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Is hyperthreading worth the upgrade?

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Ty Bower

Registered
Joined
Dec 11, 2003
Location
Pike Creek, DE
I've currently got a P4 1.6a on an Abit AI7 board. I've been very happy with the processor for well over a year now, and even happier since I got the board around last January. My 1.6 overclocks very nicely to almost 2.4, and it seems pretty fast at what I do most, which is video encoding. I spend most of my time playing with a Radeon A-I-W, and various video codecs such as Xvid and DivX.

Would it be worth it for me to drop the roughly $180 on a 2.8C, mostly to get hyperthreading? I expect the newer processor will overclock to a higher final speed than what I've got now, say maybe 3.2. However, that's only 33% more than where I am today, and I don't think the speed increase alone is worth almost two hundred bucks. I suppose I'll also have a faster front side bus/memory speed, since my 1.6A is only a 400 MHz FSB (almost 600 overclocked) and a 2.8C will start at 800 and go up from there (as long as my RAM can handle 1:1, which I guess isn't likely at 3.2 G). My RAM is basic grade Crucial stuff, DDR 400. I've got two sticks for dual channel on my AI7 (which is probably overkill for the 1.6A I have now).

I think it boils down to what I get out of hyperthreading. I don't have much experience with HT systems, and I wonder if it would be good for me. I know my AIW tends to drop frames while recording if I do anything else at the same time, and I think HT might be good for that.

What do you guys think?
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Just for Hyperthreading alone, no it's not worth it. But I think you sort of already mentioned most of the other peformance gains. Higher FSB does make a difference. So would the 800+ better CPU clock speed. With faster FSB and clock speed, then the HT is icing on the cake.

The RAM would probably not do 1:1 ratio, but you could do the 5:4 ratio easily and that would probably allow slightly tighter RAM timings since the RAM will be below DDR400. How much RAM do you have? For video encoding, you can never have too much.
 

LabRat23

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Location
VA
Hyperthreading is really worth it when you are doing something else while you are doing your video encoding. If you are just letting it run while you watch TV, then you have gained nothing that you will ever notice. Maybe 1 or 2% more than a 2.8 without HT. I have a 2.8e w/ HT. I cannot live without it. What HT does for me is that when I have something running that would normally take more than 90% of the processor, with HT you open another program, play a game, or whatever, and it feels like there is nothing else running. I have an old 1.3 celly. I do not even use the thing anymore because of the temparary hangs I get when I switch between two running programs that want to use all of the processor. It drives me nuts. When I get back on my 2.8e w/ HT, I feel like I just dropped of my beat up Yugo at the junkyard and drove a Cadillac home.