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Gaming Performance Comparison

Recommended System Requirements
Game Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.9GHz Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz
Cyberpunk 2077 226% 101%
Halo: Reach 58% 2%
Red Dead Redemption 2 284% 136%
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 184% 75%
Doom Eternal 216% 94%
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot 190% 79%
Microsoft Flight Simulator 317% 157%
FIFA 20 175% 69%
Need For Speed Heat 224% 100%
Grand Theft Auto VI 422% 221%

In terms of overall gaming performance, the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz is massively better than the Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.9GHz 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 less than a year after the Core 2 Extreme, and so they are likely to have similar levels of support, and similarly optimized performance when running the latest games.

The Core 2 Quad has 2 more cores than the Core 2 Extreme. 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 Core 2 Extreme. 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 Extreme and Core 2 Quad 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 Core 2 Extreme has a 0.27 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. As such, we need to look elsewhere for more reliable comparisons.

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 2048 KB bigger L2 cache than the Core 2 Extreme, 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 Extreme has a 20 Watt lower Maximum TDP than the Core 2 Quad. However, the Core 2 Quad was created with a 20 nm smaller manufacturing technology. Overall, by taking both into account, the Core 2 Quad is likely the CPU with the lower heat production and power requirements, by a small amount.

CPU Core Details

CPU CodenameConroeYorkfield
MoBo SocketLGA 775/ Socket TLGA 775/ Socket T
Notebook CPUnono
Release Date27 Jul 200610 Aug 2008
CPU LinkGD LinkGD Link
Approved

CPU Technical Specifications

CPU Cores2vs4
CPU Threads2vs4
Clock Speed2.93 GHzvs2.66 GHz
Turbo Frequency-vs-
Max TDP75 Wvs95 W
Lithography65 nmvs45 nm
Bit Width-vs64 Bit
Max Temperature60°Cvs71°C
Virtualization Technologynovsno
Comparison

CPU Cache and Memory

L1 Cache Size128 KBvs256 KB
L2 Cache Size4096 KBvs6144 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 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz is a performance Processor based on the 65nm Core micro-architecture.

It offers 2 Physical Cores (2 Logical), clocked at 2.93GHz and 4MB of L2 Cache.
Among its many features, Virtualization is activated.

The processor DOES NOT integrate any graphics. and has a rated board TDP of 75W.

It offers average performance. It will therefore become a bottleneck in today's demanding games.
Core 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.

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