Practical Uses for Dual Core CPU

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1,141
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Texas
I recently installed a Dual Core Opteron in my computer. Now I'm wondering "Why did I do that?" Well, I got it at a pretty good price (talking to myself trying to justify it even if it just cost a buck).
 
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12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by JavaMan: I recently installed a Dual Core Opteron in my computer. Now I'm wondering "Why did I do that?" Well, I got it at a pretty good price (talking to myself trying to justify it even if it just cost a buck).
If you got your dollars worth of new toy feel good out of it, you at least broke even. If it causes you to delay buying a new computer,, they you awill be money ahead. So, stop second guessing yourself, you are depreciating the "feel good" you bought. [Cheers!]
 
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7,550
Location
North Alabama
quote:
Originally posted by JavaMan: I recently installed a Dual Core Opteron in my computer. Now I'm wondering "Why did I do that?"....
Simple - Single-core processors are SOOOOO last week. [Wink]
 
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12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by wavinwayne:
quote:
Originally posted by JavaMan: I recently installed a Dual Core Opteron in my computer. Now I'm wondering "Why did I do that?"....
Simple - Single-core processors are SOOOOO last week. [Wink]

It's worse than that, they are SOOOOO 20th century. [Big Grin]
 
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855
Location
India
Been a dualie man forever, assembled my first quad 486 and never looked back, have dual XEON and dual core 4800 AMD, simply put, the only true multi tasking capable PCs can be acheived by dualies, I can do so much at any given time and still have leeway for more.
 
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118
Location
Fresno
simple.... photo editing, no not red eye removal folks.... editing large images that can typically take up 2 GB of ram alone, or even video editing and compression. maybe CAD work or some other type of rendering. other than that, doubt you will even notice a difference. but when it comes to computers, there are a lot of folks who do the "buy a porsche to drive to the store and back" thing.... don't feel weird, everyone does it.
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
I'm liking these dual cores even more than the previous hyperthreading CPU's. Dell's D820/D620 laptops really do perform faster than the D810/D610 single core models they replace. Seeing as Dual Core CPU's are offered in a Mac nowadays, photo editing, video processing and all the fun stuff a computer can do is only going to be faster. MUCH faster than just a year or two ago. Do these dual core machines rip/process MP3's faster than single CPU models?
 
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855
Location
India
For mp3 only using LAME or Win Go Go would you be able to use both the cores, otherwise its single core, but then a dual core would allow you to do other things like editing other ripped mp3s while you are ripping in background.
 
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118
Location
Fresno
you would really need to be doing more than one thing at a time to get a real benefit from dual core, ripping mp3's alone might be slightly faster, maybe a second per mp3 or something - the real benefit would be ripping on one core and doing something else on the other as Gurkha pointed out. I'm sure the mac allows you to set specific threads to specific cores, right?
 
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12,892
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Middlesex County CT
I suspect dual cores on desktops has to do more with reducing development costs and not having several concurrent lines of chip development. The real $$$ is in servers, now most of which contain dual core chips. An alalogy (with software) would be that M$ saw the benefit of a single code base of desktop OS's. W95,98,Me were EOL'ed and they put development into the $$$ side of OS's, commercial grade. Consequently, XP contains many features a normal home user would never need. BTW:Sun Microsystems has a 8 core x 4 threads/core machine, Perfect for massively threaded apps like mail delivery or web hosting.
 
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13
Location
Chicago, IL
Dual cores are mainly useful for doing more then one thing at a time, just as stated above by many users. Right now, the AMD X2 skt939s are quite cheap for dual cores, so it's only a bit more expensive then some single cores, so why not pay a tad more for better performance?
 
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11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Most of the servers I sell (HP) are dual core Opterons. Intell are back in the game with Woodcrest. ProLiant DL380G5 with Woodecrest about 30% faster than best AMD Opteron. Intel Core 2 Duo will be pretty good.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
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45,952
Location
New Jersey
I bought a dell precision workstation in college, with dual PIII xeon processors. I bought it because it was a REALLY good deal off of the dell refurb site. It has been a great machine until the motherboard mysteriously went bad... Hopefully some ebay parts will ge tit up and running again - it still runs better than my P4 optiplex at work (both running win2k). Anyway, I dont have apps with SMP capability, however, the win2k kernel can be set so that you can designate processor affinity through the task manager. What I woul ddo in college is run mathematical simulations of chemical processes and whatnot in mathcad or simulink on the cecond processor, so that then I could run all the rest of the windows stuff, and outlook, AIM, IE, etc. on the first processor. It really did seem to effect performance for the better, beyond what Id consider a placebo effect. After I graduated and wasnt running such HD stuff with the need for speed, I exchanged the kernel and downgraded to one pocessor - might as well, the other sold for well over $100, long after p4 xeons were proving highly superior performance. worked for me, I assume that the dual core HT processors could be set the same. JMH
 
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2,438
Location
Frankfort, Kentucky
Photoshop CS has a dual core patch, Premiere had dual core usage, I suppose AVID and FCP would too. I know the mass comm stuff(video, audio, photo) take advantage of dual core, or even hyperthreadig technology.
 
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2,364
Location
sebring, florida
the problem with dual core is most programs simply dont need a second processor, or are not able to use more than 1 because of dated programming. i remember when dual cores were becomming more common place in the home enviroment, there wasnt a thing an average user could do with a second processor. none of the games even had dual core support. i dont know if thats changed sence i quit paying attention to modern computing but it was this way not too long ago.
 
Messages
118
Location
Fresno
it depends, people who NEED a dual core know that the software they use will utilize it, video production/processing packages, cad, rendering, whatever... so they go and buy one, other folks probably think they will get a 100% increase in framerates in quake 3 or something... unless you do something similar to the above then you are just using a porsche as a grocery getter.
 
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133
Location
USA
Some heavy CPU applications (some database server software, for example) are coded to be "multi-threaded", and can therefore directly take advantage of dual CPU/core computers (be they two cores on one chip, or two single-core chips on the motherboard) to do extra processing in the application itself. However, most applications aren't written that way, and therefore most apps will only use one of the two cores (leaving the other one "free"). But even in that case the second CPU/core will still help (albeit not nearly as much as the multi-threaded application case), as long as your OS has multi-CPU/core support built into the OS. Because if one CPU heavy app uses all the CPU of one core, you still have the other one "free" to do other things (including such "mundane tasks" as redrawing your desktop, running your anti-virus software, etc). For example, on a single-core system the Windows desktop will slow to a crawl if/when you have a heavy CPU app trying to get work done. But with a dual-CPU/core system (assuming you have a version of Windows with multi-core support enabled), the (heavy CPU) application will just take over one of the CPUs/cores, and the desktop will continue to be very responsive using the other CPU/core. This isn't a doubling of performance by any means, but it is a useful effect. Likewise, if you have several programs you are running "at the same time", you will discover (again assuming your OS has the multi-CPU/core support enabled) that the OS will divide the apps up between the CPUs/cores (again allowing you to benefit from both CPUs/cores). FWIW: At work, we haven't built a production database server using just a single CPU/core in years. And we are even starting to roll out dual-core machines to users that need high-end computers (although we still go with the "cheap CPUs" for the majority of people who rarely max out even one CPU). We just realized long ago, that the marginal cost of the extra CPU/core was more than "worth it" if/when you need heavy CPU processing to get your work done (i.e. you routinely max out a single CPU/core). Yes, dual CPU/core is not even close to doubling performance, because CPU load will often not split evenly between the CPUs/cores (even with database software, since not all database tasks can be run in parallel). As a result, it's common to have one CPU/core working hard, and the other one doing very little. But even so, you do have more overall CPU for the entire mix of tasks, and that marginal benefit is often more than worth the marginal increase in price over a single CPU/core system (again, assuming that you do heavy enough processing, that maxing out a single CPU/core would otherwise be occurring).
 
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3,329
Location
Bolivia
I've had dual core for 6 months on my new tecra notebook. One thing is clear, on most applications you do not notice your antivirus running a scan or anti-spyware while you do something else. My web design program took 100% processor 3 minute to generate code for my site with 1GB ram on a 2GB pentium 4. On the dual core 1.83 with 1 GB or ram it processes the same site in 55 seconds. The only problem is when I try to run something on one of my office computers and end up crashing for being used to do everything at once.
 
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11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
Havn't sold a single core systenm for a fair while. and if you use encryption dual core is a no brainer. Woodcrest and Core 2 Duo are very good. Sold mainly AMD Opteron svrs for a long time (HP of course anything else is rubbish) but Woodcrest is changing that.
 
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