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Dual/Quad core, will it speed up any app?

By fw2004
Feb 4, 2010
  1. Hi;
    I am considering upgrading from my current single-core P4 to dual or quad core, with new mobo and memory, but keeping same (NVidia GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512) video for now.

    My question is whether I should also upgrade Windows (currently running Win 7 Ultimate 32 bit) to 64 bit, and would I also need to upgrade my apps to 64 bit to take advantage of the dual cores.

    I have one game that specifically states it will run better on multi-core processor, but what about apps that don't specify cores.
    I have a very old app that processes sound files; Cool Edit 2000, with all of the plug-ins. Some of the ops take a long time to complete, and I'm wondering whether this will take less time if I run mutli cores on Windows 7 64 bit.

    Another app I have that can take a while to process data is Adobe Photoshop 7. This is a very old version, so it won't be multi-core aware either.

    If it turns out that upgrading will only get me better performance in the one game, then it may not be worth the expanse.

    Thanks for your advice.

    FW
     
  2. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    I don't think that you will notice any performance gains from your applications unless they are specifically coded for 64 Bit. Anyhow, it's a good idea to switch to 64 Bit Windows especially if you have 4GB RAM or greater.

    All 32 Bit programs should run fine in any 64 Bit environment.

    As for advantages of upgrading the CPU, there are many. A dual / quad will easily outperform your current CPU by MILES! The P4 chockes on most recent games (notably Crysis). It might also bottleneck the 9800GTX.

    What will you be essentially using the PC for? Gaming / encoding / ?
     
  3. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    32-bit apps works marginally better on x64 windows as x64 windows allows them 4gb mem space; that holds true for games as well. The reason being 32-bit windows limit to 2gb mem allocation for each application. So preferably if you have 4gb of ram you should not bother with x86 at all in my view. Generally, most of 32bit applications work flawlessly on x64; you may encounter some problems with custom applications though (which happened to me as well when i dumped x86 windows long time ago).
     
  4. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    At this point, the most resource hungry thing I do on my machine is Trainz Railroad Sim 2010.
    I have 3GB of RAM in the machine, and so far I have never seen TS take up to 2Gigs. Most of the time it's around 1.5 or so.
    The real problem I have is when the game is moving, and the CPU needs to recalculate positions, etc.

    I would also go for a bran-new video system, but I cannot afford it right now.
    I am vacillating between going for the CPU, MOBO and RAM now and video later, or just waiting it out until I can afford a whole new machine.

    Thanks for the info. I'll try to keep all this in mind when making my choice.

    FW
     
  5. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    Many newer games are now being programmed to take advantage of multicore cpus. In your case 9800 GTX+ is a decent solution, but its architecture is aging now; a year or so down the road you will need to replace it provided you want to play games with eye candy turned on. So, if you can wait for a while, I think you will be better off with a whole new system, that should last for a while as well. When you upgrade a single component as such; the difference may be marginal specially as Ritwik pointed out that P4 will not be able to keep up with it,

    Beside, waiting for few more months shall result in better choices available for you in Quad Core area, as the competition shall be getting more interesting with AMD's new products.
     
  6. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    Good advice; Thanks.
    The computer industry is one where being a procrastinator usually rewards you.
    OTOH, buying copper wire last year, I should have stocked up. Price is 2.5X what I paid for my last purchase.

    FW
     
  7. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,682   +86

    Bit late for that and also RAM prices has doubled, I wish my 2GB stick had gone bad when the ram was much cheaper :dead: ....... but anyway it really is about making the right decision at the right time. :D
     
  8. jgvmx

    jgvmx TS Rookie Posts: 45

    Even if your apps are not coded to use multiple threads you still get the benefit of being able to do several things at once without hogging up the machine. I have a cheap Athlon x4 and can encode x264, listen music, download and browse at once without the pc getting all slow as on a previous single core machine i had.

    Also any relatively recent cpu, even inexpensive athlons, pentium dc and celerons stomp all over a p4 in any app, even single threaded ones. Now is a good time to upgrade, there are inexpensive cpus, motherboards and graphic cards that can give you a good performance.

    You don't need a 64 bit windows to effectively use all your cores, but you need it of you're planning to install 4 or more gigs of RAM.
     
  9. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    RAM prices doubled? That's disturbing. So I'll wait a while, or maybe I can re-use the DDR2 I've got on the Asus board?

    Anyway; I don't think I'm doing this upgrade anytime soon. I'm just scouting ahead to get a feel for what's out there, and what's coming.

    FW
     
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,686   +1,877

    I'm just curious, what board are you running that P-4 in? You would have had to go out of your way to put that old CPU in a new board, or you may not be able to run the new CPUs anyway
    Actually, PS7 should be easily able to utilize both cores. Even older versions that PS7 were employed on dual processor Windows workstations, and need I mention that all the older Power Macs were available in dual CPU configurations and were the industry standards for photographic and graphic arts.
    Even Photoshop Elements 5 will light up both cores of a C2D.
     
  11. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    I'm not sure what you're asking here.
    My plan is to upgrade both the MOBO and processor, so there won't be a problem there. Also I figured I would have to buy new RAM for the new board, so would go with a minimum of 4Gigs.
    The only component (besides the HDD's PSU, case) I would keep would be the GeForce 9800 GTX+ video. But I would eventually upgrade that as well.

    I think that if memory prices are currently high, I will wait until they come down before I do this. There's no rush.

    FW
     
  12. fw2004

    fw2004 TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 150

    Just checked at Crucial.com, and it appears that the memory for my current MOBO is about same as the last time I checked, about 1yr ago. I guess when you say RAM prices have doubled, I must have missed a drastic price reduction.

    1GB of DDR2 for the Asus P5AD2-E Premium board is still $34.99. I don't recall it being any cheaper than that at any time I checked.

    Then, maybe the cost of newer, faster memory is higher?

    FW
     
  13. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,686   +1,877

    DDR-2 prices have doubled, but over the course of more than a year. I purchased a 2GB kit (2 x1GB) of Kingston Value RAM (DDR-2 800Mhz) for about $25.00 USD. With free shipping. Currently the same kit is $44.99, but with a $5.99 shipping fee.

    I really wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the price to come down. One can hope, but DDR2 is now in the same situation as DDR., it is becoming a replacement part commodity. With DDR-3 being the current standard, the prices are now less than DDR-2.

    This GSkill kit, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231144 was $33.00 when I purchased it something over a year ago, now it's $53.00. Not double, but about a 70% increase.
    \ Exactly what relevance, bearing, or pertinence do you think posting a link for an SSD has on a discussion about whether a multi-core CPU will make the OP's programs run faster.
     
  15. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    well I thought if you're all so worried about those precious seconds "ticking away' why not save a few by not waiting for the HDD to spin-up :p
     
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