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Contemplating Quad Core

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June 19, 2007 7:30:57 AM

How long do you think it will be until quad cores (or multithreading in general) is fully utilized?

Will games like Crysis or Bioshock be able to use the multiple cores?

Also, does anyone know how the E6x50 series will overclock compared to the current Core 2 Duos? And would you reccomend 1066 Mhz RAM when overclocking a 333 FSB processor?

I'm kind of trying to decide between the new E6x50 processore and a Q6600 after the price cut. If I get the quad core, I would get 800 Mhz RAM... and if I got an E6x50 processor, I might get more expensive 1066 Mhz RAM. But overall, it would still be less expensive.

Pretty much, I am trying to find out if the quad core will be worth it. If not many applications will utilize the four cores, I'd rather have the processor that'll overclock the highest.

All opinions or thoughts are welcome. Thank you.
June 19, 2007 8:16:20 AM

considering how difficult it is to program for multiple cpu cores currently http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/32503/115/... i would speculate that you may see quite a bit more dual core smp capable games by next year (or even the year after)... at least compared to how many quad core smp capable games may be available even after 2 years from now

as tempting as quad core sounds to have... it doesnt sound like many games will be able to make much use of it for awhile... being able to program efficiently for dual cores is quite a feat of programming in itself, i would think anyhow
June 19, 2007 8:34:31 AM

ok. I'm kind of only concerned with gaming. So the quad core probably wouldn't really be that good for me right now. Maybe in a few years I'll upgrade to one.

So does anyone know about about the E6x50 series overclocking capabilities? And would you reccomend the 1066 Mhz RAM? Or would 800 Mhz on a divider be fine?

Like if it was on a 4:3 divider, you could run the E6550 at 3.73 Ghz with the 800 Mhz RAM running at speed. (Assuming you can get this high with the new chips). Anyway, that's just an example.... the divider wouldn't hurt performance too much, would it?
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June 19, 2007 8:55:37 AM

WHS^^^

Most games dont even use dual cores fully... id expect it to be at least 2-3 years before u could 'justify' the extra quad power.
(assuming there are no developments that make programing for quads easier)

But having said that... with the price cuts next month, quads will be so cheap, most ppl will go "WTH... i'll just get one anyway'
June 19, 2007 10:09:21 AM

Some of you guys are bit off on your predictions.

Quad cores are being implmented now. Games like Supreme Commander and Command and Conquer 3 are utilising quad cores (with SupCom having the better engine) already.

Also, I'll try and find a link, but most developers are tweaking their game engines (one that I'm sure of is the source engine) for multicore processors. I think the statistics were that dual cores will see a performance improvement of around 20%, while quads will see a higher, exponential increase in performance.

But, I suppose time will tell and that we'll have to wait for such engines to be released to see the advantages of quad core. Then again, you can just refer to Supreme Commander which can choke even the fastest of dual cores.
June 19, 2007 12:32:04 PM

Yeah, I heard about that. About the source engine becoming multithreaded.... What about Crysis and Bioshock? Do you know anything about those?

And what about my overclocking question? Because if the new processors don't overclock as well as the old ones, I'd rather get the quad core anyway.... has anyone heard about the overclockability of the E6x50 processors yet? Or do we just need to wait to see how they do?

It'd be nice to get a quad core now.... but it might be better to just upgrade to one in a year or two.... maybe a quad core penryn. will a current P35 motherboard support those? If not, who knows. Maybe it'll be time to switch to AMD by then....
June 19, 2007 12:52:17 PM

Not sure if this helps, and my understanding is just from some basic reading, but something else to consider is not only how the game makes use of the quad core technology but also the OS. At some point the OS is still managing activities, I would think, so it would seem to me, at some point, the OS could help properly manage the variation not compensated by the game programming. For example, open up one, or two, of the four cores specifically for the game and run over the other two cores from an OS perspective. This way you are not trying to run the game, and the OS, off of just two cores.

Anyway, just my thoughts...
June 19, 2007 1:13:25 PM

Dual core cpus are barely being fully utilized right now as it is.Some games will use both cores and some won't.And as for software,well there still is not a lot out there that will use or benifit from a quad core processor.Go with a dual core cpu.Just purchase a motherboard that can use a quad core processor,thereby future proofing yourself for a later time.Goodluck.

Dahak

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June 19, 2007 2:14:15 PM

Keep in mind that some people do several things with the PC in parallel. For example a download, a game, maybe a movie too. If the O/S or the antivirus wakes up and wants to do some maintenance work at the same time, you've already got 4 active processes. I don't know if this sounds realistic or not, but I do it all the time. I guess my software is not multithreaded yet but I am :lol: 
June 19, 2007 2:15:29 PM

BioShock will also make use of the 4 cores...one of which will be physics..
Read an interview with one of the developers for it and it looks impressive.
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June 19, 2007 3:38:01 PM

Personally, I think quad cores is a bit of an overkill. When my PC is on I sometimes play games, encode a movie to DivX 6.5 (which is multi-threaded) and use bittorrent to download stuff at the same time. I suppose I could benefit from a quadcore to reduce encoding time while I'm playing a game, but I don't know if the time is right to buy a quad core.

I think a dual core is fine for now. By the time programs (games) really start to take advantage of more cores it'll be time to upgrade anyway. By then they should be cheaper, faster and probably consume less power.

If you don't plan to upgrade for a few years, then I think buying a quad core does make more sense.
June 19, 2007 4:32:20 PM

think what most people assume is that developers will try to make their stuff use 2 cores, but they may just skip that completly and make it work better on 4cores.


But bascially, nothing is going to work on a quad core worse than a dual core aslong as the cores are the same frequency.

And q6600 at 2.4gig is more then enough.
June 19, 2007 4:33:48 PM

Bottom Line, you have to be happy with what you buy but I suggest getting a board that will handle quad core at the very least and consider buying the Q6600 in July when the prices drop. 270 for a CPU is a good price, consider the opposite question, instead of asking why you should go quad, as yourself, why not, what will you really gain by not going to a quad core!!!
June 19, 2007 5:08:15 PM

One very important question to ask yourself, is how often do you upgrade? Or how long will this build last you before your ready for another proc. If you are talking more then about a year or two, and you have the cash, go with the quad. Software may not fully utilize all the cores yet, but the os will when multitasking, and the software will catch up before you know it. Then you will be kicking yourself for not going quad.
June 19, 2007 5:13:56 PM

Quote:
One very important question to ask yourself, is how often do you upgrade? Or how long will this build last you before your ready for another proc. If you are talking more then about a year or two, and you have the cash, go with the quad. Software may not fully utilize all the cores yet, but the os will when multitasking, and the software will catch up before you know it. Then you will be kicking yourself for not going quad.


Completely agree!
June 19, 2007 5:26:05 PM

Quote:
One very important question to ask yourself, is how often do you upgrade? Or how long will this build last you before your ready for another proc. If you are talking more then about a year or two, and you have the cash, go with the quad. Software may not fully utilize all the cores yet, but the os will when multitasking, and the software will catch up before you know it. Then you will be kicking yourself for not going quad.


Completely agree!

Seconded

But quad core is more future proof, and after the july 22 price cuts they'll be so cheap anyway, I would recommend quad core unless you plan on upgrading again very soon.
June 19, 2007 5:39:56 PM

Quote:
I would recommend quad core unless you plan on upgrading again very soon.


There have been about 10 different threads on this subject. My suggestion, which I'm doing, is to go with the E6850 and wait for the 45nm quads which will clock higher and consume less power.
June 19, 2007 5:58:12 PM

Crysis, Bioshock, and my personal fave of Unreal Tournament 3 will in fact use quads...or so they say, as well as the current and future games people above have stated. Once the price drop comes I will be getting the Q6600 and will be shooting for 2.7ghz - 3ghz with my current DDR2 memory and will eventually get another 2gb of it. Unfortunately this will require me to purchase one of the 5.25" drive bay video card power supplies when I want to upgrade my video card as they are becoming so demanding on power. So I would say to go with the Quad, but I am biased since I will be getting one. Just make sure that you dont scrap on that power supply and get a good cooler for it because they are hot and power hungry. Hope this helps!

Best,

3Ball
June 19, 2007 6:43:33 PM

Quote:
I would recommend quad core unless you plan on upgrading again very soon.


There have been about 10 different threads on this subject. My suggestion, which I'm doing, is to go with the E6850 and wait for the 45nm quads which will clock higher and consume less power.

This is fine if you have the financial capability to upgrade that often, where as people like me don't so we have to get the best for our budget of the time. I am still running a Athlon XP 2500+ and when I bought it, it was at the price point that made it the most feasible. Meaning, it gave me the best performance/$. If I have my way, my next upgrade will be a quad core. Does anyone have the actual prices yet as to what they will be after the price cuts?
June 19, 2007 6:55:38 PM

Looking at the chart points out one clear question, IMO, 3Ghz dual or 2.4Ghz Quad, your call......

For what its worth i am in the same boat and i am going with the Q6600.
June 19, 2007 10:02:41 PM

Quote:
WHS^^^

Most games dont even use dual cores fully... id expect it to be at least 2-3 years before u could 'justify' the extra quad power.
(assuming there are no developments that make programing for quads easier)

But having said that... with the price cuts next month, quads will be so cheap, most ppl will go "WTH... i'll just get one anyway'


This is simply not correct, as the market is largely being driven (gaming) by consoles first and foremost, and the closest native programming to a PC is of course a 360, which, drum roll, happens to be multi-core...
June 19, 2007 10:14:07 PM

So how about overclocking on the new processors? Will it be about the same? I know the higher FSB makes it harder, but with Ram dividers, it wouldn't matter too much.

And actually, how high is reasonable for an overclock on the Q6600? I'm planning on getting the Tuniq Tower.... and I have the antec 900. So I think heat won't be much of an issue for me.....well, it will. But not as much as some people.

I think I'll go with the quad core.... I was just thinking of getting an E6550, and overclocking it really high. It'll save me about a hundred dollars. And then I can get a quad core when they're 45 nm. That's what I was thinking.

But if I get a quad core now, I'd be able to postpone my upgrading until nahalem.... but that comes out in a year though, doesn't it? So maybe I'd be able to postpone upgrading until the 32nm revision of nahalem comes out... And get a 32nm octo-core. That'd be sweet. And 2 years isn't too long to wait.
June 19, 2007 10:29:22 PM

Okay,

Two thoughts,

1) Planning on waiting a year for the 45nm will still have the price at a premium, assuming it happens in that time frame, give it about 3 - 6 months and you should be able to get a good deal, about that time i would suggest, or at least this is my plan, on upgrading to the 45nm, again assuming it is out.

2) as for the 32nm, too far out for me to even think about in this world....

Oh, one last thought, as for the overclocking, i can not say much, not an expert in that area, but from what i do know, the Q6600 is some what limited as the multiplier is locked.
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June 19, 2007 10:37:19 PM

Quote:
One very important question to ask yourself, is how often do you upgrade? Or how long will this build last you before your ready for another proc. If you are talking more then about a year or two, and you have the cash, go with the quad. Software may not fully utilize all the cores yet, but the os will when multitasking, and the software will catch up before you know it. Then you will be kicking yourself for not going quad.


If you read the last sentence of my post you would have noticed that I have already addressed this issue.

Quote:

If you don't plan to upgrade for a few years, then I think buying a quad core does make more sense.
June 19, 2007 10:45:46 PM

From what little I know, the near future is still dual-core.
Intel came out with SSE4 which will greatly accerate video processing (and I expect games also).
So for those applications, it makes more sense to wait for the Penryn core late this year than Quad-Core now.
So, for quad core, applications need to be specifically written for more than 2 cores. The only app I can think of is 3D Studio. (maybe photoshop)
If any game uses quad, it will be Crysis. Even now I don't expect it will. (unless you want to play at MAX settings while burning a CD and running Linux in VM-Ware)

In the more distant future, after 2010, CPUs will have 16, 100, 1000 cores mixing general purpose and specalized cores for supercomputer power. Intel/AMD will make a 'exoskeleton' (abstraction wrapper) that will make it easier to program these way complex chips. So, by then multi-cores will be mainstream.

NO PROOF, so I need to wait until Crysis comes out like everyone else. But some benchmarks on SSE4 was already done.

Also, forget Single-Core. After running on a E6600, I can never go back to single.
BTW, Kenfield quad cores can overclock nicely. You can get 3.2 Mhz with a little work.
June 20, 2007 12:17:05 AM

It's an easy decision. OCing...Quad cores-watercooling required. No OC-ing..no problem.
June 20, 2007 6:08:12 AM

So what do these new processors have over the old ones anyway?

I know they have a higher FSB. But are there any other advantages? If not, it might be really cheap to just get an E6600 or something....
June 20, 2007 7:32:01 AM

No. I didn't mean Penryn... I know all about the benefits of Penryn. I meant the new 333FSB processors.... Thanks for trying to help though.

How much do you think an E6420 will be after the price cuts? They're going to stop making them, right? So if I wanted to buy one, now would be a good time?
June 20, 2007 7:50:00 AM

oh okay sorry.. well u know that about the bus at 1333 but it will also come with TXT read about it here http://www.intel.com/technology/security/

wont be a big improvement, if any.

oh i forgot something, they will come with locked multiplier i believe.
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June 20, 2007 8:00:44 AM

Quote:
From what little I know, the near future is still dual-core.
Intel came out with SSE4 which will greatly accerate video processing (and I expect games also).
So for those applications, it makes more sense to wait for the Penryn core late this year than Quad-Core now.
So, for quad core, applications need to be specifically written for more than 2 cores. The only app I can think of is 3D Studio. (maybe photoshop)
If any game uses quad, it will be Crysis. Even now I don't expect it will. (unless you want to play at MAX settings while burning a CD and running Linux in VM-Ware)

In the more distant future, after 2010, CPUs will have 16, 100, 1000 cores mixing general purpose and specalized cores for supercomputer power. Intel/AMD will make a 'exoskeleton' (abstraction wrapper) that will make it easier to program these way complex chips. So, by then multi-cores will be mainstream.

NO PROOF, so I need to wait until Crysis comes out like everyone else. But some benchmarks on SSE4 was already done.

Also, forget Single-Core. After running on a E6600, I can never go back to single.
BTW, Kenfield quad cores can overclock nicely. You can get 3.2 Mhz with a little work.


Quote:
After running on a E6600, I can never go back to single.


Thanks for the information, interesting observations on your part. I have been running a q6600 since the price drop a while back. An e6600 before that since the C2D became available last fall. The one single core processor I still use almost everyday that still amazes me is the FX55 at 2.8. The rest of my single core stuff pretty much seems slow anymore compared the the q6600. I won't be able to resist Penryn after it comes out. That should be amazing as processors go. If you have the $266 get a q6600 just for the joyride. I can't wait till 2010 and get me one of those 100 core jobs :D  .
June 20, 2007 6:22:02 PM

Quote:
I guess my software is not multithreaded yet but I am Laughing


Human brain rules, 10000 cores, 10000 threads, yet only 10mhz. Out perform any CPU intel's selling. Steal someone's brain and put it on your LGA775 mobo. Your gaming experience will be as real, and exciting as it can be, Highest possible resolution that your eyes can interpret ( superduper HD ), no lag, saves electricity, low heat output, cheap, and darn fast.
!