Quad vs Duo?

Quad vs Duo? Kind of thinking about a Desktop PC (custom built) for gaming/autoCAD/watching movies/music/photoshop etc.. but I'm not entirely sure of Quad CPU's vs Duo CPU's.. Have looked on google (admittedly not very hard) and didn't find too much helpful information. I was looking on a New Zealand site that sold high end PC's - from memory, one was 2.4ghz Quad, and another was 2.6 duo. For these uses listed above, will there be any noticeable difference between the speed of the computer loading programs, start-up, shut-down, virus scanning etc..? The games that I would play would be high-end games (like COD4 and possibly Crysis if I decide to spend lots on the computer)

geek_rahto, Jan 1, 6:18 pm

For high-end games go for faster CPU rather than more cores.

geek_r.g.nixon, Jan 1, 6:24 pm

Thanks NixonIs it fair to say that more cores can perform more tasks simultaneously, whilst less cores can perform less tasks simultaneously, but at a faster pace? Just my perception of it.

geek_rahto, Jan 1, 6:26 pm

See wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-core_(computing)#Software_impact (check the paragraph that has in bold "the main benefit to an ordinary user"

geek_r.g.nixon, Jan 1, 7:02 pm

Yes. . Newer games are supporting quad core so I'd say go for quad if you want to future proof. GTA4 is 1 such example.

geek_lostdude, Jan 1, 7:40 pm

Oh& since you intend on using CAD, Photoshop etc, they also benefit on more cores.

geek_lostdude, Jan 1, 7:41 pm

PS. a mate & I decided to build systems @ the same time that were opposite in hardware specs, but with the same budget. e.g. I went Intel, nvidia & he went AMD/ATi. Only difference is mine is Q6600/9800+SLI & his is Duo 6400+X2 but single 4870X2. The performance differences are mediocre @ best but in all applications with multi-core enhancements, mine outperforms by almost 50%, including GTA4. We still haven't fully benchmarked both systems but if I find the time, I will get all test results down in writing.

geek_lostdude, Jan 1, 7:49 pm

your friends system is heavily cpu bottlenecked w.r.t to games.

geek_kingzzz, Jan 1, 7:57 pm

Nixon is right. Two cores running at 3Ghz would outperform four cores running at 1.5(and faster). Each extra core adds less performance than the last, and there is a point that more cores will decrease performance if processes are competing for the same resources. Decide on the price point, and go with the fastest clock speeds you can get.

geek_cybertao, Jan 1, 8:09 pm

Core i7 usesHyperthreading Benchmarks higher on games.

geek_deodar, Jan 1, 8:30 pm

Some things will run faster but some things will run slower as well.

geek_cybertao, Jan 1, 8:33 pm