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Windows 7: Dual vs quad core - choosing

30 Jan 2012   #1
JimLewandowski

 
 
Dual vs quad core - choosing

Pick the one with the higher Ghz (clock) rate unless you do have some applications (games, video processing?) that truly can simultaneously use more than 2 processors.

A word to the wise.

99% of the time, you won't have 4 running units of work.

Plenty of graphs of real application use show the faster duo finishing tasks more quickly.


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31 Jan 2012   #2
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Remember, though, Windows itself is threadsafe, and the thread scheduler will try to balance workloads across idle CPUs (and prefer physical cores to hyperthreaded ones too, until the system gets too busy to avoid them). Just because most of your applications might be single-threaded doesn't mean Windows can't balance that load across multiple CPUs just fine. Of course, if you only run one app at a time and it isn't capable by itself of taxing multiple CPUs, that does mean very little.
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31 Jan 2012   #3
JimLewandowski

 
 

By balance, do you mean to provide SOME type of functional CPU affinity?

I understand your point, but to be clear to readers, faster/fewer CPUs will finish work more quickly than more/slower (e.g. quad clock rate is less than duo clock rate) CPUs.
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31 Jan 2012   #4
M1GU31

Windows 10 64bit
 
 

for graphic intensive and video processing and editing , the quad core would benefit you more. Such as applications like 3d max studio which involves making 3d models and texturing ,video rendering,Photoshop .... would benefit you more if you had more then just two cores on your processor A duo core would be fine if your a usual user who browsers the internet and uses light graphic hungry applications or doesn't do many video edits to often and heavy video.
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31 Jan 2012   #5
JimLewandowski

 
 

Correct, M1GU31. But, is the offset of getting that quad core benefit for video editing/3D worth the slower performance the rest of the time you use your PC?
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31 Jan 2012   #6
cluberti

Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

If the use of the PC is for that purpose, I'd say the trivial difference in performance with a slower CPU (Windows is *far* more I/O bound and blocked by disk performance than CPU performance with most modern CPUs, say since 2006 or so) more than makes up for better multithreaded performance in a video editing or 3D application.
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31 Jan 2012   #7
JimLewandowski

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
If the use of the PC is for that purpose, I'd say the trivial difference in performance with a slower CPU (Windows is *far* more I/O bound and blocked by disk performance than CPU performance with most modern CPUs, say since 2006 or so) more than makes up for better multithreaded performance in a video editing or 3D application.
But with SSDs, might the nod now go to quads vs. duo?

I have wondered how the boot process with an SSD would go with more slower processors vs. fewer faster processors. I've not been able to find any benchmarks on this. Very curious. Since you can have 40,000+ IOPS, I would think having as many threads flinging I/Os to the contoller as fast as possible would be what is needed. IOW, turnaround time for initiating the next I/O should be virtually nil with SSDs and a quad.
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31 Jan 2012   #8
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

There is a problem with your argument...Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors pretty much have the same level of clockspeed available. (Both below are the highest rated clockspeeds without being Extreme Editions)

Intel Core i5-680 Clarkdale 3.6GHz Dual-Core Desktop Processor
For $335 Newegg.com

Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) Quad-Core Desktop Processor
For $370 Newegg.com

0.1 GHz difference, the Quad-Core gets an extra 0.3 GHz under load over the Dual-Core.
Only paying an extra $35 bucks for two more cores.
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31 Jan 2012   #9
JimLewandowski

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
There is a problem with your argument...Dual-Core and Quad-Core processors pretty much have the same level of clockspeed available. (Both below are the highest rated clockspeeds without being Extreme Editions)
I don't keep track of the latest speeds, but thought the duos could plow more money into clock speed for the $ compared to a quad. If they are that similar, then /thread (pun intended).
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31 Jan 2012   #10
GeneO

Windows 10 Pro. EFI boot partition, full EFI boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by JimLewandowski View Post
Pick the one with the higher Ghz (clock) rate unless you do have some applications (games, video processing?) that truly can simultaneously use more than 2 processors.

A word to the wise.

99% of the time, you won't have 4 running units of work.

Plenty of graphs of real application use show the faster duo finishing tasks more quickly.
Are you saying quad cores can't match the clock speeds of dual cores? Why not go back to single core with high clock?

Also, the higher core computers often have a larger instruction set and more features than the lower core, which can be beneficial for certain applications. For example the i5 has turbo boost and the i3 doesn't - this will boost the frequency of a single core application. The i5 has AES instructions so will boost encryption but the i3 doesn't.

When you are comparing processor frequencies for a single core process on multi-core processor you have to take into consideration turbo-boost and the instruction set and chipset for that matter. You also have to consider that the OS takes advantage of more cores and that and programs are evolving to take advantage of more cores.
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