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I3 or Quad or Triple Core?

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  • Processors
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December 31, 2010 9:51:25 AM

I have just bought a Dell Inspiron 580 desktop PC with an Intel i3 540 Dual Core Processor (2 x 3.06Ghz cores - 4 threads, 4Mb L2 Cache), 4 gb DDR3 RAM, 750gb hdd, 512mb dedicated Geforce graphics card and Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

I'm now having a slight panic and crisis of confidence and was wondering whether to spend a little more and ask the seller to replace with a similar model with a quad or triple core processor?

I'm not techy in any way and admit to having got myself totally confused by trying to read various articles about processors and this might be why I am getting myself unnecessarily tied up in knots about whether I need to upgrade the processor.

There are 3 alternatives I could pursue with the seller which are as follows

1) Inspiron 546 with AMD Phenom X4 9750 Quad Core Processor (4 x 2.4Ghz cores), same RAM, smaller hard drive (640gb), blu ray player, marginally better graphics card but Visa instead of Windows 7. Cost £40 more

2) Inspiron 570 with AMD Althon II X3 425 Triple Core Processor ( 3 x 2.7Ghz cores, 1.5Mb L2 Cache). In every other respect identical to the 580. Cost £20 more

3) Inspiron 560 with Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 Quad Core Processor (4 x 2.5Ghz cores, 3Mb L2 Cache). Identical to the 580 except a smaller hard drive (500 gb). Cost £40 more.

I really don't want to spend any more if there's absolutely no need to do so.

The PC will be used for all the normal home/office uses (office applications, browsing and downloading, watching video, BBC iplayer, photo editing); light gaming (sims 3 and novelty games on Steam) and probably video editing now that my daughter has a camcorder - although having Goggled system requirement info on various video editing software an i3 processor looks like it will be more than up to the job.

So, any simple advice is most welcome, particularly if it is along the lines of "don't worry, for what you want to use your pc for, what you've bought is perfectly adequate so stop worrying unnecessarily!"

Thanks in anticipation.

ITchallenged

More about : quad triple core

a b à CPUs
December 31, 2010 10:06:28 AM

For office work, I think an i3/3 Ghz dual core is plenty adequate.....; unless you plan on playing Crysis, and ripping DVDs, while burning a BlueRay, while running a few instances of Prime95 and protein folding, all at the same time...
December 31, 2010 10:11:12 AM

Thanks. Just the sort of reassuring response I was hoping to get.

ITchallenged
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December 31, 2010 10:11:21 AM

The number 3 choice will last about 6 months longer than the number 2 choice, and the number 1 choice is not one I'd suggest to buy.
The current PC you're looking at should last you comfortably about 2 years, optimistically.
a c 85 à CPUs
December 31, 2010 10:13:17 AM

"don't worry, for what you want to use your pc for, what you've bought is perfectly adequate so stop worrying unnecessarily!"

The i3 is probably better than the Q8300, the only slight reticent i have with that statement is that there is some overheard for hyper threading, but its not a lot, and clock for clock the i3 is faster, so 3.06 subtract some overhead add some clock efficency should be faster than 2.5.

looking at http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-a...

the phenom (because its a phenom not a phenom II) is two ranks below the i3 so you are good to go there. The x3 is the same rank as the i3 so the performance will be similar. In the near future 4 will be better than 2 cores, but the difference between 2+2 and 3 will be minimal. I'd say don't worry about it.
December 31, 2010 10:13:51 AM

stingstang said:
The number 3 choice will last about 6 months longer than the number 2 choice, and the number 1 choice is not one I'd suggest to buy.
The current PC you're looking at should last you comfortably about 2 years, optimistically.


Thanks again for another simple, clear, helpful and re-assuring reply.

ITchallenged
December 31, 2010 10:15:15 AM

13thmonkey said:
"don't worry, for what you want to use your pc for, what you've bought is perfectly adequate so stop worrying unnecessarily!"

The i3 is probably better than the Q8300, the only slight reticent i have with that statement is that there is some overheard for hyper threading, but its not a lot, and clock for clock the i3 is faster, so 3.06 subtract some overhead add some clock efficency should be faster than 2.5.

looking at http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/best-gaming-cpu-core-i3-a...

the phenom (because its a phenom not a phenom II) is two ranks below the i3 so you are good to go there. The x3 is the same rank as the i3 so the performance will be similar. In the near future 4 will be better than 2 cores, but the difference between 2+2 and 3 will be minimal. I'd say don't worry about it.


I'm glad I came across the forum. Thanks again.

ITchallenged
a c 85 à CPUs
December 31, 2010 10:51:39 AM

thanks for the thanks, its quite rare... where are you buying from? always looking for new places in the UK just in case.
December 31, 2010 11:04:54 AM

13thmonkey said:
thanks for the thanks, its quite rare... where are you buying from? always looking for new places in the UK just in case.


I've purchased from a seller (xsonly)on ebay who have very good (99.8%) positive feedback. They resell a lot of Dell products, the majority of which are official Dell Outlet PC's and laptops (Inspiron's, Studios, Zinos, Vostros, Precisions) complete with 3 year on site Dell warranties.

The 580 I ordered arrived within 24 hours and is spanking brand new complete with all recovery and drivers disks and Windows disk.

The acid test will be when I've set it up and turned it on of course but my experience with the seller so far has been nothing but positive.

Here's a link to their ebay shop http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/xsonly/

ITchallenged
December 31, 2010 12:38:33 PM

You shouldn't feel too concerned...many if not most people worry AFTER the purchase whether they made the right decision...and the price you paid looks good (360)...the only thing I'd recommend is getting a 2nd HD to save files separately from the OS HD.
Remember to burn recovery CDs if it doesn't come with any...
December 31, 2010 2:30:54 PM

kitaware said:
You shouldn't feel too concerned...many if not most people worry AFTER the purchase whether they made the right decision...and the price you paid looks good (360)...the only thing I'd recommend is getting a 2nd HD to save files separately from the OS HD.
Remember to burn recovery CDs if it doesn't come with any...


Thanks Kitaware,

Good to know I'm not the only one! Part of the problem seems to be the army of so called experts around who start to cast doubts in your mind.

Thanks for yet another re-assuring post.

By the way I have a 500gb external seagate drive set up with my current HP desktop so will be using that alongside the new PC too.

ITchallenged
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