Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 
Hex Core (6) vs. Quad Core i7 vs. Quad Core
DDR3 Memory vs. DDR2 Memory
Triple Channel vs Dual Channel Memory
32bit Memory Limatation vs 64bit Memory Limiatation
PCI Express vs PCI (PCIe vs PCI)
Technology News Blog from EMCT

Hex Core vs. Quad Core i7 vs. Quad Core
The Hex Core Processor (i7-980x) was released April 1, 2010. This processor will be the fastest, smartest processor ever developed. With 6 physical and 12 logical cores, 12MB Intel® Smart Cache (L3 cache), 32 nm, second generation Hi-K metal gate process processor core, it's no surprise the Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition is the world's fastest, smartest PC processor. See Intel® Core™ i7-980X processor Extreme Edition for more information on the i7-980x processor.

Quad Core i7 processors were released January 2009 and brought back the Hyper-Threading Technology from the older P4 days. This means that the i7 processors are 8-way or 4-way multi-task processing allows each core of your processor to work on two tasks at the same time, delivering the performance you need for smart multitasking. Think of this as a the lanes of traffic on a highway - 2, 4, 8 times etc. the number of passing lane on a major road that allows higher speed cars to go through. 2 Lanes would be equivalent to a Intel Dual Core Processor, 4 would be a Quad Core processor and 8 would be a Quad Core with Hyper-Threading, or i7 processor. Obviously, 8 would be the fastest throughput to the motherboard.

Hex Core Processor 980x Hex Core (6) Processor with multi-treading. 12 lanes of traffic going through this processor
Device Manager View - Intel i7-980x Processor   Device Manager View - Intel i7-950 Processor
   
Device Manager View - Intel Dual Core Processor    

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DDR3 Memory vs. DDR2 Memory - what is the difference?
DDR3 SDRAM or double-data-rate three synchronous dynamic random access memory is a random access memory interface technology used for high bandwidth storage of the working data of a computer or other digital electronic devices.  The primary benefit of DDR3 memory is the ability to transfer at twice the data rate of DDR2 memory.

DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) memory has been available for a few years now. Most new computers purchased today, especially the computers purchased off the shelf come equipped with DDR2 memory. DDR3 memory is the most advanced and up-to-date technology you could put on your computer. It works faster than DDR2 memory, and even uses less energy to perform at such a high capacity. DDR3 has higher clock speed, lowering the latency which will make DDR3 perform better than the existing DDR2 memory.  DDR3 memory is currently the fastest desktop computer memory available.

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Triple Channel vs Dual Channel Memory - what is the difference?
DDR3 SDRAM or double-data-rate three synchronous dynamic random access memory is a random access memory interface technology used for high bandwidth storage of the working data of a computer or other digital electronic devices.  The primary benefit of DDR3 memory is the ability to transfer at twice the data rate of DDR2 memory.

Triple Channel Mode This mode offers the highest throughput for all applications. Interleaving reduces overall memory latency by accessing the 3 memory modules sequentially. Data is spread amongst the memory modules in an alternating pattern. The 3 memory modules act as a single larger memory module providing much faster throughput for your memory.

Triple channel mode is enabled when identical matched memory modules are installed in each of the three memory channels (blue connectors).

Dual Channel Mode
This mode offers high throughput for real world applications. Dual channel mode is enabled when the installed memory capacities of both DIMM channels are equal. Technology and device width can vary from one channel to the other but the installed memory capacity for each channel must be equal. In dual channel mode, 2 memory chips work as one.

Dual Channel Mode Configuration with Two DIMMs

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PCI Express vs PCI
So you want to know about PCI Express? PCI Express is a recent feature addition to many new motherboards. PCI Express support can have a big impact on your hardware choices both now and in the future. This will help you understand the differences.

PCI - The PCI slot connects your expansion cards (video cards, network cards etc.) and drives to your processor and other motherboard sub systems. On most motherboards the bus speed of PCI is 33MHz. If you go higher than that, then cards, drives, and other devices can have problems.

PCI Express - The PCI Express slot also connects your expansion cards (video cards, network cards etc.) and drives to your processor and other motherboard sub systems. The PCI Express slots come in many different configurations. 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, and 16x all have much greater bandwidth than the older technology, basic PCI. Think of this as a the lanes of traffic on a highway - 1, 2, 4 times etc. the sized passing lane on a major road that allows higher speed cars to go through. Obviously, 16x would be the fastest throughput to the motherboard.

Increased bandwidth can be equated into increased system performance. Since PCI Express is a serial based technology, data can be sent over the bus in two directions at once. Older PCI is Parallel, and as such all data goes in one direction around the loop. Each 1x lane in PCI Express can transmit in both directions at once. In the table below the first number is the bandwidth in one direction and the second number is the combined bandwidth in both directions. Also please note that in PCI Express bandwidth is not shared the same way as in PCI, so there is less congestion on the bus.

PCI 132 MB/s
AGP 8X 2,100 MB/s
PCI Express 1x 250 [500] MB/s
PCI Express 2x 500 [1000] MB/s
PCI Express 4x 1000 [2000] MB/s
PCI Express 8x 2000 [4000] MB/s
PCI Express 16x 4000 [8000] MB/s

Physical Differences (PCI Express vs PCI)

 
PCI Express x16   PCI Express x8
 
PCI Express x4   PCI Express x1
   
PCI    

In Conclusion:

PCI Express is much faster than PCI. For 1x Cards it at least 120% faster. When you compare PCI Express video to PCI Video the difference is enormous: PCI Express 16x video is over 29x faster than PCI Video.

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