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  • A Few Hardware Questions

    First off: Socket 939 or AM2:

    I'm looking at upgrading my rig's MoBo and CPU. Question is, do I go with this combo:

    ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce SPP 100 ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131568

    and

    AMD Opteron 180 Denmark 2.4GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939 Dual Core Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103582


    or
    ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131013

    with either

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Windsor 2.6GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA5000CSBOX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103030
    or
    AMD Opteron 1216 Santa Ana 2.4GHz Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor Model OSA1216CSBOX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819105018

    I know that Socket 939 is becoming outdated... but is the extra price worth AM2 right now? And how does the AMD Athalong 64x2 stack up against the opteron 1216? I know the HT on the Athalon is faster, (2ghz compared to the opterons 1ghz) but the opteron has a full 2 megs of L2 cache where the athalon is only 1 meg. Also, I know my opteron 148 overclocks easily, and is stable as hell.

    How hot does the Athalon run compared to the Opteron? How much faster is it, and how much stability does it lack compared to the rock solid opterons?



    Next, is the merger of AMD and ATI- I currently run a single GeForce 7800 gtx (or was it a 7900... meh, I'll tell ya when I get back to my apartment, in school atm). Do i want to stick with nVidia, who has proven to be faster but hotter and less stable for me, or switch back to the slower yet solid ATI? Will the new ATI Crossfire cards really take out nVidia's SLI like I've heard they do? I'm looking at either a set of mid-high level Crossfire Cards, or simply another GeForce for the one I have. I know if I go with crossfire I need a crosfire capable MoBo, right?

    My Sound card is fine (SB Audigy 2 ZS Plat), I have 2 gigs of Ram though I might be looking to upgrade to DDR2 dual channel from DDR Dual Channel. I heard the Aegis cards are pointless, so not getting one of those.

    All in all, what do ya think?
    Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead!

  • #2
    Re: A Few Hardware Questions

    I'd recommend going for AM2 if you are looking to stick with AMD, future quad cores should work with AM2 (and even AM3 processors). AM2 also supports DDR2 RAM, but since you're using your old ram (which I'm assuming isn't DDR2) I guess this isn't as big a seller for you. But it's still good to keep upgrading options open.

    If you do plan on sticking to 939, the A8N32-SLI Deluxe is a very good motherboard. I have it in my system now and it's very stable. My only problem with it is the PCI slot layout when you have SLI going. All the PCI slots are right on top or below the PCI-e slots, so if you have 2 graphics card, anything in a PCI slot (say sound card) will be right on top/below your video card (its not a big deal but I rather have a PCI slot in-between my video card and my sound card).

    For those two processors, I'd stick with the Athlon 64 X2s.


    I don't know if this is an option for you, but have you considered going for a Core 2 Duo and an Intel Socket 775 motherboard. You could get a much more powerful processor for cheaper. Also the core 2 duo supposable overclock very easily (which you seem interested in).

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Few Hardware Questions

      I barely tried OC'ing with my Core 2 and got nearly a 50% overlock. Something to keep in mind. It'll be more expensive though since you have to get new RAM. Although, a Core 2 does better clock for clock than X2's. Compare some prices because $300 for X2 5000+ is a lot when an overclocked E6400 can seriously outperform. The 5000+ is a higher end chip too so there might not be as much room to overclock. You might get 10% over stock speeds.

      X2's are fine and is probably a better buy on the lower range like 4400+. They dropped a lot in price when Core 2 came out. The Opterons didn't drop much.

      SLI/Crossfire is an expensive route. I think it's only worth it if you're running a huge display like a 30" monitor. It won't be worth it for 1280x1024 gaming. I think even 1600x1200 is too low of a resolution for real SLI/Crossfire benefits. You want 2 high end cards too. Using 2 mid range cards is about the same as a single next gen card.

      - It's who you game with.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: A Few Hardware Questions

        I run at 1990x440 (digital widescreen) and a 1280x1024 (analog standard)- helps keep my desktop(s) organized.

        I was told the Intel Core 2's were good... but I've had problems in the past with Intel as far as Stability... my Opteron 148 is a bitch to make crash- you simply cannot do it. I have hosted servers for Garry's Mod 12 player servers where some deusch comes in spamming large chimneys- after a few seconds of lag, the kickban command I issue kicks in and all his stuff is deleted. I have yet to have a BSOD, a CTD that wasn't the games fault *cough, EvE Mem Leak ftl :(* and it's running at a 25% OC. I'm very happy with it :)

        I am looking at new ram, namely this beauty-

        Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820220144
        Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: A Few Hardware Questions

          The problem with older Intel chips is they overheated easily. Expecially the Pentium 4 era series, which often crashed under heavy loads due to heat. Core 2 Duos are much more energy efficient and reliable (so I've heard, I don't have one myself). At this time, Core 2 Duo is the way to go. Not to say that AMDs are bad, they just arn't that good at a price/performance level compared to the Core 2 Duo.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: A Few Hardware Questions

            Originally posted by Zoopy_T View Post
            The problem with older Intel chips is they overheated easily. Expecially the Pentium 4 era series, which often crashed under heavy loads due to heat.
            Milleage varies. I ran a Northwood 2.4G P4 at a mild 2.9G on stock HSF for 3 years, not a single BSOD. But the Prescotts were good to save on heating costs for sure :D

            DB

            «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

            | |





            Comment


            • #7
              Re: A Few Hardware Questions

              My E6400 runs around 60 celsius (core temp) on load. Around 85, the speed gets throttled to prevent overheating so there's plenty of safety room. If my ambient temp were lowered from 25 celsius to 20, I'd get a better core temp. I've seen some rigs report 40 degrees on load, overclocked and undervolted.

              Don't throw out a brand just because a previous product performed poorly. Look at the current product and compare to other products of similar pricing or features. The Core 2 is a great processor. The X2's aren't awful but they're not as great as they used to be since Core 2 came out.

              There's no other choice for mid/high end performance. Intel has the better processor that wins in most, if not all, encoding/decoding benchmarks. There's not much difference in gaming. Although, Intel's upgrade path seems a lot better right now. For lower end, I'd go with AMD. There are lots of good low end processors that support DDR ram (save some money there) and cheaper motherboards. My DDR2 ram and motherboard were each as much as my Core 2 CPU.

              - It's who you game with.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                Comparison of systems-

                Code:
                $2362.00
                (before all applicable rebates)  
                 CASE: Hot New! NZXT Zero Aluminum Full Tower 420W Case (Black/Silver Color)
                CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6700 CPU @ 2.66GHz 1066FSB 2x2MB L2 Cache EM64T
                MOTHERBOARD: Asus P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe nForce4 SLI Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1066 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394&7.1Audio
                MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
                VIDEO CARD: SPECIAL!!! NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
                VIDEO CARD 2: SPECIAL!!! NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GT 256MB 16X PCI Express Video Card
                LCD Monitor: NONE
                HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
                Data Hard Drive: NONE
                Optical Drive: NONE
                Optical Drive 2: NONE
                SOUND: New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro 24-BIT PCI Sound Card

                Code:
                $2009.00
                (before all applicable rebates)  
                 CASE: Hot New! NZXT Zero Aluminum Full Tower 420W Case (Black/Silver Color)
                CPU: (Socket AM2) AMD Athlon™64 X2 5000+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology
                MOTHERBOARD: (Socket AM2)ECS KA3 MVP ATI Xpress3200 CrossFire Chipset DDR800 Dual PCIE SATA RAID MB w/GbLAN, USB2.0, 2xIEEE1394, &7.1Audio
                MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
                VIDEO CARD: ATI Radeon X1950 Pro PCI-E x16 256MB VIDEO CARD
                VIDEO CARD 2: ATI Radeon X1950 Pro PCI-E x16 256MB VIDEO CARD
                LCD Monitor: NONE
                HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (320GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
                Data Hard Drive: NONE
                Optical Drive: NONE
                Optical Drive 2: NONE
                SOUND: New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer 24-BIT PCI Sound Card
                I used comparible parts AMD/Intel and ATI/nVidia (as far as I could tell anyway), and the AMD/ATI build is around $300 cheaper.
                Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                  AMD system is $300 dollars cheaper because the Intel E6700 is $321 more expensive then the 5000+. Drop down to the E6600, it's still more powerful then the 5000+. Even the E6400 is roughly the same/slightly better then the 5000+. The E6400 is probably the best price/performance CPU available, but if you want more cache memory and slightly faster CPU, go with the E6600. There's no point in getting the E6700 over the E6600 unless you have the money and are trying to get "The ultimate PC" (altough if you were trying to build the best you'd get the EX6800)

                  ::EDIT::

                  That's $321 more expensive in Canadian dollars. Looking on newegg.com it's about $200 USD

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                    Factor in the Intel build using the Fatality X-Fi over the AMD's non-Fatality version. I think the cost difference there is at least $50 USD. On top of that, the E6600 would overclock way more than a 5000+ could. The E6600 is definitely more comparable in terms of performance to the 5000+.

                    - It's who you game with.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                      True, I forgot I had the different cards selected. However, it's only a minimal difference.

                      I didn't know that those CPU's were so far different- they have the same Ghz according to both manufacturers tech sheets, and isn't AMD's scale higher overall than Intels, meaning an AMD 2.4 ghz is equal to an intel 3.6 ghz?
                      Damn the torpedos and full speed ahead!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                        Hmm...now I don't overclock any of my hardware. But I've noticed that ATI cards tend to be faster in terms of clock and hotter. While nVidia cards tend to be slower in clock and overall cooler. Now that's with stock everything. My last card was a Radeon 9600xt, it overheated frequently (b/c stock hsf was not adaquete), so I had to place a Zalman on it. I'm currently running a 700GS (nV), and it has not overheated once in the last month I've owned it.

                        If you want performance, ATI really has the ball on that one in the last few years. You can compare a quad SLI 7950s to a crossfire pair of x1950s, and the ATI ones give out better framerates than their nV quad SLI counterparts (source: Tom's Hardware).

                        Like Zoopy said, go with the AM2, if you plan on sticking with AMD for a while. At least then once AMDs quad cores come out, there might be a chance they'll work on the AM2 socket.

                        I personally would go with the Opteron Dual Core over the Athlon X2, it'll handle a load better than it's consumer counterpart, mainly because it was built with servers in mind. Overall if you're a power user, you'll benefit with the Opteron.

                        Intel-wise, I wouldn't quite touch that area yet. Once those quad-cores become a bit more popular in a few months, the current stock of dual-cores will drop quite a bit (prolly $100+ for the lower end ones). But if you do want, go with the 6600.


                        @kitta
                        The Core 2s outperform AMD's current lineup of X2s. Core clock is not the same for cross-equivilants. AMD had the lower clock speed but on par performance when compared to Intel's equivilant (before Core 2 Duo). Although with the current Core 2s, that's no longer the case. Intel now has the leading edge in performace, while core clocks have dipped slightly, but for most part have stayed the same.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                          Originally posted by =Sarc= View Post
                          My E6400 runs around 60 celsius (core temp) on load. Around 85, the speed gets throttled to prevent overheating so there's plenty of safety room. If my ambient temp were lowered from 25 celsius to 20, I'd get a better core temp. I've seen some rigs report 40 degrees on load, overclocked and undervolted.

                          Don't throw out a brand just because a previous product performed poorly. Look at the current product and compare to other products of similar pricing or features. The Core 2 is a great processor. The X2's aren't awful but they're not as great as they used to be since Core 2 came out.

                          There's no other choice for mid/high end performance. Intel has the better processor that wins in most, if not all, encoding/decoding benchmarks. There's not much difference in gaming. Although, Intel's upgrade path seems a lot better right now. For lower end, I'd go with AMD. There are lots of good low end processors that support DDR ram (save some money there) and cheaper motherboards. My DDR2 ram and motherboard were each as much as my Core 2 CPU.
                          Slightly off topic, but I have a question for Sarc. Is this with a stock heat sink and fan or aftermarket? I have the same processor, E6400, but I haven't tried overclocking yet. I get 41oC idle and 45-47oC on load. Is that normal?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                            Originally posted by sordavie View Post
                            Slightly off topic, but I have a question for Sarc. Is this with a stock heat sink and fan or aftermarket? I have the same processor, E6400, but I haven't tried overclocking yet. I get 41oC idle and 45-47oC on load. Is that normal?
                            Is that with CoreTemp?

                            I'm using the Scythe Mine with a 120mm fan. I did do a little overclocking with the stock heatsink but I never took readings with CoreTemp. It was hotter with stock cooling by about 5C and maybe 10C on load. 45-47C on load is great if it's a core temp and decent if not.

                            If you want to overclock, you're definitely not in danger of overheating. I'm not overvolting mine and typically you don't have to with the Core 2. So, your temps will rise maybe 5-7 degrees. There's a pretty good chance you can get it to 3Ghz.

                            - It's who you game with.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: A Few Hardware Questions

                              Yes, this is with the coretemp application. I have a Thermaltake 120mm blue orb on it.

                              Comment

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