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Do I REALLY need a dual core processor?

Discussion in 'AMD Overclocking' started by No one, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. No one

    No one Guest

    I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    and email all running at once.
    I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    or go Dual core.
    All help is greatly appreciated.
    TIA
    John
     
    No one, Nov 8, 2006
    #1
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  2. No one

    Wes Newell Guest

    On Wed, 08 Nov 2006 12:11:08 -0500, No one wrote:

    > I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    > multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    > anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    > and email all running at once.
    > I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    > or go Dual core.


    None of the task you have running are cpu intensive. Each does require a
    certain amount of ram though. When you are swapping between all those
    open bowser windows do you notice a slowdown sometimes? If so you'probably
    using swap space on disk. If that's the case then more ram might be much
    more help. As for upgrading to a 4000+, you can acomplish the same thing
    just by clocking your current CPU up to 4000+ clockspeeds. If you are
    going to upgrade at all, go dual core and maybe add more ram if needed.

    --
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    My server http://wesnewell.no-ip.com/cpu.php
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    Wes Newell, Nov 8, 2006
    #2
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  3. No one

    Conor Guest

    In article <Ico4h.9746$>, No one says...
    > I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    > multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    > anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    > and email all running at once.
    > I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    > or go Dual core.
    > All help is greatly appreciated.
    > TIA
    > John
    >

    A dual core isn't just a motherboard upgrade...you'll need new RAM too
    assuming you're on Socket 939.


    --
    Conor

    I'm really a nice guy. If I had friends, they would tell you.

    Earn commission on online purchases, £2.50 just for signing up:
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    Conor, Nov 8, 2006
    #3
  4. No one

    milsabords Guest

    Conor wrote:
    > A dual core isn't just a motherboard upgrade...you'll need new RAM too
    > assuming you're on Socket 939.


    I switched to a S939 dual core with the same RAM. Just had to do a BIOS
    update.
     
    milsabords, Nov 8, 2006
    #4
  5. No one

    Dylan C Guest

    No one wrote:
    > I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    > multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    > anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    > and email all running at once.
    > I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    > or go Dual core.
    > All help is greatly appreciated.
    > TIA
    > John
    >
    >

    Memory is probably your biggest bottleneck. I use Firefox 2 and it uses
    30Mb of memory minimum. With 2 instances running and 4-5 tabs in each
    that can easily hit 50Mb. Thunderbird e-mail uses another 30-35Mb, Word
    will take another 30Mb....this is all on top of other system and
    background services. I've got 512Mb of memory and I really wish I had 1
    gig or more. If you've got this covered, then a CPU upgrade would be my
    second recommendation.

    Something I've seen but cant really afford is a dedicated ram drive.
    Theoretically, that would speed things up immensely. Too bad it costs
    so much:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815168001

    -Dylan C
     
    Dylan C, Nov 9, 2006
    #5
  6. No one

    Paul Guest

    Dylan C wrote:
    > No one wrote:
    >> I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    >> multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may
    >> have anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1
    >> instance of word, and email all running at once.
    >> I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do
    >> that or go Dual core.
    >> All help is greatly appreciated.
    >> TIA
    >> John
    >>

    > Memory is probably your biggest bottleneck. I use Firefox 2 and it uses
    > 30Mb of memory minimum. With 2 instances running and 4-5 tabs in each
    > that can easily hit 50Mb. Thunderbird e-mail uses another 30-35Mb, Word
    > will take another 30Mb....this is all on top of other system and
    > background services. I've got 512Mb of memory and I really wish I had 1
    > gig or more. If you've got this covered, then a CPU upgrade would be my
    > second recommendation.
    >
    > Something I've seen but cant really afford is a dedicated ram drive.
    > Theoretically, that would speed things up immensely. Too bad it costs
    > so much:
    > http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16815168001
    >
    > -Dylan C


    That RAM drive connects via a SATA cable. It doesn't really expose
    all the value of a RAM drive. But I have heard of at least one
    person, who used a whole bunch of those particular SATA connected
    modules, plus a SATA RAID card, to rival the performance of other bus
    based RAM drives. Professional RAM drives are way over priced, so
    a RAID card and a bunch of SATA RAM drives, can actually save money.
    But we're still talking big bucks for the whole package, and not
    a lot of value for money. It really pays off if doing server
    applications, like a big web site of some sort.

    As for the question about single cores versus duals, for a lot
    of existing games, a 4000+ would be pretty sweet, especially
    if overclocked a bit. Dual cores tends to make the desktop
    experience a bit smoother, which is a plus. But if you
    really wanted to get your money's worth from a dual core,
    it would be if you did a lot of things like DVDshrink,
    stuff that runs in the background for a couple hours. A
    dual core allows you to continue to use the desktop, while
    one of the cores is maxxed out. If all you do is surf the
    web, then if you had five or ten Firefox windows open, they
    can quite nicely time-share a single core. A Firefox render
    might mean a couple seconds of furious activity, followed
    by long intervals of silence. Maybe some animations that use
    a small amount of background CPU. A single core might even
    make the furious activity take less time, which could be
    important to the user.

    So it is a bit of a tossup. I think I'd rather have the 4000+,
    if I could get a good price on it in Canada. Our pricing
    is not as generous as pricing in the US. And not all US
    e-tailers will do business with Canada <<sniff>>.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Nov 9, 2006
    #6
  7. No one

    kez Guest

    yea id say duel core is more of a desktop thing rather than a gaming
    thing (for now!) but running anti-virus and playing UT or WoW really
    just adds to the smug factor :D (altho the noise your HDD will make is
    horrific)
     
    kez, Nov 9, 2006
    #7
  8. No one

    bah Guest

    On Wed, 8 Nov 2006 12:11:08 -0500, "No one" <> wrote:

    >I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    >multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    >anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    >and email all running at once.
    >I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    >or go Dual core.
    >All help is greatly appreciated.
    >TIA
    >John
    >


    I hear quad cores are coming. Might as well wait a bit. By the
    time you really need it, you'll need the quad core, not the dual
    core. Remember the cdrom speed wars ?

    I'd pick up one of the 2.6/2.8 ghz fx chips cheap with the AMD
    marketing coupon when the coupon's on again.
     
    bah, Nov 11, 2006
    #8
  9. No one

    DawgFan1785 Guest

    > Conorwrote:
    In article <Ico4h.9746$>, No one
    says...
    > I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    > multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may

    have
    > anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance

    of word,
    > and email all running at once.
    > I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just

    do that
    > or go Dual core.
    > All help is greatly appreciated.
    > TIA
    > John
    >
    > A dual core isn't just a motherboard upgrade...you'll need new RAM

    too
    assuming you're on Socket 939.


    --
    Conor

    I'm really a nice guy. If I had friends, they would tell you.

    Earn commission on online purchases, £2.50 just for signing up:
    http://www.TopCashBack.co.uk/Conor/ref/index.htm[/quote:cbae16f3a6]
     
    DawgFan1785, Nov 11, 2006
    #9
  10. No one

    Jeff Guest

    "No one" <> wrote in message
    news:Ico4h.9746$...
    >I now have a 3000+ AMD 64 and am looking for a cheap upgrade, I do
    >multi-task a good bit, and when I say that what I mean is that I may have
    >anywhere between 8 to 10 instances of Firefox open plus 1 instance of word,
    >and email all running at once.
    > I can get a 4000+ real cheap right now and wonder if I should just do that
    > or go Dual core.
    > All help is greatly appreciated.
    > TIA
    > John


    I currently am running an AMD FX62 dual core that I just put together about
    2 weeks ago. At the moment, I have Vista RC1 using eudora email, powerdesk,
    powerpoint, snagit screen capture software, IE7 with 6 tabs open to
    different internet sites, and task manager. Also running is MS virtual PC
    running XP using Photoshop and Acrobat with both physical and virtual
    machines on my home network. Task manager reports all of between 1% and 3%
    CPU usage as I type this. If I switch to the email program, the CPU usages
    jumps up to all of 8% and then returns within a second. When the email is
    checked, it jumps up again to all of 8% and then returns. Memory usage,
    however, is at 1.25 GB. ...doing stuff like this, the machine is a bit
    faster/quick-to-respond than my old P3, but if that's all I was doing, I
    don't think that I would have bothered upgrading, since the P3's CPU usage
    for such tasks was still down below 50%, and when it was that high, it
    rapidly returned after completing just about anything those types of
    programs might do. Where the machine is much faster is with software that
    runs the processor for minutes or hours (or days). My video editing software
    can now give me real-time previews and about 1/2 time renders and file type
    conversions - e.g., instead of waiting for an hour, I can have the same
    video clip converted in about 5 minutes. Where the old machine failed with
    things other than video editing was with the RAM being maxed out (without
    replacing smaller sized sticks with others) at 512 megs. This required
    writing to the hard drive's pagefile, which is much slower than writing to
    ram.

    In sum, what you're doing is completely non-processor intensive (as another
    already mentioned). You might be using a bit of ram (but much less than I am
    right now), so additional ram might speed things up just slightly when you
    are opening and closing programs. All else equal, a single-core processor
    will run most types of software (but not all types), faster given equal
    processor costs - e.g., you will get more speed from the use of a single
    piece of software from a $300 single core processor than from a $300 dual
    core processor. As others mentioned, dual core will only be worth while if
    you are running cpu intensive software in the background that take much time
    to perform a task while also wishing to run additional software at the same
    time. Also, most software is not really written to make the full use of a
    dual core cpu at this time.

    Open task manager on your OS and carefully examine what is going on in your
    current machine to get some idea about what given upgrades might provide. If
    your processor is maxed out, then a processor upgrade will help. If ram is
    maxed, then a ram upgrade is in order. If neither, you're not going to
    accomplish a great deal other than a small bit of responsiveness switching
    windows or starting up the software. If I had a 3000+ AMD with adequate ram
    on my old machine and only ran email, word, and firefox, I might have put
    money into a new dual monitor setup and accompanying dual dvi video card to
    run it so that I could look at all of those windows at the same time, but I
    wouldn't have put money into a new processor.

    Jeff


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    Jeff, Nov 12, 2006
    #10
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