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Topic # 51569 29-Nov-2009 17:11
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Hi ya, i dont understand why as processors become 'faster' the clock speeds become 'slower'.

Pentium 4 used to do 3.2GHz as their 'common' range.

When core2duo came out, it did 1.6-1.8GHz as the 'common' range. and it was faster.

Now my 2.2GHz amdx2 is becoming obsolete - can't even stream ps3mediaserver 1080p on-the-go. it seems like everyone is using 2.6-2.8GHz core2duo or amdx2.

then you've got core2quad and corei7 - not sure about core2quad but the 'common' speed of the current corei7 is 1.6GHz - now how does that even come close to those 2.6-2.8GHz core2duos?
- will the indicated corei7 speed be faster than the indicated core2duo speed doing MONOtasking? multitasking?

i'm looking to 'upgrade' ie build new machine (or a laptop) middle of next year and i'm wondering what will be the 'norm' then (i'm not looking to take over the world with the most expensive item, just the middle class, common perhaps high end common ones).

hmm hopefully i havent confused anyone but myself (googling core i7 didnt really help me that much to understand when lower clock speeds could be A LOT faster!)

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  Reply # 277525 29-Nov-2009 17:38
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You cannot judge a processor purely on it's processor speed. A i7 may indeed be slower in pure Ghz, it will also be able to perform tasks more efficienctly, as it is a new generation.

Saying that, the kind if software you use the CPU for is also important. Games for example usually do not sure multi-cores or the latest 3dNow!, so then a cpu with higher Ghz might actually give you better performance.

Programs that do encoding hower will take advantage of the new chip architecture.

So for monotasking, i would suggest a core2duo

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  Reply # 277559 29-Nov-2009 19:16
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The newer technology does more instructions per cycle typically, also multiple processors on the same chip was a big advance which improved multi-tasking and responsiveness drastically compared to a single processor.

When buying a new PC or upgrading you also decide on your budget first, how much do you want to spend max?

.. and then get the best mix of price/performance that fits within that budget.

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  Reply # 277592 29-Nov-2009 21:36
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There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into consideration with processors that determine their performance, clock speed is just the one that most people are familiar with. If you have 2 chips with the same architecture than the clock speed will determine the performance. Basically newer chips are able to do more things at the same time using some really complicated new procedures like hyperthreading and having dual cores.

Also, I think you may find the problem with your PC not being able to stream the media is more likely a graphics card issue than a CPU issue as decoding 1080p can be pretty taxing unless you have one of the (reasonably) new cards that do it in hardware rather than software.



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  Reply # 277605 29-Nov-2009 21:58
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yeah that's what google seems to say - but no one's been able to give direct comparisons - yet. probably wait till the quad cores can do higher clock speeds then i'd think about upgrading - budget unsure just yet.

with regards to ps3mediaserver it doesnt support GPU decoding. cpu is used on the fly.

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  Reply # 277745 30-Nov-2009 11:13
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joker97: Hi ya, i dont understand why as processors become 'faster' the clock speeds become 'slower'.


One of the main drivers behind multi-core CPUs is due to the fact that we have currently reached a limit in terms of the thermal envelope of current technology. We can push CPUs to higher clocked speeds, but it becomes uneconomical to do so.

Basically, the Hertz race has stagnated.

I'm guessing there's only so much more efficiency you can squeeze out of silicon (or whatever is used these days) running at the same (effective) clock speeds. Not everything can be segmented for parallel processing.

If Intel or AMD could economically selll an 8GHz or faster CPU they would do it.

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  Reply # 277749 30-Nov-2009 11:21
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You also find that as the number of transistors on the chip increases the heat and power consumption increases too, making the heat generated by the chip increase. I still remember being shown a slide a couple of years back in my architecture lectures which claimed that if Moore's Law (the number of transistors on a chip will double every 3 years) has continued then before 2020 we would see chips generating as much heat as a nuclear power plant.

These days it's important to remember that most of the time the CPU is more than capable of performing the tasks you need. If a system is going slow then the bottleneck is more likely to come from the HDD or the RAM than the CPU.

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 277757 30-Nov-2009 11:50
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more cores on a processor allows for multiple threads to be run at the same time. Threads allow for an application to run different actions all at the same time. duo = 2 cores ( able to run two processes concurrently) and quad = 4. This has only really boomed in the last few years, however multi-threading has been around for ages. But expect to see this grow as apps get more processor hungry. Even tho they don't look like they run as fast as the older processors, the run at a lower speed, but can do more of the processing at once.

There is an overhead with multiple threads that does slow them down a bit, but generally the multi-core processors are a lot faster. Hope this helps

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  Reply # 277763 30-Nov-2009 12:02
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joker97:then you've got core2quad and corei7 - not sure about core2quad but the 'common' speed of the current corei7 is 1.6GHz - now how does that even come close to those 2.6-2.8GHz core2duos?
- will the indicated corei7 speed be faster than the indicated core2duo speed doing MONOtasking? multitasking?

Where did you get the idea that the 'common' speed of core i7's was 1.6ghz?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i7_microprocessors
The slowest there is 1.6ghz. And its a mobile CPU which explains the lower frequency, to generate less heat.

The slowest desktop core i7 is 2.66ghz, going all the way to 3.2ghz at the top end.

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  Reply # 277773 30-Nov-2009 12:13
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I'm really looking forward to Q2 of next year when the i9 comes out. Engadget claims its an almost 50% performance increase over the i7, but unless I become incredibly rich before then the most important factor to me is it will drop the price of the i7 by quite a bit. At least thats the idea.

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  Reply # 277775 30-Nov-2009 12:18
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i7 in iMac is faster than Mac Pro's currently Quad/Octo cores...




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  Reply # 277822 30-Nov-2009 13:18
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My son and I had a discussion about this a few weeks ago. He wanted to increase the FPS rate of games he currently plays from the Core2Duo 2GHz he was running.

He ended up settling on an Intel Core i5. Performance is only a little bit less than Core i7, but the motherboard is also much cheaper. By getting the i5 + mobo he saved $310 compared to the i7 + mobo package, and performance was only about 20% less, which he figured would not be noticeable during actual gameplay.

Here is the benchmark that we used to make the decision from a game that was released during early November:

http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,698761/Dragon-Age-Origins-CPU-benchmarks-75-percent-boost-for-quad-cores/Practice/

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  Reply # 277993 30-Nov-2009 18:00
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Yeah Grant, it can depend on the game's engine.. some are very cpu limited and others lean harder on the graphics card.


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  Reply # 277994 30-Nov-2009 18:04
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Ragnor: Yeah Grant, it can depend on the game's engine.. some a very cpu limited and others lean harder on the graphics card.

Yeah, my other son was saying that.  He has some game that uses 5 out of 8 cores on his Intel Core i7 CPU!

It surprised me that some games are already using 5 cores.  Apparently, it is more common to use 3 cores as many games have been ported from the Xbox 360 (with a 3-core CPU) to PC.

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  Reply # 278067 30-Nov-2009 21:51
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grant_k: \
Yeah, my other son was saying that.  He has some game that uses 5 out of 8 cores on his Intel Core i7 CPU!

It surprised me that some games are already using 5 cores.  Apparently, it is more common to use 3 cores as many games have been ported from the Xbox 360 (with a 3-core CPU) to PC.


That doesnt sound right to me. As far as I am aware i7's only have 4 cores, with the i9's said to be 6-cores. The only chip I know that has 8 is the PS3's cell processor.

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  Reply # 283458 17-Dec-2009 15:06
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8d52797c436:
grant_k: \
Yeah, my other son was saying that.  He has some game that uses 5 out of 8 cores on his Intel Core i7 CPU!

It surprised me that some games are already using 5 cores.  Apparently, it is more common to use 3 cores as many games have been ported from the Xbox 360 (with a 3-core CPU) to PC.



That doesnt sound right to me. As far as I am aware i7's only have 4 cores, with the i9's said to be 6-cores. The only chip I know that has 8 is the PS3's cell processor.


 

Hyperthreading on shows 8 'cores' on an i7.

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