dual or quad core?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by shwashwa, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    for home, no-professional stuff: powerful dual core, or less powerful (individually) quad core for the same price?

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 64 Bit E6850 3GHz 4MB L2 cache 1333MHz FSB

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad 64 Bit Q6600 2.4GHz 4MB L2 cache 1066MHz FSB
  2. Depends. If you're doing audio work then quad. Most tracking can be done with a single core CPU but once you add plugins DSP is nice to have (more cores = more DSP power) but for normal stuff the 6850 will be more powerful. What I would do however is just get the quad and overclock it. I'm running a Core Duo 2ghz at 2.9 without a peep on a crappy 50 dollar motherboard. The Intel stuff has so much headroom it's not funny. Just get yourself a board that can do 1333mhz and has a PCI lock and I'd bet you you could hit that 3ghz without any tweaking.

    For instance: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2007/07/25/overclocking_intel_core_2_quad_q6600/5 - they're hitting 3.48 ghz on that CPU on air. P35 boards are cheap and of high quality, and when you're ready for Penryn (45nm) then you don't have to upgrade.
  3. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
  4. Im pretty sure either would be fine. The quad would probably be a bit better, but i dont think you'll push the limits on either at home to be honest.

    Ive pushed alot of plugins, and im using a CPU thats about 3 or 4 years old :) , its not even a proper dual core, it just has HT (P4 3.2Ghz)
  5. derrellvis69


    Aug 23, 2006

    Save yourself some cash and go with the Dual cores. Home PC's don't really utilze most of the potential of multiple core chips. I would spend more money on RAM, because that will give you a more noticeable performance increase.

    Just my $.02 :bag:
  6. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    i have 8 gigs, and notice no real difference up from 2. i found that having "taller" (powerful) cpus for non multi threaded apps really does the trick. the dual core for now would be cool, so yeah, unless your software is designed for parallel processing...(oh, by the way, i'm building a dual quad xeon penryn rig for less than that horrid price on the single consumer quad systems you posted. i can't believe they can ask those prices. and the home system in the 4u rack...ghey :scowl: ). those are both rip-offs.
  7. shwashwa


    Aug 30, 2003
    wow, thanks for letting me know about that! i have nothing against building my own system, the only thing that worries me is that the operating systems on those 2 have been tweaked by professionals. i know there's alot of info out there on the net, but if i buy my own os i'm worried i wont get all the tweaks. any advice?
  8. I've gotten fine results from a 2.8GHz P4 800FSB with 2Gb of memory running in Win2000Pro for stability reasons. However, it is a dedicated system used only for audio purposes. No other programs to junk up the hard drive and registry. It's been solid up to about 16 tracks with NTrack. It's been pushed to 21 tracks but performance really starts to take a noticable hit after 16.
  9. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab HELIX user & BOSE Abuser

    Feb 11, 2004

    17 yr. old son is playing EVERY NEW, machine-pushing game on a Gateway HyperThread refurb, 1st gen PCI. The ONLY things we did to "help": replace the generic PCI video card with a $150 one and add 1GB memory(giving it 2 GB total).
  10. bassness


    Jul 16, 2006
    Chicago area
    If you're running Windows XP or Vista, you're not going to see any benefit from any amount of Ram over 3 gig. That's the max that the OS can map memory to.

    Save the money and buy a Dual Core processor. Most applications don't push a dual core processor.
  11. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I thought he said they were the same price :rolleyes:
  12. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Steep learning curve to learn to write and debug multi-threaded app's so mainly just high-end app's are multi-threaded. So unless running lots of app's at once and the OS is doing the scheduling quad-core CPU is going to be sitting idle a lot. Hyper-threading I'm not fond of and can slow you down. On servers we turn hyper-threading off. Hyper-threading is CPU guessing what you are up to and trying to split code into threads, trouble is they don't guess very well.

    So the general answer is dual core for home use is fine. Cramming in as much RAM as you can will by you more speed for less money. More RAM means less slow virtual memory being used and less context switching overhead.
  13. You can always setup the computer to have multiple hardware profiles. Thats what i did, when it first starts up i have two options to select between before windows boots. One has games and all the regular crud on it, the other is setup to run barebones, and have things like wireless, anti virus etc turned off.

    Ive managed to run alot of tracks, using Cubase SX3 and my firepod, each track often having 2-3 VST plugins on the go. So you could probably get use of that PC as a normal one, and not have to have it limited to audio only :) .

    Oh, and re the Ram thing, 2 Gb should be more than enough, hell, ive only got 1 Gb, and its never caused any noticable problems to my recordings :)
  14. Get an 8-core Mac with Xeon processors. ;) ($$$)
  15. Remember to re-morgage your house :p
  16. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    not x64 bit versions. been running 64bit pretty much for the last few years...
  17. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    i just finished my 8 core box penryn windows machine, for way less...
  18. m.oreilly


    Jul 5, 2006
    Ukiah, CA
    "...have been tweaked by professionals". well, dunno how tweaky they get, but i'm sure everyone here would be able to give you whatever pointers you would need. great bunch of peeps here :)