Introduced over a decade ago, the 65nm Core 2 Extreme QX6700 was Intel's first quad-core desktop processor. Although the ridiculous price of $ 1,000 ensured that only a few would dare to jump, even though four unlocked cores ran at 2.67 GHz, it was the fastest CPU money that could be bought back in 2006.
Fortunately, it was only a few months later that enthusiasts were blessed with the Core 2 Quad Q6600, another Kentsfield-based quad-core chip that was sold for less absurd $ 530.
Although the part was locked at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, we were still able to overclock via the front-side bus, which allowed us to increase the Q6600 from its standard 2.4 GHz operating frequency to well over 3 GHz! No wonder it quickly became one of the most popular Intel processors ever.
Released about 10 years ago, we thought it would be interesting to see how the Q6600 performs in 2017 while playing today's games on modern GPUs. In other words, what would happen if you paired a trusted old PC with a GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1070?
We'll also be using a Haswell dual-core Pentium, a Skylake Core i3, a Sandy Bridge Core i5, and the mighty Core i7-6700K. All CPUs are compared to the two Pascal graphics processors to make some comparisons.
These aging processors are putting a lot of strain as we test some of the most CPU-intensive games released last year to see if the Q6600 can handle this strain.
Test system specifications
Benchmarks: Battlefield 1, Overwatch
The Core 2 Quad Q6600 had major problems in Battlefield 1 and only delivered an average of 26 fps at 1080p, while the GeForce GTX 1060 did the rendering. Even worse, stuttering was a massive problem, and we often saw the average frame rate halve as the system stopped. Even overclocking the Q6600 to 3.1 GHz was no problem as the minimal frame rates were still in teenage years.
Intel's fourth-generation budget Pentium processor did a better job, although it didn't run smoothly either. However, the now six-year-old Core i5-2500K remained cool and performed slightly better than the Skylake Core i3-6100 processor. With an average of 69 fps and at least 58 fps, we were pretty impressed with the 2500K, and when combined with the mid-range GTX 1060, it wasn't much slower than the 6700K.
By jumping on the GeForce GTX 1070, the 6700K was able to distance itself from the 2500K. Nevertheless, the 2500K was significantly better than the Core i3-6100 when comparing the minimum frame rates. Here, too, the Pentium G3470 was able to push the Core 2 Quad Q6600 aside, at least when comparing the minimum frame rates. Again, the Q6600 was unable to deliver playable performance due to excessive stuttering, even with the GTX 1070.
Our Overwatch benchmark is a "bot test" in which two teams work with maximum bots. This is a fairly CPU-intensive test that uses all eight threads of the 6700K. As a result, the Q6600 with the GeForce GTX 1060 again suffers from massive image drops. The regularity of image stuttering is not as strong as in Battlefield 1, although it is higher in relation to the average frame rate. However, using the Ultra quality settings at 1080p, the Q6600 of the GTX 1060 would not deliver playable performance.
Increasing render performance with the GTX 1070 did not improve performance when using the Core 2 Quad Q6600. The same unplayable performance was achieved. The Pentium G3470, on the other hand, was able to deliver 60 fps, and we only occasionally noticed a stutter, which was minor.