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Upgrading PCs / AMD 64 questions

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2005 9:06:47 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Hi

I'm upgrading my PC.

1 a) What are decent brands of motherboard for Athlon 64?

1 b) Are Gigabyte and MSI still the good ones? Any other recommend-me-dos?

2 ) Which chipset is better out of nforce3 and via/sis?

3 ) Also noticed that there seem to be two "workstation" editions of the
Athlon 64 cpu - Socket 754 & Socket 939 - what are the differences?

4 ) The motherboards I have looked at all seem to support a max of DDR400,
are there any AMD 64 boards circa £100 that support DDR500 or the new
PC2-3200/4200/5300 memory available from www.crucial.com?

Thats all for now, cheers.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2005 9:06:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 18:06:47 -0000, "--Tom--" <--Tom--@nospamOK.co.yk>
wrote:

>Hi
>
>I'm upgrading my PC.
>
>1 a) What are decent brands of motherboard for Athlon 64?
"Any of the Socket 939 motherboards that we tested here would make a great
home for a Socket 939 Athlon 64."
"Based on top performance, the full implementation of the nForce3 Ultra
features, value, overclocking performance, and flexibility, the MSI K8N
Neo2 Platinum emerges from a class of top Socket 939 Athlon 64 boards as
our Gold Editors Choice. This makes the K8N Neo2 our choice as the best
Athlon 64 motherboard that you can buy."
http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2128

>1 b) Are Gigabyte and MSI still the good ones? Any other recommend-me-dos?
see above
>
>2 ) Which chipset is better out of nforce3 and via/sis?
nforce 3 but all are good
>
>3 ) Also noticed that there seem to be two "workstation" editions of the
>Athlon 64 cpu - Socket 754 & Socket 939 - what are the differences?
Socket 939 can use dual channel memory
>
>4 ) The motherboards I have looked at all seem to support a max of DDR400,
>are there any AMD 64 boards circa £100 that support DDR500 or the new
>PC2-3200/4200/5300 memory available from www.crucial.com?

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2128&p=9
>
>Thats all for now, cheers.
>
regards

Dud

--

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
when they come at you rapidly.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2005 9:06:48 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

--Tom-- wrote:

> 1 a) What are decent brands of motherboard for Athlon 64?

My personaly favorites are Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and Abit. I prefer Asus most
of all, but not by much over the others.

> 1 b) Are Gigabyte and MSI still the good ones? Any other recommend-me-dos?

Yes.

> 2 ) Which chipset is better out of nforce3 and via/sis?

6 of one, half dozen of another. I like Via chipsets, and they do a real
good job of updating their drivers to solve any problems that may arise.
I've never owned an nForce board, but I've always like nVidia GPU's.

> 3 ) Also noticed that there seem to be two "workstation" editions of the
> Athlon 64 cpu - Socket 754 & Socket 939 - what are the differences?

Socket 754: single channel memory, some CPUs have 1GB cache.

Socket 939: dual channel memory, all CPUs other than the high $ FX model
have 512MB cache, newest nForce and Via chipsets feature PCI-e support and
some support SLI function for nVidia graphics cards.

> 4 ) The motherboards I have looked at all seem to support a max of
> DDR400, are there any AMD 64 boards circa £100 that support DDR500 or the
> new PC2-3200/4200/5300 memory available from www.crucial.com?

Wouldn't know much about that one. Maybe the DDR400 is the max they
"officially" support, due to chances of damaging any components when
overclocking?


--

Registered Linux user #378193
Related resources
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2005 9:06:49 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

I'll tell you, the most promising looking board right now is the MSI K8N Neo
Platinum/SLI. You might not need SLI right now, but it may be an option in
the future. What really makes this board stand out, though, is the built-in
Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24bit 7.1 channel sound. I only wish, though,
that they would have included 2 PCI-e x1 slots, like many other boards
have. It's not like there are a lot of PCI-e x1 boards out yet, but there's
bound to be at some point in time.

http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K8N...


--

Registered Linux user #378193
January 16, 2005 9:48:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Ruel Smith wrote:
> --Tom-- wrote:
>
>> 1 a) What are decent brands of motherboard for Athlon 64?
>
> My personaly favorites are Gigabyte, Asus, MSI, and Abit. I prefer
> Asus most of all, but not by much over the others.
>
>> 1 b) Are Gigabyte and MSI still the good ones? Any other
>> recommend-me-dos?
>
> Yes.
>
>> 2 ) Which chipset is better out of nforce3 and via/sis?
>
> 6 of one, half dozen of another. I like Via chipsets, and they do a
> real good job of updating their drivers to solve any problems that
> may arise. I've never owned an nForce board, but I've always like
> nVidia GPU's.
>
>> 3 ) Also noticed that there seem to be two "workstation" editions
>> of the Athlon 64 cpu - Socket 754 & Socket 939 - what are the
>> differences?
>
> Socket 754: single channel memory, some CPUs have 1GB cache.
>
> Socket 939: dual channel memory, all CPUs other than the high $ FX
> model have 512MB cache, newest nForce and Via chipsets feature PCI-e
> support and some support SLI function for nVidia graphics cards.
>
>> 4 ) The motherboards I have looked at all seem to support a max of
>> DDR400, are there any AMD 64 boards circa £100 that support DDR500
>> or the new PC2-3200/4200/5300 memory available from www.crucial.com?
>
> Wouldn't know much about that one. Maybe the DDR400 is the max they
> "officially" support, due to chances of damaging any components when
> overclocking?

where can I get a cpu with 1GB cache ?
January 16, 2005 9:54:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

doS wrote:

> Ruel Smith wrote:
>>>3 ) Also noticed that there seem to be two "workstation" editions
>>>of the Athlon 64 cpu - Socket 754 & Socket 939 - what are the
>>>differences?
>>
>>Socket 754: single channel memory, some CPUs have 1GB cache.
>>
>
>
> where can I get a cpu with 1GB cache ?
>
>

I don't know at the moment, but when you find out please post it here so
I can get one too!!!!
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 16, 2005 10:15:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

doS wrote:

> where can I get a cpu with 1GB cache ?

Sorry, 1 MB...


--

Registered Linux user #378193
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 1:24:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 15:22:26 -0500, Ruel Smith
<NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote:

>I'll tell you, the most promising looking board right now is the MSI K8N Neo
>Platinum/SLI. You might not need SLI right now, but it may be an option in
>the future. What really makes this board stand out, though, is the built-in
>Creative SoundBlaster Live! 24bit 7.1 channel sound. I only wish, though,
>that they would have included 2 PCI-e x1 slots, like many other boards
>have. It's not like there are a lot of PCI-e x1 boards out yet, but there's
>bound to be at some point in time.
>
>http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K8N...


It's not 24 bit unless they FIX it. Merely a marketing
gimmick, bordering on fraud. It also uses inferior analog
DAC so the only thing it's really good for is a resampled 16
bit digital output for gaming. Really, there is nothing
else it's good for except that exact scenario, AFAIK.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 1:24:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

kony wrote:

> It's not 24 bit unless they FIX it.  Merely a marketing
> gimmick, bordering on fraud.  It also uses inferior analog
> DAC so the only thing it's really good for is a resampled 16
> bit digital output for gaming.  Really, there is nothing
> else it's good for except that exact scenario, AFAIK.

And how do you know all of this? I searched Google and found absolutely
nothing about this. The board isn't even available yet, and I've found few
reviews of any, but non mention sound problems. So where's your source for
your comments? Stick to facts...


--

Registered Linux user #378193
January 17, 2005 1:31:18 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Ruel Smith wrote:
> doS wrote:
>
>> where can I get a cpu with 1GB cache ?
>
> Sorry, 1 MB...

hehe, thought so ;-)
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 5:34:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 18:01:15 -0500, Ruel Smith
<NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote:

>kony wrote:
>
>> It's not 24 bit unless they FIX it.  Merely a marketing
>> gimmick, bordering on fraud.  It also uses inferior analog
>> DAC so the only thing it's really good for is a resampled 16
>> bit digital output for gaming.  Really, there is nothing
>> else it's good for except that exact scenario, AFAIK.
>
>And how do you know all of this?

Because that's how they always do it? They rate the "best"
part instead of the bottleneck.
Because it's a "live!"?
Because it uses same drivers?
Because it runs through Windows' mixer?
Because they're not going to give an integrated solution a
superiority to their high-priced premier cards (considering
only those sold under the "Creative" name).
Because the mobo spec for audio claims "100db SNR", which is
a cheap, lower quality DAC.
Because it doesn't have the better (analog filter cap)
circuitry on the board, because they take up too much board
real-estate.
Because AC97 compliance for Creative, means everything is
resampled to 48K... and then resampled again.

The facts are out there, but honesty, I'm too lazy to go dig
up a bunch of links. Enough time Googling and you should
find the facts.

>I searched Google and found absolutely
>nothing about this. The board isn't even available yet, and I've found few
>reviews of any, but non mention sound problems. So where's your source for
>your comments? Stick to facts...

BTW, how can you recommend it if you're "sticking to facts"
then, considering that you already mentioned you found
nothing on it and it isn't available yet?

Buy whatever you want. It's nothing personal, just lousy
what Creative is doing to the market. Now they've acquired
Sensaura too, pretty soon all our audio will be either
horrific or that much more expensive.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 5:34:15 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

kony wrote:

> Because they're not going to give an integrated solution a
> superiority to their high-priced premier cards (considering
> only those sold under the "Creative" name).

Well, I have no doubt about that, but it's nice to have an onboard solution
that does better audio than what is currently out there. I have a
SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum card, and it sounds great, but Creative's
drivers aren't the best.

> Because the mobo spec for audio claims "100db SNR", which is
> a cheap, lower quality DAC.

100 db SNR is very high in audio systems, why is it considered low in
onboard sound chips?

> Because it doesn't have the better (analog filter cap)
> circuitry on the board, because they take up too much board
> real-estate.

I never assumed it would have the quality of a full blown Audigy card.

> Because AC97 compliance for Creative, means everything is
> resampled to 48K... and then resampled again.

I'm not sure where you get this.

> The facts are out there, but honesty, I'm too lazy to go dig
> up a bunch of links. Enough time Googling and you should
> find the facts.

I have Googled, though not at extensive as you suggest. I looked for onboard
SoundBlaster Live!, and found nothing. I even looked up reviews of this
particular board, which I found one complete one and one introduction to
the board. No mention of the onboard sound, nor problems with it.

> BTW, how can you recommend it if you're "sticking to facts"
> then, considering that you already mentioned you found
> nothing on it and it isn't available yet?

I didn't "recommend" it, but rather said, "...the most promising looking
board right now is the MSI K8N Neo Platinum/SLI." That's not a
recommendation. I only said it looked promising.

> Buy whatever you want. It's nothing personal, just lousy
> what Creative is doing to the market. Now they've acquired
> Sensaura too, pretty soon all our audio will be either
> horrific or that much more expensive.

As a Linux user, only Creative sound cards are very compatible with Linux,
and therefore that's what I use. If others were willing to write drivers
for Linux, I might be inclined to use something else. I had high hopes for
nVidia's SoundStorm, which was part of the Aureal acquistion, but they've
opted to not include it with their chipsets right now. It's a shame. My
brother had a computer with Aureal sound a few years back and it was great.
nVidia also has great Linux support, and I try very hard to support them
because of their efforts. You may not be a Linux user, and could care less,
but it makes a difference to those of us that are.

Anyway, Creative Live! 24bit sound built into the motherboard looks far more
promising than any Realtek or CT5880, or whatever sound chip solution.


--

Registered Linux user #378193
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 6:54:11 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 21:59:01 -0500, Ruel Smith
<NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote:

>kony wrote:
>
>> Because they're not going to give an integrated solution a
>> superiority to their high-priced premier cards (considering
>> only those sold under the "Creative" name).
>
>Well, I have no doubt about that, but it's nice to have an onboard solution
>that does better audio than what is currently out there. I have a
>SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum card, and it sounds great, but Creative's
>drivers aren't the best.

I don't mean to shock you but the Audigy Platinum isn't
anything special either. It too doesn't do 24bit and
resamples. Maybe it preserves digital, bit-perfect output?
I don't know but vaguely recall reading that it didn't even
do that. But, in the end, your ears are what count. If it
sounds good AND you need the gaming support then for you it
is the best(?) option.


>
>> Because the mobo spec for audio claims "100db SNR", which is
>> a cheap, lower quality DAC.
>
>100 db SNR is very high in audio systems, why is it considered low in
>onboard sound chips?

No, it's not very high. We're talking about digital, and no
amp except line-level on the dac and/or through an opamp
(headphone amp to some).


>
>> Because it doesn't have the better (analog filter cap)
>> circuitry on the board, because they take up too much board
>> real-estate.
>
>I never assumed it would have the quality of a full blown Audigy card.

Ok, but one problem is that it's onboard, nevermind who made
the chips. If it raises the price of the board by $10,
that's $10 wasted that could be put towards a decent (or
maybe even an old/cheap) soundcrard, only time will tell how
well they do. In particular I notice system noise on almost
(if not) every integrated audio solution. That's ok within
limits I suppose, one is always able to upgrade to a card
unless they're stuck with mATX and no free PCI slots.

>
>> Because AC97 compliance for Creative, means everything is
>> resampled to 48K... and then resampled again.
>
>I'm not sure where you get this.

Because it goes through the windows mixer, which is AC97,
48KHz. Basically they use a crystal for output that's 48
(or a divisor of 48 ) KHz, because that's AC97's spec.
Maybe I'm wrong there, I'd like a higher res pic or two of
the board to see if they wedged a 2nd crystal in somewhere
else. If they didn't, it can't accurately do things like CD
audio (44.1).


>
>> The facts are out there, but honesty, I'm too lazy to go dig
>> up a bunch of links. Enough time Googling and you should
>> find the facts.
>
>I have Googled, though not at extensive as you suggest. I looked for onboard
>SoundBlaster Live!, and found nothing. I even looked up reviews of this
>particular board, which I found one complete one and one introduction to
>the board. No mention of the onboard sound, nor problems with it.

I read about it mostly in audio forums, relating to
Creative's marketing stunts. Can't find the links at the
moment but here's a review (which does have some inaccuraces
in it I believe but makes a good comparision near the middle
of the article, the blue charts (note the noise level and
dynamic ranges being inconsistent with their specs):
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/creative-audigy2-zs...


>
>> BTW, how can you recommend it if you're "sticking to facts"
>> then, considering that you already mentioned you found
>> nothing on it and it isn't available yet?
>
>I didn't "recommend" it, but rather said, "...the most promising looking
>board right now is the MSI K8N Neo Platinum/SLI." That's not a
>recommendation. I only said it looked promising.

True. My bad.


>
>> Buy whatever you want. It's nothing personal, just lousy
>> what Creative is doing to the market. Now they've acquired
>> Sensaura too, pretty soon all our audio will be either
>> horrific or that much more expensive.
>
>As a Linux user, only Creative sound cards are very compatible with Linux,
>and therefore that's what I use. If others were willing to write drivers
>for Linux, I might be inclined to use something else. I had high hopes for
>nVidia's SoundStorm, which was part of the Aureal acquistion, but they've
>opted to not include it with their chipsets right now. It's a shame. My
>brother had a computer with Aureal sound a few years back and it was great.
>nVidia also has great Linux support, and I try very hard to support them
>because of their efforts. You may not be a Linux user, and could care less,
>but it makes a difference to those of us that are.
>
>Anyway, Creative Live! 24bit sound built into the motherboard looks far more
>promising than any Realtek or CT5880, or whatever sound chip solution.

I have a few Aureal cards, just a bit disappointed that they
didnt' get a chance to at least put out one good/finished
driver for Win2K. I know there are hacks or native support
for "bare minimal" function in XP, but just not worth the
effort for other systems.


Anyway, the Creative onboard sound certainly isn't the
low-end solution that some of them are, yet still it's
disappointing. I can only recommend that if someone is
really interested in good sound, integrated sound just isn't
an option... till one actually pans out and is tested,
proven to be a real exception.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 17, 2005 11:57:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

kony <spam@spam.com> wrote in
news:4acmu0h94cuf86neupf15odp91n0bdq5rj@4ax.com:

> I read about it mostly in audio forums, relating to
> Creative's marketing stunts. Can't find the links at the
> moment but here's a review (which does have some inaccuraces
> in it I believe but makes a good comparision near the middle
> of the article, the blue charts (note the noise level and
> dynamic ranges being inconsistent with their specs):
> http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/creative-audigy2-zs...
>
>

Could you please post some links to some good audio forums?

Thank You
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2005 12:41:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

kony wrote:

> Anyway, the Creative onboard sound certainly isn't the
> low-end solution that some of them are, yet still it's
> disappointing.   I can only recommend that if someone is
> really interested in good sound, integrated sound just isn't
> an option... till one actually pans out and is tested,
> proven to be a real exception.

The article was interesting reading. Thanks for the link. So, what, then, is
a good sound card? Turtle Beach hasn't really competed in a long time, and
I'm affraid I'm at a loss for one better than an Audigy card.

--

Registered Linux user #378193
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
January 18, 2005 9:41:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On Mon, 17 Jan 2005 21:41:35 -0500, Ruel Smith
<NoWay@NoWhere.com> wrote:

>kony wrote:
>
>> Anyway, the Creative onboard sound certainly isn't the
>> low-end solution that some of them are, yet still it's
>> disappointing.   I can only recommend that if someone is
>> really interested in good sound, integrated sound just isn't
>> an option... till one actually pans out and is tested,
>> proven to be a real exception.
>
>The article was interesting reading. Thanks for the link. So, what, then, is
>a good sound card? Turtle Beach hasn't really competed in a long time, and
>I'm affraid I'm at a loss for one better than an Audigy card.


It depends on the usage?

For gaming with EAX support, Creative has the upper leg.
You could expect lower CPU utilization and the Sensaura soft
emulation that the others use is usually fine, but the odds
of trouble-free gaming go down with a Creative card.
Creative uses "halfway" decent DACs, but my main gripe is
same as with any other company using deceptive advertising
to try to increase value of their product... and it hurts
the market, we have a lot of disparity between cheap junk
cards and very expensive ones outside of those sold by
Creative. Sound cards are NOT all that complex, it's a bit
silly that Creative sells a few that cost more than a
motherboard might.

For 7.1, Via Envy 24 HT cards like M-Audio Revolution are
good, due to the DACs. Chaintech AV-710 is also good if one
only needs 2 channel output. Their digital is good too.
For dolby encoding, of course there's Soundstorm, BUT that's
now past history and overall the sound quality is not too
good.

In my opinion if a card can't even do simple direct
sampling of CD audio and output it in clean analog (since
the average system does still use analog out), it's junk,
but that's only my opinion. Digital out is great if the
card does it bit-perfect like the Via Envy cards do, but a
digital amp or external DAC is not something I'd expect
someone to have to purchase just to get undistorted sound,
not when the cost difference to the sound card manufacturer
is small. If one has to spend hundreds on audio equipment
it darn well better sound good, though that shouldn't have
to happen until you get to the amp and speakers.

The forums I linked previously have some real tools that can
steer you towards whatever you''d need and then some. I'm
not one to advise on multi-channel sound so much either, I"m
more critical of 2 channel stereo than 5.1 or more channels,
but with more channel i'd opt for digital, we're drifting
into HTPC instead of all-purpose sound cards.

Something else interesting while on the topic of audio,
I was startled at how much difference there was when playing
a test file on an nForce2 soundstorm board versus a
Chaintech AV-710's analog out (nForce2 just fails miserably
but the Chaintech card did fine). some background,

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-7718...
http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic...
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=80772
Warning - the following may fry tweeters, low volume only.
http://sjeng.org/ftp/work/udial.wav
!