Is a Pentium G550 better than a Pentium D CPU?

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-21
I am trying to figure out if I should build a new computer for a user where I work or if it makes more sense to just upgrade what she already has.  She has a computer with a 2.6 Pentium D cpu and we are on a tight budget and I was looking at the Pentium G550, but is it any different from the Pentium D?  I know the G550 is newer, and thus more advanced architecture, but are we going to see that much of an improvement in performance?  They are both the same speed at 2.6GHz and are both dual core.  What is the difference and is it worth the upgrade?
Question by:Brent Johnson
    LVL 31

    Accepted Solution

    I can't find benchmarks for the G550... are you sure you don't mean Pentium G620 2.6ghz?

    The Pentium G620 is far better than the Pentium D, passmark reports it as 400% faster. There are a lot of factors that go into how "good" a CPU is - clock speed is not the only factor. But even without looking at benchmarks for the G550 specifically, the Intel Pentium D is a boat anchor by today's standards, whereas the G-series processors are modern processors released in 2011.

    Something to keep in mind, though is that the two processors are not compatible with each other. You cannot put a G620 into a system that expects a Pentium D... the architecture has changed so you would be replacing the entire computer.

    Your current computer most likely runs Windows XP. If you bought a new computer it would probably be running Windows 7. Since Windows 7 has higher system requirements than XP that would also play a role in how much perceived speed-up you get when buying a new computer. If you're going with Intel, I personally would not settle for a new computer with anything less than an Intel i3 processor.

    Author Comment

    by:Brent Johnson
    I'm really sorry.  Yes, I did mean the Pentium G620.  I was looking at Celeron by mistake.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    Side stepping your question .....

    Increasing your computer's memory to the maximum allowed by 32bit systems or 4 - 8 gigs for 64bit systems is a much more effective use of limited financial resources (compared to a cpu upgrade).

    Author Comment

    by:Brent Johnson
    Ok, Frosty555, good info.  So if we are on a budget, would you go with an AMD?  Or what would you do if you were me?  She is running a Dell OptiPlex SX280 with a Pentium D right now and we are all worried that it is going to crash any day now.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    I agree with Eirman - the bottlenecks on old systems are usually the RAM, and to a lesser extent the hard drive. Make sure both of those specs are decent. Even on an older XP machine, today's standards really requires you to have 2GB of ram and a halfway decent hard disk that gets you at least 50mb/s in a simple benchmark with HDTune.

    If the other specs are fine and you're sure the CPU is the bottleneck, maybe you can upgrade instead to a Core2 Duo E8500 or E8400. Those are formidable processors even by today's standards, and you can get one fairly cheap from eBay. It has the same LGA775 socket as the Pentium D so it would probably work - you just need to verify that the motherboard in the old system supports the Core2 architecture.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Funnily enough I recently did a test of this very scenario.  I had a motherboard that supported Pentium D (3.0ghz installed) and Core 2 Duo up to 2.4ghz.  So I ran benchmarks on the Pentium D 3.0ghz and then pulled the CPU and put in the Core 2 Duo.

    CPU Mark
    Pentium D @3.0ghz                            846.0
    Core 2 Duo default @1.8ghz            1086.7
    Core 2 Duo @2.4ghz                    1452.8

    In addition the Core 2 duo uses less power - 65 watts compared to 95 watts for the Pentium D.  Hmm, maybe I should post my complete test results somewhere on EE.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    a pentium D and even Core2 duo are very old by PC standards
    i suggest not to waste money on upgrading; you buy cheaply a new PC, with much better specs
    complete system for 500$
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    The E8400 and E8500 Wolfdale processors are not compatible with motherboards originally designed for Pentium-D cpus, even though the sockets are the same.  The chipset support is totally different.  In other words, there are motherboards designed for the Wolfdale cpus that will accept Pentium-D's, but not the other way around.  The later motherboards are backward compatible.

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