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Processor Comparison

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July 18, 2009 5:26:26 PM

Hi - I am considering buying a different computer and am trying to compare my current processor to the one on the computer that I'm considering. My current processor is an AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 5600+ at 2.80 GHz; I have 3 gb or RAM and it's a 32 bit operating system. The one that I'm looking at has a Intel Core2 Quad Processor Q8200 at 2.33 GHz and has 8 gb of RAM and it's a 64 bit operating system. I'm trying to figure out if the system I'm considering will actually be slower than my current system (which I wouldn't want). The reason I'm considering an upgrade is to have more hard drive space (from 400 gb to 1 TB), more RAM, and to possibly pass my current system to my mom. I've been trying to figure out how to know which one is faster but just don't know how. Any help, opinions, suggestions on how to find the answer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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a c 105 à CPUs
July 18, 2009 5:36:23 PM

your new PC will be a lot quicker, the Q8200 has twice the processors of your current dual core. Plus the 64 bit operating system will let you take full advantage of the 8GB ram

see link for CPU comparison
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=30&p2=52
July 18, 2009 5:53:02 PM

Hi - Thank you for your reply and your help. I really appreciate it. The thing is I wasn't sure if my software would be able to take advantage of the quad cores and therefore didn't know if it was worth it. The increased RAM will increase speed as well right? It's good to know that even though the GHz is less that it will be faster. Thanks again.
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July 18, 2009 5:56:04 PM

Unfortunately, most day to day computing, and gaming, doesn't use more than 2 cores, though this is slowly changing. If you leave everything at stock speeds, the Q8200 system will be slower in most things using 2 or less cores. If you let us know what you use your system for we may be able to give you a recommendation. If you are willing to dabble in overclocking, you can easily get a cheap quad core running faster than 2.8GHz.

As far as your upgrade reasons, adding another hard drive is the simplest upgrade you can do, so don't think that you have to purchase a whole new computer just to get more hard drive space. Also depending on your uses, you may see little to no benefit between 3GB of ram and 8.

Lastly, I assume from your post that you are looking at prebuilt systems. If you have the time and are willing, you can consider building your own system. It's not as hard as you might think and you are already at the best forums for help with such a task!
July 18, 2009 7:21:43 PM

Hi - thanks for your reply. I'm going to be using the computer at home, playing games, converting cd's to mp3's, some photo editing, e-mail, and surfing the net. The only reason that I was looking at that particular quad core was that it had a terabyte hard drive. I am looking at prebuilt systems. I'm not up to building my own - I would assume that could be expensive? I'm not looking to pay a lot. The system with the terabyte hard drive is at the top of what I'm looking to pay at $679. You mentioned that if I overclock I could get a cheap quad core faster than 2.8 GHz. What would that involve? Also, how would I know if more ram would be a benefit to me? I'm looking to upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out too. Thanks for your help!
a b à CPUs
July 18, 2009 7:37:54 PM

Stick with the Quad, software is finally catching up and most video converters already have full support for the extra cores, giving them a big boost in performance.
Games are also getting in on the multi-core action, too.
If you are working with large images, the 8Gb is going to come in handy as well, the system will be able to hold and manipulate more at once without having to use the swap file.
July 18, 2009 7:57:55 PM

Building your own system is almost always cheaper than getting a prebuilt one. If you link the system we can see how good of a deal it is.

As far as overclocking, here's a guide related to the quad you are looking at : HOWTO: Overclock C2Q (Quads) and C2D (Duals)
Note that this is an extremely in-depth guide, don't let it's size daunt you. You can choose to overclock a machine whenever, so you can decide to go with a quad and only look into overclocking if you aren't happy with it's speed.

As far as ram, you probably will get some benefit in gaming and photo editing, particularly if you are working with several very high resolution photos at once.

To be clear, if you are buying/building a new system, I do recommend getting a quad, I was just discussing the relative speeds with what you already have.
July 18, 2009 8:07:42 PM

To me it sounds like you wont be doing any hardcore gaming and editing. So I dont think he would see the difference. Like spinny said adding a hard drive is pretty easy. Anything past 4gb's of ram unless you are hardcore gamer in which you would be most likely building it yourself. Post the specs of your current pc and the one you want to purchase then we can better decide if is really worth it. Me, all I would do is add a 1TB hard drive and a 1GB HD4350 video card all for under $150.00
July 19, 2009 3:23:52 AM

million3g, spinnny, coozie7,

Thank you all for your replies. I really appreciate your time. What will the video converters do? I know my lack of knowledge in this area is showing but are the video converters something that will help with all programs installed on a computer?

Here is the link to the computer I'm considering. It's an HP Pavilion p6140f.

http://www.staples.com/office/supplies/p1__291104_Busin...

Here are the specs of my current system - it's an HP Pavilion a6230n: Windows Vista Home Premium, AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 5600+ 2.80 GHZ; 3.00gb ram, 32 bit operating system, 400 gb hard drive, NVIDA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430 graphics card. If there is anything else about my current system that you were wanting to know let me know and I can tell you.

Thanks again for helping.
July 19, 2009 5:01:29 AM

Video converters are just software used to convert videos between formats. We mention it because it's very processor-intensive.

Some things to note about the system you are considering:

1) It has no standalone video card, meaning it will be terrible at playing games. It will be about $100 get a decent one.
2) The included 1TB hard drive is actually a 5400 rpm hard drive! This is disgusting, frankly.
3) Don't get hung up on the 8GB of memory, this is complete overkill for your purposes, you need half that at most.
4) You will be unable to overclock this system at all, as HP cripples their bios to prevent it.

If you don't plan to do overclocking anyway, this system would be an OK price. However, I can't get past the 5400 RPM hard drive. Industry standard for desktops is 7200, and there is a noticeable speed difference. It makes me sick to see HP throw 8GB of RAM in this system just because it is one of the few specs the average consumer checks for, even though it is crazy overkill for the target audience, and then cut costs behind the scenes in a way that will really impact performance.

Please consider something such as this acer. More hard drive, more processor, more video card, but still not overclockable.

There are also a bunch of other options in that price range on newegg that have real hard drives and video cards. Shoot, this one even comes with a 22" monitor!

Sorry if I sound biased, deceptions like that make me icky all-over.
a c 191 à CPUs
July 19, 2009 7:00:07 AM

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/index.php

RAM:
I agree, 4GB.

Windows:
Wait and get Windows 7 x64 OEM. (get the free RC for now)

For a reasonable all round system I'd build around an AM3 design:

1) AMD AM3 quad 3GHz CPU
2) 4GB DDR3 1600MHz
3) suitable motherboard
4) WD 1TB Black HD
5) $120 to $200 NVidia card (look at benchmarks, consider budget)
6) PC Power and Cooling PSU
7) 120mm low-flow, low noise case fan
8) CPU HSF +120mm fan combo
9) DVD burner (read reviews)

other:
1) Auzentech Forte X-Fi sound card
2) Good speakers (read reviews)
3) monitors: I'm still using my 19" CRT and it's better in most ways than any LCD. Having said that, I'd get if getting an LCD monitor read a LOT of reviews and get a 1920x1080 22" monitor (though you might have to drop the resolution a notch for web pages to display correctly; my 1600x1200 capable CRT is set to 1280x960 with medium DPI.)
July 19, 2009 5:02:11 PM

Save yourself some money and just buy a 1Tb hard drive for $75 and put it in your existing system as a second storage drive. That sound like all you really want.
July 19, 2009 11:30:46 PM

spinny, photonboy, orangegator,

Thanks for your replies. After thinking about it, I'm leaning toward just waiting and, if I get closer to running out of space, upgrading my hard drive and making other upgrades to my current system. I was thinking about the bigger hard drive, then a different processor, and maybe getting a different bit operating system (I've already pre ordered Windows 7 upgrade) so I can add just a tad more ram (I currently have 3 gb of ram). Of course, I don't know if I can just upgrade the processor or if that would mean a new mother board. What would I be looking at as far as cost for these things? I saw at Best Buy they had a terabyte hard drive for $100. Is that a good deal or where else would I go to be able to buy the processor, hard drive, etc? Thanks again!
July 20, 2009 12:12:04 AM

orangegator,

Thanks for the links!

August 17, 2009 7:19:30 PM

About the response -->Hi - Thank you for your reply and your help. I really appreciate it. The thing is I wasn't sure if my software would be able to take advantage of the quad cores and therefore didn't know if it was worth it. The increased RAM will increase speed as well right? It's good to know that even though the GHz is less that it will be faster. Thanks again.

Quad Processors have 4 processors working simultaneously, so the 2.33 GHZ is actually multiplied to 4 giving you 9.32 GHZ of power. The 2.5 GHZ is only multiplied by 2 because it has 2 processors giving you a total of 5GHZ. So the quad actually has about double as many GHZ as the dual athlon processor. Plus you can aspect each GHZ from the quad to be faster than a GHZ from the athlon.

Also since the quad computer has a 64- bit system, it will actaully use all of the 8GB ram, where as the 32-bit system can only take advantage of 3-4 GB ram. Thats the limit of a 32-bit system.
a b à CPUs
August 17, 2009 10:26:54 PM

omarm - a quad does not give you 9.32GHz of power (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean anyways). In single threaded programs, the quad will not be any faster than a single core processor at 2.33 GHz. In other cases, it will be faster, but that method of claiming equivalence with a 9.32GHz CPU is completely wrong, and usually misleading.
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