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Multi-Core processor question

by Drite101 / October 16, 2006 10:18 PM PDT

I posted the same question on a gaming forum but wanted to hear a few other answers so that I can see ideas on a different perspective.

Is there a way to know how fast a multi-core (dual core and the soon quad-core or perhaps more in the future) processors are in terms of raw power?

I'm looking more on how a multi-core processor's speed in terms of a single core processor's speed. Like say a 3.2GHZ single core processor would be able to perform a complex single "thread" process in 10 minutes. (by single thread I mean process A needs input from process B and process B needs input from process C, therefore B cannot start before C ends and A cannot start before B ends) How fast would a 2.6GHZ dual core processor perform the same process.

I'm planning to buy a new PC and am evaluating what I should get to prepare for a long term PC (2 Yrs perhaps) The problem is that the trend now is to expand horizontally rather than vertically. But most software's system requirements as a standard (de facto i pressume) place a single core chip on requirements. What happens if I have a 2.6GHZ dual core processor and the box says I need atleast a 3.2GHZ processor. Will I be able to use the software? What if it says 6GHZ? I was told by my friend that multi core processors have a different benchmark speed for them but we're not sure if the industry will use this new benchmark on their requirements instead of the now standard way of stating requirements.

Thanks

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I've owned a few duals.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2006 10:41 PM PDT

Not the current dual core, but the dual processor setups. You'll read pundits that don't get it but I found dual processor machines to always be smoother overall. Even if the game doesn't take advantage of the dual CPUs one can run the game and the other does the OS housework.

I won't duplicate all the nice web pages about how to measure multiple CPU horsepower but will note the biggest bang for the buck is the dual. We had a quad CPU server but it pretty much loafed doing not much for all the added expense.

Not so much gaming but another area will really pay off in more CPUs or cores is video editing and video processing. Cinelarra and other such readily use more CPUs.

Bob

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Websites
by Drite101 / October 16, 2006 10:55 PM PDT

Can you give me some of those websites. I tried searching abit but came up empty. (Maybe I missed the fad and the articles got buried or wrong search term) I got systemrequirementslab.com but I need to own a dual core to get a hypothetical single core speed. It would also help me educate myself on these. I wanted to know how much a dual core speed will be since like I said previously, softwares usually use single core as their requirements. So how can I know that my system can run the software before buying it. Which was my problem.

Thanks for the insight on video editing and processing. I was aiming more on a general purpose PC than a gaming PC.

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I think I covered that item.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2006 11:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Websites

"I need to own a dual core to get a hypothetical single core speed."

I wrote about how even single core software gained since the OS got to use one and your application got the full effect of the other. I won't enter into any debate about this or discuss some pundit's writing. I've owned these dual CPU rigs and will pick up a new Core 2 Duo as soon as I get the kitchen remodeling done.

It's a shame that some pundits wrote what they have without actually owning such.

Bob

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Just one link.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 16, 2006 11:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Websites
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One last question if you don't mind.
by Drite101 / October 16, 2006 11:53 PM PDT
In reply to: Just one link.

You seem to be over reacting to this. I don't know if this was something I wrote or this question was raised one too many times and each one leads to a flame war...

Say I bought a new PC right now with a dual core 2.6GHZ. Fast forward to the future december 2007. A new game was released but this game required a CPU of 4GHZ. Will my 2.6GHZ CPU run that game? Why or why not?

I'll try to read the article at Tom's Hardware, funny I was in that website for hours and did not find the article (I was looking at CPU--> technology and not highlights.) I'll try to find some other search results particularly on horespower. Since that seems to be the right term than dual core speed. The question was more on a stock knowledge (personal knowledge) interest than a purchase dilemma. It seems my question was more on a future planning part than a near time fix.

Thanks for your time, input and the link.

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better link
by ramarc / October 17, 2006 1:03 AM PDT
http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu.html
this one goes straight to benchmarks with current CPUs.

as for your question, you can't predict the future. but by dec '07, i doubt any games would *require* a 4ghz cpu since most roadmaps show dual/quad cores in the 3.5ghz range to be the top-end then. any core2duo or x2 you purchase today with a clock speed of 2.4ghz or better will still be a good cpu in early '08.

if you currently run a mid-range single core cpu, you may wish to hedge your bet by getting a core2dul e6300 or athlon x2 4200+ now and then upgrading your CPU in the middle of '07 before that socket/chipset is obsoleted.
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Hope your prediction is the one that is right.
by Drite101 / October 18, 2006 12:31 AM PDT
In reply to: better link

The last question was basically my problem and my first question more of my attempt at a solution to my problem and figured that at one time someone should have wrote something like that and people in to hardware would have remembered it and just gave me a mathematical formula or such.

Well, I certainly hope your prediction is right. And the industry started adopting their system requirements to multi core processors. Because if my prediction was right and CPU continues to vertically rise and we saw in '07 a 4+ghz cpu. I think I will be one of the pain in the neck in software forums, asking if my CPU will be able to run the game.

I guess I can conclude from these response that software makers will adopt to the new trend and I won't be having this problem when the time comes.

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intel road map
by ramarc / October 18, 2006 2:27 AM PDT

conroe's refresh in early 2007 tops out at 3ghz (e6850, 1333mhz bus, 4mb cache). Quadcore Kentsfields will have a bit slower top speed.

The quadcore Yorkfield is supposed to be out in Q3 2007. It will be a 45nm process (vs 65nm for current Conroe/Core2Duo) and should get up to about 3.3ghz to 3.5ghz.

The P4 never reached 4ghz and its architecture was designed for that speed and higher. The Core architecture may not reach that level.

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All this vaporizes when you use a dual CPU system.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 17, 2006 1:12 AM PDT

It's a shame people have read the usual pundit writings and miss out on how smooth dual CPUs can make this old OS. Why do you think almost the entire Apple lineup is dual core? It's not only the speed factor but smoothness of operation.

As to GHz that is unreliable in measuring CPU performance or more accurately SYSTEM PERFORMANCE. While some GHz single core CPU will play a game, you'll get that occasional dip in frames as the OS does something. A dual core even at a lower GHz could avoid that dip since the application is not paused while the other app or OS does it thing.

The concept of system performance is tough for some to grasp but I hope I've made it a little easier.

Bob

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Yup, and....
by dmero / October 17, 2006 8:41 AM PDT

This is just something I heard when asking how the AMD 3800+ stacked up against my 3800+ X2. future games started (07 and up) will begin taking advantage of duel cores to give even more constancy in FPS along with a nice boost in performance!!! I cant wait!!!

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I'm guessing but
by william551 / October 18, 2006 3:52 AM PDT

It seems to me that it'd be the same type of thing as an older server board with physically 2 processors on it. It's not a hardware benchmark type thing anymore, because you have to have software designed for 2 processors.

It works more like a queue. Process A gets done by CPU A, Process B by CPU B, and ideally they both finish at a comparitively similar time for Process C and D. Linearly.

I just got the new Microsoft flight simulator and it says "dual core". And I have a 3.6Ghz processor and its amazingly slow.

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