to dual core or not to dual core...

Freddie Cash fcash at
Mon Aug 15 22:07:20 GMT 2005

On August 15, 2005 02:54 pm, you wrote:
> On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 14:36:14 -0700
> Freddie Cash <fcash at> wrote:
> > On August 15, 2005 02:08 pm, Ken Gunderson wrote:
> > > ah, that is the question...
> > >
> > > It seems to me that for most normal workstation use one might
> > > well be better off w/investing in faster single core cpu than in
> > > dual core. Anybody running the dual core on desktop fbsd
> > > workstation can report?
> >
> > Considering 95% of all Socket 939 motherboards will accept
> > dual-core processors with nothing more than a BIOS update, get a
> > single-code system now, and upgrade to dual-core when the prices
> > drop.
> >
> > The nice thing about AMD systems is you can do that.  :)  Intel
> > dual-core requires an entire new chipset/motherboard, RAM, etc.
> Right on AMD being mroe better than Intel...  But what I was getting
> at was, all other things being equal, i.e. same ballpark budget,
> would one be better off sacrificing cpu a few hundred MHz to go
> w/dual core (e.g. 2.0 GHz) or better off "investing" in single core
> w/more Mhz and a 1MB L2 cache (e.g. 2.4 GHz). Given that these
> puppies are w/in $20 of each other, I'm inclined to opt for the
> later.

Depends on your workload.  :)

If you tend to run only 1 or 2 large programs at a time, with nothing 
running in the background, and if those apps are single-threaded, then 
you may be better off with a faster single-code CPU.  Especially if you 
are into gaming, as the vast majority of those are still primarily 
single-threaded, and the Athlon64 FX is still the premier gaming CPU.

However, if you tend to have a thousand different apps loaded, and they 
are all chugging away in the background doing various things, and you 
like to multitask (write docs, compile code, listen to music, rip CDs, 
etc), then a dual-core system will be a better fit.

One thing to watch for with the dual-core Athlon64 X2s is the amount of 
cache.  The only difference between some of the models is the amount of 
L2; the actual processor speed is the same.

Freddie Cash
fcash at

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