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I'm currently planning to upgrade my computer system and I want to exchange CPU, board and RAM. I already had a look at some hexacore-CPUs from AMD and would like to know if it makes any sense to use such a CPU with six cores.

Is there any software which really uses six cores? Especially in gaming? I'm using this PC mostly for gaming and from time to time for developing. I know that on the dual-core system (2 x 3GHz) I currently use, Visual Studio creates two instances of the compiler, one for each core. Would there be six instances of the compiler on a hexacore system for super fast compiling? Is there any software that uses six cores? Would running two applications cause the usage of more CPUs? (For example two CPUs for a game you're playing while two other CPUs are used for compiling at the same time)

I hope someone can point out the benefits of a hexacore system.

The OS would be Windows 7 64 Bit and I use the PC for gaming most of the time. (Crysis 2, CoD, stuff like that)

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Well, proper multi-threaded software will do so as needed, sometimes running processes for specific things on different cores (i vaguely remember supreme commander 1 doing this)

On the other hand, you're running more than one piece of software at a time, even processes that are single core will run on seperate cores, and you would see an improvement over a single or dual core system. Don't forget, in addition, you can use affinity to specific processors if you needed to for specific applications.

On the Gripping hand, you arn't using most of your processing power much of the time - its only really for peak periods.So you won't be using all that power - if you have a processor that shuts down unused cores that might actually be more efficient.

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Thanks for your advice. A CPU which shuts down idle cores would be the optimal solution for me, because there are of course times where I do not use the system in full extent. (Which would probably be most of the time) But it's good to know that the system would at least make use of the additional cores if it has to. –  Exa Jun 27 '11 at 8:19
    
you'd have to look up if it does. shutting down cores is a newish feature i believe. –  Journeyman Geek Jun 27 '11 at 8:21
    
It looks like AMD CPUs with a T at the end of the CPU type use Turbo Core (similiar to Intel's Turbo Boost) which modifies the clock of each CPU depending on its utilization. I will have a closer look at that. I like AMD because of the good money/value relation and a power saving hexacore would be most efficient for my needs. –  Exa Jun 27 '11 at 8:46

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