Dual core or not dual core??

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Mr.wiggles
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Dual core or not dual core??

hey guys long time no see. i was thinking about buying a new computer in the near future but i can't decide on what kind of processor to buy so i came to you guys cause i know that you guys know alot about computers. basically i cant decide on buying a Dual Core AMD or just a regular AMD i have had mixed responsed from friends and i was just wondering what you guys think. Thanks

I am the man of constant sorrow.

SAS_Webmaster
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Dual core pretty much means what it says. Two processors on one chip. Provided you run an OS that can support two processors (ie not Win 98), Windows will treat it as two seperate processors.

This means that it can execute two things at the same time. With single high-load tasks such as playing a game, there will be no observable difference. The main difference that you will notice is in the responsiveness of the computer in general. For instance, if you are on a single-processor machine and you for example click a link in IE or you click Send/Receive in Outlook, then go to a different window and try to do something, then there will probably be some delay before the next window arrives, and then whatever you do will be sluggish because you still have IE loading a page or Outlook getting your emails.

On a dual-core machine, you will not get any delay, and your second program will not be sluggish because it will run on the other processor.

Further to that, a few high-load applications (not games, sometimes video editing and things like that) will be designed to take advantage of the fact that you have two processors, and will use them both meaning it gets stuff done in half the time. But there are very few applications designed to do that.

So, the main gain comes when you do more than one thing at once, and if you are anything like me that is probably more often than you think.

On a side-note, I have a Pentium 4 with Hyper-Threading. With HT you have only one processor core, but some fancy stuff that makes the computer think it is two, so you can still execute two things at once only the single processor will interleave the instructions as they execute. This gives a similar increase in responsiveness, and when I use a single-processor machine elsewhere I notice a huuuuuge difference in overall responsiveness.

I will never again buy a normal single-processor machine. My recommendation therefore has to be that you get the dual-core.

Spidey01
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What ever you do, get one with Hyper Threading, my moms got an early P4 (2.0 Ghz) without HT and well, my FreeBSD P3 (500 Mhz) is faster then her Windows XP.

I run a Intel Dual Core on my personal box, and the SMP Kernel for FreeBSD (Optimized for Multi-Processors) and it works wonders; I'm oh most always running a 120 processes in FreeBSD vs 50 in WinXP and things work very well (More so the FreeBSD then the Windows lol...)

If you go single core, get an AMD /w a rating over 4000. My bro paid like $800 for a 5600+ or something and loves it for games. If you just run a few things, like 1-2 app's it won't matter much, but if you activly run 4-5 ++ stuff it should be a nice Dual core;)

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SAS_Shield
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dualcore maybe better but remember it might bring along more problems and more money to have, so you have to take in the good with the bad and would it be worth it. it all depends on you and what you want the machine to do and how its done and on how big your wallet is.

I personally am pretty patient on the most part and dont mind or really notice anything worng with the speed of my single CPU

"Game over man." Pvt. Hudson. SAS 22nd E.V.R.

Spidey01
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dualcore maybe better but remember it might bring along more problems and more money to have, so you have to take in the good with the bad and would it be worth it. it all depends on you and what you want the machine to do and how its done and on how big your wallet is.

I personally am pretty patient on the most part and dont mind or really notice anything worng with the speed of my single CPU

True, even Pentium 3 Katmais work well.

SAS_Noah
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DON'T GET DUAL CORE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Dual cores are not yet properly streamlined, for example BF2 will error if you have a dual core processor unless your run everything on low. Until the industry realses proper support for this type of hardware stay away.

SAS_Vet_Noah

Spidey01
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DON'T GET DUAL CORE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Dual cores are not yet properly streamlined, for example BF2 will error if you have a dual core processor unless your run everything on low. Until the industry realses proper support for this type of hardware stay away.

I run BF2 with a Pentium D 930 (Dual Core), along side 2 GB of DDR2 RAM and a GF6200/Audigy4 cards and I can run BF2 at the "High" preset and in 1024x768 with no problem, other then that I lag a bit inn "Intense action" and "LARGE" out door areas having alot to render in "Combat". And I have never, ever gotton any other problems.

I usually leave it at Medium/High settings and 800x600 to cut the Gfx strain. I can even run BF2 at High/1600x1200 but it realy strains my GeForce 6200.

SAS_Noah
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well It's just my recommendation this is for reference, we did all this and still never got BF2 running cleanly returned it and got a single core that runs beautifully!

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=983781

SAS_Vet_Noah

Spidey01
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Interesting.

Note to self, update Win32 drivers for Nvidia so they are as up to date as the FreeBSD Drivers.

TanMan
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Mr Wiggles!!!!

Good to see youre alive and kicking!

"Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way"

SAS_Recon
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TanMan TanMan TanMan

welcome back to the forum again m8. I-m so happy

Smoothies
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DON'T GET DUAL CORE NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Dual cores are not yet properly streamlined, for example BF2 will error if you have a dual core processor unless your run everything on low. Until the industry realses proper support for this type of hardware stay away.

This is a short term negative as majority of software studios are indeed going to dual core developement as hardware companies (such as Dell and Gateway) are pushing more and more into building computers using dual or even triple core processing at the center.

The current Xbox 360 is a triple core processor and since XNA is the Direct X current standard development kit for both PC and Xbox/Xbox 360 it will not take long for new game engines in graphics and sound to ultimatly tap into dual and tripple core power for PC. Even the Cell processor for the ps3 is a multicore processor and both consoles is a small snapshot in what the direction of computing is taking. Once the physics engine cards start to be less of a test product for development studios and engineering wings and made affordable to consumers, it will only reinforce the need of dual core or more computing.

As for now, yes lots of current and old generation games and engines do not support 64 bit dual core processors and might suffer proformance drops. The same rant and rave was made when people went from DOS systems to DOS-less systems and that was short lived once emulations for DOS was released on both MAC Tiger OS's and Windows XP/NT OS variants. It will not be long till 32 bit processing emulation is perfected by either a select group of devote fans of gaming or by the very companies that produce the dual core processors. Even GPU manufacturing will eventually go into dual core path as engine features will require more horsepower to handle the strain. As example the upcoming Crysis! game from CryTek using the latest engine Cry Engine build and CryTek's typical stance to support 64 bit processors.

As for the orginal poster's question: Instead of asking if you want a dual core or single core processor you should ask what type of tasks you will be doing.

Will you be doing actual work with office tools, engineering tools (AutoCAD, CATIA variants), and plain software compiles? If you answer yes, then go with a dual core set up.

Are you a Unreal Engine 2.0 or below, Quake 3 engine or below, or Half Life 1 engine gamer? Then go single core as these engines suffer terrible proformance hits with dual coring.

If you're playing current engine titles, then go dual core. It will not take long for either the studio or via driver updates for the processor to get greater proformance from the processor than compared to a single core processor clocked at the same speed. As example Far Cry with 1.4 HDR upgrade and Quake 4 works the best on dual core systems.

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