Originally Posted by MCC
L2 cache is an important factor when choosing a chip. The last generation is better in this regard.
Example (nearly equal prices):
The 2.5GHz Q8300 has a 1333MHz FSB and 4MB of L2 cache
The 2.4GHz Q6600 has a 1066MHz FSB and 8MB of L2 cache
You can fix the lower FSB on the Q6600 with overclocking, but a chip with half the cache is just that. My Q6600 is rock solid stable at 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz FSB and I still have 8MB of L2 cache.
You can definitely get away w/ a 256MB video card- I ran my current system with a $20 Radeon X1550 while I waited for the 4850.
There are two main types of Front Side Bus clocks in the computer:
1) Motherboard FSB (not adjustable)
2) CPU clock core FSB (adjustable)
The 1333MHz and 1066Mhz FSB are fixed clock numbers of the motherboard, it is IMPOSSIBLE to adjust them.
But If you running 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz CPU clock core FSB, that would mean that you running a core multiplier of 2. That is ridiculously impossible to run anything stable at a 2 core multiplier. Especially with the Q6600, I have three of them and I how to overclock them well. Also, that chip technically only have 4Mb for cache and another 4Mb in second cache which isn't very efficient, but normal people can barely tell a difference.
Plus, I don't think you clearly understand the purpose of cache. The Motherboard FSB is far more important than cache. That is the speed that accesses the cache and the external memory (RAM), you would perform better if you have a faster FSB for the motherboard. The purpose of cache is that it is the fastest accessible memory for the processes coming from the CPU. If a process requires more memory than the L2 cache of the CPU, the process then jumps over to the external RAM (which is always upgradable).
You obviously don't know anything about overclocking, it's best you don't feed ignorant BS to people who actually need help.
Originally Posted by zotjen
It looks like I'm going to need a new PC and a lot has changed in the five+ years since I bought my last one. I don't need a high performance/gamer machine but at the same time I want something that will have staying power. I'm currently looking at a Core 2 Quad processor but how much difference is there going from 2.33GHz to 2.5 GHz to 2.66 GHz, etc.? I'm guessing the Core i7 is more than the average person needs (at least for now).
I'm planning on starting off with 4GB of RAM and at least a 500GB hard drive. Also, can I get away with using a video card with 256mb? I know I can always upgrade it at some point if I need to. I'm planning on running Vista 64bit (at least until Windows 7 comes out).
Basically, what's considered the current standard as far as computer specs go? My goal is to aim a little bit higher than that.
Seems like you are comparing between these two CPUs.
According to the chart from Tom's, the Q6600 is a better performer and difference its quite noticeable too.http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/d...se-10,835.html
For RAM, 4gb is perfectly fine. Depending on your resolution you can get a graphics card with more memory, otherwise if you're running below 1440x900, 256mb is perfectly fine. Also, the graphics card is very dependent on your type of work on the computer? Is it for CAD or modeling/animation? If so, 256mb won't really be enough and the GPU clock is also very important in that case.
Vista is fine, I still prefer XP for it's stability. But for looks, it's up to you.