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Need Help Deciding Dual or Single Processor

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May 22, 2006 5:10:58 AM

So I haven't been following computers for like 4 years now, and I've decided to build my own. Basically I'd like to get back into gaming, but being a college student I'm on a tight budget.

I've been looking around for CPUs, and I came across http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html. After looking through the charts I decided that if I wanted to get back into gaming I shouldn't go for a dual core, but then I read that games are starting to take advantage of dual core, and Windows Vista is coming out etc etc etc blah blah.

Here's the bottom line:
For $200 (my budget for a CPU) I can get:
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ (San Diego), which performs very well on the above link.

But if I decide to be forward looking and get a Dual Core, buying even the low end AMD (X2 3800+) would break my budget. And I have a feeling that if I'm forward looking I shouldn't go with the low end. The other option for dual core is Pentium D, but those are also quite expensive and don't perform as well as the amd 64 on games above.

So, with ~$200:

Should I go with the Athlon 64 3700+, wait until the X2s go down, or get a low end Pentium D? Any suggestions at all are appreciated.

(btw-my graphics card will most likely be a geforce 6800 gt or gs)
May 22, 2006 5:26:07 AM

The question of the day. When will you be buying?
May 22, 2006 5:32:47 AM

You can get a Intel Dual core 805 for $125 (Best bang for the buck) with a Conroe capable motherboard and overclock the 805 to decent performance while you learn how to tune the BIOS, and when ready buy a $300 Conroe which can be overclocked to speeds beating an AMD FX-62...
Conroe chips should be available in about 6 weeks.
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May 22, 2006 6:51:44 AM

Not the 805 line again.
He will need water cooling to get the same framerates in games, that the 3700 will give him at stock. Sure, the 805 is dual core cool, but for single threaded games, it's still a P4b. (2.66ghz with a 133/533 fsb)
Maybe three tears from now, dual core will have enough games to make it worthwhile. It's just too bad that actual gameplay doesn't see the same advantage as benchmarks in dual core.
Right now, dual core still offers too little gain, in too few games.
May 22, 2006 7:05:16 AM

Quote:
Not the 805 line again.
He will need water cooling to get the same framerates in games, that the 3700 will give him at stock. Sure, the 805 is dual core cool, but for single threaded games, it's still a P4b. (2.66ghz with a 133/533 fsb)
Maybe three tears from now, dual core will have enough games to make it worthwhile. It's just too bad that actual gameplay doesn't see the same advantage as benchmarks in dual core.
Right now, dual core still offers too little gain, in too few games.



I agree. The 805 is nothing but hype, hype and more hype.

The 805 runs very hot, consumes a lot of power and underperforms.

Wait for the 65nm P3 based Intels ( con-roe [TM] ) or 65nm AMDs if you can or a week or 2 for prices to settle after the AM2 release on the 23rd.
May 22, 2006 7:07:08 AM

I guess... here's the kicker... you are looking at playing games... I like the recomendations Rich and Kwalker gave, but here's the problem.. why buy a dual core now for games later, when you plan on buying a different processor later?

I recommend buying like a 3000+ athlon 64 for a little over 100 bucks and then spending that extra money on a better video card... that intel Dual core 805 is a good choice as well... but again... if you plan on buying a better processor later like their plan, sora no point to getting dual core now is there... I'm personaly an AMD fan, but its hard to not recomend that 805 anway, just because of the price,a nd upgradability right now... with dual core aside, thats not the point...

As games are developing, they still aren't comming close to fully using a processor, so what good is dual core? You are better off getting as big of a video card as you can right now... A 6800 is ok... but spending a little extra money and buying a 7900 GT and getting a slower processor would benefit you alot more right now, and it could leave you able to upgrade just about anything in your system on the cheap as you needed...

AM2 isn't out quite yet if you are buying today... If you are buying now... buy a mobo that has 4 slots for ram, is conroe ready, then buy as cheap a processor as you can so you can get as good of a video card as you can...

Video cards have settled down, you can trust the market for another 3 or 4 months before they release new ones... processors are ramping up in a few weeks, so consider waiting, or getting even a celeron... buy low so you can upgrade high later... seriously, but don't ever consider a celeron a good gaming processor... its just to buy to satisfy you now to get the good stuff next gen...

by now you probably see what my point is... right now is a hard time to try to decide processors... I say wait it out, and buy as baddass of a video card as you can... its just hard to recommend a high end processor with Conroe around the corner...

BTW... even on a budget... buy 2 gigs of ram... just do it... don't skimp on 1 gig... you'll regret it ... (or buy it in single stick so you can pay like 80 bucks on another gig stick...)
May 22, 2006 7:11:49 AM

Quote:
Not the 805 line again.
He will need water cooling to get the same framerates in games, that the 3700 will give him at stock. Sure, the 805 is dual core cool, but for single threaded games, it's still a P4b. (2.66ghz with a 133/533 fsb)
Maybe three tears from now, dual core will have enough games to make it worthwhile. It's just too bad that actual gameplay doesn't see the same advantage as benchmarks in dual core.
Right now, dual core still offers too little gain, in too few games.


Yes but if you read the thread tittle he says he wants Edit:( oops well help deciding anyway) dual core. That leaves him one choice at less then 200$(is it a choice then ?) I wanted a dual core Athlon X2 untill I noticed the cheapest one I could get... The 805 is fine for games most games are GPU limited not CPU limited (although I wouldnt recomend anything lower then the 805 its bottom end unless you OC) and you dont need water cooling for a mild OC im using the stock cooler and running 3.6Ghz. Dual cores are much nicer then you may realize when your not playing games.... Another thing to add about dual core VS single core. I can play BF2 or Oblivion and run Azureus in the background while I play. When I was using my old 3.4Ghz P4 single core I could do the same thing but my frame rates would drop horibly.
May 23, 2006 7:53:14 PM

Update:
I've decided to go with a Geforce 7900GT (I think I can get one for about $270). Basically no matter what system I build, I won't be able to upgrade the processor for at least a year, probably more like 1 1/2 to 2 years for money reasons.

My question is this: Would a Athlon 64 3000 or 3200 be good enough to last me that long? If thats the case then I guess I would go with that, but I can find a 3500+ Venice for about $130 on ebay. My budget is this:
$600 total
I need graphics, cpu, mobo, and ram. If i get the 7900gt and the 3500, that leaves me with $200 for mobo and ram. But if a 3000 or 3200 is good enough for a while, then I guess i should go with that.

In any case...I'm guessing when am2 comes out prices will drop..maybe i should wait until then to buy a cpu at all, and then get like a 3700 or 3800?

thanks
!