Which Processor -?

  al7478 18:06 30 May 2008

Hi all,

I was'nt sure if this was more appropriate here or in the Helproom, so apologies if its innapropriately placed.

I'm looking into getting a new pc from a well respected local dealer (D.A. Computers, for any interested parties).

An area that i dont uderstand so well (among many) is processors. I currently have an Intel Pentium D (2.80 GHz). The guy gave me a quote which included an Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33 4M, and said it would be quicker, because of a better bus speed and cache.

Being the sort of simpleton who thinks "higher GHz, = faster", I've got my doubts. He also told me Acer monitors are rubbish, and tried to sell me 4 gig of RAM, so there are some extra reasons why i have my doubts. Incidentally, he seems to be new there and I've had good experiences of the company in the past, and know many others who have too.

So, my patronising comments about the poor chap aside, is he right?

  Why wont it work 18:29 30 May 2008

Well, ghz used to mean faster, but not anymore. The E6550 Core 2 Duo would thrash a Pentium D. However, you would have to check that your motherboard in compatible. I would be warey as a motherboard from around the time of the Pentium D may not electronically be compatible with the Core 2 Duo (it would physically fit, but it might not be able to support the correct voltage, front side bus etc. It depends upon what you need form the pc really, if it's just for office work a Core 2 Duo may not be noticably quicker, although it would certainly run cooler and use less electricity...

In terms of RAM, I dont think that you really need more than 2gb to be honest. If you have Vista, 3gb can help a little bit of 2. There is no point going over 3gb as (asumming you have a 32bit operating system as most people do) as Windows can only utilise around 3.2gb (meaning 0.8 would effectively go to waste).

  Why wont it work 18:30 30 May 2008

* a little bit over 2gb

  Totally-braindead 18:32 30 May 2008

The Core 2 Duo processors are meant to be better than their predecessor the Pentium D and as such I think it would be faster, how much I am unsure.
I know some people who have Acer monitors and they seem happy enough with them, perhaps the guy just had a poor experience? As for getting 4 gig of RAM unless its 64 bit windows you will not see the 4 gig as windows 32 bit only sees 4 gig in total and that includes the amount on your graphics card. And if its XP you have the difference between 2 gig and 4 gig is not all that noticeable.
Back to the processor I assume you would need a new motherboard as well or does your board support the Core 2 chip.

  MAT ALAN 18:38 30 May 2008

Acer monitors are rubbish, and tried to sell me 4 gig of RAM,

comments like that would ring alarm bells for me, probably only interested in your money, be wary!!

  al7478 18:51 30 May 2008

Thanks both!

The chap quoted me for a whole machine, so im assuming the mobo (Gigsbyte GA N650SLI-DS4) will be ok.

It will be used mostly for standard day to day net stuff, and as a stereo, to which end i will get a good sound card and have specified a quiet case (but thats another area i know little about).

  Why wont it work 20:16 30 May 2008

Well if it's for a new machine then that processor should be fine. If you want to get the price down though, any E4000 or E7000 series Core 2 Duos would be slightly cheaper and just as effective. (Both E7000 and E8000 series processors also have the advantage of being the latest tech).

  al7478 20:31 30 May 2008

Thanks for the tip, much appreciated! They wouldnt feel noticeably slower than what i currently have, would they...?

  Why wont it work 21:27 30 May 2008

I shouldn't think so. I have 2 desktops, one with a Core 2 Duo E4400 2ghz and another with a Core 2 Duo E6850 3ghz and also a laptop with a Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2ghz. They all run Vista and all have 2gb RAM and I can honestly say that for everyday useage I cannot tell the difference performance wise between them.

The E7200 looks like a good buy it's cheap, is 2.5ghz and is based upon the brand new 45nm process (which means it uses less electricity and puts out less heat).

  al7478 22:02 30 May 2008

Thanks again.

Thing is, im being extra cautious because, as i say, this isnt my area of expertise (laughable phrase for me to use in any context actually), and when i got my current pc (Dell 5150) I let them talk me into a 2.8 dual core after having a 3.2 single core.

Now, the dual core does let me do more things at a time smoothly (even tho i dont use any dual core optimised progs, to my knowledge), but initially seemed slower with simmpler tasks, and only feels better now as im used to it, i believe. Obviously, i havent mentioned the relative bus speeds and cache here, but ive no idea about that.

The above may just be so much waffle. If so, my apologies folks!

  Horik 23:34 30 May 2008

2 words based on my own experience:

1. I now have a duel core E8400 (2 x 3Ghz) which completely blitzes the pentium processor I had in my old system - love it to bits and would recommend in a trice.

2. I have 4GB of RAM in my new system (2 x 2GB sticks) and my OS (32 bit XP home) recognises 3.5 GB of it. Given the low price of memory recently I would totally recommend installing 4GB in 2 x 2GB cards.

No comment on the Acer monitors as I have no experience of them.

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