Going Quad Core

new computer parts

It’s been over 1.5 years since I built my current computer, and back then it was pretty decent. Heck, it’s still pretty decent right now and there’s no real reason why I decided to upgrade, other than the fact that I had the upgrade itch. So, that’s why last week I ordered a bunch of components (again from Netlink Computers) to build a new computer with. The parts arrived yesterday, after some haggling with Purolator, but everything seems to be in good shape and I’m excited to put things together!

I decided to go with the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor. Why? Well, it was a sweet price – $270 – and it’s quad-core. Just the name sounds so badass – it’s reminiscent of the “Quad Damage” power up of the Quake FPS series, and heck, quad is better than dual, no? But let’s be real here – I probably have no real need for a quad-core processor, and claims of future-proofing may be dubious at best. After all, I am on a roughly two-year upgrade cycle, so by the time quad-core becomes commonplace (like dual-core is right now) I will most likely have upgraded to a new CPU.

However I do use my computer for a lot. In addition to gaming, (which currently does not benefit from a quad-core CPU, generally), I use my machine as a development box, and often have many programs running in the background, such as Apache, MySQL and the like. I have no real evidence to suggest that quad-core might help in this situation, but maybe it will. One thing is for sure though – single-core CPUs just don’t cut it anymore, even for regular desktop work – the advantages of going dual-core are easily visible.

In any event, I’m hoping to start putting together the parts sometime this week, but most likely will have to wait for the weekend to get everything fully assembled and up and running.


  1. I recently did a very similar upgrade to you, except I chose the E6850 instead of the Q6600. Part of me regrets that, especially given how many people can overclock their Q6600 up to 3 GHz with no problem. On the other hand, the only thing that I do that would really benefit would probably be Gentoo compiles, but I can do that in the background while doing other things anyway. Oblivion, LOTRO, or any of the less intensive games I play would see approximately zero benefit, and I don’t do any video encoding or the like. But still, like you say, quad core is so…cool. If I just can’t take it any more in a few months, I might just sell my E6850 and snag a Q9450 (12 MB cache!) and OC it to 3 GHz or above.

  2. Oh yes, the quad-core will certainly be used in compiling a lot of stuff and encoding in a shorter period of time (I believe). Using the power of 4 individual Core micro-architectured CPU running at 2.4GHz is really useful.

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