Quad Core vs Duo Core Processor


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Oct 31, 2006
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#1
I have to get/build a new PC as my existing one is giving problem.

Assuming the specifications of all other components are the same, would a Core 2 Duo E6850 give better performance when running Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture NX etc. compared to the Quad Core Q6600? Which should I pick considering that both the processors are practically the same price?

A question regarding the OS. I know Windows Vista is not very stable and is a drain to the system. Under Windows XP, we are limited to 3 GB RAM regardless of the physical size. I understand Vista accepts a higher limit (correct me if I am wrong). This being the case, considering that RAM is quite cheap, would it make the PC faster if I were to install say 8 GB RAM should I select Vista or stay with 4 GB RAM under Windows XP.

All advice is welcome.
 

conquer500

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#2
I have to get/build a new PC as my existing one is giving problem.

Assuming the specifications of all other components are the same, would a Core 2 Duo E6850 give better performance when running Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture NX etc. compared to the Quad Core Q6600? Which should I pick considering that both the processors are practically the same price?

A question regarding the OS. I know Windows Vista is not very stable and is a drain to the system. Under Windows XP, we are limited to 3 GB RAM regardless of the physical size. I understand Vista accepts a higher limit (correct me if I am wrong). This being the case, considering that RAM is quite cheap, would it make the PC faster if I were to install say 8 GB RAM should I select Vista or stay with 4 GB RAM under Windows XP.

All advice is welcome.
E series is a entertainment system chip. You need is raw power, so go for Q series. You will need 64bit system to accept the higher ram. you only need all these processor power if you are gaming a lot. else dun waste your money.

my T7200 one year laptop can do all the same with just 2GB ram. and its pretty fast too.
 

Oct 31, 2006
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#4
Thanks for your advice.

I also runs DxO, which should benefit from the extra power in the CPU and occasionally process video as well (not so important). Would a 64 bit system help then?
 

Big Kahuna

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Dec 15, 2004
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#7
If you want to utilize more than 3GB of ram, then you should consider installing 64bit OS be it XP or Vista, however my experince is many older programs will not run properly especially games(I tried SC4 and Heroes3), but everything else seems to be smoother and faster even the internet explorer and MS office 2003. Also you'll need to find out your copy of software like Photoshop or Lightroom etc are supported in the 64bit OS. :sweat:

Also It's a little unfair to say Vista is not stable, many other using it without much issue, lets not forget it's still in its infancy, there are thousands of old programs and hardware drivers are not coded and optimized, so it tends to give problem here and there just like any other OS when it was first launch, but the support and stability will only get better over the year. I myself uninstalled the Vista for XP, not because of stability but for the speed, XP will scream with todays hardware :thumbsup:

For CPU, it's a tough call IMO and you got to put into consider of the whole purpose of your investment. For me, since I am not doing CPU intensive and multitask most of the time, I will go with the core duo as it's running at higher clockspeed and draw less power, higher clockspeed will improve almost all programs especially games....even launching of IE and MS office will get faster.....Also the next batch or CPU core code name Wolfdale is just round the corner, and it will definately reshape the product line up again on the duo core vs quad core debacle, so you have to set a side your objective and budget and not to let your confusion deter your joy in acquiring new toys :D

Some read up for you on the CPU segmen :thumbsup:

http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/MHGSBG/article.php/10707_3721471__2
 

Oct 31, 2006
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Singapore Central
#8
If you want to utilize more than 3GB of ram, then you should consider installing 64bit OS be it XP or Vista, however my experince is many older programs will not run properly especially games(I tried SC4 and Heroes3), but everything else seems to be smoother and faster even the internet explorer and MS office 2003. Also you'll need to find out your copy of software like Photoshop or Lightroom etc are supported in the 64bit OS. :sweat:

Also It's a little unfair to say Vista is not stable, many other using it without much issue, lets not forget it's still in its infancy, there are thousands of old programs and hardware drivers are not coded and optimized, so it tends to give problem here and there just like any other OS when it was first launch, but the support and stability will only get better over the year. I myself uninstalled the Vista for XP, not because of stability but for the speed, XP will scream with todays hardware :thumbsup:

For CPU, it's a tough call IMO and you got to put into consider of the whole purpose of your investment. For me, since I am not doing CPU intensive and multitask most of the time, I will go with the core duo as it's running at higher clockspeed and draw less power, higher clockspeed will improve almost all programs especially games....even launching of IE and MS office will get faster.....Also the next batch or CPU core code name Wolfdale is just round the corner, and it will definately reshape the product line up again on the duo core vs quad core debacle, so you have to set a side your objective and budget and not to let your confusion deter your joy in acquiring new toys :D

Some read up for you on the CPU segmen :thumbsup:

http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/MHGSBG/article.php/10707_3721471__2
Very useful advice.

It looks like the Core 2 Duo and 64bit OS is the way to go. I will need to first check whether all the applications I am running can run on this system.

Thanks!
 

ExplorerZ

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Jan 9, 2006
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#9
at the same price, its quad for me... more and more multiple threads application will be rolling promising better performance for quad. The quad might looks more power-hungry, but on the other side, with that extra power you can finish rendering faster making usage shorter.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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Feb 15, 2003
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#10
just bought a Q6600 and 4GB DDR2 800 CL4 to go with it... and a 3850 with 512mb...

will get windows xp pro 64bit to go with it...

actually lightroom need faster hdd speed as well, lightroom is not that CPU intensive. photoshop is another story altogether.

oh ya, damn, seagate 500gb 32mb cache out of stock... sianz...
 

theRBK

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May 16, 2005
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#11
Vista 64 running very stably for me... on a 3+ yr old system some more ;p

don't know about Capture NX but I believe Photoshop (and Lightroom?) would be able to utilize 4 cores... and with a 64bit OS, maybe 8GB of RAM would be good (Photoshop would use the first 3GB and Vista would use the balance to create a cache so it does not have to use the scratch hard disk so much) :)

for more info check out this page from Adobe
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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#12
Vista 64 running very stably for me... on a 3+ yr old system some more ;p

don't know about Capture NX but I believe Photoshop (and Lightroom?) would be able to utilize 4 cores... and with a 64bit OS, maybe 8GB of RAM would be good (Photoshop would use the first 3GB and Vista would use the balance to create a cache so it does not have to use the scratch hard disk so much) :)

for more info check out this page from Adobe
u using vista home premium 64?
 

Dec 25, 2007
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CCK
#14
hmm, go with the E6850.
Quad's only better in multi-tasking. In the models you've listed, the core 2 duo performs better in every area that matters:
Clock speed - speed of execution of instructions
Bus speed -
Bus Speed: The speed of the bus that connects the processor to main memory (RAM). As processors have become faster and faster, the system bus has become one of the chief bottlenecks in modern PCs. Some examples of bus speeds are 1066 MHz, 800 MHz, and 533 MHz. (quote from Intel)
and cache speed.

The marginal gains in getting more cores aren't that great IMO.

To boost your computer's speed, consider getting faster RAM such as the DDR3 module or gaming version of DDR2, not just more RAM. The size of the memory only matters if you've exhausted the amount available.

Also, make sure that the motherboard you purchase can handle the capabilities of your other hardwares, or else you'll be sinking money into nothing.

The CPU fan is also an area you wouldnt want to save $ on. A bigger casing will help with cooling and future upgrades too.

Hope that helped
=)
 

Feb 23, 2007
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#15
E8400(New one) already arrive,forget about E6850.I reccomend to go Quad Core,it is more future proof.All you need is just some overclock,quad can go 3ghz on stock cooler,good hsf can go 3.6ghz.Multithread program is becoming more and more common so quad core is the way to go if you can afford it.For me,i choose E8400 since it is cheaper and i want to do some 9's super pi.
 

Oct 31, 2006
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Singapore Central
#16
E8400(New one) already arrive,forget about E6850.I reccomend to go Quad Core,it is more future proof.All you need is just some overclock,quad can go 3ghz on stock cooler,good hsf can go 3.6ghz.Multithread program is becoming more and more common so quad core is the way to go if you can afford it.For me,i choose E8400 since it is cheaper and i want to do some 9's super pi.
Where can I find the E8400 and what's its cost compared to the E6850?
 

photobum

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Apr 17, 2005
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#17
Assuming the specifications of all other components are the same, would a Core 2 Duo E6850 give better performance when running Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture NX etc. compared to the Quad Core Q6600? Which should I pick considering that both the processors are practically the same price?

A question regarding the OS. I know Windows Vista is not very stable and is a drain to the system. Under Windows XP, we are limited to 3 GB RAM regardless of the physical size. I understand Vista accepts a higher limit (correct me if I am wrong). This being the case, considering that RAM is quite cheap, would it make the PC faster if I were to install say 8 GB RAM should I select Vista or stay with 4 GB RAM under Windows XP.
About CPU, let's look at it this way... You are trying to kill a mosquito with a nuclear warhead. Unless you are using Windows XP Pro 64-bit, you don't need a quad core processor.

I must admit that I did consider pushing my RAM limit to 8GB once, but Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom utilise a maximum of only 3GB. The extra RAM memory will just sitting there doing nothing. So why waste your hard-earn cash? Buying more memory for your DSLR is a better and more practical option.
 

Oct 31, 2006
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Singapore Central
#18
About CPU, let's look at it this way... You are trying to kill a mosquito with a nuclear warhead. Unless you are using Windows XP Pro 64-bit, you don't need a quad core processor.

I must admit that I did consider pushing my RAM limit to 8GB once, but Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom utilise a maximum of only 3GB. The extra RAM memory will just sitting there doing nothing. So why waste your hard-earn cash? Buying more memory for your DSLR is a better and more practical option.
According to Adobe, the extra memory goes into good use. This is extracted from their website - :http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401088.

When you run Photoshop CS3 on a computer with a 64-bit processor (such as a, Intel Xeon processor with EM64T, AMD Athlon 64, or Opteron processor) running a 64-bit version of the operating system (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows Vista 64-bit) and with 4 GB or more of RAM, Photoshop will use 3 GB for it's image data. You can see the actual amount of RAM Photoshop can use in the Let Photoshop Use number when you set the Let Photoshop Use slider in the Performance preference to 100%. The RAM above the 100% used by Photoshop, which is from approximately 3 GB to 3.7 GB, can be used directly by Photoshop plug-ins (some plug-ins need large chunks of contiguous RAM), filters, or actions. If you have more than 4 GB (to 6 GB), then the RAM above 4 GB is used by the operating system as a cache for the Photoshop scratch disk data. Data that previously was written directly to the hard disk by Photoshop is now cached in this high RAM before being written to the hard disk by the operating system. If you are working with files large enough to take advantage of these extra 2 GB of RAM, the RAM cache can speed performance of Photoshop. Additionally, in Windows Vista 64-bit, processing very large images is much faster if your computer has large amounts of RAM (6-8 GB).
 

photobum

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#19
According to Adobe, the extra memory goes into good use. This is extracted from their website - :http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401088.

When you run Photoshop CS3 on a computer with a 64-bit processor (such as a, Intel Xeon processor with EM64T, AMD Athlon 64, or Opteron processor) running a 64-bit version of the operating system (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition or Windows Vista 64-bit) and with 4 GB or more of RAM, Photoshop will use 3 GB for it's image data. You can see the actual amount of RAM Photoshop can use in the Let Photoshop Use number when you set the Let Photoshop Use slider in the Performance preference to 100%. The RAM above the 100% used by Photoshop, which is from approximately 3 GB to 3.7 GB, can be used directly by Photoshop plug-ins (some plug-ins need large chunks of contiguous RAM), filters, or actions. If you have more than 4 GB (to 6 GB), then the RAM above 4 GB is used by the operating system as a cache for the Photoshop scratch disk data. Data that previously was written directly to the hard disk by Photoshop is now cached in this high RAM before being written to the hard disk by the operating system. If you are working with files large enough to take advantage of these extra 2 GB of RAM, the RAM cache can speed performance of Photoshop. Additionally, in Windows Vista 64-bit, processing very large images is much faster if your computer has large amounts of RAM (6-8 GB).
But frankly, what kind of Photoshop plug-ins do you use which require such a huge amount of RAM? Even if you run AutoFx Mystical Light or Corel KPT, which are said to be some of the most memory intensive plug-ins, you don't require RAM memory more than 2GB. Unless, you are running scripts of course. Then, that is another story.

Having a 64-bit processor is always an advantage to Photoshop in gaining speed. However, I don't think that will help a lot if you plan to run a quad core processor with standard 32-bit Windows XP Pro.
 

theRBK

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May 16, 2005
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#20
well, like the adobe article says, the extra RAM is used as extra buffer before harddrive scratch is used... maybe its because in my previous DI work I had to handle huge files, but I think this extra buffer is going to speed up photoshop quite abit... as well, the other programs running in the background (like antivirus, firewall, etc.) would also have more RAM to play with...

I don't know if the E8xxx series in Singapore yet... might have to wait awhile cause they are pretty new... can ask Storage Studio or Cybermind in Sim Lim...
 

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