Do I really need a quad core?

CoolRabbit

Baseband Member
Messages
36
I was going to get a dual core processor on my new laptop, but right now I can get a quad core for only about $100 difference. The dual core I was going to get is this one:
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache) (along with 6g RAM

I can get this quad core for $100 more:
Intel® Core™ i7-820QM Processor (1.73GHz, 8MB Cache, Turbo Boost) (also with 6g RAM)

Is it a good idea to invest the extra $100 in the quad core, or is this something I will never need? I use my computer for some video and graphics editing, plus music-writing software (Finale) and other office software, along with the usual internet/e-mail.
 

Kage

Golden Master
Messages
13,873
It sounds like a good idea to me to go for the quad.
Laptops cannot be upgraded in the same way as a desktop so its best to go for something more.

That would be one powerful laptop!
 

CoolRabbit

Baseband Member
Messages
36
I read somewhere that most programs don't utilize the quad cores, so in essence you will actually be running on 2 cores slower than you would on a dual core. Is this true?

Also I have heard that the quad cores can get very hot, and eat up battery time. Also true?
 

sniperviper21

Golden Master
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5,452
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USA
most apps are threaded for only 2 cores, so u wouldnt be using all 4 cores.

and it is true, they can get a bit warmer.

the big advantage to quad cores is rendering, and multi tasking.
 

TitanMATRIX

In Runtime
Messages
202
For a laptop I don't think you would really need a quad core. One thing I don't get though is why the duo core is faster (2.8 Ghz) than the quad core (1.73 Ghz). The way I'm seeing it is that the quad core is actually slower but because there is 4 processors, it can handle more?
 

sniperviper21

Golden Master
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5,452
Location
USA
in laymens terms.

duo's at 2.8 = 5.6Ghz processing power

quads at 1.73 = 6.92Ghz processing power. and with quads ofcourse, you can run more programs, like 1 program on each core, when with a duo, u can only run 2 programs, due to only 2 cores.

thats in very very laymens terms.
 

_-..zKiLLA..-_

Fully Optimized
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3,952
Maybe too laymens, You can run much more applications at the same time then 4 on THAT quad core. Those thigns will kick any software you have's ass. Period.

Its future proof, that laptop will last you a really long time
 

Cabbs

Golden Master
Messages
7,912
in laymens terms.

duo's at 2.8 = 5.6Ghz processing power

quads at 1.73 = 6.92Ghz processing power. and with quads ofcourse, you can run more programs, like 1 program on each core, when with a duo, u can only run 2 programs, due to only 2 cores.

thats in very very laymens terms.
Doesn't quite work like that. Single-threaded programs can only have the power of one core working on it no matter what. So if you have one single-threaded program using 100% of one CPU, it will be spread 50/50 on a dual core CPU or 25/25/25/25 on a quad core CPU. You can add as many cores as you like, it won't make that program run any faster.
 

CoolRabbit

Baseband Member
Messages
36
Its future proof, that laptop will last you a really long time
That's what I would like - something I won't have to upgrade for a long long long time. I am still worried about the heat, I've read reviews where people complained that it ran really really hot. Does anyone here have a quad core laptop and can share their experience?

One more question - someone mentioned single-threaded programs. What type of programs are not single-threaded and will utilize the quad core? I assume your basic office software, etc. are single threaded.
 
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