The Quad Cores are down by half!
I almost bought an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600 (2.8GHz) 2 weeks ago. Good thing I waited. That time, the Intel Q6600 2.4GHz 8MB (Core 2 Duo Quad Core) was selling for a steep price of Php29,500. Well, that’s 4 cores in all so I thought the price was justified. That time, AMD announced its price cuts on all X2 and Opteron processors. Intel was supposed to follow suit after introducing their newer lines (E6550 at 2.33GHz, E6750 at 2.66GHz and E6850 3.0GHz C2D) running at 1,333MHz FSB with 4MB L2 cache.
Imagine my excitement when I checked the new prices today.
That very expensive Intel Quad Core CPU has dropped by almost half the price — Php 14,510. The newly introduced procs have also leveled with it: E6550 (2.33GZ) at Php9,050; E6750 (2.66GHz) at Php10,140 and E6850 (3.0GHz) at Php14,460. The price cuts was in effect last July 22 in the US.
The next question now is, between the Q6600 (2.4GHZ Quad Core C2D 8MB L2) and the E6850 (3.0GHz C2D 4MB L2), which one has more bang for the buck? Most would think 4 cores is better than 2 cores, but look at the raw clock speed differences and the FSB too. If you run a simple math — 4 cores x 2.4GHz at 1066 FSB versus the 2 cores x 3.0GHz at 1333FSB — the quad should win but remember these CPUs will work differently with the softwares, OSes and games you run it with. AnandTech (the kid whom I based my domain back in 2000) has a review and a chart on performance comparison.
In my opinion, the E6850 is perfect in today’s set-up as it maximizes the FSB with a higher clock speed for raw power. However, the Q6600 though lower in clock is more future-ready. As OSes and applications become quad-core optimized, they juice will kick in. Besides, with the proper cooling system, you can potentially push the Q6600 up to 3.0GHz (which theoretically makes it an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850).