Weekend Open Forum: How many cores power your PC?

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We asked you this very same question over a year and a half ago. Back then, dual core processors were already quite common and quad core parts were coming down in price to more affordable levels -- you could get one from either Intel or AMD for around $235-265. Then a few months later, on November 2008, Intel secured its dominant market position by launching the Nehalem line-up that has been sitting comfortably atop the performance charts ever since.

Fortunately, competition hasn't slowed down in the entry level and mainstream segments. Unable to keep up with today's fastest offerings, AMD has made a solid effort to deliver balanced value and performance on all its chips, keeping Intel on its toes or at least putting enough pressure on them when it comes to pricing. They further emphasized this by introducing their first six-core desktop part earlier this week, priced quite lower than Intel's Core i7 980X.


Of course, these chips are not meant to compete against each other, but the fact remains, today you can get a full range of CPUs manufactured on more efficient processes and with up to six cores, for little over $200. That's something anyone who carries out heavily threaded tasks such as intensive 3D work or video encoding can certainly appreciate.

With that in mind we want to revisit this topic and ask you, how many cores are powering your PC today? Do you believe further increasing the number of processing cores will pay off in terms of actual performance given today's software standards? And if so, do you plan on upgrading to a six-core chip from Intel or AMD anytime soon?

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