Looking for a new computer

There are two computers that costs the same, and I have to choose one of them;

The first computer ;
INTEL P-D LGA775 Dual Core
Intel P-D 805
2.66 GHZ
2 MB Cache
512 RAM (DDR2), 667 MHZ

The second computer:
3.0GHZ (NOT A DUAL CORE), 1024RAM (DDR2), 1 MB Cache, 667 MHZ

Besides these changes, the other parts are all similar:
Video Card; ATI X300 upto 128M PCI-Express

As I’ve already mentioned above, both computers cost the same, and I need to choose the computer with the best performance.
I’ve been told that the dual computer (2.66GHZ) isn’t necessarily faster than the regular one (3.0GHZ) as it all depends on my primary use of a computer.
I am not a gamer, as well as I don’t run simultaneously big-apps consuming lots of CPU. My use of apps is very standard - I’m on Windows and here and there using Linux. That’s all.
So, all in all, it all indicates that I’ll have the better performance out of the 3.0GHZ computer - won’t I?

Btw, the Video Card (ATI X300 upto 128M PCI-Express) is using 128M out of the 1024 RAM (or out of the 512RAM in case of the dual core comp), so although I’m no gamer, it is a waste to have a RAM consuming video card, so I’ll probably add another 50$ and buy FX 6200 256MB DDR2 T.C - is it a good video card?

i can’t answer regarding video cards but if you’re not a gamer and you won’t be running 18 instances of photoshpo at once :wink: the single core should be fine.

another reason I’d lean toward the single core is the gig of RAM. 512MB RAM is probably bare minimum these days. I wouldn’t be comfortable running XP on anything less (although some peopel do it without problems) and I’m pretty sure 512MB is the minimum requirement if you ever want to upgrade to windows vista. and we all know what happens when you use things at the absolute minimum requirements…it runs like :Z

you didn’t mention what KIND of processer the second setup was, but my above statements assume it’s a P4.

Missing information: Cost. Location. Budget. Delivery date.

If I were in the US, I’d choose Conroe, 930, or the cheapest Celeron D depending on budget. 930 has 4MB L2 cache, and has two 65nm cores. 805 is for those who want dual core at more like a Celeron price.

The second system’s CPU is probably a P4 Prescott 530 or 3.0E based on 90nm process as the motherboard is Intel. A 3.0GHz Prescott seems to cost about US$70-$80 in Seoul. Less than half of P4D Presler 930.

Ram is cheap. Go for the dual core and you won’t be sorry a year from now. Always, always get the bet processor you can afford. Upgrading a video card or ram or harddrives and so on become cheaper by the day.

Indeed. It is a P4.

I understand, the single core would probably suit better to my needs. I probably just have to add another 50-60$ and buy the FX 6200 256MB DDR2 T.C video card, as the regular video card on the comp uses 128M out of the 1024RAM, which would be a shame :wink:

Any more opinions or facts I should hear?

dual core doesn’t automatically mean you see faster performance…you only see real improvements if you’re running applications which utilize the benefits of dual core. He will get faster performance with the p4 3 than he would with the p4d 2.66

unless you have a different reasoning behind it. if so, can you clarify? I’d be interested to see why you’d go with the slower processor and less RAM and how you think that would be beneficial a year from now.

(I’m nto trying to be facetious…I’m really interested in the train of thought)

this is a concern with either system though right? in my opinion it would be moreso of a detriment if you only have 512MB ram to work with.

Can you possibly elaborate?
I understand that the dual core is the best processor nowadays, but I also understand that choosing the 2.66GHZ dual core computer will run slower than the 3.0GHZ one. As I’ve already mentioned, I’m not a gamer and certainly don’t run multiply CPU-eating apps.
So, technically - the Dual Core is worthier, however, in the general aspect, the regular one (3.0GHZ) suits better for my needs.
I may add another 512M of RAM, but the processor itself will still continue running on 2.66GHZ, not to mention that I also need to change my video card as it unfortunately it uses 128M of my RAM - meaning, I’ll have to add another 100-120$ to the deal - for what? for a dual core processor which wouldn’t run faster (if not slower) than a regular 3.0GHZ P4?

"Go for the dual core and you won’t be sorry a year from now."
Please tell me what would be a year from now, and why it would change me from being a standard user to a CPU-consuming maniac… Vista?

reasonsnotrules: Yes, I’m with you - I would also like to hear his explanation about the near future (a year from now)

About the video card; yes, it applies to both computers. I understand that in the 512RAM one (the dual core) it would be more ‘damaging’, however, I still rather adding 50$, get a normal video card and fully work on 1024RAM. If not now, then in the future.

With Dual Core becoming the norm meanwhile, I’d tend towards the PentiumD 805 as well - but only with an additional 512MB RAM running in Dual Channel mode (which is cheap indeed). More and more new and updated programs will start to make use of this technology.

The 533MHz FSB of the 805 is very easy to boost a bit, if you should need more speed. I think even Intel boards come with a little overclocking utility these days.

And I wouldn’t worry about the onboard video if you’re not a gamer. 128 out of 1024MB won’t bog you down with your standard applications.

@cressida, my reasoning was that even if more programs come out and more programs are updated to take advantage of dual core, the original poster said his uses are rather basic…do you think the typical user would see a performance increase on dual core processor for programs that aren’t that CPU intensive to begin with?

you’re a lot better with the hardware stuff than I am so I look forward to your opinion. I expect an accurate and detailed prediction of the future of processors…ready GO! :wink:

also, i can tell you if it were my decision and I had a price point staked out and had narrowed down a couple of contenders, I wouldn’t be too keen on the option of overclocking and dumping more money in for RAM…then again I’m not very flexible once I’ve picked stuff out haha.

hi reasons, my train of thought would be that all modern processors, even the newer Celerons & Semprons, are fast enough for “standard” office/Internet use. The main application where a “normal” user would really notice the extra speed is with video encoding. And that’s exactly where Dual Core is already supported by most programs. Personally, I haven’t felt the need to overclock since Pentium II days.

Just noticed your edit - not really a fast starter here :), but it’s been said on numerous occasions here and everywhere else, if you can wait for the imminent and frugal Core 2 Duo (Conroe) for your new desktop, no doubt that’s the way to go. Pentium 4’s have been running too hot for years now - they’re like an extra heater in your room.

good points all around

@Symph, hope this hasn’t made your decision even more difficult haha.

I would probably still go with the single core, but Cressida’s points have made me do a little thinking as well.

good luck with your choice. I still say if you go with the dual core, added ram is a MUST regardless of whether or not you use an oboard video card or purchase the one you had mentioned before. i think Cressida would agree with that as well.

good luck with your decision!

It is rather confusing, on one side there are my needs (which requires no dual core) and on the other - dual core the next generation becoming a norm in these days.

Even so, Cressida, these type of programs that will take advantage of the dual core will still probably support the non-dual-core computers. The question is - will there be a difference?
I do encode one in awhile movies (though, not professionally), besides that, would there be any advantages to the dual core besides saving me little time?
What’s your definition for a not standard use? music editing? movies?
Is the dual core tenchology becoming the main and nowadays type of computers? In a couple of months\years, would there be [B]only[/B] dual-core computers (in Intel, of course)?
(please answer these questions).

The question remains still, the dual core is becoming a norm, but currently it will only work slower, won’t it? It seems as buying a dual core computer won’t be profitable nowadays, but in a year or more. The question is, is it worth to buy a dual core which will only work slower for my needs but will be more profitable in the future? I think not… what do you think?

Sorry Symph, I’m off to a bbq right now, but I’m sure you’ll get plenty more good advice here. One thing I can add: always go with what you feel comfortable with yourself. :slight_smile:

@symph, in regards to your question about support, just because something is optimized for dual core does not mean it iwll not run on single core…it just can’t take advantage of the format of the processor and will be a little slower.

I encode video just fine on my P4 2ghz system and if it’s not a major part of your day to day computing then the occasional encoding or transcoding shouldn’t dictate your processor choice. granted, it takes me a little longer, but I get the job done and the quality is exactly the same as someone with a better/faster processor.

i think you have more to gain immediately by getting the single core system not to mention the cost of adding ram to the dual core system (even though it might not be a lot of money, cost always aplys a factor in my decisions)

I don’t know much about mobo/processor compatibility, but it’s possibile that upgrading just hte processor is an option if you find you’re dissatisifed with your speed of operations 2 years from now…

I’ve found that thinking ahead is so hard to do with computer-related stuff. who knows what will be out in a year or two.

regardless of your decision, be sure to maintain your system well (good antivirus, regular spyware checks/disk defrags) and it will do its job for years to come. my system is almost 5 years old and still runs like a charm. it doesn’t have the latest specs anymore, but I’ve taken care of it and it’s very reliable until I can afford something new (which could be another 15 years considering my student loans :p)

reasonsnotrules, I’m running on a 4 and a half years old computer (without any upgrades). It is running on 1.5GHZ and 256M RAM. I’m on WindowsXP. In all those years I barely used anti virus and\or spyware checks.
It [I]is[/I] rather difficult to think ahead in computer relations, as its progress is immense.

As of how things stand now, I will gain more out of the non-dual-core computer - in the future (god knows if near or far) the dual core one will be more profitable. However, I need a strong (although nowadays is it basically a standard) computer which wil suit my needs the best (and of course in my budget). It will be most foolish to start guessing the future and purchase unworthwhile computer in these present time. I need a new computer now, the non-dual-core one is the most profitable for me NOW. In the future, if purchasing a new computer will be deemed as necessarity for me, I will purchase a new one accordingly to the time. In THIS (present) time I do not need a dual-core. In THAT (future) time my purchase will be adapted to “the spirit of the time”.
I’m buying a computer according to my needs in this time, and not for the gathering future, whom I know nothing about.
Supposing the need of purchasing a dual-core one in the future where it will gain more popularity arise, I see not the reason why I shouldn’t purchase a new computer by that time.

That is my reasoning, both logically and “spiritually” I feel I should just go with the non-dual-one, the price is cheap, I lose nothing, will suit better than I can currently imagine to my needs

BTW, the cost of another 512M of RAM is about the 50$ (just as the video card).

I’m still opened for opinions, as well for answers about the questions above (in my last post).

I personally believe ANYONE who reguarly use a modern computer will benefit from using a multi-core processor PC instead of a traditional single-core one. Time will tell. :slight_smile: (Multi processors, multi threading, multi cores… always the same controvercial topics on all hardware forums.)

I don’t know the price difference between 805 and 3.0 Prescott at the shop you are buying from. 3.0 and 2.8 Prescott processors seem to be extremely cheap just because they are dumped, perhaps long been discontinued (of which I’m not sure.)

Anyway, if you feel very strongly that it is foolish to pay a few more for an added CPU core, there was no reason to compare those two in the first place. Maybe you should have compared a US$30 Celeron D with a US$80 Pentium D. Both are 90nm Prescott processors, outdated, so available at ridiculously low cost. This is the very beginning of an era of Core 2 processors based on non-Netburst architecture. I noticed AMD is also selling even a 1.6GHz Sempron for well under US$40.

I’ll add a quick note to give you a bit more to think about since you say the additional memory will cost the same as the video card.

I am running an Intel Celeron @ 2.5Ghz, 1GB memory, and onboard video on a secondary computer. In normal use, ie browsing internet, WP, spreadsheet apps, previewing movies, etc I have not noticed any problems with the video nor a shortage of memory. If you were or are going to run video & memory intensive programs maybe, but in normal day to day use, the extra video card shouldn’t be necessary.

Nor do I think under normal day to day use you’ll notice any difference in the processor speeds. Again maybe with CPU intense operations, but if that is only an occasional use you won’t really notice.

So my advice if all else is equal, go for the dual core, spend the extra $50 on ram and have something that will keep you in the “game” for a bit longer

Kenshin; “Time will tell”… In that time I will also act…

In the shop I didn’t find a dual core Prescott. Any other dual-core computers (3.0GHZ) is much more than a 30$, trust me. Making an order from abroad would only rise the price (as well buying from a regular shop)…

chiguai; I gave up on the video card. I found out that this video card I considered buying also leans on my RAM, as well I can choose how much RAM it will use - so no problem there.

"Nor do I think under normal day to day use you’ll notice any difference in the processor speeds. Again maybe with CPU intense operations, but if that is only an occasional use you won’t really notice.

“So my advice if all else is equal, go for the dual core, spend the extra $50 on ram and have something that will keep you in the “game” for a bit longer”

Thanks… again, it is all a matter of how you look at it… Why should I add another 50$ when I can add nothing, use this computer as long as I want, and if the necessarity to get a dual-core arises before it gets ‘burnt out’ buy a new computer (until then, the 3.2\4\6 GHZ dual-core computers will get cheaper and cheaper…)
I doubt that even in 3 more years I’ll be ‘out of the game’…

US$30? Prescotts are dual cores. Preslers, Yonahs, Woodcrests, etc. are dual cores. Though Intel processors cost nearly the same in most major country markets, there may be irregularities sometimes especially regarding processors that are either discontinued or just arrived. Since Core 2 processors are not sold in South Korea yet, I would buy a Celeron D, preferrably the cheapest one, if I were to build a PC myself right now since Celeron D costs just half of Pentium D. In a case performance is more important, I can order Woodcrests from the US or Japan.