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ATI 5850, should i pair it with dual core or quad core

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February 16, 2010 12:52:33 AM

Hi,
Im definately planning on getting the ATI saphirre 5850 for future proofing in my new pc. my question is, i was planning on going dual core cause all i do is gaming and light media. i read that quad core is REALLY overrated and the gains are minimal after the first 2 cores. but now i read that someone said that since the 5850 is so power hungry their is no point in getting the card if ur using a dual core. I want my 5850 to feel pampered, like if it can clap its hand and whatever it needs ill get for it, kind of like if carmen electra needed me to run to the store in the middle of the night for her but the store was in beijing. id do it without blinking right? So, what processor should i go with. i like the AMD Phenom II X2 555 Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision Model. Should i really shell more out and get the quad core version of this processor. I thought if need be i could just unlock the other 2 core of my dual core. IDK, maybe this person who said that the 5850 is processor dependant didnt really know a lot. also, im using crucial ddr3 4gs of 1333 ram. will this work ok with it?
February 16, 2010 1:00:05 AM

Having a quad certainly wont hurt you. There actually is quite a bit of benefit to having one. Some games benefit from higher clock speeds vs number of cores. However if you are indeed attempting to future proof your pc (which is really a futile task), then I would go with the quad.

Also you can't just "unlock" the 2nd 2 cores of a dual core to make it a quad, thats not how things work. Dual cores only have 2 cores on the die...
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February 16, 2010 1:17:42 AM

A quad core is a good idea. There was a point where more than one core was mostly useless as well, not thinking ahead is a mistake. Whether or not it's strictly necessary depends on the specific game but just in general more and more games as well as applications are and will be designed to be multithreaded and utilize whatever amount of cores your processor has.
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February 16, 2010 1:28:30 AM

wow, great responses. you really opened my eyes. after reading one article i get thrown one way and then reading another i get thrown somewhere else. alas im getting more and more informed. i think ill go quad then, thanks!
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February 16, 2010 1:28:53 AM

Best answer selected by richarda83.
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February 16, 2010 5:11:20 AM

You've been steered in the wrong direction. That Phenom II X2 555BE or 550BE does indeed have 4 cores on the die, it's just that 2 of them have been disabled. If you have an AMD750 southbridge-equipped motherboard, then you can enable those extra cores and have a Phenom II X4 processor. But the crucial thing is that you MUST have a motherboard with ACC-capability, like my Gigabyte GA790X-UDP4. Theoretically, there is no guarantee the extra 2 cores are flawless, but this article here:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=373...

gives you more of an idea of your chances of getting 4 good cores (pretty much excellent, if you know where to order the chip from).

Just in case anybody STILL doubts what I'm saying, well, I actually am writing this post on a Phenom II X2 550BE equipped computer with all 4 cores enabled, and all 4 of them are running at 3.6GHz with a pretty lame HSF. They are all flawless, and I bought this chip back in May of last year. By now the yields are so good, there's little chance all 4 of the cores on a newer chip won't be flawless. Go for it, and save your money!
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