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Confused about processor speeds

Last response: in CPUs
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April 28, 2009 5:30:13 PM

I'm probably asking dumb questions but after what seems like an eternity on the internet, I'm getting a headache! I'm a middle aged gamer who loves CoD, F.E.A.R., Half Life 2 etc, but can't get on with consoles.

A few years ago I built a cheap gaming PC around an Athlon 2600+. Unfortunately it's showing its age and I can't play the new stuff. So I've got my eye on a new PC. I've tried reading up on the new processors but I think I'm at the limit of my understanding.

Problem is this.

For example CoD 5 calls for a P4 3Ghz or better. What is "better" when talking dual and quad cores? I mean I don't expect a 2.5 GHz quad to be equivalent to 10Ghz single core, but is there a rule of thumb for how a multi core processor compares with a single core? Does the processor core speed even mean anything these days? I've got my eye on an Acer quad core Q8300 at 2.5Ghz (Sold as a gaming PC) but I'm not sure if this will do the trick. I'm sure it's "better" than a P4 3GHz, but does the clock speed still matter when looking at software specs?

Sorry if this is simple stuff but even though I've read loads of articles, I can't really find anything that answers the question in this simple way.

Any help appreciated.
April 28, 2009 5:33:48 PM

normaly any quad core pc over 2.2 gig or even 2 gig even a dual core cpu will run any game today but its also to do with GPU
CoD, F.E.A.R., Half Life 2
but the Acer quad core Q8300 at 2.5Ghz will run any of those fine
what graphics card it come with?
April 28, 2009 5:53:41 PM

Thanks. Appreciate GPU is important too. The rig I'm looking at ships with an ATI Radeon HD 4650 - not familiar with ATI cards, and I haven't researched this yet. I've always gone with NVidia based cards in my other PCs. But at least the GPU can be replaced fairly easily I guess if it's not much good.

I'm not sure if the mobo will allow overclocking on this Acer, but then I'm not sure if I want to get into that anyway - knowing my luck I'd fry it!!

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April 28, 2009 6:13:27 PM

Whats more important than dual or quad core is what brand it is. Pentium4/D were very poor performers, hence why Intel cranked them clear up to near 4Ghz to be competitive.

So, a Pentium 4 @ 3.7Ghz = Athlon64@2.6 = Core2@1.9Ghz. <--This is just a rough guess, Im sure someone here has a better analogy, this is just something I dug up from a launch piece on the Core2.
April 28, 2009 7:12:23 PM

As long as I can play the rest of the Call of Duty series (Got W at W on the Wii - can't get on with it at all), FEAR 2 and Half Life 2 Episode 3 (when it finally arrives), that's good enough for me!! It sounds like I've little to worry about. :D 



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April 29, 2009 3:03:46 PM

2.5gz Intel Quad is just screaming for a better GPU than a 4650.
Look for something in the 4800 series. They don't cost much more, and will be much better match for your CPU, and gaming.
April 29, 2009 3:06:45 PM

Get at least HD4770 video card. For better price get dual core for longer life get quad
February 21, 2014 7:17:50 AM

if you want to play the latest games get a core i5 pc or laptop with at least 2.5 Ghz and 2 or 3 gb graphic card ..... the quad core 2.4 Ghz is equal to the core i 5 processor 1.8 Ghz ..... N if u really want to game u need to get core i5 bcz core i3 does come very rare with graphic card..... processor speed matters alot when gaming because u need a good clock speed to run the latest and heavy applications + good graphic card to fulfill HD requirements
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