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To quad core or not to quad core...

LiddokunLiddokun Member UncommonPosts: 1,665

Okay I've been reading about Quad Core cpus and I don't seem to get it, so can anyone here that is a computer hardware expert explain to me what advantages and disadvantages do you get by using quad core cpu? From the obvious potential of having faster processing power I heard that since the 32 bit OS (and software) that we currently use, it has no point in using a quad core cpu if the software does not maximize and optimize the cpu usage, is this true?

Comments

  • DrewgDrewg Member UncommonPosts: 96

    If you're going to be using your PC for gaming, get a dual core - core 2 duo or one of the higher end 64's.

    Core 2 duo's are a nice cpu and they will suit you fine.

    You will only need quad cores once games start getting compatibility with quad cores. But dual cores for gaming will do just as well.

    People use quad cores for serious engineering software, benchmarking, 3d designing etc.

    You DON'T need one just for gaming.

  • LiddokunLiddokun Member UncommonPosts: 1,665

    Ahh... thanks for the reply.

  • bluealien1bluealien1 Member Posts: 526
    Originally posted by Drewg


    If you're going to be using your PC for gaming, get a dual core - core 2 duo or one of the higher end 64's.
    Core 2 duo's are a nice cpu and they will suit you fine.
    You will only need quad cores once games start getting compatibility with quad cores. But dual cores for gaming will do just as well.
    People use quad cores for serious engineering software, benchmarking, 3d designing etc.
    You DON'T need one just for gaming.

    If he has the money and is willing there is no reason not to buy a Quad Core, if an application/game supports dual-core it also supports quad-core, some dual cores cost even as much as quad cores.

  • SharajatSharajat Member Posts: 926

    Originally posted by bluealien1

    Originally posted by Drewg


    If you're going to be using your PC for gaming, get a dual core - core 2 duo or one of the higher end 64's.
    Core 2 duo's are a nice cpu and they will suit you fine.
    You will only need quad cores once games start getting compatibility with quad cores. But dual cores for gaming will do just as well.
    People use quad cores for serious engineering software, benchmarking, 3d designing etc.
    You DON'T need one just for gaming.

    If he has the money and is willing there is no reason not to buy a Quad Core, if an application/game supports dual-core it also supports quad-core, some dual cores cost even as much as quad cores.

    This is highly inaccurate.  While theoretically anything that supports dual core supports quad core, in reality they have to be coded to thread properly.  The fact of the matter is, most dual-core applications do not significantly use the third and fourth cores for benchmarking.

     

    Or, to simplify, the e6750 or e6850 will easily outperform the q6600 despite having theoretically less computing power. 

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • GishgeronGishgeron Member Posts: 1,287

    Originally posted by Sharajat


     
    Originally posted by bluealien1

    Originally posted by Drewg


    If you're going to be using your PC for gaming, get a dual core - core 2 duo or one of the higher end 64's.
    Core 2 duo's are a nice cpu and they will suit you fine.
    You will only need quad cores once games start getting compatibility with quad cores. But dual cores for gaming will do just as well.
    People use quad cores for serious engineering software, benchmarking, 3d designing etc.
    You DON'T need one just for gaming.

    If he has the money and is willing there is no reason not to buy a Quad Core, if an application/game supports dual-core it also supports quad-core, some dual cores cost even as much as quad cores.

    This is highly inaccurate.  While theoretically anything that supports dual core supports quad core, in reality they have to be coded to thread properly.  The fact of the matter is, most dual-core applications do not significantly use the third and fourth cores for benchmarking.

     

     

    Or, to simplify, the e6750 or e6850 will easily outperform the q6600 despite having theoretically less computing power. 

     

    For those curious about the legitimacy of this....its not the first time I've heard it.  Apparently programs need to be optimized to function with the quad-core, or the extra computing power is pretty much lost and you get left with a shoddy dual core.

     

    Thats been my take on it, anyway.  I'm no PC expert, so my translation of their "PC wisdom" could perhaps be lacking.  All the same, its safe to say a dual core is a better choice.

    image

  • SharajatSharajat Member Posts: 926

    For those interested, here's some CPU benchmarks from quad cores. 

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000942.html

    FTA:

     

    The results seem encouraging, until you take a look at the applications that benefit from quad-core-- the ones that aren't purely synthetic benchmarks are rendering, encoding, or scientific applications . It's the same old story. Beyond encoding and rendering tasks which are naturally amenable to parallelization, the task manager CPU graphs tell the sad tale of software that simply isn't written to exploit more than two CPUs.

     

    ...

     

     

    It's mostly what I would expect-- only rendering and encoding tasks exploit parallelism enough to overcome the 25% speed deficit between the dual and quad core CPUs. Outside of that specific niche, performance will actually suffer for most general purpose software if you choose a slower quad-core over a faster dual-core.

    However, there were some surprises in here, such as Excel 2007, and the Lost Planet "concurrent operations" setting. It's possible software engineering will eventually advance to the point that clock speed matters less than parallelism. Or eventually it might be irrelevant, if we don't get to make the choice between faster clock speeds and more CPU cores. But in the meantime, clock speed wins most of the time. More CPU cores isn't automatically better. Typical users will be better off with the fastest possible dual-core CPU they can afford.

    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson

  • LiddokunLiddokun Member UncommonPosts: 1,665

    Thanks for the info I understand quad core much better now.

  • rikiliirikilii Member UncommonPosts: 1,084
    Originally posted by Gishgeron


     
    Originally posted by Sharajat


     
    Originally posted by bluealien1

    Originally posted by Drewg


    If you're going to be using your PC for gaming, get a dual core - core 2 duo or one of the higher end 64's.
    Core 2 duo's are a nice cpu and they will suit you fine.
    You will only need quad cores once games start getting compatibility with quad cores. But dual cores for gaming will do just as well.
    People use quad cores for serious engineering software, benchmarking, 3d designing etc.
    You DON'T need one just for gaming.

    If he has the money and is willing there is no reason not to buy a Quad Core, if an application/game supports dual-core it also supports quad-core, some dual cores cost even as much as quad cores.

    This is highly inaccurate.  While theoretically anything that supports dual core supports quad core, in reality they have to be coded to thread properly.  The fact of the matter is, most dual-core applications do not significantly use the third and fourth cores for benchmarking.

     

     

    Or, to simplify, the e6750 or e6850 will easily outperform the q6600 despite having theoretically less computing power. 

     

     

    For those curious about the legitimacy of this....its not the first time I've heard it.  Apparently programs need to be optimized to function with the quad-core, or the extra computing power is pretty much lost and you get left with a shoddy dual core.

     

    Thats been my take on it, anyway.  I'm no PC expert, so my translation of their "PC wisdom" could perhaps be lacking.  All the same, its safe to say a dual core is a better choice.

     

    It's actually pretty simple.  The clock speeds on Quads are generally lower than comparably priced dual-core CPUs.   If you're only actually using one core, it's obviously better to have a higher clock speed.

    Games are just now starting to take advantage of dual core CPUs, and some are being optimized for Quads.  AoC is one MMO that claims it will be optimized to some extent for a Quad.

    ____________________________________________
    im to lazy too use grammar or punctuation good

  • ladyattisladyattis Member Posts: 1,273

    Yeah, multi-threading only can go so far. It's not to say it's not useful, but it is to say it's not a magic bullet. I've learned that in my classes with regard to operating systems. I expect the current Ghz bottle neck to be over come in a few years, probably when they move from silica to synthetic diamond for the etching substrate (crystallized carbon takes heat far better than silica any day).

    -- Brede

  • EcranomicalEcranomical Member Posts: 326

    Hardware forum is more appropriate, and it depends on budget (current and future), when you plan on making your next cpu purchase, what you use ur computer for. etc.

  • billiebillie Member UncommonPosts: 400

    Some interesting Core 2 performance comparisons of the QX, Q (quad-core,) and X, E (dual-core) lines of Intel processors (cpu.)

    Your ultimate choice of processor should not depend on how deep your pockets are. Granted, Intel would love it if you spring for their high-end models but that will not always translate into better performance. Your choice of Core 2 processor model should depend entirely on your usage pattern (gaming, 3D rendering, media encoding.)

    edit...
    Or one can hold out for the 80 core cpu to build your TF (Teraflop) computer to raid with the world's most powerful supercomputer (120TF.)

    image

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