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Computer Clockspeed

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You can't do conversions or comparisons like that. Clockspeed is honestly a useless number unless you're comparing two processors that are identical in ALL OTHER possible respects. For example, a Pentium 4 running at 3.6ghz is substantially less powerful than a Core 2 Duo at 2.5ghz, and a Sandy Bridge dual core at 2.4ghz is much more powerful than a Core 2 Duo at 2.5ghz.

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My math sucks.

But, say you have a piece of software and the minimum requirements to run it on a single core processor is 3.0ghz. What clockspeed would a dual core require to run the same thing? 1.5ghz right?

There is a factor called instructions per clock (ipc). This is the amount of calculations that a processor thread can do in one individual clock.

Imagine a processor called pentium 4. Pentium 4 was terrible so lets imaginably call (for demonstrations sake) the ipc of pentium 4 one instruction per clock.

This means that P4 at 3.0 ghz can do 3,000,000,000 simple operations/movements.

Lets take a nice ivy bridge processor (the newest intel architecture released last week). For demonstrations sake (and because I cant be bothered finding the actual ipc difference of p4 and IB) let's call IB at 12 ipc's.

You can see that ivy bridge is 12 times faster at 3.0 ghz than pentium 4. This is why it is not wise to use requirements on the back of software boxes. It's guff for the uninformed.

A 3ghz pentium 4/pentium d will be utterly annihilated by a sandy/ivy bridge at the same 'speed'

There's other factors like that pentium 4 is 1 core 2 threads and IB is 4 cores and 8 threads, then you have advanced instruction sets giving IB massive short cuts and turbo boost and memory controllers etc.

If you want real specific advice, a dual core processor at 1.5 ghz will not substitute for a piece of software that doesn't have perfect multi-threading capability. In this day and age you should have at minimum a core 2 duo at 3.0 ghz.

Budget today system = i3 2120

Mid range today system = i5 2500k

Good tier = 2600/3770k.

AMD are behind in all price to performance areas, they have far lower ipc than intel to the point that the dual core i3 2120 outperforms their 3.6ghz phenom 2 quad core chips. Don't touch bulldozer with a bargepole either as it's the worst processor architecture in history. A titanic product fond of eating power, spewing out heat and notoriously slower than amds older phenom 2 models.

Go intel. Not fanboyism, they have better ipc and for real-time applications like music production stuff, they are absolute king over amd's low ipc high clockspeed guff. You'd be foolish to build a DAW box today without at least going up to sandy bridge era intel products.

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