Noob processor question 4 replies

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#1 13 years ago

I am as far from a computer expert that there could be, and I am rather confused about processors in general. For example, the machine i'm running currently is a dell 2400, which has (so i've been told) a 2.8Mhz processor. When I started seeing computers that had Dual-core, and more recently, Quad-core, i've always been confused as to what exactly it means. Does dual-core simply mean two processors, and likewise does Quad-core simply mean four? Also, is it better to have a single 2.8Mhz processor, or two (or four) slower processors? I am finally buying a new computer, and was just wondering which type of processor i should invest in. Oh, one more thing - what exactly (if there is one) is the difference between an Intel and AMD chipset? I appreciate any answers i could get! :)


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13th April 2005

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#2 13 years ago

First up, your stating your processor's speed in Megahertz (MHz) when in fact you should be using Gigaherta (Ghz).

Generally speaking, your correct, a dual-core means two processors, and a quad-core means four. The problem with dual/quad core processors is that there aren't very many programs available that will take advantage of two or four cores (although the number of programs that can utilize multiple cores is increasing). Buying a dual, and particularly a quad core is an investment in the future.

And at this very moment, Intel's Core 2 Duo's and Core 2 Quad's are the fastest processors available.

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18th November 2004

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#3 13 years ago

As for the difference between AMD and Intel chipsets, that's simply the manufacturer. They are the two leading companies that make processors.

Multi-core processors are better if you use your computer to multitask a lot, for example, if you want to do stuff like burn CDs while playing a game at the same time.


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1st January 2005

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#4 13 years ago
marvinmatthew;3864199Generally speaking, your correct, a dual-core means two processors, and a quad-core means four.

More specifically dual core means a a processor with two cores, quad core a processor with four cores. There's more to a CPU than just the core, it's comprised mainly of transistors and has a built in cache memory too. There ARE MBs with two sockets for a two processor arrangement, but two core is self contained in one chip. If you think you can afford a pretty good CPU I would wait until the next generation 45nm ones become available. The nm (nanometer) refers to the size of the silicone layer or "die" the chip is placed on and the smaller die that can be made means more performance per watt. Furthermore the current Intel quads are merely designed with 2 Core 2 Duos placed on one die, a sort of cookie cutter quad so to speak. That means they do not share an on chip cache but rather need to use the FSB (Front Side Bus) or motherboard circuitry rather than the shared cache. AMD is soon to release their quad core which will have four integrated cores on one silicone layer, separate cache for each core, AND a secondary cache that all cores will access. AMD also has been putting the memory controller in the CPU for some time now, and their quad cores will utilize that feature as well. The memory controller is what communicates directly with the memory modules for memory access. This communication is referred to as CAS latency or the first number of a set of 4 digits designating the memory's timings. Memory control is a fairly important function and though AMD had success making their CPUs faster putting the controller on the CPU, Intel has since shown they can achieve faster speeds without such design. It remains to be seen if Intel could further increase their performance by doing the same, though many seem to think it most certainly would give a boost. There are many other things to consider in chip design though like cost of CPU manufacturing, heat issues, wanting consumers to buy into both their CPUs AND their MB chipsets, etc. The latter perhaps one of the biggest factors. Why put a controller in the CPU when it might make your processor perform optimally with a greater variety of chipsets as opposed to claiming best performance with their own chipsets. Intel will soon release their 45nm die CPUs which will have many new features. Some have said they will be the same two Core 2 Duos on one die arrangement, some are saying they will be integrated like AMDs, though likely without on chip memory controller. The info I've read seems to indicate they will make their first 45nm chips with the cookie cutter two Duos on one die method. Quads are already being written for in games and will always improve multi tasking, as mention above. Some developers like Valve have already reported significant advances in next gen AI, Physics and Effects using "hybrid threading" in writing for quad core. They spoke of something they referred to as "out-of-band" AI too which will yield state of the art NPC realism in games. Sorry if all this was a bit over complex, but suffice it to say there is MUCH new tech coming out soon, some of which is fairly revolutionary. It is wise to wait and see what designs will perform the best and what trends will be followed by consumers in '08 so as to better plan your upgrade path. Despite consumers often popularizing some products that don't necessarily make sense, it CAN affect manufacturing to a degree.


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#5 13 years ago

Well I thought that newer AMD X2s have drivers that allow them to control how a program accesses it, so that way, programs that are written for single cores can increase operation by taking advantage of using two cores.