..:: Conclusion ::..
When it comes to a multi-threaded or multi-tasking environment, we see a good performance boost from the dual cores. In the case of multi-tasking, I should say we see less of a performance loss than we would with a standard single core CPU, even one equipped with Hyper-Threading. This can be seen from the last multi-tasking benchmarks that we ran where, even though both the Extreme Edition 840 and Pentium D 820 were far behind in a dedicated environment, they gained a substantial boost in a multi-tasking one.
The main advantage to the Pentium D series is that Intel has chosen to place them in a highly affordable pricing bracket. AMD came out with a budgeted Athlon X2, but that version is cut down in features from the others in the series. By pricing these processors at such a low cost, Intel can better compete with AMD. AMD’s processors are far more a fan favorite amongst the performance arena, and for good reason. But there are always those who rely heavily on the Intel name, and the advantages that do come along with the Netburst architecture. The low pricing also adds incentive for upgrades and market penetration will increase.
To put it simply, if you’re operating under a typical workstation environment with CAD / CAM / CAE applications, or any other multi-threaded applications for that matter, dual core processors will add a good amount of pep to your daily life. If you’re just a typical end user, then dual core processors really aren’t much of an upgrade from a single processor setup at this time. Over the next year + as we see many more multi-threaded applications hitting the market, we’ll see the demand for and use of dual core processors rising, but it has yet to start as of yet.
All in all, Intel has an excellent offering in the Pentium D from a price vantage point alone. The processor does run quite a bit cooler than the Extreme Edition 840, given that it’s clocked down at 2.80GHz versus the 3.20GHz of the Extreme Edition 840. The Pentium D 820 doesn’t feature the clock control features for cooling of the Extreme Edition either, because the lowest multiplier is 14x, the default multiplier of the 820. This processor is for the general user looking to move to a dual core platform without blowing their budget. Both the Extreme Edition and top-end Athlon X2’s are still quite expensive, which makes the Intel Pentium D series a solid upgrade option.