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Processor question

edited May 2007 in Technology
As I've mentioned, I'm shopping around for a new computer. I anticipate making the purchase in the fall, when the new Intel processors are released.

I don't use the computer for anything fancy. The only application I run that takes up significant resources is Flight Simulator. It's a processor hog (much more than a video card hog). I'll be running Flight Simulator 2004, since the edition that just came out doesn't even run well on high end machines.

So here is the question... Flight Simulator 2004 is not coded to make use of a dual core processor. The people on the flight simulator boards say that you shouldn't really get an advantage by having a Core 2 Duo. I then asked the following question:
Will you get faster performance with a Pentium D 3.4 ghz or a Core 2 Duo at 2.4 ghz?
After saying that a dual core won't help, I was told that a Core 2 Duo would be faster, with no explanation.

Can someone explain to me if, and why, this is true? Is it just a matter of the larger cache with the ability to multi-task over two cores?


  • Multi-tasking will make use of multiple cores. Background applications, OS overhead, and all of that other cruft won't get in the way of your game, likely making it faster overall. Couple that with the increased efficiency-per-clock-cycle and larger cache, and you have a winner.

    Of course, your best bet is to find some benchmarks comparing the two.
  • Think about clock speed the way you think about rpms in a motor. Compare a big old Ferrari V8 motor to a straight 4 Kia motor. If the kia motor goes at 3000rpm and the v8 is running at 200rpm, guess which will make the car go faster? The Core 2 Duos are just super efficient. The fact that you get two in one package is just insane.

    Remember, my Athlon at home is 1.8Ghz. My Core 2 Duo at work is 1.8Ghz. Even if I disable one of the cores, the Intel is so much faster, it's unfair.
  • If you go with the core 2 duo. At the very least you shouldn't have any kind of system lag while you have your internet browser and music player going and whatever else you want to have open. While playing Flight Simulator.
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