Decision time: should I buy a quad processor or a duo processor?

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Cruise Control

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Quad processors are darn expensive. You can have a hand in helping me build my new laptop.

Speed is a priority: when I use my computer for PLEASURE, I can deal with an occasional slowdown. When I use my computer for a WORK or a SCHOOL project and I experience a slowdown, I feel like breaking bodies or punching a hole in the wall.

I'm buying a new laptop. I'll be using it primarily for work and school. I'd say 80% of the time that I use the laptop it will be used for serious 9-5 business stuff, primarily work and school.

That's why when I customize my new laptop I'm going to customize it with 8 gigs of RAM and a quad core processor, to have as much speed as possible and as high a flow rate as possible. Is that a good build strategy?

My work/school laptop will:

>be used for heavy Internet duty

>be used heavily for programs like Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash

>i will not be using it for computer games but note: if i have to sell the laptop on Craigslist in a year or two I'd like this laptop to appeal to gamers so I can sell it quicker, faster

>i don't have a lot of disposable income. The quad processor costs a few hundred dollars more. Since I'll be using my computer for work and school, and since I might be making more money a year from now, If I have to (and with your advice) I'll pay the extra cost
 
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Yes quad cores are great. Also make sure you have sufficient cooling to stop it over heating because the cpu will throttle back to stop itself getting damaged this will cause slow down.
 

Cruise Control

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Yes quad cores are great. Also make sure you have sufficient cooling to stop it over heating because the cpu will throttle back to stop itself getting damaged this will cause slow down.
Thanks jack-o-bytes, I appreciate your opinion.

On the same subject of processors, lets say I have two identical machines placed side-by-side, though one has a 2 GHz duo processor while the other one has a 2.5/3 GHz duo processor (but they both have the same amount of RAM).

Would the one with a 2.5/3 GHz duo processor run considerably faster while surfing the Internet and working with Adobe programs like Dreamweaver and Photoshop or would there be virtually no difference?
 
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Thanks jack-o-bytes, I appreciate your opinion.

On the same subject of processors, lets say I have two identical machines placed side-by-side, though one has a 1 GHz duo processor while the other one has a 2 GHz duo processor (but they both have the same amount of RAM).

Would the one with a 2 GHz duo processor run considerably faster while surfing the Internet and working with Adobe programs like Dreamweaver and Photoshop or would there be virtually no difference?
It will be faster regardless of.. anything.

its a given... same amount of cores and double the speed. In single core applications it will be twice as fast on the 2ghz one. In dual core applications, it will be twice as fast.

granted, that is in a perfect world. Realistically you will get like... 80% faster or something like that, but you get the idea. not to mention, in photoshop and stuff... those are designed for multi core systems with alot of ram. It will work better period. Plus, unless you are HEAVILY overclocking your CPU, the increased heat from the quad wont make a lick of difference with a proper cooler. Hell, I had my 2.4ghz quad up to 3.4 ghz on air cooling. Most people wont put that much of an overclock on a dual core without excellent cooling.

I think there is no reason NOT to buy a quad, with the exception of price.
 

Cruise Control

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I think there is no reason NOT to buy a quad, with the exception of price.
Masta Squidge, thanks for taking the time to post to this thread. I really appreciate your advice.

I don't know as much as you do about processors, that's for sure. But I put this question to someone else, and he seems to think a little differently than you do. Here's what he said to me about the quad core vs. the duo core issue as it relates to web surfing and Adobe's software programs:




I think you're going a bit over the top for what you need. 8 gigs seems an awful lot.

You could have a 2gig Photoshop file open (4000x4000 pixels with lots of layers) with that without a problem.

I don't believe most of the Adobe programs you mentioned make much use of multi threading, so having 4 cores instead of two would probably be a waste.

Photoshop has some multithreading in the latest version, but I believe it's only for processor intensive things like running filters.

Dreamweaver I can't imagine you'd notice a difference with, and last time I heard Flash only used threads for scaling and rendering video, not for the vector graphics.

Having 2 cores is good, because then you still have a responsive machine when some other process is using 100% CPU. Having 4 or more cores is nice if you do a lot of churning work, such as 3D rendering, multithreaded video conversion, simulation and more, but for the kind of work you mention three of your cores will be sleeping most of the time.

So if I were you, I would go for longer battery life, 4 gig RAM, 2 cores, and if you can afford it, a solid state drive.
 
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