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Opteron 265 > Opteron 165 upgrade?

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  • RAM
  • Opteron
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March 3, 2006 11:03:40 AM

I was all over getting a 939 board and 165 Opteron until... I saw the Opteron 265 (940 socket) @ the same price roughly.

The mb was $100 more than I was going spend initially. Doh! EEC ram needed. Doh! ECC ram isn't that expensive.

In a month I'll buy the ASUS mb, the 265 chip, 1 gig of ecc, and a cheap @$$ x300 pci express card barebone set up and replace the guts of my current AMD MP system. Maybe in 6 months I'll drop the second 265 Opteron on the board and maybe grab a better graphic card Nvidia 6800 Xtreme.

I figure being able to add a second dual core cpu and having 16Gb of ram to scale to might get me through Vista and future memory/cpu hungry apps that will natually come down the pike.

-- and I've seen the sisoft benches for what I'm about to upgrade to. 8O

My question... other than the $1200 upgrade cost I've budgeted when all stages are said and done, is there a forseeable downside to this upgrade path? I'm thinking I can get 3+ years out of it happily.

More about : opteron 265 opteron 165 upgrade

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March 3, 2006 11:27:22 AM

If you feel you need the features of the dual 940 mainboard (most have 2 or 3 PCI-X slots, right?), then enjoy it! (I'm not sure the ECC varieties of RAM are routinely available that will hit 200 MHz, but even at DDR333, it should be a happy system, if each procesor has it's own bank of 1 or 2 gb or so..)

The standard 940 Opty socket will also go the way of the Dodo in a few months, being replaced by a new 940 Socket-F, I've heard...; you might not want to wait too long before pickng up the 2nd 265 processor, lest they be depleted when you need it
March 3, 2006 11:41:16 AM

DDR 400ECC sticks of ram are fairly common place now. As far as your second CPU, AMD will support the current S939/940 for at least 18 months, depending on demand. Server SKUs tend to be around longer then desktop items.
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March 3, 2006 11:48:53 AM

Quote:
I was all over getting a 939 board and 165 Opteron until... I saw the Opteron 265 (940 socket) @ the same price roughly.

The mb was $100 more than I was going spend initially. Doh! EEC ram needed. Doh! ECC ram isn't that expensive.

In a month I'll buy the ASUS mb, the 265 chip, 1 gig of ecc, and a cheap @$$ x300 pci express card barebone set up and replace the guts of my current AMD MP system. Maybe in 6 months I'll drop the second 265 Opteron on the board and maybe grab a better graphic card Nvidia 6800 Xtreme.

I figure being able to add a second dual core cpu and having 16Gb of ram to scale to might get me through Vista and future memory/cpu hungry apps that will natually come down the pike.

-- and I've seen the sisoft benches for what I'm about to upgrade to. 8O

My question... other than the $1200 upgrade cost I've budgeted when all stages are said and done, is there a forseeable downside to this upgrade path? I'm thinking I can get 3+ years out of it happily.


The nVidia 6800 XT is a poor performance card, you'll want a GeForce 6800 GT or GS instead surely ... if gaming ... unless you meant 'GeForce 6800 GT Extreme', which is OK. :p 

The downside is that most applications are not threaded, and will only perform with 1.8 GHz of processing power on a Opteron 165 / 265 system. If your system is an actual MP system, running software designed for MP ( or multi-core now: http://multicore.amd.com ) then yes, you will see many benefits. Games will not be threaded for a very long time, and benefits from threading while the OS does timeslicing the way OS's always have will limit its use in many games.

The Tyan K8WE S2985 is the board I am currently using:
http://www.users.on.net/~darkpeace/hardware/Opteron270....
- My original design notes are towards the bottom, but after AMD64 Revision CG PC3200 on Opterons with large memory counts was a common reality, so ignore those parts.
- It has the nForce 2200, 2050, and an AMD-8000 chipset, also multiple tunnels for PCI-X (133 - 66 MHz, 64 bit) cards, and supports SLi (2 x PCIe x16)

Don't just look at Registered ECC, (vs just ECC, it is key'd differently), look at Registered ECC / ChipKill(tm) DDR-SDRAM (128x4 vs 64x8) Search for articles on Registered memory & ChipKill ECC then read them .... ECC is very old news on the server front but most gamers get the gist of it.

If you want peak performance from an Opteron 200 series then you need 4 x DIMMs of memory and 2 x NUMA nodes (and 2 processors of course), so are you looking to get 4 x 256 MB PC3200 Registered ECC memory ?, or does 'that board' only connect the memory to the 1st CPU's memory controller (a fairly dumb idea when you've got 2 processors each with their own dual-channel memory controllers intregrated and could aggreate the memory performance, however... it does make the board cheaper and easier to market).

Asus + Hybrid Prosumer / Server board = bad idea.... Unless you are looking at their actual server boards and not Prosumer Dual Socket 940 ones. (Asus have two seperate lines, Private Msg me the model number and I can check it isn't one of their dodgier 'not really server but marketed that way anyway' boards.

Note: The SANDRA benchmarks can run up to 32 isolated threads, and usually fit within the cache of the processor..... are the applications you're planning to run on the machine similar to this ? - Games most certainly are not btw (Get a very high performance single-core processor for gaming... maybe a dual-core, anything more and the cores will sit idle 99.9% of the time).

If your are just running games the Opteron 265 is a very bad choice.

Are these the scores to which you refer ?


Full quality PNG at: http://users.on.net/~darkpeace/forum_images/hit-a-brick...
(Turn image automatic resize of if using MS Internet Explorer, or the image may look bad... or just get Firefox with image zoom in/out feature).
March 3, 2006 11:51:42 AM

woah, take it easy man -- :-D

Socket AM2 will be out in June so maybe you shouldnt go all out for now. Wait a little and see.
March 3, 2006 11:57:46 AM

The pc is not intended as a gaming machine. I will be using it as part of a home recording studio and will be using it for video editing as well as general prupose computing. I have 1 or 2 games, which is why I am willing to buy a middle of the road 6800 graphic card w/ 256 m for cheap.

Thanks for the links.

I do know a single core 3800+ is best for gaming /price/value etc, but that's not my aim.
March 3, 2006 12:16:10 PM

Sorry, had to check, lots of 'gamers' in these forums think a quad-core, or whatever 'crazy 32-core', system is an automatic ticket to 1000 fps.

Assuming the software you're using runs in 4 isolated threads (vs 4+ threads), then yes, it will benefit heaps.

Tip: Some professional video editing software can offload to the GeForce 7800 series GPU aswell for an even larger performance boost.

Suggest checking out:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download/...
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/9series/e...

They have recently updated the x64 version of the encoder to run in 4 isolated threads, and appear to have added more details since last time I checked the page (1-2 months ago).

Also look at the 'fairly new' Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0:
http://www.adobe.com
http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/newfeatures.html

- It has a heap of new features you may like, and with the offloading to GeForce 7800 (and some ATI cards) it performs quite well.
March 3, 2006 2:46:48 PM

well dude if you get the 265 i would suggest the asus k8n-dl good mobo
March 3, 2006 4:21:31 PM

It's $225 at New Egg, it's the one I had my eye on. it has PCI Express - price and reviews A+++
March 3, 2006 5:14:18 PM

I thought ECC RAM/940 socket stuff was slower? I guess you don't want the most speed, but the most accuracy and reliability? in that case go ECC/940 socket. :) 
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