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Urgent: Opteron 170 or X2 4200+

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Opteron 170 or X2 4200+

Total: 13 votes (3 blank votes)

  • X2 4200+
  • 30 %
  • Opteron 170
  • 70 %
February 3, 2006 11:32:02 PM

Hi im going to buy one of these two CPUs tomorrow at a computer fair and need to know which one to go for, the Opteron 170 will cost me about $60 more, is it worth going for this one?

I would be overclocking by about an extra .2GHz up to an extra .4GHz.

I will buy either a DFI Lanparty UT nF3 ULTRA-D motherboard or a Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939 motherboard for it (Not sure if these work with the opteron).

What advice can you offer me (im aware how many similar posts there must be to this)?
February 3, 2006 11:39:33 PM

Quote:
Hi im going to buy one of these two CPUs tomorrow at a computer fair and need to know which one to go for, the Opteron 170 will cost me about $60 more, is it worth going for this one?

I would be overclocking by about an extra .2GHz up to an extra .4GHz.

I will buy either a DFI Lanparty UT nF3 ULTRA-D motherboard or a Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939 motherboard for it (Not sure if these work with the opteron).

What advice can you offer me (im aware how many similar posts there must be to this)?


One more thing, this would be used primarily for multitasking and then gaming.
February 3, 2006 11:47:17 PM

opty all the way
Related resources
February 4, 2006 12:13:21 AM

Opteron 170

Looks like the best potential to get one that you could run full time at 2800MHz on water, or 2600MHz on air.

I am running my 2x2.2GHz stock Opteron 175 24/7 at 2x2.42GHz overclocked 20% and stable in every aspect, including temps.
I am only using 2.8volts on the memory and 1.4 volts on the processor.
Running temps are 37 idle and 42C-43C maxed.
February 4, 2006 12:33:27 AM

No matter what you choose, they both are good. I love my 2x while Rick loves his Opty! :x
February 4, 2006 12:41:48 AM

They are exactly the same ;)  only different!!!
February 4, 2006 12:47:28 AM

Is that even possible Rich? being the same and different at the same time?
February 4, 2006 1:08:23 AM

They are the same design, just different silicon and higher tolerances on the Opty.
February 4, 2006 1:13:27 AM

yes the x2 is the playful one the opty is the workaholic of the two
February 4, 2006 1:33:01 AM

AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core:
2200 x 2
512KB x2
939
Both E4 and E6 steppings / core revisions.
90nm SOI
89 W
2000 HT bus

Dual-Core AMD Opteron™ Processor 170:
2000 x 2
1 MB x 2
939 (make sure isn't 940 pin model).
E6 stepping / rev only
90nm (likely SOI)
110 W
2000 HT bus.

Summary:

If you want clock speed (gaming) get the Athlon 64 X2 4200 with lower peak heat output.

If you want the extra L2 cache (server) get the Opteron with higher heat output (has more cache).

Summary excludes overclocking potential, which is fairly equal on both processors anyway (although many will claim the Opteron goes higher because of a lucky few), and also a differences check between the E4 and E6 revisions. (eg: one may have SSE3, mostly unsued in AMD64 software due to compilers, etc and E6 may have a higher overclock potential). The X2 4200+ is available in both E4 & E6 rev's though.

If both overclocked to the same speed (say 2.5 GHz), all other system clocks roughly equal, then the Opteron 170 will outperform, as it'll still be 2.5 GHz (eg) and have 2 x 1 MB caches at the same cloc speed, vs only 2 x 512 KB caches.

Alot of people are 'Opteron happy', now that it has gone to Socket-939 (for single socket boards) aswell as being on S-940 for some time (servers). Also saying you have an 'Opteron' sounds cooler to most people as it implies you have a server, even though the Opteron 100 series can only be used as a single-socket server and is thus available in both S-939 and S-940 varients.

The Opteron is a safer bet if you need the E6 revision (for whatever reason).

EDIT: After checking your specs, it appears you are likely a gamer, so get the 2.2 GHz Athlon64 X2 processor, instead of the 2.0 GHz Opteron 170, as single thread performance will be higher, and large caches to not help in gaming past a certain point. Benchmarks between the two comfirm this..

PS: I personally am running 2 x Opteron 270 (2 x Dual-Core, for 4 cores, at 2.0 GHz also), as it features NUMA (on my board) and memory performance is aggregated over both memory controllers (12.8 GB/sec peak). The Opteron 200+ series are exclusive to Socket-940, and likely AMD Socket-F down the track..... Most 'threaded' games like Quake 4, etc actually run slower on my system compared to only 'slightly higher clocked' single core processors, let alone slightly higher clocked dual-core ones.
February 4, 2006 2:21:00 AM

Correct, it is the X2-4400 that is the equivlant of the Opteron 175
February 4, 2006 2:28:38 AM

Hi,
Thanks for your reply/s,
I will probably go with the X2 despite lots saying the Opteron is better, paying $600 Australian Dollars seems a bit much for a CPU (Opteron).

I want to buy the DFI Lanparty nF3 motherboard (I can't get nF4 because of my AGP 6600GT) and I don't see any pages showing that the Opteron is supported on this motherboard.

In terms of heating, would the Opteron overheat when overclocked with stock fan and heatsink?

You mention E4 and E6 steppings /core revisions, what is the difference and how can I tell which one im buying (would it show on the box?)?

One more thing is there a particular box type or model number that the X2 is sold in that i should get?, I heard that there is one model number you should choose and one you should'nt.
February 4, 2006 3:04:22 AM

get the asrock dual sata2 it has both agp and pci-e
February 4, 2006 3:18:08 AM

I know about this motherboard from AsRock but have read that the perfromance is not very good and it doesn't have most functions that im looking for.
February 4, 2006 2:41:18 PM

You sure ?

I'd go with 'dvdpiddy's advise on this one. (Normally we disagree on things, but his one liner above sums it up nicely).

If you can't afford / justify a new video card the Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 has exactly what you'll need.
http://www.asrock.com/product/939Dual-SATA2.htm

PCIe x16 - Future Video Card
AGP 8X - Your current GeForce 6600 GT
Socket 939 - For AMD CPUs
Slot for Socket AM2 - For future AMD CPUs (assuming it is sturdy enough)
Native ULI HDD controllers aswell as SATA-II (with NCQ support) controller added to the board. (Need to install more drivers, but that only takes a few minutes and every other 3rd party HDD controller is just as 'annoying' to setup).

It has 'only won 7+ awards', and the AGP implementation on it is excellent compared to other 'dirty hacks' I've seen on PCIe x16 boards which offer a 'AGX 8X' slot. (that is the common name of the dirty hack version, it works alright, but 'AGX via PCI' interface is slower, yes... this board does not use it however, a very common misconception).

The ULI chipset in use actually natively supports both AGP and PCIe x16, nVidia brought out ULI shortly afterwards.

It also has a slot making it Socket AM2 ready and is on my personal list of 'most overlooked mainboards'.

TweakTowns review was pretty good / all conclusive check of the board:
http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/823/asrock_939dual_sat...
TweakTown are usually pretty good confirmation a product is worth looking into, combined with Toms, Xbitlabs, Anandtech & others.

Others who gave it awards:
http://www.ocworkbench.com/2005/asrock/reviews/939Dual-...
http://www.au-ja.de/review-asrock939dualsata2-1.phtml
http://www.pc-treiber.net/artikel/artikel.php?id=30&pag...
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1860
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASRock/939Dual-SATA2...
- Few German h/w review sites in there, which also indicates a good product.

Think of it this way, if the board retailed for $250 you would suddenly be interested in it, especially if it 'dropped' to $100 from some vendors.

The ULI chipset might have minor issue under say Linux / Solaris / Unix, but if you only plan to use Windows XP Home/Pro/x64 it'll be fine. Performance of the board was actually rather decent too. :p 

What features of the nForce 3 (besides the odd minor bugs it had, just Google it) are you specifically looking towards ?
- HT1600 vs HT2000 on the Asrock 939Dual ? (hehehe, of course not).
- SLI -- well neither nForce 3 nor above Asrock board offer it.
- SATA-II - The above board has 2 HDD controllers.

The nForce4 4x / 16 x/ Pro2000 was when Socket 939/940 had it good, nForce3 was more aimed at Socket 754 platforms using AGP for 'Celeron' style AMD systems that could use the 'Athlon 64' logo.

IMHO nForce3 was not a nice 'progession' of nForce2, the only exception beign the CPU socket changed from Socket A to Socket 754/939/940, and thus CPU support did aswell.

You may want to research the nForce3 chipset a little more (white papers and tech docs on nVidia website.... I hope).
February 4, 2006 3:14:11 PM

If you buy an X2 4200 instead of an opteron 170 you are making a foolish mistake! On air a 170 can reach and surpass X2 4800 speeds, on water certain stepping #s of the 170 series can reach FX-60 speeds! This chip is around $400 in the us so if u can buy it from the us. You wont regret it. Check out newegg.com or zipzoomfly.com for the lowest prices.
February 4, 2006 3:32:01 PM

I have to agree. Opteron's are well built and perform.
My Opteron 175 is stable up to 2680MHz, which is not bad, and even at that speed, is a good bit faster than a FX-60...
BTW, The only difference between the Opteron 180 and the FX-60 is 200mhz boost of MHz which puts it a 2600MHz.
Well, that makes my Opteron 175 faster than a stock FX-60, and I only paid $459 for it oem from NewEgg!!!

Best deal is the Opty 170 for $390 or so... It will also easily clock up to 2.7GHz and beat a stock FX-60.

Really, think about it.
February 4, 2006 3:57:04 PM

Quote:
Hi,
I will probably go with the X2...

In terms of heating, would the Opteron overheat when overclocked with stock fan and heatsink?

You mention E4 and E6 steppings /core revisions, what is the difference and how can I tell which one im buying (would it show on the box?)?

One more thing is there a particular box type or model number that the X2 is sold in that i should get?, I heard that there is one model number you should choose and one you should'nt.


When OC'ed any CPU might overheat. The Opteron might overheat, but so might the Athlon64 X2. The Opteron will output more heat, at the same clock, because of the larger cache and higher power requirement it is, it also requires 80 Amps on the CPU socket for stability, it may overclock higher though. (This may just be that overclockers select the Opteron, and the X2 is not 'being advertised' as such, or perhaps the E4 stepping does not overclock so ppl observe the A64-X2 does not OC as high, etc).

If you can cool the Opt-170 very well, and it'll handle it, and your mainboard correctly supports it (offically or otherwise), with a slight voltage increase, etc... then it would perform better yes. The AMD stock cooler is pretty good, I recommend at least changing the fan on it though.

Note: Overclocking is part luck, part skill, and a large part technical / chipset configuration knowledge. TurboCharging a car may not void the warranty, but Overclocking PC components will void the warranty. If you can't afford replacements on gear damaged during OC (slim risk, but can happen), then don't do it. If an extra few dollars for an Opteorn is a huge deal chances are you can't afford to have a whole system, minus one failed component making it incomplete, just lying around idle until you can afford a spare because of a void warranty.... The chances of it are slim if you know what you're doing, but they do exist.

The difference between all Ex revisions is minor, from a software and hardware / technical perspective, but the E6 rev might be a better OC choice. (Both Opt-170 and A64-X2 are available in E6 remember, so the Opt-170 is not a 'bad' choice and is likely to work in any Socket 939 board after a BIOS update.):
http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/white_pape...
The E6 revision is the same one used for the Opteron 170, and may have similar overclocking potential. (Back in C0 and CG, etc revisions it was worth looking for the newer stuff, Any Ex/E# rev is fine).

It might be ADA4400DAA5CD instead of ADA4200DAA5BV when selecting the CPU from a tray at a PC Market. But they usually sell boxed ones at the Australian IT markets now. Otherwise check the PDF (Above) and see if there is any specific part number that can be determined.

PS: http://users.on.net/~darkpeace - I am an Australian citizen.

Also the Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 I mentioned above is not an 'overclockers board', however if you are leaning towards the A64-X2 anyway (vs Opt-170) your base clock speed will be +10% higher without the 'risk' of overclocking. (if you choose not to OC).

Otherwise, yes, I'd be looking at DFI, Abit & even some Epox boards for a high OC potential, so long as you're familar with the process, chipsets, BIOS and the boards potential... aswell as the processors.

Overclocking is generally for two people, both with high technical knowledge:
- The desperate, who don't care if they lose the hardware.
- The ones who can afford to replace some of or their entire PC should it fail.
The people in the middle of these two classes generally don't overclock as often. Statisically speaking anyway.
February 4, 2006 4:30:50 PM

Quote:
On air a 170 can reach and surpass X2 4800 speeds, on water certain stepping #s of the 170 series can reach FX-60 speeds!


There is only one revision / stepping of the Opteron 170 on the market for Socket 939, AMD are not planning any further ones either.

So my question to 'adamryer' would be: Specifically, which stepping #s of the 170 series can reach FX-60 speeds ? - Except there is only one revision, any deviation in results people have obtained is purely luck, cooling, or technical knowledge / configuration differences.

Using stock air cooling, drawing 80 A, 110 W, at stock settings mind you anything more would need a nice VRM and PSU. Bear in mind the poster of this thread sounds like they can't afford a replacement heatsink, well not one worth getting that is better than the AMD stock model. :p  ,

....and installing a unsupported / untested processor on the mainboard has a risk level. (The manufacturer can refuse to RMA the board, even if not overclocking). - (Hypothetical scenario follows:)  Even if it 'works' fine then 6 months later the VRM just explodes / dies on the mainboard, least we'd know why it failed though, but that isn't going to bring it back is it ?

My concern is, the poster can not afford the risk level (financially) of overclocking if they are trying to 'scrounge' a few dollars between processors.
!