped the heat paste off and replaced it with a custom one but it wasn't particularly difficult or messy to remove and the provided heatsink has great contact with the CPU, the fan isnt too huge either. The whole lot sits solidly at 50 degrees full load without any specialised cooling around it and the included fan is definitely mighty enough for the job at hand as well as being virtually silent.
If you're new to PC building and some of what I've set confuses you, rest assured this is a new simpler design that comes with more complete instructions and everything you need to attempt plug-and-play.
I haven't attempted over-clocking but from what I can tell there are no in-built restrictions on finding your CPUs absolute limit although I don't recommend trying it!
Be warned: a large amount of the quad core performance comes from the windows version you use and the game that you're playing. Vista is the only windows OS so far to be completely multi-threaded and using a 64 bit OS is also essential. Games are hit and miss but most brand new off-the-shelf games should be made with this generation of CPU in mind.
I purchased this processor exactly 1 year ago for use in my main home system. The system is used for video & audio editing, gaming, and general PC use. To be exact I purchased an OEM version of the newer stepping energy efficient chip (all chips purchased now will be that version). The stock speed is 2.4ghz, and by using an Arctic Cooling heatsink/fan I easily clocked it to 3.4ghz where it has remained, perfectly stable for a year. Granted I am using a pretty high end Asus Commando motherboard, but even if your motherboard is cheaper, you shouldnt have any problems getting it to at least 3ghz. Benchmark wise, at the speed I'm using it at, it blows every other chip out the water at stock speeds. Its more than enough power for everything I throw at it (even though its some pretty high end processing). I would highly recommend this chip, as it gives so much power for a reasonably low price.
If you are ready to invest some pretty good cash then Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 can be a dream processor for you of course unless you are a hardcore gamer and gaming is the prime usage of your PC. Only a hardcore gamer will dare to ignore this miracle product from Intel. Lets get this straight. According to me the introduction of Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel Core 2 Quad processors has given Intel a definite lead in the race between Intel and AMD. I think that Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 and Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 are the fastest processors in the market today and they even surpass the AMD 5400x2 processor in quite a number of areas. So lets examine this new beauty from Intel. With the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor you get 4 executing cores with Intel's new Core micro architecture that takes multi-threading to the extreme. Without a shadow of doubt, this processor is built for fast computing. If you do a lot of multimedia tasks, encoding, rendering and want to run a lot of threaded applications, then look no further because in that case this processor is your number one choice at present.. Lets have a through look at it :
Processor name : Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
No of cores : 4
CPU Socket type : LGA 775
Cache Memory : 8mb L2, (Advanced smart) (No L3 cache)
Clock speed : 2.4 GHz
Front Side Bus : 1066 MHz
Max. power : 105 W
Hyper Threading support : No (Actually not needed. This feature in Pentium 4 and Pentium D processors has been replaced by the Intel's new core Micro Architecture)
MMX support : Yes
SSE support : Yes
SSE2 support : Yes
SSE3 support : Yes
X86-64 support : Yes
XD-bit support : Yes
Warranty : 3 yrs (limited)
You also get access to built in Intel technologies like :
Intel Wide Dynamic Execution
Intel Intelligent Power Capability
Intel Virtualization Technology
Dual Intel Dynamic Acceleration technology
Intel Smart Memory Access
Larger Intel Advanced Smart Cache
Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost
So there you go. A super fast processor for people who like fast computing. While running threaded applications, rendering, sampling videos, performing several multimedia tasks, the performance will simply be jaw-dropping.
Now another thing to point out. I am not saying that Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 is a bad choice for gamers. Actually its ok for gaming but the fact is that I feel this processor wasn't built for gaming. A hardcore gamer would prefer Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 or E6700 because he/she will feel that spending the extra money wont help his/her gaming experience too much. This processor was actually built for people who don't care too much about gaming (or who are normal gamers, not hardcore ones) and who love to experience high end processor performance which will give them the lead in modern day computing by sheer raw processing power. This processor is a beast so far as processing power and multi-threading is concerned and sets new standards for the other processors in the market . And once you start using it, you will definitely feel the difference.
But about gamers...... who are happy with playing games as their primary usage of their PCs.. you can be happy with your E6600 or E6700.
The Q6600, known as "energy efficient" (only 95watts) is in fact not just a 2.4ghz x4 processor, its a 3ghz x4 monster processor waiting to be unlocked (even 4ghz to those with good coolers and a knowledge of your motherboard bios). I was blown away by this chip when it found its new home in my pc, mazzive upgrade from a 1.86 core 2 duo. The thing is, and they don't tell the public this, the four cores are rarely supported by any program and a big dispute is currently on whether its best to get more cores at slower speed, or less cores clocked higher speeds. At the minute for gaming, Crysis and Race Driver: Grid are the only ones to my knowledge and even then Crysis' multicore support is pretty much laughable. So the quad/dual core debate comes down to one of two things, whether you want performance now? or later when people start implementing multi core support? The Q6600 has so far eaten everything that I've been able to throw at it, the processor side of computing after I bought this chip just feels right, like I haven't seen the best of it yet, I bought it when it cost £170 and It's one of the few products I don't feel cheated the price going down, I'm just so pleased with it. The Q6600, unless you have some serious money to throw away IS exceptional at everything, vid encoding and even music recording with an onboard soundcard is fine. A real masterpiece!