Should I GO a Core 2 Duo or Quad Core ?

  Audio~~Chip 12:39 23 Sep 2009

OTT_Buzzard said the following this morning in a now closed older post and I am a little confused.

The reason not all programmes use all 4 cores is because they are not written to do so. When programmes are written they are 'threaded' to a specified number of processing cores.
That is to say that the programme splits itself up to run on multiple cores simultaneously. If a programme has not been threaded to use 4 cores then it won't use them!

Because multi-core processors are a relatively new technology and applications need to be re-written to properly utilise the technology, there is an inevitable delay in the two meeting up. However, software from major vendors is now written for quad core (or dual core at the very least).

The upshot of this? Don't let comments on cores not being used put you off. For most home PC users quad core is the way forward.

So my questions are even though I am not running CAD, Desktop publishing like Adobe or Games but I am multi tasking with office programmes, a dedicated visual logging though graphical non 64bit programme (as far as I am aware) and the web, should I go to a quad or go for a Duo core ?

What advantages does having a hiher L2 Cache do for what I intend to run. I was looking at a Q9550 with 12MB L2 Cache. Would this benifit me for the progs I mention?

  GaT7 12:54 23 Sep 2009

I agree with OTT_B. Without going into the specifics, for multi-tasking & allround good performance, a quad-core is the way to go.

If you were solely a gamer, my advice may have been a high-clocked dual-core, like an E8600 (arguably the best dual-core that will ever be made), but the higher end quads aren't far behind in this regard.

Please don't obsess too much about the cache & other things - not really worth it considering you've chosen one of the best quad-cores of the last generation. Get it, use it & enjoy it :-). G

  sunnystaines 13:14 23 Sep 2009

go quad

  Audio~~Chip 13:40 23 Sep 2009

I am going to be using XP Pro on 32bit though with Asus P5QL Pro, 4GB Memory. I am not a gamer but want better performance than my ageing AMD X2 4800.

The Q9550 is the one I was looking at but Crossbow7 you don't obscess too much about Cache and otherthings. Er is there a downside to having too much L2 Cache

I was intending to upgrade to Vista or Win7 64bit at a later date but only will do so if the speacialist software I use will be written for 64bit Operating systems at the moment it isn't

I understand 4GB memory will be lower to 3GB ish but possibly even lower if using a 1GB card like a Sapphire 1GB HD 4890 Vapor-x madness I know considering I am not a gamer but want the best.

I take it a coolermaster 700w PSU Modular which I have seen on Ebuyer for £84 ish is pleanty enough?

Also I know Quad cores run HOT and I also want a quieter machine so looking for a HSF is a major problem, money is not a problem in any area and again I don't overclock (maybe in a few years if I have to) and not games.

Welcome to any critic's on the above please. I want reliable, quiet, performance & good graphics like most other perfectionists

  Quiller. 13:55 23 Sep 2009

Selecting components for an ultimate machine with no spending constraints is more difficult than

Finding a partner to share your life
choosing a new home
or picking your new car

I think so ;-)

With the above, you compromise.

With a machine, you want the best you can within your budget, so you question every component. The machine will be as strong as it's weakest component.

You are not gaming and will be running reasonable programs at length. Yet you want the best and to future proof it to a great deal with the money spent.

As mentioned before

quad core
4Gb of ram
512Mb or 1Gb graphics card
SATA11 drives.

This should rock in XP and fly if you do go to windows 7.

I know the choice is hard, we've all been there before but once you've assembled it all and have it running as sweet as a nut. You'll be glad you went for the best.

Good luck :D

  Audio~~Chip 14:00 23 Sep 2009

Sorry to open another post and go over things again. Possibly with spending 9 days looking at reviews all over the web doesn't help.

I knowledge of the following?

Crucial Ballistix memory, is this really risky and unstable giving BSOD still ?

Quiet HSF preferably which fits my choosen motherboard

These SATA11 Drives are these the same as say a Seagate ST3500418AS

  OTT_Buzzard 14:47 23 Sep 2009

Crucial Ballistix: why do you think it was ever a risky RAM? Ignore any post that says it was BSODing if the PC was overclocked.

Quiet HSF: you got a preference on budget. What case are you using (important!)

SATAII Drives: Are all the same format, but have massively variable costs, performance and power usage.

"I take it a coolermaster 700w PSU Modular which I have seen on Ebuyer for £84 ish is pleanty enough?"

Will have to wait and see what your whole system looks like before an answer can be given.

"is there a downside to having too much L2 Cache"

For performance, no. It does add extra cost to the processor though.

'get a 512mb or 1Gb graphics card'.

The amount of memory on a card is no indication whatsoever of its performance for a given application.

  Audio~~Chip 15:52 23 Sep 2009

Re Crucial Ballistix I understand I may have to adjust in BIOS for this, I was left to believe it can be a little unstable and also with a Asus P5QL Pro board either the Ballistix or stadard 1066MHz memory are not in the QVL list for this motherboard so is this really compatible even though Crucial say it is. Or is their better memory ?

No budget problem, and understand some are big. Apart from I don't want water cooling.

My case arrives this morning which is going back for a refund to amazon. Its the only thing apart from XP Pro I had bought. The case when I arrived looked to be a returns and was open and broken sealed Gigabyte GX-3 with a warning security tape broken. So case hunt is on again. Prefer a case with PSU at the top as routing a power cable from a bottom mounted PSU concerns me rubbing on the edge of a PCi-Express card or going over it.

The reason I looked and mentioned the Sapphire HD 4890 1GB Vapor-X was for HDMI option and very quiet cooling as well as decent size which wouldn't hopefully should restrict Video. As you said Graphics doesn't effect pefromance on a application but does it effect the quallity of the picture shurley ?

Thanks for helping !

  OTT_Buzzard 16:14 23 Sep 2009

For your RAM, play it safe and go for something on the motherboard's QVL. Unless you are getting into some serious performance and overclocking, there's really not much difference between manufacturers and models.

The HD4890 1GB s a very good card, but as you've implied, it's major overkill for your usage.

For non-gaming images on a PC, the graphics card is really really not that important. The monitor, however, is very important. If you really don't play games but want the best picture, cut your graphics card budget down by two thirds and spend the extra money upgrading your monitor.

What size case are you thinking about? Full tower or midi? How many drives (optical, hard drive, memory card reader, floppy disk drive) are you intending on having?

  Audio~~Chip 16:25 23 Sep 2009

Re Case then Tower of height idealy i would like about 17" - 18" think thats a midiTower, a case that can take a full size ATX board.

Yep, I agree with you about the Graphics but finding a lower spec say 512MB HDMI and especially quiet is the problem as the latter only seems to be on hihger end 1GB+ cards.

In the QVL list for my motherboard it doesn't mention 4GB Kits and only 2GB kits so thats confused me their.

So I have to concentrate on the Memory, Graphics, Case I have just ordered a Samsung SM2494HM from Ebuyer yesterday which has the works. Hope it doesn't have the buzz problem or any dead pixels.

Will go hunting again, I only plan on a Single HDD, DVD Wtr & Card reader. but not keen on the small cases or Full towers with too many bays.

Back later, going to have a quick look round again and family stuff. I will be back tonight later on and tomorrow if I haven't got all the specification sorted.

Thank you so much for you advice, like most people in the group I appreaciate it for the more experienced.

  OTT_Buzzard 16:33 23 Sep 2009

Hi Audio~~Chip,

You've given enough info there to be able to find a good case. Once a case has been chosen the processor HSF choice becomes easier too. It also allows you to decide on what case cooling fans are needed.

Will post back a suggestion or two other stuff to do myself!

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