dummys guide to new cpu's


Distinguished Member
hi all.....
getting in 'woofers and tweeters grandad' mode here......

been away from the world of pcs for a while since i upgraded my trusty mesh pc to a athlon 2.4 many moons ago so the question is whats all these duo and quads and what not all about and how do these specs compare to my 2.4?

........ without stating the obvious.....for a for instance does a duo 2.5 for example equal a 5 in old money ......and a quad is 4 times whatever they state?

a quick bluffers guide would be most welcome.


Distinguished Member
Basically a core2duo is 2 chips together in one CPU. Same with the quads, they have 4 cores on 1 die. As to your old athlon 2.4, then even a lower budget £40 chip like the E1200 will be far faster than that. Its not just the amount of cores, its also the amount of cache, higher fsb etc etc that have got better


Active Member
It really depends upon what you intend doing, which will indicate what CPU you need and how many Cores, Single, Dual, Quad or Higher.

If all you do is web browsing then a new CPU will not be any benefit.

But if you are doing something that really needs high processing power then a large numbers of Cores will help a lot, providing the applications you intend running are multi threaded which means they are coded to do more than one thing or make use of multiple threads (Cores) at a time. Running multiple applications would benefit from multiple cores also.

Video encoding can benefit from multiple Cores a great deal. Even Hi Def playback can benefit from at least a Dual Core, but some HD stuff can be accelerated by Graphics Cards and in that case the CPU is not all that important.

An older system is unlikely to be able to offer any assistance to HD playback or even be fast enough to play HD videos back using software decoding (ie the CPU). So if you wanted to play "certain" HD videos back on your Plasma then at least a Dual Core CPU would be helpful.

Modern PCI-express graphics cards can offer a great assistance to decoding HD material. On my system which is a Quad Core Q9450 and HD3850 graphics card, I get about 0 to 5 percent CPU usage when decoding a 1080p video when graphics card assistance is used. But my CPU requires 11 to 28 percent when decoding using Software only.

Over a year old but it has a few details>


Distinguished Member
thanks for the replys....

...all i had been doing lately is browsing on tinternet....with the kids palying a few online games..........
dug out medal of honour and have been playing that again.....just i was in a shop the other day and was looking at some newer games and it looks like my old mesh wont play any of em...

....just realised it must be 10 years old now :eek:
(even though i upgraded the motherboard/cpu and graphics card)
....been a quality machine so i've been thinking id be as well to get a new base unit.


Distinguished Member
thats a very good deal that reevesy, alot better than dell or others offer


Active Member
That's a good deal, just because it isn't from Dell or HP, just because its from Aldi and not from PC World doesn't mean its bad machine.

In the future you can upgrade to the Phenom 2 using the same motherboard.

You also get Vista 32 bit installed and Vista 64 bit on DVD (so you can install that and make full use of all 4gb of ram).

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