Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Intel P4 NW core Upgrade Neccessary to AMD?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
April 1, 2006 3:00:36 PM

Hello Folks:

My intention is one of neutrality and principle based on need for gaming and not to stir up the deep-rooted battle between Intel and AMD. I am a gamer. I play most 3D games out there as soon as they're out. Like most of you, I'm on a budget, but I've been able to scrape up enough money over the years and built myself a decent gaming machine. Here are the specs:

CPU - P4 3.2 OC'd to 3.9 Northwood w/ HT
MOBO - Abit IC7-Max3 w/ OTES
RAM - 2GB PC3200XL Pro XMS
VIDEO - Sapphire 9700 Pro Ultimate Edition
HD - 3 x 80GB Hitachi SATA RAID 0
DVD - 16x Lite On
DVDRW - NEC 3550a Dual Layer
CASE - Chenming BX1040 Black
PSU - Aspire 520 Watt
HSF - Zalman All Copper

I built this about 2-3 years ago when the 3.2 first came out. I see all my friends and most folks on this forum go with 64-bit CPUs and I can't but feel a little.....ancient. In terms of raw Mhz is concerned, this little machine can hold her own. My question is....at what point does raw Mhz stop being the sole factor for CPUs and efficiency and fundamental archetecture become the next big jump/improvement in terms of CPU performance. AMD has always been the underdog for raw Mhz but my other AMD-based machines have always outperformed similar spec Intel machines. But, my gaming rig has a lot of raw Mhz but will that do me any good versus a more efficiently designed AMD64? I know I can't compete with the FX or X2 series - but what about your AM64 chips? Do you guys think that my "almost 4Ghz" machine can top (Just the CPU, I know my video sucks ass....) most AMD64 chips in terms of raw Mhz?

The NW core is old and a bit outdated. However, I've not seen the need to upgrade ever since the AMD64 came out because she has held her own. I know the main reason that this CPU has held her own is because of how much I've pushed the clock speed up. If it wasn't for the extra push, it would be in my spare game rig and I would go for the AMD64 series.

Thank you all for your time and help. My next big jump could depend on what you guys say..... :) 

TTFN
April 1, 2006 3:40:46 PM

Intel Northwood OC'ed at 3.9 GHZ is more than enough for gaming( it's actually an overkill). 64 bit right now is unnecessary.
The only thing that does require an update is your gfx card.
Buy one now and you'll be set for the next months. Wait for Conroe or AM2.
April 1, 2006 4:29:26 PM

Thanks for the reply. I know that my vid card is old and slow. I was thinking of either keeping it until PCIe or get the 7800GS. For some reason, I can't get to the 4Ghz mark. I've tried all the air cooling that I can think of and I can get 3.9Ghz and it just won't go any further until I can watercool or something. Honestly, my 9700Pro is old, but it's DX9 compatible and plays most games ok. I did a quick benchmark last night use AM3 and I got 56,000 score with it. It's not anythig to write home about, but considering it's a 3 year old card, not bad? or is it terrible?

Thanks,

TTFN
Related resources
April 1, 2006 5:13:18 PM

ur posting in the wrong section.
i'd say your p4 @3.9ghz is comparable to a 2.4-2.6ghz athlon 64
lol and a 9700pro isnt shit. its classic and can still play the latest gamse at medium
April 1, 2006 5:39:40 PM

Thanks, sorry for posting in wrong section...kinda new to this forum. I'm glad someone still think the 9700Pro, though an oldie, but still a goodie. I'm going to a "high-class" lan party tonight. Most people there are your rich people with too much money to spend. I go because I used to work with some of them...."I'm not rich like they are, just worked together..." They have custom-built machines ranging from 2-3K and love to brag more than play, which drives me NUTS!! I come with my machine and all they can say is "wow, you've only got xxxxx or is that a xxxxxx?? (insert astonished and shock look here)....until they see how fast it boos/loads Windows/Apps. This group of people love to run benchmarks at lan parties, which is really STUPID. But all they want to see is who has the highest benchmark, blah blah blah......We do eventually play, but not until they decide on a "winner."

Thanks for your info. If you guys have any suggestions regarding where a bottleneck might be for my system, I will definitely look to improve on it. I knew that HDD was going to be a bottleneck - heck a RAID 0 array w/ 3 drives (I don't care about loosing stuff on it). But if the video card is the main thing you see that is causing bottleneck, I guess I feel pretty good.....

TTFN
April 2, 2006 1:55:29 PM

Unless you're rich i'd advise you to upgrade to a x800 GTO.
Otherwise 7800GS.
Be mindfull that waiting for Conroe AM2 means completely rebuilding your rig(or building another).
The motherboard that will come with those chips will support only DDR2, PCI e(so new gfx card and memory) and possibly a SATA 2 harddrive.
I'd rather get something cost effective now(x800 GTO is a very good performer for the price) and get top of the line when the time will come.
You are very lucky to OC your northwood to those levels. The usual limit on these chips is 3.5-3.6. It beats everything on the market now( of course, CPUs on stock).
April 2, 2006 2:22:15 PM

An AMD will not really do much better at gaming. CPU choice is fine.
What you do need to upgrade is your graphics card. Minimum would be a 9800 XT; X850 XT would be the best.
April 3, 2006 5:58:28 AM

If you can find one, get the eVGA GForce 7800GS CO 256mb DDR3

I just upgraded from an ATI 9600 Pro 256mb for that card and my god, it's day and night. 8O
Now i play F.E.A.R at 1024x768 32bits with everything at max and i peak 125fps and average is 80-90fps. Same thing with TES4 Oblivion, RB6 Lockdown... so if you can afford it, go for the 7800GS. You won't need to upgrade for another AGP card until you go for PCI-X :D 
April 3, 2006 7:15:23 AM

Quote:
Intel Northwood OC'ed at 3.9 GHZ is more than enough for gaming( it's actually an overkill). 64 bit right now is unnecessary.
The only thing that does require an update is your gfx card.
Buy one now and you'll be set for the next months. Wait for Conroe or AM2.

64-bit is not what makes AMD 64 so great. The integrated memorycontroller is what makes AMD 64 a kick ass CPU.
April 4, 2006 8:40:25 PM

Debateable.
And 64 bit is the only thing that makes a NW core look outdated.
April 4, 2006 8:52:05 PM

You've got a pretty cool cpu, even at stock speeds. But you need another gfx card. Maybe the x850xt, x850xt pe, or 7800gs. I´ll do the same someday.
April 4, 2006 9:10:02 PM

The NW core is easily oc'able. I've been able to raise the Mhz bit by bit over the past couple of months from 3.5 to 3.7 and then a final push to 3.9. My next big push, should I choose to stick with Intel, is to go for 4.0 or higher on air. Don't know if I'll short something or ruin an already good thing, but being an Overclocker, you know that there's always a bigger and better fish out there....just a bit out of your reach but you can taste it. Yeah, I'm a super-geek!! :D 

As far as vid card goes. I know my lowly 9700Pro is out of date and out of a lot of performance charts. I heard somewhere you can get an X850XT for around or under $200. I don't have the time right now (we're moving to our new house), but can someone find a link for me and I just might jump onboard and get it.....(you've gotta love real estate appreciation, in 7 months time, our not-yet-built house and increased in value by $20,000). (On another side note, there was a post for a guy who wants to spend 12k on his computer while his wife fights for our country? WTF???)

Anyhoo, thank you all for your inputs. This forum by far is superior to any forums I've been too...

TTFN
April 4, 2006 9:54:06 PM

Quote:
Debateable.
And 64 bit is the only thing that makes a NW core look outdated.

No, Netburst is what makes NW outdated. AMDs memorybus is much more advanced.
April 4, 2006 10:49:08 PM

Off topic I know, but what Hitachi drives are you using?
Quote:
Hello Folks:
HD - 3 x 80GB Hitachi SATA RAID 0


-mcg
April 5, 2006 2:53:39 PM

I'm using the original SATA150 80GB Hitachi....Not the SATA2. My wife has 3 x 80GB Hitachi SATA2 in RAID0 in her system but she only has SATA150 so the difference is nonn-existent.
April 5, 2006 3:44:49 PM

Netburst or not people care about performance. A 3.9 Ghz NW is able to compete with a FX single core.
NW run cool and are pretty much energy efficient.
Netburst wasn't so bad,it just wasn't meant to last too long.
April 5, 2006 3:50:07 PM

Quote:

What you do need to upgrade is your graphics card. Minimum would be a 9800 XT;


A 9800 XT is basiucally an overclocked 9700 PRO. DOn't bother.

The least you shoukd upgrade to is an X800 GTO or 6800 GS. Look for used X800 PROs maybe. It's all probably expensive because it's AGp though.

If you plan to upgrade to PCIexpress in the next 6 months or so, stay with the 9700 PRO. They still do the job, about as good as a Geforce 6600, maybe a little better.
April 5, 2006 4:22:17 PM

Thanks guys for all the info and help. I'm going to keep my 9700Pro for now because it's still a decent card for most games. I know that NFSMW looks jaggy when I play and the frame rates drop to the toilet when I turn things up, but hey, it's ok with me until I splurg on the next setup. I'm glad to see that my old Intel P4 isn't completely out of date and still has some fire left. I know the only way for me to compete with the newer A64 technology is to keep cranking up the Mhz. I couldn't keep up technologically speaking so I'm resorting to the last thing that made P4 NW so popular.....Overclockability!!! I know that new Venice core can OC quite well (I OC'd my brother's Venice core from default 2.0 to 2.6 easy on air, just bump bump and bump!!..... :D  )

I must say, without the RAM that I currently have, I couldn't have gone much higher. The Corsair XMS PC3200 XLPRO really shines in high voltage, around 2.8 and high FSB. I think I'm running 1:1 ratio with my FSB and RAM....I think. I have 4 sticks of 512MB and I'm running at 2.5-2-2 timings and I'm hoping after several memtests and more burn-in tests, I can get my RAM up to maybe 2.9v and up to 2-2-2 timings. This little system has been very flexible in terms of overclock and has kept cool - relatively cool considering it's on air and OC'd 700Mhz. It runs around 48 degrees (I did this 2 weeks ago) under 1 session of Prime 95, PI test, AquaMark3 and continous loop of 3dMark. I also did a game benchmark of Ut2k4 at the same time (but just one time, not looping). After 48 hours of doing that, I rebooted, quickly got into the BIOS and 48 degrees was where it was at. Granted, all my fans are on high, but I have some antec 120mm fans that run at 73cfm at around 28db. My heatsink is the Zalman 7700CU and that fan is relatively quiet and efficient.

I thank you all again. Tomshardware has been there for me everytime. I hope to do the same for you guys in the future.

TTFN
April 5, 2006 6:09:20 PM

Quote:
Netburst or not people care about performance. A 3.9 Ghz NW is able to compete with a FX single core.
NW run cool and are pretty much energy efficient.
Netburst wasn't so bad,it just wasn't meant to last too long.

Netburst was good but in todays measurement it's not. HyperTransport is much superior.
April 5, 2006 6:16:32 PM

Before comparing HTT to HT please keep in mind that those 2 are 2 very different things. VERY different.
You cannot compare apples to oranges.
And your opinions are not based on facts but on thoughts. HT may be broken or useless but take it one way or the other it makes multitasking a lot faster on a single core CPU.
April 5, 2006 6:24:01 PM

Your 9700 is not that old. I'm still using my TI4200.
April 5, 2006 6:24:48 PM

Quote:
Before comparing HTT to HT please keep in mind that those 2 are 2 very different things. VERY different.
You cannot compare apples to oranges.
And your opinions are not based on facts but on thoughts. HT may be broken or useless but take it one way or the other it makes multitasking a lot faster on a single core CPU.

And why would I do that? It's retarded to even suggest that I would do such comparison. I never said a word about HyperThreading. I said HyperTransport. We were talking buses, not virtual CPU technologies.
April 5, 2006 6:26:22 PM

Sry,i'm freakin' bussy right now and tension causes mistackes
April 5, 2006 6:37:33 PM

Quote:
Sry,i'm freakin' bussy right now and tension causes mistackes

Well, you are excused. Back to the topic. I can agree with you that NW is one of the best CPUs intel has made. But today it is a bit out-of-date.
!