4 and more cores? Bottlenecks?

Micro-star international / Ms-6309
February 27, 2011 at 05:07:58
Specs: Windows 2000, 1.002 GHz / 319 MB
Do four and more cores really speed things up for present programs?

According to the latest Adobe Creative Suite system requirements, in the link below,
http://www.adobe.com/products/creat... ,
Intel® Pentium® 4 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor (Intel Core™2 Duo or AMD Phenom® II is recommended); Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Phenom II required for Adobe® Premiere® Pro.

It seems to be common for Adobe users to have 4 cores, lately 6 cores, and one Adobe user even recommended 12 cores and 32 GB RAM!

Most guys advised me to go for 6 core. So I wonder WHY they use 6 cores and 12 cores, and whether or not it really makes things faster for present programs, and if bottlenecks in their computers cause the extra cores to be unneeded bling.

If Adobe Creative Suite system requirements recommend 2 cores, how will more than 2 cores make a difference?
If the biggest bottleneck on modern computers is the max continuous data transfer speed of the hard drives, then what measures should I take NOT to bottleneck multi-cores?


See More: 4 and more cores? Bottlenecks?

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#1
February 27, 2011 at 07:34:27
Those system requirements are already behind the times because Intel's Core i series isn't even listed & the Core i is much better than the Core 2 Duo. If you want to build a super Adobe machine, plan on spending several 1000's of dollars. Have a look at this article from 2 years ago:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,281...


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#2
February 27, 2011 at 08:49:44
Micliq.

Yay! Thanks for the link!

Thanks for your reply.

I'm an amateur when it comes to computer specs, so I am just DESPERATELY trying to learn to understand this multi-core thing as properly as possible,

because I do not have 1000's of dollars yet to spend on a computer :-(.

What confuses me is -
1. WHY Adobe PRESENTLY still recommend Core 2 Duo for CS5 Master Collection, if “those system requirements are already behind the times”
and
2. WHY a computer expert very recently wrote “at the present time and for the foreseeable future, you don't benefit from more than 2 or 3 cpu cores. Any more cores than that are never used.”
Never used? Then I have to wonder WHY then, if any more than 3 cpu cores are never used, people use 4 or more?

Or did I misunderstand the quote? How can I learn to understand at what stage 4 or more cores will be used?


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#3
February 27, 2011 at 09:33:12
It's all about the money.

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Related Solutions

#4
February 27, 2011 at 09:51:25
Adobe software will perform best with the latest processors and large amounts of memory. But Adobe doesn't like to recommend this becasue many people would get the impression that this is a requirement. Because of this they lower their recommendations somewhat.

More CPU cores will always improve performance. But there will always be a point of diminishing returns where more does very little for performance. For most software that will be about 2 cores. But there are exceptions. However many cores you have, Windows will use all of them, subject of course to licensing restrictions. It is just that the cores will be spending more of their time doing nothing.


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#5
February 27, 2011 at 09:53:44
Mickliq.

In response to # 3.

So does that mean that for the PRESENT times 4 and more cores are really unnecessary?


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#6
February 27, 2011 at 10:36:35
Lmiller7.

In response to # 4 above.

Thanks!

“Adobe software will perform best with the latest processors and large amounts of memory. But Adobe doesn't like to recommend this becasue many people would get the impression that this is a requirement. Because of this they lower their recommendations somewhat.”

Yay! This makes sense to me then.

“More CPU cores will always improve performance. But there will always be a point of diminishing returns where more does very little for performance.”

This also makes sense then.

Does this mean that at that point of diminishing, with more cores the improved performance will remain the same, only the more cores will do very little for performance then?

“For most software that will be about 2 cores. But there are exceptions. However many cores you have, Windows will use all of them, subject of course to licensing restrictions.”

Licensing restrictions?

“It is just that the cores will be spending more of their time doing nothing.”

Like running twelve 80-liter fuel tanks for 180 liters of fuel?


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#7
February 27, 2011 at 12:01:26
More cores will only improve performance if you run apps that are optimized for multi-core CPUs. However, there were a lot of other advancements that came along with multi-core CPUs - better performing motherboard chipsets, better RAM, SATA interface, PCI-express, etc, not to mention new operating systems. You have to look at the BIG picture, not just focus on the CPU. That being said, there are very few single core processors being produced anymore & the ones that are available are usually dual core CPUs with one core disabled.

Early dual core adopters saw little or no performance increase, in fact, many saw a decrease. For instance, taking a 3.0GHz single core CPU & replacing it with a 2.2GHz dual core is obviously taking an 800MHz decrease in CPU clock speed. But hey, it's a dual core so it MUST be faster, right?

I'm not trying to discourage you. Based on your posted specs, you're in desperate need of an upgrade. Just be aware that just because it's available, doesn't mean you actually need it. The 1st thing you need to do is decide on how much you're willing to spend & whether you're going to build your own or buy a pre-built system.


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#8
February 27, 2011 at 17:46:56
I would recommend for most 2 cores are enough, but for graphic programs that can use it, you would benefit from 4 cores, more only if the money is available (don't skimp on other components just to afford more cores). Look seriously at the Intel i-5 series or i-7 series, or better even would be the 2nd generation i-5 series or i7 series. Get a high quality motherboard, a very good graphics card, a quality power supply probably 600W (depending on graphics requirements), at least 8GB DDR3 RAM, Windows 7 64bit, Western Digital Black series 1GB or larger SATA III 6GB/S 64MB buffer memory.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
February 28, 2011 at 02:34:16
Mickliq.
In response to # 7.

Thanks for your replies and help.

“Early dual core adopters saw little or no performance increase, in fact, many saw a decrease. For instance, taking a 3.0GHz single core CPU & replacing it with a 2.2GHz dual core is obviously taking an 800MHz decrease in CPU clock speed. But hey, it's a dual core so it MUST be faster, right?”

OK. I have a lot to learn here. I will look at the BIG picture, and not just focus on the CPU.
I decided that I'm in desperate need of catching up in knowledge regarding new computer stuff.

“Just be aware that just because it's available, doesn't mean you actually need it.”

OK.

“I'm not trying to discourage you. Based on your posted specs, you're in desperate need of an upgrade.”

Oops, I hope you weren't looking at my system specs for the system I'm typing this on. It was not my intention to use this old PC for Adobe.
I have only just started to learn Adobe CS5 Master Collection as a student and need a system for it.

“The 1st thing you need to do is decide on how much you're willing to spend & whether you're going to build your own or buy a pre-built system.”

I would like to build my own system, because it costs less to build, so I can get more.

As my rands are presently hard earned, and computer prices in my country are very high, I want to do my best not to make a mistake when choosing a system for my Adobe.

Here's my situation : I am presently forcing only some of CS5 to work on my old MS-6714, which was a throw-away PC that has been standing under dust in someone's garage for a long time, that was just recently resurrected at no cost with the help of nice people from this forum, with
CPU/Ram: 2.4 GHz / 1527 MB,
Video Card: Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller, and
Sound Card: Realtek AC'97 Audio,

my first computer fix ever ...

… I know, this is crazy, madness and frustrating, but at least it allowed me to get started as a student with Adobe.

I've just spent lank money to get CS5, so the cents left over are few.

I am going to eventually need a system that will allow me to run multi-threads with video and graphics that will be taxing on the system.

So here's where I need wisdom from the experts :

1. To get a second hand older generation quad core computer with 8 GB max RAM to relief me instantly of the pain I suffer from the super slowness of my MS-6714 when working with Adobe, or
2. to bite on my nails and suffer a bit longer until I have enough cash for an up to date 6 core system?

I cannot see myself affording anything more than a 6 core for a while.

Easy to choose nice stuff when the cash is there, but my challenge at present is to do the best with what I have.

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#10
February 28, 2011 at 04:21:29
It all depends. If a program doesn't take advantage of multithreads then a fast single core will outperform a slower dual core. So yes a 3ghz single core based on the same CPU architecture as the dual core will outperform that slower dual core running @ 2.4ghz in a single threaded environment. Just like a 3ghz dual core will outperform an 2.4ghz quad core based on the same CPU architecture in a multithreaded environment that can only take advantage of two threads and so on and so on. Up until a couple years ago having faster GHZ or more cores was an dilemma of sorts with people using programs that could and couldn't take advantage of multi-cores and there really wasn't anyway around that dilemma until Intel introduced Turbo Boost technology in its Core i series that allowed a quad core to act like a dual core or even a single core when running single or multithreaded programs by shutting down the cores that weren't being use and automatically boosting the GHz frequency to the cores that were being used by the program. Instead of weighing in the pros and cons of GHz vs cores, now you had a CPU that can basically turn itself into whatever it needed to automatically by adjusting itself to each programs needs.

I hope this was able to answer your first question for you.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#11
February 28, 2011 at 05:01:33
Fingers.

Hi.

In response to # 8.

Thanks for your reply and advice.

“I would recommend … at least 8GB DDR3 RAM”

Why DDR3 and not DDR2?

“I would recommend … Western Digital Black series 1GB or larger SATA III 6GB/S 64MB buffer memory”

Why these? Is it because of the max continuous data transfer speed of the hard drives - the biggest bottleneck on modern computers?

“You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.”

OK.

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#12
February 28, 2011 at 07:03:28
Cobra_R.

Hi. Thank you for your reply.

In response to # 10.

Yay!

“I hope this was able to answer your first question for you.”

Yes!

This was exactly what I was pondering when I asked that question.
Thanks! You explained nicely.

So, then, if I understood your explanation correctly, running mostly multi-threaded, but occasionaly single-threaded, I would really benefit from the Turbo Boost technology in Intel's Core i series, if I had the cash.

Thumbs up for the Core i series! Pretty cleverly designed little devices!

Does the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Thuban 3.3GHz, 3.7GHz Turbo do more or less the same job as the Core i series, i.e. shutting down the cores that aren't being used and automatically boosting the GHz frequency to the cores that are being used by the program, turning itself into whatever it needs to automatically adjust itself to each program's needs?

It all sounds so nice.

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#13
February 28, 2011 at 08:27:14
If you are going with i-series you will be looking a DDR3 and faster memory. If you are going with Core2 series you will mostly be going with DDR2 (some use DDR3 on the motherboards but you will pay a premium for this). If you get a Core2 duo and a good motherboard and learn overclocking (moderately), you can get some pretty good speed out of one of the less expensive Core2 Duos like the E7500. I do not know AMD so others will have to advise you on that.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#14
February 28, 2011 at 09:31:56
Fingers.

In response to # 13.

Thanks.

“If you are going with Core2 series you will mostly be going with DDR2 (some use DDR3 on the motherboards but you will pay a premium for this).”

Why do those who use DDR2 on motherboards, as described above, pay a premium? Is it because of backward compatibility?

“If you get a Core2 duo and a good motherboard and learn overclocking (moderately), you can get some pretty good speed out of one of the less expensive Core2 Duos like the E7500.”

Overclocking?! Not familiar with that.
How will overclocking effect running single-threads at times, and multi-threads at other times?

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#15
February 28, 2011 at 12:11:34
Misunderstanding. DDR2 is/was the standard on MB's for Core2 series because that was the best at the time. Then DDR3 comes out primarily for the newer processors and some companies are offering their MB's with DDR3 now, but you will pay more for the board and more for the memory with little advantage for those processors.

Overclocking is the process of resetting a series of setting in you board's BIOS to run a processor at the higher speed of a more expensive processor or beyond. This will take some learning, a motherboard that 'overclocks well', quality components in general, and some time and patience. Boards recycled from factory made computers do not overclock (or not well at any rate), Gigabyte, Asus, and a few others are usually chosen for overclocking and the P43 and p45 chipsets are the better choices on those boards (for the socket 775 boards).
The E7500 is a 1066FSB processor at 2.93GHz which is a frequency of 266MHz multiplied by 11(processor multiplier) = 2933MHz or 2.93GHz
If you run the processor at 333MHz freq. x 10 (increase freq. decrease in multiplier) you get 333x10=3330MHZ or 3.33GHz and your FSB becomes 333x4= 1333FSB for a net overall improvement.
If you run a frequency of 400MHz, in theory you could run 400x10 which would be 4.0GHz and a 1600FSB, BUT the standard cooling will not be sufficient and you will have to increase certain voltages a little to run at this speed (IF it can), which makes even more heat. At this speed you would need a premium air cooler or maybe even a water cooler. THIS is NOT what I would call a moderate overclocking and not easy to get and keep stable, therefore definitely NOT for work like you will be doing.
I am currently running one of these (not my primary computer) on a G41 Gigabyte MB at 3.54GHz and it is stable. Not every board and not every processor (even 2 the same) will overclock the same so it is a process with trial and error and testing followed by more of each until you find what is right for you and your hardware. You will need to do a lot of reading, learn the math. Overclocking different processors can be quite different, so decide which you will be going with before you get too deep into your research so you can focus on that make/series. The i-series overclocks quite differently from the core2 series as an example and there are some features like speedstep on the Core2's that will need to be turned off in the BIOS, but Turbo needs to be on with the i-series. Google for overclocking information and even specify a board and processor later for specific advice.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#16
February 28, 2011 at 14:40:41
Fingers.

In response to # 15.

“Misunderstanding. DDR2 is/was the standard on MB's for Core2 series because that was the best at the time. Then DDR3 comes out primarily for the newer processors and some companies are offering their MB's with DDR3 now, but you will pay more for the board and more for the memory with little advantage for those processors.”

Oh. OK.

“Overclocking is the process of ...”

Wow! It's like a race engine pushing each part to its limit before it pops! BUT without causing damage - what a risky challenge! Must be quite an adrenaline rush!
Could become an addiction by the sounds of it.
Wow...

Thanks.

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#17
February 28, 2011 at 14:44:32
Yes the Core i series CPUs is what you would want to have, if you want a CPU to take the most advantage of both single threaded and multithreaded programs.

AMD's Turbo Core isn't exactly the same as Intels Turbo Boost. Turbo Core kicks in when 3 or more cores are idle much like Intels Turbo Boost but that's where the similarites end. When this happens, The frequency of those three AMD cores not being used are reduced to 800MHz and are not shutdown like Intels cores are. The remaining cores that are being used can only turbo up to 500mhz regardless of how many cores are being used at once. Intels Turbo Boost on the other hand will completely shutdown the cores not being used and turbo up the cores that are being used in diff frequency stages. Take for example of one Intel Core is only being used then that one cores frequency can speed up 1ghz faster. If only 2 cores are being used then those 2 cores frequency can speed up 800mhz faster. If there Cores are being used then those 3 cores frequency can speed up 600mhz faster.

As you can see Intels Turbo Boost is more advanced than AMD's Turbo Core.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#18
February 28, 2011 at 15:30:24
Cobra_R.
In response to # 17.
Thanks for your reply.

“As you can see Intels Turbo Boost is more advanced than AMD's Turbo Core.”

Is there a big noticeable difference in real world performance ?

“AMD's Turbo Core isn't exactly the same as Intels Turbo Boost. Turbo Core kicks in when ...”

For those who really do want Intel's Turbo Boost, but just don't have the cash to pay for it, does AMD's Turbo Core justify its much lower price compared to Intel's Turbo Boost?

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#19
February 28, 2011 at 19:07:07
When it comes to the frequency increase on each core there can be if only one turbo core on an AMD CPU tops out at 500mhz while say and one core on an Intel cpu tops out at 1ghz of a little over 1ghz that right there is a 500mhz diff. so if one AMD core tops out at 3ghz while one Intel core tops out at 3.5ghz you are looking at a 30% speed improvement alone minus the architecture diff between both CPUs'. So yes it can make a diff in a real world environments. Also keep in mind that the higher the general clock frequency is the lesser the amount of turbo frequency you will get. So you may not always get a 1ghz frequency increase on one core.


Any kind of boost is better than no boost, but Intel Core i series CPUs' rivals that of Phenom X6 CPUs' in price. You can get a Core i5 2300 Quad Core CPU for around the same price as a AMD Phenom II X6 1075T that will outperform the AMD Phenom II X6 1075T overall .

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#20
March 1, 2011 at 05:31:51
Cobra_R.
In response to # 19.

“When it comes to the frequency increase on ...”

Once again, thank you for the nice explanation.

“Any kind of boost is better than no boost, but Intel Core i series CPUs' rivals that of Phenom X6 CPUs' in price. You can get a Core i5 2300 Quad Core CPU for around the same price as a AMD Phenom II X6 1075T that will outperform the AMD Phenom II X6 1075T overall .”

I had a look at this. On newegg.com the difference in price is currently $5.
In my country $5 is just under R35 (35 rand) with the dollar currently trading at R6.94 per dollar.
HOWEVER that (R35) is not what we pay in difference here! – We pay R695 in difference, as we have a price of R1785.00 for the Core i5 2300 Quad Core while the Phenom II X6 1075 is priced at R2480.00. So for most of us here the R695.00 difference is quite a jump!

(R695 = roughly 100 breads).

Question : Is there a difference between the terms “Hyper-Threading Support” and “Hyper-Transport Support” (see * below)?

and

Question : With Adobe CS5 Master Collection and Premier in mind,

* Core i5 2300 Quad Core : Hyper-Threading Support = No
* Phenom II X6 1075 : Hyper-Transport Support = Yes

Core i5 2300 Quad Core : 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache
Phenom II X6 1075 : 6 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache

in terms of MULTI/HYPER-THREADING, and in terms of CACHE, if I was looking for a CPU within the above price range, for Adobe CS5 Master Collection and Premier, which of the above two CPU's will outperform the other?

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#21
March 1, 2011 at 07:34:02
Yes.

For each processor core that is physically present an operating system that can take advantage of Hyper-Threading addresses a virtual processor onto each core, and shares the workload between the physical cores when possible.

Hyper-Transport is a direct data link that transfers data bandwidth directly to the intergrated memory controller on the cpu.

As you can see here in this benchmark alone the Core i5 2300 outpaces the Phenom II X6 1075T in Image processing with Adobe Photoshop CS 5. It takes 115 seconds to Apply 6 filters to a 69 MB TIF image for the Core i5 2300 while it takes 128 seconds for the AMD Phenom II X6 1075T to do the same thing.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/...

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#22
March 2, 2011 at 01:20:55
Cobra_R.
In response to # 21.

Thanks for the link.
I found it very helpful.

With reference to hyper-threading support :

I noticed that although the Core i5-2500 has NO hyper-threading support, it takes 98 seconds to apply 6 filters to a 69 MB TIF image, while the Core i7-950 that HAS hyper-threading support takes 107 seconds to apply 6 filters to a 69 MB TIF image.

If I understood this correctly, the LESSER priced i5-2500 WITHOUT hyper-threading support is FASTER in applying 6 filters than the HIGHER priced i7-950 WITH hyper-threading support.

Why would this be?

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#23
March 2, 2011 at 01:39:41
New architecture. Sandy Bridge is a brand new architecture which is what the Core i series 2nd generation is based on with many improvements over the older Nehalem architecture which is what the first generation of Core i series is based on that it replaced.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#24
March 2, 2011 at 02:54:52
Cobra_R.
In response to # 23.

“New architecture. ....”

Thanks.
It looks like my thread is almost solved.

So, for my purposes, having just started as a student with Adobe CS5 Master Collection and Premier, I am pondering, “Will the Core i5-2500 WITHOUT hyper-threading perform better overall than the Core i7-950 WITH hyper-threading?”

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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#25
March 2, 2011 at 11:51:48
Yes. The Core i5 2500 ranks right up there with the Core i7 975x in performance.

Iron Sharpens Iron.


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#26
March 2, 2011 at 13:15:18
Yay!

IN CONLUSION OF MY TWO MAIN QUESTIONS asked in my first post of this thread :

* Do four and more cores really speed things up for present programs?

* If the biggest bottleneck on modern computers is the max continuous data transfer speed of the hard drives, then what measures should I take NOT to bottleneck multi-cores?

My Conclusion as an Amateur:

From the posts above I came to the following conclusion.

Six cores are not always faster than four cores.
Sometimes some processors with six cores are faster than some processors with four cores,
and sometimes some processors with four cores are faster than some processors with six cores.
It depends on the programs used and on the architecture that the cores are based on.

I hope my conclusion is correct.


With reference to my question concerning bottlenecks, I rephrased the question to “If the biggest bottleneck on modern computers is the maximum continuous data transfer speed of the hard drives, what would be the best hard drive to use with Intel's Core i5-2500 so that it (the i5-2500) can perform at its best?”,
and started a new thread, “Which HDD with Intel's Core i5-2500?”,
http://www.computing.net/answers/cp... .

This thread is solved then.

Mickliq.
In response to # 3.
“It's all about the money.”
Yes.

In response to # 7.
“Early dual core adopters saw little or no performance increase, in fact, many saw a decrease. For instance, taking a 3.0GHz single core CPU & replacing it with a 2.2GHz dual core is obviously taking an 800MHz decrease in CPU clock speed. But hey, it's a dual core so it MUST be faster, right?”
I understand now. Thanks for your help and for expanding my knowledge.

Fingers.
In response to # 13 and # 15.
With reference to overclocking, I leave this to the talented while standing in awe.
In response to # 8.
“Look seriously at the Intel i-5 series or i-7 series, or better even would be the 2nd generation i-5 series or i7 series.”
After weighing the pros and cons and compromises, I can see now why you recommended these series.
I decided to go for the Intel Core i5-2500.

Thanks for helping and for expanding my knowledge.

Cobra_R.
In response to all your replies.

Thanks for explaining nicely, for expanding my knowledge and for solving this thread!


I started a new thread : “Which mobo will go nicely with my Core i5-2500?”,
http://www.computing.net/answers/cp... .

Nothing helps man to overcome troubles and to survive like the knowledge of a task to complete.


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