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New Gaming System - Should I wait for AM2?

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March 23, 2006 8:13:57 PM

Hello all PC intellects,

I am seeking your opinion on whether the new AMD AM2 socket will be worth waiting for to build my new Gaming PC or if I am just better off building something with parts that are currently available. Granted in the longer run AM2 will probably be where its at, but who knows when software, RAM, and other product makers will be able to take full advantage of it. Besides that I want to have FUN right now.

So lets here those opinions.

More about : gaming system wait am2

March 23, 2006 8:30:29 PM

Socket 939
- Uses DDR1 (less bandwidth than DDR2
- Is at its end-of-life
- FX-60 is probably the end of the line

AM2
- Uses DDR2 (more bandwidth)
- Will probably be compatible with new processors until the release of AMD's next generation
- More processors will be released in the future (upgradability)
- *Rumored* to be compatible with DDR3
March 23, 2006 8:31:17 PM

Hi ..

I feel you should build your PC right now if you need it. If u wait for the next latest thing..ur never going to build a pc..

I just built my pc last month...using Dual Core 4400+..now i feel i shouldve waited till i get my hands on 5000+.....and it goes on forever and ever...

So just go out and build the monster if you need a pc right now.
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March 23, 2006 8:56:02 PM

Is it really going to be that beneficial to wait? Is there going to be enough product support for it in the coming year that will make it worth getting right away or - like it has seemed in the past - will it be best to let the technology mature?
March 23, 2006 8:59:26 PM

Only real benefit of waiting is price shifts.

If money is no concern, then it wouldn't matter to build now.

I think most people just want to get the best bang for their buck. :) 
a b à CPUs
March 23, 2006 9:02:09 PM

I will truly be surprised if socket M2/DDR2 rigs offer any advantages whatsoever (beyond a minor 200 Mhz clock speed jump for the initial debut) over a well built NF4 socket 939/PC3200 rig; so far, the preliminary M2/DDr2/667/800 benchmarks seem to point out that if anything, the question is will the equaly clocked M2 rig match a socket 939 rig, not the other way around. (We might see a small boost down the road with DDR2-1066 speeds, but preliminary M2 results with 667/800 have been rather disappointing, loosing by 1 frame/sec to a PC3200 rig at equal 4800+ speeds in every... single.... game.

If your current rig is adequate, and you feel inclined to wait for anything, I'd wait to see .....Intel's Conroe using DDR2/800/1066!
March 23, 2006 9:20:06 PM

the way conroe seems to be performing... id wait for a conroe instead of an amd2... and since theres tons of amd fanboys here ill probably get flamed for that, but if ur gonna wait for amd2 then wait for conroe to see how they stack up, and the few benchmarks that theyve provided it looks like conroe is going to beat amd2 until they can go 65nm..
March 23, 2006 9:34:03 PM

It usually takes 2-6 months or longer for a new platform to be tweaked and have the bugs worked out and prices drop to "acceptable" levels.

So I am not sure if waiting for AM2 is worth it.

I would suggest getting the best system you can afford now depending on your budget.

Alternatively you could build an entry level S939 system now and upgrade it later as AM2 pushes 939 prices down.

Get an nForce4 + S939 3200 + 512 or 1GB RAM + 7900GT or X1900 ( if you can afford it otherwise 7600GT )

What are your current specs?

Maybe you can reuse some of your existing parts.

Good luck! :-D
March 23, 2006 9:40:24 PM

buy now, enjoy what you get... if you wait then (like others have said) you will never get it. conroe could be pushed back, am2 could be held up... then, just as if you were waiting for Vista this year you would be left up the creek w/o a paddle.

I agree w/ mdd1963, am2 may or may not do enough better to warrant the wait.

conroe is a bit farther off in time, and personally I would not wait that long.

Actually i didn't wait come to think of it... my system is only 3 weeks old! I am happy w/ what i have, you will be too regardless of what you buy. Buy big like prozac above said and it will last you for a long time.
March 23, 2006 10:06:02 PM

Linux,

This is a completely new system that I am looking to build. You guys are probably going to flame me for the Shuttle box (I want something portable for LAN parties) but this is what I am looking at getting:

Shuttle XPC SN26-P1-BK-V1 AMD Socket 939 Barebones
or
Monarch Computers Hornet DIY with the EVGA mATX mobo - probably this 1!
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM
eVGA 512-P2-N575-AX Geforce 7900GTX 512MB Superclocked
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 1GHz HT Socket 939 Dual Core
G.SKILL 2GB DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered Dual Channel

Any thoughts?
Here is another question - X2 or Opteron?
March 23, 2006 11:42:05 PM

get 2 raptors if u can/ if they fit, raiding them is a lot faster than single drive raptors... i believe theres not a massive difference (except the price) from a signle 7200 and a single raptor, i could be wrong though... 2 74 raptors are the same price as 1 150, so id say get 2 74's
March 24, 2006 11:07:03 PM

If you plan on waiting wait for the Conroe, by the time AM2 comes out, Conroe should be chaper, they dont look horribly exspensive to begin with anyways. But if you really need a computer, OC wont work, any new graphics card would be a waste because of CPU bottle neck, then get a new comp now. True 939 is at the end of its life. But think of it like a wine. Wines get better with age, no one in their right mind would drink recently bottle grape juice if they could have a well aged Savingion.
March 25, 2006 4:10:34 AM

I like grape juice. :D 
March 25, 2006 5:05:33 AM

kinda a bad analogy, since u see that noone use p2's anymore... well most peopel..
March 25, 2006 7:38:59 AM

for the near future .... buy conroe ... qed
March 25, 2006 8:13:12 AM

Quote:
Hello all PC intellects,

I am seeking your opinion on whether the new AMD AM2 socket will be worth waiting for to build my new Gaming PC or if I am just better off building something with parts that are currently available. Granted in the longer run AM2 will probably be where its at, but who knows when software, RAM, and other product makers will be able to take full advantage of it. Besides that I want to have FUN right now.

So lets here those opinions.

No, you should not wait for AM2.
If you can wait, do it for Conroe, otherwise buy s939.
AM2 promises less performance than s939, but higher prices.
March 25, 2006 8:54:11 AM

If this is for gaming, you should definitely not wait! The CPU is actually one of the last concerns for a gaming rig, right after the keyboard and mouse.

In a new, GPU dependent game, like FEAR The CPU hardly matters at all and I can only see this trend getting worse. Full FSAA plus full AF with HDR and SM 3.0 is something few, if any, cards can handle today but it is something that could, should, be implemented in yesterday's game.

People that argue about the huge, CPU-taxing, physics models of future games forget that graphics advance much faster than game-engines anyway. Oh, and the fact that advanced physics, much like advanced 3d graphics, can't be handled by any general purpose CPU present or future. Not even a Conroe at 5 Ghz would beat a dedicated physics processor.

I will end, off topic, by saying that I don't understand fanboys at all. The CPU is the least important, within rational limits, part of a new computer for anyone not running time-is-money CPU dependent applications. (Encoding, modeling, CAD etc.) Most fanboys spend their free time posting crap on the net and playing CSS or Battlefield - things a lowly A64 3200+ would run just as well as a 10 Ghz Conroe.
March 25, 2006 9:01:37 AM

8) well said .. i must say i agree with you 99.9%
March 25, 2006 9:37:56 AM

Socket AM2 is going to scale well compared to Socket 754/939.

Much like Socket 754 won't scale well (it needs +200 MHz more on CPU to keep pace with SOcket 939 with higher end CPUs) past Athlon 64 3700+ speeds. (Single-core AMD64 at 2.4 GHz)

Socket 939 scaled to Dual-core AMD64 at 2.8 GHz well.

Socket AM2 should then scale to Quad-core AMD64 at up to 3.6 GHz quite well. Assuming they make quad-core chips for Socket AM2 using the 65nm shrink (and they could do it, just a question of if they will).

Most games don't scale anywhere near linear in performance with dual-core, let alone quad-core, but much work should be done in that area over the next 2-3 years. To keep 'applications' (cough, games) scaling in performance with the hardware.

I mean once every video card can do 2560 x 1920 at high enough detail with FSAA in games while keeping the minimum frame rate above 80fps where are we going to go next ?

I suspect the answer is more optimized code in game engines (The guys that make the Unreal engine must sleep on piles of money), and this is likely to include physics processing. Hopefully just using the extra CPU cores and offloading to highly advanced (96+ unit, each capable of crunching arrays of mathematical data) math co-processors to get far more 'real' effects in games. (vs them just looking pretty but only having basic interaction, and basic material/object dynamics).

Emphasis will, and about bloody time I might add, change to the MINIMUM FRAME RATE in benchmarks, and the ceiling will be limited to say 120fps so a long frame here and there will hurt the average, and weighted average, frame rate. The minimum frame rate is highly dependant on the CPU being able to process all the logic, physics, etc... and this is going to be a very good thing within 5 years.

The buzzwords for 2007 - 2012 will be based around:

- Minimum frame rate in a given test (Who cares if you get 100fps average, if it drops to 15fps sometimes ?, I know I do, thus I want my CPU performance and want to see www.clearspeed.com win out, as have PCI-X 64 bit slots ready for their dual-co-processor cards - See sig :p )

- There will no doubt be other buzzwords of importantance, but they'll all relate directly to the above point. 8)

- Did I mention "It is really about time they shifted focus to minimum / weighted frame rate from average ?"

- XNA is rarely mentioned, in fact this is the 1st time I've mentioned it on a public forum. Considering it goes hand in hand with DirectX 10 I am shocked. See: http://www.microsoft.com/xna
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March 25, 2006 2:51:13 PM

"Socket AM2 is going to scale well compared to Socket 754/939."

I use the term 'scaling' to represent the degree of linear performance improvement/increase for each 100/200 Mhz clock speed increase, whereas how far you can go on a given socket is really a matter of the manufacturer "ramping" up the clockspeeds on a give core design/die process...

For instance, Quake 3 benchmarks at low res (using top video cards that are not gpu bound) still scales well with increases in cpu clockspeed, and or mem bandwidth/FSB, and improved IPC design...
March 25, 2006 4:31:55 PM

OK well then here is the real question - is there any hardware coming out that is worth waiting for in the next 6 mo. that will significantly effect the quality of games that will be released within the next year? (ie "dedicated physics processor"[1] ala Playstation 3 technology, better GPUs and cards, etc...)


[1] I did notice that the new Renegade XPS has a dedicated physics processor to go along with its 10k price tag and 4 graphic cards.
March 25, 2006 7:41:04 PM

no games at the moment support the dedicated physics processor, so there will be no difference, u could buy one when they come out and support gamse... i duno waht slot they run in though, prob a pci 1x or 16x slot
March 26, 2006 5:22:54 AM

Quote:
"Socket AM2 is going to scale well compared to Socket 754/939."

I use the term 'scaling' to represent the degree of linear performance improvement/increase for each 100/200 Mhz clock speed increase, whereas how far you can go on a given socket is really a matter of the manufacturer "ramping" up the clockspeeds on a give core design/die process...

For instance, Quake 3 benchmarks at low res (using top video cards that are not gpu bound) still scales well with increases in cpu clockspeed, and or mem bandwidth/FSB, and improved IPC design...


I use the exact same description (in green). :) , Just added the other info there to remind people with higher clocks and more cores per chip eating into (finite) available memory thoughput Socket AM2 doesn't look to shabby in that respect, esp in the long term.

Quote:

[1] I did notice that the new Renegade XPS has a dedicated physics processor to go along with its 10k price tag and 4 graphic cards.


Dell need help [shakes head at Dell]. Are they just buying Alienware to sell AMD systems and stick it to Intel ? [ie: contract loophole using a subsidery].

They make nice screens, but they cut corners on the plastic and the overall design, schematics, adjustability of their TFTs. Compare a real Sony (old S) / Samsung (new S) TFT to an 'identical' Dell one. You'll notice why the Dell ones cost 'so much' less then.

As for physics acceleration cards, my money is on PCIe x1 and perhaps 'original' PCI. Sending the data to the device and getting results back shouldn't use that much traffic on the bus.
March 26, 2006 6:52:48 AM

cheap plastic? waht does that really matter unless u take a hammer to the thing? the sony displays ive seen got crap reviews and were overpriced like mad crazy. its rediculous how many people hate dell for idiotic reasons, they had memory problems liek what 6 years ago? amd sucked back in the day but every1 on this forum is a fanboy of them now... u guys jsut hate the name dell because its the cool thing to do, 90% of the people that hate dell dont even know why.. they jsut say "its cheaper to build" and its not always true. the lowest end dells are noramlly VERY underpriced compared to building

as for the loophole, thats good. it may lower the prices for alienware computers, and may even raise the quality of higher end dells because theyll be using ideas from alienware. the truth is, i dont see anything bad comming of this.
March 26, 2006 9:30:53 AM

I'd say a company would have to look at what they can do to survive in the market... Just like any company.

As far as Dell aquiring Alienware, its just like any other company gaining more shares on the market, and taking credit for improvments of their products, as time goes buy introducing new stuff.

Just like back then, AoL buying Netscape, these days Telephone companies being sweept by SAT/cable, or the like.

Remember back then when Intel switch to slot 1 design, and AMD followed through with slot A? Later on they switch back to socket because of... the cost on building/manufactoring the processor?

This can be related with Dell, as far as cutting through the edges, and making a product cheaper, but selling it for more. After all, they want a profit for getting the product built and sent to the comsumer.

All this, to me, is for the better. That is how companies survive in the business world. We all try to better the stuff we use. Though other people will buy products not knowing some of the advantages in making it run faster, but then, that may not be important to them, as well as voiding the warranty to mod systems to perform faster.
March 26, 2006 10:42:16 AM

Many Dell TFTs fail Australian OH&S guidelines for workplaces as the monitor stand has sharp edges can be used as a weapon by customers, etc.

Many of their TFTs on their business line machines lack correct adjustability. Also OH&S related.

If you are going to buy 10,000 machines for 10,000 different people you don't want complaints and lawsuits coming back to get you.

I mentioned a hell of a lot more than 'just plastic' in my previous post. It helps to read posts in full. :p 

Looking at my rig, do you really think it was 'cheaper to build ?'. Building yourself is often more expensive, sometimes less, but more often than not more expensive. I'll assume most people know the advantages of building by hand or they wouldn't be here would they :?:

Do I need any more reasons not to recommend Dell ?
March 26, 2006 11:17:35 AM

if u can wait....wow.it will be a long time for u.
March 26, 2006 5:03:22 PM

Not to be rude hanson - but do you actually read content on this site?

AM2 is scheduled to launch in June and that is directly from AMD. It would be bad publicity for a company to set a launch date in the press and then delay it, so I think that date is pretty reliable.

Also, I dont think waiting 2-3 months for better technology, if that technology is worth it, is too long. Thus, my questions posed in this thread...
March 26, 2006 6:08:14 PM

Quote:
If you plan on waiting wait for the Conroe, by the time AM2 comes out, Conroe should be chaper, they dont look horribly exspensive to begin with anyways. But if you really need a computer, OC wont work, any new graphics card would be a waste because of CPU bottle neck, then get a new comp now. True 939 is at the end of its life. But think of it like a wine. Wines get better with age, no one in their right mind would drink recently bottle grape juice if they could have a well aged Savingion.


You meant a Cabernet Sauvignon you sophisticated and cultured stud you! :wink:
March 26, 2006 6:15:17 PM

If you choose to wait a few months, definitely consider another month wait, since Conroe is clearly indicating significant performance improvements over AMD's coming AM2 which could and I suspect will be delayed as far as quantity which is quite common and has been hinted at, while Conroe has been hinted that it may be ahead of schedule and in quantity, plus it definitely is indicated to be cheaper to buy upon release.
March 26, 2006 6:18:09 PM

I have a Dell 2405FPW LCD and I observe no sharp edges nor cheap plastic parts.
Actually, the construction quality, adjustable stand and the image geometry and sharpness are outstanding, along with the $800 low price and strong 3 year warranty included.
March 26, 2006 7:20:46 PM

You must own one, THEY DO SUCK !!!!!
They don't suck for the people that buy them, for a time that is, until they break down and they call support, then they get pissed and bring them to my shop. The prices for those do nothing MoBo's is crazy, if you get a Cap leaker you may be able to save it. Power Supplies, crap.
It cost more to repair them then it did to buy it in the first place in some cases, and they don't die because they get tweaked beyond what is good for the parts, they die because they are crap, and usually a day or 2 after the warranty is up.
Picture buying one of those Dell Gaming rigs for 10 grand then calling support and getting someone from who knows where ?
You can keep Dell, they can go to Hell, cause they smell, and don't work too well.
March 26, 2006 7:22:01 PM

The monitors do have nice images, the only thing good about Dell are those.
March 26, 2006 7:28:58 PM

i guess uve never used dell because there tech support is almost as good as neweggs, although ive only used it once they didnt give me any trouble and i got a replacement within 3 days. do YOU know what ur talking bout? obviously not.
March 26, 2006 8:23:32 PM

So you've done it once, big deal, why don't you ask some owners, Google it, I do that stuff 5 days a week, I KNOW what I'm talking about.
If you've driven once that makes you an expert, moron.
March 26, 2006 8:30:27 PM

Actually, I do agree with you for the most part but the memory thing, it's still an issue with Dell. Last year, I've had well over a dozen brand new Dell machines on my bench that came ill equipped memory wise. They had too little or they had too slow of memory installed.

For example: 5 of those machines came with either 128 or 256 megs of memory which IMO, is way to little. As soon as I upgraded them to 512 or more, they came to life. I had a couple of them (older) that came with PC2100 memory but yet, they can handle PC2700. I threw in 512megs of PC2700 and they were running much faster. Just goes to show that they use the cheapest parts possible.

I don't particularly frown on Dell machines as I own a few of them, but damn, don't ill equip your machines to death. It's no wonder they have such a bad rep with some people.
March 26, 2006 8:34:54 PM

Thank you.
March 26, 2006 8:37:16 PM

They also have great suction, every one that I get is crammed full of dust too LOL.
March 26, 2006 8:43:54 PM

yeah, I know that feeling all too well man. I have a Dimension 4300 with a Williamette core in it and every time I go to open that thing, it's the dustbowl reinvented :lol: 
March 26, 2006 8:59:54 PM

I think any machine will eventually become a dustbowl..

I still remember my dad's heatsink... I still picture it in my mind, like it was growing a beard. And it has no front fan, nor exhaust. Just the PSU was doing all the werk. :roll:
March 26, 2006 8:59:59 PM

unreal tournment 2007, gears of war and other unreal engine 3 games come out, not to mention crysis, etc. u will see that even single core 3.0ghz p4s and amd equivs will be more then enough, focus ur funds on gfx cards, not processors. if u do want something fast, buy a amd x2 3800 or 3.0ghz PD those will alst u, as for gfx cards if u go single card, buy ati, if u dual card go nvidia, thats the way i see it anyways
March 27, 2006 1:28:19 AM

Waiting for AM2? If you only want a good platfom for games. There is no use of AM2 ,current S939 and PD will do exellent work ,save you money to buy NV SLI and more RAM will be a wise choise.
March 27, 2006 2:05:16 AM

I've seen that and some, thinking about it had me laughing.
I can tell the real bad one's, they have dust leaking out of every seam in the case,power supply fan grills totally obstructed CD, and floppy included. I've taken some pics, I'll have to look for them.
You can suffocate a computer.
March 27, 2006 7:32:57 PM

Quote:
You meant a Cabernet Sauvignon you sophisticated and cultured stud you!



*Insert embarressed emote. Yeah I realized I misspelled a little while afterwards, thats what I get. Heres my sign.
March 27, 2006 8:09:53 PM

IMO wait for AM2 to be released, then get a sweet Socket 939 system

AM2 will take a while to be worth it, I'm personally waiting for smaller nm and hoping to god that they'll successfully use DDR3/XDR
March 27, 2006 8:20:11 PM

If you're planning to build a high performance pc then I suggest you wait. Wait for Windows Vista to come out and there should be some graphics card with it that supports DirectX10 and Shader4.0. Thats' just my opinion. :D 
March 27, 2006 8:53:33 PM

god i cant stand people who say "wait for this to be released" do u honestly think more than 20% of mainstream games will use sm4.0 when its released? vista is pretty much pointless since xp will support 99% of games until at least 08/09 IMO. if microsoft were to drop xp the day vista was released, vista would be pirated like crazy because people would pretty much revolt. windows 98 was supported for at least a year after xp was released. to "wait for vista" or "wait for sm4.0" or "wait for dx10" are all pointless to say. the fact is, if a new processor is comming out in a week from when u plan to upgrade, id wait and see how it is. otherwise buy the day you have the money or ull constantly be looking for better parts and changing your machine.

the reason im flaming over u saying "wait for vista" is that its already been delayed a ton, vista is turning out to be the "S.T.A.L.K.E.R" of OS's, a lot of talk but not much more... release date keeps being pushed. IMO get xp, it will be supported much longer than ur computer will last for "serious" gaming. same goes for socket 939... its not like ddr will stop being produced. prices may go up a bit, so buy memory right off the bat. pci-express isnt going anywhere so ur set on the video side as well. get a dual core 939 and that proc will be fine for at least 2 years. and by that time, vista will (probably) be out, then u could do an entire upgrade for dx10 vista sm4.0 and multicore processors...
March 27, 2006 9:00:34 PM

agreed... get now and enjoy the system for a few years to come. It will all be supported well.
March 27, 2006 9:07:59 PM

Quote:
Hello all PC intellects,

I am seeking your opinion on whether the new AMD AM2 socket will be worth waiting for to build my new Gaming PC or if I am just better off building something with parts that are currently available. Granted in the longer run AM2 will probably be where its at, but who knows when software, RAM, and other product makers will be able to take full advantage of it. Besides that I want to have FUN right now.

So lets here those opinions.


Some mobo's have a riser slot that will allow AM2 processor sockets to be used in the future, my mobo is one of them. The AM2 riser board will also have DDR2 memory sockets and the bios will need flashed to ensure 100% compatability. Just build now, and if the ASRock socket 939 boards interest you, know that mine and the latest S939 models support the new AM2 riser board.
Anonymous
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March 29, 2006 2:17:57 AM

i agree with most posts, you want it get it, pc's change almost every week youre never going to keep up and most pc's you get at the moment (high end) will cope with just about every game!! go do it!
!