Should I get a dual core or a quad core processor?

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For a home user with no special programs and no gaming, am I better off with a single core processor or a dual core processor? I play no games. I simply have a few usual things (word processor, registry cleaners, anti-spy and security stuff, etc.) but I need a new PC. This one is over 10 years old. It is SLOW even after cleaning the registry, defragging, optimizing, and everything else. Would I be better off with a dual core or a single core processor?

Normally, I stay away from specific processor recommendations because things change so much, and so often, and I’m just not one of those people that wants to do a detailed comparison between processor A and processor B. There are plenty of other passionate people who’ll happily do that all day long.

In this, however, I do have an opinion: more cores may be better, but too many may not be worth it.

Read moreShould I get a dual core or a quad core processor?

Footnotes & references

1: If you examine processor usage with Task Manager, or a tool like Process Explorer, this may not actually manifest as a single core being maxed out. Because Windows Task Scheduler will typically interrupt even the compression every so often, there’s no guarantee it’ll go back to the same core when it resumes. More commonly this scenario manifests as 50% CPU usage on a dual-core machine and 25% usage on a quad core.

2: 12 cores was … pricey. There are 128 core machines out there, and I just don’t want to know. 🙂

Is Moore’s Law over?

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My current computer is about 8 months old. It’s still being sold at Best Buy as new computer for about the same price. Also, many of the other models are about the same as mine. Nothing like this was around a decade ago. Is Moore’s law finished? Have we hit a barrier in new computers for speed? Or is it market forces that are simply responding to good enough computing?

Moore’s Law is often inaccurately quoted as saying that computer speeds double every set number of years. In reality, what Gordon Moore observed some years ago is that the number of transistors that can be packed on to a single chip was doubling roughly every two years.

Now I can’t tell you whether that still holds true. There are certainly physical limitations manufacturers must be encountering at some point, but some other interesting things have been happening as well.

Read moreIs Moore’s Law over?