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Single Core or Dual Core for gaming?

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August 10, 2006 12:13:39 AM

Hello, I am in the process of building a new computer mostly for gaming but I also do some video encoding-I want to stay around the $250 price range for the cpu, I already have the motherboard ordered (its an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce) and the video card is the XFX GeForce 7900GTX 512MB,anyone have any suggestions? For single core I was looking at the AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego and for the dual core I was looking at the X2 4400+...any suggestions would be appreciated-thanks
August 10, 2006 12:38:57 AM

also if you spend 250 on a single core, your crazy now you can get nearly all gopod single cores for less, the most expensive am2 single core is only 106, most expensive 939 is 138 unless you count fc or opteron, and most expensive 775 is 184. just food for thought, also like siad above new games will start to use dual core.

edit, tohse are newegg prices
August 10, 2006 12:49:24 AM

Quote:
Dual core.

Games are starting to utilize the second core, and surely, future games will require a dual core.


yea name them.

back in the day i was told in the future i was suppose to have a flying car.


i would say single core and the 4000+ is a good choice because if you really had to you can upgrade to dual.
Related resources
August 10, 2006 1:08:24 AM

I'd get the Athlon 64 3700+ because it's $36 cheaper than the 4000+ ($102 vs. $138), and it's only a 200MHz overclock away from being a 4000+. They're the same CPU, except that the 4000+ has a multiplier of 12, rather than 11.
August 10, 2006 1:12:56 AM

I can get a single core 4000+ for $139...its the dual core that are more money...from the benchmarks I have seen, single core is better for gaming but dual core is better for apps and multitasking, I was thinking since I have a high end video card the dual core would be better because the gpu would make up for the gaming aspect...any ideas?
August 10, 2006 1:15:42 AM

well if you go for future gaming dual core will own, only a select few games are dual core optimized, personally i'd go with a dual core
August 10, 2006 1:40:23 AM

with the price drops you can get a dual core x2 3800+ at newegg.com for $150 ... these can be pretty heavily overclocked from what I've read ... there's no reason to get a single core for that price, i havent heard that dual core with hurt gaming
August 10, 2006 1:55:34 AM

get an x2 3800 + for about $150.00, then O C it to 2.4 or 2.5, then your all set for games or multi tasking.
August 10, 2006 1:59:59 AM

get a dual core since u will be ready for dual core games
August 10, 2006 2:10:08 AM

yep... dual core... hands down... nuff said. lol
August 10, 2006 2:16:18 AM

Quote:
yea name them.

back in the day i was told in the future i was suppose to have a flying car.


i would say single core and the 4000+ is a good choice because if you really had to you can upgrade to dual.
Why should you invest in dying technology?

Currently Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, and Oblivion offer some performance enhancements with a second core.
August 10, 2006 2:18:13 AM

This is true. UE3 is multithreaded as well and theres lots of games coming out based off that engine.
August 10, 2006 2:22:19 AM

I went to get a 939 X2 3800 yesterday and they were all gone. :cry:  Should be much less of a problem elsewhere though.
August 10, 2006 2:30:30 AM

Quote:
I went to get a 939 X2 3800 yesterday and they were all gone. :cry:  Should be much less of a problem elsewhere though.


Seriously, by the time games are really beggining to take advantage of dual core any dual core processor you buy right now in the AMD line up will be slow compared to the dual cores that will be available then.

I really dont see how buying any AMD dual core right now could be called future proofing.

I will stick with my sandiego 4000+ @2.9ghz for right now.
August 10, 2006 2:35:50 AM

No not really.
August 10, 2006 2:39:50 AM

If you can swing it, consider either a 4600 or a 4800. The 4800 is essentially 2 * 4000s and the 4600 = 2 * 3800. I just got a 4800 and I like it a lot.

What has been said about socket 939 is true, this is probably it. But it's an excellent platform. Aside from future upgradability, AM2 offers very little advantage over 939. Dual core is awesome and the higher clocks make even more so, hence my above recommendation. This is a good article that provides a good deal of information on the subject.
August 10, 2006 2:41:52 AM

If you already have a good single-core there is no reason to update, but if you are buying a new computer or have a lower-end single core, you should get dual-core since the price is so low these days. Only $150 for a s939 or AM2 3800+ X2 and only $185 for the 4200+ X2
August 10, 2006 2:44:32 AM

Quote:
If you already have a good single-core there is no reason to update, but if you are buying a new computer or have a lower-end single core, you should get dual-core since the price is so low these days. Only $150 for a s939 or AM2 3800+ X2 and only $185 for the 4200+ X2


I can agree with that.
August 10, 2006 4:57:46 AM

Quote:
yea name them.

back in the day i was told in the future i was suppose to have a flying car.


i would say single core and the 4000+ is a good choice because if you really had to you can upgrade to dual.
Why should you invest in dying technology?

Currently Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, and Oblivion offer some performance enhancements with a second core.

You just said it, why would you invest dying technology, With quad core coming out in a few months why would you invest in dual core? for that matter why would you buy anything electronic as its all dying technology.why would someon. e these days buy a agp video card? a supposedly dead standard.
Another thing isnt intel suppose to be relesing a single core version of core?


and the performance gain in those 3 games from a slower dual core are offset and surpassed by a faster single core cpu.Not only games but just regular multithreaded software is not widely available.
So go ahead buy a dual core to play all of those 3 games.
From what i read it is not easy to create a multithreaded game that can only be proven by the fact that there are none to date and by the time they perfect multithreaded games dualcore might not be around
And i am still under the belief that many dual core owners are not using its full resources and got suckered in ithe multitasking hype.
August 10, 2006 5:53:38 AM

Quote:
yea name them.

back in the day i was told in the future i was suppose to have a flying car.


i would say single core and the 4000+ is a good choice because if you really had to you can upgrade to dual.
Why should you invest in dying technology?

Currently Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, and Oblivion offer some performance enhancements with a second core.

You just said it, why would you invest dying technology, With quad core coming out in a few months why would you invest in dual core? for that matter why would you buy anything electronic as its all dying technology.why would someon. e these days buy a agp video card? a supposedly dead standard.
Another thing isnt intel suppose to be relesing a single core version of core?


and the performance gain in those 3 games from a slower dual core are offset and surpassed by a faster single core cpu.Not only games but just regular multithreaded software is not widely available.
So go ahead buy a dual core to play all of those 3 games.
From what i read it is not easy to create a multithreaded game that can only be proven by the fact that there are none to date and by the time they perfect multithreaded games dualcore might not be around
And i am still under the belief that many dual core owners are not using its full resources and got suckered in ithe multitasking hype.

well... to be honest, you cant say there are really many (if any) performance advantages to speak of in favor of single core processing, compared to multi core processing... the speed advantage of a single cored cpu pc is virtually null compared to multi core, in single core coded applications even... where single core would supposedly reign supreme... ...clock speed can be evenly matched, cache amount, other technological advances too... yet with a single core, youre pretty much only getting half of the total processing capability, at best... ALL applications are already multithreaded... its just a matter of distributing those threads among the cores, to make the application multi core coded, or multithreaded as most people say... ...all in all though, sticking with a single core... when multi cores, upto who knows how many, are on the horizon... just wouldnt make much sense... ...unless you more refused to accept where the technology is heading (or couldnt afford the upgrade, even with as cheap as the prices are getting)... cpus arent the only component capable of 'processing' in parellel... you have gpus, ram, hdds, network connections even... ...and with each component, you cant say the performance is hindered really, at all, especially if the software is optimized... whichcase, the serial processing thats done... one after the other, for everything... kinda gets left in the dust... and even when a particular application doesnt directly take advantage of any additional cpu cores for instance, your overall responsiveness is still boosted nonetheless, such as, an application freezes, and your computer isnt frozen, or stalled... its not a trend, if youd like to think that... ...parallel processing has been proven to benefit all people, who have been able to use them... ...for those that havent though, its understandable about their skepticism... ...as far as a core 2 single core cpu, i would honestly think it would be more oriented towards the budget user, if anything, especially with how things are going...
August 10, 2006 1:28:12 PM

Even if your games aren't multithreaded, Windows is. This gives you somewhat of a boost immediately. Having said that, have you ever experienced a rather intense moment in a game when suddenly Norton starts its disk scan or MS pops up a window reminding you about some BS update you need right now? This can be very frustrating, especially when Norton brings your system to its knees.

Not an issue with dual core. Remember, your game may only use one core but then Norton can run on the other one. No system slowdown.

Or consider sending a document to your printer. Wait until all of it is offloaded to your printer's buffer before you can do much of anything else. Again, not a hinderance with dual core.

But hey, it's your money. Spend it on whatever you want. Those of us who've made the change already know. You can do whatever you want. But since you did start this thread, we're simply trying to answer your questions.
August 10, 2006 1:47:33 PM

Hey Heath,
Just like prozac said, go with a DUALIE :) 

I have one that I do about 90% gaming and the rest emails etc. MOst games that are coming out now are being optimized for dual core. Tkae Quake 4 for instance, there is an "advanced option" in game settings that have a check box for "optimize for dual core processors". I am sure there are many other games that I can't think of that do the same.

Besides, ask yourself this question....when was the last time you wanted to do a virus scan, check emails, download a wicked mP3, oh and I almost forgot.....get your F.E.A.R. fix ALLLLLL at the same time????

Have I made my point?? :wink:
Now go out and score your DUALIE right now. :D 

RIG specs
Antec P180 PerformanceSeries Mid-Tower Case
SeaSonic S12 600 watt power supply
Asus A8N32 SLI mobo AMD N-Force 4 SLIX16 (bios 1103 V02.58)
RealTek 97 onboard digital 5.1 Surround
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Toledo Core, 2 X 1mb L2 cache (AMD driver 1.3.1.0 w/MS hotfix & AMD Dual Core Optimizer)
2 gigs of Corsair TwinX3500LL Pro @ 437Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG 7900 GT OC 256mb in SLI (nvidia driver 91.31)
Western Digital RAPTOR 74.3 gig 10-K rpm HDD for XP & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for gaming, movies, MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G HDD for document backup (unplugged)
Sony CDrom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 THX 500watts
August 10, 2006 1:53:12 PM

Quote:
Hey Heath,
Just like prozac said, go with a DUALIE :) 

Besides, ask yourself this question....when was the last time you wanted to do a virus scan, check emails, download a wicked mP3, oh and I almost forgot.....get your F.E.A.R. fix ALLLLLL at the same time????



Uhh.......... pretty much never. I dont know about most of you guys but when im playing a game like FEAR or something else I dont check emails and do other things at the same time as I dont like my game play being interupted.
August 10, 2006 1:53:48 PM

hey but i heard the athlon x2's arent good for overclocking because they experience heat problems.... it would burn up your mb
August 10, 2006 1:56:16 PM

Out of the 3 or 4 games that supposedly take advantage of dual core I would like to see some bench mark comparisons from dual core to single core in some of these games.

And please, no comparisons at 800X600 or 1024X768 resolution where the bottle neck is obviously the CPU :roll: Everytime I have ever seen a bench mark comparison between the two it has been like this :roll:


Put the Resolution at 1280X1024 and turn all the Eye Candy up, I bet you anything you will not see any difference at that point from a Single to Dual core CPU.
August 10, 2006 2:14:16 PM

:twisted: Quake4
Also saw that you do video encoding, Dual core is the chip you'll need.

At 1280x1024 full blast on all eyecandy it does help. I see much more details and the Frame rate is higher. I also used the system Monitor to view the usage history, and yes the two cores are both working together. They don't split 50/50 but handle different aspects of the job at hand.
August 10, 2006 2:14:53 PM

i dont know man a lot of my friends tried with a x2 and its burned a big black hole in it
August 10, 2006 2:26:55 PM

right now would you go with a am2 x2 or a conroe
August 10, 2006 2:29:53 PM

Quote:


At 1280x1024 full blast on all eyecandy it does help. I see much more details and the Frame rate is higher.


Like I said, Show me some bench marks and prove it. I have yet to see any benchmark comparisons at all using those settings when comparing dual core and single core. I can bet you that I know why too :lol: 

And please dont tell me you are seeing much more details because of the dual core :roll: LMAO :lol: 
August 10, 2006 2:34:41 PM

Quote:
right now would you go with a am2 x2 or a conroe


Well personally if I was building a new system I would go with either one. And right now with the availability of AM2 vs Conroe and the great prices of AM2 and the fact that it will be compatible with AM3 cpus I would probably go with AM2.

Right now I am on socket 939 with a sandiego 4000+ clocked at 2.9ghz and I dont plan to touch a thing until next summer as I will be perfectly fine till then.
August 10, 2006 2:41:04 PM

what is AM3 and will overclocking ur cpu's reduce the life spand of your chip?
August 10, 2006 2:43:50 PM

I like how people come in and make statements like this:

Quote:
hey but i heard the athlon x2's arent good for overclocking because they experience heat problems.... it would burn up your mb


And then ask questions like this:

Quote:
what is AM3 and will overclocking ur cpu's reduce the life spand of your chip?
August 10, 2006 2:43:53 PM

Quote:
what is AM3 and will overclocking ur cpu's reduce the life spand of your chip?


AM3 will be AMD's new cpu's after AM2. Overclocking your cpu can reduce the life span if you dont know what you are doing. Get good aftermarket cooling and keep your overclock and voltages within reason.
August 10, 2006 2:52:53 PM

Quote:
I like how people come in and make statements like this:

hey but i heard the athlon x2's arent good for overclocking because they experience heat problems.... it would burn up your mb


And then ask questions like this:

Quote:
what is AM3 and will overclocking ur cpu's reduce the life spand of your chip?



:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
August 10, 2006 3:05:05 PM

Still waiting on those benchmarks........................... :p 
August 10, 2006 3:18:30 PM

You bought a mobo that overclocks well so get a 3200 or 3800x2 and overclock them.
August 10, 2006 3:27:40 PM

Go dual core for certain. The future of games is online and the future is with VOIP (Gamespeak, Ventrillo, Teamspeak, etc). The game runs just fine on the single core, but when other apps like the VOIP are also running, dual core has distinct advantages.

My Rig:
Core 2 Duo X6800 Conroe (Stock Clock for now)
Intel D975XBXLRK - 304
Thermaltake Big Typhoon HSF
2 GB Corsair Pro PC6400 4-4-4-15
ATI X1900XTX
74GB 10K Raptor HD
Soundblaster Audigy 2 SZ
NEC OEM DVD Burners (x2)
Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case
Ultra X-Finity 600W SLi Certified PSU
August 10, 2006 3:31:31 PM

O i am srry is there a problem of what i am asking,,, i just want to educate my self further man!
August 10, 2006 3:34:55 PM

Quote:
You just said it, why would you invest dying technology, With quad core coming out in a few months why would you invest in dual core?


If you lived by this rule you would never upgrade as there is always something better just around the corner!!

If you need to upgrade now then get the best you can afford for what you do. I was using an old socket 754 3000+ up untill a week ago when i upgraded to shiny new C2D system. Am I worried about better mobo's coming out - no prices dropping - no. I needed to up grade so I did.

If you do some video editting etc Dual core is the way to go, and considering how much cash you have the difference in clock speed between the dual and single core CPU's you could buy wouldn't be all that noticable.
August 10, 2006 3:37:30 PM

Quote:
Still waiting on those benchmarks........................... :p 

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_4_dual-core_p...


Well while thats an impressive looking bench mark its still only one game and I see their is no use of AF filtering only AA :roll: Why in the F is it so hard to show a true comparison with all details on max between these to processors!?

If somone could show me the other games like COD2, FEAR, Oblivon, ETC with all details turned on and at 1280x1024 and getting those kind of results then I would be impressed and would buy into the dual core.
August 10, 2006 3:43:42 PM

Quote:
yea name them.

back in the day i was told in the future i was suppose to have a flying car.


i would say single core and the 4000+ is a good choice because if you really had to you can upgrade to dual.
Why should you invest in dying technology?

Currently Quake 4, Call of Duty 2, and Oblivion offer some performance enhancements with a second core.

You just said it, why would you invest dying technology, With quad core coming out in a few months why would you invest in dual core? for that matter why would you buy anything electronic as its all dying technology.why would someon. e these days buy a agp video card? a supposedly dead standard.
Another thing isnt intel suppose to be relesing a single core version of core?


and the performance gain in those 3 games from a slower dual core are offset and surpassed by a faster single core cpu.Not only games but just regular multithreaded software is not widely available.
So go ahead buy a dual core to play all of those 3 games.
From what i read it is not easy to create a multithreaded game that can only be proven by the fact that there are none to date and by the time they perfect multithreaded games dualcore might not be around
And i am still under the belief that many dual core owners are not using its full resources and got suckered in ithe multitasking hype.


With the most modern dual core as an example (Conroe), it would seem currently they have little use. However, this is incorrect, for the average user it seems you may not need it, but think about this: watching and encoding HD videos as well as doing multiple things at once are very CPU dependant and are very easily made faster with multiple processors. For gaming a lot of people say it wont make much of a difference, this is also incorrect, even for games that aren’t multithreaded it helps, not only to offload background processes but for physics and AI.

People may say "what do I need this for il never use it!" but that has been said many times about many things, even computers! If people can use it they will. Also today’s average user is using much more demanding processes than before (It takes nothing less than a mid range dual core to run a full HD-DVD with no dropped frames!). For gamers dual core may not help FPS actively (both processing frames) but it can help passively as well (one processing only frames, the other does everything else).

Even if you cant decide now the processing companies are deciding for you, making dual core as cheap or cheaper than single as well as flat out dropping it (only one new 1.6Ghz single core is being released by Intel).
August 10, 2006 3:47:43 PM

I disagree with your analysis for one reason; while you are right that dual core is not yet strongly supported, that is mainly because they were to expensive and only enthusiasts had them. But as of July that is changing, AMD/Intel dual cores are flying off the shelf and even big box manufacturers are including dual cores in there lower priced units.
The time for dual core has finally come and software will start to catch up.

However, having said that I’m reminded of all the hullabaloo that the 64 bit CPU's generated last year as the next coming in computing...

Still waiting...
August 10, 2006 3:49:49 PM

Quote:
Still waiting on those benchmarks........................... :p 

http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/quake_4_dual-core_p...


Well while thats an impressive looking bench mark its still only one game and I see their is no use of AF filtering only AA :roll: Why in the F is it so hard to show a true comparison with all details on max between these to processors!?

If somone could show me the other games like COD2, FEAR, Oblivon, ETC with all details turned on and at 1280x1024 and getting those kind of results then I would be impressed and would buy into the dual core.

Lol, sounds like somebody that doesn't want to admit that a dual core is the best option and that their single core is old news.

Bench marks aren't everything, I mean it's not as if he's going to be crying out for an extra 10fps when he's buying a 7900gtx is it?! There are software and patches making the most for people with Dual cores coming out all the time. Just face it, single cores are a thing of the past just like a single gpu will be very soon.

It's the future and whilst amd dual cores have dropped in price, you might as well make the most of it and get a pc which doesn't lock up when you alt+tab out of a game to check an msn message or such like.
August 10, 2006 4:05:53 PM

Quote:

Lol, sounds like somebody that doesn't want to admit that a dual core is the best option and that their single core is old news.


Oh really? well lets see you LOL at this.






I did some more research and Quake 4 is the only game to sucessfuly offer the SMP option that helps dual cores. They did it in COD2 and it actually made performance worse :oops: 
August 10, 2006 4:12:13 PM

And this...........another game that is supposed to do better with dual core. :roll:






August 10, 2006 4:14:32 PM

Quote:

Lol, sounds like somebody that doesn't want to admit that a dual core is the best option and that their single core is old news.


Oh really? well lets see you LOL at this.


I did some more research and Quak 4 is the only game to sucessfuly offer the SMP option that helps dual cores. They did it in COD2 and it actually made performance worse :oops: 

well, like you said... with your cpu at 2.9GHz, youre not gonna upgrade till at least next year, and you honestly wouldnt need to... ...but again, debating the difference of <5FPS between processors in gaming shouldnt be enough to sway a person one way or the other (by far)... especially considering all other viable everyday applications... and if youre ONLY gaming, and arent even browsing online, or doing much outside of the game... then a console system would even work just fine... shouldnt be any problems that way then, the games would run smooth, and you wouldnt lose any meaningful funtionality
August 10, 2006 4:18:44 PM

Look at how the frames for COD2 get slightly worse after the patch to add dual core support. Im sorry boys but dual core has a ways to go before its any better than single core in gaming.




What’s going on?


After looking over the results, we were extremely surprised. The Athlon 64 X2 4200+ system failed to yield any performance improvements in Call of Duty 2 1.01, regardless of the graphics card used. Our efforts with AMD’s flagship Athlon 64 X2 4800+ proved equally fruitless -- regardless of the configuration we used, we didn’t see any performance improvements from the new Call of Duty 2 patch.
August 10, 2006 4:20:38 PM

Quote:

Lol, sounds like somebody that doesn't want to admit that a dual core is the best option and that their single core is old news.


Oh really? well lets see you LOL at this.


I did some more research and Quak 4 is the only game to sucessfuly offer the SMP option that helps dual cores. They did it in COD2 and it actually made performance worse :oops: 

well, like you said... with your cpu at 2.9GHz, youre not gonna upgrade till at least next year, and you honestly wouldnt need to... ...but again, debating the difference of <5FPS between processors in gaming shouldnt be enough to sway a person one way or the other (by far)... especially considering all other viable everyday applications... and if youre ONLY gaming, and arent even browsing online, or doing much outside of the game... then a console system would even work just fine... shouldnt be any problems that way then, the games would run smooth, and you wouldnt lose any meaningful funtionality


Well spoken 8) and LOL at the console Idea! I will take PC gaming over a toy any day of the week. :lol: 
August 10, 2006 4:24:45 PM

Remember people I am not saying Dual Cores are worthless and what not because that is far from the truth. They are great for you multi tasking people and If I did alot of encoding and multi tasking while gaming I would have one too.

My main point is that from a Performance perspective Dual Core has no advantage over Single Core when it comes to ONLY gaming as of right now.

I really think by the time dual cores are being utilized heavily in gaming any dual core out right now will be like the Celeron dual cores compared to the kind of dual core you will actually need.
!