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DNR - No wait, R-R-R!!!! Single Core Question....

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January 26, 2008 10:22:34 PM

Good Morning/Evening,

Can anyone tell me the fastest single core processor? I am currently running a power hungry heater....oh wait I meant a 530 Pentium 4 3.4GHz.

I need it to run single thread java applications bascially on windows (because of hardware driver issues otherwise I would be running linux), it will just be computation algorithms not gaming or dvd burning or whatever else people use there machine for ;) 

I will be using xp pro (but have access to vista), so 32 or 64 bit doesn't bother me. I will be using quite basic low level computer concepts e.g. stacks and queues, merge sort etc.... which I dont think requires a 64bit machine for. Basically speed is the key.

Money isn't really an issue.

Thanks,
Peter
January 26, 2008 11:26:49 PM

if money is no issiue then go for a core 2 duo and overclock it.... yes they are dual core but if money is no issiue then you might as well go for the cpu wich will give the very best single threaded performance and core 2 duos will give you just that.

there are single core cpus based on the powerfull core architecture such as the new celerons, and they will probably be the fastest single core cpus (especialy when overclocked) but as far as i can see they've all had their balls removed (small l2 caches and very low default clockspeeds).

if your worried about the waste heat and power consumption involved with running single threaded apps on a dual core then i suppose getting a celeron 440 like this one would be the best option.

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

overclocking it will give you low-ish power consumption and good single threaded performance. but i dont know how overclockable these will be... the core 2 duo has been proven to often get to 4ghz and above so in theory the new celerons which are basicaly the same proc with less cache and one core should be able to get the same, if not higher speeds BUT.... even if you manage to get the celeron to high speeds the small cache will leave you with less processing power than the core 2 duo at the same clock.

i haven't seen any reviews where people have tried oveclocking the new celerons so i cant say for defo that you will be able to get good speeds and if your not overclocking the only way to go for the best single threaded performance with out causing a load of waste heat is a high end core 2 duo. the heat output and power consumption of even the fastest core 2 duos looks small compared to the netburst based cpus like your P4
January 26, 2008 11:48:18 PM

Your best bet is to get a high clocking dual, there aren't really any single cores that will be faster, even in single threaded apps.

I'd take a look at dual core Intel procs.
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January 26, 2008 11:57:03 PM

I suppose that is one idea. Although it does seem a waste, a multi-core processor doing what a single core can do and being I only need 1 thread.

What about the Intel Celeron D 365 3.6Ghz? Anyone had any experience with it? Or is that still a no-contender for the Core Duo 2? (Only price I can find for it http://www.disking.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=9...)

Heat isn't a problem, I'm just looking for something faster that will last a good number of years - which is why I would rather not over clock it. Oh and the most complex task I will be carrying out on it will be, is x? greater, equal or less than y? I'm talking really old school bog standard computing computation.
January 27, 2008 2:03:12 AM

MasterPJ said:
I suppose that is one idea. Although it does seem a waste, a multi-core processor doing what a single core can do and being I only need 1 thread.

What about the Intel Celeron D 365 3.6Ghz? Anyone had any experience with it? Or is that still a no-contender for the Core Duo 2? (Only price I can find for it http://www.disking.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=9...)

Heat isn't a problem, I'm just looking for something faster that will last a good number of years - which is why I would rather not over clock it. Oh and the most complex task I will be carrying out on it will be, is x? greater, equal or less than y? I'm talking really old school bog standard computing computation.


That celeron D would be a step back from your P4.

The fastest single core available from Intel is the 2.0ghz celeron 440 based on the core 2 architecture. That's why people are encouraging you to get a dual core because there are no high performance single core processors available. The celeron 440 is probably a little faster than your P4 but I don't know by how much.
a c 99 à CPUs
January 27, 2008 3:08:39 AM

MasterPJ said:
Good Morning/Evening,

Can anyone tell me the fastest single core processor? I am currently running a power hungry heater....oh wait I meant a 530 Pentium 4 3.4GHz.

I need it to run single thread java applications bascially on windows (because of hardware driver issues otherwise I would be running linux), it will just be computation algorithms not gaming or dvd burning or whatever else people use there machine for ;) 

I will be using xp pro (but have access to vista), so 32 or 64 bit doesn't bother me. I will be using quite basic low level computer concepts e.g. stacks and queues, merge sort etc.... which I dont think requires a 64bit machine for. Basically speed is the key.

Money isn't really an issue.

Thanks,
Peter


The fastest single-core processor made is the 3.0 GHz socket 939 Opteron 156. The fastest single-core chip that will fit in your motherboard is the 3.80 GHz Pentium 4 670, which is a bit slower than the Opteron 156 (the P4 670 is roughly on par with the 2.4 GHz Athlon 64 4000+ or Opteron 150.) These chips are several years old, though, and may be hard to find and also consume close to 100 watts full-load. The fastest currently-shipping single-core CPUs are the 2.0 GHz Celeron 440 (Conroe-L) and the 2.4 GHz Athlon LE-1620. Both of those cannot touch the Opteron 156 for performance but consume far less power- 35 watts rated for the Celeron 440 and 45 watts rated for the Athlon LE-1620.

Single-core CPUs have largely been phased out now and have been replaced by dual- and quad-core units. Each core in the fastest dual- and quad-core CPUs are faster than the single-core CPUs. The CPU with the absolute best single-threaded performance is the 3.16 GHz Xeon "Harpertown" X5460. It's a quad-core CPU but it is clocked higher than Intel's fastest dual-core (3.00 GHz Core 2 Duo E8400) and is more efficient clock-for-clock than the 3.20 GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+. All would be faster than the Opteron 156. The X2 6400+ would be 6.7% faster, the E8400 would be something around 20% faster, and the X5460 would be about 25% faster. I'd recommend the E8400 or the X2 6400+ over the X5460 as even though "money isn't really an issue," the X5460 is $1300, compared to the $220 E8400 and the $160 X2 6400+. Also, the X5460 is a socket 771 chip, which requires a $300+ server motherboard and FB-DIMM memory that uses as much power as the CPU does, whereas the E8400 and X2 6400+ are standard desktop chips.
January 27, 2008 3:12:49 AM

dual core isnt really a waste even though you only need it for single threaded applications. even on xp with a fairly fresh install there are over 450 threads. so one core will do whatever program you are working with and the other core will do background threads.
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 3:17:16 AM

Here is a review on the new Celeron chips that includes info about its significant overclocking potential, however, as you will see, even Celeron is going multi-core.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/celeron-e1...

However, I would be inclined to still go with an inexpensive multi-core chip. You will find they use signficantly less power than your power-hungry P4 chip. Two othe considerations: (1) is your number crunching the only application that will be ever be used on the system? No others - even later that might benefit more from multiple cores? (2) Even while only crunching numbers, there may be other background applications running that consume CPU power and, with a single threaded CPU could be robbing resources from your computations. Just open Task Manager, select the processes tab, and look at all the other processes that are open on your system.
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 3:54:03 AM

Get a core 2 duo. There is no salvaging the old chips at this point - in any scenario requiring speed.
January 27, 2008 10:35:46 AM

Thank you very much everyone, been a great help.

Like I said the main thing to me is speed on a single thread and being my budget is unrestricted as long as I can justify it I will be going with the 3.16 GHz Xeon "Harpertown" X5460. Im not interested in overclocking as like I said it will need to last a number of years. I suppose my next question is: does anyone know the fastest motherboard for it? Im only looking at between 512mb and 1g of ram, onboard graphics preferred.

(Wow Just looked at the temperature of the machine (P4 550 one), 72 degrees unloaded. Thats with the original p4 heat sink it comes with. I know they are hot but Im sure when I looked at it last it was 45 degrees unloaded - any suggestions? I would like to keep this running in parellel as its a perfectly good machine for some of the computational tasks I run)

When you update the bios are you meant to do in order of how many there are? I tried updating the GA-8I915P-D Pro to v7 but still it says v4, any suggestions?

Thanks,
January 27, 2008 11:35:31 AM

1787638,1,303224 said:
Good Morning/Evening,

I need it to run single thread java applications bascially on windows (because of hardware driver issues otherwise I would be running linux), it will just be computation algorithms not gaming or dvd burning or whatever else people use there machine for ;) 

what problem with the drivers do you have?
January 27, 2008 1:08:34 PM

Netgear wireless WPN111 card. I only bought that one because of the required range at the time (remember this was bought ages ago....). We were lacking space inside and the deal was I could keep this machine doing what it does if I put it somewhere that it wasn't an obstruction or caused the place to break health and safety by getting to hot or loud. So its outside in the garage about 3 floors below, wedged tight into a corner, all it has there is the machine, its cable and a usb stick pointing out the back. The external hard disks even have to go inside the case itself, about 15. Required a little customising of the case :) 
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 1:08:58 PM

I understand that you are not particularly interested in overclocking, but are you actually against it?

Overclocking might increase performance by 30% or more - a substantial gain for number crunching. And for the premium you will pay for the X5460 you could purchase two complete systems. So you could crunch over twice as many numbers.
January 27, 2008 1:25:24 PM

I suppose I am, I know of a few people who over clocked there pc, one lost there cpu and another graphics card 'blew up'. I know most people keep there pc for a few years then upgrade but this budget is something I had been pushing for a while. Now if the machine dies on me in the next 5 years I could be in trouble. I am known around here as Mr Impossible, part because of my unwillingness to accept some new concepts lightly and because of ive proven people who are a lot smarter than me wrong. My addiction is in creating new algorithms but to prove they are slightly better in the short run but marginally greater in the long run is hard. With the amount of data i could be dealing with if I were to implement my ideas, I cant get it wrong and need to generate and use my own data. If that made any sense.... Anyway thats where this machine comes in, a hobby machine if you like :) 
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 1:55:41 PM

Either way go with a C2D. Take a look at the E21xx CPUs they clock to 3.2Ghz easily with a good motherboard like the P35-DS3x or P5K-x. The C2Ds are much faster core for core than the P4s.
January 27, 2008 2:27:03 PM

you should totaly go with a high end core 2 duo. the xeon your on about getting has a tdp of 120 watts! and is probabarly slower than a c2d at the same clock, even being a dual core the c2d will draw far less than 120w at speeds around 3ghz. the choice is yours but the single core offerings are pathetic. even whem you take into account you will be only running 1 thread.

a nother otiopn is to wait until there are more procs that can dynamicaly controll the speed and voltage ov every core, leaving the unsused cores at a slow, power consering speed and clocking up the one core your currently using. amd's phenom can do this and it probabarly wont be long 'till intel implement something very similar
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 2:58:18 PM

If you choose not to overclock that is fine. But in making that decision, it is important to understand that there is overclocking and there is OVERCLOCKING. A mild overclock (and how much is mild depends on the CPU) should not appreciably affect the life or reliability of the system but could have a substantial effect on productivity. But extreme OVERCLOCKING could easily affect the life, and if not proven with substantial testing, could affect the reliability. However, even mild over clocking does require a little tinkering with the system and many choose, rightly for them, not to do it.

Given the speed of technology change, perhaps your decision about a system should be driven more by a plan that allows you to get a new system (or at least upgrade the cpu, mobo, and memory) every two to three years. I think if you had moved to a good C2D system two years ago you would have had substantial increases in performance over the last two years.

Substantial improvements that may occur just in the next year include a whole new generation of CPU's, faster DDR3 memory with reasonable prices, and solid state drives at reasonable prices that substantially increase HD performance.

Perhaps with you analytical nature, you could compare spending $3K on the top of the line set-up now and waiting 5 years for an upgrade with spending $2K now for a near top of the line system and $1K in 2-3years to upgrade the mobo-cpu-memory-HD combo. I think you would come out way ahead on the later.

I am most curious about your work so please forgive me if I ask questions that you have already considered.

What application do you use? Are you sure that no multi-threaded apps are available to do the same thing? If it were, it could substantially increase the performance - much more than just single core CPU speed increases would.

Is using two separate CPUs practical and efficient? Are you limited in your analysis by how much you have time to run on your system? While computer is crunching numbers, are you waiting on the results, or do you already have an efficient mix that lets you be productive on other tasks while CPU is crunching?

Finally, my curious getting the best of me, what the heck do you do?
a c 125 à CPUs
January 27, 2008 3:41:43 PM

A agree with those above who said just get a super fast dual core....after all a core2 at 2.2-2.3 is most likely fast(if not faster) as your current setup....put it up to 3.2-3.6 and things will fly. You may also get a slight boost setting the app in questions affinity to the second cpu(since then windows is not load balancing....that it self takes some cpu power...)....
January 27, 2008 4:22:52 PM

I kinda have two jobs, systems administrator and software enhancer. And when Im not doing either of them to I get to work on my own ideas with the funding from the software company I work for, lets just say I impressed someone.

Software enhancing, basically goes..... someone makes a piece of code they think is ready to be implemented into the system or for a system, I then receive the flow diagram and module specification (inputs, it tasks required to perform, outputs), then I go.....well your just an idiot and improve on there idea, or redesign there piece of code at high level then it goes gets modified from my ideas for efficiency. Then until I sign off on something it keeps coming back to me. It requires I know alot of searching, sorting and general algorithms.

What Im currently working on requires that each thing be calculated procedurally thus multi-core wont help much.

When it comes to hardware though, I do feel like an 8 yr old in Toys R Us or a 10yr old going to the sweat store with 50p...... so much choice.

----------------

My own personal ideas go along the lines of: town hard disks, creating a worthy database system (mySQL and Oracle are good but they lack so much), compression method so good that a HD Movie could fit onto a CD (at HD quality), breeding AI bots, playing such games as COD4 on full resolution on a machine less than half that required for playing the game at full resolution, a quantum way of programming and many more mad ones.... Ill try and keep my sanity by not disclosing them :) 

So yes I managed to convince the company of going ahead with one of my ideas but as long as I can prove it will work and by my current machine will take about a month of calculations to prove.

I can forsee it being quite hard to keep my idea away from ownership of the company, going to work each day being faced with a beast of a machine and not allowed to try something out for personal use. As if I do try doing it using the company's resources it becomes theres. And believe when I say they are 'tight'.

Anyway back to machine. The logic here does make sense, Ive got till the end of the month to come up with a machine, the C2D from what i have read is very nice, and I am coming round to idea I could do run two applications at once. As for over clocking I still shunned away from the idea, because manufacturers don't do it, I mean if it does work to overclock why don't the manufacturers sell over clocked cpu's and warranty them?
January 27, 2008 4:48:58 PM

MasterPJ said:


Anyway back to machine. The logic here does make sense, Ive got till the end of the month to come up with a machine, the C2D from what i have read is very nice, and I am coming round to idea I could do run two applications at once. As for over clocking I still shunned away from the idea, because manufacturers don't do it, I mean if it does work to overclock why don't the manufacturers sell over clocked cpu's and warranty them?


well the question about manufacturers overclockling..... manufacturers do overclock in a sense,

for example; if amd brought out a cpu tomorrow that could test the current core 2 duos then intel would just release faster grades of the same chips (as they did with the pentium 4's when they where getiing killed by athlons). this, of course wouldnt be called overclocking but it is essentially what we do at home but with more thourough testing and a lot of media hype.

amd did this with their athlons wich were raping the pentiums 4 for ages. suddenly intel dropped core 2 duo on them and we saw the speeds of their athlons increase all the way to 3.2 ghz, was their a 3.4 version? cant remember? but anyway the 3.2 ghz athlons cant be pushed much faster by overclockers... tish means the athlon architecture is being pushed to its limits on leaving the factory, which is not that far from overclocking.

intel core 2 duos are currently musch faster clock for clock than the dual core athlons so intel dont have to push their chips to their speed limits... but if we want we can!

yes, there is a point when the life of a chip will be shortened, but as long as you dont increase the voltage by more than 0.1 or 0.2 volts your chip should last as long as at stock speeds and voltages. i would guess like 10/15 years but ofcourse no one has been able to test the life of an overclocked c2d to the 10 year mark lol.

besides that, with a c2d you wont have to change the voltage to get a decent, stable overclock anyway!
January 27, 2008 4:54:28 PM

oh yea and keep it below 50~60.c when overclockin for a decent lifespan
January 27, 2008 5:45:59 PM

I'd like to try to make it simpler.

When Intel bins their processors they have a goal of say...3.6GHz at a tolerance of 1.5V or something of that nature.

Then they'll release that processor with a Voltage ID of 1.2 or so and a clock speed of 2.6GHz. If you read spec sheets you'll see that the tolerance of the architecture is somewhere around 70C and 1.5V.

Those are the same tolerances they use to set their CPU speeds. Let's pretend AMD is going to release some bad ass new arch. and it forces intel to push the limits of their procs.

They'll do the same thing overclockers do...read over the specs and push their procs to their highest average core speed without going over 1.5V or a load temperature of ~70C

If you're intelligent about your overclock then you won't have issues probably ever. If you're not too bright then you can easily kill the processor in a few years, months, or days.

If you want details about Intel's specs you'll obviously have to look around as I threw out some loose figures.
January 27, 2008 6:01:44 PM

Ok, less than 24 hours ago I was never going to try overclocking but now im quite tempted, I wonder if that P4 550 can go faster.....but its about to meet its shelf life I cant do any harm, Ill try it tomorrow and see how it goes....either Ill have a faster processor or a really cool square frisby :D 

"If you're not too bright then you can easily kill the processor in a few years, months, or days." Does it take a brighter person to think of ways to kill it in less than a second or a less intelligent person? I just had to ask that :)  (I have an IQ of 134 according to the average of several IQ tests, I think they were all rigged though)
January 27, 2008 9:10:44 PM

Intelligence is the ability to carry on conversation and as well, understanding that we're all ignorant. Identifying what areas you could use some work is key to the issue and promotes the idea that, perhaps, you are intelligent.

Therefore, intelligence only affords you the ability to ask the correct questions.

If you want to overclock your P4 I would bet the highest that chip might allow you is roughly 3.8GHz.

That 400MHz isn't going to promote any significant change in it's ability to process.

If you were to take one of the newer architectures then you would stand to gain a much greater clock increase. The newer Intel architecture can allow anywhere from a 50% to 100% increase in clock depending on the type of cooling promoted.

My suggestion would be to pique your own interest through air cooling. With that said, purchase an E8400 or E8500 and you should see the types of gains for computing power that could help whatever it is that you'll be doing in your garage or at work.

These chips should reach about 4GHz on air without any real issue.
January 27, 2008 9:46:31 PM

MasterPJ said:
Ok, less than 24 hours ago I was never going to try overclocking but now im quite tempted, I wonder if that P4 550 can go faster.....but its about to meet its shelf life I cant do any harm, Ill try it tomorrow and see how it goes....either Ill have a faster processor or a really cool square frisby :D 



yes indeed get some practice with the p4 before you overclock what ever you buying. let us know the results too
a b à CPUs
January 27, 2008 10:03:43 PM

If your concerned about CPU life don't even bother. I have a Celeron D 315 @3.6+Ghz since 2003! (see my sig) Its still running fine. By the time the CPU dies technology will be way ahead. One of my uncle's has a Am386 thats OCed and still running MS-DOS!. OCing has been aroun a LONG time. See:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/204157-29-long-overcl...
a c 99 à CPUs
January 28, 2008 3:01:57 AM

Shadow703793 said:
If your concerned about CPU life don't even bother. I have a Celeron D 315 @3.6+Ghz since 2003! (see my sig) Its still running fine. By the time the CPU dies technology will be way ahead. One of my uncle's has a Am386 thats OCed and still running MS-DOS!. OCing has been aroun a LONG time. See:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/204157-29-long-overcl...


The OP's situation and what he's said so far puts a limit on OCing:

- He wants the machine to last for several years. This means that an overclock needs to be at a reasonable voltage as excessively high voltage causes electromigration and kills CPUs. Personally, I'd use the maximum value in the typical Vcc_VID_MAX range as my ceiling as the manufacturer has guaranteed that voltage won't kill chips in less than 3 years (they have a 3-year warranty.) A limit to what is essentially stock Vcore may put a damper on overclocking to some extent, but most chips will overclock at least a couple hundred MHz on stock Vcore, some 500+ MHz.

- He is doing actual work with the CPU and not gaming. This means that the results of a program execution matter and the overclock has to be both operating stable and mathematically stable. I'll be willing to bet that most people on here don't test to see if their overclock is mathematically stable by running a program with a known result of computation and then doing a diff between that and what the CPU spat out. This is important as a CPU can have a transistor flip and goof up a mathematical operation and not crash the computer but it will ruin a computation. Running Prime95 is a good way of determining the mathematical stability as it checks your CPU's computed answers to known-good answers. Let it run for many hours to ensure that a power ripple or something won't cause math errors.

So he can overclock, but he needs to be judicious about it and probably won't get one nearly as high as the gamers get due to those criteria. Personally, I'd forget overclocking in this situation as I'd want to just get down to crunching the data and not dick around finding the best OC, and also knowing that the machine is rock-solid-stable. But I don't know, maybe that extra 20% he might get may be more important.
a c 125 à CPUs
January 28, 2008 3:14:41 AM

Prime for 48 hours....and folding all the rest of the time :) (it will report errors too...or so i hear)
a c 99 à CPUs
January 28, 2008 3:25:10 AM

nukemaster said:
Prime for 48 hours....and folding all the rest of the time :) (it will report errors too...or so i hear)


Yes, it will. It's quite sensitive to core voltages being too low for the CPU's current speed. I know this from experience in undervolting my CPU using a Cool 'n Quiet FID/VID remapper. I've found my particular X2 4200+ is operating-stable at 1.175 volts at 2.20 GHz, 5-hour mPrime (Linux Prime95) stable at 1.200 volts, but will cause Folding@Home to spit out errors and kill the current WU within 10-20 minutes if the Vcore is below 1.225 volts at full speed. If the Vcore is >= 1.225 volts, it'll run at least 40 days without a single error- that is as long as I have gone between reboots due to security > uptime in importance to me.
!