X2 3800 - Worth it?

It's new computer time. Joy! :)

We use our computer for multimedia work - audio, video and still pictures all get edited - and for playing games.

When I first started planning the specs for a new system I was originally attracted toward a P4 chip because of the HT technology making it quicker for multimedia work, and I picked out the 630 as being a decent value chip. However, I've since discovered that prescott-based processors like the 630 overheat very easily so I'm guessing that unless I get a big fat fan in the case I'm going to loose performance thanks to the heat.

I've now found a bit of extra money to spend, and I'm wonder on the value of getting an X2 3800 dual core chip instead. This clearly beats the 630 in every benchmark going, but not by that much, especially with games. Since it's twice the price of the 630 I want to be sure it's worthwhile. So the question is, given it's extra performance in media encoding added to the extra performace we get running multiple applications, is it worth it? Are we likely to see enough dual-core applications coming through in the future to make this a useful case of future-proofing?

EDIT: I suppose that if I do go for the X2 it's more than worthwhile to shell out the extra for winXP pro 64 as well?

14 answers Last reply
More about 3800 worth
  1. im going to say yes because i got one in the mail yesterday...and if i say no then i screwed myself. It took me a lot of convincing to finally get myself to buy a new system. I didnt encounter a single article in weeks/months of searching for reviews on this processor, that was strongly opposed to any processor in the X2 line.
  2. Well X2 Of any Variance will do you good for Multimedia work. and AMD it will do you better.*If every second is precious to you* And Going dual core will Benifit you if you will keep that new processer for the next 3-4 years. Because the Multimedia application will come out with Patches and different versions that will make full use of the Dual core.

    EDIT: Yea and with AMD64 You will also have that Tingly feeling in your stomach that you are also Supported for 64-Bit Applications and Dual-core Performance. So you get Twice the Pleasure than sticking with SINgle Core, 32-bit*ONLY processer.
  3. Hey mattDP, personally I have a dual core chip and I don't think I could ever go back. If you plan on running numerous applications at once then the X2 3800+ would be a good option. I have a 4400+ and I have no problem playing games and running plenty of other aps in the background. You can be in the middle of a game and have an antivirus program running and be just fine.

    To the best of my knowledge we are going to see a bunch more multi-threaded applications in the future which is why I decided to go dual core. I am by no means an expert but I just know from my personal experience that the move to a dual core processor has been well worth it.
  4. Well, the heat issue with P4s is not an issue. They don't run hot as everybody claims they do and besides, I've seen just as many posts here about AMDs running hot.

    The Pentium D dual core, 930 or 950 would do the job very well. I have one and love it. I've put together numerous 6xx series prescott machines and never had a single heat issue.

    Dual core is the way to go though and if you really want a value, get the 805.
  5. I guess I'll jump on here if only to back up what the others have said and give you one more person to say: go dual core.

    yep, future prooof-er than single... not that single core is dead, and for games it is prb as good or better... but for multitasking and as newer apps for encoding and such become more dual core aware the dual chips are de shizzle.

    I also went w/ x2, but hear that opty is the way to go for oc... there are some threads here showing x2 oc'ing well too, but by and large most oc's are optys.

    the dual pentium is cheaper (i think) and prb does just fine (dunno, never used one), but most of the dual core users on here seem to be opty/x2 owners if that means anything. Enjoy the new system.
  6. you might aswell, i got one recently, they overclock really well too, if thats your thing, so you can make it the equivalent of a x2 4400 i believe, if not more, and as the others said, it future proofs you too, and anyway, i live in taiwan, which during the summer is a very very hot country, 35-40 degrees C, and, pentiums are already a hot processor, as you said, so i wouldnt touch them for that reason if nothing else

    but basically, go dual core, you might as well!
  7. Yes!
    Bought my X2 3800+ in January. It replaced a Socket 939 3000+ Winchester core (one of the first AMD 64s at 90 nm).
    I paid $329 at a computer show (instant gratification for a few dollars above the New Egg price at the time).
    For my money, I gained a speed bump of only 200 mhz (2.0 ghz instead of my old cpu's 1.8 ghz). But I also gained all the new core revisions (the two cpus were manufactured almost a year apart, during which time AMD made a number of improvements) and of course, I gained a second processing core with the X2.
    Nine weeks later, I'm still very happy with my X2. For me and the kinds of things I use my computer for, it was the right upgrade at the right time. The X2 is doing everything I hoped that it would do -- however, I had very realistic expectations about what to expect.
    I also have mine bumped up in speed to 2.2 ghz, which it did very easily using the software that came with my motherboard, and it still runs quite cool at the higher speed.
  8. Yes, I definately agree there. Get an X2 dual core and stay away from Windows 64. I've heard some people have had good luck with it but, I've heard alot more horror stories about the problems with it. Mostly driver support problems.
  9. More than Worth It, I got this Mofo OC @ 2.6Ghz! that's 30%, and at 26*c in a cool room :twisted: Want any more excuses?
  10. I love it.

    I've found the X2 to work better than a Hyperthreaded P4 at multi-tasking, and in general at not locking up when throttled to the max. I've done things while running an anti-virus with no noticable slowdown. It's fantastic.
  11. the x2 3800 is a very good chip, and should do you well for a while yet, but you should also consider getting an opteron 165.
  12. I've got two computers - one has a P4 630 and the other has an Athlon X2 3800. The P4 runs on Win XP Home and has a Geforce 6600 128mb vid card while the 3800 runs on Win XP MCE and has nvidia 6100 256mb integrated. Both have 1GB ram. I don't run several applications at once mostly internet surfing and online games. I noticed that the P4 runs a little bit faster especially at boot-up. The P4 is slated at 3.0Mhz while the X2 3800 runs at 2.0Mhz. Are these 2 processors basically the same in speed? What does the difference in Ghz mean? Also I don't know how to o/c the 3800. There is nothing in the BIOS (I think) that allows me to do that? Any suggestions. Thanks.
  13. the difference in ghz between these 2 processors means nothing. The x2 3800 is a much better CPU than the p4 630, especially considering it is dual core, basically making it 2 CPUs.
  14. Yeah, the P4 3.0 is not a bad chip. The technology is not as good as the AMD chip but it still performs pretty good. They have totally different clock speeds but the AMD still should run multiple applications a little better because it is a true dual core.

    If you want to learn anything about overclocking, take a look at my thread. It's about my Opteron 165 but, it still applies for the most part for any X2 AMD. It might provide some useful information for you.

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