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Buying Dual Core is not a Waste

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January 25, 2006 12:29:16 AM

You don't need specific software applications to take advantage of SMP(Symmetrical Multi-Processing). Windows XP supports multiple processing units. This means that even if the application you are using doesn't take advantage of both cores, you will see the benefits. If you are running your game, you now will be able to encode a video file in the background without seeing a drop in your framerates. You will be able to RAR huge files while listening to MP3's while running a virus scan while playing a Video game. All this because you effectively have another CPU to take care of all those "background" activities that most gamers with single core CPU's have to turn off or quit because they'll lose performance.

I run VMware Workstation and this allows me to have two different operating systems running at the exact same time without seeing any slowdown. I tried doing that with my old P4 2.8, with a similar system setup as I have now and my system slowed to a crawl. It's really quite amazing what adding one more CPU will do for you.

Ignore these uninformed people who tell you dual core is a waste of money, because you don't need "software support" for them. It's already been around for years, since W2K. And before that in SunOS, Mac OS, Unix, Linux, and many others.

More about : buying dual core waste

January 25, 2006 1:31:17 AM

If you tend to do a hundred things at the same time you are correct. If you tend to do one thing at a time on your computer like I do then dual is a waste.
January 25, 2006 2:02:25 AM

Quote:
to RAR huge files while listening to MP3's while running a virus scan while playing a Video game. All this because you effectively have another CPU .

all while juggling and eating porkchops :roll:
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January 25, 2006 2:06:46 AM

I Agree With The First Guy (purelithium) Completely, I Myself Am A Dual-Core User And It DOES Make Things Alot Better (Even If Your Stuff Isnt Multithreaded) Besides More And More Apps Are Becoming Multithread Capable Anywayse And Just Becuase The Game Isnt Multithreaded Dosent Mean The Video-Card Driver Cant Take Advantage Of Dual CPUs/Dual-Cores (Nvidia) To Make Graphics Performance Better. Why Not Be Ready For The Future. On Top Of That The More Pepole That Buy Dual-Cores The Cheaper They Will Get And Thats Good For Everybody
January 25, 2006 2:10:41 AM

Don't roll your eyes. It's true.
January 25, 2006 2:13:01 AM

Quote:
to RAR huge files while listening to MP3's while running a virus scan while playing a Video game. All this because you effectively have another CPU .

all while juggling and eating porkchops :roll:LOL!! :D 
January 25, 2006 2:15:29 AM

Quote:
Don't roll your eyes. It's true.
OK I've got a 3200+ Winchester clocked at 2k mated to a 7800GT and I get 7060 3dMarks (2005). What does your system score?

The current prices for the current equivelent to my system:

xfx 7800 $289
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

3200+ $164
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

total=$453 (plus shipping)

Near as I can tell your stuff is currently worth:

AMD 3800+ x2 $313
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

asus 6600 $102
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

total=$415

You cpu and card cost 91.6% of mine so your 3dMark score should be 7060 * 91.6% = about 6400.
January 25, 2006 2:43:43 AM

Well thanks but I wasn't asking you. I get about 3146 on 3dMark 2006. I'm betting my value for the CPU and video card together beats you system as well.

Each 3dMark06 cost me $453 (today, cpu and video card only)/3146 = 14.4 cents per 3dMark. How much would yours cost at today's prices?

about $600 for your cpu and video card / 4007 = about 15 cents per 3dMark

A figure that would be much higher if you didn't overclock.
January 25, 2006 2:47:31 AM

Im Only Running A Single 7800GT And It Only Cost Me $345.00
January 25, 2006 3:02:02 AM

I think dual core is absolutely necesary, if you have 7 viruses running, have a large collection of spyware, and want to do all that useful stuff like email and surf.
While XP tries to deal with two cores, if you are running a few apps, like encoding and antivirus, while gaming, there will be crossover. Your game is already slowed because it is on a slower core, but now it also has to deal with other progs using it's chip. Pi$$ on it, if your cant set your priorities, you deserve what you get.
January 25, 2006 3:03:17 AM

WTF?
January 25, 2006 3:11:03 AM

Quote:
blah blah... my benchmark is better than yours would be.... blah blah



OK... so what? I'm not trying to see who's dick is bigger.

I'm saying that everyone who shits on dual cores because individual games don't take advantages of two cores aren't taking in the whole picture. I don't care about benchmarks. I'm talking real-world usage. Have you tried compressing video while playing a game? Wouldn't that be a rediculous experience? But what if you could. What if you could be compressing your home movies like I do and not have to ditch your rig for the 5-6 hours it would take for a miniDV tape. Wouldn't it be great to be able to still USE it? I'll tell you what. It is really nice. I love being able to do things now that I wasn't able to before because of the limitations my HARDWARE put on me. The software was ready(full SMP support in both Linux and XP), but the stuff available to consumers wasn't.

I don't usually play games. That's why I bought a rig that would do what I want it to do. BUT I know that It will do what I say it will.

Have you even used a SMP system before? It seems that there's a major paradigm shift that needs to happen in the minds of consumers. Computers nolonger have to do one task at a time. You CAN do lots of things at the same time. Finally our computers will enable us to truly multi-task. Not just pseudo-multi-task by prioritizing which instruction gets which processing cycle. Now we have multiple processing units that can do that many more things at once.
January 25, 2006 3:11:41 AM

Quote:
I think dual core is absolutely necesary, if you have 7 viruses running, have a large collection of spyware, and want to do all that useful stuff like email and surf.


LMFAO!

Can we turn this into the 'quote of the week' or something?
January 25, 2006 3:13:08 AM

Quote:
.....a large collection of spyware....


That's why I use Linux as my main OS. Windows is just there for games, but I haven't booted into windows since November...
January 25, 2006 6:13:19 AM

your game will proberly run FASTER even though it is ona a slower core...

but you will say that dosent make sence, but what iff you could give the game EVERY SINGLE cycle of the cpu to use rather than having other processes running in the background (like the big one called windows that will take cycles to do stuff)

so even though each core is slower (although only marginly) you will get as good/better performance than it, with out having to close down every single application other than windows while you do it.

you whant real world, then just play a game and listen to music.

or surf the wed while doing a virus scan. or heven forbid you might virus scan while playing a game.

its this simple ability not to have to do something else while you do a virus scan etc that realy makes dual core worth it. rather than doing a virus scan and then having to leave your computer and not be able to own some n00bs in your fav fps at the same time :) 
January 25, 2006 6:22:09 AM

Right on, bro!
January 25, 2006 6:56:29 AM

now if only i could aford to replace my crapp 1ghz celron with one :) 
January 25, 2006 7:47:36 AM

i had found this info on another site awhile back, didnt use it till recently though, but theres also a registry hack you can do to make it so single threaded apps can use both cores, even if it is only up to 50% of each core, effectively adding up to the same level of performance in the single threaded app (i find its particularly useful, especially when cool n quiet is enabled, neither core gets too hot, cuz theyre both only running at half speed most of the time, aside from the occasional usage spike, but both are half free to process other things, the same as if you had one completely unused core)

http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/52433/?o=...


but heres the hack:

1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
2. Right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession Manager, point to New, and then click Key.
3. Type Throttle for the new key name.
4. Right-click Throttle, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
5. Type PerfEnablePackageIdle for the value name.
6. Right-click PerfEnablePackageIdle, and then click Modify.
7. In the Edit DWORD Value box, type 1. In the Value data box, make sure that Hexadecimal is selected, and then click OK.
8. Quit Registry Editor.
January 25, 2006 8:07:29 AM

You have a valid point, but lets take it a step further. Lets take a 2 hour vob file. The X2 will convert it to a Divx file in about 60 minutes. An A64 3200 should do the task in about 87 minutes give or take. Who would spend another 150 bucks to SAVE 27 minutes? I would.

Here is another! Who would spend $200 on a DFI LAN Party mobo to GUARANTEE a 300mhz FSB instead on a lesser board for 100 that MIGHT get 300 but is more likely to do 235mhz. I wouldnt.

Speaking of graphics cards, who in thier right mind would choose a $300 7800GT over a $189 6800GS? So you can get more marks on a synthetic benchmark? So you can enable 2X more AA on BF2 that you arent even going to notice cuz you are too busy getting FRAGGED? I woudnt buy a 7800GT for that....

Who pays an extra $100 for that extra 1GB on RAM so they can load a BF2 map 2 minutes faster? I wouldnt. But I would pay more for an extra GB for I can enable maximum sized armies on Rome total war.

See my point? To each his own brother! What is acceptable to you may not be acceptable to him. I am going to buy an X2 3800. I am looking forward to ty to make it work like 2 computers in once since I have an ATI card and two monitors (hydravision). I will have 2 HDD on thier own separate channels. 2GB of RAM. It may work. It may not, but according to a very reliable source, his X2 4200 needs 2 Prime 95s running along with one more CPU intensive program running in the background to render his computer unusable. I think it is safe to say your 3200 couldnt do that. What could be better than ripping and encoding a movie while playing a video game? Granted, you may not finish the movie in 60 minutes like I quoted above, but at least it CAN be done. Is that worth an extra $150. I think so.

If you want to go the price/performance route, A sempron 3100 coupled with a 6800GS would give the best ratio. Why wouldnt one want to go that route? Cuz S754 and AGP is dead technology. Its heyday is in the past. One could argue the same point about single core as well.

What it comes down to is that you are trying to justify in your own mind why you are going to keep your system the way it is instead of upgrading to dual core. While your reasoning is totally understandable, it is fruitless to try and say "your system should have 91% of the performance of mine" not to mention the fact that you are using 3D mark as a measuring stick. The real measuiring stick is user satisfaction. Let pure lithium be happy with his system for his own reasons. Lets not hate. Why not just participate?
January 25, 2006 8:53:15 AM

mmm porkchops.
January 25, 2006 10:15:40 AM

Purelithium, you're absolutely right dude.

Lakedude by posting your benchmark results it's obvious you completely miss the point of the post.

I use my PC a lot... for different purposes, and I reap the benefits of dual core. I guess if you use your PC purely for gaming then you won't be taking advantage of dual core so much but don't assume it's a waste for everyone just because your particular habits don't take advantage of it.
a b à CPUs
January 25, 2006 10:41:32 AM

"Speaking of graphics cards, who in thier right mind would choose a $300 7800GT over a $189 6800GS?"

Me! :-)
January 25, 2006 10:46:12 AM

Booby, so would I. But would you choose an X1900XTX over a 7800GT...... at a $300 difference?
January 25, 2006 11:32:30 AM

Just an observation... most of the people who say dual-core CPUs are virtually useless don't actually own one. As someone who does own one, I can honestly say it is a different computing experience. When a process goes crazy (Windows does that sort of thing from time to time) it is nice to still have a responsive PC. Being able to Alt-Tab out of even the largest application (BF2 consumes over 1 GB of RAM) is not only amazing but comes in handy as well. Everything is going towards this technology so why fight it?
January 25, 2006 11:47:22 AM

You usually find people on the forums that hate on anything they dont have. I mean, this guy has a 7800GT! Some would say that is overkill. My buddy paid 320 for a 6800GT (AGP). Since he cant upgrade, all he does is hate on the 7800 and claims its not worth upgrading his mobo. Such a shame. I am really looking forward to experimenting with my X2. I really want to see if it is possible to make it act as 2 computers (for the most part at least. i want to try the following:
1. Encode 2 separate movies on two separate HDDs on independent channels.
2. Burn the movies onto DVD simultaneaously.
3. Play a strategy game while encoding a movie
4. Encode two movies at the same time and see if i can burn files to DVD over my network.

I'm sure we will see the "lady of the lake" one day in the forums some where extolling the virtues of dual core to some noob. If I am around, i will be the first to call him on it. Maybe lake-boi doesnt know that dual core patches can almost double FPS at low resolutions and settings on certain games. So, in a sense, dual core CPUs can extend the life of a system by helping to put off the purchase of a new graphics card for awhile. Possibly allowing the user to "skip" a generation. Thus giving it a better price/performance ratio than single core CPUs. I'm wasting my time though.....
January 25, 2006 3:25:20 PM

Quote:
Your game is already slowed because it is on a slower core.

This remark is totally incorrect and equally misleading. You don't have slower or faster cores on a dual-core CPU.

Both cores provide the same amount of processing power in a given period of time regardless of how many threads are assigned to each core.
January 25, 2006 3:40:13 PM

Quote:
Just an observation... most of the people who say dual-core CPUs are virtually useless don't actually own one.


...or never used one. Most of their remarks are reworked posts from others.

Though replicating from reasonably trusted sorces is mostly safe, it doeswn't always work. Sometimes you can see funny posts in which say a correct opinion for an HT enabled P4 is incorrectly adopted to dual cores (take the slower core discussion above for example).

For some reason, this common hostility against dual cores exists everywhere. I have a dual xeon for four years and by far, it is the most comfortable PC I've ever had.
January 25, 2006 4:47:42 PM

hella-d, in your sig it says 2.45v

is that your vcore??
January 25, 2006 4:49:43 PM

Quote:


Speaking of graphics cards, who in thier right mind would choose a $300 7800GT over a $189 6800GS? So you can get more marks on a synthetic benchmark? So you can enable 2X more AA on BF2 that you arent even going to notice cuz you are too busy getting FRAGGED? I woudnt buy a 7800GT for that....

Who pays an extra $100 for that extra 1GB on RAM so they can load a BF2 map 2 minutes faster? I wouldnt. But I would pay more for an extra GB for I can enable maximum sized armies on Rome total war.

Considering the 300$ card is noticably faster in games like Battlefield2.
Also an extra 100$ for 1 GB of ram so you can make it in the round before it ends? Doesn't sound too bad to me.
January 25, 2006 11:39:35 PM

A lot of people say that.
January 25, 2006 11:45:39 PM

Hi, Lady of the Lake here.

I'm sorry to have caused confusion. A dual core is fine if a user actually needs one, I've never said different, look at my first post in this thread. I agreed with the OP that if someone is doing several things at once that a dual is not a waste.

What is a waste is that not everybody understands what system balance is and far too many "gamers" blow their budget on fancy CPUs and RAM and don't have anything left for a video card which is the most important part of a game system.

My point is that my non-dual system is fine for what I use it for and in my case a dual would be a waste.

BTW I've got several complete systems counting a laptop and some old junk. If I want to encode a movie I set one of the systems up and let it fly. 2 of the systems are fairly modern so either can encode movies or both can at the same time if there are several to copy.
January 26, 2006 12:06:14 AM

Yeah, they're kind of addicting, eh? Mmmm... triple core xbox360..... mmmm
January 26, 2006 12:55:44 AM

Just bought a 64 3800+ X2 last night. (Had a 64 3200+ single core before)

Very happy with the results, everything runs smooth as. Yes I play games, but I also do a lot of video work & number crunching. It's so nice not to lose your PC for 3-4 hours when doing video conversions and the like.
January 26, 2006 2:32:46 AM

Lake Guru,

I'm sure everyone got your point. But your post to lithium was kinda aggressive. While it wasnt "FLAME-A-LICIOUS" It came across as one of those "I-WANNA-PICK-A-FIGHT" posts.

You are right, in general, the X2 has the lowest price/performance ratio. The 7800is definitely a good buy at 289-299 and would benefit a gamer in more ways than an X2 but its still $300. The bottom line is that people dont buy X2s, DDR600, and X1900XTXs cuz they are good values. They buy them to show off, to do something thier other computer couldnt, and for the experience. I think SLI is dumb. You may not. thats fine. I'm sure we would meet in the middle anyways.

I used to use a render farm to get things done. At one time I had 4 AMD XP systems pushing frames. It was cool but VERY hot in the den. While I dont need that kind of power anymore, I still want to see if the X2 is where its at. I wil have weeks on benchmark analysis ahead of me and that is the funnest part of owning a computer (besides playing games of course)
January 26, 2006 2:53:39 AM

Dux check out this thread:

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

Quote:
I'm usually a dual core hater because many people spend too much of their budget on the CPU and skimp on their video card and then wonder why they don't have game. In your case a dual is perfect since you are not talking about gaming and since you tend to do many things at once. The guys have already steered you straight. If you need to game in addition to the tasks you mentioned you better save up for a new video card too.


You see your prediction has already come true!

PS I agree that SLI is not usually the way to go unless you have way too much money.
January 26, 2006 7:58:35 AM

Well said Lakeguy.
January 26, 2006 11:53:06 AM

X2 3800+ owner here, and I mostly use my 'rig for gaming.

I exclusively play MMO games such as SOE Planetside (FPS) and CCP EvE-Online (space based RPG), being based on older graphic engines, their dependance on a powerfull GPU is'nt as critical as the more recent "Hit of the month" games.

On the other hand, both games take a huge chunk of CPU time in "target rich environnements", especially when running multiple sessions at the same time, that's where having two CPU cores really shine as they allow silk smooth multitasking.

On top of that, I keep two instances of the Folding @ Home client running to mop up any free CPU cycles.

Back when I was using my Mobile Barton @ 2.6GHz, I could'nt run F@H in the background without suffering from occasional and unpredictable performance drops which always seemed to happen at the most innoportune times whenever F@H felt like interfering.

Unfortunately, MMOs are not very well suited to be used as hardware benchmarking tools due to their unpredictable and unreproductible content.

One would need to get two (almost) identical avatars in the same zone, doing the same thing, each being run on the two (or more) test 'rigs and would have to be familliar enough with that particular virtual world to findi a decently busy area.

Now that I tasted the fluid multitasking having a Dual Core CPU allows, I'll never go back to single core processing.
January 26, 2006 12:01:09 PM

Your mobo comes highly recommended. Whats the deal with the low clock speeds on your RAM? I was thinking of getting the XMS 4000 series RAM. What can you tell me about yours? How is that 9700 doing these days!
January 26, 2006 12:39:39 PM

After doing some testing and benchmarking, I found out that staying close to my RAM stock speed gave me the best bandwidth and sustained stability compared to a higher operating frequency with higher timings.

Shoving more voltage into my RAM did'nt allow 24/7 operation under constant 100% load with tight timings due to heat the memory generated, F@H trashed WUs and I juged that it was counterproductive to lose points because of it.

As I pointed out in my previous post, that good 'ol 9700 is doing a great job with those older 3D engines, I will consider upgrading the mobo and GPU after the developers decide to give EvE-Online a facelift.

Even though there is nothing really impressive about my 'rig when you compare it to record shattering hardware that is dedicated to running a few minutes at a time in order to "win" benchmarks, I am very proud of saying that I am able to run mine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 100% stable under 100% load.

Some users want their computers to be 100m sprinters, I want mine to be a marathon runner.
January 26, 2006 12:47:13 PM

Well said. I am hoping for the same. I want to see what I can get buy with on air cooling so i dont think I will be getting anywhere up to 2.7 ghz. I guessed that was going to be your answer about the RAM. Its so funny cuz all i ever hear about is all this RAM hitting 250,275, 330 mhz! But no mention ov voltage and the heat that goes with it. At least you are wise enough to forego a few mhz in exchange for stability. There are so many pretenders here on the forums. Who are they trying to impress? Cheers.
January 26, 2006 2:45:30 PM

Quote:
There are so many pretenders here on the forums. Who are they trying to impress?


Some say that there is something Freudian about it, related to compensating for a perceived size deficiendy of certain organs, ask Wingding, our resident Forum Pervert, he knows a lot about what goes on below the belt :lol: 

Joke aside, only a minority overclock for the bragging rights, most do it out of genuine curiosity, as a personal test of their competence or in order to get the most computing power out of their hardware.

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your technical achievement and letting others know about it or engaging in a friendly contest, the community as a whole benefit from what I ultimately see as a quest for knowledge.
January 26, 2006 2:59:02 PM

Indeed. To the genuine traveler on the OC road, I say good on you. But there are many out there who simply spout what they read on tech sites, what they hear from people they have never met and quote endless numbers and the virtues of stuff they have never seen, tested, or will ever own. There are some here that I can tell know what they are talking about and I can tell they know thier stuff. There are others who almost seem to cut and paste stuff from off the net. It can be misleading to the novice who cant distinguish between whats the extraordinary (not everyone is going to be able to unlock all of the pipelines on a x800GTO) to the blatantly inane (I got my sempron 2800 up to 2.7 ghz -yeah, who couples a sempron with a mobo capable of a 340 mhz FSB). Some people on here can be quite authoritative at times when what they are really doing is giving an opinion. I always try to point out when I am giving an opinion. A good case was one poster trying to tell everyone that the Opteron was multiplier unlocked up and down. madness.
January 26, 2006 2:59:07 PM

Quote:

There is nothing wrong with being proud of your technical achievement and letting others know about it or engaging in a friendly contest, the community as a whole benefit from what I ultimately see as a quest for knowledge.


I agree, but there are a huge amount of people who use that fact to belittle others.
January 26, 2006 3:06:56 PM

I wouldnt say most. The people you speak of are just douche faced rectal maggots. They are in the minority. I like the ones who argue for the sake of arguing. They are the best.
January 26, 2006 3:36:24 PM

Quote:
I agree, but there are a huge amount of people who use that fact to belittle others.


Such is human nature, no matter what hobby/sport/interest you look at, there always will be some wannabes buying their way in by purchasing the very best things that money can buy, same goes for those who will go sputtering about, spewing around exagerations and/or lies like they were experienced experts pontificating to the clueless masses.

Fortunately the vast majority of the human population consist of well tought, respectfull and kind individuals who are willing to help by sharing their experiences and knowledge, we just don't notice them because of the attention whores.

This is especially true in an online community, which goes far beyond the posters and include all the passive lurkers who read in silence.
January 26, 2006 3:49:49 PM

Pardon me while I sound stereotypical and say, "canadians are the well behaved northern cousins to the americans" Eloquently put Sid.
January 26, 2006 3:54:54 PM

*laugh* Not all of us are like Sid.
January 27, 2006 3:54:21 PM

OK... the high 3dmark scores are not the reason for buying a dual core chip. the scores an a single core may be higher while running one app; however, dual core system scores do not significantly drop when your virus scan kicks on... thats allstates stand, whats yours?
January 27, 2006 8:21:34 PM

My game system does not have virus scan so tell me again why in my case I need dual core? No firewall, no virus scan,no internet connection, network card disabled for faster boot, no crap running in the background ever (other than whatever windows is doing).

I'm not bashing dual core for those people who need it, I just don't see why I need it.
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