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Any real advantage of quad core?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Razrbk444, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

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    I'm running an AMD X2 5200+ @ 2.6ghz. Are there currently any real advantages of quad core cpu's over dual core? I have a MSI 8800GT 512mb video card and 4 gbs. of ram with an Antec 500 watt PSU. I usually upgrade about once a year, but don't think I need to as of yet because this system runs so well. Is there a noticeable speed boost that would make upgrading worth while, or should I wait another six months to a year?
     
  2. d3athp3nguin

    d3athp3nguin

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    Damn dude... once a year? I'll take your old PCs. :supergrin:

    Your computer certainly has the specs to be a gaming rig as it stands now... you could run that thing for a few more years before you noticed performance starting to drop IMO, unless you're trying to run Crysis on high details at 1900x1200 resolution. Intel chips tend to be better performers when stacked side-by-side against AMDs, but the AMDs have sooo much better prices...

    I don't think most of today's applications have even taken advantage of using two cores yet, with the exception of games. I just got a new desktop pc that has a three-core AMD processor and 4GB RAM. Runs Vista well, and Linux is like greased lightning. I don't have a graphics card for it yet though.

    Funny fact: I accidentally installed the i386 version of linux instead of the AMD64 version on this desktop (means it could only use one of the cores and 3 GB of RAM), and it still ran linux like greased lightning. I thought it was because of the 3 cores, until I realized it was only running on one!
     

  3. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

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    Fortunately I have a couple of buddies that reap the benefits of my upgrades. I sell them my "old" parts at about half of my cost so they can upgrade their rigs and helps offset my costs on new hardware.
     
  4. havensal

    havensal Senior Nozzle Jockey CLM

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    If you're multitasking a lot, maybe.

    I have a Q6600 in mine at home. Some programs will run two cores, but I don't know of any that will run all 4. :dunno:

    The only reason I went with the quad is just because I like to overdo things. :cool:

    I have yet to peg the system, except benchmarks and stress testing, even video encoding/burning. :supergrin:
     
  5. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    Windows Server 2003 and 2008 will use however many cores you have a license for: standard = 4 cores, Enterprise up to 16, I think and DataCenter up to 32.

    I see all four cores (two Xeon Irwindales) getting flogged often.

    NB: also has a Q6600 workstation. :supergrin: :cool:
     
  6. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

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    tous......Mrs. VR know you escaped from the OAF?........:wavey:
     
  7. havensal

    havensal Senior Nozzle Jockey CLM

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    XP will utilize all 4, but I was thinking single programs the can. :dunno:
     
  8. d3athp3nguin

    d3athp3nguin

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    It seems like PC technology has hit a strange plateau with regards to home computing, in that PC hardware has far outpaced software's capability to use it effectively. I'm all for pushing technology further, but for home computing, quad-cores seem to be a solution without a problem right now. It's almost like the PC gaming industry pushes hardware development on the home front, and your browse-the-web-and-type-a-document customers just scratch their heads and buy a new computer when their old one slows down (usually from software and viruses, not hardware.) The only advantage I can see to Joe Shmoe consumer having a quad core is that it will take longer for viruses and adware to bog it down noticeably. Don't forget that most of the new processors are 64-bit, and most of the software on the market is still optimized for 32-bit!

    The industry may have gone full circle with this trend though, since we are starting to see cheaper "power where it counts" PCs like the everex gPC and ultraportables like the eeePC.

    Then again, maybe I've been playing with linux for too long and expect everything to run fast on a 1ghz processor and 512Mb RAM :supergrin:
     
  9. havensal

    havensal Senior Nozzle Jockey CLM

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    I think you 100% right d3athp3nguin. :wavey:
     
  10. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    I'm in search of cookies. :supergrin:

    :wavey:
     
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  11. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

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    I couldn't find anything to argue about, therefor I must agree.
     
  12. glockophilic

    glockophilic

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    Linux... I think most support up to 64...
    windows movie maker supports quad
    adobe video encoder does too
    several chess engines do
    wait for it and everything will be quad core... but by then you will want an 8 core...
     
  13. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    "and your browse-the-web-and-type-a-document customers just scratch their heads and buy a new computer when their old one slows down "

    :)

    My 5-year-old P4 @ 2.4 crashed and burned (endless boot/reboot cycle), so off I went to the guys who built the my last two. I didn't even bother trying to fix the old clunker. They were having a slow week and gave me a deal on a Q9450 with 4 gigs of Crucial PC2-6400 on an Intel DP35DP board and a decent graphics card (9600gt-something) and a bunch of other stuff. They built it and had it to me in 2 days.

    Vista is okay, and the box runs just fine. ;)

    I quit fooling with computer inards along about DOS 3.1. I had enough hobbies already.

    Anybody else remember when the ram upgrade from 512k to 640k was expensive? And a 20MB hard drive was $250? Heck, my first pc after an Apple II didn't even have a hard drive, just two floppies.

    Quad cores are cheap. Computers are such a deal these days.

    John
     
  14. Razrbk444

    Razrbk444 Sumthin' Witty Silver Member

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    I remember buying 64 mbs of ram for $165.00 and a 4.3 gb HD for $245.00 to upgrade my first PC in early 1998.
     
  15. silentpoet

    silentpoet

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    My first computer was a Commodore 128. 2 floppies. You would tell it to load a program and then go fix a sandwich come back wait a little bit and then tell it to run the program.
     
  16. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    256 K of memory for a WANG VS100 was around $10,000. :shocked: :supergrin:

    If I recall, the 5 mB external HDD for the TRS80 Model II was around $6,000.

    And those were back when money meant something. :wavey:
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT NRA Benefactor

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    Yes, those were the days. Radio Shack was selling computers for thousands of dollars.

    www.old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=243

    TRS 80 MODEL II -

    CPU Zilog Z80 A
    RAM 32 / 64 KB depending on models
    TEXT MODES 40 x 24 / 80 x 24
    GRAPHIC MODES None, but 32 graphical symbols are available to simulate graphics
    COLORS monochrome
    SIZE / WEIGHT Heavy !
    BUILT IN MEDIA One full height Shugart 8'' drive, single sided floppies with a capacity of 500K
    PRICE $3,450 (USA, october 1979)
    _____________

    Of course, the Model III a year later was cheaper:

    "Model III with Level 1 ROM, 8k RAM sold for US$799. Model III with Level 2 ROM, 16k RAM sold for $999.
    The first floppy drive cost $849, and could store 168k. The second drive was cheaper, and could store more. The price difference is due to the first one included the drive controller. The increased space on the second drive (189k) was due to the first drive must also contain some TRS-DOS (the operating system)."

    _____________

    $3450 was a lot of money. My house was $41K in 1/80, now it's worth $300k.

    Why not buy a quad core? They're cheap. And ram is almost free.

    John
     
  18. d3athp3nguin

    d3athp3nguin

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    I always thought I would love to go back in time to like 1990 with an eeePC or other laptop and watch everyone gawk at such awesome power in such a small package... :supergrin: "He must be from spaaace!"
     
  19. betyourlife

    betyourlife on a GLOCK

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    If you are multi tasking, sure.

    I almost got a quad core, but the clock speed was slower than the AMD dual core (3ghz). Much better for gaming, since I am not going to be surfing the web, using photoshop, word processing, while at the same time gaming.

    Couple this with 8gigs of RAM and I have a cool rig (except for my video card, plan on upgrading for Christmas).
     
  20. d3athp3nguin

    d3athp3nguin

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    If you decide to go quad, I know of one way you can use those 4 cores for some good! (since most of your programs will ignore them):

    http://folding.stanford.edu/
    http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/

    When your monster of a PC is sitting idle, it can fold some proteins for cancer research or analyze radio signals to scan for extraterrestrial life. I run the folding@home program on my linux box and it runs virtually transparent- it scales itself to run only when you're not using resources. They love people with multi-core machines, because they can crank out work units without a sweat. Check them out!