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Dual or Quad better for gaming

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July 16, 2009 7:46:32 PM

After reading the Quad-core gaming thread. I am wondering if a great, overclocked dual core. will beat a nice quad core in GAMING only, in current games, and the ones expected within the next 6 months or so.

More about : dual quad gaming

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July 16, 2009 7:54:00 PM

Yes - If you're not significantly multitasking, then a faster dual core would be the choice for gaming - with the understanding that gaming performance is primarily driven by graphics rather than Processor.

A deeper answer will mention that it also depends on what kind of games you like to play. If there's significant AI - like in certain FPSs and newer RTS games - then there can be benefit from more cores available to run those threads. But as mentioned in the other thread, this is highly dependent on how well the publisher coded for multithreading.
July 16, 2009 7:56:12 PM

For playing newer FPSs though, would it be smarter to just grab a quad core instead?
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July 16, 2009 8:04:30 PM

most quad cores will overclock to the point that the benefit of the dual core is eliminated for gaming....and the quad core is much better for multitasking. So unless you ONLY game with nothing going on in the background, and can't afford the extra $50 or so for a quad core I would recommend a quad core
July 16, 2009 8:13:18 PM

Thanks, and i dont think anyone uses their computer soley for gaming and nothing else.
July 16, 2009 8:24:14 PM

These days I think quad cores have a slight advantage over dual cores, as more and more games make use of the extra cores. However, many games usually hit a graphics bottleneck first, which is why I'm not jumping at them just yet. My E8400 is still good enough for now. If I had to upgrade right now though, I would probably go for a quad core instead.

As Scotteq said, it really depends on what games you play. If you like sandbox-type games, they tend to be heavy on the CPU and you will see significant improvements on a quad core compared to dual core, even at higher resolutions.
July 16, 2009 8:30:20 PM

it depends on the game itself...

GTA4 is optimized for quads... so with the same clock speed the quad will win over the dual.
But non-optimized games will be almost neck to neck but with a slight advantage for the dual over the quad.
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July 16, 2009 9:32:19 PM

JDV28 said:
Thanks, and i dont think anyone uses their computer soley for gaming and nothing else.


I do, that's why I have two machines.
July 16, 2009 10:39:28 PM

I would definetly recommend a quad core... maybe you will not notice a huge benefit right now, but there's a big chance most dual cores won't be able to handle next year's demanding games... unless they're intel 7XXX or 8XXX series overclocked
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July 17, 2009 12:01:20 AM

At a clock rate of 3.0 or better, the vga card is much more important for gaming than the cpu.
At that level, overclocking is good for bragging, but it will not net you as much increase
in FPS as a better vga card will. Today, very few games can make use of more than two cores.
Flight simulator X and supreme commander are exceptions. It is not a trivial matter to code multi threaded programs,
and game vendors will not sell too many games that require quads to run.
I don't see this changing in the next couple of years.

Net: a faster duo for the increased clock speed.

July 17, 2009 12:59:29 AM

@ geofelt: I don't know of any quad cores that won't overclock to 3.0 or better, so by your own logic it would make more sense to buy a quad core since it allows you to multitask while gaming and will be faster in almost all apps.
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July 17, 2009 1:06:58 AM

dual core for games all the way.
July 17, 2009 1:25:30 AM

Find it funny no ones mentioning the coming Intel duals? You know, the ones done on a smaller proccess, with possibly higher oc potential , and lets not forget, SMT, which may have impact in all this, not just gaming
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July 17, 2009 2:16:15 AM

Dual cores are useful for budget builds only.With a medium end or high end build using a dual core CPU makes no sense.
July 17, 2009 2:18:25 AM

Sure dual cores are enough for all games today, but who wants to buy a computer just to replace it in 6 months? The big deal about quad core and gaming is that they're almost future-proof. We don't know when Quad cores are going to be demanded by most games, but it WILL HAPPEN... besides they are getting cheaper....

Right now a slow quad core will be outperformed by a fast dual core (eg. phenom 9650 vs. c2d 8500), but the tables will turn soon... moreover, the slowest quad core right now can handdle ANY game if it is coupled with a nice GPU...
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July 17, 2009 3:13:43 AM

belial2k said:
@ geofelt: I don't know of any quad cores that won't overclock to 3.0 or better, so by your own logic it would make more sense to buy a quad core since it allows you to multitask while gaming and will be faster in almost all apps.

True enough, but you can get to 3.0 with a duo cheaper.
If cost is not an issue, then certainly get a high clocked quad.
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July 17, 2009 3:18:02 AM

I recommend getting a Xeon 6-core processor, that will be kick-*** for gaming :)  but its gonna cost you more then 3k for it. Just kidding, its a server processor

-on a more serious note, many games today are probably going to be optimized more for duals over quads, but tomorrows games are going to be for quads, so go for a quad.
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July 17, 2009 3:19:47 AM

Right now, a higher clocked dual core is generally better for gaming. Still, more games are starting to take advantage of more than one core and DX11 is being designed to better take advantage of multiple cores. Of course if MS delivers on that or not is anyone's guess :D .
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July 17, 2009 3:23:05 AM

You're all right, quad cores WILL eventually become faster (because they will actually be used). But then, octo cores will be the norm and everybody will upgrade to octo core CPUs when software only uses 4 cores, and so on.
July 17, 2009 5:51:59 AM

JDV28 said:
After reading the Quad-core gaming thread. I am wondering if a great, overclocked dual core. will beat a nice quad core in GAMING only, in current games, and the ones expected within the next 6 months or so.


i upgraded to quad core. phenom 2 x4 810 at 139.00 at newegg.com. it's a 2.6ghz, socket am3.

i was like you and thought about getting a dual core, but for future games i went quad core.

upgrade with mainboard was like 250.00 total.
July 17, 2009 12:24:41 PM

I had a Intel E7200 @ 3.8Ghz, getting 80-100fps on COD4 max setting, 45fps on Farcry 2 MED settings. 1680 res

now Intel Q9550 @ 3.4Ghz, 120-160fps on COD4 max setting, 40fps on Farcry 2 VERY HIGH settings, 1680 res.

My improvement may be due to the higher cache of the 9550, but no denying. I am getting much better performance out of the quad, even at lower clock.
July 17, 2009 4:08:41 PM

Mousemonkey said:
I do, that's why I have two machines.

You suck you fat ass noob, this isn't a celebrity magazine! No one gives a *** about that so usefull info.

Get a quad core ;)  , the newest quad cores can actually easily reach above 4+ GHz, which makes them competitive with the dual cores at the same speed, because remember... If a game can use 2 cores it a quad core will still work well just 2 cores than can/will be used for other stuff like antivirus software and such so you can search your system for badassware while gaming :sarcastic:  Because it seems like people are thinking "Hey, quad cores need a program to use 4 cores omgz, with dual x2 core i can play 2 core in gaming, wow gaming i run cool game for super speed overclock quad core suck my ballz!" :kaola:  Better to invest in a quad core as it will give you more power in the future! :na: 
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July 17, 2009 4:18:27 PM

UltraO said:
You suck you fat ass noob, this isn't a celebrity magazine! No one gives a *** about that so usefull info.



Although making a technical point, there are much better ways of going about it - User rated down for being a Tw*t.
July 17, 2009 4:31:27 PM

WHOOPS missed it.

@OP
Your triple core core cpu is running at 2100mhz
Min recommend for games is 2500

It would be nice if you could swap out that triple for a Phenom II Triple 720BE

Everything would be the same only faster, and it oclox like crazy too. Also faster overall throughput.

I don't know your mobo - but check with manufacturers cpu compatibility list, if possible, and consider a faster triple core than the slow one you have. Vidcard is plentiful. It's your stock clox. And that triple you have will not oclox very much either. If the 720 fits, problem solved.

Alt choice = dualcore = Phenom II 550 BE @ 3.1 Ghz, also oclox.

Alt choice PhII Quad - but it's a waste for gaming - won't use all those cores.

Quad is useless - you already have most of a quad with your existing triple - it's the clock speed causing limited data throughput to GPU.
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July 17, 2009 4:32:45 PM

UltraO said:
You suck you fat ass noob, this isn't a celebrity magazine! No one gives a *** about that so usefull info.

Get a quad core ;)  , the newest quad cores can actually easily reach above 4+ GHz, which makes them competitive with the dual cores at the same speed, because remember... If a game can use 2 cores it a quad core will still work well just 2 cores than can/will be used for other stuff like antivirus software and such so you can search your system for badassware while gaming :sarcastic:  Because it seems like people are thinking "Hey, quad cores need a program to use 4 cores omgz, with dual x2 core i can play 2 core in gaming, wow gaming i run cool game for super speed overclock quad core suck my ballz!" :kaola:  Better to invest in a quad core as it will give you more power in the future! :na: 

Jealousy is a cruel mistress, perhaps if you had studied harder your grammar would not be so poor, which may have lead to a better paid job giving you the ability to afford more than one machine.
July 17, 2009 4:33:53 PM

quote from OP
AMD Phenom X3 8450|eVGA nForce 730a|eVGA GTX 260 SC| Corsair DDR2800 2GBx2|Acer19" and HP 21" Dual| n52te Gamerpad
July 17, 2009 4:36:54 PM

perhap the kids in the sandbox could start a new topic called self indulgent abuse.
July 17, 2009 5:15:00 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Jealousy is a cruel mistress, perhaps if you had studied harder your grammar would not be so poor, which may have lead to a better paid job giving you the ability to afford more than one machine.

LOL, all I said is that it was useless info, that doesn't help the OP's question :sarcastic:  And then you think I am some kind of poor communist, lol I got several machines at home, and I don't try to be some big e-dick n00b :sarcastic: 

You suck
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July 17, 2009 5:19:30 PM

JDV28 said:
After reading the Quad-core gaming thread. I am wondering if a great, overclocked dual core. will beat a nice quad core in GAMING only, in current games, and the ones expected within the next 6 months or so.


An AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition ($100) or Phenom II X3 720BE ($120) will give you all the jam you need - with the bonus of moving to a future AM3 motherboard.

Assuming the eVGA nForce 730a will run one - it's only been out 8 months or so -- I'm guessing that won't be a problem but you may need to update to the most current BIOS.
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July 17, 2009 6:06:31 PM

UltraO said:
LOL, all I said is that it was useless info, that doesn't help the OP's question :sarcastic:  And then you think I am some kind of poor communist, lol I got several machines at home, and I don't try to be some big e-dick n00b :sarcastic: 

You suck




....didn't learn the first time, apparently. Rated down again.
July 17, 2009 6:25:12 PM

All I can Say is ............ WOW! What An @$$. I also have many Rigs, all of mine do someting different most of the time but some times (more so than not), I have them ALL connected to a Clustering OS and They all work as one. Right now there are only 3 that can cluster. Thats 1 Quad and 2 duals all over 3.0 GHZ, this equals 8 processors and 16 gigs of 800 ram all balancing the load. Can your one PC do that.
July 17, 2009 6:44:39 PM

Wisecracker said:
An AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition ($100) or Phenom II X3 720BE ($120) will give you all the jam you need - with the bonus of moving to a future AM3 motherboard.

Assuming the eVGA nForce 730a will run one - it's only been out 8 months or so -- I'm guessing that won't be a problem but you may need to update to the most current BIOS.


Good points.

- although I find myself wondering if we are still in the same thread. I thought we were perhaps in the ultimate sandbox, the Coliseum in ancient Rome, watching 2 gladiators try to kill each other - or some similar cluster f... :) 

And we wonder how communication can be difficult. :) 
July 17, 2009 7:36:19 PM

Scotteq said:
....didn't learn the first time, apparently. Rated down again.

But I am telling the truth! Is it illegal? :( 
July 17, 2009 7:37:22 PM

Running a Q6600 @ 3.6 Ghz, 8gig ddr2 and a 8800gtx xxx edition on a 22" monitor. Runs anything on the market just now at max settings without a hiccup on vista 64bit and the rigs pushing 2 years now.
Dual or quad why worry really, long as you can slap a good GPU in there with it for now at least there os no real benefit that you can masure with your eyes imo.
On paper yes but the minor difference aint always going to translate into real world results.
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July 17, 2009 7:46:34 PM

plasmastorm said:
Running a Q6600 @ 3.6 Ghz, 8gig ddr2 and a 8800gtx xxx edition on a 22" monitor. Runs anything on the market just now at max settings without a hiccup on vista 64bit and the rigs pushing 2 years now.
Dual or quad why worry really, long as you can slap a good GPU in there with it for now at least there os no real benefit that you can masure with your eyes imo.
On paper yes but the minor difference aint always going to translate into real world results.

The good 'ole 8800GTX still rocks, eh?. Good to hear.
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July 17, 2009 7:48:25 PM

UltraO said:
But I am telling the truth! Is it illegal? :( 



I don't question the honest expression of your opinions.


Just the Delivery.
July 17, 2009 8:25:04 PM

I still dont understand the lack of support for the coming Intel duals. Everyone, ok, almost everyone would rather have an i7, with its SMT, turbo etc. Now, thats 8 cores, the new Intel duals deliver 4 cores, and should clock way higher, at 32nm.
Now, I know they arent out yet, but what we do know is theyre based off Nehalem arch, they should clock higher, and include SMT.
Adding this all up, I think the quad myth for gaming is over, at least until we see games using more than 4 threads, where we see very few benefitting from quads currently
July 17, 2009 8:40:54 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
I still dont understand the lack of support for the coming Intel duals. Everyone, ok, almost everyone would rather have an i7, with its SMT, turbo etc. Now, thats 8 cores, the new Intel duals deliver 4 cores, and should clock way higher, at 32nm.
Now, I know they arent out yet, but what we do know is theyre based off Nehalem arch, they should clock higher, and include SMT.
Adding this all up, I think the quad myth for gaming is over, at least until we see games using more than 4 threads, where we see very few benefitting from quads currently

True, but you can disable hyperthreading on core i7, which gives you 4 threads ;) 

Scotteq said:
I don't question the honest expression of your opinions.


Just the Delivery.

Ok
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July 17, 2009 8:50:26 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
I still dont understand the lack of support for the coming Intel duals. Everyone, ok, almost everyone would rather have an i7, with its SMT, turbo etc. Now, thats 8 cores, the new Intel duals deliver 4 cores, and should clock way higher, at 32nm.
Now, I know they arent out yet, but what we do know is theyre based off Nehalem arch, they should clock higher, and include SMT.
Adding this all up, I think the quad myth for gaming is over, at least until we see games using more than 4 threads, where we see very few benefitting from quads currently

+1
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July 17, 2009 9:11:52 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
I still dont understand the lack of support for the coming Intel duals....



Jay - Not that I do or don't support the upcoming Dual Cores - I've said elsewhere they're pretty damned interesting. Particularly for home/gaming use, which is what I intend on using the new box for. But at the moment it's on paper and little previews, and I just don't want to toss opinions when I feel the picture is incomplete. There is a very nice article on Anand on it, but the i5 isn't the only thing in the pipeline, yah?

I simply haven't made up my mind if I want an i7, or an i5, or if AMD is going to pull a surprise victory and get (my) next build. And if it's not settled in my own head, then I don't want to tell someone else what to do...
July 17, 2009 9:28:33 PM

^+55000
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July 17, 2009 9:49:21 PM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
I still dont understand the lack of support for the coming Intel duals. Everyone, ok, almost everyone would rather have an i7, with its SMT, turbo etc. Now, thats 8 cores, the new Intel duals deliver 4 cores, and should clock way higher, at 32nm.
Now, I know they arent out yet, but what we do know is theyre based off Nehalem arch, they should clock higher, and include SMT.
Adding this all up, I think the quad myth for gaming is over, at least until we see games using more than 4 threads, where we see very few benefitting from quads currently


One potential problem is that the clarksdale 32nm duo 's will have integrated graphics. That is not bad, even useful. But the motherboards that currently have integrated graphics can not be overclocked well because the graphics part can not be overclocked much, if at all.. Otherwise, I would be encouraged. The i5 quads will still be built on the 45nm process, and should perform quite like the i7. Now, if you wait for the i9 gulftown 32nm 6 core cpu, I think you could expect something more. I think intel is missing a good opportunity here for a gaming specific cpu.
July 17, 2009 10:04:28 PM

Well lets say that the game industry turns its nose up at PC gaming (in which they are largely already doing for piracy reasons) and goes to the much hated (by me) MMORPG. What are we supposed to do then? Keep upgrading our rigs just for low level game play? Even so I cant think of a single MMORPG that even comes close to using the power that I have in one HD 4870x2 and a PII 940 and only few Regular games push my system. As when dual/Quad gaming is concerned I cant tell much Difference in the gameplay between the PII 940 And The 7750 @ 3.2 actually only 1 FPS different. As for the i5 , i7 and the i9., well I just wont buy Intel. I have my own reasons there. The i5 is indeed a really interesting product I myself am wondering how well it will perform and OC.
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July 17, 2009 10:06:19 PM

geofelt said:
...I think intel is missing a good opportunity here for a gaming specific cpu.




I don't know - Chopping one of the memory controllers off of an i7, and putting a 16x PCi 2.0 bus on~die where the memory controller used to be sounds like pretty good value~add in a gaming rig. In theory, at least, that should cut latency way down and help ensure best possible throughput to/from the first PCi slot. I'm just waiting to see some production(ready) silicon on a couple production mobos...

Integrated graphics? On~die or not, I'll avoid like the plague. That's business class stuff, and not somethign I'd consider for one of my own rigs.
July 18, 2009 12:37:47 AM

Scotteq wrote:
Integrated graphics? On~die or not, I'll avoid like the plague. That's business class stuff, and not somethign I'd consider for one of my own rigs.

I say well that depends on if it will act anything like CUDA, also its real world performance, I suppose.
July 18, 2009 1:25:13 AM

Mousemonkey said:
The good 'ole 8800GTX still rocks, eh?. Good to hear.

Those 8800gtx cards will still run hard for awhile. I have had mine almost a year and a half. :)  And i am thinking of getting a qaud core for my upcoming build, using a a dual core on this rig which as been great thus far.
July 18, 2009 2:41:58 AM

Thing is, with the IGP on chip, Im guessing at its potential to be shut off. If theyve routed around it potentially, then those clocks will be there.
I know its early, but it does belong in the conversation, because if it does what I hope it does, it will shut down the quad gaming question pretty well.
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July 18, 2009 3:09:16 AM

JAYDEEJOHN said:
Thing is, with the IGP on chip, Im guessing at its potential to be shut off. If theyve routed around it potentially, then those clocks will be there.
I know its early, but it does belong in the conversation, because if it does what I hope it does, it will shut down the quad gaming question pretty well.



I'm guessing the GPU on the processor silicon will be in addition to the onboard graphics chipset. The 'old' SSE5 (or what Intel calls AVX) SIMD instructions will utilize the GPU in conjunction with the CPU for media encoding, parallel processing, encryption, advanced functions ...

Lookee here
July 18, 2009 3:23:36 AM

Hmmm, that could really muck things up for ocing, unless its a form like HT, where its switchable
July 18, 2009 7:23:20 AM

habitat87 said:
This is not a good idea due to needed revising, cooling methods and complications. Discrete performance graphics should always be kept as an add on due to constant changing of graphics.

Unless they want to change the whole platform around create something different and get rid of add on graphics cards. Even then, it doesn't make sense. Graphics constantly change anyway and is very expensive. This idea I can see only leads to more limitation and problems then graphics already have so far. What are they trying to do? Take the fun totally out of computers for gamers by doing this? Mobos don't run hot enough, let alone from overclocking already?


I dont believe this to be the case. I believe they are trying to utilize the potential of GPU processing to increase overall IPC computations . therefore giving us the next generation CPU in terms of IPC or real world performance. The add on Graphics cars will continue to be a part of our computing experience for some time to come.
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