Which Dual Core? -- Doesn't really matter, right?

According to some articles I vaguely remember, it seems I want to put the money into the graphics card and system memory, right? And a fast new hard drive. And I guess the CPU doesn't matter much to final performance, if it is at least dual core, right. I mean, if I spend $100 more on the CPU vs $100 more on the graphics instead, the graphics splurge is a better value, right???

Help me modify priorities:
1. Graphics card
2. System memory
3. Fast hard drive
4. any dual core will do

Is this right?
If so, I want to look at the low priced dual cores.
Do I need to avoid a Pentium D because electricity here is about 22 cents/ kilowatt hour?
15 answers Last reply
More about which dual core doesn matter right
  1. Don't know where you heard that it didn't matter which dual core you had. Check out the "interactive CPU chart" http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html?modelx=33&model1=449&model2=432&chart=169" rel="nofollow">here, and look at some of the tasks you want to do with your computer. Going from a Pentium D 805 to a Core2Duo 6600 will provide a 25 to 50% increase in performance on the game benchmarks. I don't think you're going to see those kind of increases no matter what RAM or HD your have in your system.

    If gaming is your #1 priority, I'd set my focus on a good video card, and a good processor, and worry about the RAM and HD later. And having an un-balanced system will be frustrating, in any case, as your high-end components will be bottle-necked by your low-end components. Having that low-end component something as central as your CPU doesn't make sense to me.

    Another thing to consider is that many people do things other than play games on their system. Check out some of the other things you do on the benchmark page, like encode videos, rip music, etc.

  2. Pick up an e6300. Way more power than any Pentium D, way cheaper. D805 is a power hog that will make up the price difference in electrical bills, considering your power cost/kWh.

    EDIT: When I said "way more power", I meant way more performance power, not electrical power. The e6300 uses much less electricity than the 805
  3. for strictly gaming performance, in general priorities usually are:

    1) a fast GPU... as it will deal with handling the most intensive aspects of gaming, to provide the best performance

    2) system memory amount... its always better to have more than enough memory, than less, because if you dont have enough, it wont matter how fast your memory, or cpu is, and to a lesser extent, your gpu even (because without enough, youll be relying on the hdd for your virtual memory, which is your pagefile, which will end up slowing things waaaay down)... memory speed and timings arent as crucial as the amount of memory is, but faster memory always helps

    3) dual core cpu... for gaming, it could even be a fast single core cpu (though dual core as a minimum is still recommended, as thats where game development is heading and will provide the most benefit with AI, physics, handling background processes, smoothing out gameplay in general, etc), the cpu does not play a tremendous role in increasing your gaming performance by itself, again, by a margin of only about 5 fps at most between a 'slow' dual core, and a 'fast' dual core, especially at higher resolutions which is where the gpu will begin to bottleneck most of the time... any dual core will work just fine for gaming, all current dual cores being fairly comparable here

    4) hdd... this is more beneficial for just being able to store your games than anything, as it has little impact on actual gameplay (all current large capacity hdds offer fairly similar performance, not identical performance, but roughly similar), and for your pagefile if its turned on (a secondary physical hdd is more recommended performancewise for hosting your pagefile, if you have the option to)
  4. Quote:
    2) system memory amount... its always better to have more than enough memory, than less, because if you dont have enough, it wont matter how fast your memory, or cpu is, and to a lesser extent, your gpu even (because without enough, youll be relying on the hdd for your virtual memory, which is your pagefile, which will end up slowing things waaaay down)... memory speed and timings arent as crucial as the amount of memory is, but faster memory always helps

    2Gb is the currently accepted standard for heavy gaming these days, but I do just fine with 1Gb. Its not as smooth but definitely playable. DONT go less than 1Gb if you game at all on any game newer than 2004.
  5. yeah... definetly agree... ...since last year ive been using 2x512mb of pc3200 in winxp x64... and some games use that up completely (dark messiah and bf2 for example)... when i added a single 512mb module of pc2100, even though its noticably slower than the 2 pc3200 modules, performance was increased greatly (even using 2T timings, compared to the 1T that was set before), because it wasnt reading from the hdd nearly as much anymore (i also overclocked the memory some too, so that helped a bit also)
  6. Does the extra 512mb make that much difference? I knew 1Gb would, but 512mb? Hmmm... maybe I should look at getting some more RAM too. PC3200 of course 8)
  7. lol, yeah, it does actually :), though you would have to check the task manager to see just how much memory is actually available when youre in game (of course, lol)... xp x64 automatically consumes twice as much memory for every application in use (i believe), so its pretty easy to consume more than 1GB with the right game...

    it was the same difference playing doom 3, moving from 2x256mb pc2700 to 2x256 pc2700 & 1x512mb pc2100 (again, lol)... if youre running low on system memory while gaming, adding more will definetly provide smoother gameplay overall

    oh, almost forgot, seeing as how its 1.5GB of memory, its only running in single channel too, [this memory in use has] 2T timings, slower memory speed even with overclocking, and slower overall timings somewhat too... and its still faster than 1GB, 1T, dual channel, faster timings, and faster clock speed... ...just because the hdd isnt being accessed nearly as much
  8. Dual channel is a marketing/benchy joke, does nothing to benefit the end user really.
  9. yeah, really cant say much about it either other than for benchmark scores
  10. sure a faster cpu is a faster cpu.....but....that is not the same as which components are worth the premium dollars when you are litmiting your spending, say to $1100 instead of $2000. Then you pay attention to where you get the bang for the buck. I've been reading a litte more, and it's clear the bang for the buck is eliminating the things that slow down game play, and those are *not* the cpu, so long as it is dual core. What slows down play apparently is waiting on the hard drive, so long as the graphics are good. To reduce the hard drive waiting, I want lots of ram, and a good hard drive, after the first priority, which is apparently the GPU. So.....given I'm going to get a dual core cpu that is not a D, I'm just looking for the best bargain, and apparently AMd is very competitive on the low end there with the X2s. It's a matter of best choices, not maximum spending. I don't want to spend $200 more on a cpu. I want to spend $200 more on the gpu, it seems, from what I've read.
  11. thats not necessarily right, if you have a slower CPU then the throughput of your CPU will be slower, therefore you won't be able to get as much data from virtual memory as a higher end CPU. I think that you should spend that extra 200 evenly between the CPU and GPU
    my 2 cents not sure if everyone will agree with it :)
  12. well... the cpu would only be considered slower if it actually hampered performance at a lower resolution... ...something i completely agree with, that someone else had said before... 'getting 200 fps in a game, because the cpu is limiting your fps from going any higher, isnt exactly a bottleneck'... and thats pretty close to the actual performance of cpus today for gaming, relatively speaking... ...above 60-70 fps, youre not really gonna notice much difference... a faster cpu will only be applicable, if the gpu can handle a game flawlessly at higher resolutions... whichcase, youll still have flawless performance, even without investing in a faster cpu... ...a game is playable at 20+ fps, much above that just begins to be 'icing on the cake', so to speak... till you eventually dont notice any difference in gameplay at all between different framerates
  13. Yeah....this helps to gell my thinking. I'm going to want to save dollars on the dual core cpu for 3 reasons. One to help get a 8800 now. Two, I can upgrade the dual core cpu itself again in about 2 years to a quad, same motherboard, either amd or intel. And 3, for whatever having $100 extra in the pocket comes in handy for. Gimme the cheap dual core that's not a petium D power hog.
  14. well... you have your choice between an AMD AM2 X2 3800+ for about ~$150 (i believe 65nm AM2 quad cores will be a simple drop in upgrade to existing AM2 motherboards)

    and an Intel LGA775 E6300 Core 2 Duo for about ~$180, 65nm quad cores are already in production, but $1100+ for a cpu right now is kindof expensive

    so, either cpu choice is good... but if youre into overclocking, i would go for the E6300 (and a quality motherboard to allow for a good overclock), and that will set your upgrade path from there, for a quad core upgrade eventually
  15. my bad, it's only 20 cent/kwh now, but....news is they want a significant increase.

    Guess ya'll california boys got screwed by enron, and now it's artificially cheap for a little while there.
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