Monday, August 31, 2009

Are Quad Cores Worth It?

That was the question posed at Geeks!, one that has been popping up a lot recently. When I first read this I was quick to think that it was going to be filled with a long question as to "are they worth it", but it was just a general question, so I thought it would be no better time to write a blog post on the matter.

One of the people at Geeks! said:

Quad cores will be worth it, in about 2 years. As I've said many times before, the reason they aren't worth it not is that parallel support isn't where it needs to be. This is rapidly changing, and quad core processors will be worth more as time goes by simply by virtue of better code. That said, buy core i7. - Kitty

A more neutral comment was:

Quad cores are extremely useful... If you enjoy playing games. Unless a program that you use will utilize all four cores, it's useless. Just get a Dual and OC it, you'll do fine. I was going to get a Quad, but then my friend told me that Duals can still be used and they do really well. He was right. Dual cores still have a while to go before they become obsolete. Heck, even Pentiums can still be used without too much hassle.

Or to go with a simpler and broad comment that is still to the point and damn entertaining:

To answer your question simply...YES! -Stormy

For me, this quote says it all. From the basic idea that they will be worth it in time, to the whole argument that the i7 is better than the quad due to the Quad Core's not being as good as they could be. This proves to be true as the i7 which has eight cores in it and can outperform just about every single processor that is out, whereas the Quad Core is sometimes better sometimes worse than the dual core. The reason I love this quote is because it gets right to the point and gets across the point, which is what I hope to do in this blog post.

The reason that I'd suggest Quad Cores opposed to Dual Cores is simply because of the amount of work I've been able to complete and the ease in which I've done it with, also the general fact that I've had a worse experience with Dual Cores in the past than with Quad Cores, put simply Quad Cores have worked better and have been more reliable in all the years I've used them both and I come from a variety of computer backgrounds, from Pentium II all the way to the Core i7. I've just found the Quad Core to be more practical to use and more reliable, I cannot stress this enough, of the three dual cores I've owned, they've all become slow and struggled in a short period of time, even though the system running on them had hardly anything installed of them, so be it just general crap or a problem with what I've done with them, I feel that it was the processor that let them down.

In my experience I've found that the pro's and con's of Quad Core to be left up to speed, cost and the fun factor. I found the pro's to be

  • Speed of the processor, which was remarkable when being compared to Dual Core. If you'd have to ask me it's a major win in the speed section.
  • Fun factor of Quad Cores, I mean really, something about saying that I've got more processors than somebody else is enough to make me feel good and secure about my computer, even if that does suggest that I have somewhat of a superiority complex (Joking)

Some Con's however

  • Cost can sometimes be against you, the more expensive you go, the more powerful you get, but it most often results in Dual Cores becoming better for the price they're offering.

By Matthew Willison

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Random and geeky articles by two random geek guys, because we have nothing else to do.
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