Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Single Core CPU+Multi-GPU vs. Multi Core CPU+Single-GPU

Last response: in Video Games
Share

Which would be faster?

Total: 42 votes (16 blank votes)

  • Single Core CPU+Multi-GPU
  • 15 %
  • Multi Core CPU+Single-GPU
  • 86 %
January 13, 2008 11:36:23 PM

Good day ladies and gentlemen!

We would like to conduct this poll for using either Single Core CPU+Multi-GPU vs. Multi Core CPU+Single-GPU to determine which would benefit the most when a.) upgrading; b.) building from scratch.

This is primarily for gaming, so most likely benchmarking is in order.

We also would like to know the actual performance gain when using Single Core CPU+Multi-GPU vs. Dual Core CPU+Single-GPU vs. Quad Core CPU+Single-GPU.

We would gladly appreciate if you would share your personal experience.

Please do comment which is the most cost efficient path also.

Many thanks THG Community!
January 13, 2008 11:50:06 PM

In general I reckon the multi GPU and single core cpu but it depends on the game, Right now more games support multi GPU configurations than multiple cores but in the future I think multi core will become more benefitial.
January 14, 2008 1:00:52 AM

Multiple GPU + Single core CPU

assuming the single core is fast enough, otherwise it will be a bottleneck.
Related resources
January 14, 2008 2:19:17 AM

Thanks for the replies. Need more input on the matter. Thanks THG Community! You rock!
January 14, 2008 3:55:42 AM

I personally think that if you are talking about a decent GPU and CPU, I would certainly go for muli-core CPU just so that the background tasks can be handled while gaming - whether the games can utilize the multi-core CPU functionality or not. Same apply that not all the games can utilize the multiple GPU. So having a multiple GPU may be a waste. Having a multi-core CPU to handle background tasks may not.

These days, I certainly think that the mid range 8800GT for instance is good enough for most games even if it on its own. Dual core seems to be the standard these days ... so why go for single core CPU and multiple GPU?
January 14, 2008 4:59:16 AM

I'd never go back to a single core CPU.
Seeing as I do other stuff than gaming on my PC, and it's mostly the other stuff that I do most of the time and not the gaming, I'd go with a multi-core CPU and a single GPU.
However, I wouldn't mind a multi-core CPU with a multi-core GPU rather than a multi-GPU, if they ever make something like that.

January 14, 2008 7:20:20 AM

bash007 said:
I'd never go back to a single core CPU.
Seeing as I do other stuff than gaming on my PC, and it's mostly the other stuff that I do most of the time and not the gaming, I'd go with a multi-core CPU and a single GPU.
However, I wouldn't mind a multi-core CPU with a multi-core GPU rather than a multi-GPU, if they ever make something like that.


Thanks for the inputs! Now I'm thoroughly convinced to dump the single core in favour of a dual core setup. I've had that notion about multicores since I've read somewhere (tell me if this notion is already outdated) that the CPU is somewhat considered the prima donna of all the system components, i.e., not working so hard as much as the other components, e.g., hard drive I/O, memory I/O and especially the GPU, when gaming (maybe except for Supreme Commander and some other CPU intensive games).

Actually so far rumor has it that nVidia is cooking up the 9800GX2 (G92 architecture) and so is ATi with the HD3870X2 (R680 architecture) if I'm not mistaken.

If the price of any of these cards are about the same range as a Quad Core Processor, given that the setup is not Single Core, which would you rather have? A setup with dual core CPU with a dual core GPU or a setup with quad core CPU with a single core GPU?

Weighing in the options.
January 14, 2008 7:26:26 AM

eTRP said:
If the price of any of these cards are about the same range as a Quad Core Processor, given that the setup is not Single Core, which would you rather have? A setup with dual core CPU with a dual core GPU or a setup with quad core CPU with a single core GPU?

Weighing in the options.


Hmmm ... that is an interesting scenario. Many say that the gaming world is not ready for quad core CPU yet. I do other stuffs with my PC like video editing, music editing and so on so I am leaning towards quad core CPU.

I have been that path before having SLI on 2x6800 ... I seriously think that I would rather have the resource to buy a good single GPU. That is of course you have the budget of SLi two 8800ULTRA that no single card can beat at the moment (I think, plz dun quote me on that .. just an example).
January 14, 2008 9:23:32 AM

imnotageek said:
Hmmm ... that is an interesting scenario. Many say that the gaming world is not ready for quad core CPU yet. I do other stuffs with my PC like video editing, music editing and so on so I am leaning towards quad core CPU.

I have been that path before having SLI on 2x6800 ... I seriously think that I would rather have the resource to buy a good single GPU. That is of course you have the budget of SLi two 8800ULTRA that no single card can beat at the moment (I think, plz dun quote me on that .. just an example).


A couple of remarks:

In terms of programming, the step from utilizing just 2 cores to multiple cores is much smaller than going from single core to dual (multiple) core support. Given that all major consoles out now are multiple core architectures, most modern developers have switched to multiple core support so most new games will support it. It still being rather new for most developers, we will see major improvement in utilizing multiple cores within a single application/game for some years to come. Why this is relevant? Because only a small group of developers are still developing only for PC, all others are doing multiple platforms and thus any investment in multiple core support has become a necessity, no longer a technology push for something that the majority of (PC) users do not have (and I think more than 50% of PC gamers will now have dual core or better now as well).

When looking at the results of the last years with SLI and Crossfire it has always been a better proposition to buy a single newer generation graphics card than 2 of the previous generation in SLI or Crossfire configuration. As long as this is the case, SLI/Crossfire is mostly for those that need more power than the latest generation card can give them.

Unless it will be possible to offload significant processing (like physics for instance or other non graphics related processing) to the GPU, it will not be a winning proposition to go for multiple GPU (and less cpu cores), and even then GPU's are optimized for a particular task: graphics, and as such are an expensive alternative to having more cpu cores, unless you have them in your system already (see my previous point).
January 14, 2008 10:37:43 AM

why would you buy a single core, if you can buy cheap amd duo cores?

and does a dubble core on one card gpu count?
January 14, 2008 11:21:03 AM

If it's a strict "Either/Or" theoretical question, than single CPU+Multi GPU is the answer if you are only looking at things from a Gaming perspective.

But real life answers are going to run the gamut from outright sarcasm: "Since they're so cheap now, What Moron Doesn't At Least Buy a Dual Core?",

To the more pragmatic: "You shouldn't limit yourself in terms of 'This Or That', but rather go through your budget, planned lifetime, and planned upgrades, for the system and buy the best you can within those limits."

And perhaps even through to the more technical: "Well.... Some games respond nicely to Crossfire and/or SLI Dual GPU setups, and others don't. So if you want Blah Blah Blah game you should be sure of the *Drivers* Because of that a Single Superior GPU is going to be far better for most people unless you absolutely must have the fastest frame rates at the highest possible screen sizes/resolutions and don't care about spending lots of cash and dealing with possible variable performance, possible technical issues, and possible extra delays for new drivers."




Now, if someone were to ask me what I would choose for a brand new gaming system:

*Today* - X48 chipset for best Penryn support and dual X16 PCi if you must have dual GPUs (this would be a Crossfire setup, of course). Or save a few bucks, buy a midrange P35 if a single GPU setup is desired (See 'Next Year' for why). I answer this way because uncertainty in my mind regarding nVidia's support/execution on their 7** chipset. And since 7** is a 6** chipset with dual X16 PCi, the known lack of full support for Penryn Quads on the 6** chipset has me a little doubtful going forward. If you want a C2D Penryn, then there's much less to worry about. I just dont' like to have a limit should I get a bug up my @$$ to play with something new...


*Must Create In the Next Half Year* - Wait another month or two to see what the new high end graphics cards can do. Though if you have a decent setup now, I'd think really hard about just upgrading the graphics card(s) and hanging on to the Old Girl for another year.


*Gathering Info for Next Year* - Wait for the Nephalem chipset/CPUs. Buy that after they've been on the streets for 3 or 4 months so you can get stable chipset drivers for your Mobo.
January 16, 2008 12:55:33 AM

DUAL + DUAL cores all the way.
January 16, 2008 2:16:07 AM

yay said:
DUAL + DUAL cores all the way.


I'll second that.

Single CPU + Dual GPU = bottleneck for the cpu (unless you play at higher resolutions and even then, it will perform based on how the code was written). You could own a dual 8800GPU and still have performance issues in some games such as Oblivion, Flight Simulator or any other HUGE AI required games. Other games such as FEAR also run so much better on multicores CPU. I know this because when I upgraded my PC, I had the chance to test all my games with my new rig + my old Videocard until I got the new one.

Multi CPU + Single GPU = Makes more sens, especially if you are running Vista (because there are more background applications and such) which could reduce performance on a single CPU. Single GPU is the most supported platform (obviously) and you get more value for the money you spend).

Dual + Dual = Enthousiastic setup for great performance. Furthermore, nowadays, you can get dual+dual for cheap!

For instance, getting an Intel Q6600 Quad Core with an ATI 3870X in CF will give you more performance in games like Crysis than a Q6600 + one 8800GTX...and that, for about the same price.

Given that most games currently on the works support CF or SLI, I'd go with Dual+Dual. If not, at least Multicore CPU + 1 GPU.
January 16, 2008 2:26:11 AM

The options on this poll seem to lack some common sense (at least from a pc builders stand point). Multi-GPU is only sensible if you're buying top tier cards which means spending a lot of money, anywhere from $600 min to $1200 or more - not including extra costs like bigger PSU, extra cooling, etc. Dual core CPUs on the other hand are dirt cheap even compaired to single core CPUs - what there are left of those. Basically there's zero financial sense in buying multi-gpu setups then going with a single core CPU just to save an extra $20.
!