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Ignore the Dual Core X2 madness?

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August 5, 2006 5:15:43 PM

I am looking for a few more experianced opinions, I am wondering if I should just skip all the "Dual Core" madness (Both AMD & Intel) and stick with a solid single core setup, at least until next year after some dust settles.


Along those lines a few Questions:

If I stick with AMD does the M2N-E support single core CPU?

If not then whats a solid MB that will still allow me an upgrade path next year?

And which Single core CPU would folks recommend for a strong fast Gaming lite work system today?

ALSO what about the Intel side, any workable options for going strong fast single core Intel CPU new on a MB that would still allow an Dual Core upgrade next year?

Thanks for your time.
August 5, 2006 5:38:20 PM

It's only like.. 10 bucks to go from single to dual core nowadays with AMD.

But if you want a good single core for gaming i'd go 3800+
August 5, 2006 5:42:08 PM

Quote:
I am looking for a few more experianced opinions, I am wondering if I should just skip all the "Dual Core" madness (Both AMD & Intel) and stick with a solid single core setup, at least until next year after some dust settles.


The dust has pretty much settled; considering that you can get an intel 805D for around $90 or an AMD X2 3800+ for around $160 there's really no reason not to get a dual core CPU . . . true most games are not optimized for dual core operation, but having an extra core allows your computer to do other things in the background while you game, making the overall computing experience smoother and more enjoyable. If you buy a single core today it just isn't going to scale as well as a dual core CPU either.


Quote:
Along those lines a few Questions:

If I stick with AMD does the M2N-E support single core CPU?


as long as it's socket AM2 you should be fine

Quote:
If not then whats a solid MB that will still allow me an upgrade path next year?


socket AM2 is purported by AMD to allow upgrades to AM3 (K8L), so in theory you should be able to upgrade your CPU without buying a new mobo

Quote:
And which Single core CPU would folks recommend for a strong fast Gaming lite work system today?


If you really have your heart set on single core then the A64 3800+ would probably suit your needs just fine

Quote:
ALSO what about the Intel side, any workable options for going strong fast single core Intel CPU new on a MB that would still allow an Dual Core upgrade next year?


If you get an socket T (LGA 775) motherboard and insist on single core make sure it will support core 2 duo, then check the motherboard's compatibility chart (usually located on the mobo mfg. website) and see what sorts of single core Pentium 4 chips are supported.

Quote:
Thanks for your time.


No need to thank me, I'm a nerd - it's what I do :D 
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August 5, 2006 5:49:28 PM

Quote:
I am looking for a few more experianced opinions, I am wondering if I should just skip all the "Dual Core" madness (Both AMD & Intel) and stick with a solid single core setup, at least until next year after some dust settles.


Along those lines a few Questions:

If I stick with AMD does the M2N-E support single core CPU?

If not then whats a solid MB that will still allow me an upgrade path next year?

And which Single core CPU would folks recommend for a strong fast Gaming lite work system today?

ALSO what about the Intel side, any workable options for going strong fast single core Intel CPU new on a MB that would still allow an Dual Core upgrade next year?

Thanks for your time.


M2N-E supports any AMD AM2 CPUs: single or dual core from the Sempron to the Athlon 64 FX-62.

Single core CPUs do perform better in gaming, but on the AMD side are limited to DDR2-667 RAM which hurts them a bit. Since a dual core CPU is only around $10-50 more, I would go that route to take full advantage of DDR2-800 RAM.

Intel is basically an all dual-core operation now. The Pentium 4s (as you know) suck compared to anything AMD. You could look at building a Core Solo (notebook CPU) desktop system, but thats going to be more expensive than just going dual core.
August 5, 2006 5:50:00 PM

well, i know this isnt going to exactly support what youre asking... unless youre only running a single threaded application (which coincidentally, all applications are multithreaded to an extent under a multithreaded capable OS, even games are)... ...so, you *can* stick with a single core cpu (whichcase, the cpu you have is still decent in that respect), but youll honestly only be hindering the performance of your computer as a whole by doing so... ...'the gigahertz race', was essentially abandoned for what you could call 'the multi core race'... you see two cores coming out now, theyre not clocked very fast, and by next year, well have 4 cores, and then 8, then 32, and so on... ...so you can stick with a single core cpu, but thats certainly not where things are heading, (gpus as an example)... there are other advancements to the cpu as a whole... ...but having multiple cores in itself has substantially improved performance (and system responsiveness) all around... ...anyhow, a single core cpu system, is greatly overshadowed performancewise in all applications (directly and/or indirectly), simply by adding even only one additional core to the cpu itself

just my 2 cents...
August 5, 2006 6:13:29 PM

Thanks for all the responses, I guess I am not really understanding the difference Dual Core makes, I had the idea in my head that Programs for the most part HAD to be OPTIMIZED to Dual core for there to be any real performance increase seen, I am wrong?


If I am wrong then that settles that, and I am back to my original decision, Which Dual Core system....

I am leaning towards Intel, it will just take a little longer to put it all together due to a bit more expensive for what I want and of course availability.


Thanks for all the info, this is the friendliest forum I have been in a long time :) 
August 5, 2006 6:17:18 PM

Quote:
Thanks for all the responses, I guess I am not really understanding the difference Dual Core makes, I had the idea in my head that Programs for the most part HAD to be OPTIMIZED to Dual core for there to be any real performance increase seen, I am wrong?


If I am wrong then that settles that, and I am back to my original decision, Which Dual Core system....

I am leaning towards Intel, it will just take a little longer to put it all together due to a bit more expensive for what I want and of course availability.


Thanks for all the info, this is the friendliest forum I have been in a long time :) 


You are half right. For an application to take full advantage of a dual core CPU, it must be written as a multithreaded app that can see both CPUs. The reason you are only half-right is Windows is dual-core aware. It can assign different tasks to both cores even if the application itself cannot.
August 5, 2006 6:23:43 PM

Quote:
Thanks for all the responses, I guess I am not really understanding the difference Dual Core makes, I had the idea in my head that Programs for the most part HAD to be OPTIMIZED to Dual core for there to be any real performance increase seen, I am wrong?


If I am wrong then that settles that, and I am back to my original decision, Which Dual Core system....

I am leaning towards Intel, it will just take a little longer to put it all together due to a bit more expensive for what I want and of course availability.


Thanks for all the info, this is the friendliest forum I have been in a long time :) 


well, yes and no... virtually all applications are multi threaded (save for a few windows processes, solitaire for example, which only has one thread lol), but in order for an application to take full advantage of multiple cores, it needs to be coded that way, either by a patch, or from the ground up... coding an application to take advantage of multiple cores can get very complex (but the multiple threads in an application are there nonetheless, looking in the windows task manager for example under the processes tab, selecting the threads column, from the 'view' menu bar item), you could honestly say that all applications are potentially capable of taking advantage that way

when an application doesnt take direct advantage of the additional core(s)... its responsiveness otherwise is still boosted nonetheless, because of all the 200 or more other threads in windows that *can* interfere with the performance of your lone application (in a single core environment)... even more so if youre running ANY other cpu intensive processes ontop of that (hypothetically, you could make use of over 200 cores in that instance, one for each thread, just from running windows, if every process was multithreaded :p , and if windows even supported that many to begin with, which im not sure if it does yet anyhow... its scalable, but by how much?... i assume there isnt an as of yet reachable limit on the software side *guessing*... hardware however might be a different story)

take for example, windows vista (whenever it comes out)... i gather its supposedly coded to take better advantage of multiple cores (better than xp does), so having multiple cores would do a great deal to enhance its performance overall, especially when running a 3rd party application... theres better thread management from the OS then, resulting in an all around faster running application (i imagine DX 10 will also play a large part in improving performance in games, as there wont be all this OS overhead getting in the way between the application, and the hardware, much like with a console gaming system, so, yeah, faster performance then in games too)


as far as trying to decide on which dual core to get, youll be good to go with any dual core system really, for all practical purposes (benchmarks notwithstanding, plus theres always the option to overclock anyhow, to have your dual core 'perform on par' with more expensive cpus, for less money, if you felt inclined to do that)... really, its just going with whatever you can afford.
August 7, 2006 5:34:47 AM

You're thinking for the most part is spot on. Sure, a dual core cpu will allow windows to designate which core each process will run on, but by default, Windows will designate BOTH cores for EVERY process to run on, so it's a moot point unless you start to manually set affinity for each process. The next big debunker of the pro-dual core argument deals with the parasitic loss of the many windows processes running all the time. The idea is that all these processes will hinder the performance of a single core cpu, but the strange thing is, when absolutely no applications are running, and only windows has control of the cpu, it uses about 0 to 2% of your cpu. WOW. look at all that performance you're losing with only one cpu core. Only 98% of your CPU's power is available to run an application! That suxorz!!!11!11!oneone11!!. :roll: Honestly, it's stupid to say that a dual core is better than a single core when running non-multithreaded apps. People like to *THINK* there's a difference, but it's not true. Only when multithreaded applications are used will you notice a difference, and unless you play a lot of Quake 4, or do a lot of video encoding (and of those apps, only about half of them are multithreaded), or use Photoshop like a mad man, you likely will never benefit from using a dual core over a single core cpu.

My advise: Figure out what you spend the majority of your time doing on your computer, then figure out what application(s) are the most cpu intensive that you run. See if these applications are multithreaded. If they are not multithreaded, then buy a single core cpu. If they are multithreaded, then get a dual core cpu. It's that simple.
August 7, 2006 2:50:24 PM

Quote:

My advise: Figure out what you spend the majority of your time doing on your computer, then figure out what application(s) are the most cpu intensive that you run. See if these applications are multithreaded. If they are not multithreaded, then buy a single core cpu. If they are multithreaded, then get a dual core cpu. It's that simple.


That's not the best advice. Even if every program you run is single-threaded, normal tasks done simultaneously will have better performance. For instance multi-tasking will be incredibly quick and seamless. Or you can run two or more of your single-threaded applications at the same time, which is half the time it would take you to complete the same thing with a singe core CPU, even though you're still using single-threaded applications.
August 7, 2006 6:33:09 PM

Multitasking for the most part is not improved with a dual core cpu unless it is some serious, heavy duty work you performing, say, like encoding a movie and playing a video game at the same it. But even when doing that, the I/O of the hard drive from the encoding work will strangle the game, making the "experience" not near as enjoyable as it should be.

Run two single threaded tasks at the same time? Have you ever tried that? The chances of that working great are slim and none. The the most part, even a single core cpu can run two single threaded apps at the same time very well as long as the tasks are not cpu intensive. For those tasks that are intensive and take quite a while to perform, say, video encoding once again, the cpu IS NOT THE ONLY BOTTLE NECK IN THE SYSTEM! The IO of the hard drive is much more of a bottle neck. Case in point: TMPGenc is a program I like to use to deMux captured mpeg2 files. It is a single threaded app. So, by your logic, I should be able to run two instances of this program at the same time, since I own a dual core CPU, right? WRONG. This app, like most encoding applications, stresses the hard drive IO just as much as the cpu itself. Running two of these tasks at once actually makes it take LONGER than if each task were run separately.

For regular multitasking, a single core is FINE. I can have half a dozen web pages open, WMP playing music, a couple Word documents open, a PDF file open, be typing up an email, downloading a file off the internet, be printing an 8 page document, and have Nero Vision encoding a DVD ALL AT THE SAME TIME, using just a Intel 2.4B. It's called process PRIORITY.
August 7, 2006 6:45:22 PM

ignore getting a dual core processor is a bad thing.

i think we can all agree that a dual core is worth the investment. any kind of dual core you get.
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