Is a dual core cpu really worth it for me?

I am in the process of deciding on hardware for two systems at the moment; one for me and one for my brother. My problem is that I can't decide whether to get an Athlon 64 X2 or just a single core Athlon 64. The cpu budgets for both systems are about £150 so the choice is between the X2 4200+ and the 4000+ (San Diego).

I use my system for mp3 encoding, video encoding and general application use (with occasional gaming). My brother uses his system almost entirely for gaming (mainly games based on the Valve Source Engine (Half Life 2)).

The reason i'm confused is that the single cores appear to outperform the dual cores in almost all applications.

Which do you think would be better for each system?

thanks
rocktorrentz
13 answers Last reply
More about dual core worth
  1. Go dual core, you wont regret it. Your brothers build is a bit trickier but I would still say dual core as its the way games will go in the future.

    The single core chip is actually clocked higher than the dual core and so will be faster at single threaded apps but will peform worse in multithreaded.

    Also bear in mind that while the dual core is encoding a video on one core you can still use the other core for excel or whatever.


    hope that helps.
  2. Quote:
    I am in the process of deciding on hardware for two systems at the moment; one for me and one for my brother. My problem is that I can't decide whether to get an Athlon 64 X2 or just a single core Athlon 64. The cpu budgets for both systems are about £150 so the choice is between the X2 4200+ and the 4000+ (San Diego).

    I use my system for mp3 encoding, video encoding and general application use (with occasional gaming). My brother uses his system almost entirely for gaming (mainly games based on the Valve Source Engine (Half Life 2)).

    The reason i'm confused is that the single cores appear to outperform the dual cores in almost all applications.

    Which do you think would be better for each system?

    thanks
    rocktorrentz


    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)
  3. The in that case you need the dual core and your brother need the single core. :wink:
  4. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?
  5. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?

    Well if you're getting decent RAM for both systems i would buy a dual core for both and then overclock it like a b*tch!
  6. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?

    Well if you're getting decent RAM for both systems i would buy a dual core for both and then overclock it like a b*tch!

    On the subject of overclocking I was going to go 939 and use my current cheapish DDR400 so FSB overclocking is out? Can you do multiplier overclocking on the new CPUs?
  7. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?

    Spot on.
    I belive that Ut2007 & Crysis are both going to take advantage of dual cores as does quake 4 (with a patch). So things are starting to change already.
  8. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?

    Well if you're getting decent RAM for both systems i would buy a dual core for both and then overclock it like a b*tch!

    On the subject of overclocking I was going to go 939 and use my current cheapish DDR400 so FSB overclocking is out? Can you do multiplier overclocking on the new CPUs?

    No, only FSB, but current motherboards have dividers for everything from RAM to AGP/PCI so that is the way to go. here is a good example of a good and cheap motherboard:
    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-TF61-93
  9. Quote:

    Another thing to bear in mind is that within a month the AMD price drops will kick in, with an average of 47% price drops across the board! All single core CPUs will then be well under £100 and the dual cores will be really cheap too! (Can't remember exact pricing)


    It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now.

    So dual core for certain for me but for my brother single is better at current games (due to being single threaded?)?

    Well if you're getting decent RAM for both systems i would buy a dual core for both and then overclock it like a b*tch!

    On the subject of overclocking I was going to go 939 and use my current cheapish DDR400 so FSB overclocking is out? Can you do multiplier overclocking on the new CPUs?

    No, only FSB, but current motherboards have dividers for everything from RAM to AGP/PCI so that is the way to go. here is a good example of a good and cheap motherboard:
    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-TF61-93

    Word.
  10. "It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now. "

    Would you mind sharing what site you're buying from that has already reduced the AMD prices?

    They're still the same on newegg and pricewatch.

    Thanks.
  11. Quote:
    "It's already kicked in on the site i'm buying from (as of today). Thats why i'm shopping now. "

    Would you mind sharing what site you're buying from that has already reduced the AMD prices?

    They're still the same on newegg and pricewatch.

    Thanks.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/AMD_CPUs.html

    It's only happened on some of the cpus though. Most of the 939 X2s have changed.
  12. I just built a new machine, mainly for photoshop editing, video editing, and occasional gaming.

    Im not going to get into the intel vs amd debate, because its just plain silly...but, i will give you some real world, real life experiences and observations.

    I just did some video importing last night. With my old single core...while doing that it would max out my cpu....100% for the whole time i was importing. Last night, my dual cores were running between 50 and 70% during the import.....which allowed me to be on the net, download some music, and listen to some mp3's.

    as far as games go, i picked up a copy of Far Cry when i bought my gear a couple of weeks ago. Granted this is a 2 yr old game but, i maxed out every single setting to its highest, and it ran as smooth as butter.

    this works for me. maybe your brother likes playing the latest and greatest games out there. if so, then he needs to plan to drop about $400 on a video card. Its just the way it is. Read the Tom's article on Oblivion. From what i recall, with all of the options on highest quality, it basically choked every single video card thats out there right now except for the dual processor one from nvidea.

    me, id rather wait a year or two and buy oblivion for $10, and run it at max settings on a new mid range video card that i may have payed $150 for.

    but, if gaming is that important to him...tell him to go for it.
  13. Thanks, but there's not much point in me buying from a UK site when I live in the US.

    But thanks anyway and cheers,

    Have a pint on me
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