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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz Athlon 64 FX-74 Dual Core
Red Dead Redemption 2 136% 285%
Cyberpunk 2077 101% 227%
Doom Eternal 94% 217%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 75% 185%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 79% 191%
Halo: Reach 2% 59%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 157% 319%
Star Wars: Jedi - Fallen Order 161% 325%
Grand Theft Auto VI 221% 423%
Need For Speed Heat 100% 225%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is massively better than the AMD Athlon 64 FX-74 Dual Core when it comes to running the latest games. This also means it will be less likely to bottleneck more powerful GPUs, allowing them to achieve more of their gaming performance potential.

The Core 2 Quad was released over a year more recently than the Athlon 64 FX-74, and so the Core 2 Quad is likely to have better levels of support, and will be more optimized for running the latest games.

The Core 2 Quad has 2 more cores than the Athlon 64 FX-74. With 4 cores, the Core 2 Quad is much less likely to struggle with the latest games, or bottleneck high-end graphics cards when running them.

The Core 2 Quad has 2 more threads than the Athlon 64 FX-74. Both CPUs have one thread per physical core.

Multiple threads are useful for improving the performance of multi-threaded applications. Additional cores and their accompanying thread will always be beneficial for multi-threaded applications. Hyperthreading will be beneficial for applications optimized for it, but it may slow others down. For games, the number of threads is largely irrelevant, as long as you have at least 2 cores (preferably 4), and hyperthreading can sometimes even hit performance.

More important for gaming than the number of cores and threads is the clock rate. Problematically, unless the two CPUs are from the same family, this can only serve as a general guide and nothing like an exact comparison, because the clock cycles per instruction (CPI) will vary so much.

The Core 2 Quad and Athlon 64 FX-74 are not from the same family of CPUs, so their clock speeds are by no means directly comparable. Bear in mind, then, that while the Athlon 64 FX-74 has a 0.34 GHz faster frequency, this is not always an indicator that it will be superior in performance, despite frequency being crucial when trying to avoid GPU bottlenecking. In this case, however, the difference is enough that it possibly indicates the superiority of the Core 2 Quad.

Aside from the clock rate, the next-most important CPU features for PC game performance are L2 and L3 cache size. Faster than RAM, the more cache available, the more data that can be stored for lightning-fast retrieval. L1 Cache is not usually an issue anymore for gaming, with most high-end CPUs eking out about the same L1 performance, and L2 is more important than L3 - but L3 is still important if you want to reach the highest levels of performance. Bear in mind that although it is better to have a larger cache, the larger it is, the higher the latency, so a balance has to be struck.

The Core 2 Quad has a 4096 KB bigger L2 cache than the Athlon 64 FX-74, but neither of the CPUs have L3 caches, so the Core 2 Quad wins out in this area with its larger L2 cache.

The maximum Thermal Design Power is the power in Watts that the CPU will consume in the worst case scenario. The lithography is the semiconductor manufacturing technology being used to create the CPU - the smaller this is, the more transistors that can be fit into the CPU, and the closer the connections. For both the lithography and the TDP, it is the lower the better, because a lower number means a lower amount of power is necessary to run the CPU, and consequently a lower amount of heat is produced.

The Core 2 Quad has a 30 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Athlon 64 FX-74, and was created with a 45 nm smaller manufacturing technology. What this means is the Core 2 Quad will consume significantly less power and consequently produce less heat, enabling more prolonged computational tasks with fewer adverse effects. This will lower your yearly electricity bill significantly, as well as prevent you from having to invest in extra cooling mechanisms (unless you overclock).

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameYorkfieldWindsor
MoBo SocketLGA 775/ Socket TSocket F
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date10 Aug 200830 Nov 2006
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores4vs2
CPU Threads4vs2
Clock Speed2.66 GHzvs3 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
System Bus -vs2000 MHz
Max TDP95 Wvs125 W
Lithography45 nmvs90 nm
Bit Width64 Bitvs64 Bit
Max Temperature71°Cvs56°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size256 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size6144 KBvs2048 KB
L3 Cache Size-vs-
Memory Channels-vs2
ECC Memory Supportnovsno
Comparison

CPU Graphics

Graphics
Base GPU Frequency-vs-
Max GPU Frequency-vs-
DirectX-vs-
Displays Supported-vs-
Comparison

CPU Package and Version Specifications

Package Size-vs-
Revision-vs-
PCIe Revision-vs-
PCIe Configurations-vs-

Gaming Performance Value

Performance Value

CPU Mini Review

Mini ReviewCore 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is a high-end Processor based on the 45nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 4 Physical Cores (4 Logical), clocked at 2.66GHz and 6MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 95W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.
Athlon 64 FX-74 Dual Core is a middle-class Processor based on the 90nm K8 micro-architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 3.0GHz and 2MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 125W.

It offers average performance. This means it will become a bottleneck in some demanding applications.
Note: The rank of this processor is based on its Quad-Core Configuration.

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