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Windows 7: Benefits of a CPU upgrade?


17 Jun 2010   #1

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Benefits of a CPU upgrade?

I am currently running an Athlon 64 X2 @ 2.7GHz. I notice newer CPUs don't run at a much faster clockspeed but have 3, 4 or 6 cores. If I went to a 4 core CPU at say 3GHz by what % would I expect my PC to speed up? And with 6 cores? Thanks for your responses.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

It would depend on the programs you use. Apps like FireFox and WMP aren't designed to make use of multiple cores very well, but then, they don't use much CPU. They might actually run slower because of the lower clock speed.

CPU intensive programs, like games and VirtualBox, usually are designed to make use of all the cores. That's where the 4 and 6 core CPUs shine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #3

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Not too many popular apps can handle multiple cores. But for the few mulithreaded ones, quad cores represent a massive jump in processing speed. So, for the majority of regular users, there would not be much noticeable difference between the performance of a dual core vs. a quad core, individual core speeds being equal.

But I think, even if you are not a current "multi-threaded" application user today, you may well be in the future. Apps are being rewritten to take advantage of the multiple cores. Buying a quad core today should be a good insurance policy for the future. Also, there is a cut-throat price war between AMD and Intel that should benefit consumers.
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17 Jun 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yep, it depends 100% on what you are doing with the computer. My users mainly run Office products, and barely strain the Core 2 Duos that are in their Dell towers. I do video encoding with Handbrake, which definitely benefits from more cores, and why I upgraded from an E8400 to a Q9550. It's a shame to have the E8400 sitting on a shelf, but the Quad Core is much faster for my uses. Some games are quad core aware too, so again, it all depends on what you do with the system.

So, based on that, you might be doing yourself a favor by upgrading, or you could do yourself a favor by saving the money towards a total upgrade down the line.
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17 Jun 2010   #5

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Thanks for the feedback - I didn't realise it was so software dependant. The 'heaviest' software I use would be Photoshop CS4. Lightroom 3, audio ripping to flac with EAC and video processing with Nero and Daemon Tools. Would any of these benefit?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Without any real research, I'd say yes. I believe Photoshop CS4 is multi-core aware, and so is Lightroom 3. I could be wrong.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

Before you go out and buy a new processor make sure it's supported by your motherboard. I have an M2N68-AM SE2 with an Athlon II X4 620. I bought it as a bare bones PC and I'm quit happy with it. I am going to slowly update it as time goes on. I plan on upgrading to a Phenom II processor for the level 3 cache and a little more clock speed. The big thing for me is my motherboard will only support a 95 watt processor. I think that pretty well rules out going 6 core for me. If you go to the downloads for your mother board on the ASUS web site you should be able to find a CPU support list. That will also tell you what BIOS level you need. If a BIOS flash is required to support your new CPU you'll want to do it before you swap them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #8

Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I have the same MB but am upgrading to a 785/710 chipset MB that will tale my AM2 cpu and allow future upgrade to AM3. I'm doing it a bit at a time like you, new case this time round and an extra internal HDD.
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17 Jun 2010   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center 64 bit
 
 

For me it's more RAM first, then an upgrade from my IDE hard drive to a SATA hard drive or maybe a new CPU. It just depends on how much money I can save and if a good sale happens to show up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
 
 

It's not about faster speeds and what can handle what. I think the main advantage of having more cores is the ability to multi task much better. It only stands to reason really as the cpu is the brain of our systems, forever receiving and giving feedback so if you have got four/six brains the more efficient the multitasking will be.
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 Benefits of a CPU upgrade?




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