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Thread: Buying a New Computer, Are Pentium DualCore processors worth it?

  1. #1

    Question Buying a New Computer, Are Pentium DualCore processors worth it?

    Hi all

    I'm thinking abot buying a new PC. The one I have my eye on has these specs

    Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 517 supporting Hyper-Threading Technology
    2.93 GHz, Level 2 cache 1 MB, 533 MHz

    1 GB DDR2 RAM

    80GB Harddrive

    256MB ATI Radeon X200 Express Graphics

    However Ive been looking at others and was wondering if they have features which are worth it. Whats the differences between a Pentium 4 processer with DualCore? What benefits does this give for games etc. if any?

    Another feature is DDR ram, what benefits does DDR2 give over DDR.

    And lastly Ive looked at Intel Cleron Processers however I have read that they have a very limited cashe, so in real terms what disadvantage would that give?

    The models I'm comparing are Compaq Presario's, SR1739UK, SR1705UK, SR1729UK.

    And lastly out of all of this whats most important, Processer Speed, Cache or RAM DDR or DDR2.

    Sorry if all this seems like silly questions but I really want to make the best purchase so I thought it best just to ask all my questions at once.

    Thanks for your help

    Jas

  2. #2
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    Dual-cores don't give much advantages for games yet because a lot of games don't take advantage of them. However, as technology roles on more and more games will.

    Right now, the best benefits of a dual core is the ability to run several large programs at once. Multi-taskng is what a dual-core is all about.


    DDR2 is the newwer kind of RAM. So getting DDR2 is a good idea, not only is it generally faster than the other kinds, it will allow you to upgrade more in the future than other kinds of RAM.

    Celeron's are good for basic computer use. If you don't plan on playing any high-quality games, and your just going to be running some programs and surfing internet, a Celeron is a cost-effective choice.

    And lastly, they're all important. Depending on your needs you'll need different things. Aim for DDR2 in whatever system you get. The processor speed depends on what you plan on doing. If your using your computer for gaming, i'd even suggest an AMD processor, a 3700+ would be great for gaming, and not too expensive.
    Just a newbie trying to learn
    All about gaming computers

  3. #3
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    If you're thinking about gaming, you're going to sorely disappointed with any of those systems. The most important component that determines gaming performance is the vid card. So right out of the box, any of those Presario's are going to need a vid card upgrade before you can expect them to play games well. That onboard video sh*t just can't cut it! Whichever model you get, you had better be certain that it has an available PCIe x16 slot or the fastest CPU in the world isn't going to save it when playing games.

    As to the CPU specs, it doesn't really matter. I can put together a Celeron D system with a good vid card that will smoke any OEM system with onboard video in any game. It all depends on how you use it. Like Boxo said, dual-core CPU's aren't necessary for huge gaming benefits right now, but they'll become more and more desirable as time goes on. Also, as has been said, AMD is currently the leader for gaming performance, so a nice Athlon64 system with dual-channel RAM will overall give you more gaming performance than a similar P4 system. But again, more important than the CPU is the vid card.

    DDR2 doesn't give more performance yet, but it can scale to higher speeds and it can be made into higher densities. This means that it will get faster and cheaper as time goes on. 4GB of RAM might seem like a lot now, but in another year or so that just may be standard for a gaming system.

    Also, if you want to wait a couple more months, the new stuff is coming soon...

  4. #4
    Thanks all, The main reason im looking at these models is that there cheap, The difference between the Presario with a P4 and 1GDDR2 RAM and the Celeron with 512GB DDR2 RAM is a mere £100. So I thought I may go the extra mile and get the P4 for £100 more.

    The Celeron has a 3.06Ghz processer, The P4 a 2.95Ghz processer. However the Cache is vastly different.

    They both have 256mb of graphics memory, but Looking at Graphics cards is the most confusing thing. This is the recommended for games like obilivion. What Graphics card is the best then is it important to upgrade memory to what amount?

    Thanks all youve been VERY helpful. Before this Ive tried using PC Worlds "Jargonbuster" however it only gave definitions of things like "KEyboard" and "RAM"!! Only really useful for COMPLETE newbies.

    Thanks all!!!!

    Jas

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmwright
    What Graphics card is the best then is it important to upgrade memory to what amount?
    That depends on how much you have to spend after you buy the computer. At the minimum, I would suggest a Radeon X800 GTO/GTO2 or a GeForce 6600 GT. These vid cards are on the low end of "mid-range" and represent the baseline performance you want for modern games. Moving up from these is up to you and your pocketbook.

    As for the RAM, I'd suggest 1GB total and stick with that. More RAM isn't required and the extra money would be better spent on the vid card.

  6. #6
    Hi

    Thanks for that, Ive been checking the prices out at ebuyer and have decided on gettting a Compaq SR1739UK. Then I'm gonna get a Radeon X1600 512Mb (£87) as its barely any more than the X1300 (Mere £10 more), however after that the X1800 jumps up buy over £100 and agin for the X1900! But I guess yu would pay that for the best.

    Hopefully that should give me enough powerb to get some games out of it. The system has 1G of DDR2 ram and a 2.93Ghz P2 Processor.

    So hopefully that should be all O.K. I may get a new hardrive to upgrade its 80GB to a 200Gb as I have loads of junk to put on it.

    Thanks all for all your help!!!! It really helped me make a good choice!

    JAs

  7. #7
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    That's a good price for a 512MB version of an X1600. Is that a Pro or an XT? In any case, it should provide you with a much better gaming experience than simply using the onboard video.

    Good luck with that!

  8. #8
    I didn't get to read all the posts, but in regards to the question about dual core pentium cpu's, ( go or no go in buying it) I seem to be more of a "hell-bent" AMD fan. I would personally wait a little bit till AMD release their new CPU, (after the X2) that is supposedly much better. But as usual, I am way too impatient and will get the 4200+ X2. Oh, and on NewEgg they seem to be going for about $350, last time I checked.

  9. #9
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    ooph, go for the 4400+. Spend the ca$h and get the cache
    Seriously, If you want some serious multitasking power, 2MB of cache goes a long way, IMHO. My 4400+ also easily (sort of) overclocked to past FX60 spec, which also has the Toledo core, like the 4400+. It is worth the extra bux, my computer is like my old one (AMD64 3400+) except doubled and on some serious crack!
    Cooler Master HAF 932
    Gigabyte EP45-UD3R
    Xeon X3370 @ 4.0
    4GB OCZ DDR2-1150
    Intel X25-M 80GB
    WD Black 1TB
    EVGA GTX 285 Hydrocopper
    Swiftech 1/2" WC system on CPU and GPU

  10. #10
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    Gotta love AMD's. i plan on getting a 4400 or higher as my next upgrade.
    Just a newbie trying to learn
    All about gaming computers

  11. #11
    Hi

    Its the the Pro Edition not really sure what that means but it sounds good enough for my needs and just within my Budget, Which is quite limited in this respect.

    Thanks all

  12. #12
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    Check the link in my sig for more info. Hardware Specs -> Graphics Cards. All the technical data is there.

    Once you buy it, let us know how it goes.

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