By nintendoeats 4 Comments
I just ordered a new motherboard and i5 2500k to replace my aging Q6600. "so what?" you might be thinking. Normally I would be right there with you, but this is different. I think that the Q6600 is going to be ranked one rung below the Motorola 6800 in the pantheon of computing hardware.
For those who don't know, the Q6600 is a quad-core Intel processor in their "Core 2" line which included both dual and quad core chips (as well as single cores for laptops). Released in 2006, the C2 processors marked Intel's move into a performance lead against AMD that has gone unbroken to this day. The Q6600 itself was released in January 2007 at $850. Obviously at that time it was an enthusiast part, and even then you had to be pretty crazy to buy one; software multi-threading was still in it's infancy for consumer software, so most of that power was going to waste.
However, I didn't buy my Q6600 in 2007. I bought it in 2008, when the price had gone down to about $300. And THAT is why the processor is so important. A Q6600 bought in 2008 was, to quote a Tested.com user, "one of the best tech purchases anyone could have made."
The Q6600 was many people's first Quad-Core processor. You could justify the steep price tag with the knowledge that the chip was incredibly overclockable, easily able to run anything that was coming out at the time, and only going to become more useful as people figured out how to use all those threads. What you couldn't have known at the time was how long those qualities would last.
The Q6600 has had a much longer usage-life than most processors. This is for a few different reasons:
1. It's stupidly powerful, especially when overclocked past 4 Ghz
2. Games have become more GPU dependent than they used to be.
3. Games have also moved to be more console-centric, and the Q6600 was an $850 chip AFTER the 360 was released.
4. We now tend to run more, not particularly intensive programs at any given time. An old dual core chip couldn't handle this, but the Q6600 has all of those threads to play with. Keep in mind, Quad-Core has only recently become the standard.
It is a perfectly suited processor to anything a typical user wants to do on a modern computer. If you need more evidence of that, just consider my own case. I'm not replacing this chip because I feel like it's hampering my performance (except in very poorly optimized games *cough* L.A. Noire *cough*). I'm swapping it into another machine because my brother is coming home for the summer, and I need him to have a decent computer to work with so that he can help me with the game I'm working on. That's right: my Q6600 is STILL going to be used, and not just in a media center PC.
long live the Q6600.