Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 06-06-2008, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

Yeah, the future of 3D gaming, blahblahblah. I'm not really interested in PC games.

Here is an excerpt from an AIM conversation I had which resulted in me posting here:

Eric (11:46:40 PM): So I've read up on dual core vs quad core some more.
Eric (11:46:57 PM): Right now, the top dual cores outperform the top quad cores, but new quad cores are incoming.
Me (11:47:43 PM): How do they outperform them?
Eric (11:47:57 PM): Faster, basically.
Me (11:48:19 PM): Wouldn't that have to mean the quads are flawed in some way?
Me (11:48:26 PM): Or aren't doing what they're supposed to?
Eric (11:48:53 PM): No. Think of like...a motorcycle outperforming a car. Doesn't mean the car is flawed, it just means the motorcycle is that much better.
Eric (11:49:29 PM): Just better technology in the latest dual cores.
Me (11:50:06 PM): So an Intel Core2 Duo is better than an Intel Core2 Extreme Quad?
Eric (11:51:28 PM): The top Core 2 Duo bests the top Core 2 Extreme Quad though.
Eric (11:52:03 PM): - Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - CPUs / Processors
Me (11:52:07 PM): But how/why? If the quad is more expensive, but isn't as good, why does it even exist?
Eric (11:52:09 PM): That's the one I think.
Eric (11:52:28 PM): Because it costs them more to make it.
Eric (11:53:11 PM): Like the new RAM, DDR3. It's about equal to DDR2, because it's so new they haven't improved the technology to the point where they can increase the price to performance ratio.
Eric (11:53:21 PM): And something about timings that I didn't understand.
Eric (11:54:04 PM): Video cards are the same way. New cards are always super expensive compared to old ones, but it takes them a while to work out kinks and smooth them out.
Me (11:54:23 PM): Hm.
Eric (11:54:44 PM): Pricing is based on how much it costs to manufacture, not how well it performs.
Eric (11:55:05 PM): In the case of hardware anyway.
Eric (11:55:30 PM): Pricing for software is meant to make up for development time, so it scales differently

Anyway, I am planning to build a new computer since my recent one died, and I'm going all out and just buy the best I can get. Like I said, would dual be better than quad for me? I don't really intend to do much hardcore PC gaming. What I do intend to do, is lots of multi-tasking, running stuff like Winamp, AIM, Firefox with multiple tabs, lots of programs at once open. Also some emulation gaming, including stuff like N64, PS1, and even Dreamcast, as well as some newer 3D MAME titles. I intend to do some slight picture and audio editing. Maybe some video editing but not much.

Question 1: I'm assuming dual would be better than quad for that kind of thing, right? If what he says is right.

I also read up for it here: Is dual-core better than quad-core?

Question 2: Would a dual or quad be good for heavy image editing and digital art? Such as running Flash, maybe with Photoshop also running in the background, dealing with editing massive resolution images? (Assuming the GPU is great, and there's lots of RAM)

Question 3: In regards to the Intel dual core CPU's, - All Intel Core 2 CPU's Why is the 3.16 GHz not the most expensive? Is that one the best, even though it's not the most expensive? Would that one be best for my needs?

Oh and I intend to run XP SP2 64bit, or maybe even SP3 if they ever come out with a 64bit version, with DirectX 10. NOT VISTA.

I posted here rather than searched (I did search a bit though) because I'm trying to avoid OPINIONS. I want hard data and facts, I mean, either it does or doesn't run better, it's hardware.


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Old 06-06-2008, 02:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

Get the quad for multi-tasking, it's like having 4 hands instead of 2. For video editing and such, like you said you need lots of ram.

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Old 06-06-2008, 03:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

A quad will last you much longer...

As games and applications get coded to take advantage of more than 2 cores, quad cores will begin outperforming duals.

I'd recommend the Q6600
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

Dual is better at Quad then gaming because most games can't read Quad-Cores so whichever is the higher clocked CPU will probably edge out better, however some games are moving on to be Quad-Core Intensive like Unreal Tournament 3, but in Multitasking is Quad-core's best part

Quad's are more suited for that part

Yes it is the best at what Multithreaded applications out of what you listed, its high price is because of the 35w TDP Output, but you can easily overclock it to 3.0ghz+ with decent Air Cooling
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

Right now, it won't make much difference. A modern dual-core can handle a game like crysis with no problem. But when your cpu begins to get more dated having a Quad core will help your cpu last alot longer.

Better just go get a quad.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

I guess what he said was pretty true.
And about your question about why isnt the E8500 the most expensive is because i guess the Conroe's (think of it as a codename for its Core) havent dropped properly in price or like the dude said, may cost more to make now.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

the dual core only outperform in gaming environments because most games can only utilise a maximum of 2 cores (most only use 1 still), so the higher clock speed of the Duos beat the Quads... this is true of most programs today tho as well, except things such as video editing/converting and complex arithmetic... but the edge the quads have is the thread level parallelism, which means they can run have programs concurrently feeding and being fed data to and from the CPU at any one time... which essentially mean that you can utilise more total calculations per second with a quad, but to take full advantage of this you must use more threads...

because of the nature of apps today, more threads means more apps... which makes quad core CPUs ideal for your purpose of heavy multitasking, as each app will be able to make use of an entire core (eg you have 4 heavy apps running... on a Q6600 each will get a 2.4GHz core, whereas on an E8400, for example, each will get half a 3GHz core = 1.5GHz)... so a quad would be bvetter suited to your needs. So i'd recommend (if you want a suggestion) a Q6600, because with the G0 stepping revision, you'll be able to OC to 3.8-4GHz on air cooling and get just as much as (if not more than) most people get outta Duals.

Also, if you want a seamless multitasking experience you'll definitely (as you said) want at least 4GB of RAM... tight timings would also help out for multitasking, so something like Mushkin 996599 or G.Skill Black Pi's would be good choices (again, if you want a recommendation)

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Old 10-27-2008, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

^^ It is extremely unlikely one of the curremnt bach of Q6600's will overclock that high.

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Old 10-27-2008, 12:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is dual better than quad, for non-PC gaming?

multitasking only - quad
multitasking and gaming - quad
gaming only - dual (i guess lol)

and you guys saying that games dont use all 4 cores i can whip out a list of very popular games that DO...and they are rapidly becoming more common. a quad makes more sense, unless you are going for a 4+ ghz overclock...then a 45nm dual is your best bet. really your only bet if you have normal-person cooling.
and a 45nm quad makes more sense than the old standby q6600. they are faster, use less power, and run cooler.

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