Is it worth it for me to get a Quad-core over a Dual Core?



Okay so I've spent days researching the topic and still aren't completely sure. I'm basically building a relatively mid-budget Home/Office PC. I don't care about gaming performance but am primarily focused on Multi-tasking. I use my computer primarily for the following things, and usually all at the same time:

-Torrent downloading (always happening)
- P2P downloading (I try to stay away but I still use it fairly often)
- Web browsing inc. watching a lot of streaming video (usually have a ton of tabs open as well)
- Music playing (using media monkey right now but would like to be able to run iTunes if I need to)
- Document creation (standard MS office stuff)
- Virus protection and other small background programs
- Occasionaly I'll use photo/video editing software but it's pretty far and few between.

I would think that a quad core would be better for doing all of these things at once despite the fact that none of these programs multi-thread as far as I know. Simply for the fact that I don't believe most of these programs other than the photo-editing software require mass amounts of processing power. In other words the OS would run the multiple programs through different cores keeping them from essentially being cramed through the 2 cores of a duo. However I'm not sure if my reasoning is completely sound here since I'm still pretty new to this.

Anyway. My basic question is based on my use should I go for a quad core processor with lower clock rates or a dual core processor with higher clock rates. Two in particular I've been considering are the AMD Athlon II X4 630 (don't think I need the 3rd cache of the phenom since I won't be gaming) and the AMD Phenom II X2 550.

Any help or suggestions are appreciated.


Jul 15, 2008
almost worth it just for the photo/video editing as thos should be very multi threaded (ie could use the whole quad core)

if you are considering the 630, just get the 620, even if you OC there is almost no difference

and btw using a torrent is a kind of P2P file sharing system


I was actually considering overclocking the x4 as well to get make up for the difference in clock rate difference but again i am very new to that as well and am not nearly well versed enough to make a decision. Do you know if the Athlon responds better to OC than the phenom? I;ve heard the phenom doesn't respond all that well. Also if I over clock should I just go with the 620 (assuming that after OC they will be about the same)? I was just going to get the 630 since it was only 10 more bucks but if you think I would be better off just overclocking a 620 then I'll probably do that. Also am i right in assuming that L3 cache would primarily improve performance only in gaming?


Feb 6, 2008
I would concentrate first on making sure you have enough/quality RAM, a appropriate motheboard chipset and a quality hard drive (cache, seek time, etc), if you have all those in place, a quad core would be a good addition, but if one of those is deficient, it wouldn't matter anyway. Do you have any ideas on the rest of the system?

A lot of horsepower in a car won't makeup for bad tires. You know?


I'm starting with my CPU and going from there. Figured I would pick a CPU then the motherboard and then my ram, hard drives, etc.

I've been focusing most of my research on the CPU latley. My next big thing is going to be my chipset. Especially since I don't think I will be buying an external graphics crad since I'm not doing any gaming.


Jun 6, 2009
Go with the x4 620 I upgraded from a e6300 and never looked back no more slow downs when the virus scan kicks in while gaming or converting video

sub mesa

Apr 17, 2009
Get a quadcore if you do alot of "desktop work" -- get a dualcore with faster frequency if you're a gamer.

For the same money you get a dualcore with higher frequency, this is better for gamers; as with most games only one core is used.

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