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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes guys I know this is OT from HTPC's but I knew I could get some expert advice here.


My wife and I are going to get a new desktop PC and there seems to always be discrepancies as to which processor is really needed.


We have decided (for now) to use our old CRT 19" monitor and HP deskjet printer that we already have so that we can save a few bucks here and there. (about $175 if we get the Pentium "D" instead of the "Duo")


All else being equal, do you experts think that we REALLY need the new Core 2 Duo processor or can we get away with the Pentium D processor? Here's the requirements..........


Basic internet surfing (DSL) and online bill paying

Editing of our digital photos with Adobe "Elements"

Maybe the occasional DVD ripping if I ever get into that down the road(nothing yet though)


No online gaming, No video editing, No HTPC'ing right now.


THe only other thing that I would be concerned with are compatibility issues down the road like the new 64 bit stuff. Unless both the "D" and the "Duo" work on that format.


Please give all honest opinions and why.


Thanks,

Rob
 

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For the purposes you've listed, a Pentium D will probably do you fine. Websurfing is very low on the processor-intensive scale, and DVD ripping is more a factor of disk speed than processor speed (unless you're going to be transcoding, in which case my recommendation changes to Core 2 Duo). Editing photos is a place where the Core 2 Duo will improve matters to some extent, but unless you're doing them en masse or with lots of effects the differences will not likely be noticeable.


All of the Pentium Ds are 64-bit capable, although the implementation on the Core 2 Duo is more optimized, from what I understand.


Personally I'd spend the extra cash and get the Core 2 Duo, but I don't pretend to be sane about such things.
 

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Pentium D's run HAWT! 80+ watts. Thus fans will be loud and required. Not to mention they're not 64-bit chips, and have some flaws. (mostly the power leakage)... To future proof yourself for vista, i would not hesitate to recommend a c2d chip. They're worth every penny. The new 4300 chip is pretty spiffy, but the time tested and true 6300 is where it's at. I would go with that over the D... 80+w versus 40w on the high side. Very efficient chips. They stay cool, thus the fans make NO noise when running.


I have the 6300 and it runs around 35c idle, 50c under full load. My old p4-3.0 had a 3k rpm fan on it, and was very loud, it never got below 60c idle. The c2d, can't even tell it's on.
 

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For ripping DVDs the Core2Duo would be the far superior option. A C2D outperforms a PentiumD by a large margin in that department. An E6600 can be had for as little as 160 bucks now. The small price premium you would pay for one vs. a Pentium D is worth it, imo. Not to mention you'd be future proofed for a 64-bit OS if you ever decided to go that route, a C2D runs a bit cooler, and runs more efficiently (lower wattage usage) so you'd save a minor amount on your electric bill in the long run.
 

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In truth there is relatively little application software that takes advantage of Core 2 Duo, Dual Core Pentium D, or even HyperThreading on single core CPUs. I think for the purposes you described, even a single core Pentium D or a Celeron or any AMD CPU would suffice.


When running multiple applications or with modern apps like PowerDVD Ultra (for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback) the dual cores shine because one CPU can be running an intensive task like H.264 decode while the player app has the other CPU. Likewise you can be recording one HDTV show while viewing or DVR'ing another.


But web surfing, etc. is single core stuff. Even "background printing" uses a microprocessor in the printer nowadays, the app just dumps the output plus formatting commands.


If there is any possibility that you might be interested in HTPC or other intensive stuff going forward, get a motherboard that will support Core 2 Duo, to allow for a future upgrade.


Gary
 

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I second micromain, go for C2D with the least frequency. not much cost premium over Pentium D. Less heat, less noise. Later if needed, you can easily upgrade the CPU for better frequency keeping all other components. Or you can overlock and pay 0$!

Some Chipsets Like mine don't support both thus starting with C2D put you on safe side.
 

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Goobenet is incorrect when he says the D is not 64 bit. Also it's the 8 series D's that are HOT the 9 series are much better in that regard, so it depends on which series of pentium D for the heat issue. Of course c2d is better in every way, but they do have a price premium and according to your own requirements you don't need one. I do much more than you ask for with my D 945 with power to spare.


I was in the same boat and even though I need power for ATSC HD, gaming, etc I went with the D for now waiting for more $ to upgrade to a c2d when that next cheap one comes out. You may not have the upgrade option with whatever mobo your nexk pc has though, but for you anything will work you aren't asking for much of anything really.


I second the question "Why upgrade now at all?" Any pc can browse and do the measly stuff you want, why not wait for the c2d's to come down in price when the 4 core and other newer versions become common?


Troy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the logic behind getting a new computer was that the one we have now was built in 1999.


It has the old P3 866 MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 32MB video card, 16MB sound card(of which I don't really care) and a 20GB HD of which I'm now seeing filling up quite quickly with the advent of a new DSLR camera.


I figured it was just time to upgrade to a new one as this one is an 8 year old dinosaur.


Am I wrong?


Rob


EDIT: I should add that my wife now has Adobe Elements and has a large amount of space requirements and she wants to edit her photos. I, for one, don't have a logical reason except for what I stated above.
 

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Actually, that machine will work for everything you want to do, but it will be ungodly slow. I know: both of my machines are P3s (albeit dual-socket). It's doable, and you could probably squeak by with just a bigger hard drive.


However, if you pick up a modern mobo/CPU combination, I think you'll be impressed at how far things have come. Good sound is already built into most motherboards, RAM is up around 512MB minimum, and unless you're a heavy gamer most integrated graphics solutions will suit your purposes and you can thus save cash on a video card-- or even if you are a gamer, PCIe vid cards are dang cheap, and even a low-end Nvidia card will get you decent framerates on most games. To me, the biggest difference on a modern system compared to the ones you and I have from the "old" era is responsiveness: a dual core system of any stripe responds immediately to the user, and there's no waiting around for software to grab the CPU again from another task.


You can pick up a great system with Core 2 Duo at its heart, for under $1000. The Pentium D might save you $100 since you can get an older, non-Core capable motherboard cheaper.


So really a better question to ask you is: how much are you willing to spend?
 

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I would also look into a new monitor, unless your current one is 19" or larger CRT. For working on digital pictures, screen real estate is important. Given the price of 19" or 20" monitors, it is a good time to buy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside /forum/post/0


Well the logic behind getting a new computer was that the one we have now was built in 1999.


It has the old P3 866 MHz processor, 64MB RAM, 32MB video card, 16MB sound card(of which I don't really care) and a 20GB HD of which I'm now seeing filling up quite quickly with the advent of a new DSLR camera.

The D will handle your basic computing needs, but the Core 2 will run faster and with less heat and power. The low end 6300 model costs very little, yet will drive much better graphic performance down the road. You probably can get away without it, but when you say "DVD rip" and "DSLR camera", you raise the very real possibility that you'll be able to take advantage of it later. Just the MS operating system, alone, is starting to be such a hog that having the faster graphic support is worthwhile. Look at this way -- buying the 6300 will mean that the future life of the new purchase will probably be 2-3 years longer, at least, than a D.


I just bought a Core 2 6300 model with 2G of RAM and a GeForce 7600GS graphics board for $900 [no monitor]. Superb value for the money, IMHO.
 
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