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Thread: Benefits of Intel Quadcore Processor??

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    Benefits of Intel Quadcore Processor??

    Im hearing alot about the Intel Quadcore Processor and Core 2 duo. Im not exactly tech savvy but i am buying a computer for my son this xmas, he plays ltos of games and music etc, is this something which will benefit him?

    Can anyone help explain the technology behind it for me?

    Andy

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    Short answer, no Quad Core will not benefit him in the slightest.

    Core 2 Duo though is very good technology for the money, and will stay powerful enough for a long time.

    The technology
    At the simplest level you can think of these as basically being two or four processors in the same box. By itself going from one to two processors does make the computer experience nicer, because when a virus scan or spyware scan kicks off in the background you can carry on doing what you're doing without an impact - one core will literally do the original task and one core will do the scan.

    Going to four cores means that in theory you could have up to four different things kicking off without any impact on performance. But the reality is that in normal usage people don't even use one core fully, let alone two. Going from one to two makes things smother on the odd occasion that you do do two things at once, but going from two to four has little to know effect as the chances of fully occupying two cores are very low.

    By itself dual core technology probably wouldn't be a requirement for your sons use's, however the Core 2 Duo chip is worthwhile in it's own right, simply because it performs so well even as a 'single core' processor. Ignore the Ghz speed on the box, these processors blow away the competition in terms of real speed at completing tasks.

    For example the slowest Core 2 Duo you can buy only runs at 1.86Ghz, however processor is still faster at completing tasks than the fastest Pentium 4 available, and is at least as fast as an AMD processor running at 2.4ghz. In addition they use less power.

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    Thanks Kalniel - thats really helpful cheers, sounds like the core 2 duo would be a good investment for my son then.

    So who would need 4 processors?

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    People doing a lot of CAD/video editing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andybee View Post
    So who would need 4 processors?
    The kinds of people who are already using servers with multiple processors or clusters/GRID to access processing power of several computers at once. Ie, not home users.

    Intel (and AMD) however do play the numbers game, and there is a very small niche of very very rich people who want the 'best of the best', regardless of the fact they have no use for it. Intel's Quad Core is actually slower than their fastest Dual Core, however they will sell some to people who are buying it just so they can say they've got a Quad Core in their computer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andybee View Post
    So who would need 4 processors?
    There is alot of talk in the technical work right now about physics processing, and getting games in particular to do more/harder/more realistic work.
    Some people are considering getting the graphics cards to do more, others are wanting an extra card to plug in.

    Personally, as the shift is most certainly towards more and more cores (2 to 4, then in the future 8 etc) i can see the 'spare' cores being used for this extra work.

    Basically, the more processing power people have in their machines, the more will get used (once programmers tell the machine how to use it - not really relevant today). Programmers will only do this however once the idea of multiple cores hits a certain trigger level of market penetration - there is no point in writing something that only 2% of a market could use, so it'll be a gradual process. In my opinion / speculation, we will start to see actual benefit from dual cores over the next year or so and 'proper' benefit years after that. Quad cores will be some years away in all but theoretical testing.
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