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Author Topic: 1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?  (Read 20678 times)

Offline Simulated

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« on: 10/06/2009 00:05:43 »
For a game I'm thinking about purchasing it needs this
2.4 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
Would a 1.8 quad be equivalent? I hear that quad is great for gaming
But, a 2.6 dual would work just fine right?

I'm sorta leaning to the computer that has the 2.6 because its graphics card is listed under the requirments and its 100 dollars cheaper even though it has 1 gb ram and 140 gb harddrive less, but its still way better than the one i have now

Thanks


 

Offline glovesforfoxes

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #1 on: 10/06/2009 08:10:03 »
The 2.6Ghz dual core will be perfectly sufficient. If you want a pc that can keep up with graphics advances in the next year or so, then the quad core is the best bet, but that's only if you wanna buy really modern games (which has never been my desire - I'm still playing warcraft 3 ^^)

Which game is it? Older games can have problems with both dual core and quad core processors, though from looking at the specs, it should be able to handle the dual core at least.
 

Offline chris

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #2 on: 10/06/2009 08:40:28 »
I have some software that controls a piece of audio equipment. It crashes all the time. I complained to the company who supplied it. Their first question was "dual core processor?" - indeed I have an AMD processor.

But why is some software "allergic" to this processor architecture?

Chris
 

Offline davidmn

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2009 08:52:38 »
I have no idea why some applications dont like some architectures. However I can reccommend a very good proccessor, the Intel Q6700, runs at 2.66GHz and is quad core. I use it in my gaming rig and I think it cost me about 100. Although on ebuyer it is about 140, I got mine with some sort or promotion.

The only thing Id say now, it do you have adequate cooling for 4 cores and does you motherboard support the 775 socket (most do)

Dave
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 08:58:34 by davidmn »
 

Offline Simulated

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #4 on: 10/06/2009 21:41:18 »
The game is The Sims 3
I will also play The Sims 2, The Sims, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and Spore. Those are purdy much it.
My current computer can run all of those except Spore and The Sims 3, which all I need is a better graphics card. I got the computer in 02. The processor is a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, which was really good for getting that back in the day. I would probably just get a better graphics card, but I would like more than 1 GB ram, but that's all my pc can have in it.
Unless they come out with a Spore 2 or The Sims 4 I probably won't be getting any newer games.

So even though it is a 1.8GHz processor it is equivilent to a 2.4GHz P4?
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 21:42:56 by Simulated »
 

Offline chris

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #5 on: 11/06/2009 11:34:42 »
I have no idea why some applications dont like some architectures. However I can reccommend a very good proccessor, the Intel Q6700, runs at 2.66GHz and is quad core. I use it in my gaming rig and I think it cost me about 100. Although on ebuyer it is about 140, I got mine with some sort or promotion.

The only thing Id say now, it do you have adequate cooling for 4 cores and does you motherboard support the 775 socket (most do)

Dave


How does it compare, speed-wise, with the AMD dual cores running at about 2GHz?
 

Offline davidmn

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #6 on: 11/06/2009 11:37:37 »
Ive never used AMD personally. I presume they would run faster as its .66GHz faster. The extra 2 cores would only be used if the application was threaded for 4 cores.
 

Offline LeeE

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #7 on: 11/06/2009 15:01:13 »
The P4 was a pretty grotty CPU and had poor cycle efficiency; its design gave relatively poor performance per clock cycle but ran at high frequencies.  The contemporary AMD designs went the other way and ran at relatively low clock frequencies but were much more efficient.  Infact, the P4 was a bit of a panic response to the AMD processors, which were quite a bit better than the P3 design.

Current CPUs from both manufacturers now have broadly comparable cycle efficiencies though, and a current 1.8GHz CPU from either company should perform better than your old P4 (although having said that, it's possible that your old software might have to be re-compiled to make use of some of the new instructions that make the new CPUs more efficient before you'd see any benefit, and this probably won't be an option).

The issue with multi-core CPUs is that relatively little software makes use of multiple cores, although this is slowly improving.  There are really two aspects to the issue.  First of all, many 'problems' are inherently serial and there is little scope for parallelisation, and secondly, actually designing parallel logic and getting it all to work together flawlessly is just plain simple difficult.  Both the skills and design tools/aids are thin on the ground, and what tools there are require a high level of understanding to use - way beyond the simple macroing ability of people who think they can write computer programs.

I don't know much about spore, but interestingly, the other games you list nicely highlight the differences between problems that are relatively easy to parallelise and those that aren't.  The Sims range of games would seem to offer obvious opportunities for parallelism, as the game revolves around many instances of the same thing i.e. people, but with different data for each instance.  In this game it would be possible for each people instance to be processed in parallel (interactions between them would still have to be coordinated, of course, but even then, many of the interactions could also be parallel-processed).

FSX, on the other hand is not so amenable to parallel processing as the major part of the workload is just simply assembling the single 3D scenegraph for display upon the screen.  I developed a few aircraft for the FlightGear open-source flight simulator and the software developers found that >90%+ of the workload was just in this one area; the workload required for all the flight dynamics, controls systems, weather, nav etc. was negligible in comparison.  Although in FlightGear, we were able to split some minor functions off into separate threads, which could then be run in parallel on additional CPUs, such as loading new scenery/landscape tiles as the aircraft moved, it really just amounted to a drop in the ocean and FlightGear remains essentially a single CPU program that cannot make good use of multiple CPUs.  Having some insight to this type of 'game' suggests to me that FSX will be little different in this respect.

As to which way you should go?  If you want to run 'old' software, or software that can't make use of parallel processing, go for the fastest processors you can get and don't spend money on CPUs that you can't use.  If you're running software that can make use of multiple cores though, such as 3D rendering software, you'll get more throughput with more cores because 4 x 1.8 > 2 x 2.6.  Remember too though, that if you're going to keep all your cores busy you'll need the same amount of memory for each core, so if the software you use needs say, 2Gb RAM per process, you'll need 4Gb RAM for a dual core but 8Gb RAM for a quad.
 

Offline davidmn

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #8 on: 11/06/2009 16:19:25 »
Id agree with that, i know that some games e.g team fortress 2 can be set to run some processes on othere cores, i cant remember exactly how it did this or where i found it.
 

Offline Simulated

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #9 on: 11/06/2009 21:25:33 »
I'm even more confused now ha s
 

Offline Edster

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #10 on: 22/06/2009 12:12:41 »
the "cores" are effectively stand alone processors to the software. windows and mac software to date  is normaly only scaled for max 2 processors so more than that is redundant. Sharing of a single task on a multi core proc isn`t defined.

AMD multi cores are more compatible with older software than intel ones in my experience,and will run your existing stuff better. As already said AMD tends to out perform intel, but not by as much as it used to.
Amd was set up by ex intel people and producing bit slice processors as used by the military in multi parallel for radar chirp analysis when intel were making a 4 bit washing machine controller as the top of their expertise.

After the debacle with HP when intel got seriously red faced over their lack of experience in anything challenging, It confirmed my bias, I still always specify AMD for any machine I build.

Buy  triple or quad core by all means but only 2 cores are likely to be used and the others stay mainly Idle.

You will also find better integration on an AMD motherboard as they build the support chips too and open source them for others to improve upon unlike intel.

 In my 10+ years building PC`s  I`ve found Gigabyte motherboards to add something. An identical amd asus and a gigabyte for memory and proc and HDD produced 10%+ performance extra using a number of test suites. As the speeds go up the quality of the motherboard layout starts to matter too, as does the quality of capacitors.

« Last Edit: 22/06/2009 12:23:36 by Edster »
 

Offline LeeE

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #11 on: 22/06/2009 17:43:16 »
Some of that was a bit misleading Edster.  You can use more than just two cores on windows or mac systems (unless you've bought the non-professional/non-enterprise versions, which may be limited for pricing reasons) by running several different applications at the same time.  The real issue is with getting a single application to use multiple cores at the same time.

If you have a problem that, in the first place, can be parallelised there's little difference between running it on two cores or n-cores (although there might be practical limits in terms of being able to distribute the task across n-cores before the first cores start returning their results and request their next bit of data - the cores at the end of the list might then never get any data to process).
 

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1.8 GHz Quad-Core or 2.6GHz Dual-Core?
« Reply #11 on: 22/06/2009 17:43:16 »

 

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