Does Quad Core really matter?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mwecksell, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. mwecksell macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012
    I'm in the market for a new computer.

    While the 13" Air has geekbench scores of about 60% of the retina MBP, I'm curious if that makes a real world difference. Does geekbench use all four cores?

    I'm asking because Safari and Mail clearly don't. So here's the question:

    Does iMovie / Final Cut X use more than two cores?
    Does Civilization V use more than two cores?
    Does Handbrake use more than two cores?
    What other software that isn't made by Adobe will actually use all four cores in the rMPB?

    And, for that matter, where do people stand on 8 GB ram vs 16 GB?

    Thank you,

  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I am sure Final Cut X does use more than two cores, Handbrake yes, Just about anything Adobe. Also remember, it isn't just about single applications. If you have 4 cores, you could easily have 4 single core operations going all at once. So maybe Safari doesn't use more than one core (I've never looked it up so I can't verify), and maybe Mail doesn't, but with a Quad core, Safari could be rendering, Mail could be crunching something, Spotlight could be indexing, etc. and all doing it at full speed.

    So if you really do Final Cut X and Handbrake, I'm going to really recommend you go with the Quad core. I have 2011 MBA that I use for a lot of basic tasks, but if I want to convert video I use my Quad core Macbook Pro. It crushes my Macbook Air when converting videos using handbrake.
  3. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I can confirm: handbrake makes great use of all cores.

    I don't know about the other software, sorry.

    (Though I will quibble with paulrbeers a little: general UI-based apps like Safari and Mail, even all running together probably won't use more than a single core 99.99% of the time -- they tend to use the CPU in small bursts and mainly in response to user input.)

    Get 16 GB if you can afford it, though 8 is pretty good.
  4. Emoo macrumors regular

    Apr 11, 2010
    Anyone know how a quad-core would fare against a dual core as far as rendering in a program such as Blender or Maya goes? I've had my laptop for about two years, and it's been hanging up on Blender lately (mostly if I try to do simulations such as shatter)...

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