Dual core versus 3Ghz HT for gaming?

By B_a_r_n_e_y ยท 5 replies
Mar 27, 2008
  1. Hello everyone, am new here and thinking about an upgrade....as you can imagine. Wanted to know if running a single game application on a 3Ghz HT would be as good as some of the newer CPUS?
    Any advice would be useful? Have a Herc 256 Graphics, and decent Hard disk.

  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Depends on the game. Any of the Intel Core 2 Duo\Pentium Dual-Core and AMD Athlon 64\X2 range will provide a significant performance boost compared to a Pentium 4 HT processor in games that stress the CPU more than the GPU, which is most often not the case. But the HT processor will cause a bottleneck in the system if paired with a very fast card such as an 8800GT and this will limit the card's performance quite a lot. You would see noticeable improvement but if you're not going to play very demanding games like Crysis or Unreal Tournament 3, then there's no point, unless you're upgrading after a good 3-4 years.
  3. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Not exactly, no. A CPU with HT enabled has two sets of general-purpose registers, control registers, and other architecture components, but both logical processors share the same cache, execution units, and buses. During operations, each logical processor handles a single thread. CPU's with HT can fill idle time with a second process, but you usually won't see much more than a 25% increase in performance at best as far as I know.

    In short, HT is an imaginary second core that isn't nearly as efficient as actually having a second core.
  4. B_a_r_n_e_y

    B_a_r_n_e_y TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Bought the PC in Aug 2004 for a small fortune, just whn HT was out. Was going to upgrade in stages, 256 onboard for card is still ok I think, not the best but wih 3 GB of Ram runs most things alright for single application use. Am a gamer at heart, Contemplating just selling and going new build but don't feel it is totally necessary as my system seems to run most things alright, struggles with the high def games which is a shame and I think its the CPU and cache thats limited.
    Thanks for the help though..
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Barney,
    It's not really HT vs. Dual-Core that makes the big difference in reality. It's the generation of processor- especially when talking Intel.

    Intel switched architectures starting with the Conroe series cores. The previous CPU's from Intel were the older NetBurst architecture which were slow.. even a 1.8 ghz AMD processor could easily keep up with a 2.8-3.0ghz Netburst Intel processor.

    What you are seeing now are chips of a whole new architecture. Even Intel's 1.8 ghz Core Solo/Duo processors can beat up the older, Netburst (yes- HT even) 3.0ghz CPU's. Having more than one 1.8ghz core or not isn't the real benefit- it's the new CPU architecture. This took many PC owners by surprise and took AMD totally by surprise.

    Pentium 4 Prescott (Netburst) 3.0ghz with HT CPU
    Arithmetic MFLOPS: 9064
    PCMark 2005 CPU: 3797

    E2160 (Core/Core 2) 1.8ghz no HT CPU
    Arithmetic MFLOPS: 11446
    PCMark 2005 CPU: 4634

    This is similar performance to what AMD has been achieving for years and as the cpu speed increases, they can best current AMD's at higher end brackets.

    That being said-
    Moreover, not all games are strapped on a P4-3.0ghz HT Processor. You should be more specific on what game you are describing as well as what Hercules graphics card and system memory you have. SIW or Everest can be helpful for posting your system specs.. or dxdiag (Start Menu->Run, type dxdiag and use the "Save" button to make a text file for copy/paste).

    I've built many GREAT gaming PC's with 3.0ghz cpu's, and other than games such as Crysis, Bioshock or such.. they perform great. Also many 3.0ghz HT cpu's come in socket 775 which is instantly upgradeable to most of the new Conroe/Core/Core2 cpu's if you're interested in a cheap upgrade. You may be eligible for a quick, ~$120 upgrade to add a lot more cpu power in a matter of minutes.
  6. B_a_r_n_e_y

    B_a_r_n_e_y TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Sharkfood, very kewl. Will go stages, have 3 G Ram and card is ok. Will go Mobo and cpu. Back to try and error for a while...plug and pray crap. thanks for the help...

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