Dual core vs Quad core

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kbeam418
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Here's a question for the fellow geeks out there which is better to have a fast dual core CPU or a slower quad-core CPU? Here's a scenario to consider you have the option of going with a AMD Athalaon X2 clocked at 2.2GHz (can't be overclocked) or you can go with a AMD Phenom X4 clocked at 1.8GHz (again can't be overclocked). The reason why these CPUs were picked is because I haven't dealt with any of Intel's CPUs for gaming.

Please don't say stupid crap like "neither" because it's stupid. Feel free to ask any questions.

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limeDk
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i would go for the Phenom X4 yeah it is clocked abit lower but has 2 more cores and the i belive the performance clock for clock is better on the Phenom

kbeam418
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It's (imo) better than the Athalon because it would always be at 100% during gaming and I didn't get as good FPS. My new Phenom doesn't hit 100% and is therefore not bottlenecking my cpu.

What I'm wondering is if more cores is more important than clock speed.

limeDk
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it depends if you got a quad core you dont get as much from buyning a slower six core cpu inturns of gaming performance but from dual to quad its better to get more cores

Razear
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In terms of gaming, most games today are written to take advantage of multiple threads so a quad core with a lower frequency will outperform dual cores with a higher frequency.

theprof
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I agree, I would even say that for gaming today, dual core should be the minimum... if you can go for a quad core, that's the definitely the better options. Having access to more threads is going to be an advantage in gaming.

kbeam418
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Interesting so it looks like most of you guys prefer quad core to dual core interesting.

spawnkiller
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If the difference in clock speed isn't enormous (ex: a quad 2ghz or a dual @ 4.0ghz) the quad should perform better in almost anything you'll throw at it as if you use the 2 core in game the dual can't keep running windows services and other thing like Steam or MSN and will use the power of the cores to run that and tha game at same time, in clear if 1 of the core hit 100%, it will struggle a little as the other core can't do more than it's already doing, but in a quad, even if the game use all 4 cores, you still have maybe 25% free on all of them to run the rest (and the only game that use more than 2 core is BF3 for now, as i know) So 2 core on the game and 2 free for all other apps and if you like doing more than 1 thing at once, the quad still have more room for multiple applications to be open at the same time.

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kbeam418
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But in the case of a phenom x4 you only have 1 thread per core so would having two more threads help compared to a cpu that has 2 less threads but is clocked higher?

spawnkiller
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Yeah, except like i said if the dual is the same architecture (ex: phenom 2 or core 2) and running a hell lot faster than the quad... also if you compare a dual-core newer I3 3.2ghz vs an old Core 2 Quad 3ghz, the I3 is faster in almost every scenario but don't compare the I3 to an I5 or the Core 2 Quad vs the Core 2 as the Quad always win if it's the same product design...