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CPU speed changes over the last 7 years

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  • CPU speed changes over the last 7 years

    I am about to purchase a new computer as I haven't bought a new one in 7 years. What I am wondering is, ignoring dual core/ duel proc cpus, have the core speeds of cpus really improved much in the last 7 years? I currently have P4 2.5mhz chip and it seems that most of the chips around today have similar clock speeds to this. I realize that cache sizes have increased which should boost performance, but vaguely what sort of single threaded performance increase could I expect to get by replacing my old P4 system with a decent high end cpu based system?
    Sorry to be so general but I am just trying to get an idea of the change in technology since I last researched it.



    Oh, just to add some context to my question, I so allot of memory hungry graphics work and the raw processing power is an important factor for me. I am aware of the benefits of multi-processor systems.

  • #2
    The Pentium4 2.5Ghz chip was released in mid 2002. So your system is probably under 6 years old.

    The new core 2 chips are much faster, even when running in a single thread at the same clock speed. And faster again when more than 1 core is used. Also the motherboards are faster, bus speeds are faster, cache sizes are larger, the RAM is faster and more plentiful, the IDE interface is faster. So any new system will trounce the old ones.


    • #3
      >> The Pentium4 2.5Ghz chip was released in mid 2002. So your system is probably under 6 years old.

      Well spotted, but my chip isn't actually a true 2.5Ghz chip, It's over clocked to that speed, but the hard where in general is about 7 years old (

      Thanks for the info, since the other areas of hardwhere cache, ram, FSB etc have improved it's good to know that it's worth upgrading.




      • #4
        Most certainly Intel has also invested a lot of effort on the amount of calculations per cycle.. This being one of the strong-holds of AMD at the time you bought your old system, Intel got the message a little later while touching the limits of clockspeed..
        Another interesting thing is the power effeciency. When you've got a computer running like 12 hours/day, don't be surprised to save 150$/year just on the power consumption. I'm planning to get the Nehalems - I7 in a few months, after some quick calculation and power measurements, here at my place this could even be between 250-300$/year.. Anyway, most certainly worth the investment, but i'd consider to wait for the nehalems also if you didn't buy your new stuff yet