Tag Archives: quad-core

Are Two Cores as Good as Four Cores?

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Michael from CMPLive decided to do a special episode of “Real or Hoax” for our channels. He is a brave soul, and decided to take on the age-old question of whether or not two cores really are as good as four. In order to do this test properly, he made sure that the machines used were truly alike, apart from the cores themselves.

To run this test, Michael performed tests on four different popular games. He also did tests on several different types of software. You can see from the graph shown in the video, there’s a significant difference in the performance, but could easily be a bottleneck in the graphics. The difference is most definitely NOT double, though, as you might expect.

During a different test, Michael set his graphics to the highest possible settings. Low and behold, there was NO difference between two cores and four cores as far as performance. This is because his graphics card experienced a bottleneck long before the CPU would have.

When testing playing Assassins’ Creed, you can see by the charts that both low and high graphics usage produced nearly the exact same results – no matter how many cores were being used.

Flight Simulator X has been long believed to be CPU intensive… again, though, there was no difference. How can this be so?

Overall, Michael proved that there truly is not much difference when you use four cores instead of two. The biggest difference was in rendering and processing videos… the quad-core machine definitely performed faster. In every other case, though, it didn’t matter how many cores were installed in the computer. When it came to the games, the graphics card mattered far more than the CPU itself.

Thanks, Michael, for producing a fantastic video for us.

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How Do You Focus on the Task at Hand?

Sometimes, focusing our brain can be a difficult task. Things happen on a daily basis in our lives that end up muddling our minds. It becomes difficult to shut off the noise and truly focus on whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing. Even though the thoughts running rampant may be serious or life-changing, we still have to find a way to push them aside for a bit of time so that we can finish our work. Life goes on, even when we may not want it to.

My question is… how do you accomplish this? How do you manage to stop thinking about everything else and get the things done that you have to? What do you do to clear your head and distract yourself when you need to? I happen to know someone who is going through a very difficult and painful time right now. However, she still has to work in order to take care of her family. She’s having a lot of trouble concentrating. Instead of thinking through what she’s trying to write, she ends up having her thoughts consumed by what is going on in her life. I am hoping that our community may have some advice and tips for her to help her get through this period. I’m sure that she’s not the only one having this problem, either. I’m willing to bet all of you have had to deal with this at some point or another.

How do YOU turn off the noise and just focus?

You won’t find any type of noise or external clutter when you head over to our software center to get the latest software and apps for your devices and computers.

Processor Speed Vs CPU Cores

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If you had to choose between a 2.2 hz quad-core or a 2.5ghz dual-core one, how do you know which is right? In my mind, you’re better off with as many cores as you can possibly get. Even if software is not optimized for maximum cores at this point, it certainly will be in the future.

If an app is designed with multiple cores in mind, you’ll be happier having more cores no matter what the processor speed is. It depends on opimizational code, honestly. Check your benchmarks, and see how the two processors compare.

Dollar for dollar, though, I’d go for more cores rather than the raw speed of the processors.

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Mac Mini Questions

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One caller the other night had some questions about whether or not he should purchase a Mac Mini. He wondered if it’s comparable to a Windows PC running a quad-core system. The answer to that is… uh… NO! You can’t even begin to compare those two systems. The Mac Mini would be more like a Windows machine with a Core 2 Duo.

If space is an issue and you don’t need a powerful machine, then a Mac Mini will work well. It runs nicely when not trying to do too much at once. I use one of them to run my live stream, and it handles those tasks beautifully most of the time. However, if you have to do a lot of system-intensive things, then I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be happy with the Mac Mini.

The caller watches videos and surfs the web. He also does a lot of selling on eBay, so he prints shipping labels quite often. In that case, the Mac Mini may be perfect for him.

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AMD Questions and Answers

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Thanks to AMD for allowing our community to ask them questions. Yes, we have an open line of communication with them – so don’t think it begins and ends with this video. If it weren’t for AMD, I wouldn’t have been able to attend SXSW (and, of course, visit AMD’s campus in Austin, TX).

Does ATI have any plans to counter Nvidia’s Fermi? Most people actually say that Fermi are trying to counter what ATI is doing. If you look, ATI has launched several DX-11 based graphics cards over the past several months, whereas Fermi has not launched a single one. The question should be thrown to Fermi, instead.

What is the best ATI video card out there? – If you’re looking for a single GPU solution, it would be the 5870. If you’re looking for the best overall (and fastest) graphics card, you’ll want to check out the HD 5970.

What is your favorite technology in the new series of graphics cards? – It’s going to depend on the person, and their usage of their graphics card. There are two technologies that make the ATI line the best there is. DirectX 11 is the one that is the most useful, as well as the most widely-demanded. DirectX 11 was introduced with Windows 7, and is now available on Vista. It brings additional performance and quality capabilities. For power users, the best feature is the Eyefinity technology. It’s a game changer.

What is the difference between the 4800 series cards, and the 5800 series cards? – Both cards are fantastic for DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 games. The 4800 is still a good value, but with the 5800 series you will have just a bit more performance.

If you were building an extreme gaming PC (no matter the cost), which GPU would you choose? – One of the employees answering questions recently did this exact thing. He chose the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core processor. He wanted this both for the ease of use with Eyefinity, as well as the sheer power of the hardware. This processor incorporates 6MB of unified high-speed L3 cache and a high-speed DDR2/DDR3 memory controller.

Thanks again to everyone at AMD – not only for helping me with my SXSW trip, but for being so fantastic to work with during the event.

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Corrections on Quad Core and Multi Core CPUs

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I take pride in the fact that I don’t know everything. I love to learn, and looking to the community for help filling in my blanks is important to me. Consider this an update… 1.1 if you will… to my earlier video on Quad and Dual Core CPUs.

My original video on Quad Core processors was met with some constructive criticism. Apparently, I explained one of the main points wrong. So… let’s set the record straight!

When you say “quad core” or “dual core”, it doesn’t mean there are literally four (or two) tiny little CPUs sitting inside the computer case. Rather, there is one CPU, with four (or two) cores to it. This enables the CPU to run faster, and stay cooler. When I open up my process manager, you can see that Windows manages these cores separately. It shows four separate boxes, making it seem as though there are four separate CPUs. I think this is where my explanation got muddied before, and I wanted to make things right.

By all mean, don’t let what I say in my videos be the end of the conversation on any matter. Ask questions, extend the discussion. If I’m wrong, or unclear on something, let me know about it.

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Quad Core Gaming

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – I had a question sent in about processors. The question is whether or not a game made for single processor systems would run on a Quad Core system, only use one processor, or not work at all?

If you have a multi-core computer, you can still play games designed for single-core computers. The games may not be as fast, or work quite as well. Likewise, if a game developer says that the latest game was designed for dual or quad-core systems… it WILL still run on a single core system. The number of processors you have won’t determine whether the game works or not. It will work. That could, however, determine how well it works. Let your Operating System manage the way the game is run. It will know what to do.

How many processors do you have in your computer? I did a quick poll in our chat room. A large percentage of those who voted state that they have single or duo-core processors. Nine people claim to have EIGHT processors. Are you guys sure about that??

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