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Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage

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September 11, 2006 1:29:04 PM

Intel will walk all over AMD with its upcoming Core 2 Quadro processor. Its 8 MB L2 Cache and aggressive clock speeds will boost performance by up to 100%. Our benchmarks tell the story.
September 11, 2006 1:57:29 PM

Hm... Quad core... when I just got a dual core... Well, as of now, I've hardly seen a difference in performance other than that at my last LAN party, I was running Norton Antivirus and Windows Defender at the same time while playing Battlefield 2 and noticed to slow downs. How often do people do that though? Well, other than that. IMO, quad core is over kill for windows xp. But hopefully, Windows Vista will be out by then showing just how truly powerful a quad core can be against a dual core. Till then, looks like some game developers need to work on a new patch (ex. Activision's Call of Duty 2). Need more benchmark results to see if it's truly worth to get a quad core after recently purchasing a dual core. What would help the decision is knowing that my ASUS P5W DH Deluxe will fully support it with a click of the "Flash BIOS" button :D . Anyone else have any input on this or other information other than THG?
September 11, 2006 2:15:23 PM

I would say your slowdowns are the programs scanning the harddrive. If you really want to test the multitasking performance of your cpu, you should turn on prime 95 and bf2 or super pi and bf2 because they only put a strain on your processor, not the hdd. The core 2 quadro seems to be a wickedly fast chip and I cant wait for it. Its faster clock for clock then the C2D, it overclocks great, and will be a monster for media encoding. Maybe it would be able to handle physics better in games also, and in the future when game engines could be optimised for multi core, the quad core users are going to notice a big difference.
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September 11, 2006 2:30:06 PM

Considering that this is an ES sample, the test results of the Kent Core Quadro were very impresive indeed. It shows how solid of a multi-core solution it's going to be. As discussed in the article, better code optimization in general is needed so one can get the full power and performance from 4 Cores effectively -besides the immediate benefit seemed in 3D rendering and high CPU-intensive applications.

Also, overall power consumption is one thing that has to be addressed as well. I read an article not so long ago explaining how the AMD counterpart 4x4 solution would consume much less power as the already available solution. In addition, I would keep an eye on AMD's 4x4 solution as -perhaps, better power-efficient system than Kentsfield is or will be.

I don't think that the "average joe enthusiast" will benefit from Kentsfield systems in the near future. I would rather wait until later revisions are made available, the power kinks problem are ironed out and better code optimization exist that let mundane programs take advantage of such a system. Until then, I would consider the upgrade path to such a system futile. Core2 remains a better solution in general, at the moment.

Probably I'm getting ahead of myself but a question that now -I believe- must be addressed is, what differs from a Kent-based, Wood-based and Optie-based systems? Why such latter systems are not/were not included in the benches and are not compared side by side? Perhaps this will be addressed in the future, but as pro-consumer enthusiast I would like to see such comparison.
September 11, 2006 2:36:47 PM

Quote:
Intel will walk all over AMD with its upcoming Core 2 Quadro processor. Its 8 MB L2 Cache and aggressive clock speeds will boost performance by up to 100%. Our benchmarks tell the story.


Thats overstating it a bit. This is a case where everybody needs to study the benchmarks VERY carfully.
This is certainly not a gamers CPU.
By your benchmarks it performs worse in games than a dualcore X6800 CPU and the X6800 has much better overclocking potential.
Only on very specific benchmarks the performance shows: HD video encoding, where up to 100% can be had with some overclocking. On most non-synthetic benchmarks most do not show ANY improvement over a similary clocked dual core. Quad core is for (HD) video rendering and heavy multitasking - AND you will need to make some even heavier (3-4 apps) multitasking benchmarks where the new quad (and octo) core chip can show their stuff.
Gaming is, almost by definition, single tasking work. Nobody plays an immersive game AND works at the same time :lol: 
This chip is for professionals only! This will fracture the high-performance PC market even more than today, where the gamer/professional split between Extreme Edition/single chip, and the Xeon/dual chip workstation crowd, will carry over to dual Core high clock (gaming), compared to quad core lower clock for work.

So quad core is not a universal advantage, but for videorendering and multi application work this is nice (I have already worked on a dual-dual Opteron workstation- nice 4 core system). Now we only need the Xeon edition Kentsfield for a Octo core system.
September 11, 2006 3:52:32 PM

The home user is going to require the 4 cores as high def becomes more mainstream.
September 11, 2006 4:46:40 PM

Wow...Smokin'. I'm drooling, but have never been one to blow tons of $ on a proc. Yeah I just bought a C2D, I didn;t think a quad would be out THIS soon. But...for the average user of media, etc. and a fairly hardcore gamer...the C2D will be just fine for me for at least a couple of years. I've had my old P4 for 4 yrs already :-)
So my question is, they are releasing teh quad for less than the C2DExtreme is right now...Is that gonna drop the price of the Extreme significantly? Thus dropping the price of the rest of the C2D line?
September 11, 2006 4:50:08 PM

Quote:
The home user is going to require the 4 cores as high def becomes more mainstream.


Nope.

But anyway, I'd REALLY like to see the power requirements come down. 130 TWP is dissapointing at best. At that point, the temp becomes a limiting factor for overclockability. It's also interesting to see how little the FSB affects performance when compared to the NetBurst µArch.

Either way, I'm holding out for Kentsfield. At the very least I hope it will bring down the X6800 price. I do a LOT of processor-intensive ops that would benefit from parallel processing. I think what we'll see with gaming is until PPU's become more solid, multi-cores will be utilized by physics engines that demand heavy computations. Even so, that's a ways away. This is a great workstation proc and I think it's necessary for those of us who use hardcore compilers and CAD.

4 Cores + virtualization = One very clean home server farm.
a b } Memory
September 11, 2006 5:31:21 PM

Quote:
Its faster clock for clock then the C2D


You forgot to mention that is only faster clock for clock in some applications, not all. Many/most programs showed it to be no faster then C2D. (The e6700, which runs at the same 2.66GHz) Considering the less heat and power draw for this chip, I'd take it over the C2Q anyday. (yes, I don't do any video editing.)

Its my belief that this review shows how far we still have to go in getting software to work with new hardware. Programs that can truely take advantage of multiple cores showed impressive gains, but many programs were no faster then the C2D. If more software showed gains, if the heat and power number were better, and if there weren't any hickups for any games, then this would be amazing. As it is right now, just grab a 6700 for less.
September 11, 2006 5:41:28 PM

Quote:
Quote:

This is certainly not a gamers CPU.


Similar things were said when dual cores were introduced. There will be no advantage UNTIL games are coded for multiple cores, look at the Doom patch, a nice jump in FPS was had when the second core was used.
Physics need to find a home in games, dual cores aren't quite up to the task but quad+ core CPUs could be the answer everyone settles on.

I thought Intel would actually learn from the past, making the CPUs access the bus to share info WAS/IS not the best way to do things!
September 11, 2006 5:47:40 PM

You guys ever hear the saying "don't count your chickens before they hatch" :?: Best to just wait and see what develops.

I can kinda see where this is going. 4 cores then 6 then 8....................................I have been reading in some tech magazines that some of these cores may take over some of the duties of the video card. That makes sense for someone who is a gamer. But the programing needs to catch up with the technology. What there are like 4-5 games that support dual core processors now........I am still running a single core for games and am still happy with it so far.

Yea the guy next to me at the LAN with his SLI dual core system can run BF2 all maxed out, but my system runs it just fine at 1280X1024 with medium settings and besides that I own him every time :wink:

I feel sorry for you ADHD impulsive people out there. You would sell your soul just to be the first person on the block to own a quad core system...... :twisted:
September 11, 2006 5:57:20 PM

I waited outside when the XBOX 360 came out for 2 hours, but that didn't involve selling my sole, just my hard earned money :p 

In the end, my XBOX 360 sits on the shelf gathering dust as my new computer has taken over :p 
September 11, 2006 6:07:22 PM

Errrr a rolling stone gathers no moss. So if you are dust or moss free you are ok :D  Hell I have a 1966 Mustang in my garage doing nothing but taking up space.......we all have our vices.....get in line :wink:
September 11, 2006 6:08:14 PM

The clock speed is lower what do you expect ? it performs better at 2.66 ghz then the E6700 does, so it is infact faster in games. It either matches or beats the E6700. I dont really see how ppl can claim its not a gamers cpu....even if it did loose by 1 fps would anyone notice the differece ? no. Wait till games become more multithreaded, there was a time when single cores were faster then dual cores for gaming how ever thats changing. The same thing will happen for the quad cores.
Btw theres a typo with the Serious in serious sam 2.
September 11, 2006 6:13:33 PM

Well, that is the problem. Look at the numbers. The Core Quad is NOT faster than a E6700. Same Clock, same speed - no advantage whatsoever of 2 cores more. At least in gaming and applications. Of course HD video encoding is another story, so in the future any Home Theater PC would be Quad or Octo core.
September 11, 2006 6:27:39 PM

As expected, Quad Core stuff looks exciting for the future. At present the only HD videos I get are game trailers and .hack//Roots episodes, all of which are 1280x720 and look quite nice (the .hack episodes which are in H.264 and are positively beautiful). These videos work the hell outta my aging A64 3500+ and even drop frames, I don't want to imagine 1080p running H.264 (even if my display was big enough). At this point the number of videos I can get in HD aren't enough to worry me, though I guess this will change in time...

Still waiting to see more 4x4 stuff :p 
September 11, 2006 6:35:48 PM

How long do you think thats going to stay like that. In serious sam 2 its already slightly faster clock for clock. Core 2 quadro will most likely shine under the unreal engine 3. And there is huge support for that engine.
September 11, 2006 6:40:01 PM

I thought they planned on some design by 2010, there was a toms hardware article on it. But I cant really remember.
September 11, 2006 6:40:29 PM

Quote:
The home user is going to require the 4 cores as high def becomes more mainstream.


Nope.



What would make you think it's not going to become a requirement when it has been demonstrated the advantages of multi-core with HD processing?
a b } Memory
September 11, 2006 6:56:53 PM

Quote:
The clock speed is lower what do you expect ? it performs better at 2.66 ghz then the E6700 does, so it is infact faster in games.


What??? Did you read the article?
http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/09/10/four_cores_on_th...

Heres the page with the gaming benchmarks, lets review. Stock C2Q vs 6700. C2Q can't run CoD, so win one for the 6700. In Quake four, they score the same 182FPS, so its a tie. (0 to 1, or 1 to 2, take your pick.) Moving on to unreal 2004, C2Q loses again. I prefer 0 to 2, C2Q still hasn't won a single benchie. Finally, we hit the last test, Serious Sam. (I'll spell that the way its supposed to be spelled...) C2Q FINALLY scores a 1FPS win. I don't see how you can claim that C2Q is faster clock for clock then C2D. It won only one test, by one FPS at that.
It only performs better then the 6700 at programs that support multi cores better. Gaming isn't it. (yet)
September 11, 2006 7:21:37 PM

[quote="Thats overstating it a bit. This is a case where everybody needs to study the benchmarks VERY carfully. [/quote]

Funny you should mention this - I was studying the VGA benchmarks very carefully and compared them to several other websites - just Google 1950, 7950 benchmarks and Prey or HL2 or F.E.A.R. - you'll find several benchmarks that really contradict the benchmarks in the VGA charts. I'm hoping it is just an accidental mislabling the various cards, not something nefarious or anything else.

It is hard for me to put much stock in any of the Tom's benchmarks until this gets corrected - however since I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago and nothing has been done, it makes me have less faith in Tom's all the time which is a shame because this used to be my one stop for a great deal of hardware news. Hopefully Tom will consider reviewing the data posted on his site in the future as I see I'm not alone in this concern.

If just one or two sites had data that was contradictory to Tom's results I'd guess it was just an environment issue or more tests were needed however I went to six sites all with similar although not identical results that all had significant results differences from Tom's. I'm not an ATI or nVidia fanboy. I understand how features in a game effect speed however that data posted currently is rediculously far from the other sites as to which cards are better.

I'd really recommend the VGA chart get taken down until a retest can be arranged for the sake fo Tom's good name and integrity.
September 11, 2006 7:34:47 PM

Quote:
IMO, quad core is over kill for windows xp.

When is a overkill not good for us :) :) 
September 11, 2006 7:56:01 PM

Quote:
The home user is going to require the 4 cores as high def becomes more mainstream.


Nope.



What would make you think it's not going to become a requirement when it has been demonstrated the advantages of multi-core with HD processing?

I think you have some wires crossed here...


"HD Processing" is 1080i/1080p to the mainstream, and is more dependant upon the GPU, not the CPU. Computers have been chewing through 1080p "HD" for years now with no problem.

I'm not saying 4 cores won't be utilized, because they will eventually. I'm saying "multi-core" really has no bearing with regards to "HD processing." Multi-cores affect game mechanics much more than visual definition (with few exceptions).
September 11, 2006 8:26:39 PM

Intel only plans to release up to a 2.66GHz Core 2 Quadro, correct? So, the 3.0 & 3.33GHz data is really projective and not currently available, apart from the overclockers.

When you don't look at the 3.0 & 3.33, the Quad 2.66 isn't all that impressive, it loses some benchmarks with the X6800 even in its strength areas such as video (tho, other times wins easily, like in H.264 encoding).

Nonetheless, the 3.0 & 3.33 should be expected to arrive at some point, depending on yields probably. Perhaps this particular chip was a better than typical example of their product.

Just thinking, the first Pentium Ds were formed similarly, and when they finally went to a true dual core solution, there was a gain. Could a native quad core processor provide a similar gain compared to these types stuck together dual cores?
September 11, 2006 8:55:36 PM

Quote:
Intel will walk all over AMD with its upcoming Core 2 Quadro processor. Its 8 MB L2 Cache and aggressive clock speeds will boost performance by up to 100%. Our benchmarks tell the story.

Intel may have went quad core to soon. I expected the games benchmarks to be dead even but only video compression got better. Im excluding simulation tests which seemed to be the only advantage to quad. Intels top quad, or atleast thg said is the top CPU, is only a 2.66GHz which benchmarks show, 2 Intel, dual cores beating the crap out of. This with the fact that on air the quad can only go up to 3.4GHz and the Core 2 duo maxs out on air above 4Ghz.
If Intel cant improve Kentfield then an AMD 4X4 is going to make light work of Intels new quad. To be fair some programs in the benchmarks need to be optimized for Kentsfield. I dont think AMD's 4X4 will need these optimizations as HT and dual CPU mobo's using HT are old hat. The important thing to note here is will gamers want a low GHz quad or high GHz Core 2 duo.
My son will want a high GHz Core 2 duo as they will increase his current single threaded games performance and have dual core when its needed later.
My final question is will Kentsfield over come the 600MHz deficit to Core 2 duo or will Intel not up the Core 2 duo's GHz in favor of Kentsfield? Intel will clearly need to charge more for the Kentsfield and wouldnt want Core 2 duo competing.
September 11, 2006 9:40:59 PM

i only see 1 use for a quad core as of right now and thats servers or big buisnesses.
September 11, 2006 10:52:44 PM

You said there's a dual core patch for doom 3?? Could you link it to me please? i can't find it anywhere
September 11, 2006 11:07:20 PM

Tom's, lets see some x264 benchmarks! pretty please!

that processor encodes like a mad man :) 
September 11, 2006 11:22:12 PM

Quote:
The home user is going to require the 4 cores as high def becomes more mainstream.


Nope.



I disagree. That is like saying "Who needs more than 640k". If the resource is available, it will be used. Games or otherwise. Take Vista for example.
September 12, 2006 12:37:53 AM

What magical butt did you manage to pull out this cpu all of a sudden? Not provided by Intel!?


LIES!
September 12, 2006 3:03:45 AM

Quote:
IMO, quad core is over kill for windows xp.

When is a overkill not good for us :) :) 

overkill is more than we need,and the pc has not yet attained that status.
when we are rendering games in real time,and have 60% overhead ;that will be overkill;untill we play 2 such games at one time.

heres your future gamer,playing online in several different games,all renered in real time.

what in that scenario would be overkill?64 cores?sokolum is right,when is overkill not a good thing? :p 

when people don't have an OS that supports it correctly :?:
September 12, 2006 5:18:27 AM

Has anyone seen any pricing information on the Quadra?
September 12, 2006 1:09:20 PM

Boe I want to say something about anomolous benchmark results on the VGA charts. Have you checked the entire tested system at the other sites to confirm that they are the same? For example, if THG VGA chart has a 7900GT that scores XXXX FPS an a given game, but anandtech or madshrimps or firingsquad has a different FPS, you have to check the system specs. If firingsquad used a C2D, but THG used A64, there would be a different score. The concept behind the VGA charts, as I see it, is to compare the cards to each other with identical systems. So if the older GPU's were benched with A64 processors, the new GPU's would have to be benched with A64 also to get an accurate reading of the cards compared to each other; this would cause THG to not match other sites, who are probably using C2D. If you have checked the entire testbeds and they match, but THG still gets different readings, check the resolution and quality settings!

Hope this helps.
September 12, 2006 4:45:12 PM

Hey, more performance is always good news. Keep things fresh, not stale, keep looing for ways to move ahead. Sometimes it turns out to be a dead end, but in the end progress always occurs.
As for myself, I do a lot of Photoshop CS2 and run multi apps all the time, how can this not be good news?
September 12, 2006 5:53:28 PM


verndewd


You were quite right. I printed the article and read it propped up in bed, trying to keep my eyes open, before I turned the lights out. I missed that sentence that had any info regarding pricing.
September 12, 2006 6:02:02 PM

Let's be honest, you really don't need this for gaming at least not for a few years. Even dual-core is a bit overkill. Moer of your gameplay is impacted by your video card at this point.

Unless you are doing animation, editing, or especially 3D rendering, with a muti-threaded renderer, you are wasting your money. Actually I don't know why at this point Tom's hardware insists on using 3DS Max as a render test. I don't believe it's a multithreaded renderer is it? Unless they are referring to Mental Ray, which is a perfect example of what they should use to test.
September 12, 2006 8:28:31 PM

Quote:
Let's be honest, you really don't need this for gaming at least not for a few years.

If everybody looked at the benchmarks -instead of saying that quad is the fastest CPU yet - it can be seen that quad core does not add anything to gaming performance. A dualcore is much faster (and cheaper), and due to thermal performance can be overclocked much more. If you look at recent workstation quad core tests with the Xeon 51XX series/5000X chipset (with lame FB-DIMM RAM), it is even more obvious - quad core does not benefit game playing. If gaming is your main application, then stay away from these chips until new games are written to take advantage of this - and this will take a few years. The "State of the art" chip for gaming will be the highest clocked dual core Intel chip for at least another year. Kentsfield/Woodcrest/AMD 4x4 are far from the pinnacle of gaming performance.

- Don't fall for the: "If it is newer, it must be better".

Quote:
Actually I don't know why at this point Tom's hardware insists on using 3DS Max as a render test. I don't believe it's a multithreaded renderer is it?


On TH's tests (and Anandtechs), the 3DSMax renderer is one of the very few apps which DO scale very well when adding cores. So it must be a good multitreader. Also my experience from a HP xw9300 quad core Opteron workstation.
September 13, 2006 1:12:48 AM

Quote:
Boe I want to say something about anomolous benchmark results on the VGA charts. Have you checked the entire tested system at the other sites to confirm that they are the same?


Thanks - I did notice the environments were slightly different and did mention that. However, I mentioned in another thread - different game patch levels, different drivers and different CPU's can only register so much of a difference in the CPU however that to a degree will effect all the benchmarks - there aren't too many patches that only effect the intel processor or the AMD processor. There would most likely be a proportional benchmark result - that is not the case here - yet freakishly enough every other site had that same result - not in FPS but in proportional difference between the cards.
September 13, 2006 1:35:17 AM

Its not a true quad core its two dual cores put in 1 package and the 8mb can't be used by all the cores.
September 13, 2006 1:48:02 AM

Quote:
Its not a true quad core its two dual cores put in 1 package and the 8mb can't be used by all the cores.


So what? :roll:

It doesn´t seem to hinder performance the way it did the Pentium Ds and i bet the manufacturing is cheaper this way than a native Quad on 65nm.
September 13, 2006 2:06:51 AM

Heck with quad core I want Octo Cores !!! lol Its fun but honestly I can see Intel releaseing those next year some time.... I think cores will be the new Mhz war ! I can see it now, some customer walks in Best Buy and gets the salesmen who says "Yes this is the new Intel chip in it.. and yes it has twice the power of the old dual core systems !"
September 13, 2006 2:07:33 AM

Boe,
I'd really like to talk more about this but I think we're in the wrong thread to do so. Would you please link the thread you previously mentioned? I'd like to take a more in-depth look at these anomalies, because THG is my primary source of Hardware info and I'd like to be confident that I'm getting good data.

Thanks
September 13, 2006 2:21:23 AM

Quote:
Boe,
I'd really like to talk more about this but I think we're in the wrong thread to do so. Would you please link the thread you previously mentioned? I'd like to take a more in-depth look at these anomalies, because THG is my primary source of Hardware info and I'd like to be confident that I'm getting good data.

Thanks


http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/Red-Hot-VGA-Cha...

Please note I'm not exactly the only person to have noticed the issues. I do not post the card which is most incorrectly represented as people might think I'm a fanboy - I tend to buy the other brands cards even though the card that should be at the top for just about everything belongs to a company I only buy 35% of the time (I buy A LOT of cards for my clients).
September 13, 2006 4:53:22 AM

Quote:
Let's be honest, you really don't need this for gaming at least not for a few years. Even dual-core is a bit overkill. Moer of your gameplay is impacted by your video card at this point.

Unless you are doing animation, editing, or especially 3D rendering, with a muti-threaded renderer, you are wasting your money. Actually I don't know why at this point Tom's hardware insists on using 3DS Max as a render test. I don't believe it's a multithreaded renderer is it? Unless they are referring to Mental Ray, which is a perfect example of what they should use to test.


I never said you did need quad core for gaming. I simply stated that it's over kill due to the lack of an operating system that can use it correctly, as well as applications. *sighs* You know, I really feel I wasted my money on a Conroe setup... the only reason I did it was because my Athlon 64 was S754 and the mobo had an AGP slot and i figured it'd be better to just get a new computer altogether, rather than get a new mobo that supports S754 and PCI Express. Sadly, I feel that operating system wise, my Athlon runs smoother than my Conroe. Game wise, conroe runs very good.

Point being made: Um, I have college and work and girlfriend = no time to play with my new EXPENSIVE toy :cry: 
September 13, 2006 7:51:50 AM

Hi stranger.
I completely agree and like to add two points:


1) I've noticed now a couple of times that a fair amount of these "benchmark" batteries in THG appear to be complete shots in the darkness. I would even go as far as saying they are pointless.
Example: The Quake or Call of Duty benchmarks.

Did Toms hardware actually bother to contact the gaming studio and enquire
a) If the particular game is multithreaded?
b) And if yes, how many threads does it use?

Without this information I have a quite hard time to get any useful conclusions out of the results:
In case they don't use more than two theads - then the entire exercise is pointless. Or if they do - what do I see then: A medioce threaded application or a shitty SMP chip or both or something else (like a memory bandwidth problem)?

In this light I slowly wouldn't be surprised to find in the near future the following fictive review in THG:

THG tested a Beowulf cluster consisting of 256 Conroe rigs.
Here the findings: A single instance of "Doom" appeared not to be accelerated, 3D Studio Max (@stranger: supports actually SMP and work sharing in rendering farms) went through the roof AND - that's why our tester was absolutely blown away, we found that we were able to encode 128 MPEG movies together with 128 instances of Half-life quite crisply.
Very nice, but so what?

2) I would intuitively assume that if I have a spanky new quad core CPU in my hands and I'd like to have a look if this thing is a "hot" CPU or not, I would by select benchies that unearth the stengths and pitfalls of the chip compard with other existing four proc SMP soluttions.
Why is Core 2 Quadro not benchmarked against a four proc AMD or IBM rig on some established server or smp number crunching benchmarks?
Because THG got the chip from Intel and liked to hammer out an article asap, so let's get the usual benchies and off we are ...
In case the entire shebang is lacking conclusions, well, we just call the article: "Intel's Core 2 Quadro Kentsfield: Four Cores on a Rampage".
There was a time when THG was different...

I f I just go back and have a second look: You could write the entire conclusion + Editor's Opinion section without actually testing the chip at all, just based on common sense.
September 13, 2006 2:48:42 PM

Quote:

I never said you did need quad core for gaming. I simply stated that it's over kill due to the lack of an operating system that can use it correctly, as well as applications. *sighs* You know, I really feel I wasted my money on a Conroe setup... the only reason I did it was because my Athlon 64 was S754 and the mobo had an AGP slot and i figured it'd be better to just get a new computer altogether, rather than get a new mobo that supports S754 and PCI Express. Sadly, I feel that operating system wise, my Athlon runs smoother than my Conroe. Game wise, conroe runs very good.


How exactly does XP not support 4 cores correctly? The windows scheduler has no problem running on 2 or 4 threads.

If your Athlon 64 is running smoother than your conroe, then perhaps you did something wrong (or you have some flaky hardware). Maybe a $350 Conroe with a $50 mobo was a bad idea after all ;) 
September 13, 2006 3:11:30 PM

Quote:

I never said you did need quad core for gaming. I simply stated that it's over kill due to the lack of an operating system that can use it correctly, as well as applications. *sighs* You know, I really feel I wasted my money on a Conroe setup... the only reason I did it was because my Athlon 64 was S754 and the mobo had an AGP slot and i figured it'd be better to just get a new computer altogether, rather than get a new mobo that supports S754 and PCI Express. Sadly, I feel that operating system wise, my Athlon runs smoother than my Conroe. Game wise, conroe runs very good.


How exactly does XP not support 4 cores correctly? The windows scheduler has no problem running on 2 or 4 threads.

If your Athlon 64 is running smoother than your conroe, then perhaps you did something wrong (or you have some flaky hardware). Maybe a $350 Conroe with a $50 mobo was a bad idea after all ;) 

Uh, you can get an ASUS P5W DH Deluxe for $50??? Sorry, I don't buy products from street dealers. I guess you missed the signature.

Windows might recognize 4 cores, but does it optimize it's work load across the 4?
September 13, 2006 5:05:54 PM

Quote:
Uh, you can get an ASUS P5W DH Deluxe for $50??? Sorry, I don't buy products from street dealers. I guess you missed the signature.

Windows might recognize 4 cores, but does it optimize it's work load across the 4?


Don't take offense: it was said tongue-in-cheek :)  I'm just saying that there's enough info out there stating that the core 2 is [much] faster, so if you're the exception to the rule, there's probably a reason. If it's faster in games and not windows, perhaps it's I/O (i.e. Drivers, controller, etc).

Try this.

Anyway, the Windows XP scheduler (the mechanism that handles scheduling thread quantums) is the same as windows [server] 2000 (and probably windows 2003). The OS will scale to something like 16 or 32 processers very well. Any processor limitations imposed on XP are artificial. For example, XP home limits you to 1 processor (two if hyper-threading). This is a check that is placed on the scheduler, but the multi-proc HAL is the same.

The same goes for 4-core systems. XP will limit the number of physical processors as of SP2, but will recognize and use multiple hardware threads/cores.

In short, yes, XP is optimized for multi-core systems. You can even run a quadro with XP home, which is limited to one processor, and still use all 4 cores (granted you have SP2 installed). The code that distributes the tasks is the same (the kernel's scheduler) whether you have 1 processor with 4 cores or 8 processors with 1 core each.

( link )
September 13, 2006 5:54:28 PM

ic... do they by any chance have a program that I can use to will allow me to assign certain tasks to one of the two processors? Or is it faster for a program to spread across two, like converting from .avi to DVD format...

I was thinking about being able to conver a movie on one core while being able to play a game on the other core...
September 13, 2006 6:00:04 PM

Quote:
Windows might recognize 4 cores, but does it optimize it's work load across the 4?


Yes, Windows is in fact a quite good multi-tasker, multi-processor operating system. I have tried up to 4 cores, and if you have a lot of treads, Windows distributes them very well, with no problem between the different applications. Sometimes a multi-threaded application can have internal problems, due to race, and dead-lock problems - hardly the fault of Windows. If you want a single application to take advantage of extra cores, the application typically needs to be rewritten. It is normally not a trivial task to divide the work between several treads, unless it is for something relatively simpel as a background printing process. There are very few real multi treaded programs on the market today.
A can remember some tests which documents that Windows scales well up to 8 cores, but then gets decreasing returns for every added core.
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