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Dual Core Or Not Dual Core?


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#1 Gothmog

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 05:13 AM

from your experience or opinion do you think the Dual Core Athlon 64s are a good value compared to the regulars. Specifically I was looking at these:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice
AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Venice
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester
I was thinking of spending short money now for one of these and then upgrade to an Athlon 64 FX60 when the price comes lower into three digit territory

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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 06:55 AM

What are you planning to do with the computer?

I like AMD's dual-cores but to have any use of them you need to use the computer with multiple simultaneous threads. If you haven't get a multithread enviroment the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ will perform like a Athlon 64 3200+, in which case the Athlon 64 3500+ or the Athlon 64 3800+ will outperform it with a big margin. But in a heavy multithreaded enviroment the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ will leave the Athlon 64 3800+ in the dust.
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#3 Gothmog

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:04 AM

my main uses would be the usual gfx intensive games and the occasional DVD authoring with Nero Vision express. just casual fun stuff :thumbsup:

could you list any examples of multi-thread enviorments. Are they mostly geared toward workstation apps like Photoshop and 3dMax or do game writers implement it too?

#4 Mr Alpha

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:16 AM

could you list any examples of multi-thread enviorments. Are they mostly geared toward workstation apps like Photoshop and 3dMax or do game writers implement it too?

Well, yes and no. :thumbsup:

Workstations apps are, at the moment, those who make the best usage of dual-cores, but that isn't the only type of multi-threaded enviroment you come across. You also get multiple threads if you run several single-threaded apps at once. So if you for some reason have something eating processor in the background while gaming, dual-core definitely helps. (Something a more demanding than a resident AV and firewall, that is.) If my weekly AV scan starts while I'm gaming I won't notice it, but a buddy of mine with a single-core screams bloody murder every time. :flowers:


As for gaming and dual-cores, that is a hot topic at the moment.

The reality as of now: You will, with most games out now and most games coming out this year loose a lot of performance in getting the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ instead of the Athlon 64 3800+.

BUT... (you knew it was coming)
There are a few games out that are multi-threaded. There was a patch released for Quake 4 that made it multi-threaded (gave me a 35% performance boost). This probably means that any future games released on the Doom3 engine will be multi-threaded.

Then there is Unreal Engine 3, which is heavily multi-threaded. There are about 30 games announced for UE3, with probably even more yet unannounced. But most of them are still far of, without even a official name yet (ie Splinter Cell 5). The first will probably be Unreal Tournament 2007 which probably will be out for Christmas.

Another thing is Windows Vista. It will be multi-threaded, and this will be a big bonus for games. DirectX9, despite the fact that most games use it, isn't all that impressive. It is inefficient with a lot of overhead. With Vistas multi-threadedness it can offload this overhead to the other core, which will give all DX9 games a boost.

Conclusion?
If you weren't going to upgrade the CPU for the next 4 years the you would have to go dual-core to future-proof your computer. Or if you're going to jump on the Vista bandwagon the moment it comes out, getting dual-core is also a good idea, but the it would pay to wait for DDR2 as Vista is supposed to be a memory bandwidth-hog. AMD will go over to DDR2 with the AM2 socket which comes out 6.6.06 (clear sign they got something demonic planned, yes? :trumpet: )

Since you plan to upgrade the processor getting a dual-core would be a waste of money, since you would have to jump all the way up to the Athlon 64 X2 4600+ to get Athlon 64 3800+ level gaming performance.
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#5 legoman786

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 10:40 AM

Tom's Hardware reviewed the AM2, it was stabler than the AMD K6-2 running at 42+ C o.0

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#6 Mr Alpha

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 01:55 PM

I'd be sceptical of any AM2 review out already, AM2 is far from finished. All the numbers may still, and probably will, change before AM2 ships.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#7 stevealmighty

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 03:07 PM

Mr Alpha[b], is the same thing true for intels "hyper-threading technology"? As to where you can run multiple programs at the same time, like playing a game and then the AV starts in the background and the game doesn't "skip a beat"? More specifically, I do online games, and am usually chatting (either google chat, yahoo chat or teamspeak) with family/friends. If I stepped up to an intel cpu that supported HT, would I run a little more efficiently, and stop getting messges from yahoo telling me that my "computer is to busy and that I may experience poor sound quality. To fix this, try closing some programs".
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#8 Mr Alpha

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 03:39 PM

Well, kind of. Hyper-Threading has the processor pretend that it has two cores, which is useful because seldom can a single thread fill the whole processor. If there will be enough processing power left over to keep the sound quality high I don't know, I've never played around with a Pentium with Hyper-Threading. To be able to use Skype while gaming is one of the reasons I got a dual-core. :thumbsup:

As for Hyper-Threading vs dual-core: Here you can find a flash piece of Intel marketing that visually demonstrates the difference.
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#9 stevealmighty

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 05:44 PM

Great informational video....TBH I learned a lot from it! I was a little confused about how HT and dual core actually worked, but now I feel just a little bit smarter.....just a little though!

Thanks for the info on that Mr Alpha :thumbsup:
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#10 Gothmog

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:06 PM

wow I love pretty diagrams and animations, but its awesome when Intel guy talks to you too! I can't imagine when you will need DC w/ HT but its sounds cool.

as for now I like the 3500+ with the plan to upgrade to a FX60. I believe the FX60 is supposed to be the last proc for socket 939 and it looks pretty damn good w/ a good clock speed and DC

#11 linderman

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:23 PM

The Pentium D dual core is suppose to be the king of dual core. The AMD's are described as good entry level dual core processors in comparision to The Intel Pentium D but of course then you must factor in the $$$$$$$$$$ factor.


very good explanation Alpha of the diff of the AMD dual core vs single core I still think for the money involved the Venice core is the way to go >>>>> unless you know for sure you will need multitasking apps




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