The Dual-Core vs. Quad-Core debate

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tsd16

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THANKYOU! Personally I don't care in the matter get what you want, I usually do an upgrade every 2 years (either video card, new mb/proc etc.) so i usually go for the best bang for my buck when getting stuff and at the time a E6750 was the best bang for my buck. Seriously though, who does that much multitasking, and why would you ever want to, The most multitasking I do, is games I mod, usually when just doing textures and such, I will have a webbrowser, and photoshop open in the background while testing the game. That is the extent of my multitasking, or running winamp/mediaplayer while surfing the web, or while playing games as far as playing mp3's along with playing games, I never noticed a problem doing that on my single core p4.

especially the 2 games thing, why on earth would you want to play 2 games at the same damn time? Yeah thats great that you can do it, but its something I would never want to do or see any logical reason doing.
 

jimmysmitty

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Dude don't change your story. You stated that Vista uses 59% of 4GB just to run which is the same 59% of 4GB as XP with all that crap you have running. Now you say that my Vista using 20% of 4GB is somehow equal to 40% of you XP running the same things only now its 40% of 2GB instead of 59% of 4GB. So now all that crap uses less than 1GB of physical RAM and it used to use to use 2.36GB of RAM. So which is it?

Stop spreading your FUD about Vista. Its a very nice OS, runs very fast compared to what people say and is a nice looking OS with great security. I don't need some program using memory and CPU time blocking billions of IP addresses since Vista already has great security in it.

On that note, OP just get a quad core. Trust me. 5 years is a long time and unless you plan to upgrade your CPU in 2-3 years a quad core will benefit you more. That way you can focus on your GPU more, which is vastly more important than the CPU in gaming.
 

DXRick

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For many applications there is nothing to process when it is not the active application. When you switch into an application, Windows sends a message to the application telling it to redraw itself on the screen. When the application is not active, it will not be receiving keyboard and mouse events.

Exceptions are programs that have started time initiated events and those that are in a perpetual loop of some kind.

The ignorance about how Windows programs really work is helping to fuel the FUD in the dual/quad core discussions. Most of the programs you use today don't need quad cores! None of the Office apps need a quad core. Web browsers don't need them. All you have to do is wade through the CPU charts to see what apps benefit from quad cores.

I also don't understand the Microsoft initiative for multi-threading. Every book I have read (C++, MFC, and .NET) covers multi-threading. There are also books devoted to the concept. I can't imagine that programming classes in colleges and universities aren't already teaching the concepts. The concepts aren't that hard to learn. So, what are they spending that money on?

The effort by micrsosoft to adequately document .NET for the programmers that would like to seek certification is really pathetic. The book for exam 70-536 (the first one for .NET programmers) is riddled with errors and omissions for example.
 

blacksci

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Your right DXRick, I was actually speaking of games, but hey it was late, my Friday, and I had a few beers. But when I alt+tab out with games, my cpu usage is the same, never changes. I know this becuase I run a g-15 mobo and have the nifty feature to see what my comp performance is on the Lcd monitor the keyboard has.

On a side note, no nothing doesnt "need a quad" with the exception of Microsoft Flight Simulator X, which actually benefits from the quad. But for people who like to heavily multitask a quad will benefit them with the responsiveness of there computer.

@tsd16 Yep i run 2 games at once, like i said earlier cuz i can, its nice to be able to switch between the two games i favor witout having to wait for it to load up. Is it insane? I dont think so, since I can and it doesnt hurt my performance in the least.
 

jimmysmitty

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I think people just don't pay attention to the original post. He wants it to last him 5-6 years. This meaning no upgrades just the system as is for 5-6 years. He might decide to upgrade a few parts later on or not. Whos to know. But in 5 years do you think a quad core will be better than a dual core? By 2013/2014 do you think a quad core will be a better CPU to have than a dual core? I think a quad+ will be the enthusiast choice by then if not sooner.

Thats why I suggest the OP to get a qaud core so he wont have to change later on.



You mean keyboard. I have a G15 too and its nice to be able to see how much memory/CPU is being used while in game or something. It also works with Crysis and C&C3. Kinda nice to see what you have and how much you have hehe.
 

blacksci

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Lol yep i mean keyboard, lol, just goes to show mistakes can happen even if you havent been drinking, but it was still pre 12:00 here, lolol
 

Zorg

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It does seem that a lot of people missed that, doesn't it? Additionally who's to say what multi-threaded games will be out in a year or two or where his interests will lie. He may get into video work etc. The quad is the way to go, the difference in frequencies with a medium OC on each will not make up the difference in the additional cores in the very near future.
 

computertech82

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I remember running photoshop, web, audio, seti, and alot of other apps at the same time on SINGLE cpu. Duals have some advantage with apps and the os itself. Quads not much. Obviously, there are a few games that benefit, a few apps. But as a few pointed out, when multiprocessing becomes more of the "average" system, it's time to get/buy something new anyway (you're old system will NOT be good enough in 5 years for higher end programs).
I think DXRick explained it fairly well in an earlier post.
 

jimmysmitty

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Thank you!!! Finally someone else who got it. Plus did you see the review of the Q9300, Phenom 9850BE and E8500? Even with its stock speed of 3.16GHz the Q9300 was able to keep up in some single threaded apps pretty well with a 660MHz disadvantage.

Not to say the E8500 is not a good procsessor but in 3,4-5 years+ it will not be the same performer as it is today. It will be like a single core is today.

But as I said before OP, if you are still reading, get the quad core. You wont regret it. Plus 3-3.2GHz OC's are easy on the quad cores and is plenty of speed. Sure 4GHz is nice and fast but will you be able to fully utilize that?

JUST GET A QUAD CORE!1!1!1!!!
 

maximiza

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Lasting 5 or 6 years before upgrading I would say go with a quad now. I really don't know if a quad will last 5 or 6 years though. When they get 8 or 16 cores there will have to be new sockets so your system will still go obsolete. I was looking at quads myself over the past few months but found a brand new opteron 185 dual core for 159.00 dollers. So really you might want to think about what price you are willing to pay for hardware that will always be going obsolete.
 

jimmysmitty

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This may not be true. I stuck with a single core Pentium 4 for 5 years and it didn't effect my performance that much with games and apps. Of course everything newer (i.e. dual core+) was faster and better at most things but I was fine. Now I have a Q6600 and its great for what I do, especially when I start going crazy and doing like 20+ things at once.

So a quad now should be good for I would say 4-5 years truly. Maybe 6 but that would be streatching it big time.
 

JAYDEEJOHN

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Hardware has traditionally kept ahead of software for obvious reasons in most cases, except gaming for obvious reasons. Were at a point where the cpu is waay ahead of apps, because this isnt just a speed thing, its a whole new approach. Just like in gaming where scaling suffers going SLI/CF, quads suffer from poor or mostly non existent software. Multi GPU's been around longer than dual even, and even with duals, there wasnt this need for multi threading. Its mainly been a push by the cpu makers themselves, as theyve hit the wall for node dev, and its taken the software makers somewhat with their pants down. The cpu makers know that their major improvements wont be in IPC or Ghz, but in multi core, with good scaling, using multi threading, its just that the last part they have no control over. Its a precarious situation were in, as its way too early for multithreading to take over in software. If given the chance, theyd do it on a new OS, but we really havnt seen much since Vistas come out. And the software makers are also having to face going from 32 bit to 64, so like I said, theres alot to consider before you band aid call a "get a quad", and thats including the price and compatability issues as well
 

halcyon

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I've been reading most of the above posts as I'm researching upgrading my OC'd E6850 (3.53Ghz) to a Q9450 (OC'd to say, 3.2Ghz) for virtualization, Photoshop, wave file editing, slight video encoding, and general use.

The experience I'd like to have is to be able to run at least two virtual machines (ie., XP and Ubunto) simultaneously and keep the host OS highly responsive for anything else I'd like to do. Photoshop, occasional video encoding (very occassional), and general use.

Performance is not bad now, with the E6850, but it isn't stupendous either...and if the Q9450 would help it seems logical to upgrade since that's how I like to run. I've had 3 or 4 virtual machines running simultaneously and its slows down a bit...I thought a Q9450 might help since I don't want to bother with having another physical machine.

I read things in these forums that make me think that getting a quad be helpful for such usage as well as comments that I won't see much improvement. Hmm...
 

blacksci

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We all know there is going to be something greater and better out in 3to 4+ years ahead. Sure future proofing is a oxymoron when it comes to computers. But most of us average joes who arent rich expect to run our computers at least that long. My p4 served me faithfully for 4 years, and serves my fiance faithfully now. Is it cutting edge? Not anymore but it does the job its supposed to, and can still run most games. Same with duels and quads. Sure duels do the job...right now but in another year or two (hopefully) well start to see multithreading apps taking advantage of the other cores. I look at it like this, do i want a processor that has a combined cpu power of 6.8 gigs (dual core)or do i want a proccessor with the combined cpu power of 12.8 gigs (quad core). For me it was a no brainer, more power equals more longevity in the future for my computer, so hopefully in the next 2 to 3 years ill still be able to run my games and apps without any serious issues. And keep in mind, within 3 months of buying anything cutting edge, your old technology, that hasnt changed yet. So its a matter of what you feel will last longer in this case many of us think the quad will still be able to compete in 2 to 3 years, while dual cores may be the equivenlant of a single core.

As a side note. Has anyone here gone from a duel core system to a quad and willing to post what your experiences were? Those would be the people to pay particular attention too. Since they have experienced both worlds, and can offer a more unique angle here then say the duel core folks who defend there decision to the death, and us quadders who just skipped that generation altogether and love the experience were having.
 

Mousemonkey

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You are one of those rare folk for whom the Quad Core CPU was developed for in the first place. :)

Why?, I usually just get the 'future proofed for apps that don't yet exsist' & 'just as fast for single or dual threaded apps if you overclock' type responses, so much so that it has become quite boring. :p
 

grieve

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Q9300 with 4gigs ram is the way to go
 

blacksci

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@ mousemonkey

Because i dont like to spout that b.s. and think to get a truly objective opinon of pros and cons, those would be the people to talk to. Im sorry your bored, but we aint here to entertain you, were here to try to answer the origninal posters question as best as we can.
 

JAYDEEJOHN

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I agree with mousemonkey, this will make most of your experience much better, maybe not everything you listed, but most, and I think youll never look back
 

Mousemonkey

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Thanks jaydeejohn.

@blacksci, If you can find me a good 'tongue in cheek' smilie I'll use it.
 

zenmaster

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The most obvious point has been missed to support quads.

In general, the Dual will beat the Quads slightly in the benches they win.

The Quads will usually dust the duels in the benches they win.

Who cares about an extra 1-2 FPS in a game.
Contrast that with saving 20-30 Minutes encoding video or other intense task.
 

The_Blood_Raven

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Saving 20-30 minutes is NEVER going to happen in this instance, and its more like 5-10 FPS. A cheap 8400, at only $220 will only make you wait about 1-5 minutes longer than a Q9650, WORST CASE SCENERIO. The point is, buying a quadcore now is useless, I almost did it. Wait until the next Intel socket, and hopefully AMDs first decent quadcore comes out. Maybe when you get one of those, quadcores will be optimized enough to make it worth not having to wait that extra minute or 2 for the extra $800. Dualcores all the way, quadcores are as good as useless now, but will get much better and cheaper later on, so just save your money and go brush your teeth while your computer takes that extra minute. Just because you loved the "idea" of a quadcore and went out and bought a Q6600 does not mean that your opinion about this subject is the only one that matters, and do NOT distort facts.
 

The_Blood_Raven

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How about from an E6750 OC'd to 3.6 Ghz to a Q9650 OC'd to 3.8 GHz and then back to the E6750? Yeah the Q9650 was fast, don't get me wrong. It also bumped my windows score from a 5.6 to a 5.9. :D The problem is the performance difference is not there, I had ment to give my E6750 to my cousin and upgrade, but the upgrade was no where NEAR worth it. If the Q9650 was $350-$400 then maybe, but it was not even close. The biggest difference I saw was converting 12GBs of videos, for the fun of it, I tested before and after and found them very close, so close that if I had just gotten rid of 1 200MB video for the E6750, it would have been the same. This is because the programs I used did not fully use all 4 cores, and this being the biggest difference I had found in anything that I had done, including HD encoding, made me think that the time just was not right for quadcores yet. I will admit I do miss the almost instantaneous start up from button press to ready to go, but I can wait 10 seconds. Honestly, do not buy a quadcore unless you have below an E6300, and if you do then get the E8400 or the Q6600, they are pretty much the exact same thing performance wise.
 

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