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Old 08-15-2006, 02:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fast Single vs. Slow Dual

After experiencing too many problems with my old computer, I have decided to upgrade in the near future. However, I have a question about CPUs:

Is it better to have a faster single core CPU, or a slower dial core CPU?

I was looking at either the AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or the Intel Pentium D 805. They're both about the same price, except the D is supposed to be slower and is dual core. Because I dislike spending money (i'm still gaming on my old P3 @ 866 with onboard graphics), I'd like to get a chip that will last as long as possible and still be usable. Since dual core is what all the new stuff is, would it be usable longer (in terms of speed compared to others)?

If a program doesn't support dual core, will it just run on a single core? Is there a way to switch programs between cores at startup, or does it have to be done after it's started?

I wouldn't be doing much new gaming, most of my games run "acceptably well" on my old computer now so they should be fine either way.

Just a side question: if I did go with dual core, could I run a server on one core and a game on the other? Or would that cause a lot of lag online?

Thanks for all your help.

PS: Before anyone asks, I would like a Core 2 Duo or Athlon X2, but they simply aren't in my budget, so please don't say that I should get one.
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Greetings,

Dual Core Processors are the current standard. Quad Core's are on the way. Applications will be written to be used optimally with multi-core processors.

IMO integrating a Dual Core Processor into your system is laying a solid foundation for expansion. If you want, take it a step further with socket type (i.e. AMD's 939 vs AM2 - go w/ AM2).

You would be able to run two applications, one on each core. It can be forced through the XP Affinity option found in the Task Manager under the Processes tab (the app in question must be running when you set the affinity). Remember that your apps will only be running /w half of the L! & L2 Cache. This could affect your gaming.

Look around... Some of the AMD 939 x2 core CPU's are on sale....(sorry , couldn't resist).
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