P4 HT vs Dual 2 Core question

By oct714 ยท 8 replies
Mar 29, 2008
  1. Hey there,

    Despite all info out there stating a 2-core processor would be much faster that a single core CPU, I am still undecided if I should upgrade my pc now or wait a little longer.

    My actual system has a Prescott P4 3.4Ghz/1MB/800Mhz with HT and 2-1GB DDR Kingston 400Mhz modules runing on dual channel (to match CPU bus), and the main applications I use are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Also, this mobo allows me to add 2 more 1GB modules of ram (up to 4GB in dual channel)

    I know HT enabled would help when runing Photoshop and surfing the web at the same time, but not when runing Photoshop & Illustrator on sepatated monitor since HT is not 2 physical cores, so my question is:

    Considering I am quite short in cash, which Dual2Core processor would be the minimum to look for to match & increase the performace of my actual system, considering the new mobo would only accept 2-1GB of DDR2 667Mhz (1333 Mhz in dual channel)
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You are confused about how the "Dual Channel" technology works. Running RAM in "Dual Channel" mode is nothing more than using two modules of RAM that are extremely closely matched specification wise as a single 128-bit device to improve performance. This has absolutely nothing to do with your RAM's frequency.

    If you feel that your system is currently limiting you performance wise, it's probably time to upgrade, yes. What are your PC's current specifications?

    (Copied/Pasted from another post of mine): You could get a new motherboard, CPU and RAM for <$200, just make sure your PSU is fit for the job :).

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ $55.99
    BIOSTAR TA770 $79.99
    Crucial Ballistix 2 x 1GB DDR2 800MHz $28.99 (After MIR)

    Total (before shipping after rebates): $164.97
  3. oct714

    oct714 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It seems I am really confused regarding Dual Channel then. I was told 2 modules of 512MB at 400Mhz (installed on the right slots) teorically would have the same performance than 1 module of 1Gb at 800Mhz, so it is not true?

    I have a mid-tower HP business d530 system, which in case of upgrading would mean new chassis too. The full specs are these:

    HP mid tower, 3 - 5.25 drive bays(in use), 2 - 3.5 internal drive bays,(in use) 1- floppy bay(in use)

    Intel P4 3.4 Ghz/1MB/800Mhz with Hyper Treading enabled

    2-1GB Kingston DDR 3200 configured in dual channel

    1-Maxtor IDE STM3320620A (320GB 7200RPM, 16MB cache) - Windows XP Pro SP2 installed
    1- Wester Digital WD2500JS-60MHB1 (250GB, 7200RPM, 8MB cache) - Windows Vista UIltimate installed

    1-Plextor DVD-RW 712a
    1-LiteOn DVD-RW LH-20A1H

    Video Cards:
    1- AGP 8x nVidia GeForce FX 5200
    1- PCI nVidia GeForce FX 5200

    Sound Card:
    Creative SB X-Fi Platinum fatality

    Power Supply:
    silent 500 watts

    1- LCD 19" Samsung 914v
    1- CTR 22" Viewsonic P220fb

    My system is running fine. This is a Hijackthis result from my XP Pro configuration:

    Running processes:
    C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe
    C:\Program Files\COMPAQ\Easy Access Button Support\StartEAK.exe
    C:\Program Files\SlySoft\AnyDVD\AnyDVDtray.exe
    C:\Program Files\Compaq\Easy Access Button Support\CPQEADM.EXE
    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VS7DEBUG\MDM.EXE
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\HijackThis.exe

    R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyOverride = *.local
    O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: (no name) - {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - C:\Program Files\Spybot - Search & Destroy\SDHelper.dll
    O2 - BHO: SSVHelper Class - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
    O2 - BHO: AcroIEToolbarHelper Class - {AE7CD045-E861-484f-8273-0445EE161910} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
    O3 - Toolbar: Adobe PDF - {47833539-D0C5-4125-9FA8-0819E2EAAC93} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Zone Labs Client] C:\Program Files\Zone Labs\ZoneAlarm\zlclient.exe
    O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CPQEASYACC] C:\Program Files\COMPAQ\Easy Access Button Support\StartEAK.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
    O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [AnyDVD] C:\Program Files\SlySoft\AnyDVD\AnyDVDtray.exe
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert link target to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert link target to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selected links to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECaptureSelLinks.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selected links to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppendSelLinks.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selection to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert selection to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert to Adobe PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIECapture.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: Convert to existing PDF - res://C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll/AcroIEAppend.html
    O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000
    O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_03\bin\ssv.dll
    O9 - Extra button: Research - {92780B25-18CC-41C8-B9BE-3C9C571A8263} - C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\OFFICE11\REFIEBAR.DLL
    O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
    O10 - Unknown file in Winsock LSP: c:\program files\bonjour\mdnsnsp.dll
    O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - https://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab
    O20 - Winlogon Notify: WgaLogon - C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WgaLogon.dll
    O23 - Service: Adobe LM Service - Adobe Systems - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe Systems Shared\Service\Adobelmsvc.exe
    O23 - Service: CA ISafe (CAISafe) - Computer Associates International, Inc. - C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\isafe.exe
    O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Driver\11\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
    O23 - Service: TrueVector Internet Monitor (vsmon) - Zone Labs, LLC - C:\WINDOWS\system32\ZoneLabs\vsmon.exe

    Given this is a propietary system, it would be more expensive to upgrade. Here is where I doubt if it would be time for upgrading, or I should wait probably months or even a year. That way I would get a better deal

    What would you suggest?
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    Yes, that is not true. I believe you are confusing two separate technologies.

    Through technological advances they've been able to improve the data throughput of RAM without increasing the clock frequency. Hence, DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM, DDR2 SDRAM, and DDR3 SDRAM.

    For instance, your "DDR 400MHz" RAM is actually running at 200MHz and it sends two data cycles per clock cycle (whether it runs in "Dual Channel" mode or otherwise).

    Running RAM in "Dual Channel" mode, as I've stated, is nothing more than using a matched kit of RAM as a single 128-bit device to improve performance. It does not effect your RAM's operating frequency at all.

    Not sure why you posted a HJT log, but it appears you have some excess software running that you might be able to disable. Of course, I can't be sure as to what you are and aren't using :).

    That's not necessarily true, no. It very well may not be any more expensive than it would be if it was a custom built PC (apart from the potential chassis upgrade). Does your D530 have a slim-type chassis?

    I would suggest to you, that if you feel your current PC is actually holding you back performance wise and you have the cash (and are willing to part with it), it's time to upgrade. If you aren't currently pushing your PC to it's limits, then, hold off.

    Assuming you need a new PSU and chassis as well, you can still pull it off for around $275 or so with the components I've listed above. You will of course be limited to that PCI FX5200 as the new motherboard will not have an AGP slot, and you will have to buy a PCI card with ATA host adapters as the motherboard you choose will probably only have one.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,012   +2,536


    My 519 P4 3.06Ghz (not Hyper threading)machine will make about 350 FPS analyzing video in Nero "Recode".
    My E2200 Pentium dual Core machine will make up to 1400 FPS in the same program and averages about 850 or 900. This is an $85.00 CPU.
    There are other performance issues involving chipset and RAM. Intel 915 vs. G31. But a CPU alone does not a computer make, and still needs to be mated with it's own technology. So, at the end of the day I say, no contest!
  6. Bruce2

    Bruce2 TS Rookie

    Hi Oct714, Let me see if this will help.

    For your applications, what you have is way sufficient. All you can do to your set up is:

    First, upgrade your cpu to a Pentium D 9XX, a Dual Core not a Core 2 Dual. C2D is not compatible to that mobo. A 945 costs $120 at ebay and the improvement is shown in the link below which is not worth the money.


    If you upgrade your mobo, you os very likely wouldn't work which leading to more expense.

    Another is loading the slots up with rams which will help a lot and is a very good value upgrade and that is it.

    You can't even upgrade the GPU, cus there is no PCI x16 slot available on that board, very likely.

    Your computer is actually very powerful for your applications. All those new tech talks are for gaming rigs. Keep in mind that no matter how much upgrade you do to that rig will only match up to may be about 20% performance of what an average main stream gaming rig such as mine as shown in my specs. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,012   +2,536


    The page Bruce2 has linked shows that All of the P4s actually will apply filters in Photoshop faster than the old Pentium D (s) which make more heat than even the Prescott P4s. Save your money on those, don't even bother.
    There are all sorts of limitations against upgrading your machine. I'd actually start concocting a plan for building an entirely new machine, but without rushing much. You really don't need a super computer to run Photoshop, still, a newer chassis would help things along. Any of Intel's new onboard graphics are well sufficient for your applications, you just can't game with them.
  8. Surkitz

    Surkitz TS Rookie Posts: 145

    oct 714: along with the others recommendations, i see that you are running a video card that is on the low end of what even AGP 8X can achieve. I run a system pretty close to what you have (p4 HT prescott, etc) only my gfx card is higher up on the AGP latter. since you are running AGP, you should look into the nvidia 7800GS. XFX or BFG make them. probably the best AGP card you can get since its a dead interface now. check out newegg.

    You have the psu to handle it. I pulled out my old ati card and put that baby in and i noticed differences (better responses) in my apps. Hate to say it but other than your graphics card, youve pretty much maxed out the system otherwise. no need to upgrade. time for a new system.
  9. oct714

    oct714 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks All for your reply,

    I was really confused with dual channel memory configuration. Thanks for your clarification. As per your comments, it is true I do not need a supercomputer for photoshop & illustrator. I am not a gamer at all, and I have disabled several services and hardware, speeding up my pc this way, so I have decided to wait a while before upgrading, and obvioustly that would mean building a new system, due my propietary pc.

    As for video performance, I will hold on those video cards for now, saving the upgrade money for a better new system when time comes

    By the way, the link http://www23.tomshardware.com/cpu_20...=908&chart=437, it is really helpful. Thanks Bruce
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