Single or Dual Core?

I will be getting a new computer soonish for my home and for when I go to Uni and i was wondering about the different types of processors and how much a Dual Core will affect overall performance of the computer over a Single Core.

The two different Processors i am looking at are the Intel Pentium4 single core 3.2GHz, and the Intel PentiumD Dual Core 2.8GHz.

I will use the computer very reguarly for running programs such as Blender, Photoshop, iTunes, MSN, and Graphically intensive games. I often run many programs simultaneously and i quite often burn CD’s/import songs whilst playing games(currently this makes the game very laggy on a P4 Single Core 2.8GHz)

I am looking for comments/suggestions as to which would suit me better.


My vote goes to AMD Athlon 64 X2.

Check out for more info.

I’d go with the AMD based systems instead, they completely pants the Intel systems in most benchmarks and are cheaper too.

I can’t vote for either of your Poll options as they are too restrictive. Two pentium choices.

Broaden your options and views on CPUs. Take a look at the AMD Athlon64 X2 models. They are more energy efficient, produce less heat and are usually a tad cheaper.

I’m looking to getting a 3800+ X2 at some point because they are sooo cheap, and are built on a newer core which apparently overclocks very well.

But in the end it’s your cash. :wink:

I have an AMD X2 4200+ and I am most pleased with the performance it has given me. For single threaded apps it has just been really fast, but with blender and other multi-thread apps it really flies!

Games will be unaffected by the speed of the processor compared to an equivalent price single core, since the Graphics card is the bottleneck, and you can game and encode etc… without noticing any impact on game performance.

I’d always go AMD over Intel as they have more speed and quality for the same money.


Ditto above ^^
I have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+, runs like a dream. Never buy intel, besides being inferior and overpriced the company is evil. They manipulated the chip market to get the best possible profit, they bullied copmanies into buying their crap over AMDs and they generally made a big mess.

Thanks people, I shall have a look at the AMD processors you mentioned.

The reason why the choice was so restrictive is because i was looking at a pre-built desktop.

When i go to uni i have to choose between a laptop or a small desktop, i have gone for the desktop as they are much more powerfull for the same price band and it will suit me better at home.

I would build the desktop myself, but i have no experience in building a computer and i would probably run into compatability problems - especially building in a mini case.

I believe you can buy dells with amds now, (correct me if i’m wrong) but honestly, you can save so much money building yourself. I have an equivilant(sp?) of a $3000 alienware, homebuilt. Price: $2200. Of course, you could always look at an alienware, because you can get those with amds. (i think.)

Nah, Dell are just selling boxed AMD processors now, as far as I know none of their computer ranges will accept these chips. Word is it’s simply so they can say in court that they sell AMD products when the whole Intel antitrust thing kicks off.

I saw that for rendering dualcore was good
here are some grafs
other stuff

Arent they comparing the dualcore intel CPU to a single core amd CPU?

If so that really bad bench for Intel D core.

The 4200+ X2 is two of the 2.2 Ghz AMD cores, and I get about 100% speedup from one to two cores rendering in Linux. So my machine will rinse that Intel.

i.e. go AMD


That’s precisely why I’ve been learning to use Ubuntu and compile blender etc… I’m desperate to get one of those X2’s. Even the entry level. I haven’t owned or used an Intel CPU for about 8-10 years now I reckon.

But it’s Dan’s choice. We can only hope he chooses well :wink:

Don’t get intel. They’re a waste of money. Get the AMD Athlon64 X2 instead, they’re cheaper, they run loads cooler and do more gigaflops per cycle.

Thanks alot for all your help.

I will check out alienware too

I would like to build my own pc, but i would need to build it into a small case and i heard there are some compatability problems with these cases(i.e. components physically not fitting into the case).

Has anyone built a small pc before and how did they find it?

I have just one more question:

Will i be able to connect to a network with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition? The media centre is based on XP Home edition and i heard that some types of networking are not possible with XP Home.
Does anyone know anything about this issue?


If Media Centre is based on home the check it supports dual core. Home only runs one real processor (Microsoft cheap marketting ploy).


Wow, fast reply :slight_smile: - I will make sure to check that, thanks


I have built very small comps before, you just have to do some research into the size of your compnents. For example, my power supply (650watts) would barely fit into my full size tower, so you have to be a little careful. Go down yo your local compusa and see if they will open up one of the boxed cases for you, adn you can get an idea of what will fit. But definitly go AMD 64 X2 with an Nvidia gfx card for maximum performance and compatibility.