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Thread: Mini review: Q6600 vs i5 2500K

  1. #1
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    Mini review: Q6600 vs i5 2500K

    Hi, fellows.

    Some time ago I wanted to make a comparison between processors to see what was really needed in order to game properly. The review was intended to compare an E8500 and an Q6600...but it never really started.

    Now, as I had my Sandy Bridge on its way, I was also done with my exams and had a few graphics card around me, I thought, hey, why not? Why not try to do the same we always encourage? With that said, don't expect an uber review, nor a really apples-to-apples. I know that "I did my best" is the typical loser-phrase, but with the time I had I tried to get the best out of it and, althought its not a lot, something I got.

    In this review I'll be comparing four different graphics card from different generations and performance-ranges to see how they fair in two different systems.


    Methodology and bench setup

    For this review I used two different platforms:

    Intel LGA775:
    • Q6600 G0 @ 3.2ghz 400x8
    • DFI P45 JR
    • Super Talent 2x1GB DDR2 800mhz
    • Win 7 x64
    Intel LGA1155:
    • I5 2500K @ stock
    • MSI P67 GD65
    • G.Skill 2x2GB DDR3 1600mhz
    • Win 7 x86 (32 bits)


    First, I would like to comment that there are a few things that should be noted: a) the 775 has 2x1GB whereas the 1155 has 2x2GB; b) the 775 has Win 7 x64 whereas the 1155 has Win 7 x86 and, c) the 775 has pci-e 2.0 @ 8x whereas the 1155 has it running @ 16x.
    I really wanted to test the systems in a fair-situation but there was no way to get another 2 sticks of ram in time, nor I had any other SO at the moment to test it. I apologyse for those things, now I know that you need to do a ton of job before-hand, specially when you only have one chance to bench with something (as I had to unmount the Q6600 to make place for the i5 2500...which meant that everything that was not done will never be ).

    The common elements for both systems are
    • Asus 9600GT Top
    • EVGA GTX260 192sp
    • POV GTX460 1GB
    • Zotac GTX295
    • Intel SSD G2 Postville
    • Seagate 7200.11 1.5TB
    • Corsair HX620
    • NVIDIA 266.58 WHQL (64 y 32 bits depending on SO used)


    In order to choose the most coherent data, we tested the benchs as many times as needed in order to get an adequate consistency. Also, I found out that the minimum value for fps was totally useless as consistency was none and thus we didn't use it for anything. So, we only used "average" values that were averaged to make them as even as possible.

    I decided to run 5 different bench tests: Just Cause 2, Metro 2033, Crysis, Lost Planet 2 and Stalker: COP. In the end I had to eliminate all data regarding JC2 because I'm not 100% sure the data was collected properly (aka I may have used different settings for different configurations) and I just don't feel like not showing something that may be wrong.
    I wanted to include games such as BFBC2 (because its taxing cpu and gpu wise), but there is no way to test it properly without the need for a ton of time. I'd love to have a bench for such a game...

    So, these are the benchs I used
    • Stalker:COP on ULTRA preset (dx10), at 1680x1050 without MSAA. I have only used "average" results, and the value shown here is the average (sorry for repeating the same word once and again, my english is somewhat limited ) of the four results (test1+tes2+test3+test4)/4.
    • Crysis was run at VERY HIGH preset, DX10, 1680x1050 and AAx4. The only exception being the 9600GT that doesn't have enough vram and thus stutters like hell (so I run the bench without AA for that card. Take in mind the 9600GT is here for the lulz ). Also, patch 1.21 was included.
    • Lost Planet 2 was run at DX9, MSAAx4, max quality at 1680x1050.
    • Metro 2033 was run at DX10, Very High, 1680x1050, AAA, AF16x.


    Note: yes, there is no ATI. I only happen to have NVIDIA at home for the moment so I had no ATI to bench. I would love to see the scaling of a beast such as 6950 or the like...but I'm sorry there was no way I could get one. Also, I own an 8800GTS 512MB...that due to logistic problems was not benched.


    Results

    NVIDIA 9600GT



    Take in mind that, like I said, I tested this card for the lulz, because I had it around.
    Its quite clear that this card is quite powerless nowadays, and doesn't gain a dime from a much powerful platform, which was something I expected.

    This card should be more or less similar to a 8800GTS 640MB / ATI 3870 performance-wise...which shows how aged such cards are nowadays.


    NVIDIA GTX260 192sp



    One thing before we start: the abnormal result you see for Crysis was included because It would not make sense to show a graph without one of the results. I did that test a dozen times and still had that huge loss...so I'm gonna think that its related to Win x86 vs Win x64...althought doesn't make much sense to me.
    Ignoring this, this card doesn't scale that much with a newer platform. Yeah, there is a liiiiiiiitle something, but not much at all. Sure, results could be different in more cpu-bound benchs...but those games don't make much sense to me because when comparing gpus one should use power-hogs such as Crysis and the like...that only taxes the gpu.
    So, if you have a GTX260...don't bother upgrading your platform unless you fold, because the gains are barely none.


    NVIDIA GTX460 1GB



    This "tarjetita" (no idea how to translate exactly that, as I'm using the diminutive for card) was somewhat surprising. First, because I got it for dirty cheap (105€ ), second, because its damn small, and third because its sooooooooooooooo silent and fresh. Seriously, you just don't hear it at all, no matter how many hours of bench you do with it, such a good card.

    Speaking of which: this card had the highest scaling in Crysis and Metro 2033. As of now I'm not sure this was due to the i5 2500 still not being enough for a GTX295 (I'm going to do the same tests with the cpu heavily clocked to compare again) OR the GTX460 loving more cpu-power. Whatever it is, it scaled evenly across the board, around a 10%.

    Also, and this is something that doesn't show up in the graphs because I never included it, the minimum frames are AWESOME with this card. They are soooo consistent and linear, and the increase from a GTX260 is quite huge (around 25%, at least). I will go deeper in this aspect when I update this mini-review, to see how overclocking fares with this little bugger.

    In the end, we can see that this card does scale...but not that much as not to recommend it for mid-end platforms. With the 2500K the difference between the GTX260 and GTX460 sits at around a 30% (note: I ignored the Crysis abnormal result) whereas on the Q6600 the difference sits at around a 22%. Like I said, I will go deeper into this little bugger soon.

    NVIDIA GTX295



    Well, it seems that we can confirm the myth: high-end cards demand high-end platforms to shine. Scaling is impressive across the board, specially in games such as LP2 and Stalker...and I think there is more juice to come in Crysis and Metro 2033 once I overclock the cpu.

    This card requires a high-end platform. Take in mind that, on the Q6600, the difference between a GTX260 and a GTX295 sits at around a 54%...but when we jump to Sandy Bridge, the difference increases to a whooping 78%. So, don't bother buying a GTX295 unless you have a powerful platform, because you will suffer its noise and heat but not get its huge potential

    Conclusions

    I won't lie: I ended this review quiet tired of changing cards once and again and...but still, I think It was worth it.

    That being said, this seems to confirm that cpu power doesn't matter except for the high-end cards...which means that If you are about to buy a new gpu and have doubts if you need to change or not your platform you are better-off buying a nice gpu rather than changing your platform and getting a cheap one.

    In the near future I will update this mini-review adding overclock to the cards and cpu (yeah, I'm using the stock heatsink so not much to gain from it ).

    See you all in the forums.
    Quote Originally Posted by NKrader View Post
    im sure bill gates has always wanted OLED Toilet Paper wipe his butt with steve jobs talking about ipad..
    Mini-review: Q6600 vs i5 2500K. Gpu scaling on games.

  2. #2
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    Since you are use pretty high resolutions in this test the scaling is less detectable on the low end cards ( fully GPU limited ). I still run at 1280 x 1024 with high detail on my GTX 260 at my parents place... I prefer FPS over beauty... thx for testing... but there's more than games to upgrade for...

    Time to install that 64bit OS for the Sandy !!
    Last edited by Leeghoofd; 02-13-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Very interesting Q6600 still okay
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  4. #4
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    I did some tests at 4000mhz, all platforms rams at 1600mhz C8 and a GTX 480. Average FPS, res 1280 x 1024 high to very high detail...





    More SB stuff in the review here
    Last edited by Leeghoofd; 02-15-2011 at 08:21 AM.
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    Great information! Thanks a lot for posting this as it does make it clear when the dust settles that CPU bottlenecking is often overrated. Good to see your results too Leeghoofd. Interesting to see all the CPU's at the same frequency as most all reviews do not do that and it helps for people to realize scaling as everyone has a different OC. Oh and not that it matters but 9600GT is definitely a good bit slower than 8800GTS 640MB, but as your GTX260 and faster comparisons show, it still wouldn't matter.
    Last edited by FlawleZ; 02-13-2011 at 10:58 AM.

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    Nice review very interesting
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlawleZ View Post
    Great information! Thanks a lot for posting this as it does make it clear when the dust settles that CPU bottlenecking is often overrated. Good to see your results too Leeghoofd. Interesting to see all the CPU's at the same frequency as most all reviews do not do that and it helps for people to realize scaling as everyone has a different OC. Oh and not that it matters but 9600GT is definitely a good bit slower than 8800GTS 640MB, but as your GTX260 and faster comparisons show, it still wouldn't matter.
    thats what the averages look like but CPU can in lots of games make a HUGE impact on minimum FPS which is what you notice when gaming anyways.

    Good little reviews guys but it would have been cool to see some more CPU intensive games (like any major RTS for example)
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    So it isn't worth to upgrade from Bloom/Lynnfield to Sandy Bridge, right ?

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    Well it all depends David on what ya current setup is running at. If you do just stock clocks, the SB will kick the nuts out of the Bloomfield CPUs due to its amasing turbo feature. Oc'ed and compared clock for clock indeed no real reason to upgrade. But most SB's K CPU's go easy over 4.5Ghz, low volts and on air cooling for a 24/7 setup. The bandwith is phenomenal and the system is ultra responsive.

    For gaming purposes at a certain moment more CPU Mhz will not give any benefit anymore. A 4Ghz CPU is more than adequate for single GPU setups. When going Tri and even quad more CPU power is welcome... though it all will hit a bottleneck somewhere... if you are doing tri or quad GPU setups 1366 is still the better option...

    For benchers the 2600K series are a blessing, no need to upgrade to a Gulftown CPU. No need either for Cascade or LN2 as you can bench these CPU's at 5.2 and beyond on air or watercooling... Excellent CPUs for 01 and 03. And if you get a +5.4Ghz CPU even the other 3D benchmarks are looking good !!

    So it will all depend on ya usage too...

    Quote Originally Posted by [XC] hipno650 View Post
    thats what the averages look like but CPU can in lots of games make a HUGE impact on minimum FPS which is what you notice when gaming anyways.

    Good little reviews guys but it would have been cool to see some more CPU intensive games (like any major RTS for example)
    Indeed my results are average FPS results. Minimum FPS are better on the newer platforms. Though I still game sometimes on a Q9550 at 3.8Ghz and a GTX285. Still more than plenty of power for most modern games...

    Any suggestions sir for the RTS games ? If possible preferably with an integrated benchmark ( couldn't get Civ IV benchmark to 100% run on my setup )
    Last edited by Leeghoofd; 02-15-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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    Great work and info
    The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was

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    Supreme Commander please
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    Quote Originally Posted by [XC] Oj101 View Post
    Supreme Commander please
    Is that the game where we see Movieman naked in the shower ?
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    I have make a couple of bench with 2600K @ 5.1ghz and compare them with my old scores with 950@4.2ghz ... i conclude to the same about the gpu's used, but with higher setup the result are completely different.. but it's highly dependant of the game ofc .. thoses games are known for be dependant of the cpu used. ( speed and threads )

    I will not update all the screenies it will take too much time .

    All bench are made with 16xAF and 8xAA - 1920x1080 - AI on HQ ( all optimisation disabled + Tesselation ofc by appliccation ) stock 5870 speed (CFX ). and the max quality setting IG.

    Funny to see in most cases, the min fps i got with the 2600K ( highly oc i admit ) is faster or equal to the average with my old setup .

    Dirt2 - ingame benchmark Max DX11 difference +25fps

    I7 950: minimum: 86fps average: 125.6
    2600K: minimum: 120fps average: 153.6fps




    F1 2010: Ingame benchmark max settings DX11 difference +20fps
    ( I like how this game is coded, the min, average, max are really close... maybe due to AMD work, but it's exactly the invert of most games we see today, with high average and extremely bad min fps drop )
    I7 950: minimum: 86fps average: 97fps
    2600K: minimum: 98fps average: 116fps





    RE5: this is where the things start to explode. +40fps on the variable test, look well the numbers in the 4 tests..
    this game have allways been highly cpu dependant but maybe more due to the fact any gpu's is enough.

    I7 950: variable test: 160fps fixed test 140fps..
    I7 2600K Variable test 202.6fps Fixed test 165.6fps



    Metro 2033 result on a +9fps with AAA and tesselation ( no DOF ) and for LP2 it's +15fps on the test B and +10fps on the test A with max settings possible... ( as driver have change i just give this for information )..

    Stalker COP result on a ~ +10fps in all benchs. ( again driver have change so i just give this for infos, can just be increase by driver fix ) ( again with AA and max settings possible )


    I know ofc 5.1ghz make the things appear faster vs the 4.2ghz on the 950. but this is for both my 24/7 settings. it's why i was made the bench like that.
    Im curious if peoples with different tri or dual gpu's see the same increase around games.
    Last edited by Lanek; 02-15-2011 at 10:27 AM.
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  14. #14
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    how is the gtx295 a highend card or heck even your 460?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filter View Post
    how is the gtx295 a highend card or heck even your 460?
    GTX295 trades blows against a GTX480...if that is not high-end for you...then I don't know what could be
    Quote Originally Posted by NKrader View Post
    im sure bill gates has always wanted OLED Toilet Paper wipe his butt with steve jobs talking about ipad..
    Mini-review: Q6600 vs i5 2500K. Gpu scaling on games.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the testing, been curious about some of this. Wish I had the time to bench my i5 750 at 4ghz to my i5 2500k at 5ghz in the games I play, The new system feels smoother but could just be in my head.
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    Nice, thx
    Sure cpus matter, but imo you proved that 775 still works very well with a modern vga and upgrading the vga makes much more sense than getting a new board and CPU, and possibly memory

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by saaya View Post
    Nice, thx
    Sure cpus matter, but imo you proved that 775 still works very well with a modern vga and upgrading the vga makes much more sense than getting a new board and CPU, and possibly memory
    I think that's precisely the point. I'd like to see this brought out a few more cards/generations. It'd be interesting to see where the GTX460-768 (budget king), GTX460-1gb OC, and GTX560 Ti will fall when using an old Kentsfield or Yorkfield. Then of course there's the Radeons; I've an HD3850-256 kicking around and, if I could find a cheap 4850-512, I'd consider doing my own review with either my Kentsfield or Yorkfield.
    Last edited by Bobsama; 02-15-2011 at 08:46 PM.

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    This test made me feel just a tad better about still using 775

    Thanks for taking the time to do this

  20. #20
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    I'm not surprised if this would have been Q6600 vs. x4 975 or something but I'm surprised since other review sites have had quite a significant performance jump over last gen cards really makes me wonder. But it's good to know if bulldozer doesn't pan out just gonna pick up a i5 2400 and be done with it.
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    Can you test BF,BC2 please ? In this game i saw a HUGE leap in performance from an q6600 to an 2600k
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    Good review
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    After all, my Q6600 seems to be in the prime of its life.
    Excellent info, thanks for sharing.-


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    Little old thread, but STILL interesting.

    I am running a very old Q6600 at 3.55 at 8x440 on a X58 board, i always have it in the back of my head that my CPU itself is not that bad, despite its age.
    So, if i were to spend €400 for either a new GPU (upgrading from a GTX 275!) *OR* getting a 2500K/Z68 board...i might probably rather see a difference going with the card instead of upgrading the CPU.
    Although it is tempting seeing that it might be possible to hit 4Ghz+ on the 2500k.

    That being said, that Q6600 at almost 3.6Ghz was probably the best overclockable CPU i ever got, NO other system served me well for such a long time without getting that "i need to upgrade my CPU/board" itch a few months later. Probably Intel's best CPU to date 50% overclock on air is just amazing and i still love it

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    Nice old review. I'm just about to switch from a e8400@3.6 GHz to a I5 2500k, and I know I have to watch for the GPU to hold the line. I will still keep the E8400, one of the longest alive system I ever owned.

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