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Thread: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

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    Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    Across numerous forums the debate over quads or dual cores in gaming systems has raged without really reaching any conclusion. The supporters of the quad remain convinced it is the way to go while the supporters of the dual core remain just as convinced. To date I have held the view that a dual core is the best value CPU for gaming with just a handful of games utilising more than two cores.

    However in a few weeks AMD will roll out their Phenom II. The Phenom II will come out in two flavours, a 2.8GHz and a 3GHz and the initial indications are that these will be competitive with Intel’s current Core 2 offerings. This coupled with an expected release price of £210 for a 3GHz or £180 for a 2.8GHz makes this considerably more competitive with Core 2 Wolfdale dual cores than quads have previously been.

    The Core 2 quads have been significantly more expensive (with the exception of the Q6600 which has an older 65nm Kentsfield core and lower clock). The Q9550 retails for around £240 which is significantly more than the E8400 which retails for around £135. The Phenom X4, although priced competitively, does not stack up to the Wolfdales when it comes to performance. These factors have led me to believe that the best value processor upgrade throughout 2008 has been a Wolfdale dual core.

    The impending introduction of the Phenom II will provide an option with an expected performance per core that is comparable to the Wolfdales and for a premium of around £45 or £75 will offer an additional two cores. The impending introduction of the Phenom II has certainly made me rethink my intention to go with a Wolfdale quad when I ugrade my system next year and I will be looking forward to seeing how it actually performs when the reviews start coming out early next year.

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    Re: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    Er what?

    Current gaming speed is primarily controlled by single threaded speed. Phenom II is still not going to give the fastest single threaded performance - as you say, at best it's likely to compete with Wolfdale, and possibly less well per clock. But I don't think they even make Wolfdale anymore - Penryn is faster.

    If you do have a game that actually is multi-core aware, then Intel is still faster.

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    Re: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    No!

    Most gamers are not hardware enthusiasts and also will only have one graphics card. Look at the statistics given out by Steam recently for example. People tend to use their desktops for at least three to four years between major upgrades or purchasing a new computer. You will have a greater chance of a graphics card upgrade within that time period.

    Hence most people for the foreseeable future will be using dual cores for gaming(and some will still have single cores). Games companies want to make money and hence will try to support the most common base hardware to attract the most sales. This of course does not apply to occasional tech demo games like Crysis. Farcry 2 and Half Life 2 are probably more like what companies will aim for in the future- games which scale well among different hardware specs. They will not want to alienate the vast majority of gamers who are NOT on the hardware leading edge upgrading to the newest latest and greatest.

    It is all about the cost of the quad cores.

    Remember that spending over £100 on a CPU or graphics card is still considered a luxury for most people when an XBox 360 can be had for little more and will last many years. The same goes for the more expensive Wii and PS3.


    Only once powerful quad cores are available for under £80 will they become commonplace.

    IMHO once they reach this pricepoint they will start to appear in most prebuilt and home assembled systems.

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    Re: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Phenom II is still not going to give the fastest single threaded performance - as you say, at best it's likely to compete with Wolfdale, and possibly less well per clock. But I don't think they even make Wolfdale anymore - Penryn is faster.
    Correct me if am I wrong but I understood Wolfdale was the dual core Penryn CPU. Perhaps you are confusing Wolfdale and Conroe.

    It will be intersting to see how Phenom II compares to Penryn (Wolfdale / Yorkfield) once the NDA is lifted in January.

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    Re: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    It will be interesting when the 45nm Athlon X2 processors come out!! This is where the money will be!!

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    Re: Will Phenom II Herald the End of the Dual Core as King of the Gaming System?

    Good point. There have been numerous posts to the effect that an E5200/7200 is perfectly adequate for running games and they are most likely to match up with the 45nm Athlon X2s.

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