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I am building a computer for a friend who does modeling and simulations. I have a system put together that has dual E5504 processors for 8 cores at 2ghz.

I was wondering how much slower a single consumer class i7 would be if it were overclocked to about 4ghz. Going this route would save about $400 assuming the performance difference is negligible.

I've never dealt with a dual socket system before and I'm not sure how they scale.

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migrated from Nov 16 '09 at 21:53

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Go to the Geekbench Result Browser and compare the the benchmark results yourself.

search for E5540 (which i think is currently the top CPU in the E5xx range but not necessarily the fastest Xeon available) and Core i7 975, the current flagship of the Core i7 series ... or any other CPU you want to compare and see how they fare under 'real world' conditions.

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Overclocking to 4 GHz is not the same as twice the power of 2GHz. Core i7's are also quad core running two threads per core so its the equivalent of 8 processors (If you run one you'll see windows reports 8 processors, though some model lines have this disabled)

You also need to look at the computer as a whole ecosystem that is only as good as the weakest part. Having monster processors does no good if your stuck waiting on the page file and diskIO to get enough data to the processors, although doing data modeling/simulations the processor is probably your key bottleneck.

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Hyperthreading isn't the same as having additional cores by any stretch. 8 physical cores will drastically outperform 4 hyperthreaded cores assuming all other specs are equal. – MDMarra Dec 13 '09 at 0:58

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