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Old 08-27-2007, 03:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question about CPUs.

Iím trying to build/purchase a new PC and itís been a long time since I looked into parts.
Unfortunately, I know almost nothing about processors, specifically the differences between single, dual, and quad core processors.

Iíve heard that most programs only use one of the cores in a multi-core CPU unless the program is specifically designed to take advantage of the multiple cores. So, if I have a dual or quad core, I may only be getting the processing power out of a single core, and thus would be better off with a strong single core since the mutli-core CPUís Iíve seen individual core speeds seems to be slower.

Example:
Single Core (3.3 GHz)
Quad Core (2.2 GHz on 4 cores)
Thus, the single core is faster if only one core is being used?

Iíve also heard multi-core CPUís can cause instability/errors/weirdness in some older programs/games. If I get a dual/quad core processor, will I encounter this kind of problem, or is it just an unfounded rumor?

Iím not experienced enough to do any modding yet, so please keep any recommendations limited to base settings on the hardware. (No over clocking.)
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Old 08-27-2007, 05:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

ok... dual core are fairly common now and they let you multitask like this. it is a similar concept of having 2 brains but 1 body. so you end up editing video and watching movies. this is especially good because if you're editing video and watching movies then the movie might lag and end up waiting for the video editing to finish. however recent cpu's are not measured by GHz in performance. It gets a bit complicated but a core 2 duo simply beats pentium 4 even the clock rate is lower than the pentium 4. So i advise you to get E6420 or E6600 for dual core or Q6600 for quad core. And no i never heard of any instability or errors using multi core cpu so getting a multi core cpu.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

Advancedgeek is right for the most part, except I would recommend either the e6550 or the e6750, in place of the e6420 and e6600, because they're a bit better for the price.
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Old 08-27-2007, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by b1gapl View Post
Advancedgeek is right for the most part, except I would recommend either the e6550 or the e6750, in place of the e6420 and e6600, because they're a bit better for the price.
Agreed, just don't forget a P35 or 680i chipset is required to use these CPU's.
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Old 08-27-2007, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

E6550 and E6750 also has the G0 stepping which consumes less power and produces less heat. :happy:
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

What is GO stepping and what are the P35 and 680i chipsets?

I'm kind of looking at the Core 2 Duo E6850. Aside from price, is there any reason the E6750 would be better then it? And on that note, is there any reason dual cores would be better then a Core 2 Quad Q6600?

The big draw of the Core 2 Duo E685 for me is that itís running at 3000 MHz on each of the cores (I think) without being over clocked. So, if I needed to run something exclusively off only one of the cores, Iíd still have a lot of power.

Can WinXP choose how many/which cores each program will run off of, or is that in Vista only?
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Old 08-29-2007, 06:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

The G0 stepping is a revision of the Core 2 Duos that consumes less power, than the previous chips. It will produce less heat, so it can lead to higher overclocks.

If you're considering the E6850, it's common sense to go for the Q6600 instead. For the same price as the E6850, you get two more cores and 4 more megabytes of L2 cache, with the Q6600.

You can set how many cores, for each program you're running, and this featured is called, setting an affinity.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

What is the significance of the L2 cache?

Iíve only heard of how you can set the affinity of a program after it has started running. Is there a way to set a program up in WinXP to run off of only one of the cores prior to starting it? (Or in Vista, Iíd prefer to know if WinXP can do it though.)
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question about CPUs.

L2 cache is a temporary storage for data on the cpu, faster than ram.

You can set affinity from Task Manager>Control Panel.
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