why the price difference between Pentium® 4 Processor 640 w/HT Technology and Pentium® D Processor 820

Posted on 2006-04-03
Last Modified: 2009-07-29
The prices below are from Dell's website and the model is the Dimension E510 Series.  From what I have read, the Pentium D dual core is better than the P4 with HT technology yet the prices for the Pentium D is much less.  What is that?  If it is clock speed then I wonder why Dell won't allow you to configure higher processors and only give you the choice of these 3 on their media additions.

Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB) [Included in Price]
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 640 w/HT Technology (3.2GHz,800FSB) [add $50 or $2/month2]            
Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor 650 w/HT Technology (3.4GHz,800FSB) [add $110 or $4/month2]
Question by:bd1saul
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    It depends on what you use the computer for.  If you multitask or use applications that are multithreaded, a dual core is the preferred solution.  If you play games or use applications that are single threaded (which means most office applications), a faster single core is better.  Dell is a common denominator provider, so I wouldn't expect them to allow you to customize so much that you would be able to get exactly what you want.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    As Callandor noted, it very much depends on your use of the PC.   The single-core options you've listed not only have higher clock speeds, but also have twice the cache of the individual cores of a dual-core CPU  (Both the 640 & 650 have 2mb of cache;  the 820 has 1mb for each core -- the same 2mb total, but not as efficient for an individual thread).   Software that does not take advantage of the dual cores will run better on a single core CPU.

    Dell's pricing does not necessarily reflect the actual market values of the individual processors;  it is simply what they have set as their own price points.   In fact, a 640 is currently LESS than an 820 at Newegg ($214 for a 640, $219 for an 820).   (a 650 is $270)
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    It is interesting that Dell doesn't offer any of the higher-speed Pentium-D's with their Media Edition PC's ==> they offer all of the Pentium-D's up through the Extreme Edition 955 with the XPS systems.   I suspect that's a simple marketing decision on their part -- there's no technical reason for this limitation (with the possible except of the Extreme Edition, which may not be supported by the BIOS).

    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    bd1saul  -- what did you decide to buy??   Did you have any follow-up questions?

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the help and I apologize for taking so long to respond.  Basically to answer garycase's question, we made two decisions on computers to buy.  My girlfriend went with the pentium D dual core while after showing the information I got from this site, I kind of stayed out of it.  However from this and another question that I had asked, I am going with a Monarch for my next computer.  

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