WHICH TO CHOOSE: PD 820 OR P4 640/640

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I see on www.tigerdirect.ca that Pentium D 820 and Pentium 4 640/641 Retail
CPU's are priced very close together.

Has anybody read any good comparative reviews on these processors, comparing
them head-to-head? Which is better?

Re: WHICH TO CHOOSE: PD 820 OR P4 640/640

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The 640 should be cheaper, according to the price list.

http://www.intel.com/intel/finance/pricelist /

The 640 is a single core 3.2GHz processor.
The 820 is a dual core 2.8GHz processor.

Which is better, depends on what kind of work you do on the
computer. If you like to leave a copy of DVDshrink running, and
want to do some other work at the same time, the dual core would
allow DVDshrink to run on one core, and your other work runs on
the other core. You get more total work from your new processor,
or the desktop is a little more responsive.

If you don't normally do "crunching" tasks, and like to do
one thing at a time, then the single core processor has a
slightly faster core. Programs that can only take advantage
of one core, will run faster on the 640, which would give it
a slight advantage.

I have a lot of old software, and I doubt I would get the
full value from a dual core processor. If you work a lot with
multimedia, do lots of conversions of stuff, work in Photoshop,
the dual cores are probably a better choice. (I think Photoshop
can use both cores to 100% at the same time.) For gaming, it
is hard to say - while there is the odd game that can do a bit
of work on the second core, the speedup is not 2X.

Either processor allows you to keep many programs open. The
advantage of the dual core, is if one program wants to use
a lot of CPU cycles, the OS load balances on the dual cores,
such that the second core is used for the other programs
you are trying to run. So the dual core processor pulls
ahead, when two or more things are crunching at the same

Generally, with processor pricing, the price is supposed to
be indicative of the performance level of the processor. It
looks like Intel thinks the 820 is the better processor, and
they charge a little more for it.

One word of warning - I think that Nvidia makes chipsets for
Intel based motherboards, and one of the Nvidia chipsets only
runs the 820 in single core mode. If you decide to go with
the 820, when you buy the motherboard, check the manufacturer
website, to see whether the dual core 820 is supported. There
is no such issue with the next fastest dual core, the 830. The
latest 920 seems to be having a similar issue. Basically, if
the dual core has a x14 multiplier, check for processor support
on the motherboard, before you buy the motherboard. The
Asus P5ND2-SLI was an example of a board that had trouble
with the 820. Asus has modified their table, so that the 820
and the P5ND2-SLI no longer show up in the same results page,
so they don't have to mention "Single core only" any more.
A little deceptive I think.



Re: WHICH TO CHOOSE: PD 820 OR P4 640/640

Thank you, Paul.

Something else I was reading, it might have been in a review of the 640.
Given a FSB speed of 800 MHZ (200 MHZ quad-pumped), the best most perfect
speed for the Processor would be 3.2 GHZ: an even integer whole number
multiplier of the FSB speed - has something to do with parts and components
timings &c.
3.2 GHZ = 800 MHZ * 4
800 MHZ = 200 MHZ quadpumped
3.2 GHZ = 200 MHZ * 4^2 = 200 MHZ * 4 * 4 = 200 MHZ * 16

And Pentium D 3.2 GHZ (840/940) is so expensive by comparison, that leaves
Pentium 4 3.2 GHZ (640/641)


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Re: WHICH TO CHOOSE: PD 820 OR P4 640/640

On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 21:09:20 -0500, "Peter"

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You're going about this completely backwards.   Never should
it be "do I buy this or that", but rather "this is exactly
what I do with my computer, what's the best choice for [$x]

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