Help! Conroe or Kentsfield?

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Here is my situation. I want to start a new home built PC. My current system

2.6 GHz Pentium 4
1 gig PC1066 ram @ 533 MHz
Audigy 2

I want to replace this system with a new high end machine. Intel's Conroe
Core 2 processors are due out in a few weeks. However, processors with 4
cores might hit the market around January, along with vista and direct X 10
graphics cards.

My options are, build now around a Conroe dual core chip, drop in a
temporary graphics card, and then later drop in a direct x 10 card and use
the temp as a physics processor, or

wait and build around the 4 core Kentsmith in January.

My questions are:

(1) How do you think the quad core processors will be priced, assuming they
come out in January. These processors are supposed to be 2 Conroe's on one
chip--does that mean twice the price? If these are going to be like $2k then
I'm out.

(2) Is quad core overkill? I'm planning on upgrading whatever processor I
buy in 2-3 years anyway, if necessary.

Can any of you tech savvy people make arguments for and against waiting for
quad core and not building around Conroe in July or August?

Re: Help! Conroe or Kentsfield?

Chalky wrote:
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Another option: wait until Jan and build a Conroe system with a DX10
graphics card. Unless you're dying to get a new system before then, it'd
save you money all round (not having to buy another graphics card, not
having to pay "scarcity" prices for the initial Conroes).

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Given previous history, I'd probably say they'd be about double the price of
the similar single-core.

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Depends on what you're doing. I run a lot of very nicely scaling simulations
and so could easily see a nice benefit from quad core. Your average game
will see pretty much nothing beyond even one core. Even in the next three
years, I'd say it's pretty unlikely that an average user will see any
benefit going from a dual core to a quad core.

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Three letters: F, S, B. Conroe and will be using FSB1066, which gives it
about 8.3 GB/sec bandwidth. At best, Kentfield (which is just two Conroe's
glued together on the same package) will be using the same FSB as Conroe,
though it's quite possible that it will be using a slower FSB. So quite
simply, Kentfield is going to be absolutely choking due to bandwidth
starvation. It'll probably be a bit faster than a Conroe if a particular
application supports 4 threads, but it'll be far from twice as fast.

AMD is in slightly better position, because they have the potential to use
up to 12.8 GB/sec from DDR2/800, plus the on-die memory controller allows
more efficient use of the bandwidth. It's still not going to be ideal,
though, and probably worth holding off quad core until the next memory
interface upgrade (not to mention it's going to be a couple of years before
applications even come close to using all four cores).

Michael Brown
Add michael@ to ---+--- My inbox is always open

Re: Help! Conroe or Kentsfield?


Thanks for the very helpful response. If quad core is going to be twice as
expensive as dual core, then it is out of the question. I do have one more
question if you don't mind, considering that the Pentium D 805 is under $200
and can be overclocked to 3.6 GHz, do you think the new Conroe chips are
worth the investment--I imagine the higher end chips will be closer to $1k?

I want to get at least 2 good years of gaming out of my processor. Do you
think a Conroe system would make for a much better gaming system than one
based on the 805? I'm trying to figure out how I should allocate the limited
funding I have available for this project between the processor and graphics
card or cards.

Thanks again!

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Re: Help! Conroe or Kentsfield?

conroe will have 4mb of level 2 cach=E9 vs 805=B4s 2 mb, but I don=B4t
know when it will be released (in other words it=B4s still unavailable
for sale)

Re: Help! Conroe or Kentsfield?

Blackstone wrote:
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Leaked Conroe prices are at:

The E6300, while being pretty cheap, will require a massive FSB overclock in
order to get to the 3GHz level (stock is 266MHz, to get 3GHz you'll need a
429MHz FSB - ouch!). The E6400 is a bit more at $224 and stands a much
better chance ("only" requires a 375MHz FSB, which initial testing shows is
quite possible on decent motherboards).

This is compared to the 805 at $93 (at Conroe's launch). I'd personally say
it's worth the investment - the heat of the 805 is difficult to manage when
overclocking, and the Conroe system would demolish the overclocked 805 in
pretty much everything.


Michael Brown
Add michael@ to ---+--- My inbox is always open

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