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OT: Is Core 2 Duo E6400 Slower Than P4 For Gaming?

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Fidelis K, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Fidelis K

    Fidelis K Guest

    I'm building a new system based on the Bad Axe, the Core 2 Duo E6400
    (2.13GHz) & X1900GT and my current system has a P4 2.8GHz & an X850Pro.

    Someone told me that *if* the two PCs use equivalent graphic cards, games
    run slower on my new system because (1) games ignore the 2nd core and (2)
    thus game will be powered by a 2.13GHz processor instead of a 2.8GHz
    processor. Is that true???
    Fidelis K, Oct 19, 2006
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  2. The question can't be answered without knowing what the other CPU is
    (exactly), but I'd say that it's generally not true.

    First, both cores are used (to varying degrees). Remember that Windows
    itself is running alongside the game, and Windows does support dual
    cores. It's likely that the game gets one core and Windows functions
    get the other core.

    Second, the Cores are "Pentium M" type cores. These are far more
    efficient (more "IPCs", in AMD's terms (IPC = instructions per clock))
    than an old style (Netburst) Pentium 4. They are almost twice as fast,
    a 2.13 GHz core of this type will probably beat a 3GHz Netburst core.

    However, I'd have spent the extra money to have gone with an E6600. Not
    only would you have gotten a faster clock (2.4 GHz vs. 2.13), but far
    more importantly the cache was doubled (4 megabytes vs. 2 megabytes).

    Core 2 Duo is absolutely destroying all previous chips (even the $1,000
    "extreme edition" chips) in all benchmarks, although most of the
    benchmarks are being run with the E6600 and faster.
    Barry Watzman, Oct 19, 2006
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  3. Fidelis K

    Clas Mehus Guest

    So far there ain't many games really taking advantage of dual core
    CPUs. This will change, not just for how the games are developed, but
    also optimalizations in drivers and APIs.

    GHz doesn't tell you much unless you are comparing the same
    architecture. For an example a single-core 2,4 GHz Athlon 64 will be
    MUCH faster than a 2,4 GHz Pentium 4.

    Even with only one core used a 2,13 GHz Core 2 Duo will be quite much
    faster than a... well, at least a 3,4 GHz Pentium 4*. As we have said
    now, not many games takes real advantage of two cores yet -- still, if
    you look at benchmarks, the Core 2 Duos are faster than P4's on lower

    * I once did a comparison using a 1.8 GHz Pentium M, which has the
    architecture the Core 2 is based on, towards a Pentium 4 3,2 GHz. For
    gaming these was about the same.... basicly: the Pentium M/Core 2 Duo
    is much more efficient compared to the clock. You can say it "does
    more for each clockcycle".

    And with upcoming games, the difference will be larger and larger
    between single- and dual core CPUs....

    Conclution: "Someone" is wrong....
    Clas Mehus, Oct 19, 2006
  4. Fidelis K

    Fidelis K Guest

    Thanks for the replies. Now, I know I'll enjoy building my new system next
    Fidelis K, Oct 19, 2006
  5. Fidelis K

    Dodgy Guest

    I shall echo the previous 2 replies.

    Having been an owner of a Pentium 4M 1.86Ghz laptop for a while now, I
    can tell you that that CPU design is far better than the desktop P4
    chip. I regularly play games like Battlefield 1942 and TFC on my
    laptop and it's only got x300 graphics.

    I have recently put together an E6600 (2.4Ghz) based desktop machine
    for more serious gaming (only an X1600 card though), and to be honest
    the performance of the Duo is devastating, even from the windows
    desktop you can feel the extra oomph. (Previously my desktop machine
    was 3.2Ghz Hyperthreaded P4 based). Re-encoding one of my DVDs with
    DVDshrink to fit a single layer DVD-R took approx half the time the
    old machine took, plus the machine was still useable at the same time,
    it didn't get bogged down.

    And just like everyone else, I had to play with the overclocking,
    wound up the FSB from 266Mhz to 300Mhz (moving the CPU from 2.4Ghz to
    2.7Ghz, past the E6700 at 2.66Ghz) and it didn't bat an eyelid, it
    just ate the benchmarks for dinner and didn't even need any silly

    Probably the most telling thing about the speed is that after my
    overclocking test, I didn't bother pushing further, and I clocked it
    back to standard, I just don't feel the need for any more power at the
    moment (I'll let XP clog itself up a bit before I resort to that!

    Dodgy, Oct 19, 2006
  6. * Fidelis K:
    Nope! The person that told you this probably does not really have a
    clue. Just comparing the clock speed numbers is stupid when talking
    about the performance of cpus of a different architecture.

    If you don't limit the Core 2 Dou system artificially (i.e. by only
    using 256MB RAM only) even one core of the Core 2 will wipe the floor
    with a P4 2.8GHz every time.

    What's right is that especially older games don't profit from the second
    core. But even then a single core of the Core 2 Duo is still much faster
    than the P4.

    Benjamin Gawert, Oct 19, 2006
  7. Fidelis K

    Jean Guest

    | * Fidelis K:
    | What's right is that especially older games don't profit from the second
    | core. But even then a single core of the Core 2 Duo is still much faster
    | than the P4.
    | Benjamin

    If you force the OS to the 1st core and force the old game to the 2nd core
    (via Windows "affinity" settings), can an old game get a performance boost
    by not having to share the processor with the OS?

    Jean, Oct 19, 2006
  8. * Jean:
    Not really. Just let the Windows scheduler handle it.

    Benjamin Gawert, Oct 19, 2006
  9. Fidelis K

    Dodgy Guest

    Windows will do that for you anyway, it'll assign the game to the core
    least busy core.

    Dodgy, Oct 19, 2006
  10. Fidelis K

    Geoff Guest

    1 is true
    2 is not true (see the 'mhz myth')
    Geoff, Oct 21, 2006
  11. Fidelis K

    Clint Guest

    Clint, Oct 21, 2006
  12. And even if the game truly doesn't support dual Cores, Windows XP does.
    So the OS and game can run more independently of each other.
    Barry Watzman, Oct 21, 2006
  13. Fidelis K

    Bill Guest


    Call of Duty doesn't, Call of Duty2 does.

    Bill, Oct 22, 2006
  14. Fidelis K

    Clint Guest

    You're right; sorry.


    Clint, Oct 22, 2006
  15. Fidelis K


    Apr 27, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Listen man, I just ditched a 2.93Gz Prescott p4 with a radeon x700-- pretty much the same gig you had. Now i'm running a e6400 with a 8800gts. All and all pretty equivalent to what you had and what you want to upgrade to. My performance in and out of game (just running windows apps and whatnot) has gone through the roof. On cs source i was getting around 70fps before my new system. Now i get around 140fps. I lightly overclocked my system to 3.2gz (which is capable with stock cooling) and i'm bouncing right around 200fps. If that's not enough justification, i'm running the hog of an os, Vista with aero. In XP everything is off the charts. Best of luck and let me know if you need info on overclocking. here's a good guide if you decide to get the core2 6400 https://www.motherboardpoint.com/t151394-ot-is-core-2-duo-e6400-slower-than-p4-for-gaming.html

    btw in reference to the p4 m architecture--- P4 has 20 pipes, M has 12 --- thus a 1.73gz mobile laptop (incidentally i have one) is as fast as a 3gz p4...providing it's not running many apps
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2007
    stxdpc, Apr 27, 2007
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