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Thread: Dual core, Quad core??

  1. #1
    Senior Member Susqu's Avatar
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    Question Dual core, Quad core??

    I'm looking into getting a new computer in the near future. It's been a while since I got my last one (2001 - Windows ME ) and I see the terms Dual core and Quad core in the advertisements and don't have the slightest clue what it is or what it effects.

    Can someone help explain in simple terms what it means and anything else I may want to look for or avoid in a newer machine??

    I figure at least 3 GB memory to keep it from going too obsolete right away. Cpu speed used to be a big deciding factor but doesn't seem too important now. Is that right??

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2
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    A multicore chip is basically a CPU, processor, that has 2 or more cpu's in 1 package.

    So in a dual core there are 2 brains running at what ever speed.. So when you have 2 programs running, 1 brain runs 1 of them, the other brain does the second, with both running at full speed.

    Basuically, more cores, mean you can run more stuff with less slow down.
    I'd suggest dual cores for the average person.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Susqu
    I'm looking into getting a new computer in the near future. It's been a while since I got my last one (2001 - Windows ME ) and I see the terms Dual core and Quad core in the advertisements and don't have the slightest clue what it is or what it effects.

    Can someone help explain in simple terms what it means and anything else I may want to look for or avoid in a newer machine??

    I figure at least 3 GB memory to keep it from going too obsolete right away. Cpu speed used to be a big deciding factor but doesn't seem too important now. Is that right??

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Susqu,

    Several years ago, Intel came out with a chip that essentially contained two processing channels (also called execution cores). They called this dual core. For many years, computer manufacturers have had computers that had two central processing units but they talked to each other through the bus that is usually 200-800 MHz compared to 2-3 GHz within the processor. So, the dual core chips represented a breakthrough in that it gave computer essentially two processors that talked to each other a GHz speeds. A quad core is a processor that has four execution cores (Source).

    It is not easy to express the speed differences provided by single, dual, and quad core central processing units. Much depends on what you use the computer for. Certain operations take up more time and it is useful to turn those operations over to a separate processor. For example, floating point operations and video processing take time and that is why many computers often had separate processors called floating point processors and video processors just to handle these operations.

    I use a Macbook Pro which has something called Core 2 Duo running at 2.6 GHz. It is very fast (the fastest that I have ever used) and the speed is apparent when you use it. Images snap onto the screen. Calculations that use to take 5 minutes now take 5 seconds. However, when I run a couple of programs at a time, the computer does slow down noticeably. At the present Quad cores are only available for desktop computers because they use quite a bit of energy. A quad core computer should improve the performance of the computer if you are running multiple programs at a time.

    Wise.

  4. #4
    As a quick caveat --

    I recently purchased a quad core HP laptop, preloaded with the Windows Vista Home Premium operating system, which is 64 bit.

    I discovered, to my horror, that Dragon NaturallySpeaking (version 9.5) will not run on a 64-bit OS! Nor has Nuance committed to a 64-Bit Version 10.

    If, like many people here, you use DNS to operate your computer, make sure you're getting the 32-bit Home Basic version, regardless of your new machine's architecture.

    Paul

  5. #5
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Get a Duo core, for a few reasons:
    realistically your not going to be using 4 cores unless your doing a ton a ton of video editing, photoshop, or really multitasking but you sound like an average user, so a quad core is over kill.

    Also quad cores run ALOT hotter than a duo core.
    Duo cores are quite cheap and are better for gaming if thats what your into.

    Most games like 99% don't support quad core gaming and even in the future, it will just be optimized for the duo core set up, probably not quads because its such a minority.

    if you really get into computers, then you can also overclock your processor an example is, I bought a 200 dollar CPU which is a 3ghz Duo core, and i'm overclocking it to 4ghz with no problem. It runs nice and cool as well.

    If I wanted to try to get a Quad core to that level, it would require a lot of work and some nice cooling.

    So all in all, Quad core major over kill with very little performance gains unless your doing alot of video editing/video encoding, etc, all at the same time.

    Go for a duo core, its cheaper, runs cooler, and sounds like it will fit you better.
    I would recommend getting a 3ghz so your future proofed.
    But then again if your not gaming, you don't need that.
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  6. #6
    When duel core's first appeared, I speculated if Manufacturers reached a Hz Cap, where they are unable/can't Produce a Higher Hz Clock speed. Thus why they released Duel cores (Which they may have Had the Ability For Years before thier release). With that theory in mind, I predicted the release of Triple and Quad cores with little improvement in overall clock (Hz) speed. After all They Got to keep the Market Sales Flowing some how. Whats next Penta, Hexa, etc cores?

    Alternatly theirs the 64bit aspect, Which won't mean much intill programmers start taking advantage of it.

    If you are a gamer, A duel core w a lower gHz will run the game slower then a single core with a higher mHz (Duel Core Has Advantages when Truely multitasking) Same Idea holds true for Quad Cores.

    If your running linux, a 486 machine will do.
    Last edited by patricks; 05-06-2008 at 06:08 PM.

  7. #7
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    I disAgree Patrick. There's more to speed then pure MHz. With more and more processes running, which don't require alot of umph, more cores make it all over speedy, Also keeps things cool with less Hz.
    I got a Q6600, and can see a huge difference between stock and mild OC of 3GHz. OC'ng was simple.. All that I changed was the FSB, and only went up 5 Deg C. 3.4GHz is being hit easily with a aftermarket cooler, I run a Turiq 120, and minor V changes. The 6600 is so good for OC'ng it's silly.

    Oh Patricks, the Tri cores are failed Quads from AMD.

  8. #8
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
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    Agreed, speed for speed the Intel Core2 series will do 'more' than other cpu's running the same mhz. But as already said, a dual core Core2 cpu running say...4.4 Ghz (like mine ) will blow any quad out of the water simply because there is no quad presently that can be made to run that fast stable. This speed advantage is moot however if you are doing video encoding or the like with an application that uses all available cores, but beyond these applications you would be hard pressed to find something that would take advantage of all the cores, so a faster dual core will give more real world performance.

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    4.4 i think can be run on the Q9550 ad WC. But truely best price option is a q6600. $240 and can easily OC over 3.2GHz on air.

    Just imagine the heat though a 4.4GHz C2Q would pump out..... Smores anyone?

  10. #10
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    On the forum I'm on for Overclocking some guy got a Quad core got all 4 cores to 5ghz, it was simply insane. He used dry ice I believe to keep the temp down.

    He is a pro though, he gets paid to overclock and given all the best hardware.

    The reason I like duo cores is you can overclock them to quite high settings like Andy's, with very little effort, and my 3ghz E8400 jacked up to 4ghz took no effort, and is simplying running on a cheap cooler Freezer Pro 7 because the duo cores run not hot at all. I could get it much higher than 4 ghz i heard with very little effort but they said the performance gain would be very small and it will only improve 3dmark score not really gaming and i'm all best performance in gaming with no effort, thats why I'm keeping this sucka at 4ghz

    I bought my E8400 duo core @ 3ghz for 200!
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