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Thread: Dual core and all that - enlighten me please

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    Senior Amoeba iranu's Avatar
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    Dual core and all that - enlighten me please

    Forumites - I want your thoughts please.

    Having had a quick look at this road map for Intel cpu's and seeing in general that both major cpu manufacturers are going for dual core solutions, I was a wondering (theoretically),

    What apps will benefit from the $530 3.2ghz dual core over the $600 3.8ghz single core? (disregarding the Q2 price for 670).

    I can believe that the dual core would run multiple applications/programs better (quicker), but I don't believe that gaming would benefit unless programmers can utilise the power of both cores (rather like dual cpu motherboards).

    After all, it seems a waste to take up valuable die space, with a second core plus cache, if it's not going to be fully used. Or am I jumping the gun and programming will "catch up" with the chip technology quicker than I assume?

    For example will windows xp64 take advantage of dual cores?

    Can you overclock one core yet leave the other at stock speeds? What about memory speed? (bearing in mind on chip memory controllers)

    Have we got close to the limit of what x86 architecture allows at 90nm with regards to clock speed, therefore the chip companies are pushing dual core chips?

    Educate me please as I was thinking I may skip AMD 64 939 single core and look at a dual core solution (my current cpu xp2500 @ 3200).
    I wanna know what you think!

    P.S. I play games mostly - no encoding etc.

    P.P.S Please No Intel V AMD nonsense fGs. Plenty of single V dual core nonsense though! :devilish
    "Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be." Frank Zappa. ----------- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Huang Po.----------- "A drowsy line of wasted time bathes my open mind", - Ride.

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    How many gamers run dual cpu systems? Should answer your question.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iranu
    What apps will benefit from the $530 3.2ghz dual core over the $600 3.8ghz single core? (disregarding the Q2 price for 670).
    Video encoding, multitasking, distributed computing, scientific apps, basically anything that can run multiple threads or multiple instances.

    I can believe that the dual core would run multiple applications/programs better (quicker), but I don't believe that gaming would benefit unless programmers can utilise the power of both cores (rather like dual cpu motherboards).
    True. How long it takes games developers to start programming multithreaded games is anyone's guess....although remember that the next generation of games consoles are going to sport multiple processors.

    For example will windows xp64 take advantage of dual cores?
    The current XP Pro works fine with dual cores/ dual processors.

    Can you overclock one core yet leave the other at stock speeds?
    Nope.

    What about memory speed? (bearing in mind on chip memory controllers)
    AMD have on-board memory controllers, Intel do not. In any case overclocking a dual core chip is likely to work pretty much the same way as overcloking a single core one, apart from the fact it'll put out nearly twice as much heat etc.

    Have we got close to the limit of what x86 architecture allows at 90nm with regards to clock speed, therefore the chip companies are pushing dual core chips?
    Yes, that's why Intel cancelled the 4GHz P4.

    Educate me please as I was thinking I may skip AMD 64 939 single core and look at a dual core solution (my current cpu xp2500 @ 3200).
    I wanna know what you think!

    P.S. I play games mostly - no encoding etc.
    Wait until April and get a single core S939 A64 Venice like a 3000 or 3200. They're not expensive, and that way you can slot in a dual core chip when there are actually some games out there that will take advantage of it.

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    Like everyone said earlier, if it doesn't benefit from dual CPUs it will not benefit from dual cores. It's just 2 CPUs in a single package.

    I'd like to correct a couple of things though. It was stated that anything which runs multiple threads will benefit. This is not true, just as it is not true for dual CPUs or P4s with dual virtual CPUs. If it is a single program it MUST be written to take advantage of the dual capabilities or else it will not. The second thing is that gaming consoles have used multiple processors for decades! They just don't use multiple CPUs necessarily.

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    Click here

    It's true! Dual core Cpu's will run slower (Mhz) than Single core. So unless an app/game can use the two core to it's advantage the end result is slower. (Click Above to read more)

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StormPC
    I'd like to correct a couple of things though. It was stated that anything which runs multiple threads will benefit. This is not true, just as it is not true for dual CPUs or P4s with dual virtual CPUs. If it is a single program it MUST be written to take advantage of the dual capabilities or else it will not.
    Umm...surely if an app is multithreaded it's able to take advantage of dual processors by running more than one thread at the same time?

    The second thing is that gaming consoles have used multiple processors for decades! They just don't use multiple CPUs necessarily.
    I meant CPUs.

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    iMc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rave
    Wait until April and get a single core S939 A64 Venice like a 3000 or 3200. They're not expensive, and that way you can slot in a dual core chip when there are actually some games out there that will take advantage of it.
    Is it 100% definite that AMD are going to introduce dual core on S939?

    And that those S939 motherboards out now will be compatable, via a bios update...

    If so then I will take the upgrade path stated above.
    HEXUS|iMc

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    Senior Amoeba iranu's Avatar
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    Rave

    I would be tempted to follow iMC - sounds like the smoothest and most cost effective upgrade path.
    "Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be." Frank Zappa. ----------- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Huang Po.----------- "A drowsy line of wasted time bathes my open mind", - Ride.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMc
    Is it 100% definite that AMD are going to introduce dual core on S939?

    And that those S939 motherboards out now will be compatable, via a bios update...

    If so then I will take the upgrade path stated above.
    Well nothing is ever 100% definite but all the info that has come out of AMD so far says that the above is what's going to happen. In theory most/all S939 boards should be able to cope with dual core chips through a bios update; in practice one or two may have teething problems. Stuff like that is always a gamble and if you make future upgradeability your only concern you'd never buy anything! I'd say your chances of problems will be lessened if you buy a premium level board (with pukka power supply componentry etc.) from one of the larger manufacturers.

    (basically I'm covering my arse here. If I wasn't completely skint I would be following my own advice of buying a venice with a view to going dual core later.....but I don't want you to come and blame me if it doesn't work out for some unforeseen reason ).

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    iMc
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    well fingers crossed...

    is there an NF7-S rev2 for S939 yet, in other words a board which is head and shoulders above the rest?
    HEXUS|iMc

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Not really- although as I understand it there's nothing really to touch the DFI NForce4 boards for overclocking, and most of the teething troubles have been worked through by now.

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    Moderator DavidM's Avatar
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    Apparently the first AMD dual cores will come out at the same sort of "mhz speed" as current single cores, so there would be no obvious performance hit from software not written to take advantage of both cores.

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