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Quad, Dual, and Single Core CPU Speeds

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by OCDgamer, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. OCDgamer

    OCDgamer Member

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    This may seem like a dumb question, I don't know. I was wondering if I bought a 1.6Ghz Dual Core CPU, would that be the same as buying a 3.2Ghz single core CPU? I'm going to buy a new gaming PC and I see things like "3.0Ghz recommended" on game boxes. I'm not sure what I would need; I want the computer to be able to easily handle the games.
    I know I need a good GPU and everything else as well, I'm just thinking in terms of the CPU.
     
  2. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Nope, dual core is good for multi tasking but a slow dual core won't help you with gaming (unless the game supports dual core) which most of them don't. However more of them are coming out that do, so it's becoming more common. But for the most part the only applications that really take advantage of dual core are some video encoding/converting software. But in most things unless it's a decently fast dual core a really fast single core will beat a slow dual core. The only advantage dual core has in gaming really is that it runs all your other applications in the background on one core, while the game runs alone on the other core. What kind of dual core or single core are you considering anyway? I'll let you know what I think is faster for what you want to do.
     
  3. OCDgamer

    OCDgamer Member

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    I am thinking of an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz if I got a desktop. Since it's a quad-core CPU, that would also mean only one of those cores could run a game, right? I occasionally use different multimedia applications, burn DVDs, encode videos, etc. Do you think I should just go for a dual or single core, or will gaming support multi-core systems soon? Thanks for all your help as well. I really appreciate it.
     
  4. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    By all means go with the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz if you are considering it. I think eventually games will go multi core, and when it does you will definitely be ready. Right now when you play games that only support single core, it will only use one core. But that one core (especially overclocked) will play basically any game you want it to. I guess you could go with dual core if you want to go a cheaper route, but if you've got the money and don't want to upgrade for a while go with the Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz, and it won't disappoint you.
     
  5. OCDgamer

    OCDgamer Member

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    I was looking at a PC from ibuypower.com and I was going to get the "Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core Processor QX6700 (4x 2.66GHz/8MB L2 Cache/1066FSB)" in it. Then I saw the "Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (4x 2.4GHz/8MB L2 Cache/1066FSB)" for 500 less. I'd probably go with that, but is it hard to overclock? (The system has water cooling)
     
  6. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    To tell you the truth I have no clue about overclocking. I usually buy computer from name brands like HP or Gateway and then upgrade them quite a bit. So since the motherboards are locked in those I can't overlock, therefore I've had any experience overclocking. The only difference in processors seem to be clock speed. Those processors can be overclocked. I think judging by reading the Intel vs AMD thread, you should be able to overclock the Q6600 to 3.4 at the max. You may want to read around in that thread a little bit (I'll link you the pages where they start to talk about some overclocking with those processors and similar ones. But I remember reading this one post by docTY that said the highest he could get his Q6600 was 3.4 GHz and that was with water cooling. But if you want some more info on that you can look here.

    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/165/344865

    But in my opinion I would love to have the Q6600 as a gaming processor. It's a thousand times better than my AMD Athlon 4600+ X2, and I can play any game I want on max settings with no lag. That is with that processor, 2 gigs ram, and a Nvidia 7950 GT OC.
     
  7. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    For games performance or overclocking, Core 2 Duo, then Core 2 Quad, then Athlon64X2. The Quads are powerful but no faster per mhz than Duos, and the Duos overclock much better. The Core 2 architecture also trounces the Athlons, regardless. E6400 or E6600 is a good bet for overclocking and gaming. Multitasking etc. only requires 2 cores for now, you won't see much of a benefit with 4. When games say "3Ghz or more recommended" think "I bought a Core 2 Duo, even at 1.8Ghz it's faster than a 3Ghz P4, so who cares?"
     
  8. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Any of the Core 2 Duo seem to fly in my opinion, basiclly you can't go wrong. I just got a laptop today and it has a Core 2 Duo in it running at 1.86 GHz, and it's just as fast as or maybe faster than my desktop with an AMD Athlon 4600+ X2 at 2.4 GHz. I know that no games support quad core right now, but I figured if he had the money, he would be ready when those games got here. And in the mean time his games would run fine. But I guess for overclocking the Core 2 Duo would be his best bet.
     
  9. docTY

    docTY Regular member

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    i knew i heard my name mentioned, hehe, anyways, i just wanted to point out that there is ONE game that DOES support quad-core, it's Supreme Commander :)

    while many know i'm not a "gamer" myself and i don't actually own the game to test it out, but from various articles i've read online, this is one of the very first games to TRULY utilize a quad-core's power in actual gameplay~ :)

    Quad core was also demonstrated using, oddly enough, Gas Powered Games' upcoming RTS, Supreme Commander. From what we could gather from the demonstration was that the four cores allowed the AI to be smarter as more resources and processing power was available to run the computer opponenets. The fact that Supreme Commander is coded for four cores was a surprise in itself.

    OCDgamer

    here is the link to the article, it compares basically what you are asking for in your original question, gaming on quad, dual and single core comparisons, hope that answers your questions fully :)

    http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTMwNiwxLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

    docTY
     
  10. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    I read all of it, and I'm glad it was posted. I learned a lot from reading that. It looks like multi core is in the near future of gaming. So I guess it depends on what kind of games he wants to play, and how prepared for the newer games he wants to be.
     
  11. docTY

    docTY Regular member

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    :) glad it served it's purpose...my only goal here on AD and as others know me by, is to educate and help those who need it...there is a LOT of misinformation going on here, especially in the pc hardware forums, so when i do "pop by," it's usually to dispell FALSE notions and tell it straight. everyone has the right to their OPINION or PREFERENCES on components, but fact is fact and it's very difficult to argue with results that can be replicated time and time again.

    i hope the OP gets as much info as you have from the article, people learn something new everyday, myself included; good luck with your decision on cpu OCDgamer, i'm sure you will make a good educated choice~

    docTY
     
  12. marsey99

    marsey99 Regular member

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    i just wish more game devlopers would catch up and start supporting multi core cpus, almost all my games still run better on 1 core then 2.

    thats a good read that article tho, i hope all the games makers see it and take note.
     
  13. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    I run Supreme Commander and it uses about 70% of my CPU. It seems to use one core like most games, but offloads some calculations to the second core. I don't think anybody with more than two cores would notice any additional benefit. A dual core is a must though, Single cores lag our LAN games so badly they're asked not to join!
     
  14. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    One game I noticed that looks like you almost have to have a dual core CPU is Tom Clanys Rainbow Six Vegas. I use dual monitors when I play games and I always keep a GPU temp monitor and Speedfan open on my other monitor, just because I like to monitor theses things. The whole time I play that game, both cores are always at 100%, I've never seen the go under 99%. I still think Oblivion would run better if I had a single core CPU though, when I run it one core is always maxed out but the other one does nothing.
     
  15. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    That doesn't mean it'll run better on a single, it just means it's a single core game. Almost all games are like this, with as you say, the exception of Vegas. The game will still run better on a dual core because it gets one core all to itself, while all the other tasks are sent to the other core. I use a Pertelian X2040 to read my CPU/memory usage and CPU temperature when gaming, and I note 52-60% CPU usage in pretty much every game.
     
  16. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    Yea, thats makes since. I knew that the other core handled all of the other task, but I just didn't know if my other core was strong enough to handle the game or not. I guess Oblivion is just going to be one of those games that lags on nearly everything except top end systems. Or until computers get more powerful in the next couple of years, and newer games make Oblivion look like nothing to run.
     
  17. OCDgamer

    OCDgamer Member

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    Thanks guys. I think I'm going to go for the quad-core. Now I've just gotta wait a college semester to get it (My first semester that is, I graduated HS today, lol). Again, thanks for all the help and explanations, you guys deserve to get paid a monthly fee, lol. I'll save learning how to overclock for later.
     
  18. Spenman91

    Spenman91 Regular member

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    If you have to wait a while, I'm sure there will be some more quad core games out by then.
     
  19. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    If you're interested in gettting started on overclocking, have a browse through the most recent few pages of Afterdawn's own Overclocking thread, to which I contribute.
     

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