• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

How many cores and threads do you think are too many for a mainstream desktop?

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

How many cores and threads do you think are too many for a mainstream desktop?

  • 6C/12T

    Votes: 9 6.9%
  • 8C/16T

    Votes: 17 13.1%
  • 10C/20T

    Votes: 41 31.5%
  • 12C/24T

    Votes: 13 10.0%
  • 14C/28T

    Votes: 2 1.5%
  • 16C/32T

    Votes: 5 3.8%
  • 18C/36T

    Votes: 16 12.3%
  • 20C/40T

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • 22C/44T

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 24C/48T and greater

    Votes: 26 20.0%

  • Total voters
    130

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
96
I guess you are not in the same reality as me. Only a small minority buy 900$ phones? is that because they spend more than 900? So VR flopped because peoples desktops are not fast enough to handle it.. thus the reason to never expand our desktops future uses right?

You guys keep focusing on WORD.. Who said mainstream desktops are used for WORD? Really this is some kinda mix up to what the OP means when says Desktop because if EVERYthing is a desktop and Everyone only uses word right? no one could possibly have any future uses.
Well almost everyone needs an office suite or at least a word processor.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
1,540
106
I guess you are not in the same reality as me. Only a small minority buy 900$ phones? is that because they spend more than 900? So VR flopped because peoples desktops are not fast enough to handle it.. thus the reason to never expand our desktops future uses right?

You guys keep focusing on WORD.. Who said mainstream desktops are used for WORD? Really this is some kinda mix up to what the OP means when says Desktop because if EVERYthing is a desktop and Everyone only uses word right? no one could possibly have any future uses.
None of my friends has a smartphone that cost anywhere near $900, because for most people that is just a huge overspend for a phone.

VR has a huge problem breaking through for multiple reasons. You need to devote space to it. You need to wear a sweaty, uncomfortable helmet trailing a bunch of wires. It's an even more isolating, single person activity. Once the novelty wears off VR can be more hassle than it's worth.

The average person likely does a mix of Internet/productivity/media consumption. Which they could do with a dual core.

When you get beyond that you get into specific niches, like gamers.

So if we are talking about average users, then even 4 cores will likely be overkill for many years to come.

If we are talking about the niches, then it depends on the niche.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,501
9,561
136
wow so your not talking about desktops? because hospitals and most state fed employees use micro atx workstations more often or am i missing these locations with giant atx desktops? Maybe your thinking of 15 years ago or maybe i am overthinking the term desktop. ?
I don't know about the feds, but the large company I worked for (and retired from) had probably over one million workstations for "general" use, and they were very small, but quad cores. And that was 3 years ago.

Edit: And yes, they use word, and a mail system other than outlook not web based, and at least 3 custom applications to support the business. And I am sure I forgot more.

Edit2: And this included doctors offices, and hospitals, as well, as regular office cubes. All the same hardware, different applications.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drazick

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,910
375
126
None of my friends has a smartphone that cost anywhere near $900, because for most people that is just a huge overspend for a phone.

VR has a huge problem breaking through for multiple reasons. You need to devote space to it. You need to wear a sweaty, uncomfortable helmet trailing a bunch of wires. It's an even more isolating, single person activity. Once the novelty wears off VR can be more hassle than it's worth.

The average person likely does a mix of Internet/productivity/media consumption. Which they could do with a dual core.

When you get beyond that you get into specific niches, like gamers.

So if we are talking about average users, then even 4 cores will likely be overkill for many years to come.

If we are talking about the niches, then it depends on the niche.
Obviously we all have different friends and budgets to spend on things but who do you think are buying the millions of 900$ phones these companies are producing ? NO one?

Only the elite upper class? HARDLY!!!




well that's strange I only have 2 friends who have not purchased 900$+ phones, Anyone that owns a iPhone most likely paid more than 500-600 for it right? So I guess we can say iPhone users are a niche?

IF the average person does only media consumption and internet then they can just use their smart TV and do not need a desktop.

Its so strange to bundle so many types of users and computers to say what is mainstream and what this "mainstream" computer will be used for. I wonder what % of people use photoshop. are they niche crowd? the % of people who play games on their desktop a niche as well?

So was this huge gfx card and ddr4 shortage from people who didn't need to upgrade because all they do is spreadsheets? I wonder where all this technology advances are coming from if everyone is content with a web browser pc with dual core. Why are we using SSD? are they a niche too? regular hd works fine for spreadsheets and word so why do modern computers come standard with 6 cores and ssd?

Seems like everyone and their mom has a youtube channel, lots of those channels are with gamers twitch feeds etc etc. I'm 100% sure all these people would enjoy using a computer with more than dual core.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,910
375
126
I don't know about the feds, but the large company I worked for (and retired from) had probably over one million workstations for "general" use, and they were very small, but quad cores. And that was 3 years ago.

Edit: And yes, they use word, and a mail system other than outlook not web based, and at least 3 custom applications to support the business. And I am sure I forgot more.

Edit2: And this included doctors offices, and hospitals, as well, as regular office cubes. All the same hardware, different applications.
I agree they are quad core 8 thread mini pcs that are attached to the backside of a monitor etc, I don't consider those mainstream desktops I think of them as workstations geared toward the minimal tasks people are saying.. word web etc. Even 5 years ago at my work they had quad core 8 thread cpu's with 8gb ram at least. I'm not following the argument etc. U are saying they are mainstream desktops?
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,501
9,561
136
I agree they are quad core 8 thread mini pcs that are attached to the backside of a monitor etc, I don't consider those mainstream desktops I think of them as workstations geared toward the minimal tasks people are saying.. word web etc. Even 5 years ago at my work they had quad core 8 thread cpu's with 8gb ram at least. I'm not following the argument etc. U are saying they are mainstream desktops?
I say those are the lowest powered, but most common in a workplace environment. Most users would have at least that. Thats what I call mainstream.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drazick

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
96
I agree they are quad core 8 thread mini pcs that are attached to the backside of a monitor etc, I don't consider those mainstream desktops I think of them as workstations geared toward the minimal tasks people are saying.. word web etc. Even 5 years ago at my work they had quad core 8 thread cpu's with 8gb ram at least. I'm not following the argument etc. U are saying they are mainstream desktops?
Actually if you look at most pf the desktops in service, most of them are using quad cores. I have an i5-4670 and I'm not upgrading anytime soon because right now I don't need too.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
1,540
106
Obviously we all have different friends and budgets to spend on things but who do you think are buying the millions of 900$ phones these companies are producing ? NO one?

Only the elite upper class? HARDLY!!!
Shouting doesn't make your points any more Valid. I never said no one. Just not the average person.

IF the average person does only media consumption and internet then they can just use their smart TV and do not need a desktop.
Even surfing the Web on a smart TV sucks. OK when you can't get to a computer, but not something I would want to spend any real time using, and you conveniently left out productivity.


I wonder what % of people use photoshop. are they niche crowd? the % of people who play games on their desktop a niche as well?

Seems like everyone and their mom has a youtube channel, lots of those channels are with gamers twitch feeds etc etc. I'm 100% sure all these people would enjoy using a computer with more than dual core.
Photoshop users, Gamers, and Youtube content producers are all niche users.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
644
852
136
I don't understand how you can discount the word mainstream and what THAT implies and instead favor to look at just the socket the OP mentioned as guidance and how far it can go.
I took what he states, i.e. "mainstream desktop", to mean what AMD and Intel define as their mainstream desktop product lines, and then I considered the question "how many cores are too many for a mainstream desktop" in light of that. That's interesting.

You want to discuss something else. Fair enough.

There are numerous discussion threads about how many cores are sufficient for gaming and typical PC use, and beyond any helpful guidance they can provide to a novice PC user, they haven't led to much interesting discussion, but rather quickly degenerate into arguing about terminology and preferences.

Like this one.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: whm1974

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,696
6,757
126
I argue that AMD's FX-series CPUs, the ones before Ryzen took center stage, were the first consumer mainsteam 8-core CPUs. Granted, they were CMT, and four "Modules", with two threads, but they still broke the first ground as the first consumer desktop 8-core CPU.

Unfortunately, it was largely passed-by by most of the non-gamer / non-AMD-fan population, because those CPU cores had such low IPC.

But nonetheless, 8-core has technically been (higher-end) "mainstream", ever since then.

It may not be what the majority of the market uses, but it's still on a mainstream socket.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
96
I argue that AMD's FX-series CPUs, the ones before Ryzen took center stage, were the first consumer mainsteam 8-core CPUs. Granted, they were CMT, and four "Modules", with two threads, but they still broke the first ground as the first consumer desktop 8-core CPU.

Unfortunately, it was largely passed-by by most of the non-gamer / non-AMD-fan population, because those CPU cores had such low IPC.

But nonetheless, 8-core has technically been (higher-end) "mainstream", ever since then.

It may not be what the majority of the market uses, but it's still on a mainstream socket.
Now I'm thinking that we will see a 12 core mainstream CPU shortly after DDR5 is out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: killster1

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,910
375
126
Shouting doesn't make your points any more Valid. I never said no one. Just not the average person.



Even surfing the Web on a smart TV sucks. OK when you can't get to a computer, but not something I would want to spend any real time using, and you conveniently left out productivity.




Photoshop users, Gamers, and Youtube content producers are all niche users.

just confused who is buying 600+$ phones if not average people? because your friends don't buy them then you don't know who would?

You think gamers are niche? you think the average person doesn't edit photos or upload a youtube video? Sorry you are stuck in a time warp. Or hey I live in California so I'm sure things are different than like mexico city or Cambodia.

(but even when I do visit in third world countries people often spend 600$ on phones I see first hand paying for phones on payment plans with months and months of labor. (300$ a month wage)
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
21,501
9,561
136
You think gamers are niche? you think the average person doesn't edit photos or upload a youtube video? Sorry you are stuck in a time warp. Or hey I live in California so I'm sure things are different than like mexico city or Cambodia.

(but even when I do visit in third world countries people often spend 600$ on phones I see first hand paying for phones on payment plans with months and months of labor. (300$ a month wage)
I don't know anybody that uploads youtube videos, and only one other person that edits photos. And your comments about third world countries seems unlikely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drazick

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
1,540
106
just confused who is buying 600+$ phones if not average people? because your friends don't buy them then you don't know who would?
Shifting goal posts there. Look back up the page, you said $900 phones. You can't miss it, you posted it all in bold. Certainly $600 phones are more common, but it was $900 phones that I made my comments in reference to.
You think gamers are niche? you think the average person doesn't edit photos or upload a youtube video?
Yes, gamers are a niche. Likely one of the biggest and most important ones for PC components, but still a niche.

Before you said photoshop. Now you say editing a photo. Basic photo editing with free/cheap software that your more average user would use/do, is pretty lighweight stuff. You would be fine doing that on a dual core.

No I don't think the average person uploads youtube videos. And if the average person did, they probably would know jack squat about video editing and just dump it from their phone that they shot it with, straight to youtube.

Certainly if you are pc gaming enthusiast, or serious video editor, you are going to want more than basic machine for that.

But most people don't do anything serious with their PC's. It a generalist box to do a bunch of basic tasks. Internet/productivity/media consumption.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
106
I guess you are not in the same reality as me. Only a small minority buy 900$ phones? is that because they spend more than 900? So VR flopped because peoples desktops are not fast enough to handle it thus the reason to never expand our desktops future uses right?
If you genuinely believe everyone everywhere owns +$1,000 phones, then I guess we very definitely don't reside in the same reality. And VR flopped for several reasons combined, not least of which is pricing, lack of content, lack of mainstream interest and overall ergonomics. But then most people who've been following it knew that already...

Really this is some kinda mix up to what the OP means when says Desktop because if EVERYthing is a desktop and Everyone only uses word right? no one could possibly have any future uses.
ATX, MATX and M-ITX are all desktop PCs. That you can buy different shaped / designed cases is irrelevant. They sure as hell aren't "mobile" devices given mains-only power, no battery / integrated screen and weighing kg's rather than grams... Given you're now resorting to shouting in bold and are deliberately confusing "what the average person does" vs "HOW DARE YOU SAY NO ONE EVER DOES THIS", I'm beginning to agree with the others - you seem to just love histrionic based arguing for the sake of arguing.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Cableman

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
Well, living in NJ, I'd say we are light years from California. The midwest is light years from NJ. I've lived in all three places, so I'd say theyare all different: one's experiences are similar but not the same.
 

HutchinsonJC

Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
451
185
126
but rather quickly degenerate into arguing about terminology and preferences.
I don't think anything about what I've posted here in this thread comes down to arguments of terminology and preferences. And I really think comparing it to degeneration is a bit much.

I'm actually in a position of replacing computers for a business. And I'm not replacing 4 core processors for 12 core (or more) processors for any of the machines I'm responsible for from now until the end of 2024, and nor would I recommend 12 core (or more) processors for any of the machines at the local hospital, or local library, or local Job Service, or any of the local banks, and nor would I recommend 12 core processors for anyone coming to me asking me for advice on what they should buy for a computer at home for their personal use unless they told me very specifically that they did something like a lot of video encoding or video processing or something that would actually benefit from 12 or more cores.

I would, however, at this point, be pretty interested in at least looking at 6 core processors going forward from this point if I had a machine that needed to be replaced and the price was right.

The OP's title says: How many cores and threads do you think are too many for a mainstream desktop?
We are to assume a service time from basically now until 2024. And he clarifies in a rather open ended way by saying that he means sockets like 1151 or AM4, and the part that makes it really open ended is the "etc" at the end.

The main question though, is the title of the thread. His time window and attempt to add some clarification really means almost nothing. Someone in the thread already put out the idea of looking in the past some 6 years or looking in the past some 12 years. The point being, that we can learn from history. What's mainstream? And what will continue to be mainstream.

Mainstream computers/desktops (pick your word: It's a computer with an attached mouse/keyboard/monitor or two) do not need 12 cores or more going through 2024.

Now if you want to talk about what will *I* be buying from now until 2024 for my *personal* use at home, it's a whole different answer. But I know definitely that I'm not mainstream.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
19,203
1,598
126
To be honest the answer to this question is best followed up with another question in regards to which audience you are directing it at.

Because:

1. Typical User / Gamer : realistically doesnt need anything more then 6.
Infact even 4 is considered enough in most game titles.
You really want faster cores after the number 4, currently however a 6 core will net you the fastest clock speed possible per core.
Typical user would be the typical like (Streaming Content / Email / Social Media / Internet )

2. Bitcoin miner / Distributing PC / Video Render / Server : there is no such thing as too many cores, unless were talking about a really limited server.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
1,566
96
To be honest the answer to this question is best followed up with another question in regards to which audience you are directing it at.

Because:

1. Typical User / Gamer : realistically doesnt need anything more then 6.
Infact even 4 is considered enough in most game titles.
You really want faster cores after the number 4, currently however a 6 core will net you the fastest clock speed possible per core.
Typical user would be the typical like (Streaming Content / Email / Social Media / Internet )

2. Bitcoin miner / Distributing PC / Video Render / Server : there is no such thing as too many cores, unless were talking about a really limited server.
I can agree with this as a fast 6c/16t CPU will cover the vast majority of users and use cases. Better to the save the money and spend it elsewhere on the system like a better dGPU or more more memory and storage.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
I can agree with this as a fast 6c/16t CPU will cover the vast majority of users and use cases. Better to the save the money and spend it elsewhere on the system like a better dGPU or more more memory and storage.
Even better: get a 4c/4t for normal use.
 

eek2121

Golden Member
Aug 2, 2005
1,235
1,295
136
what do you mean by mainstream?

if it's what I thinking (most PCs, including office PCs, facebook people and some gamers) I think even by 2024 quad core will be extremely common, so perhaps going over 8 cores is not going to be all that great.

but... who knows, late 2000s people probably thought more cores would be more common than it actually is now because of lack of competition, but the current situation involves a competitive AMD, so it might push the adoption of more cores sooner.
I don't typically see mainstream PCs ship with quad core these days. Most of the big box OEMs are selling 8700s or 8700ks or their mobile variant.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
I don't typically see mainstream PCs ship with quad core these days. Most of the big box OEMs are selling 8700s or 8700ks or their mobile variant.
what exactly is mainstream?

I see a ton of "Atom" based DC/QC and i3s and i5s everywhere, I still see lots of people buying new dual core PCs.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,696
6,757
126
what exactly is mainstream?

I see a ton of "Atom" based DC/QC and i3s and i5s everywhere, I still see lots of people buying new dual core PCs.
But is that "mainstream", or "budget" (the crap systems you see on the shelf at Walmart)? The type that people that buy based on price, rather than on technology, purchase.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
But is that "mainstream", or "budget" (the crap systems you see on the shelf at Walmart)? The type that people that buy based on price, rather than on technology, purchase.
Maybe we should look at Best Buy rather than Wal-Mart?
 
May 11, 2008
18,309
831
126
Obviously we all have different friends and budgets to spend on things but who do you think are buying the millions of 900$ phones these companies are producing ? NO one?

Only the elite upper class? HARDLY!!!




well that's strange I only have 2 friends who have not purchased 900$+ phones, Anyone that owns a iPhone most likely paid more than 500-600 for it right? So I guess we can say iPhone users are a niche?

IF the average person does only media consumption and internet then they can just use their smart TV and do not need a desktop.

Its so strange to bundle so many types of users and computers to say what is mainstream and what this "mainstream" computer will be used for. I wonder what % of people use photoshop. are they niche crowd? the % of people who play games on their desktop a niche as well?

So was this huge gfx card and ddr4 shortage from people who didn't need to upgrade because all they do is spreadsheets? I wonder where all this technology advances are coming from if everyone is content with a web browser pc with dual core. Why are we using SSD? are they a niche too? regular hd works fine for spreadsheets and word so why do modern computers come standard with 6 cores and ssd?

Seems like everyone and their mom has a youtube channel, lots of those channels are with gamers twitch feeds etc etc. I'm 100% sure all these people would enjoy using a computer with more than dual core.
If i would have to use a smartphone or a smart tv for internet instead of my desktop pc, i would stop using the internet as i like it and be very unhappy with it.

Smartphones are great things to have around, but the ease of use limits the use cases.
Same thing goes for smart tv.

Great to quickly look up things, find directions, communicate, do some reading or watching a movie or listening to music. Yes, great devices for those kind of uses and smartphones excel at it because of being mobile.
But productivity is low on these devices. And there is a reason for that because smartphones or smart tv are not developed to have high efficiency and high productivity for creative work cases.
That is what a desktop or laptop pc is for.

If someone would want to buy a new computer, i would definitely advice a 6C/12T at least when budget allows it. Otherwise a 4C/8T 2400G or even a 4C/4T 220G from AMD would be minimum i would advice when the budget is tight. As reference i have my A10-6700 which is a 4C/4T. And it handles windows 10 quite well.
It was only for when i started gaming with more recent games that the cpu was at maximum utilization, causing fps drops lower than the refresh rate of my monitor.

I never have to wait for my machine to finish when doing normal jobs and not extreme number crunching. This machine is waiting for me to respond. And that is how a computer should act.
With smartphones, because of the user interface that is not the case. I am waiting for the smartphone to give me the option i desire before proceeding.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY