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How important is cpu for everyday tasks?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
There was once a time where frequency was very important and a good cpu was everything. Now with all these cores, and high frequency, i try to find reasoning on why people tend to buy the most expensive multi cores available and spend additional amounts of money for cooling mess with temperatures, and overclock them.

Besides gaming, is there any reason to use a high-end cpu for real world performance and not for bragging rights? Even for gaming, do you really need an expensive cpu, or can you get a nice value for money socket and emphasize on the graphics card?
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post #2 of 9
Something like an old Intel Pentium dual-core is more than enough for every day tasks; web browsing, watching films etc needs very little CPU power. For gaming you don't need a ridiculously expensive CPU, the AMD Phenom II X4 955 is still an amazing CPU for gaming and only costs $95.
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post #3 of 9
Well, if you count video production as a real world performance, then yes, it matters. You need a pretty beastly CPU to render the frames as well as lots of RAM. For word processing/email/facebook/etc, a pentium 4 still works fine
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

There was once a time where frequency was very important and a good cpu was everything. Now with all these cores, and high frequency, i try to find reasoning on why people tend to buy the most expensive multi cores available and spend additional amounts of money for cooling mess with temperatures, and overclock them.

Besides gaming, is there any reason to use a high-end cpu for real world performance and not for bragging rights? Even for gaming, do you really need an expensive cpu, or can you get a nice value for money socket and emphasize on the graphics card?

There's always video production, data crunching, and other "real work" that benefits in a linear fashion from higher-clocked processors. But for the majority of games, at a certain point you do get diminishing returns from the CPU.

However for many people overclocking is a hobby in itself instead of merely finding a suitable CPU for the job. Just like "car guys" have made hot rods with bigger engines and aftermarket parts/modifications for decades, computer enthusiasts do the same thing with overclocking, air/water cooling, and so forth.

In this era of minimal performance gains per generation, the average computer-savvy person could buy a sensible mid-range i5 (say, the i5-3470) and use it for several years without running into any problematic bottlenecks. However, hobbyists see this lack of performance gains as an annoyance and take great pains to work around them with overclocking. In doing so they increase the performance, but at the same time it costs more in terms of "total cost of ownership" (CPU + a higher-end O/C-ing motherboard + aftermarket cooling systems).

In the end, it all depends on your mindset. There is no "right answer", just as long as you have enough CPU power to run your frequently-used games/apps comfortably. Whether or not to go beyond that is up to you.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes besides gaming video production/editing/rendering is the most resource intensive application i can think of as well, but that appeals to professional use, for the most part and not just playing around.

Anyway the reason started this conversation is, i once setup a system with core i7 920 on a workstation mobo (p6t6) 12gb ram 1250w psu and that was on 2008. It was a beast way ahead of its time with lots of money spent, and it saddens me to say, from 4 Desktop Computers i've used throughout the years (3 i built myself, the other one i got as a ready built when i was on high-school on 98) its the one i have used less. Much less. Almost havent used it at all just sitting on a room alone by itself, since i can use laptops and the other Desktops that generate way less heat, fanning noises on low energy consumption.

I have been using a 500$ laptop (2004), that today can easily be characterized as a piece of junk, with a 2GHz early gen Dual Core pentium 2GB DDR1 Ram and using firefox with 100+ tabs at a time playing back 1080p videos, running office email and everything.

So having used a top of the line desktop of '08, and the cheapest laptop i could find back in '04 i can say that besides gaming you dont really need the resources. That is If you're on a mindset of getting your minds worth and milking every penny out of a system you own.

Anyway As a practical question i need to ask the following. Can you get the most out of a graphics card alone on gaming or do you need a strong CPU as well to avoid bottlenecks? The reason i'm asking is this. As i've said, i'm happy with the systems i've own so far, but i'm thinking of spicing things up, and start using one of them as something more of a dekstop management system. I need to upgrade to gaming. The system you can see on my SIG is the last system i set up (2010) meant to act as a server. Since i will be using a NAS as a server, it will go out of commission. But instead of stashing it somewhere to be forgotten, i wonder if its worth putting a highend gpu on it and turning it into a gaming system. Something like gtx660 or 7870 tahiti le. But will the system hold, with the Athlon II x4 640 CPU which was bought as a budget-level, or will it keep things on the ground? There is the Phenom 965, but i've been told its like a 5-20% upgrade to what i have so im not really sue if its worth paying up.

Sorry for my long detailed post. What do you guys make of all these?
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by therock003 View Post

Yes besides gaming video production/editing/rendering is the most resource intensive application i can think of as well, but that appeals to professional use, for the most part and not just playing around.

Anyway the reason started this conversation is, i once setup a system with core i7 920 on a workstation mobo (p6t6) 12gb ram 1250w psu and that was on 2008. It was a beast way ahead of its time with lots of money spent, and it saddens me to say, from 4 Desktop Computers i've used throughout the years (3 i built myself, the other one i got as a ready built when i was on high-school on 98) its the one i have used less. Much less. Almost havent used it at all just sitting on a room alone by itself, since i can use laptops and the other Desktops that generate way less heat, fanning noises on low energy consumption.

I have been using a 500$ laptop (2004), that today can easily be characterized as a piece of junk, with a 2GHz early gen Dual Core pentium 2GB DDR1 Ram and using firefox with 100+ tabs at a time playing back 1080p videos, running office email and everything.

So having used a top of the line desktop of '08, and the cheapest laptop i could find back in '04 i can say that besides gaming you dont really need the resources. That is If you're on a mindset of getting your minds worth and milking every penny out of a system you own.

Anyway As a practical question i need to ask the following. Can you get the most out of a graphics card alone on gaming or do you need a strong CPU as well to avoid bottlenecks? The reason i'm asking is this. As i've said, i'm happy with the systems i've own so far, but i'm thinking of spicing things up, and start using one of them as something more of a dekstop management system. I need to upgrade to gaming. The system you can see on my SIG is the last system i set up (2010) meant to act as a server. Since i will be using a NAS as a server, it will go out of commission. But instead of stashing it somewhere to be forgotten, i wonder if its worth putting a highend gpu on it and turning it into a gaming system. Something like gtx660 or 7870 tahiti le. But will the system hold, with the Athlon II x4 640 CPU which was bought as a budget-level, or will it keep things on the ground? There is the Phenom 965, but i've been told its like a 5-20% upgrade to what i have so im not really sue if its worth paying up.

Sorry for my long detailed post. What do you guys make of all these?

The 640 will "hold the GPU back" but the thing is...if you're getting over 60 FPS still regardless does it really matter that much to you. It's up to you whether that is going to bother you so much. I mean hell. Outside of SSDs, better cooling, and a GPU I don't really see the need to upgrade my desktop which is an 640 as it only bothers me on the now rare occasion I have to transcode a Bluray or something beyond music files. I'd be more than fine throwing a Titan in here and enjoy gaming. But there are plenty of people who couldn't sleep at night because they'd be worrying that "I'm bottlenecking my GPU".
     
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
A better CPU will of course bring better results on a high end card, but will the bottleneck provide noticeable less results when i go to play demanding games on maximum resolutions with most optimization enabled?
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyM95 View Post

Something like an old Intel Pentium dual-core is more than enough for every day tasks; web browsing, watching films etc needs very little CPU power. For gaming you don't need a ridiculously expensive CPU, the AMD Phenom II X4 955 is still an amazing CPU for gaming and only costs $95.

Rocking a Phenom II 555 with unlocked cores @3.6GHz, best purchase ever! was under £90.
post #9 of 9
Anyone here who uses their rig for work really need the speed.

Web/Graphic designers will need at least a quadcore with 4gb ram
VFX artists and video editors will need as many cores/ram as they can get
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