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Rybags

The end of an era, thanks Core 2

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Last night about 10:15 I powered down my trusty Core2 Quad system and removed it's 2 TB HDD and moved it to my Xeon system.

 

It's the longest lived main PC I've had by a long shot. My association with Core2 started about March 2007, they were all the rage stealing the thunder from Athlon 64 in a matter of weeks.

At the time I had an Athlon 64 (939). Only single core, and not exactly a powerful model. I remember being happy with the motherboard I got for it, an MSI that was super stable and had a decent layout. But the performance was a bit underwhelming, not much better than 20% or so better than the Athlon XP which it had recently at the time replaced.

 

So a trip to the local computer fair with a pocket full of cash. One option was to grab a dual core Opteron and as it happened a vendor had one. But from memory wanted about 200 bucks. And all over, the tasty Core2 CPUs were on offer.

I took the plunge, an E6420 dual-core which I think came to about $260. And a cheap and nasty AsRock motherboard which accepted DDR or DDR2 Ram, I think that was about 75.

 

This thing was the ducks guts. Roughly calculated about 2.5 times faster than the Athlon 64 it was replacing. Not long later I swapped out DDR for DDR2, then got a proper motherboard about September 2007, Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 - the slightly downspec version of the one which Atomic and everyone was raving about. This motherboard is still in service. Started off running 2 Gig on it, later upgraded to 4 and recently 6.

 

During the course, a succession of graphics cards updates. Briefly had an 8600GT with nice passive cooling but the performance was somewhat underwhelming. Upgraded to a new 9800GT which is merely a process shrink of the legendary 8800GT but it ran cool and served me well. Next up was a HD4870 then the (current) HD5850.

 

March 2010, Atomic user Squidy sold me the Q6600 CPU which is still in the machine today. OBA sold me the massive Tuniq tower HSF which keeps it cool.

 

So, with some component replacement and evolution, this was my main machine for about 9 years. It's even in the same old case which itself probably dates back to 2005 or so.

 

Seems sad to just let it rot away so thinking of putting it to use as a HTPC box.

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My old Q6600 (OC to 3GHz its entire life) and Tuniq Tower is running as an office PC for my parents, still plenty of power, just not the most power efficient any more.

 

That and the 2500K are regarded as amazing value chips, there haven't been ones like them in quite a while now.

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Now you guys make me feel out of touch ,my PC has a q6600 in it with a GTX260 must be over 6 years old now. Still playing games and such on it.

 

Starting to struggle now with the new graphics in games, going to upgrade after i move.

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I don't think I ever overclocked this particular CPU - the entries I have in the SuperPi and other bench threads are all from the 6420.

 

It was a consideration as life-extension but I run continually and want reliability and don't want to worry about cooking stuff.

Plus it's starting to just get old. Some of the Sata ports just plain don't work properly and it's only got USB2, DDR2 and plain old PCIe 1.0 which in itself puts a handicap on the USB3 card I bought and makes it somewhat pointless running a Sata3 card (got one for my Xeon though as it's PCIe 2.0).

 

As for games, I have little doubt it'd have trouble with almost any game given the right graphics card. Though the generational update of consoles means that new games have taken that leap in demand on resources.

 

 

The worrying thing though is that by relegating this thing to HTPC duties it'll probably shorten it's expected lifespan due to much more power up/down cycles. As it is, I've power cycled it on average probably once every 2 months since getting it. Generally the only thing that means power down is blackout, once in a while internal clean, upgrade or if I go away for more than a few days.

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I have a Core2Duo laptop I purchased in 2010,

 

and a Core2Duo E6750 machine I built to be my Windows Home Server.

 

Due to the landlady's request that I power everything off when I'm not home, I haven't been able to run it 24/7 any more, and I always forget to power it on.

 

I think the Heat-sink/fan died 4 years ago, and it still chugs along, I'm obviously not taxing it a great deal. I have 6HDDs with a total storage of about 4TB in it, which stores all my media and my backups. Been itching to move everything into a slimmer and more efficient system, but funds have been tight of late.

Edited by smadge1

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My Q6600 still gets dragged out for use as a dedicated server box for LAN parties, runs HLDS/SRCDS and anything else we can think of flawlessly. Love it.

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Come to think of it, I've still got a bunch of other Core2 stuff around.

 

Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop - did have a CoreDuo but I bought a Core2Duo last year and put it in. Problem is now the thing has developed a problem in that it no longer charges the battery, supposedly a common issue so I might be able to fix with a bit of soldering.

 

Couple of C2D ~ 3 GHz desktops. One has a dead motherboard, other one works but won't retain time/settings if the power's removed.

 

Macbook - has a C2D 2.13 GHz CPU.

 

Only stuff that gets use out of that is the laptops though.

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Did everybody throughout time have a Q6600 at some point? I'm sure I did.

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My Q6600 is still going strong as my HTPC running windows 10.

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ah memories

 

i was late to the core party, having started oc with my t'bred, the xp-m's, and onto opterons, first single, and then dual core

 

the 150% clock i got of the opty 165 is still my fondest effort, and it ran that way with "cool n quiet" till i got my first intel

 

none of the steenkin' c2d for me, i went xeon 3120 but it was later upgraded to a wolfdale e8400 that did 3.6 undervolted (when eist wasn't clocking it down) by simply tuning the fsb from 333 to 400 - too easy after the shenanigans of 939 :)

 

i found a q8200 in a council pickup, and that served me well in the same machine for several further years till i went the next step

 

 

still got the i5-2500k and it is still doing 4.2 undervolted at 1,225 to this day... try as i might i just can't get inspired to upgrade, as this is still more than capable of playing every game i want, and transcodes plenty fast

 

 

the e8400 and my ep35 are still in the cupboard, but the htpc rocks a celeron g1620 and it's overkill, and sad to confess that the g1620 upstairs with the hd5770 plays games at least as capably as the c2d ever managed.... but at 55w; hell, even the zacate in my spouse's streaming box upstairs is overkill and draws less than an incandescent bulb for the entire rig

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I only upgraded my Q6600 last year (maybe the year before?) only because junior's PC died so it was a good excuse to upgrade mine and give him the Q6600. went to a 4690 with 16gb ram, still using the GTX570 GPU might see what happens when the Pascal GPU's come out.

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I know exactly where you are coming from. In fact my main rig is still a Q6600 running 2.3 or 2.4 Ghz. The quad core helps push things along, as I aren't playing the very latest games (still love RTCW, Far Cry, Serious Sam series, Painkiller, Oblivon, Skyrim etc) the ATI HD6900, paired with 8GB RAM - all running on an old Gigabyte P35 motherboard, supporting 4 SSD and 6 HDDs, two 24" monitors (Portrait orientation) surrounding a Kogan 30" monitor runs fine. And its all still in the old Beige Full tower case I bought well over 12 years ago!

 

One day when the gear dies or I simply need to update - yeah I will probably move this gear to be my astrolab PC (quad core would help) and I may go to an eight core beast. But I simply have so much fun with the old school games - and my rig handles that so well I have put discretionary $$$ first into my astro gear and then once that is more or less sorted into overseas holidays.

 

My eldest son's PC died a year ago so I upgraded that rig for around $600 to have an fast i5 core with 16 GB RAM on a decent motherboard -and I would guess his rig is discernibly faster than mine - but there is so much performance headroom in todays tech that if you don't have a pressing need to upgrade then simply save your money!

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Part motivation to update is the old P965 chipset isn't so great for SSDs. The ICH8 Southbridge is very early on with AHCI and I found performance to be not so great, though I should have tried it with a fresh Win7 install with AHCI set from the start.

 

A bonus of the near gear though is that power consumption is much better. Though the TDP of my Xeon is 130W vs 95 for the old Core2, the power consumption when the CPU isn't real busy can't be beat. Idle desktop once the display goes to "off" sees it use about 45 Watts. Normal desktop right now at 66 Watts. Compared to the Q6600 which is around 168 Watts at desktop. Though the graphics card is also a big contributor, the newer R7-360 is also much better in that regard than the older HD5850.

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I've still got a Core2 from maybe 2009/10 that powers my media mITX box. Good old faithful, although my mum currently runs an old Athlon 64 FX hand-me-down of mine from about 2006. Still can't believe it's alive, all original parts from the time (including 6800 Ultra).

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