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Single Core to Dual Core, Worth it?

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June 22, 2007 11:28:47 AM

Currently I am running a single core setup with an AMD 4000 that is overclocked to 2.81GHz and running stable. I have two BFG 7900gs in SLI and a Asus Sli Premium motherboard. My motherboard is a 939 socket and I’m not looking to do any massive upgrade for at least another year.

What I was wondering is in your experience guys is there any point in my buying a AMD x2 4400 or 4800? I mainly use my computer for gaming but would I really notice the difference, since I read varying reports on its effectiveness. Also would I be able to overclock the cpu to the same level or to a level that achieves high results in games?

Thanks
June 22, 2007 11:43:55 AM

I think it probably IS worth it for you... at the very least it'll stop any antivirus or other system level stuff impeding your gaming performance.

Plus many games are coming out with multi-threaded patches and stuff, so for the price of buying a low-level (but overclockable!) X2, you'll probably get a decent extra bit of performance.. or if not, at least a slightly more responsive system.

I've been considering this move myself, but I don't think I use my PC enough these days really to warrant it :( 
June 22, 2007 12:05:05 PM

Thanks for the advice m8, just one more thing i'm i better getting a 4400 or a 4800? the price difference is about £100 from uk based sites or even from ebay. 4400 standing at 2.2GHz and 4800 standing at 2.4ghz.

My Amd 4000 non-overclocked is at 2.4Ghz so im wondering in comparison is a 2.2GHz X2 technically gonna run things slower overall than a single core 2.4Ghz?

I'm Looking for a boost in performance and im afraid if i get a 4400 that it will slow my gaming performance down, since a 4800 is kinda out my price scope at present :( 
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a c 108 à CPUs
June 22, 2007 12:47:33 PM

Is £69.86 including vat for an AMD Opteron 165 Socket 939 possible ???

Should be an easy OC to 2.6-2.7GHz depending upon your mobo . . .
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2007 12:55:04 PM

If you are strictly gaming, unless you have a dozen background programs running or the game is multi-threaded, you are not going to notice much difference in what you have now and a dual core processor. If you go with a 4200/4400, you may feel like you wasted your money as a gaming upgrade.
The dual core will however make everything else you do feel faster, and you will find that though you won't see a jump in frame rates, you will see less sudden drops and overall more consistent frame rates. Newer games are being written to use multiple cores, so you will be in really good shape for them. I would vote for you to move up to dual core, overall you will like the benefit.
Get the 4800, and overclock it. Exactly as you said, with your overclock at 2.8, you ain't going to be happy with anything less.
Notice I run a 4600+ at 2.8 on air at stock voltage, and it's still running pretty cool. 38/52. If I bought a better cooler, and upped the voltage, I think I could get it to 3.0.
June 22, 2007 1:07:09 PM

What are my chances of overclocking a 4400 up to say 2.8Ghz or so realistically? Also whats the difference between an X2 and an Opteron as posted above?
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2007 1:19:47 PM

What motherboard do you have?
Opterons are server chips, binned higher and better quality pieces than their standard X2 counter parts.
They will overclock better/easier than a standard X2 processor.
What you are thinking is on track for strictly gaming, if you are running 2.8 now, you would want an x2 or Opteron at 2.6 at least to match or better the performance you get now in a single threaded game.
June 22, 2007 1:27:44 PM

My motherboard is an ASUS A8N-SLI Premium one, seems to be pretty stable for overclocking. The main reason i ask all this btw is i got a Dell Ultrasharp 24" monitor last week and basically some of my games liek HL2, BF2, BF2142 and Counter Strike are feeling the strain and i need to reduce the quality to keep my framerate in the playable margin for the huge 1920x1200 resolution.

I want the processor for the prime reason that i can run these game with not bad settings at such a high reso
a b à CPUs
June 22, 2007 1:42:16 PM

You should be able to get good results with that board for sure.
Getting a 4400-4600 to 2.8 or better is definetly possible. Sorry, I missed you did state your board in the first post.
On a last note before you decide to buy....
Don't expect miracles here, if your system is running pretty clean, the X2 is not going to be a miracle worker for what you are buying it for. What would probably benefit you more for what you want is an 8800gtx, or even a pair of them, but that is getting very pricey.
June 22, 2007 1:50:46 PM

In fact, I have an Opty 165 I'm looking to sell for $90 plus shipping. LMK if you're interested.
a c 471 à CPUs
June 22, 2007 2:02:22 PM

If you plan on doing an upgrade in another year, then upgrade your CPU at that point. I really don't think it is worth it to upgrade to a S939 X2 now because most current games will not take advantage of a dual core to a great extent.

For example, the performance difference between a dual core and single core (of comparable speed) in Oblivion is only about 10%. In games like Doom 3 and Quake 4 the performance difference is better (qabout 25% - 30%) since it seems to be programmed better for mulitple cores/cpus. The Doom 3 engine performance is the exception, not the rule.

Overall, a dual core PC will run smoother because background processes can run on one of the two cores. But don't expect a day and night difference.

By the time you will be upgrading, more games should be better coded to use dual core CPUs more effectively.
June 22, 2007 2:07:51 PM

Cheers for all the advice guys, i'll probably just wait till next year and get a full upgrade. I was looking for something that would drastically make a difference over my amd 4000 but if that aint gonna happen on a 939 socket i'll just wait it out :) 

Cheers guys
June 22, 2007 2:31:58 PM

there's some cheap oem X2 at some sellers. check tiger.
canadian stock is cheaper... x2 3800 s939 oem

if you have a good system and want to benefit on every softwares, you'll have to get an opteron 939 and test your luck. they can get up to 3ghz if you're lucky... with the biggest available only. paired with good ram, this is the best you can get on s939

if you don't overclock 1:1 fsb -> get a cheap cpu and push it.

opteron overclocks a bit higher but will cost you twice the price.
will clock at most at your actual frequency and you'll see that a dual core is harder t use at full load. it keeps it's speed for twice as much apps before starting to lag

you can get an oem x2 3800 for 80 $ at most. 10x200fsb
you can get a retail opteron 175 s939 for 180$ at most.
get the less power hungry, anticipate more heat from a dual core...
from a single core 2.8ghz, you can get a dual core 2.6-2.8ghz with an opty. with an x2 3800, you get a 2.5ghz with 250 mhz fsb
June 22, 2007 2:33:56 PM

I went from an FX55 to an X2 4400, and it was great. I lost 400mhz but the second core was far more useful. It's not a whole new world of computing, but everything feels more responsive. I didn't gain much in terms of gaming performance, except for Supreme Commander, but I don't see big dips in FPS anymore. Well worth it for me.

If you get the X2 4400, try to find the 89watt version. You will probably get better OCing from that. Although, as mentioned, Opty's would be better for OCing.
June 22, 2007 4:52:51 PM

you'll gain some performances in games if you're running an anti-virus, an anti-spyware, some more apps...

then, what you would lose in cpu efficiency will be distributed between your two cores.

if you have alot of ram, 2 good video cards in sli, your cpu is clearly the bottleneck.

i have 2 gig of ram, a 2.86ghz san diego ( 11x260 ) was a 3700+
a single 6600gt 128mb ( didn't play any game recently ) and i know even a dual core 2ghz would increase performance in video processing and multi threaded apps. then, if i get something, it's a cheap x2 3800 and i'll overclock it to 2.5ghz which is comfortable for this chip even with a ratio.
June 22, 2007 6:28:57 PM

Mrs B's comment is pretty much right on. Buy new and toss old. And from what I've read, the Opti 170 is a good beast to o/c.

f61
June 22, 2007 6:29:59 PM

whoops, how'd that happen?


f61
June 27, 2007 1:00:04 AM

Hellz yeah, more cores are better, both intel and amd will stop making mainstream single core processors this year, or bargain chips will be single core. I love my dual cores, just need it to have twins.
July 10, 2007 1:22:56 AM

Skip dual and go strait to quad with an intel q6600 and a gigabyte p35 motherboard with some ddr2 1066.
July 10, 2007 2:28:03 AM

With that kind of overclock, I'd say stay with what you have. If you go dual core AMD you won't get that high and your single threaded CPU intensive tasks will be SLOWER.
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