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Topic: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

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  1. #1
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    Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    I am currently in the process of building my system. The final piece to the puzzle is the CPU. I've already decided on AMD Athlon 64, so the question is: dual or single core?

    Now, I'm not worried about compatibility at all since there have been plenty of people here making GS work with a dual core setup. My question is more about performance. I've been looking at the benchmarks for the X2 3800 (which is the fastest dual core I can afford right now), and while it is faster than the single core processors in some functions, on others it falls behind even a single core 3500.

    So I guess the question is, which would give me better GS performance: 4000 or X2 3800?

    Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    GS doesn't make use of the second core.

  3. #3
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    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    GS doesn't make use of the second core.
    I am aware of that. My question is more to the effect of will a dual core setup actually affect my GS performance adversely at all, and if so how much?

    ~Chris

  4. #4

    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    I thought I heard a rumor that GS 3.12 finally took advantage of dual-core chips. Is this not the case?


    EDIT: I'm confused. The following quote is from the offical Giga change history.


    Changes in v3.04

    Main Application Enhancements
    More improvements with Hyper Threading compatibility have been made, particularly with USB audio interfaces. This includes dual processor machines.


    Does this not include dual CORE machines?

  5. #5
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    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite5ths
    I thought I heard a rumor that GS 3.12 finally took advantage of dual-core chips. Is this not the case?


    EDIT: I'm confused. The following quote is from the offical Giga change history.


    Changes in v3.04

    Main Application Enhancements
    More improvements with Hyper Threading compatibility have been made, particularly with USB audio interfaces. This includes dual processor machines.


    Does this not include dual CORE machines?
    Well, being "compatible" and "taking advantage of" are two different things. One just means "it'll work," and the other means "you'll get a performance enhancement."
    However, there is a line in the change history that says, "HT (Hyperthreading) may provide more polyphony than non-HT systems." Like yourself, I wonder if this also means Dual Core. Any user experiences in both single core and dual core setups would be helpful.

  6. #6

    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite5ths
    I thought I heard a rumor that GS 3.12 finally took advantage of dual-core chips. Is this not the case?
    I seem to remember somebody posting that GigaPulse worked on one core and the sampler on the other. I don't have a dual core or dual processor setup, so I can't confirm it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galleddrim
    However, there is a line in the change history that says, "HT (Hyperthreading) may provide more polyphony than non-HT systems." Like yourself, I wonder if this also means Dual Core. Any user experiences in both single core and dual core setups would be helpful.
    Hyperthreading is essentially fancy footwork within a single core to better manage multiple threads. Dual Core is really 2 full CPU's on the same chip, so that things are truly happening in parallel (although some dual cores share some resources, such as floating point, or memory management). The performance implications are such that Hyperthreading will give you an additional 20% or so, while Dual Core will give you nearly 100%.

    From an application point of view, there should be not much difference, as long as the app is using native thread libraries. So a version of GS which handles Hyperthreading will _probably_ use the full resources of Dual Core.

  8. #8

    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    If you can wait another couple of months, you really should. Intel is rolling out their new line of processors (Conroe) and by all accounts they really take AMD to the cleaners. In preparation for the release, they will be blowing out the current line of P4s, and word is that the Conroe chips will be aggressively priced as well. Speculation is that we can expect a full-on price war between Intel and AMD to kick off some time this summer.

    If you really must buy now, I'd suggest going with AMD's Opteron 165. It's similar to a slightly lower clocked dual core 3800, but it's got twice the L2 cache, and it's a server grade chip which equates to rock solid stability. It's a great overclocker as well, and I've got mine running at X2 4400 clock speeds without it even breaking a sweat. I know gamers who are running it at X2 4800 speeds with stock cooling and voltages. It's a hell of a CPU for the money.

  9. #9
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    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Well, thanks to everyone who offered help with this!
    I have decided to wait for Conroe, which is supposed to be released on July 23rd. Hopefully there will be no delays and I will actually be able to get my hands on some E6400 stock.

    ~Chris

  10. #10

    Re: Athlon 64, Dual or Single Core?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill
    GS doesn't make use of the second core.
    it most certainly does! GS has been dual core aware since 3.4 (actually before)

    Scott
    ADK

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