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Best non multi tasking CPU

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December 15, 2006 8:52:08 AM

I am about to buy a new desktop and don't know which processor to go for.

I have a laptop for everyday use, but need a new PC to run large financial models in Excel as the laptop is not fast enough to run these (Toshiba Satellite Pro A100, based on Intel Core Duo 1.8).

The models are very large (many sheets with hundreds of thousands of lines all with numerous calculations in them). My current PC locks up and the laptop takes ages to calculate.

I will literally only be running Excel and no other programmes, would it be best to go for a single core processor as no multi tasking is required? Will I see any benefit from a dual core.

I was thinking of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (The 6800 is too expensive)
or
Intel Pentium 4 950 Dual Core 3.4GHz

Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

More about : multi tasking cpu

December 15, 2006 9:08:45 AM

What makes the C2D such a powerful dual-core processor is that it's also the most powerful processor for a single-thread as well. The E6300 in general would beat a 3.4GHz P4 in almost everything, so the E6700 would be considerably faster still.
December 15, 2006 9:14:16 AM

Core 2 owns everything in, well, like pretty much everything. For the love of god, don't buy a P4 or PD.
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December 15, 2006 9:41:01 AM

Very good advice. Remember there are always many processes running in the background, so a dual core will more efficiently execute all tasks in concert with Excel. Also, note that the E6600 is a better bang for the buck than the E6700.
December 15, 2006 9:52:06 AM

Quote:
I am about to buy a new desktop and don't know which processor to go for.


My advise below...

Quote:
I will literally only be running Excel and no other programmes, would it be best to go for a single core processor as no multi tasking is required? Will I see any benefit from a dual core.


The thing is that nowadays the best deals (price/performance) are all dual core. Of course you could go for a cheap old CPU (P4 or AMD64) but i believe it's not worth it.
Another thing is that even using Excel or one other application at a time, there are always other system tasks that take advantage of the dual core system.

Quote:
I was thinking of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (The 6800 is too expensive)
or
Intel Pentium 4 950 Dual Core 3.4GHz


Your selection surprises me a bit since you requested back there single core advise and then you point 2 DC cpu's and none the entry level

E6700 is a better option. If you are planning just using Excel or other light applications you can save a couple of bucks and buy a E6300 maybe with a little more memory...

Just my 2 cents here
December 15, 2006 9:56:08 AM

Quote:
I was thinking of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (The 6800 is too expensive)
or
Intel Pentium 4 950 Dual Core 3.4GHz

:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

Are we still discussing this? :lol: 

The E6700 will totally kill the crap out of any P4, any Core 2 will kill any P4/D. Not even close.

:lol: 

Just for the record, TMG points (in FEAR heavy game) as the best Single Core Intel Pentium 4 670 and AMD FX60. Ditto!
:-)
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December 15, 2006 10:01:06 AM

Quote:
Just for the record, TMG points (in FEAR heavy game) as the best Single Core Intel Pentium 4 670 and AMD FX60. Ditto!


Just to set the record straight, the FX-60 is a dual core @ 2.6Ghz, and the FX-57 is a single core San Diego @ 2.8Ghz.
December 15, 2006 10:52:04 AM

Cheers for all the advice....the 6700 it is. :D 

I guess the reason I raised this question is because when running my core 2 duo laptop, if I look at task manager when excel is number crunching it says that the amount of cpu being used is 50%....i.e only half of the pair, with other applications using only a minimal amount of the other half (maybe 1-2%).

Given that the P4 is 3.4 Ghz (Of which I assume 100% will be used) and the 6700 is 2.67 Ghz.....I thought in pure Excel terms it may be better.

I stand corrected......watch this space for some more stupid questions as I work ot the rest of the spec! :roll:
December 15, 2006 11:27:52 AM

Quote:
I was thinking of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (The 6800 is too expensive)



You are right that 6800 is way too expensive but in my opinion(as Computronix opinion) is that C2D 6600 is the best solution and considerably cheaper than 6700. You can easily overclock the 6600 to a 6800 and above as long you have a decent mobo and memory modules.If you are not interesting in OC then 6700 is a good choice.
December 15, 2006 11:39:45 AM

Hmmm, I'll have to look into overclocking....I've not really played around with my setup before......I don't want to fry anything!
December 15, 2006 11:42:54 AM

Hmmmm...so if you overclock a E6600/Xeon 3060 to X6800 levels one's system should still last 3-5 years with stock cooling or ~$30 US aftermarket CPU cooler? ...and be as quiet as the non-overclocked X6800?
December 15, 2006 12:29:13 PM

You said that you only want to use Excel and then even the 6600 is overkill. 6300 or 6400 is enough. I doubt that the extra 2Mb cache(that the 6600 cpu and above have) will do any difference im Excel.

I have no private experience in OC but I have read a lot of forums about it and got to the conclusion that you put a minimum risk when OC a 6600 to a 6800 but then again, if you don´t need the extra Mhz then why take that risk?
December 15, 2006 12:43:47 PM

Quote:
Hmmmm...so if you overclock a E6600/Xeon 3060 to X6800 levels one's system should still last 3-5 years with stock cooling or ~$30 US aftermarket CPU cooler? ...and be as quiet as the non-overclocked X6800?



All the C2D cpu:s except 6800 are wasting 65W power. The 6800 is wasting 75W. These figures are when the cpu is in idle. However, when you OC a 6600 to a 6800´s level then I simply don´t know if it remains in 75W or higher. Generally speaking, if you want to OC a cpu and keep it that way for years ahead then investing in a good cooler for about ~$30US is a good idea. As you know that the lower cpu temp you have through the years the better the propability is to have a cpu that last longer. Stock cooling is enough for a non-OC cpu but stock cooling tend often to be a low-quality product that makes more noise and generate higher idle temp.

I don´t know if a OC 6600 will as quiet a a non-OC 6800.
December 15, 2006 1:00:36 PM

I have T2400 1.83Ghz core duo in my laptop with 1GB ram, but this is not fast enough for the Excel calcs I run, so I was going to upgrade the desktop to the 6600 with 2GB to try and enhance.

I've just read that Excel 2007 takes advantage of dual core processors by multi-threading calculations....I think I'll buy Excel 2007 first to see how it runs on my laptop before making a final decision....hopefully OC will not be necessary.
December 15, 2006 1:04:12 PM

Quote:
Hmmmm...so if you overclock a E6600/Xeon 3060 to X6800 levels one's system should still last 3-5 years with stock cooling or ~$30 US aftermarket CPU cooler? ...and be as quiet as the non-overclocked X6800?



All the C2D cpu:s except 6800 are wasting 65W power. The 6800 is wasting 75W. These figures are when the cpu is in idle. However, when you OC a 6600 to a 6800´s level then I simply don´t know if it remains in 75W or higher. Generally speaking, if you want to OC a cpu and keep it that way for years ahead then investing in a good cooler for about ~$30US is a good idea. As you know that the lower cpu temp you have through the years the better the propability is to have a cpu that last longer. Stock cooling is enough for a non-OC cpu but stock cooling tend often to be a low-quality product that makes more noise and generate higher idle temp.

I don´t know if a OC 6600 will as quiet a a non-OC 6800.

Thanks for that info!
December 18, 2006 8:11:41 AM

Quote:
Just for the record, TMG points (in FEAR heavy game) as the best Single Core Intel Pentium 4 670 and AMD FX60. Ditto!


Just to set the record straight, the FX-60 is a dual core @ 2.6Ghz, and the FX-57 is a single core San Diego @ 2.8Ghz.

Right. And to get even straighter it's not "TMG" but "THG".... :-)
December 18, 2006 11:59:40 AM

Quote:
I am about to buy a new desktop and don't know which processor to go for.

I have a laptop for everyday use, but need a new PC to run large financial models in Excel as the laptop is not fast enough to run these (Toshiba Satellite Pro A100, based on Intel Core Duo 1.8).

The models are very large (many sheets with hundreds of thousands of lines all with numerous calculations in them). My current PC locks up and the laptop takes ages to calculate.

I will literally only be running Excel and no other programmes, would it be best to go for a single core processor as no multi tasking is required? Will I see any benefit from a dual core.

I was thinking of the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (The 6800 is too expensive)
or
Intel Pentium 4 950 Dual Core 3.4GHz

Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated.

If you don't use multithreaded apps and need a good single core, the best bang/buck is a Athlon64 3800+ or a faster a FX-57.
December 18, 2006 12:03:37 PM

You will have benefit with dualcore. Е6700 is awesome CPU, but I will recomend you E6600 or E6400. Their performance/price factor is much higher.
I have E6400 overclocked at 3.2GHz on a Gigabyte GA965P-DS3(Intel 965P chipset) mainboard. If you consider OC-ing, I think that the E6400 can offer the best bang for the buck.
December 18, 2006 12:14:10 PM

I wouldn't use an overclocked CPU for business purposes.
And if a Core Duo 1 CPU is not fast enough for him, i wouldn't recommend anything less than an E6700.
If he needs single core on the cheap, again don't go for anything less than FX-57.
But the E6700 is better even in single threaded apps, if he can afford it.
December 18, 2006 1:01:28 PM

Quote:
You will have benefit with dualcore. Е6700 is awesome CPU, but I will recomend you E6600 or E6400. Their performance/price factor is much higher.
I have E6400 overclocked at 3.2GHz on a Gigabyte GA965P-DS3(Intel 965P chipset) mainboard. If you consider OC-ing, I think that the E6400 can offer the best bang for the buck.

You're going to far (an I did too) because he's only going to run Excel and a CeleronD/Sempron is more than enough for that.
December 18, 2006 1:27:11 PM

Nope, he's not going to run Excel to keep track how much he bench-presses or weights over 6 months, like me and you do. :D 
He said that he runs large financial models on it, and that a Core Duo 1 (which is a fast cpu, by all means) is way too slow for him!
December 18, 2006 2:22:00 PM

Check this out:

HWI Excel benchmark

This test measures how long it takes to calculate a complex financial spreadsheet.

Excel benchmark
December 18, 2006 4:25:22 PM

Quote:
Check this out:

HWI Excel benchmark

This test measures how long it takes to calculate a complex financial spreadsheet.

Excel benchmark

Just as I was thinking; This thing is not multithreaded, that's why tha mighty Core2 Extreme is not even 2X faster than a sempron 3600+ and if for you those times are not multiplied by some large factor (if real life tables don't take much longer), It does not really make much sense to have a Core2 over a Sempron.
December 18, 2006 6:12:11 PM

Quote:
Check this out:

HWI Excel benchmark

This test measures how long it takes to calculate a complex financial spreadsheet.

Excel benchmark

Just as I was thinking; This thing is not multithreaded, that's why tha mighty Core2 Extreme is not even 2X faster than a sempron 3600+ and if for you those times are not multiplied by some large factor (if real life tables don't take much longer), It does not really make much sense to have a Core2 over a Sempron.

Yes, he may be much better with Excel 2007.
Anyone know how much improvement it offers due to multithreading?
December 18, 2006 6:15:42 PM

It is probably more of a ram issue than a CPU performance issue. Is the CPU pegged at 100%? If not, upgrade your ram and be done with it.

BTW, dual core CPUs won't help you in Excel.

EDIT: after looking over the whole thread, it appears you are indeed CPU bound. My hat is off to you. Most ppl never max out their CPU using office apps. A midrange core 2 duo should work nice, as would an Athlon FX single core CPU, if you could find one for a reasonable price.
December 18, 2006 6:41:09 PM

Yes, single core athlon64s are currently dirt cheap and offer the best singlethreaded price/performance yet.
December 18, 2006 7:05:31 PM

Hello!?
Do you think a Sempron is any faster than Core Duo 1???? :roll:
How is that gonna be an upgrade?
Core Duo 1 = Athlon 64 X2, clock for clock (except in FP intensive applications)
December 18, 2006 7:26:25 PM

Quote:

If you don't use multithreaded apps and need a good single core, the best bang/buck is a Athlon64 3800+ or a faster a FX-57.


I bought an FX-55 two weeks ago on Newegg for $129 shipped (OEM). The FX-57 doesn't offer much better performance and is considerably more.

I've got an OEM 3000+ Athlon 64 I'm willing to let go for around $50 or so shipped. PM me for details.
December 18, 2006 7:30:10 PM

Quote:
It is probably more of a ram issue than a CPU performance issue. Is the CPU pegged at 100%? If not, upgrade your ram and be done with it.

BTW, dual core CPUs won't help you in Excel.

EDIT: after looking over the whole thread, it appears you are indeed CPU bound. My hat is off to you. Most ppl never max out their CPU using office apps. A midrange core 2 duo should work nice, as would an Athlon FX single core CPU, if you could find one for a reasonable price.


I agree, anything is better than his laptop. An Athlon64 with some value ram would suit his calculations. He could get a whole system for <$300.
December 18, 2006 8:00:16 PM

And you're wrong! :lol: 
You and m25, please look at this:
(link)
A Pentium-M 1.8 is on par with an Athlon 64 3500+ in many applications (non FP intensive).
He has a Core Duo, whose performance is very close to an X2 3800+! (here Anandtech shows a 2.0GHz Core Duo trading blows with X2 3800+ and 4200+).
How can you suggest him to "upgrade" to a Sempron?
Is there any Sempron which is faster than an X2 3800+?
I agree that he needs more RAM, but that's it.
December 18, 2006 8:04:39 PM

Quote:
Hello!?
Do you think a Sempron is any faster than Core Duo 1???? :roll:
How is that gonna be an upgrade?
Core Duo 1 = Athlon 64 X2, clock for clock (except in FP intensive applications)

No, I just forgot he had it :oops:  . However, since a good sempron was not that far from a Core2, the same applies to the Core Solo(or Duo). Don't know what kind of operation it is, but if it's just about the test time (~40-80seconds) and if you I wouldn't do it too often, I just wouldn't bother getting a new CPU. If on the other hand it's like rendering, it's totally a different story.
December 18, 2006 8:07:12 PM

You can download a free 60 day trial of various office products from this MS location: Office 2007 Free 60-day Trial

The quickest download would be Office 2007 Standard.

Quote:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HP100541491033....

Change the number of processors used to calculate formulas

A computer can have more than one processor (it contains multiple physical processors) or can be hyperthreaded (it contains multiple logical processors). On these computers, you can improve or control the time it takes to recalculate workbooks that contain many formulas by setting the number of processors to use for recalculation. In many cases, portions of a recalculation workload can be performed simultaneously. Splitting this workload across multiple processors can reduce the overall time it takes complete the recalculation.

1. Click the Microsoft Office Button Button image, click Excel Options, and then click the Advanced category.
2. To enable or disable the use of multiple processors during calculation, in the Formulas section, select or clear the Enable multi-threaded calculation check box.

Note This check box is enabled by default and all processors are used during calculation. The number of processors on your computer is automatically detected and displayed next to the Use all processors on this computer option.

3. Optionally, if you select Enable multi-threaded calculation, you can control the number of processors to use on your computer. For example, you might want to limit the number of processors used during recalculation if you have other programs running on your computer that require dedicated processing time.
December 18, 2006 8:08:30 PM

Quote:

If you don't use multithreaded apps and need a good single core, the best bang/buck is a Athlon64 3800+ or a faster a FX-57.


I bought an FX-55 two weeks ago on Newegg for $129 shipped (OEM). The FX-57 doesn't offer much better performance and is considerably more.

I've got an OEM 3000+ Athlon 64 I'm willing to let go for around $50 or so shipped. PM me for details.
Haven't you noticed my signature?! :wink:
And it's a retail piece that overclocks like hell :D  Why did you get a FX-55 when you could send your 3000+ there? For something more ($180), I hope to receive a X2 4200+ around christmas
December 18, 2006 8:29:15 PM

Quote:
And you're wrong! :lol: 
You and m25, please look at this:
(link)
A Pentium-M 1.8 is on par with an Athlon 64 3500+ in many applications (non FP intensive).
He has a Core Duo, whose performance is very close to an X2 3800+! (here Anandtech shows a 2.0GHz Core Duo trading blows with X2 3800+ and 4200+).
How can you suggest him to "upgrade" to a Sempron?
Is there any Sempron which is faster than an X2 3800+?
I agree that he needs more RAM, but that's it.


He's being RAM limited by his laptop. Laptops are slow. Period. Unless you want no battery life, heat problems and have thousands to blow. I'm guessing he has a 5400rpm in it and his graphics suck.

m25:

No, I didn't see your sig. But that offer wasn't necessarily to you, it was just...out there. :-P I have a 4200+ in this system and an FX-55 in my X-Qpack. For a mere $129, why the hell wouldn't I upgrade to the FX-55? If I turn around and sell the 3000+ for $50 or so...
December 19, 2006 12:33:53 PM

I've finally decided to go for the 6600....this should give me considerable improvement in Excel 2003 which I currently use and could potentially halve the calculation speed once Exel 2007 comes out which supports multi threading.

Since I don't really want to build myself, I'm considering this from MESH

http://www.meshcomputers.com/Default.aspx?PAGE=PRODUCTV...

with upgrade to 6600 and 2048MB DDR2 900MHz Memory.
December 19, 2006 4:56:12 PM

The things you should be concerned with:

They may be able to lock parts of the bios, and they may install some OEM software you don't want. Other than that it looks fine, although you could probably have them not put in the 7300GS, which sucks. Do yourself a favor and at least allow yourself to play some games on it. Buy a 7600GT card to go on the side, or maybe an ATI AIW X1900. Then you can watch tv on your computer too. Or just wait for DX10 cards to come down in price, that's not a bad option either. The more they let you customize, the better. Also, find out what HDD they're using. If it's important work you don't want a cheap-o Maxtor storing your stuff.
!