Our Recommendations Best LGA 775 CPU

CPU 

Intel Xeon X5460

Intel Xeon-series processors are surely not meant for everyone but there are exceptions. These processors are mainly targeted towards those users which are interested in ECC memory, and that is why you will see these processors mainly in high-end servers. On the other hand, Intel did not redesign everything when we talk about these Xeon processors. Some of the processors are extremely similar to their Intel Core i-series counterparts, where the only difference is the ECC memory support. It is important to note that Intel Xeon processors can also work with standard memory modules, as long as the motherboard supports them as well.

Intel Xeon X5460 is one of the cheapest Xeon processors these days since it is very aged now, and no one uses it in servers or workstations. It is a quad-core processor that comes with four threads since these processors do not support Intel Hyper-Threading technology. The processor has a base clock rate of 3.16 GHz, and all these processors do not support Turbo Boost technology, which is why these processors have a fixed clock rate. However, you can still overclock these processors, as long as the motherboard allows it.

The motherboard has a bus speed of 1333 MHz, while it has a TDP of 120 watts. Surely, this power consumption is much higher than the modern processors, especially when considering the overall performance, which is why the efficiency of these processors is pretty low. It is important to note that this processor is originally compatible with the LGA 771 socket, and if you want to use it with the LGA 775 socket, you will have to use an adapter, which is cheaply available. There are very few LGA 771 socket motherboards, which is why this processor is available at a much cheaper rate than LGA 775 based processors like Core 2 Quad or Core 2 Duo, etc.

The processor has an L2 cache of 12 MB, and there is no L3 cache that you would see in modern processors. It does support Intel Virtualization technology, both the VT-x and VT-x with EPT. The performance of this processor is among the best LGA-775 processors. It should be able to handle most of the pre-2015 AAA games at decent FPS, and you can overclock the processor to around 4 GHz to further improve the performance.

Conclusion

Intel Xeon X5460 is one of the best processors that you can use with an LGA 775 motherboard. You do need an adapter since it is an LGA 771 socket processor but other than that, there are no disadvantages of this processor, whether you talk about performance or price.

The Good

  • Dirt cheap price
  • High clock rates
  • Large L2 cache

The Bad

  • Not natively compatible with LGA 775 motherboards

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650

Intel Core 2 Quad processors were the high-end offerings by Intel, and they provided up to 100% improvement in performance compared to Core 2 Duo processors. The reason was twice the number of cores, which greatly improved the performance, although single-threaded applications did not get any improvement. It is important to note that most of the games around 10 years ago used either a single core or two cores, which is why the performance improvement due to Core 2 Quad processors was not as good compared to Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 is among the flagship processors of the generation that not only provided four cores but also great clock rates. It belongs to the Yorkfield architecture, which was the last architecture for the Core 2-series processors, and after this architecture, Intel’s first-generation Core i-series processors were released. The overall performance of this processor is slightly lower than that of the Intel Xeon X5460 but this processor is natively supported by the Lga 775 motherboards.

The processor had a launch price of around 340 bucks but is easily available under 50 bucks these days. It has a base clock of 3.00 GHz and has a large L2 cache of 12 MB. The processor holds the same overclocking potential as that of the Xeon X5460, so you are more likely to see clock rates around 4.2 GHz if you couple it with a beefy motherboard. The stock power consumption of this processor is slightly lower than that of the X5460, at 95 watts, although it can easily exceed 150-watt power consumption once it is overclocked above 4 GHz.

The Bus speed of this processor is 1333 MHz, like the previous one. The processor supports Intel VT-x, and VT-d, which is Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O. Moreover, it supports Intel Enhanced Speed Step technology as well, which is great if you are looking to minimize the electricity bills. The gaming performance of this processor is roughly the same as that of the X5460. The stock clock rates are slightly lower, which results in around 5% slower performance but once overclocked, their performance is almost the same. You can easily enjoy the AAA games released before 2015, and most of the latest esports titles at around 60 FPS.

Conclusion

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 is among the best Core 2 Quad processors that provide four cores, and a 3 GHz clock rate. Even though quite dated, this processor can still be very useful for modern games as long as you are not FPS hungry. Unlike the Xeon X5460 processor, it natively works with the LGA 775 socket motherboards, without requiring any additional converter.

The Good

  • High clock rates
  • Four cores
  • Suitable for mid-sized modern games as well

The Bad

  • Rare to find at a suitable price

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400

Intel Core 2 Duo series succeeded Intel’s previous dual-core processors. Moreover, this series covered multiple architectures, and we are discussing here, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, which is among the flagship processors from the series. A decade ago, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 used to be one of the fastest dual-core processors. It belongs to Wolfdale architecture, which is similar to Yorkfield architecture with the major difference in the number of cores in the processors. Although these processors did not support Intel Hyper-Threading technology, their performance in older games was phenomenal.

Intel Core i-series processors were the true successor of these processors that provided dual-core configuration in combination with Intel Hyper-Threading technology. Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 has a clock rate of 3 GHz, which was considered a high clock rate during the time of its release. It has a bus speed of 1333 MHz, which is the same as that of Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650. Moreover, its cache is exactly half of the Q9650, at 6 MB, which essentially makes it exactly half in performance compared to Q9650.

Despite having half the performance, Core 2 Duo E8400 is quite good at handling older games since most pre-2010 games utilized one or two cores. This is the very reason that this processor is a great alternative to the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 if you are interested in pre-2010 games only. The best thing about this processor is that it is very cheaply available, and if you are lucky, you might be able to find it for under 20 bucks.

The processor holds great overclocking potential as well. Since there are only two cores, you are less likely to hit high thermals compared to the likes of Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 or Xeon X5460, etc. You can easily achieve a 4 GHz+ clock rate with even mid-range coolers.

Conclusion

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 might not be a good processor for today's games but if you are buying a computer specifically for older games such as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, older Call of Duty titles, etc., then this processor provides an amazing value for that.

The Good

  • Good overclocking potential
  • Cheapest among the bunch
  • Impressive performance in older games

The Bad

  • Doesn’t handle games released after 2012 so well

Intel Core 2 Quad 9300

Here we are with another Core 2 Quad processor that is Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300. This processor belongs to the same generation as that of the Q9650 but comes with lower clock rates, which is why it is available at a lower price as well.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 is the best of the processors when we talk about value. LGA 775 socket processors are becoming rare these days, and among all the LGA 775 socket processors, Q9300 provides the best value. It has a clock rate of 2.5 GHz with no boost clocks. The L2 cache of the processor is half the size of the Q9650, at 6 MB, which is the L2 cache size of the E8400. The bus speed of the processor is 1333 MHz.

The processor has lithography of 45nm since it belongs to the Yorkfield architecture. It has a TDP of 95 watts, and due to its lower clock rate, it has a greater overclocking potential than the previous processors we have mentioned. Enthusiasts have been able to get this processor to over 4 GHz, although even with an average cooler, you can easily get this processor to 3.6 or 3.8 GHz.

The gaming performance of this processor is slightly better than the E8400 in the games that were released from 2010 to 2014. The pre-2010 games did not require super-fast processors, which is why this processor provides more than enough performance in those games, even though its two cores sit idle most of the time.

Conclusion

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 is one of the best-valued LGA 775 processors hands down, and once overclocked, it can handle everything that higher-end LGA 775 processors are capable of while having a much lower price. It is natively supported by LGA 775 motherboards and has a similar price to the Xeon X5460.

The Good

  • Great value for the price
  • Can be overclocked fairly

The Bad

  • Not so good at stock clocks

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 is one of the first processors that belong to the Core 2 series, and it was released in parallel with the Core 2 Duo processors, such as Intel Core 2 Duo E4300. This is the cheapest Core 2 Quad processor that you can get your hands on, and in fact, you might be able to get this at even lower rates than the Core 2 Duo E8400.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 has a low clock rate of 2.4 GHz and has a slightly larger L2 cache of 8 MB compared to Q9300. A good thing about the clock rate is that it can be increased by overclocking but the cache size cannot be changed whatsoever. That is why Q6600 is a great alternative to the Q9300, and it comes at a lower price as well.

The processor is based on the Kentsfield architecture, and its lithography is 65nm. That is why it has a TDP of 105 watts, which makes it slightly hotter than the Q9300, and results in slightly lower overclocking as well unless you use a beefy cooling solution.

The gaming performance of this processor at stock clocks is not too impressive. You can surely enjoy 30-FPS gaming, and that too with games that were released before 2012. However, if you want higher frame rates, it is a good idea to overclock this processor to around 3.6 GHz.

Conclusion

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 is the cheapest Core 2 Quad processor in the market, and its performance for older games is satisfactory. Especially, if you want to play vintage games, it is a good idea to use a cheap processor like this, and if you decide to overclock it, it can be as good as a Q9650 in performance.

The Good

  • Cheapest quad-core Intel processor
  • Great for vintage games
  • High power consumption

The Bad

  • Low stock clock rates

Summary Best LGA 775 CPU

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