Outfit your quad-core system with the proper components for maximum performance.
With the release of advanced 64-bit operating systems and multithreaded software, quad-core CPUs have moved from simply looking good on paper, to being better utilized by the system and supported processor-intensive applications. A 64-bit OS, when combined with this specially coded software, offers better performance as it’s able to tap into all four cores. This can significantly accelerate demanding tasks such as high-definition video editing and modern 3-D rendering software. When using single-threaded applications, one core can be dedicated to running the program, while another core is used to run the OS and any background tasks. To achieve peak performance in all situations, the quad-core CPU must have the correct supporting cast of components.
1. Install a matched pair of dual-channel DDR3 RAM modules with a minimum PC10666 rating. Older 32-bit operating systems are only able to utilize a maximum of 3.25 GB of RAM, and the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 are also limited to about 4 GB of RAM. However, the 64-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 support configurations of 8 GB, 16 GB or even more, depending on the specific edition of the software.
2. Add a high-performance graphics processing unit for the best possible 3-D performance in state-of-the-art PC games, high-definition video rendering, editing and playback. The GPU will offload graphics processing from your quad-core CPU, enabling faster performance in applications and higher frame rates in complex scenes when gaming. Look for a Directx 10 compatible video card with 1 GB of on-board RAM and solid 3-D performance.
3. Get a solid-state hard disk drive to help transfer data as quickly as possible across the quad-core CPU and RAM modules. Since a solid-state drive does not rely on moving magnetic platters or read/write heads to access information, its data-throughput speed is much faster than conventional, spindle-based hard drives.