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- Need advise on Processors
September 7, 2008, 4:00 pm
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Re: Need advise on Processors
On Sun, 7 Sep 2008 12:00:00 -0400, "desgnr"
The answer is to buy based on what the budget will allow.
Yes they're all "any good" for their respective price points
and certain purposes a computer could be used for.
If you just want to know which are fastest at application
XYZ, Google search for benchmarks.
Re: Need advise on Processors
Processor recommendations are best based on what kind of work the
user is doing. If you're reading email and posting to USENET, then
an Asus EEE with some weak processor might be all you need. If,
on the other hand, you "shrink DVDs for a living", or carry out
other multimedia type applications, then some of the dual or
quad core high end processors are a better investment.
Each generation of processors, has a different efficiency in the
way it works. That is how a current generation Intel processor at
2GHz, can beat a previous generation at 3GHz. The difference is
parallelism inside the processor (like being able to retire four
instructions at once, instead of three). So you cannot judge
them entirely on clock rate, or on available cache for that matter.
Most of the Celerons here, are single core and from previous
generations. The top two (3.6Ghz and 3.4GHz), might match the
performance of a Pentium4 at 3Ghz or so. (There are a couple
"sleepers" way down the chart, and they are dual core. The
E1400 would be as powerful as a Pentium4 3Ghz.)
Generally, for smoothness in operation, two cores is a good number.
A Pentium4 with Hyperthreading, offers one real core and one virtual
core, and the main benefit in that case, is not the extra compute power
(it only amounts to a few percentage points), but to the smoother
desktop operation (less evident hesitation).
Current generation processors tend to use "real" cores instead of
virtual ones. Both Intel and AMD offer multiple core processors,
with two, four, (and in AMDs case, even some three) core processors.
Two cores is enough for smoothness. Extra cores provide more
horsepower, under limited circumstances.
As an example, if I run the Apple program known as iTunes, it is
single threaded as far as I know. If you purchased a four core
processor, iTunes would use one core, and the other three would
be idle. The "extra horsepower" now is not evident. The processors
in the list, end up sorted by "clock rate and architecture",
so this chart allows some comparison between Intel and AMD.
For example, an AMD Athlon64 X2 at 2.8GHz, matches an Intel
Core2 at 2.4GHz. Intel has the advantage on internal parallelism
right now, on the design of each core. So even though the Core2
at 2.4GHz is running at a lower clock speed, it is able to match
the Athlon 64 X2 at 2.8GHz.
When you use benchmarks that use all available cores, that
distorts the benchmark chart, and gives a false impression.
The pecking order here, is reflective of an activity the
user might not carry out all the time. So this chart would
not necessarily reflect what the computer "feels like" in
its desktop performance. And that is why virtually all the
charts in the Tomshardware CPU chart page, are useless for
If you spend the whole day in Photoshop, then yes, this chart
can help predict the relative performance. But most people have
a mix of activities, when they're using a computer. (And this
Photoshop benchmark doesn't use a mix of filters, the way
that PSBench does.)
If I'm picking a computer, I want enough horsepower at a minimum,
so that web pages are rendered without a lot of fuss. In the
iTunes chart, I might pick anything above the Pentium 4 631 in
the chart, as acceptable for that. Anything with a benchmark
number of less than 200 seconds. Now, while that suggests that
most of the chart represents usable product, there are likely
still super-cheap Dell/HP/Acer/Gateway computers out there,
using stuff like old Celerons or the like. And they might not
meet my "acceptable" criterion.
You can always build your own computer, and the main
advantage there, is the ability to select what goes into
With AMD, this is the cheapest dual core AMD processor I could
find, that comes with a heatsink and fan, and meets my criteron.
This should be good enough for web browsing and general purpose
usage, and be a bit faster than my Pentium 4 3GHz benchmark point.
And it's only $60.
Intel might offer something close to that, for $70.
The QX9770 at $1450, is at the other end of the price chart.
Is it 20x better than the other two processors ? No.
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