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chips, memory, speed and upgrades.

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January 1, 2005 4:49:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

i bought two dell dimension 4600
desktops almost one year ago to this day. at the time dell promoted the
2.8 p4 with 533fsb, 512 ram, and 80gig hd as a machine which delivers
"exeptional performance". i did some research at the time and found
articles dated just over a year before my purchase, which called this
configuration one with "bleeding edge performance".they said it was
capable of amatuer video editing, running graphic intensive programs,
gaming, and multi-tasking with ease. real power. and these claims hold
true. it does all these things with relative calm. and it is indeed
speedy. now, just a year after my purchase and just two years after
the "bleeding edge performance" article, a machine with my exact
specs(sans agp slot)can be found as the dimension 3000 and is promoted
as a budget computer with the tag line of "essential technology on a
budget". so for those of you who have been around computers a lot
longer then i have, my question to you is this: what is this all about?
what is in the numbers and the "new" technology that i don't already
have? i've read a lot in the past year and have learned much about how
computers work, etc. but benchmarks mean very little to me so long as
my machine works well for me. so will i really need pci express, ddr2
ram and a duel core processor in the future to truly keep up with the
new machines or is all this much ado about nothing? as of now i don't
even have hyper-threading. which i don't think i miss. and my machine
seems just as capable and quick as a friend of mines p4 3.2 he
purchased this past summer. so is the average home user simply being
sold better mouse traps, so to speak? or will i really need the latest
"latest and the greatest". and if so, when? can my beloved machine
really become a relic like so many p II's before it? just some food for
thought.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 2:03:31 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

jd wrote:
>
> i bought two dell dimension 4600
> desktops almost one year ago to this day. at the time dell promoted the
> 2.8 p4 with 533fsb, 512 ram, and 80gig hd as a machine which delivers
> "exeptional performance". i did some research at the time and found
> articles dated just over a year before my purchase, which called this
> configuration one with "bleeding edge performance".they said it was
> capable of amatuer video editing, running graphic intensive programs,
> gaming, and multi-tasking with ease. real power. and these claims hold
> true. it does all these things with relative calm. and it is indeed
> speedy. now, just a year after my purchase and just two years after
> the "bleeding edge performance" article, a machine with my exact
> specs(sans agp slot)can be found as the dimension 3000 and is promoted
> as a budget computer with the tag line of "essential technology on a
> budget". so for those of you who have been around computers a lot
> longer then i have, my question to you is this: what is this all about?
> what is in the numbers and the "new" technology that i don't already
> have? i've read a lot in the past year and have learned much about how
> computers work, etc. but benchmarks mean very little to me so long as
> my machine works well for me. so will i really need pci express, ddr2
> ram and a duel core processor in the future to truly keep up with the
> new machines or is all this much ado about nothing? as of now i don't
> even have hyper-threading. which i don't think i miss. and my machine
> seems just as capable and quick as a friend of mines p4 3.2 he
> purchased this past summer. so is the average home user simply being
> sold better mouse traps, so to speak? or will i really need the latest
> "latest and the greatest". and if so, when? can my beloved machine
> really become a relic like so many p II's before it? just some food for
> thought.

This is just the way it goes. PC performance has doubled every 18 months
for the last 20 year, but it's beginning to tail off due to heat problems.
In fact you're lucky; if the trend had continued unabated, we would have
around 5 to 6 GHz computers today, and you would be left even more behind
with your "bleeding edge" purchase. But you're not really left behind if
the computer you have does the job.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 2:19:57 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

jd wrote:
> now, just a year after my purchase and just two years after
> the "bleeding edge performance" article, a machine with my exact
> specs(sans agp slot)can be found as the dimension 3000 and is promoted
> as a budget computer with the tag line of "essential technology on a
> budget". so for those of you who have been around computers a lot
> longer then i have, my question to you is this: what is this all about?

It's just about yesterday's bleeding edge computers becoming today's
budget computers. Simple really. It always happens.

> what is in the numbers and the "new" technology that i don't already
> have? i've read a lot in the past year and have learned much about how
> computers work, etc. but benchmarks mean very little to me so long as
> my machine works well for me. so will i really need pci express, ddr2
> ram and a duel core processor in the future to truly keep up with the
> new machines or is all this much ado about nothing?

In the future, will you need these things? Yeah, you will. Depends on
how far out you mean by "future".

PCIe? Yes, should be mainstream by this time next year. Adoption rates
should be like a rocket.

DDR2? Will slowly start to replace DDR, over the next two years.
Original DDR should be totally gone by the next two years. Currently the
DDR2 is actually *slower* than the original DDR, but that will change as
the frequencies get higher. Much slower adoption rates than PCIe.

Dual-core? Yes, there's no real downside to dual-cores over single
cores, except that maybe it doesn't quite live upto its full potential
of offering twice as much performance. There's only two ways to increase
the performance of a processor: (1) increase its frequency, or (2)
increase the amount of work it does at its frequency, aka
instructions-per-clock or IPC. A dual-core is really a way to increase
the amount of work a processor does. It's extremely important for the
Pentium 4 processors to go towards DC, as there will be no more
frequency increases for P4 processors beyond 3.8Ghz for a long long
time, so this is the only way left to increase the performance of a P4
anymore. It's less important for the AMD Athlon 64 or Pentium M
processors, as they run at much lower frequencies and already have much
higher IPC than the P4; the Athlon 64 will be able to see increases in
performance both from frequency increases as well as DC -- lots of
growing room for it left in all directions; same goes for Pentium M.


> as of now i don't
> even have hyper-threading. which i don't think i miss. and my machine
> seems just as capable and quick as a friend of mines p4 3.2 he
> purchased this past summer. so is the average home user simply being
> sold better mouse traps, so to speak? or will i really need the latest
> "latest and the greatest". and if so, when? can my beloved machine
> really become a relic like so many p II's before it? just some food for
> thought.

You will need them when you need them. I'm still running a processor
that was state of the art about three years ago, and I have no plans to
upgrade this one yet.

Yousuf Khan
Related resources
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 7:51:38 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On 1 Jan 2005 13:49:29 -0800, "jd" <sickboy2all@aol.com> wrote:

>i bought two dell dimension 4600
>desktops almost one year ago to this day. at the time dell promoted the
>2.8 p4 with 533fsb, 512 ram, and 80gig hd as a machine which delivers
>"exeptional performance". i did some research at the time and found
>articles dated just over a year before my purchase, which called this
>configuration one with "bleeding edge performance".they said it was
>capable of amatuer video editing, running graphic intensive programs,
>gaming, and multi-tasking with ease. real power. and these claims hold
>true. it does all these things with relative calm. and it is indeed
>speedy. now, just a year after my purchase and just two years after
>the "bleeding edge performance" article, a machine with my exact
>specs(sans agp slot)can be found as the dimension 3000 and is promoted
>as a budget computer with the tag line of "essential technology on a
>budget". so for those of you who have been around computers a lot
>longer then i have, my question to you is this: what is this all about?
>what is in the numbers and the "new" technology that i don't already
>have?

The numbers are real: the FSB data rate was improved to 800MT/s from your
533 and at the top end is currently transitioning to 1066; the benefit is
faster transfer of data between the CPU and the rest of the system. The
increased FSB data rate has been augmented by dual channel memory so that
the memory sub-system matches the FSB in peak transfer rates. Of course
you need a faster grade of memory to work at the higher speeds, which is
why you see DDR2 memory being adopted; acccording to industry specs, the
DDR DRAM cannot work at the latest required speeds though in practice,
overclockers will tell you it works just fine.

For the CPU, I generally figure you need a 50% increase in clock speed to
notice any significant difference in most apps; most people apart from
gamers can live with a 2x or 3x difference. Just about everything else in
the newest systems is faster, from hard disks to video cards to DVD
playback & recording. Just as with everyting else you buy, e.g. cars,
there are people who buy the latest model just because they have to have
it, or because they have $$ available.

> i've read a lot in the past year and have learned much about how
>computers work, etc. but benchmarks mean very little to me so long as
>my machine works well for me. so will i really need pci express, ddr2
>ram and a duel core processor in the future to truly keep up with the
>new machines or is all this much ado about nothing? as of now i don't
>even have hyper-threading. which i don't think i miss. and my machine
>seems just as capable and quick as a friend of mines p4 3.2 he
>purchased this past summer. so is the average home user simply being
>sold better mouse traps, so to speak? or will i really need the latest
>"latest and the greatest". and if so, when? can my beloved machine
>really become a relic like so many p II's before it? just some food for
>thought.

No doubt your current system will become a relic; technology *will* pass it
by. It's like ever other appliance - it becomes obsolete eventually and
only you can determine when that has happened. Mind you PC & electronics
in general are advancing faster than most other appliances; the same
technologies which are advancing PCs have bred a new generation of home
entertainment systems... everything from delivery methods to home recording
method and picture and sound quality is going through a quantum leap just
now; IOW a TV/VCR bought a couple of years ago is now obsolete compared
with what used to be a 10 year or so replacement cycle. I don't think most
Americans realize how far behind the U.S. is lagging here; in that respect,
not all "regulation" is bad.

IMO a computer generally has a life cycle of 3-5years, depending on what
you use it for and what you need to do. As long as you don't see any lag
in performance, just stay with what you have. Eventually software will
increase its load on your system, whether it be some new app which appeals
to you, useful new features or redundant bloat... and you'll feel the need
to upgrade.... again.:-)

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
January 2, 2005 12:36:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

speaking of games, yousuf. i would not consider myself a "gamer", but i
do enjoy an occasional contest. so i keep a couple loaded up along with
madden 2004 for fun. most of the games i've played are almost a couple
of years old at least. games such as COD and hitman 2 and silent hill 3
and mafia. i run these with my p4 2.8 and the lowly passively cooled
nvidia fx5200. and they do just fine. beats a ps2 or an xb. the
gameplay is smooth and responsive. now i know "gamers" are into raw
processor power to fully optimize gameplay. but with a decent video
card upgrade(in the current mid-performance $200.00 price range, let's
say) will my p4 2.8 do the the trick for decent gameplay with newer
games such as the chronicles of riddick and doom 3? 'cause ill be ready
to play those in a year or two. i'm a little behind : )
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 2:03:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:
>
[...]
>
> Dual-core? Yes, there's no real downside to dual-cores over single
> cores, except that maybe it doesn't quite live upto its full potential
> of offering twice as much performance. There's only two ways to increase
> the performance of a processor: (1) increase its frequency, or (2)
> increase the amount of work it does at its frequency, aka
> instructions-per-clock or IPC. A dual-core is really a way to increase
> the amount of work a processor does. It's extremely important for the
> Pentium 4 processors to go towards DC, as there will be no more
> frequency increases for P4 processors beyond 3.8Ghz for a long long
> time, so this is the only way left to increase the performance of a P4
> anymore. It's less important for the AMD Athlon 64 or Pentium M
> processors, as they run at much lower frequencies and already have much
> higher IPC than the P4; the Athlon 64 will be able to see increases in
> performance both from frequency increases as well as DC -- lots of
> growing room for it left in all directions; same goes for Pentium M.

But one of the reasons that Intel went for a longer P4 pipeline was that
they could use shallower electronics or shorter chains of transistors.
This paved the way for higher frequencies. It might not be so easy for AMD
to increase the frequency - or they would probably have done it already.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 2:03:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Johannes H Andersen wrote:
> But one of the reasons that Intel went for a longer P4 pipeline was that
> they could use shallower electronics or shorter chains of transistors.
> This paved the way for higher frequencies. It might not be so easy for AMD
> to increase the frequency - or they would probably have done it already.

They are going up in frequency, and they are quite capable of doing it.
They are taking the opportunity to get thermal requirements under
control at the moment, since they know that Intel has slowed right down.
They are already at their 4.0Ghz-equivalent performance, which Intel
has already stated they will never bother to match.

Yousuf Khan
January 2, 2005 5:17:37 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

George Macdonald <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote :

> Just about everything else in the newest systems is faster, from
> hard disks to video cards to DVD playback & recording

faster playback ? no sir, we dont want that :p 

Pozdrawiam.
--
RusH //
http://randki.o2.pl/profil.php?id_r=352019
Like ninjas, true hackers are shrouded in secrecy and mystery.
You may never know -- UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE.
January 2, 2005 5:23:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote :

> It's just about yesterday's bleeding edge computers becoming
> today's budget computers. Simple really. It always happens.

It works that way in almost every technology. Its all about
commoditisation.

http://www.economist.com/displayStory.cfm?Story_id=1747...

> DDR2? Will slowly start to replace DDR, over the next two years.

I doubt that.

> Original DDR should be totally gone by the next two years.

oh really NO. SDR is still around.

Pozdrawiam.
--
RusH //
http://randki.o2.pl/profil.php?id_r=352019
Like ninjas, true hackers are shrouded in secrecy and mystery.
You may never know -- UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 5:23:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

RusH wrote:
>>DDR2? Will slowly start to replace DDR, over the next two years.
>
>
> I doubt that.

I don't. DDR has started to reach its upper frequency limits now. It
still has lower latency than DDR2, so therefore its performance is still
a little better than DDR2. But that situation is not likely to remain
forever. As the frequency increases, the absolute latency goes down, at
some point in evolution, both the bandwidth and the absolute latency of
DDR2 will be lower than that of DDR. Samething happened with DDR vs. SDR.

>>Original DDR should be totally gone by the next two years.
>
>
> oh really NO. SDR is still around.

Know of any current motherboards that need it? It's around for legacy
systems.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 7:16:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan wrote:
>
> Johannes H Andersen wrote:
> > But one of the reasons that Intel went for a longer P4 pipeline was that
> > they could use shallower electronics or shorter chains of transistors.
> > This paved the way for higher frequencies. It might not be so easy for AMD
> > to increase the frequency - or they would probably have done it already.
>
> They are going up in frequency, and they are quite capable of doing it.
> They are taking the opportunity to get thermal requirements under
> control at the moment, since they know that Intel has slowed right down.
> They are already at their 4.0Ghz-equivalent performance, which Intel
> has already stated they will never bother to match.

But it's still only 'equivalent performance' which is mostly valid for average
software. Once the P4 pipeline is full, the performance becomes the real frequency.
This may happen for media/video applications or specially optimized numerical
software.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 7:16:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Johannes H Andersen wrote:
> But it's still only 'equivalent performance' which is mostly valid for average
> software. Once the P4 pipeline is full, the performance becomes the real frequency.
> This may happen for media/video applications or specially optimized numerical
> software.

And there are applications such as games and other numerical apps where
the AMD platforms rule. So really the average cuts both ways, and so
average is all you really can talk about.

Yousuf Khan
January 2, 2005 7:16:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 16:16:10 +0000, Johannes H Andersen wrote:

>
>
> Yousuf Khan wrote:
>>
>> Johannes H Andersen wrote:
>> > But one of the reasons that Intel went for a longer P4 pipeline was that
>> > they could use shallower electronics or shorter chains of transistors.
>> > This paved the way for higher frequencies. It might not be so easy for AMD
>> > to increase the frequency - or they would probably have done it already.
>>
>> They are going up in frequency, and they are quite capable of doing it.
>> They are taking the opportunity to get thermal requirements under
>> control at the moment, since they know that Intel has slowed right down.
>> They are already at their 4.0Ghz-equivalent performance, which Intel
>> has already stated they will never bother to match.
>
> But it's still only 'equivalent performance' which is mostly valid for average
> software. Once the P4 pipeline is full, the performance becomes the real frequency.

Not at all true. There is more to the performance difference than a pipe
stalls.

> This may happen for media/video applications or specially optimized
> numerical software.

Video applications are what the P4 was tuned for. Pretty much all other
applications aren't so swift on the P4. If video is what you do...

--
Keith
January 2, 2005 7:16:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote :

> I don't. DDR has started to reach its upper frequency limits now.
> It still has lower latency than DDR2, so therefore its performance
> is still a little better than DDR2. But that situation is not
> likely to remain forever. As the frequency increases, the absolute
> latency goes down, at some point in evolution, both the bandwidth
> and the absolute latency of DDR2 will be lower than that of DDR.

Bandwidth higher, but I'm sure you meant that.

> Samething happened with DDR vs. SDR.

There is one but. DDR memory was widely supported on both platforms
(AMD and INTEL).

>> oh really NO. SDR is still around.
>
> Know of any current motherboards that need it? It's around for
> legacy systems.

Mainboard VIA EPIA VE10000 :p 

Pozdrawiam.
--
RusH //
http://randki.o2.pl/profil.php?id_r=352019
Like ninjas, true hackers are shrouded in secrecy and mystery.
You may never know -- UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2005 7:52:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

jd wrote:
> speaking of games, yousuf. i would not consider myself a "gamer", but i
> do enjoy an occasional contest. so i keep a couple loaded up along with
> madden 2004 for fun. most of the games i've played are almost a couple
> of years old at least. games such as COD and hitman 2 and silent hill 3
> and mafia. i run these with my p4 2.8 and the lowly passively cooled
> nvidia fx5200. and they do just fine. beats a ps2 or an xb. the
> gameplay is smooth and responsive. now i know "gamers" are into raw
> processor power to fully optimize gameplay. but with a decent video
> card upgrade(in the current mid-performance $200.00 price range, let's
> say) will my p4 2.8 do the the trick for decent gameplay with newer
> games such as the chronicles of riddick and doom 3? 'cause ill be ready
> to play those in a year or two. i'm a little behind : )
>

In a year or two when you're ready to play today's processor-busting
games, then buy the $200 card of that time to play these things. Don't
buy today's $200 card. You'll need today's $400+ cards to play those
games today.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 3, 2005 5:42:20 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

On Sun, 2 Jan 2005 14:17:37 +0000 (UTC), RusH <logistyka1@pf.pl> wrote:

>George Macdonald <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote :
>
>> Just about everything else in the newest systems is faster, from
>> hard disks to video cards to DVD playback & recording
>
>faster playback ? no sir, we dont want that :p 

I guess with rip-lock you won't get it anyway.;-)

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
January 3, 2005 12:41:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

i'm thinking maybe those games can be played with a lesser card if you
turn the screen res and game settings down to a level where the game is
playable. which will take some of the visual dynamics away, but will
still be altogether acceptable. i can always try it. i have a 2.8 p4
and 512 ddr sdram. that should be enough to power it. if just. or i can
just go on e-bay and see what the high end cards are going for. but
most likely i'll just stick to what i got right now. i still gotta play
both max paynes! now that's far behind. i'll never catch up at the rate
i play.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 3, 2005 12:45:01 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

Yousuf Khan <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:

>In a year or two when you're ready to play today's processor-busting
>games, then buy the $200 card of that time to play these things. Don't
>buy today's $200 card. You'll need today's $400+ cards to play those
>games today.

Yeah, I was thinking about getting a fancy new card to see Doom3 in
all it's glory, but I think now I'll just wait another year before I
play it, with a brand-new machine where that kind of video power isn't
so dang expensive.
!