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What could those 2 extra cores on the 6core i7 be used for?

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May 12, 2010 9:38:34 AM

For now, what could we possibly use those 2 extra cores for in HOME computing? Its not a server based CPU like the Xeon but what would a regular consumer/gamer do with this besides spend more dough, have fun oc'ing it, and topping benches.... are there even apps that can make use of ALL 6 cores yet?

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May 12, 2010 9:49:57 AM

No games or regular home computing apps that I know of use more than three cores to be honest, unless you count Photoshop as one. There are quite a lot of multithreaded apps which can use six cores, such as Photoshop.
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May 12, 2010 3:33:33 PM

^^ Umm...Dragon Age, Bad Company 2, GTA IV all take my C2Q's cores up to 85%+...It comes down to the OS scheduler in the end...
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May 12, 2010 3:38:40 PM

Dude there are plenty o apps that will use however number of cores are available.

http://www.dennis.se/smp/

Bad Company 2 which I love will put all to work all cores available for better framerates. If anyone out there has played BC2 on dual socket server systems, please post the core usage here.





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May 13, 2010 3:00:50 AM

hundredislandsboy said:
Dude there are plenty o apps that will use however number of cores are available.

http://www.dennis.se/smp/

Bad Company 2 which I love will put all to work all cores available for better framerates. If anyone out there has played BC2 on dual socket server systems, please post the core usage here.

We should list these apps so people thinking of buying an absurd proceat THIS moment can think twice. Which current apps, games and other software utilize 4 full cores, does cloud computing even utilize all processors when done in the background from a virus scan, browsing, and a word or excel doc?
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May 13, 2010 4:02:22 AM

Firstly, extra cores don't aid in overclocking.. Now, the main frustrating point as i find out is not the fact that we don't need hexa core currently but its rather that its (the i7 980X) priced extremely high.. The discussion to be based on the need of a average user is rather pointless.. This chip was not made keeping the average (and the poor) user in the mind.. Moreover it doesn't comes with promise of making your downloads more faster etc..etc.. As for apps which make use of extra cores, there are plenty.. To keep it to general level, consider all video encoding/decoding apps.. Then come games which tend to be getting more and more resource hungry day by day.. Then there are professional users be it designers and/or scientists.. The fact that software is running slow is not going to stall the hardware's progress.. Software companies need to catch up.. Till then its like i always believe, extra power is never harmful..
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May 13, 2010 4:46:58 AM

gamerk316 said:
^^ Umm...Dragon Age, Bad Company 2, GTA IV all take my C2Q's cores up to 85%+...It comes down to the OS scheduler in the end...


3 games? Out of how many that have been released in the past 3-4 years? Not a good enough argument.
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May 13, 2010 6:04:54 AM

The question should be more who can use 6 cores and not what 6 cores can be used for. And the answer is very simple:

Powers users use however many cores they can afford (ie 12 cores on dual-socket motherboards).

Non-power users buy single or dual cores, don't multi-task. etc
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May 13, 2010 6:39:09 AM

werxen said:
3 games? Out of how many that have been released in the past 3-4 years? Not a good enough argument.


Any thing built on the Unreal 3 Engine will push 4 cores, and a rather large number of games are built using unreal. Valve has even modified the source engine to push 4 cores, at least Left4Dead 2 does. Quit with the arguments that nothing uses more than 2 cores, it's getting old.
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May 13, 2010 6:46:59 AM

This same stupid argument pops up every single time cores are added. Somehow people always say that the extra cores are somehow not needed. It was stupid 5 years ago when 1 was somehow better than 2. Its stupid now that we are up to "4 is better than 6". It will be stupid in 2 years when 6 will be better than 8.
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May 13, 2010 6:52:15 AM

Microsoft Flight Simulator X will utilize 6 cores.
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May 13, 2010 9:03:49 AM

jj463rd said:
Microsoft Flight Simulator X will utilize 6 cores.

Yeah spot on, MFSX uses alot of computing power, I had my cpu use up 100% load on a E7500 utilizing a 9800gtx+ 2 years ago! That game eats cpus more so than GTA4.
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May 13, 2010 9:15:31 AM

werxen said:
3 games? Out of how many that have been released in the past 3-4 years? Not a good enough argument.

The majority of today games use use 4 cores and some use up to 16 cores...
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May 13, 2010 12:00:05 PM

werxen said:
3 games? Out of how many that have been released in the past 3-4 years? Not a good enough argument.


Those are just the ones I know for a fact because I've personally bothered to check via task manager; Supreme Commander, both Crysis games, Far Cry 2, FSX all scale well with 4 cores, just not as well as newer titles. [The three I gave had 85% scaling or more across 4 cores, the others tend to drop off a bit after the second core, but still use 4.]

Nevermind that Windows generally has several HUNDRED threads going at one time, so more cores will at least make certain commands more "snappy", even if it has no effect whatsoever on FPS once a program actually starts.

Right now, Quads are fine for 99.9% of all users. But its clear programmers are finally starting to thread well [IE: Scaling instead of having some pre-defined limit of cores used]. For serious gamers, Duo's are already dead.

Either way, 80% of the time, the GPU is the bigger bottleneck anyways...

Finally, I'd note the biggest bottleneck is the Windows Sheduler, which due to very deep down memory considerations, preferes to stick all programs on a single core. [I could go into a very long dissertation as to why, if you'd prefer]
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May 14, 2010 8:12:49 AM

gamerk316 said:
Those are just the ones I know for a fact because I've personally bothered to check via task manager; Supreme Commander, both Crysis games, Far Cry 2, FSX all scale well with 4 cores, just not as well as newer titles. [The three I gave had 85% scaling or more across 4 cores, the others tend to drop off a bit after the second core, but still use 4.]

Nevermind that Windows generally has several HUNDRED threads going at one time, so more cores will at least make certain commands more "snappy", even if it has no effect whatsoever on FPS once a program actually starts.

Right now, Quads are fine for 99.9% of all users. But its clear programmers are finally starting to thread well [IE: Scaling instead of having some pre-defined limit of cores used]. For serious gamers, Duo's are already dead.

Either way, 80% of the time, the GPU is the bigger bottleneck anyways...

Finally, I'd note the biggest bottleneck is the Windows Sheduler, which due to very deep down memory considerations, preferes to stick all programs on a single core. [I could go into a very long dissertation as to why, if you'd prefer]

Interesting, well if a single core can handle all those programs then I guess the clock speed would matter when refering to the older core 2's(I am waiting for Ud3p to arrive where I am and replacing my E7500)... I see you still sport a core 2 extreme.... So truly the core i7 920 at the very least with 4 real cores is the least one should get for serious gaming and basic apps like 3ds MAx and photoshop among others like itunes, ect?
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May 14, 2010 9:04:33 AM

Keep in mind people that just because you see all four/six/eight bars in task manager showing activity it does not mean the program is really using them all.

The programs are judged on if they scale when more cores are added. If the app performs the same with 4 cores as it does 6 then it is not using the extra two core. Same goes from a dual to a quad. What you will see is simply the OS spreading the work across all cores.
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May 14, 2010 12:03:37 PM

^^ Which is what you want. Doesn't mean the game will run faster though, but ideally, you want to spread the workload so you don't run into a situation where one core slowing down due to extra workload (such as an AV program running a scan) doesn't bring the entire system to a halt.

Also, QX9650 = Quad, and a very fast quad (3.0 at stock with unlocked multi). And anything above a Q9550 is good enough to avoid gaming bottlenecks in most all cases right now, although as GPU speed increases and more games start to scale with avaliable cores, it might start to show its age...
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May 25, 2010 5:44:21 AM

Best answer selected by liquidsnake718.
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