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quad core vs dual core for development

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May 16, 2008 2:42:59 PM

Hi Folks,

Hope you don't mind me asking a question not related to gaming per se!

I need to get a new development-oriented PC, meaning I'd ideally like to have a couple of IDEs (Eclipse and or Visual Studio), an app server, a database (Oracle/SQL server) preferably all running at the same time (not entirely sure whether I'd put the database on a different box ...)

Since I'd need this for practise at home, I can't use my office's servers.

My question is, would it make sense to get a quad core over a dual core? My home PC now still crawls with even ONE of the above running. (It's a single-core machine, No - I don't live in a cave...)

Thanks in advance!
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May 16, 2008 2:56:21 PM

nooooooooob said:
Hope you don't mind me asking a question not related to gaming per se!


Not at all!

I'd say, with all those servers going (well two!) and compiling code a quad would be your best bet. The Q6600 is getting pretty cheap.
May 16, 2008 3:10:31 PM

Quad. You can test your multi-threaded projects. Run multiple tasks while compiling and gaming and viruscanning and virtualizing on multiple simultaneous virtual environments. A Quad, its all good.

Now go...and develop us some good multi-threaded applications. :) 
Related resources
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May 16, 2008 3:11:44 PM

^^2nd above.

Go with a quad core.
The Q6600 is an exelent choice right now.
May 16, 2008 3:23:12 PM

Thank you all very much!

I'm definitely going with Quad core now, and a 6600 (at least) - from your almost unanimous opinion.

I've been looking forward to the day when I can run a dev environment, and use that d@mn IDE without a few seconds of delay.

Do you kind people have experience running an app/web server + DB + IDE on Linux with Quad core? Is it any better off than XP Pro, please let me know.
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May 16, 2008 3:38:07 PM

I dont have any experience with the web server but I just wanted to double nail the Quad recommendation.

I am running folding@home, all 4 cores 100% all day long and if I want to run a game- its no problem! Partly due to the folding@home program ramping up and down based on useage needs when you start other programs.

I have 3 other dual core systems that have been running nearly 3 days on this same program also teamed up with 3 other pcs in other locations and my quad core runs for 17 hours and scores more than all of the other systems combined.

The other 6 systems had a score of 1405 combined
My Quad core scored 2200 on its 1st project submission

Totalling 3605 as a team

7 hours later its half way thru its second work unit for another 2000 or so points!

Im considering getting a second quad core to go in my media center setup just for this! Certain applications is where the quad core shines and you likely will see more and more of a benefit as time progresses.

Quite impressive if you ask me!
May 16, 2008 3:59:25 PM

Just wanted to add my two cents worth. I recently upgraded from a dual core to quad and I have found the experience very rewarding. I used to have the computer so loaded that it would stall out, that is I would type something and then wait for the letter to appear on the screen. Yes, I use some heavy business apps. With the quad, everything has run smoothly so far..
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May 16, 2008 4:05:13 PM

Concur - quad

Ref: 6600 vs 9300 /9400
Not sure of your buget or if you plan on overclocking.

I can not verify this, only quoting Mag artical

Ref artical in MaximumPC, June 2008 ed,
Price - 6600 winner (9300 about $50 higher - Newegg)
Specs - 9300 winner
Compatibiliy - 6600 winner (only if you have an older MB)
Performance (OCing) - winner 9300, This is on air and 9300 requires higher Bus frew ( 9300 uses a 7.5 multiplier while 6600 has a 9x multipier
Performance (Stock) - 9300 beat 6600 in all test (EXCEPT FEAR) by 3 to 14%

I'm waiting for the 9400 prices to drop (I think the 9400 has a multiplier of 8X which would make 3.2 easy with a easier cooling requirement).
May 16, 2008 4:08:07 PM

I'm a developer working from home.. and running a quadcore Q6600
I set up my projects to compile 4 at a time. speeds up compiling significantly.
in 32bit mode make sure you have 4 gigs of ram.. DDDR2 is so cheep anyways.
nothing for 1 Devenv.exe to use up 100 megs of ram with a project loaded and 200Megs+ for debugging.
not to mention your app that you are debugging..
nothing for me to have 4 projects open at a time.

If you plan to do any SSE4 code or support it i would suggest the Q9450 as it also has 12 meg cache.

my 2¢
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May 16, 2008 5:35:02 PM

xtkxhom3r - You are correct about the multipler; However, (1) Quote - 3 -> 3.2 upper end for 6600, 3.5 for 9300. ... Both are good overclockers, but the q9300 is better - End quote. (Test on nForce 790i ultra and with stock HSF. NOTE! I know many have done better with 6600 by raising Vcore and using high end HSF.

(2) If OP is not going to OC, then 9300 is better choise baring the $50 higher cost.

I also agree Q9450 even beeter choice, Cost is why I'm waiting for a 9400.
*x, 3.2 easy with DDR2 800 at 1:1.
May 16, 2008 7:32:04 PM

OP hasn't stated whether he overclocks or not...
considering majority of people don't...
but majority of people on this board do.
it may not be an issue...
also if company is paying for hardware cost may not be to great an issue.

I recommend a Q6600 for a dev machine at work and they got the Q6700 just because it was faster... they don't O/C either...
May 16, 2008 7:59:55 PM

next I'll be removing the 1's cause they are all the same...
May 17, 2008 6:14:20 AM

I have a quad-core at work (or maybe it's a dual-CPU dual-core, I'm not entirely sure where the four cores physically are); the only time I've seen it get much above 25% CPU usage is starting up big, multi-threaded Java apps. Even when compiling, the CPUs mostly sit around 20-30%.
May 17, 2008 10:41:40 AM

MarkG said:
I have a quad-core at work (or maybe it's a dual-CPU dual-core, I'm not entirely sure where the four cores physically are); the only time I've seen it get much above 25% CPU usage is starting up big, multi-threaded Java apps. Even when compiling, the CPUs mostly sit around 20-30%.


Isn't it nice? Today, while doing your most intensive CPU task you only see it hit 20-30% usage. Sounds like you've got plenty of headroom for future growth. :) 

Unfortunately I'm regularly seeing 80%+ usage on my Q9450, but I'm still happy. :( 
May 17, 2008 5:18:35 PM

I work in video compression...
My machine still isn't fast enough to encode 1080p real time...
maybe one day hopefully with 6 or 8 cores running at 5Ghz
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May 20, 2008 2:05:59 AM

Today I was going to buy another quad core cpu and was debating between the Q6600 and the Q9450. I found that if you are going to get the Q9450 you want to have a motherboard with the X38/48 chipset, otherwise you wont get the potential the cpu has to offer even with a motherboard like mine, the 780i. So, I decided to get another Q6600 and I brought it home and decided to check the compatability on my media center pc that I was going to install it to and its not supported. Only supports the Core 2 duo.

Fortunately I didnt open the box so I can still return it but I may just hold off and get a motherboard that works with it.

It pays to do your homework before you buy...
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May 20, 2008 3:26:49 AM

Yes Sir, it is. Lesson learned, again. :D 
May 21, 2008 1:34:46 PM

Hello All,

This is the OP here. Thank you very very much for all your inputs! I'm now decided on the Quad core.

I realize I should have mentioned earlier, that I'm not keen on OCing and am very cost-constrained.

However, since I'm not good enough to build my own PC, I think it'll be better for me to buy. BUT, I'm not that bad that I can't make a couple of replacements of my own.

I hope you can help me resolve something that puzzles me here. Suppose I have 2 options

1. Buy a mid-high end PC (XPS, Pavillion Elite)
2. Buy and el cheapo Inspiron ($600 max).

It seems to me that option 2, even with a Q9300 upgrade + bigger power + next month's video card, would be far cheaper than option 1.

My question is, would 2 work as fine as 1? Is there anything I'm missing here? assuming I don't care about the looks.

It seems that on the Dell site, I can upgrade the base model up to a ATI HD 2600 XT, so this system can handle bigger cards, right?
May 21, 2008 1:36:53 PM

Another option is go to a computer store...
and have them custom build your PC.
good parts that are upgradable that doesn't need proprietary drivers.
May 21, 2008 1:45:51 PM

Madhacker,

That is a good option. But I'm not sure if that is affordable enough for me. The microcenter that's closest to me charges like hell for such a job.

Also I probably wouldn't get any warranty on that, would I? (As you can see in my handle, I'm very much a newbie).
May 21, 2008 2:20:49 PM

You would get warranty.
but there has to be other shops that build systems cheaper...
we have shops her that will charge $250 just to reinstall your machine..
and shops that after selecting parts they will assemble the PC for $50
Myself I have built a few PCs for friends... using good parts..(not expensive ones) you can get a good machine that will last.
Toms did a build ($500 gaming rig) that had good parts...
there are also a lot "help me with this build" threads that you can go through...
If knowledge is lacking... people here will help answer your questions...
if time is lacking to obtain the knowledge... well can't help you there...
May 21, 2008 2:46:37 PM

Good points MH!

Yup, time is one big concern actually :(  I have a few exams lined up to complete currently, and they take up all my time after work.

Otherwise with such helpful people around (TH), there's no point in paying someone else to build, or buying one (with older parts, inevitably) - unless it is considerably cheaper to buy.
June 3, 2008 1:42:39 PM

I'm going with a 9300 now. Thank you all for the input.

Can't wait to fire up the bugger.
June 3, 2008 2:27:18 PM

im not sure if you got your answer about running all the servers off a linux box but it appears that you want to game so XP is your best bet.

I run MySQL, FTP, Apache server on my 4400 X2 with 2 GB of RAM and it doesnt slow down cant say much for an IDE though since i dont use one.

i use xampp (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html) which automatically sets everything up for me, i also have this running on a linux machine which is much more powerful, the linux box runs, xampp, vmware of server 2008 & small Business server 2003 & m0n0wall, but that machine is a core2duo with 4GB RAM. (its set up with m0n0wall cause its the best solution for a full Gigabyte network :D  with internet )
!