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4200 X2 with 512MB vs. 4400 X2 with 1 MB cache

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January 28, 2006 4:26:25 PM

I was looking at some of the CPU reviews in TH.com and noticed that the 4200 X2 Athalon performs just about as fast as the 4400 X2, and that the ghz clock rate appears to be the same for both chips.

However- the 4400 X2 comes with 1MB per core, and the 4200 only has 512k per core. Does this make a difference?

Right now the 4200 is more than $100 cheaper than the 4400. If I will not see or notice a huge difference I would like to spend that $100 on another component upgrade.

My question is should I get the 4400 X2 or the 4200 X2? Is there a difference in performance?

In some tests the 4200 performed better than the 4400...

WHich version X2 dual core should I buy?

I have a ASUS AN-8 SLI DELUXE mobo, and a Radeon X800 GTO video card, with two 250gig WD 7200 drives with 16mb cache.

Thanks for your help!

More about : 4200 512mb 4400 cache

January 28, 2006 5:24:20 PM

AMD always quotes the doubled cache as giving a 200MHz advantage, but the benefits are usually limited to certain applications. Generally the extra cache helps the processor overclock higher.

In any case, if the price difference is so extreme then you might as well stick with the X2 4200+. Any performance difference isn't worth the price.
January 28, 2006 5:27:17 PM

The amount of cache on AMD isn't a big deal thanks to the Integrated Memory Controller. It gives a boost but its up to you if that boost is worth the extra money.
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January 28, 2006 5:37:11 PM

Well, I have heard here on the forums that A64s arent not as cache dependant as the P4s. So I would assume that 1MB is just fine. I am not going to speak authoritavely when I make this next statement, but I did do benchmarks between two athlon XPs at the same clock speed but one had 256k of cache and one had 512. There was no difference in divx encoding speed.... I am not sure if it is as indicative, but there is a marginal difference in encoding times between the 128k semprons and the 256k ones so I feel my benchmarks are not inaccurate and have the benefit of being first hand.

Gaming is different though. I do believe cache plays a more important role in that. The real question though: "is it worth $100 to you?" Synthetic benchmarks also benefit from the additional cache.

The real question you should ask yourself is what would you do with the $100 you would save by getting the 4200. It could be the difference between normal PC3200 or mushkin redline RAM (that seems to be 50% faster than regular RAM.) Or better yet, getting 2GB of performance RAM. A better case to cool your system? Would you want a 6800GS or a 7800GT? $100 can make alot more difference in other places beyond your CPU. I would take the mushkin RAM before the 4400 if you ask me.....

You will be happy no matter which one you buy.
January 28, 2006 6:26:08 PM

Ya I was thinking the same thing.

I have 1 GB of Crucial Ballistix Ultra memory, which is supposed to be high performance memory. I am thinking another 1 GB (512X2) would be better investment than small step in processor.

Thanks for everyones help...

Keep the responses comming!
January 28, 2006 6:42:55 PM

4 x 512 ram is slightly worse than 2 x 1Gb another thing you must consider. 4x512 runs at 2t rather than 1t (or so I've heard no personal experience) it shouldn't be more than a 2-5% difference but its your call as its your money.
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January 28, 2006 7:29:57 PM

"Generally the extra cache helps the processor overclock higher."

I'd suspect the opposite is true...
January 28, 2006 9:02:43 PM

Quote:
I was looking at some of the CPU reviews in TH.com and noticed that the 4200 X2 Athalon performs just about as fast as the 4400 X2, and that the ghz clock rate appears to be the same for both chips.

However- the 4400 X2 comes with 1MB per core, and the 4200 only has 512k per core. Does this make a difference?

You have answered your own question. Memory is a funny thing. If you don't have enough you need more. If you have enough more does not help.

I object to AMD's plus rating going up based on the extra cache because of this very issue. It is misleading is it not?

BTW Intel chips behave exactly the same way. Doubling the cache does very little to increase performance on chips that already have enough cache.
January 29, 2006 1:02:28 AM

so If I already have 512x2 sticks.... I should not add another 512 x2 ??

4 sticks of 512 DDR will not be much faster than the two sticks of DDR i have now?
January 29, 2006 1:14:38 AM

4x512 is about 2-5% slower than 2x1Gb you'd probably never notice unless your favorite games are benchmarks.
January 29, 2006 7:15:35 PM

I don't have GB sticks..

I currently have two sticks of 512mb Crucial Ballistix = 1024MB DDR

SO I have one GIG now...

If I bought two more sticks of 512MB then I would have 2GB total system memory (512x4 stick)

So my question was will two more sticks perform better ?

How much faster will 4 sticks of memory be compared to two sticks?
January 30, 2006 4:22:29 AM

Lets put this one to rest shall we? Since you have high quality performance RAM, you can overclock to overcome that nasty drop from T1 to T2. Unfortunately, since you want to run 4 sticks, you will not get a super high overclock. You may or may not be able to compensate for the loss in command rate by bumping up the clock speed. What do you plan to do? You know what? Anyway you cut it (gaming or otherwise) I think you will benefit more from the extra GB than havig a T1 command rate. What will be faster? Load times on games and you will be able to have more programs running. But its not like windoze will run faster or some crap like that. yes, you could buy a 1GB stick that can run at a T1 rate blah, blah, blah. If you have the cash, then great! Do it! This whole thing is up to you man. In my opinion, there is no serious drawback to using another 2x512. Except you will need more power and you will have more heat in your case. If you chunk you current RAM, it will cost you some money to get 1GB sticks of RAM that perform as well as your crucial ballistix. Again, its your choice.
January 30, 2006 4:59:47 AM

I have the X2 4400+ and I'm really happy with my purchase.

When I bought the comp, I also got 'extra cooling', which meant more case fans, a 12cmx12cm heatsink and a 12cm fan on the heatsink too.

At the minute I'm running stable at 2x2.475 Ghz with normal voltage. 100% load has increased only from 49C to 51C. Given reviews here, I could perhaps push to 2.6Ghz if I added the voltage a little if the temp didnt hit 55.

NB/ I saw a difference from 2x2.2Ghz to 2x2.475Ghz almost instantly.

I do a lot of multitasking, and I have a clicky finger that likes to switch between windows a lot even when bored... so the extra cache comes in handy :D 
January 30, 2006 3:48:53 PM

Awsome response about the RAM. I think I understand but not sure. What exactly is T1 and T2 command rates? And why would two more sticks run slower? And- where can learn about overclocking my memory and how to do it?

I specifically would like to learn how to:

Overclock my CPU safely (I have good cooling)
Overclock my Radeon X800 GTO video card
Overclock my Crucial Basllistix memory (which is PC4000, not PC3200)

I have a ASUS AN8-SLI DELUXE motherboard.

Links or suggestions would be excellent!
January 30, 2006 10:03:50 PM

Quote:
Awsome response about the RAM. I think I understand but not sure. What exactly is T1 and T2 command rates? And why would two more sticks run slower? And- where can learn about overclocking my memory and how to do it?

I specifically would like to learn how to:

Overclock my CPU safely (I have good cooling)
Overclock my Radeon X800 GTO video card
Overclock my Crucial Basllistix memory (which is PC4000, not PC3200)

I have a ASUS AN8-SLI DELUXE motherboard.

Links or suggestions would be excellent!


3+ sticks of ram run slower because it is hard on the memory controller. 1T is faster than 2T, and it will run 2T single channel if you put in 3+ sticks/insert them in the wrong spots. Note: when you are overclocking, DON'T FORGET to lower the HTT ratio, keep it at 3 to be safe. But, back to the CPU. If you really need the cache, try and see if you can't run an opteron 165/170/175 or just a 165 on a different FSB/HTT ratio than 1:1, since all opty's have 1mb of cache, even the dual cores. (keep in mind though, this will not really effect gaming.)
January 31, 2006 3:49:21 AM

I may be wrong. There is a poster named kolemonkey that sayes using two sticks of his corsair 3500xlrPro RAM with a command timing of 1 is way faster than using 4 sticks of that RAM with a command rate of 2. I dont know anymore. I guess it comes down to this: do I beleive a tech review site or a poster here on the forums...... I will tell you this FOR SURE!!! Unless you buy some stoopidly expensive RAM, if you overclock it you will most assuredly have to drop your command timing to 2. I guess it is your choice. Stopidly expensive to me is 275+ for match 512 sticks. Your best bet IMHO is mushkin redline series RAM. I dont even know if they make it anymore. Its badass though.

You want to overclock? do a google search for "overclockers bible" I intend on reading on my way home from Iraq. It looks to be sooper tight.

I cant help you on that GTO thing buddy. But I would be careful if I were you. I know I will get fragged for this but..... I dont think it is worth it to mess with your graphics card. What do you realy hope to gain? A few more fps? The GPUs already run hot. Just my opinion. Ask around on the graphics forum and tell them your model and they will hook you up.

I didnt know you had ballistix. Why didnt you just say so? I am going out on a limb here, but I think out of the three main OC components (CPU,mobo, RAM) the RAM is the least fault tolerant. It has no active cooling and gives the least benefit for the risk. I am going to do REAL LIFE tests t see is the extra RAM boost is worth it. If it doesnt benefit me with what I am doing, then I will run my RAM at stock (it is PC4000 as well-thats why I bought it) and run a RAM divider and just boost my FSB to achieve my overclocks. Actually no, I will run it 1:1 but set my RAM at 200mhz SDR and it will just scale to 240mhz along with my CPU. if you want to short version of overclocking, i will do my best if you want.
January 31, 2006 5:06:07 AM

I can't imagine 4 sticks slower than 2 even at 2T vs 1T, unless of course he never needed more than (or close to) the 2 sticks to start with. Otherwise, he may have done something to the other settings.
January 31, 2006 5:32:35 AM

I dont know what to tell you bruddah. These are kolemonkey's specs. For all we know, "faster" could be a misnomer. Maybe he posts better marks on synthetic tests by having 2 sticks at T1. But maybe he drops fps on say Doom3 when entering a new room or something. Maybe BF2 loads slower with only 1GB vice two. I dunno. I am going to do my own tests when I get back to the states. Wait, I cant. I 2x1GB. I guess someone else will have to do it. Unfortunately I dont think many people have 4x512.
January 31, 2006 5:58:56 AM

yea. i feel bad for ppl w/2x512mb and wanna upgrade. i love my 2x1gb, and i feel like in a year or two, ppl who have 2x2gb or 2x4gb are gonna feel sorried for me, lol
January 31, 2006 7:47:16 AM

Can you tell me what your overclock settings (voltage, fsb, etc etc) are on your rig? Just curious since I am getting something similar...
January 31, 2006 9:32:37 PM

I just set up my new PC today and have not overclocked yet.

It is stock, but works very well so far

Seems alot faster than my P4 board I just replaced.
January 31, 2006 10:07:15 PM

The 165 wont go higher than 9x, so I'm kinda forced to run an insane FSB, although I'd not very fond of that. I got lucky and didnt need to up the voltage on my unit much to hit a stable 2.7 (maybe just a tad over 1.4), although I wouldn't bet on every 165 doing it.

Note: I remember posting somewhere in past month or two about hitting my 2.7 on 1.35, sorry, I was wrong, i hit 2.5ish with that voltage.
February 1, 2006 2:35:25 AM

Thanks for your honesty man. I appreciate it. i would be nervous with my FSB at 300mhz as well! But if you can do it, why not right?
February 1, 2006 2:45:08 AM

you shouldn't be nervous provided you have a stable memory configuration and a GOOD motherboard. for an oc like this, you ought to consider a DFI board.
February 1, 2006 3:13:22 AM

DFI makes a good mobo too. When I was shopping mobos, I just had to go with the a8nsli premium, for many reasons, but ill spare my fingers and not explain.

ak47's right, just make sure you go with a good pair of ram (2x1gb), and don't get a pos mobo.
February 1, 2006 3:26:08 AM

I dont plan on taking my 3800 past 2.4 ghz. I am a wuss. I wanted 2GB of RAM so super premium RAM didnt fit into my budget. We'll see what happens when I get back from Iraq.
!