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Don't Upgrade Now; Quad-Core is coming soon

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 20 Jul 2006.

  1. modster

    modster New Member

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    i doubt they are going to delay kentsfield. they made that announcement before the release of core 2 duo and i am 100% sure that intel knows the news would reduce the sale of core 2. now, if they arent 120% sure they can get kentsfield out to the market by the end of the year, why would they hurt their sale like that?

    anyway, i hate you intel! i cant wait any more!!!
     
  2. gometro33

    gometro33 New Member

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    These new Kentsfield processors aren't mobile, right? Meaning, Merom won't be overshadowed any time soon.

    I'm trying to wait for Merom to be released to buy my laptop for college. Hopefully it will come out (for Apple ;)) sometime soon so that I can get it in time.

    Oh, and does any think Apple will have the same kind of access to cutting-edge compilers when Kentsfield nears release like they had for Core 2 Duo and the optimization of OSX Leopard?
     
  3. Zekey

    Zekey New Member

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    To support that statement: I point you Here
     
  4. Bruno_me

    Bruno_me Fake-ad‎min

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    why not upgrade? there will always be something new coming out in just X months!

    I got a new computer (4400+, 7900gt, etc) in may fully knowing conroe was on the way, and I don't regret it a bit. If I had waited every time I was advised to, I would never get anything new, and be stuck with a p4 and fx5200 with a broken fan

    of course the title of the article isn't necessarily meant to be taken literally, but my response was toward the whole "don't waste your money now, you dolt!" suggestions plaguing all types of media nowadays.

    I hope that made sense and got my point across because I'm just about to go to bed

    edit: also 4 simultaneous processes would only really be good for serving-type stuff
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2006
  5. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead It's big, and it's clever.

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    You've got to consider your current position. I'm sure Tim didn't mean that if you upgrade now, you're stupid :hehe: If your current rig is getting a bit long in the tooth, then of course you should upgrade to Conroe, but just don't go all out with the fastest chip there is, when you can wait for Kentsfield. If, on the other hand, you're in a position like me, where you want to upgrade but don't really need to, then it makes sense to wait, which I think I will after seeing the results on XS and reading that.

    Any ideas on power consumption with Kentsfrield anyone? I mean, it's essentially 4 CPUs... I'm starting to be concerned with the amount of power PCs are starting to require these days. It's no longer an option to leave your rig on anymore. I can remember when I used to leave my old Thoroughbred on 24/7 and not even see any impact on my electricity bill, but leaving something like this on 24/7 would make a VERY noticeable difference I would think.
     
  6. JADS

    JADS Et arma et verba vulnerant

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    While all this talk of multiple cores is nice the fact remains that the only guaranteed method of boosting the performance of an architecture is to raise its clock speed. Moving to quad core is likely to have a detrimental effect on clock speed, which makes it a highly unattractive technology.

    I really feel that Intel should be trying to ramp the Core 2 architecture clock speeds up as fast as possible. A 4-5GHz Core 2 Duo would be devastatingly quick in both past, current and future applications.
     
  7. Iago

    Iago New Member

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    I'd normally agree with you here, but by chance, luck or a weird planet aligment, the first quarter (not fiscally speaking) of 2007 is going to be one of the best moments to upgrade ever. Waiting for 6 months or so will give you acces to Quad-core CPUs, DX10 GPUs and a new OS. When was the last time something similar happened?

    Likely, but what if the main benefit is a price drop in Conroe? Waiting a couple or 3 months for Conroe is a good advice anyway, if only so you get a good selection of motherboards (with perhaps more stable BIOS revisions) and new coolers to choose from. Even if I had to upgrade now, I'd wait until I see how nForce5 or RD600 based boards perform or what budget boards will be available. And IIRC, there's at least one new Conroe stepping coming.

    So by the time the entire plataform is mature enough and availability and prices have stabilized, Kentsfield will be really near. I agree that the performance jump may not be huge compared with Conroe, but surely is much more sensible to wait a bit and have more options.
     
  8. mattan

    mattan New Member

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    Does Win XP Pro have support for 4 processors (cores)?
     
  9. gometro33

    gometro33 New Member

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    I know THG did a shoot out with a dual core EE CPU not too long ago (I wish I could remember the name of the CPU) so it had dual cores and hyper threading and was recognized as 4 CPUs in their XP machine. Maybe physical cores makes a difference?

    Anyone know the max CPU/cores allowed on XP?
     
  10. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Microsoft defines 'processor' and 'core' differently. It is possible to run four threads in Windows XP - Intel's Pentium Extreme Edition 965, 955 and 840 chips had dual cores with hyperthreading technology (meaning a total of four threads).

    A Windows XP license allows you to run two 'processors', but those processors can have an unlimited number of threads (or cores). You can read more here: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/highlights/multicore.mspx
     
  11. DeX

    DeX Mube Codder

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    Interesting... I may have to wait until next year now. In any case it might not be in my interest to upgrade just yet if my plans for this year go ahead.

    4 cores should be noticeably fast by the time they are released. People now are beginning to write multi-threaded versions of their applications. In theory if they can write dual core compatible software it shouldn't be much harder to create 4 or 8 core compatible software. It's going from 1 thread to 2 threads which is the hard bit but from there, depending on the software, increasing the number of threads gets easier. We should see lots more massively parallel applications in the future.
     
  12. zr_ox

    zr_ox Whooolapoook

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    Nice summary, but dont get everyone excited when it's something they will be very likley never get the chance to use.

    Tbh I think that anyone waiting for Quad Core as a desktop platform would be making a big mistake.

    Quad Core like Dual core is designed specifically for the server market. There are still only a few applications which are programmed to take advantage of Dual Core processors. The issue is that it cost a whole lot more to develop applications to run on Dual core processors, so just think about the cost for programming Quad core.

    For normal users doing a little video encoding, gaming and surfing then Dual Core will be fine. Conroe will continue to evolve in its Dual Core incarnation and owning one will probably be more than enough.

    Someone spoke the other day about the fact that were still on 32 bit technology despite so many people owning 64 bit processors. It's unlikley that we will see a complete migration of all applications to 64 bit within foreseable future. As for Quad Core as a viable desktop processor...forget about it. Fully 64 bit & Quad core are currently only viable in the Enterprise Server market, and is outside the realms of reality for 99% of the Computer Enthusiat market.
     
  13. WarMachine

    WarMachine American Swine

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    Interesting discussion so far...

    I agree with the point made about coders not writing for quad core until a good percentage of the market is using machines based on these processors, and the same can be said for the jump from 32 to 64 bit procs.

    Personally, my next upgrade around xmas will be stepping up to a AM2 mobo and a AMD X2 chip... mainly because I've been running my machine in it's current config (3200+ Barton, 1GB DDR400, 9600XT) for going on 2 years and it has served me well even up to today (Go AMD!). I get nice frame rates and good visuals even with Elder Scrolls 4, though I will admit I run it at a lower resolution than I'd prefer in order to keep draw distances higher... the lack of HDR support on my gpu doesn't bother me, as I am planning an upgrade in the near future.

    In essense, my point is that I have an outdated machine by most of your opinions, but it does everything a top-end rig will do almost as well. I see no practical purpose for an average user to step up to quad-core 64-bit chips, other than bragging rights for having a bleeding-edge rig.

    That being said, as software devs make the change as the marketplace does, 6-12 months from now it will probably be a different story.

    BTW, anybody else seeing Moore's Law packing it's bags? :eeek:
     
  14. aggies11

    aggies11 New Member

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    It depends on the specific task. Many, if not most, applications arent' very parallelizable. It may take a great deal of effort/difficulty to split that task into only two evenly balanced workloads. Trying to go past that may be either next to impossible, or at least exponentially more difficult.

    Certain tasks, for example image rendering, are extremely paralellizable, you can easily divy up the image into 8chunks, because what's in one part does not depend on the other. Few tasks are that accomodating though, as most have tons of linear dependencies and can't be split up that well.

    It's not so much a matter of time, it's a matter of difficulty, and often impossibility.

    Quad Core on the desktop gains will mostly be seen by the "System Idle Process" ;)

    Aggies
     
  15. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    I think some people have misunderstood exactly what I've said here so I am going to attempt to clarify.

    Quad-core is unlikely to make a big impact on the market when it first launches in exactly the same way that dual-core didn't, relatively speaking. However, since then, many apps have become multi-threaded - just about every test in our CPU benchmarks suite is multithreaded in one way or another.

    The main point I made was slightly hidden, but basically I stand by my original opinion when I reviewed Core 2 Duo. There is little need to spend anymore than US$316 on a Core 2 Duo, because with that you're going to get flagship performance - at least, if you look at AMD's product stack after the price drops come into effect. Buying a flagship Core 2 Duo X6800 is just like buying an Athlon 64 FX-57 - there is no doubting that it is the fastest CPU out there at the moment, but it is soon to be replaced by something with more cores.

    In the long run, those cores are going to get used - it's not taken long for developers to develop multithreaded code for dual core processors, so I don't think it will be much more than 12 months before we see massively-multithreaded applications on the market.
     
  16. DeX

    DeX Mube Codder

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    Yes I guess you are right that some applications won't be able to fully utilise all the cores. I was thinking more of those applications that have been adapted to run with two cores - they are likely to run well with 4 or more cores.

    But then when it comes to performance demanding applications such as games I'm sure we'll see that as developers gain access to more and more power they will find stuff to do to make use of it. For example bolting on more physics and AI where the power to do these tasks is available.
     
  17. 8-BALL

    8-BALL Theory would dictate.....

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    OK, stretching it a bit here :)

    I've read several reports that the introduction of conroe isn't going to be sudden, more a gradual phasing in.

    Also, there have been reports that a large portion of the first chips off the line will be going to the likes of DELL and APPLE.

    Given the excitement over conroe and the fact that EVERYBODY wants to get one, and a LOT of people have been putting off upgrading till now, is it not possible that INTEL is slightly worried that with limited availability, and the massive price cuts by AMD, some people may be put off from waiting longer and plump for a nice cheap dual core athlon64 ready for the christmas holidays.

    By getting everyone excited about something even better that's just around the corner, they can ensure more people will be persuaded to hold off on that upgrade, something they're desparate to do, until kentsfield arrives. By the time people realise that kentsfield will more than likely be out of the price range of many, production should have been able to catch up with the demand for conroe.

    This is pure speculation, but there has to be a point to all of this, and INTEL still want to be able to cash in on the Christmas shoppers. If not enough conroes come out, surely, some buyers will be tempted by AMDs low prices.


    8-ball
     
  18. Asphix

    Asphix New Member

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    not to mention, with the x360 already possessing triple cores, and the cell with its multiple SPE's (or whatever it is) programmers are getting used to adjusting their code writing habbits to make room for increased core count.

    Ad to that intels implied strategy of no longer pushing the frequency envelope and instead pushing the thread count (8 core, and i read an article projecting that intel plans to have a 32 core processor available sometime circa 2010) we could very well see a progressive decrease in the turnaround time it takes software developers to include code which would take advantage of these chips.

    The transition from single core to dual core was a unique development. Going from 2x core to 4x core is essentially the same thing.. so it only makes sense that the whole process takes less time. Gonig from 4x to 8x will see additional decrease in turn around time.. etc etc etc. I'm sure you see my point.

    Also, another point. With physics and what not in games.. I'm sure games could put the extra cores to work. Granted, it wouldnt be as solid a solution as having a PPU such as Agieas offering.. as they handle data and tasks on completely different levels but 2x cores with physics computations being effectively thrown at it while another two deal with standard cpu functions and background tasks would hardly be something to scoff at.

    I was planning on waiting until december and G80 to purchase a new cpu anyway.. as my 805D @ 3.7ghz does alright for me for the time being. This makes me feel good about my decision. What people SHOULD do is always a decision that is heavily effected by perspective and circumstance among many other factors, but waiting for kentsfield certainly is up there with one of the smarter of decisions for those who have upgrade cycles in the 1.5+ year range.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2006
  19. Tim S

    Tim S OG

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    Interesting thoughts 8-ball. Only time will tell with respect to Intel's availability, but quad-core is definitely something that Otellini is using to prevent users from heading off to AMD.
     
  20. SGT Lindy

    SGT Lindy New Member

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    I hate to burst your bubble but if all of those applications are not built to use 4 cores....then most will be fighting for the first one while the other three will be idle.

    I got linked to this review/news article. It’s sad to see the disinformation that gets put out on the internet.

    Some facts really quick…

    • If you look at all of the applications that are currently on the market today for your PC, 95% of them are 32bit and support ONE CORE.

    • We have had 64bit hardware for over two years now and still the vast majority of applications are 32bit.

    • Even on platforms such as the 360 most games are NOT using more than a single core.


    Waiting for a 4 core CPU to upgrade your personal computer is a total and utter joke.

    I would wager than 1 year from now most people will still be running a 32bit operating system with a single core CPU and single threaded applications.

    I will go so far as to say that a year from now anyone running Vista on a Conroe will still be running 70-80% of their applications that only support a single core and NONE of them will support more than 2 cores.

    If you upgraded your rig to a Conroe and say a 7900GT with 2gigs of ram that it would last most people from 3-5 years. The PC gaming market is shrinking…has been for the last 5 years. The only upgrade you might need in those 3 years would be a DX-10 video card if some killer game came out that did not support DX9 backward compatibility….because they only wanted a few sales.

    There is so much bad advice on the Internet today.
     
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