With that large a price difference you should just go with the Opteron. It's clock speed may be 400MHz slower than the X2 4600+ but that can easily be made up by overclocking with a good cooler. It's also important to note that the Opteron 170 has 2MB L2 cache between the cores while the X2 4600+ only has 1MB. The extra cache is usually comparable to an extra 200MHz depending on the application so the performance difference between the Opteron and the X2 2600+ isn't significant. In addition as you overclock, the extra cache of the Opteron will further aid in performance gains.
BTW, if you are getting the Opteron you should order one soon as they are no longer in production.
Yeah....I heard they cut production today, does anyone know why? I know the M2 versions are coming up in January but why stop production on the 939 ones? I don't think I've ever seen Intel or AMD do that before (stop production on the previous socket before the new socket is even in stores).
But you didn't answer my main question.
Why are overclockers even considering buying an X2? The Opterons are more overclockable. I guess I'm kinda asking why AMD even bothered to make the X2s. If equivilent in Mhz, it seems the Opteron creams the X2 even though they cost the same.
The price comparison in my original post was what I'm looking at as an Overclocker. I've read that the X2s aren't very good for overclocking whereas the Opterons are. Therefore I can get the 170 and compare it to the 4600+ even though Mhz wise it's equal is the Opteron 180. That's why there's a $200 dollar difference between the 170 and the 4600+.
As far as I knew M2 processors were not scheduled for January. They were originally set for end of Q1 2006, around March, but have now been pushed back to Q2, around May. I think ATI is planning to launch their new chipset in both socket 939 and M2 format in January although there won't be any M2 processors available for a while.
The dual core Opterons are supposed to be for the server market while the X2 is for consumer desktop. Originally the 1-way Opteron 1xx series was released for the s940, but they were expensive because companies were required to buy a motherboard with the more server oriented s940. Since the 1-way Opterons were mainly used as workstations anyways, AMD released them in s939 form so that if people didn't need the increased reliability of registered RAM or additional PCB layers they could save money.
I believe the original reason for the low prices of the dual core Opteron 1xx was done to encourage dual core adoption. Otherwise businesses would just stay with tried and true 2-way dual processor setups. I don't believe AMD really intended for the cheap dual-core Opterons to make their way into consumer channels, although that was a nice benefit to consumers and to AMD's product image. However, now that the Opterons are cannibalizing X2 sales AMD has to stop shipping them. They've already served their purpose anyways which was to promote dual core adoption.
For one, you did not link the 1mb x 2 X2, there are two versions, one is identical to the Opteron, I posted it, those prices are accurate with AMD in that they are nearly equal.
The chip you listed for an X2 has half cache.
Well the X2 4600 should be more than the Opteron 170
Well that really is the point. The X2 4600+ is more expensive than the Opteron 170, yet with the Opteron's overclocking potential and its 1MB of L2 cache per core, the Opteron has much more value.[/quote]
No it wouldn't. The Opteron 165 maybe be 200MHz slower than the X2 3800+, but it also has twice the cache. In most circumstances the extra cache would make up for the 200MHz speed difference. As well, the Opterons tend to overclock better than the X2. The extra cache will continue to increase performance when the Opteron is overclocked.
Data....I've seen that calculation before. That 512k of cache is equal to about 200mhz in performance. I don't know if it is true, though.
Rich, I made a mistake in my comparison. Thank you for correcting me. I should have compared chips with equal cache. But I think I need to make my point clearer. In the numerous overclocking websites I frequent (Hardforum.com and xtremesystem.com for example) I have repeatedly seen people list their highest stable X2 overclocks and other people list their highest stable Opteron overclocks. The equivilent Mhz Opterons always are higher than the X2s. I've seen people say the X2 can't be as overclocked as the Opteron. The Opteron can usually go 200mhz or 300mhz higher than the X2.
So I came here to ask: if a 2.0ghz Opteron can hit 2.8ghz and a 2.2ghz X2 can only hit 2.6ghz, why would I ever buy the X2? The Opteron is cheaper and clocks higher. At the very least I could buy the 170 and clock it to the speed of a 4600+ and save $200. That's only a 200mhz overclock.