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Quad-core or Hexa-core for Multitasking AND Gaming

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June 17, 2010 12:55:01 AM

This is pretty much the last issue I'm having with my new build, so I figured I'd ask for opinions on this forum.

I'm down to trying to decide between a Phenom II x4 965 or a Phenom II x6 1055T. The difference is $20 (or $5 if I buy today and get the gift card...but I probably won't get to it by the end of the day) so it's really just a matter of which will better suit me.

Without OC, the 965 is 3.4ghz whereas the 1055T is 2.9ghz, but I'm pretty sure if I OC the 1055T I'd still have a pretty good quality CPU since it'd compare to the 965?

I'm aware that the 965 will be better for gaming in itself, but will the 1055T handle the game + background processes better?

Pretend I'm converting a lineup of avi's into mpegs, running 50+ browser windows with flash animation in a few of them, burning a cd, running 10+ applications including those (including a virus scan), and playing Starcraft with everything else running in the background.

My questions are: which processor is better? by how much? and which/what tasks would I have to kill/run to make the other processor better? (as in what if I wasn't playing Starcraft, or was only playing the Sims 3 or something, or wasn't running the virus check, etc.)

Oh, and while we're at it, how much RAM should I get with that?

Thanks guys. :D 
June 17, 2010 12:55:57 AM

Most games wont use all the cores (yet). But if you want to futureproof, i'd go with the hexa-core. It will be great for multitasking too. The only reason to get the 965 would be the easy overclocking.
June 17, 2010 1:08:11 AM

Will it be all that futureproof though if it clocks that much more slowly? I feel like clock speeds for hexa-cores (and then octo-cores) will only get faster...and then 2.9ghz on a hexa-core will be laughable... Which is part of what worries me.
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June 17, 2010 1:25:26 AM

^^ and even if an individual game can't use all the cores, could other applications use the extra cores while the game is running?
a c 83 à CPUs
June 17, 2010 1:57:02 AM

9t9redballoons said:
Will it be all that futureproof though if it clocks that much more slowly? I feel like clock speeds for hexa-cores (and then octo-cores) will only get faster...and then 2.9ghz on a hexa-core will be laughable... Which is part of what worries me.


Why do you keep typing 2.9Ghz? The 1055 is a 2.8Ghz part.

Clock speed really isn't a big deal, it's actually rather irrelevant when comparing processors that aren't of the same architecture. Besides, 2.8Ghz(3.3Ghz with Turbo) and 3.4Ghz isn't much of a difference, I wouldn't worry about having only a 2.8Ghz part. lol
a c 203 à CPUs
June 17, 2010 2:14:11 AM

9t9redballoons said:
Pretend I'm converting a lineup of avi's into mpegs, running 50+ browser windows with flash animation in a few of them, burning a cd, running 10+ applications including those (including a virus scan), and playing Starcraft with everything else running in the background.
Pretend there is 'method to the madness' that AMD prices it's Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz @ $200 - the same price as the Core i5 750.
Could it possibly be that it's because it's just about as 'powerful'? Benchmark comparison: Phenom II X6 1055T vs Core i5 750
What's true right now - will also be true in the future.
June 17, 2010 3:38:16 AM

loneninja said:
Why do you keep typing 2.9Ghz? The 1055 is a 2.8Ghz part.

Clock speed really isn't a big deal, it's actually rather irrelevant when comparing processors that aren't of the same architecture. Besides, 2.8Ghz(3.3Ghz with Turbo) and 3.4Ghz isn't much of a difference, I wouldn't worry about having only a 2.8Ghz part. lol


Sorry, 2.8ghz, my bad.

And that clock speed thing was what I was saying but earlier in the thread, someone said the two are of the same architecture so it does. And I don't know anything about Turbo...
June 17, 2010 3:38:52 AM

^oops that was a different thread, nevermind, but yeah
a b à CPUs
June 17, 2010 4:14:44 AM

With that mess of programs you said you wanted to run at the same time it would not matter which cpu you have. In theory the 6 core would be better. But it really will not matter simply. Simply because your cpu will not the be bottleneck. It will be the hdds. You simply just cant that many things running that also rely on read/writes on the disk drive.

Best bet would be to get the six core and not be a complete fool and try to encode/burn cds/run antivirus on the same drive at the same time. I would not even encode period on the same disk. One drive would for read, and another for writing the converted files to.
a c 203 à CPUs
June 17, 2010 4:33:57 AM

After you fix the HDD bottleneck pay attention to the RAM as well. An extra 4GB or RAM will reduce the amount of HDD work for all the running applications.
I'm also thinking that situation you mention might warrant thinking about the greater bandwidth of triple channel RAM.
June 17, 2010 7:50:42 AM

WR2 said:
will also be true in the future.


I disagree, as software writers make better use of multithreading the 6 cores should outperform the 4
a c 203 à CPUs
June 17, 2010 1:50:33 PM

You would think so. But software writers will still have to consider how to optimize their software to run on low end hardware. Like laptops.
It's not like there aren't any multithreaded programs out there already to check your theory.
Like Far Cry 2 and Crysis Warhead in the benchmarks above.
And Photoshop CS4, Blender 2.48a, Sony Vegas 8 & Sorenson Squeeze. All multithreaded programs.
June 17, 2010 11:50:15 PM

Hexacore is not needed a core i7 will be fine with it's 8 threads.

9t9redballoons said:
This is pretty much the last issue I'm having with my new build, so I figured I'd ask for opinions on this forum.

I'm down to trying to decide between a Phenom II x4 965 or a Phenom II x6 1055T. The difference is $20 (or $5 if I buy today and get the gift card...but I probably won't get to it by the end of the day) so it's really just a matter of which will better suit me.

Without OC, the 965 is 3.4ghz whereas the 1055T is 2.9ghz, but I'm pretty sure if I OC the 1055T I'd still have a pretty good quality CPU since it'd compare to the 965?

I'm aware that the 965 will be better for gaming in itself, but will the 1055T handle the game + background processes better?

Pretend I'm converting a lineup of avi's into mpegs, running 50+ browser windows with flash animation in a few of them, burning a cd, running 10+ applications including those (including a virus scan), and playing Starcraft with everything else running in the background.

My questions are: which processor is better? by how much? and which/what tasks would I have to kill/run to make the other processor better? (as in what if I wasn't playing Starcraft, or was only playing the Sims 3 or something, or wasn't running the virus check, etc.)

Oh, and while we're at it, how much RAM should I get with that?

Thanks guys. :D 

June 18, 2010 5:14:31 PM

xxsk8er101xx said:
Hexacore is not needed a core i7 will be fine with it's 8 threads.


The i7's a bit out of my budget range, being about $100 more than the hexacore, $120 more than the quadcore
June 19, 2010 2:46:58 AM

if you do a few less things at once and o'c then 1055T.

The o'cing brings the clock speed up enough to nearly match the 965 (o'cd) because of the Turbo when not all 6 cores are being used...

i.e. 3 core used:

965 uses 3 cores at 3.8Ghz (example o'c)
1055T uses 3 cores at 3.3Ghz, but goes to 3.6Ghz using Turbo (I don't think those are exact figures, but you get the idea)

that way it doesn't fall very far behind whenever the extra 2 cores aren't being used, but it pulls ahead when they are.
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