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Dual core VS quad core


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#1 locally pwned

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:48 PM

So I am building a new machine soon and have been debating on which processor to go with.

Originally I planned on the Core 2 Quad 6600. Factory set to run at 2.4 gHz, bus speed is 1024 mHz, 8 mb cache. I have a couple of friends that rave about this processor. 4 cores means lots of multi-tasking; apparently you can dedicate specific cores to heavy tasks in games as well.

But then I started to wonder about a dual core proc with faster clock speed and faster FSB. The Core Duo 8500 is roughly the same price...clock speed about 3.2 gHz, 1333 fsb, and 6 mb cache.

On one side, the faster clock speed and FSB would be good for raw power...on the other, I can overclock the 6600...I've read many people overclocked it as high as 3.0 gHz only using air cooling. Then I'd still get the extra multi-tasking abilities.

Any thoughts? Anyone had both dual and quad processors?
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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 07:51 PM

Check your game compatibility if it can take advantage of all 4 cores it will outperform the dual core processor. If the game will only utilize 2 cores at a time then the faster FSB and clock speed will be more advantageous.

Edit: You can always get a Phenom Black Edition and overclock the snot out of it.

Edited by Sneakycyber, 02 March 2009 - 07:51 PM.

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#3 groovicus

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:01 PM

Phenom Black Edition


Yes you can. :thumbsup: I am running AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION Agena 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core, and I have it pushed to 3.0Ghz. I've seen claims that it can be pushed to 3.4Ghz, but I don't see any reason for that.

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:03 PM

Its on my shopping list for my next upgrade :thumbsup:

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#5 dpunisher

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:47 PM

E8500s clock well, very well. 3.8 to 4.0 gig is not uncommon. Bump the mem divider to 1:1, mem at 400 and you have 3.8ghz, and work up from there. In 95% of apps an E8500 is going to beat a Q6600. If you have a signifigant amount of apps specifically designed for multicore use, then it may be close but that extra 1+gig of speed is tough to overcome for an older quad core.

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#6 Swordie

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 08:52 PM

Well.. If your in for gaming, I'd go with the Q6600.. But i'd much prefer Phenom Black Edition. I have one on my Gateway, it's clocked @ 3.0GHZ, the thing flys..
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#7 DJBPace07

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:31 PM

Most newer games use two cores just fine, but they have yet to take full advantage of four cores. Later on, they will be able to more fully harness all four. The Intel Q6600 is an old processor, go with one of the newer 45nm quads or dual cores. They are more efficient than 60nm and often OC very well. AMD's Black Edition processors have unlocked multipliers making them easier to overclock. The Phenom II of AMD processors is meant to compete with the mid-range Intel Q9xxx processors. They are, in many cases, on par with them and generally cost less. Intel's i7 CPU's are superior to the Phenom II's but are much more expensive.

Here are some processors:
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz - More expensive than the Q6600 but it has a higher clock speed, is 45nm, and is Black Edition. One site was able to OC this thing to 3.8GHz.
AMD Phenom II X4 920 Deneb 2.8GHz - Not a Black Edition processor, but it is newer and has a higher factory clock for a slightly lower price than the Q6600.

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#8 Vaerli

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:43 PM

Most games i've got, which are older, utilize all four of my cores. I've got the Q6600, and its awesome. I've never tried overclocking it, but it does fine with everything that i throw at it. I got it because its 9.6 ghz no matter what, and that beats out the E8500 overclocked to 4.0ghz a core. It might be a problem though with some games, but most have patches out for those kind of things already. Most any new game will support your 4 cores anyway, they're becoming really common.

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#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:48 AM

It's extremely difficult for programmers to code for four cores. The OS, on the other hand, can shift work around to other cores maximize the efficiency of the CPU. Tasks such as rendering, scientific apps, and encoding can use parallelization much more effectively with quads but many games aren't optimized to run on more than two cores. For instance, Fallout 3, which uses an older version of the Gamebryo engine, will not directly use more than two cores. Once a game is made, it is difficult to patch in true multicore support given the amount of coding necessary. However, the gaming landscape is changing so expect more games to utilize the cores. Clock speed is still, more or less, a factor. A 3.0GHz. dual core will often outperform a 2.4GHz. quad in certain apps, but a 3.0GHz. quad will easily outperform a 2.4 dual. Also, the clock speed per core does not stack, so a CPU rated for 2GHz per core on a quad is not 8GHz. it's 2GHz.

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#10 the_patriot11

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:25 AM

Personally, Im still putting dual cores in all my builds, havent seen fit for a quad yet, amd or intel. Granted, the quads have tremendously more power then a dual core, but the software is still in the process of catching up. Some has caught up, some is still working on the dual core. My AMD athlon x2 6000+ windsor still does everything I ask it to and then some, with power left over. Im currently running games like COD4 and World at war maxed out, no problem at all, Ive run games like Crysis, and other similar games. In all practicality, a good dual core will run virtually any game on the market right now no problems whatsoever. However, if you want future proof, a quad would be a good investment, because as time goes on we will see more and more software that requires a quad core (not that will use all four cores, but actually requires them) so, a quad would definetly last longer in the long run. I mean think about it, technology flies, who was it, Bill gates who once said 2 meg of ram is more memory then anyone will ever use? and now look, we cant even turn the computer on on 2 meg. So, the choice is up to you, dual core will most games and still multi task very well right now, and prolly still will quite a bit of the way into the future, but a quad will last even longer. (and still perform better) :D

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#11 DaChew

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 08:15 AM

In the digital video community we have had multithreaded applications for a few years already, many have found they have overheating problems when they set all four cores to run at 100%. Many just allow 2 threads.
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#12 Vaerli

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:07 AM

Bill gates who once said 2 meg of ram is more memory then anyone will ever use?


I'm heard 648KB of RAM, or something in that area.

He wasn't looking at computers with graphics, games, and multimedia capabilities of our computers now. He was probably just thinking word processors, basic games.

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#13 groovicus

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 09:15 AM

Most games i've got, which are older, utilize all four of my cores.

I doubt it. I would bet dollars to dimes that they do not even utilize two. What multiples cores currently do is spread the OS and hardware workload over all cores, increasing response time for your application. You can't claim that all of your processors are being utilized by one process without running tests and observing what is running on each core. AS DaChew just alluded to, truly optimizing use leads to high heat, and hardware stresses. In addition to that, the complexity of the application increases. Read any book on operating systems, and you will understand the difficulty of inter-process communication with even a single core. It gets exponentially more difficult when you add cores.

Im currently running games like COD4 and World at war maxed out, no problem at all, Ive run games like Crysis, and other similar games.

Again, that is no indication of how cpu cycles are being utilized. I would also bet that you have a good graphics card, which tremendously reduces the load on the CPU. Again, without actually observing each cpu as a process is being run and seeing what is running when, you can not claim that an application is using multiple cores.

#14 locally pwned

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 10:53 AM

Newer games claim multi-core support...I imagine true support would have to be implemented from the ground up. I'm also pretty sure that short of the OS redistributing the work, an old game will run on a single core no matter how many you have. And you're limited to the frequency of that one core. But on the plus side, the performance of one modern core will run any older game beautifully.

"Oh no, Quake 3 isn't using all four cores...it's gonna lag!" :thumbsup:



At the moment it would appear that to get a quad with the same performance as the 8500 I would have to spend almost twice as much. I haven't looked at AMD's lately...I've always gone with Intel chips in the past.

Edited by locally pwned, 03 March 2009 - 10:54 AM.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

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#15 DJBPace07

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:50 PM

As a general rule, if you're saving money go with AMD. But if you demand the best performance and have the cash to spare, Intel is the preferred choice. Intel's i7 kicks almost all other desktop processors to the ground, but the processors are expensive and require new and costly motherboards.

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