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Old 07-09-2010, 12:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

I've read a lot about the new AMD's Thuban 6-Core processor. Now im mostly gaming and running some virtual operating systems. Are they worth it or is it just an enthusiast buy?
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

For the time being, you won't see a major improvement, if any, in gaming. Not so sure about other applications, but you should see them being able to fully utilize 6 cores before games, I believe. If you're priority is gaming, it's not worth the extra cash, in terms of performance right now, unless you have nothing else to spend it on.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

^hes 100% correct, very very few programs ( and no games ) use more than 3 cores. but, if you are looking for a " future proof " computer, then by all means go for a 6 core processor. if not, then go with an Intel i7 920 and call it good.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

Well i suppose i could spend the extra on some other computing accoutrements. That age old tradition of finding a magical arrangement of components that will never be out dated, got the best of me. :P
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

Basically, Thuban is good as long as you'll actually use the 6 cores.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

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Originally Posted by Sean W. View Post
^hes 100% correct, very very few programs ( and no games ) use more than 3 cores. but, if you are looking for a " future proof " computer, then by all means go for a 6 core processor. if not, then go with an Intel i7 920 and call it good.
I'm pretty sure there are games out there that run off 4 cores. In fact, some of them run pretty crappy if you have less than that.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

Few games fully utilize more than 2 or 3 cores, but if you are going to run virtual machines the 6 core will help a lot. This gives the virtual OS 2 real physical cores to play with and you still have a quad core system left for other things. It would also be good for things like Folding@Home and other CPU intensive programs that are capable of using many cores at once.

On the other hand, I have an i7 930 and it works well. The i7 uses an integrated memory controller which supports triple channel DDR3 setups. This means that the i7 more than likely has a much more efficient memory setup than the AMD chips. This actually can help during gaming, as memory access is very important when moving around large, detailed environments. My motherboard (Gigabyte X58A-UD3R) has RAM usage LED's that show RAM activity. I noticed in games with large worlds (GTA IV mainly) that the RAM LED's are constantly flashing as it loads the huge and detailed world each frame.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 4 Cylinder Vs. V-6

One thing having extra cores will do is make the system smoother and more responsive - with input and background processes not having to wait so much for any of the cores to be ready, even if they hardly use much processing power.

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On the other hand, I have an i7 930 and it works well. The i7 uses an integrated memory controller which supports triple channel DDR3 setups. This means that the i7 more than likely has a much more efficient memory setup than the AMD chips. This actually can help during gaming, as memory access is very important when moving around large, detailed environments. My motherboard (Gigabyte X58A-UD3R) has RAM usage LED's that show RAM activity. I noticed in games with large worlds (GTA IV mainly) that the RAM LED's are constantly flashing as it loads the huge and detailed world each frame.
higher memory bandwidth can help to a point; Really it just needs to be able to supply enough data to keep the cores busy. But then that's what the cache and prefetching algorithms are there for anyway.

If the cores are already being kept busy, then higher bandwidth isn't going to have an effect.

Tests of triple channel vs dual channel on socket 1366 systems tend to show barely any effect. Not to mention seeing socket 1156 more than keeping up with it.
People who overclock AMD CPU's tend not to aim for increasing the memory bandwidth so much when they have DDR3-1600 speeds, because lower latencies tend to have a bigger effect.
DDR3-1600 even doesn't really provide a benefit on AMD systems compared to DDR3-1333 unless you increase the northbridge speed
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