PC hardware from a few years ago? Relics of another era. How about a decade old? You might as well be talking about fossilised remains. Yet, people still happily run gear such as Intel’s venerable Q6600, one of the company’s more overclockable quad-core chips, under the belief that it’s “good enough”. The benchmarks, however, tell a very different story.
TechSpot’s Steven Walton was curious enough to pit the Q6600 against some more modern components, including the i5-2500K, i7-6700K, i3-6100 and the discount Haswell-based Pentium G3470.
All the CPUs were paired with NVIDIA’s GTX 1060 or 1070 and while not the absolute top-end of the GPU market, these chips are more than sufficient to make sure the CPU is the main bottleneck.
In terms of tests, Battlefield 1 was the first game off the rank. The Q6600 did not do well:
The Core 2 Quad Q6600 really struggled in Battlefield 1, delivering just 26fps on average at 1080p with the GeForce GTX 1060 handling the rendering. Worse still, stuttering was a massive issue and we often saw the average frame rate cut in half as the system halted. Even overclocking the Q6600 to 3.1GHz didn’t get it out of trouble as minimum frame rates still dipped into the teens.
Overclocked, the Q6600 just manages to keep up with the G3470 and doesn’t even come close to the other processors. The story remains the same as other titles are benchmarked, including Overwatch, Total War: Warhammer and Gears of War 4.
In fact, the ~$100 G3470 starts to pull ahead in the later tests, with even the overclocked Q6600 looking incredibly sad.
Are the results surprising? Not really. Considering the age difference between the chips, it’d be like comparing the Q6600 to the 200MHz Pentium. No contest, right? Although CPU technology hasn’t advanced as quickly over the last decade as it did during the 90s and early 2000s, it’s moved fast enough that you should still consider upgrading every five to ten years.