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Athlon X2 3800+ or 4200+

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April 10, 2006 9:43:15 AM

is it worth spending the extra to go from an AMD Athlon 3800+ to a 4200+. Is it worth the extra 200Mhz?

More about : athlon 3800 4200

April 10, 2006 10:15:46 AM

No its not worth the extra 200mhz because you could just OC the 3800+, or to make matters simpler, get an opteron 165 and OC that up to 2.6ghz(most people seem to get 2.6ghz) and that will give you a CPU that is near enough the same as an FX-60.

What are the prices of the 3800+ and Opteron 165 in australia?
April 10, 2006 10:15:50 AM

do u own an AMD X2 3800+ already? That one is a nice CPU already, the 4200+ and 3800+ are based on the same cores which Manchester think so and they both have the same architecture and cache size. Just OC it and u'll save another $$$$$$
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April 10, 2006 11:22:17 AM

athlon x2 3800+ ranges from AUS$450-500 and the 4200+ AUS$550-600
April 10, 2006 11:27:49 AM

Quote:
AFAIK the 4200 is just a rejected 4400 toledo core with half the cache activated for stability reasons.


Considering the yeilds that AMD has been getting out of their fabs, chances are that most Toledoes with half their cache disabled are fully functionnal pieces of silicon that were downbinned to fill the demand on lower end products.

This is a very widespread practice among the semiconductor industry, everyone from ATI to Zilog do it.
April 10, 2006 11:43:15 AM

so go the 3800 and overclock it or go the 4200 and overclock that?
April 10, 2006 11:46:37 AM

Anyone ever seen a 4200 with a Toledo core? I have seen some 3800 Toledos however. One of my builds is a 3500 with a Manchester core. My "Denmark" core Opteron 175 is actually a Toledo. I suspect that the 4200 may be a former 4600 but Manchester will be just that and will have been built with 512MB of L2 Cache per core. Yields are so good that it is becomming quite rare to see an intentionally cripled processor.

As far as 3800 VS 4200, if you overclock, the Opty165 may well be the better idea. If you don't overclock, the 4200 will perform better as will the 4600, 4800, FX-60, etc. Only you can decide what you want to use it for and how much cash you are willing to part with.

A nice option is the Opty 170. Like the 3800, it runs at 2GHz but has 1MB of L2 cache per core. Overclockers like that it has a multiplier of 10 (VS 9 like the 165). The 170 is a sweet CPU.
April 10, 2006 11:50:26 AM

so is the opteron better than the 64 x2
April 10, 2006 11:50:49 AM

Quote:
so go the 3800 and overclock it or go the 4200 and overclock that?


See if you can get your hands on a Opteron 165 for a reasonable price, otherwise, go for the X2 3800+ as it is likely to hit the same OC as an X2 4200+ would.
April 10, 2006 11:55:50 AM

Quote:
so is the opteron better than the 64 x2

Not necessarily. However, they do generally make for better overclockers. That isn't guaranteed of course.
April 10, 2006 12:40:58 PM

Quote:
Anyone ever seen a 4200 with a Toledo core? I have seen some 3800 Toledos however. One of my builds is a 3500 with a Manchester core. My "Denmark" core Opteron 175 is actually a Toledo. I suspect that the 4200 may be a former 4600 but Manchester will be just that and will have been built with 512MB of L2 Cache per core. Yields are so good that it is becomming quite rare to see an intentionally cripled processor.


There are a lot of freak CPUs in the wild such as E6 X2 4200+ made out of a Toledo with half its cache disabled, even though they are reported as a Manchester, removing the IHS will show a full sized Toledo/Denmark core. Same goes for single cores being made out of a half disabled Toledo such as this 3700+ :


From XtremeSystems

It would have been dramatic to show you a 3200+ based on a Toledo core but I failed to dig one up.
April 10, 2006 1:02:00 PM

I was actually wondering the exact same thing as the original poster. But a lot of you suggest the Opteron.

Here are my options, based on CAD:
1) AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Retail Box for $355
2) AMD Opteron 165 Dual Core Denmark 1.8Ghz 2MB L2 Cache OEM no heatsink for $377.71 or same but in retail box for $393.24
3) AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Retail Box for $425

I don't know much about overclocking, but it's something I want to learn about (cheap overclocking solutions, not to the max it can go...just a reasonable/decent overclock). What's my best option? Between the 3800 and the 4200, I'd go with the 3800 ($70 isn't worth the minimal increase in performance). But I don't know much about Opterons...Is the extra $30-$40 worth it? The clock speed is lower, but will it overclock to a higher speed using something like the Arctic Cooling Silencer 64 Ultra AMD S939/S940 Aluminum 2300RPM 42CFM 12-23DBA? I want my cheap cooling solution to be as quiet as possible!

Thanks!
April 10, 2006 1:37:12 PM

i was looking at overclocking but not until the processor was a years old. im a poor teenager working his butt off to build this thing so i cant really afford to blow something up through overclocking. how easy is it to actually overclock the 64x2 and the opteron and how safe is it?
April 10, 2006 1:57:15 PM

Australia, you and I seem to be in the exact same boat...except I turn 20 in a couple months (I feel OLD!) and I'm also working my butt off to pay for university! That's why I don't want to attempt anything beyond a mild/medium overclock. Something that will not reduce the life on the processor while allowing me to keep it longer because of the higher speeds.
April 10, 2006 3:55:31 PM

it depends wether you OC or not if you dont I would say it is worth the cash and if you do nope
April 10, 2006 4:20:16 PM

i have an X2 3800+, was on sale $100 cheaper than regular price :D  ... i have OC'd it to 2.4ghz with the stock cooler, full load is around 40-42C

i can hit 2.6ghz with a better heatsink i imagine
April 10, 2006 4:39:39 PM

Quote:
i was looking at overclocking but not until the processor was a years old. im a poor teenager working his butt off to build this thing so i cant really afford to blow something up through overclocking. how easy is it to actually overclock the 64x2 and the opteron and how safe is it?


Overclocking is relatively safe if you know what you are doing, the risks of damaging your hardware are slim to none, unless you go out of your way to make Bad Things happen.

Hardware manufacturers understood that there is a rising demand for overclocking friendly products some years ago, that's why most if not all motherboards that are aimed at the hardware enthusiast market support an extensive list of features that make overclocking easy.

If you are willing to spend some time reading, you easely learn the basic concepts that will allow to understand how overclocking is done.
April 10, 2006 5:51:01 PM

So are you saying that moderately overclocking an Opteron 165 (using a fairly cheap air cooling system such as the one I mentioned in a previous post), is a better option than modeately overclocking an X2 3800+?


Thanks for the suggestions!
April 10, 2006 6:27:21 PM

Quote:
So are you saying that moderately overclocking an Opteron 165 (using a fairly cheap air cooling system such as the one I mentioned in a previous post), is a better option than modeately overclocking an X2 3800+?

Thanks for the suggestions!


Not a resounding yes but a yes nonetheless, Opterons are better overclockers because they have passed more rigorous factory testing than their A64 siblings. That difference in quality ensure higher reliability under stressfull conditions such as sustained 100% load, high voltage and high heat.

The bigger L2 cache (1MB vs 512K per core) is another factor that you need to consider, not all applications will benefit from the additional cache, some will stubbornly run the same regardless of the amount of cache.

You also need to consider that Opterons can be harder to find, some retailers will even charge you a premium for placing a special order while A64 X2's are likely to be readily available in common retail channels.

If you don't plan to overclock your CPU to its very limit, you might as well go for the cheaper X2 3800+.
April 10, 2006 7:57:22 PM

This question will probably indicate that I am new to overclocking: I've seen many people post saying they OC'ed their Opteron 165 to 2.6ghz...will doing this reduce the life of the processor? That's my big concern. I have no extra cash in case I mess it up. Also, I want this CPU to last a long time (once I'm done with it, I will pass it on to my dad...he's still using my old p3 667. So in 2-3 years when I'm done with the Opteron, I will give it to him to use for at least another few years).

Thanks.
April 10, 2006 8:13:22 PM

Quote:
This question will probably indicate that I am new to overclocking: I've seen many people post saying they OC'ed their Opteron 165 to 2.6ghz...will doing this reduce the life of the processor? That's my big concern. I have no extra cash in case I mess it up. Also, I want this CPU to last a long time (once I'm done with it, I will pass it on to my dad...he's still using my old p3 667. So in 2-3 years when I'm done with the Opteron, I will give it to him to use for at least another few years).

Thanks.


Reduced CPU lifespan ? Perhaps, but even an heavely overclocked CPU running full load 24/7 is likely to remain functionnal well after it become obselete.

My previous CPU was a Mobile Barton 2500+ (1.87GHz) which ran at 2.6GHz, folding proteins 24/7 for over 18 months, I donated it to my dad when I upgraded to my current 'rig.

Even then, that Mobile Barton is still doing good, running at a cozy 2.2GHz.

Unless you manage to cause a catastrophic failure, an overclocked CPU is likely to survive years of abuse.
April 10, 2006 9:02:12 PM

I agree with SidVicious.

Though I'd like to add, the only real threat of any life span reduction, is voltage. If you over volt a processor to OC, using too much may just kill it.

Even power spikes are another unexpected killer, that can stomp you system dead, whether it is OC or not.

Heat on the other can, in time, diminish other things. The strenght of plastic for instance. Some plastics will get brittle and break more easy. Fans coils can be effected from heat, if it is of poor quality, or design.
April 11, 2006 12:44:30 AM

Overclocking is most common but there are risks involved. It will also void your warranty. Food for thought.

While Opterons generally make better overclockers that their X2 counterparts, the CPU isn't the only limiting factor. Opteron dual core CPUs all have 1MB of L2 cache per core. You can't overclock to get more cache but as previously posted, more cache doesn't always help and can even inhibit performance.

My CPU is an Opteron 175 (2.2GHz dual core). My memory is Corsair TwinX2048 )2 1GB sticks of PC4000 RAM all placed in an MSI K8Neo4 Platinum. Overclock? I can't even get my 2.2 (200 * 11) run at 2.2 (220 * 10)! Lots of variables here though while I generally don't overclock, I was hoping to obtain X2 4800 speeds.

You've now mentioned 3 options. X2 3800 (2.0 GHz), X2 4200 (2.2 GHz) and the Opty 165 (1.8GHz). All are awesome processors. Without any overclock, the 4200 will easily be the fastest processor in everything you might wish to do. It also has (if you get a recently made CPU) an excellent heatpipe cooling fan/heatsink combination. The Opty will also have this. The 3800 may or may not though I suspect the latter.

You can't go wrong with any of these processors. Factory speeds, the 4200 beats them all. The 10 * multiplier, available on the 3800 and 4200 (which defaults at 11) can be an overclocking helper though not necessarily.

Sorry to run on so. Good luck with your decision and again, keep us posted.
April 11, 2006 2:17:22 AM

but how safe is the OCing. Which processor would be the best to OC? which is the easiest to OC
April 11, 2006 2:31:05 AM

Quote:
but how safe is the OCing. Which processor would be the best to OC? which is the easiest to OC


Ease isn't really applicable. The rules are the same since all of these processors are essentially the same, thus, so too are most of the variables.

As was previously stated, the Opterons generally make for better overclockers.
April 11, 2006 6:11:53 AM

I dunno, I dont OC so I got the 4200+ over the 3800+. But It's pretty much the same chip but with 200 more mhz. If you're gonna OC, then the 3800 should reach 4200 speeds with stock cooling maybe.
April 11, 2006 11:26:27 AM

Quote:
I dunno, I dont OC so I got the 4200+ over the 3800+. But It's pretty much the same chip but with 200 more mhz. If you're gonna OC, then the 3800 should reach 4200 speeds with stock cooling maybe.


That's what I thought when I purchased the Opteron 175 instead of the X2 4800 :cry: 
April 11, 2006 12:43:34 PM

Quote:
but how safe is the OCing. Which processor would be the best to OC? which is the easiest to OC


All three points were adressed a number of times earlier, overclocking is safe if done properly.

The Opteron 165 will be the one which gains the most from OC'ing due to its low stock speed, as such, it has the most overclocking headroom. It is also the most likely to hit the highest clockspeed. Unfortunately, you may have some difficulties finding one as stores are unlikely to have those in stock.

The X2 3800+ is the least expensive option, you will easely find one on your local market as it is a mainstream product. Being in the stock frequency middleground, it has less overclocking headroom than the 165 but more than the X2 4200+.

The X2 4200+ is the most expensive option due to its higher stock frequency, as such, it will also be the best all around performer without any overclock. For that same reason, it has the least overclocking headroom. Since it is a mainstream product just like the X2 3800+, finding one won't be a problem.

All three CPUs are overclocked using the same method, your choice of motherboard will determine how hard or easy it will be to tweak your CPU.
April 11, 2006 1:32:19 PM

Thanks for the help.
April 11, 2006 1:51:02 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the help.


Anytime.
April 11, 2006 2:26:09 PM

Thanks for everyones posts. I decided to go the 3800. Cheeeerrrs
a c 99 à CPUs
April 11, 2006 2:50:13 PM

My 4200+ came with the old-style finned aluminum heatsink. With 70% fan speed (~2000 rpm) it keeps the chip at a cool 40-42 C while folding proteins on each core. I bet the heatpipe one would do even better, but I would not go out of my way to buy a new HSF if yours comes with the old type.
April 12, 2006 1:59:47 AM

Hey,

can I jump in and ask the same question but comparing different CPUs?

My decision is between
Opty 170
X2 4400+

So my understanding is they both have 2x1MB L2 and that the difference is in stock speed. 2GHz Vs 2.2GHz

What are the other differences and which would be best to get if...
1. Not overclocking
2. Mildly OC'ng with air.
a c 99 à CPUs
April 12, 2006 2:08:05 AM

I'd shoot for the 4400+ as it is less expensive, faster, and has the same amount of cache. The only reason to get Opterons is to use the 2xx and 8xx ones in multi-socket arrangements. AMD is making a killing off of selling Socket 939 Opterons to enthusiasts who could otherwise clock less expensive X2s just as high or higher for less money than the Opterons.
April 12, 2006 2:16:11 AM

Quote:
I'd shoot for the 4400+ as it is less expensive, faster, and has the same amount of cache. The only reason to get Opterons is to use the 2xx and 8xx ones in multi-socket arrangements. AMD is making a killing off of selling Socket 939 Opterons to enthusiasts who could otherwise clock less expensive X2s just as high or higher for less money than the Opterons.



Ummm, but the Opty 170 is $50AUD less than the 4400+
so the way I see it I am paying $50 extra for stock 200MHz on the 4400+.
But are there other differences that I should consider?

Or are they essentially the same thing except for the difference mentioned?
In which case my next question is....

does anyone know if the opty 170 will OC higher than the 165? or is it likely to have the same threshold?
a c 99 à CPUs
April 12, 2006 2:19:47 AM

Oops. I thought that you said Opteron 175 I'd definitely get the 4400+ then as it is only ~10% more expensive for almost 10% more clock speed and thus almost 10% more performance.

The Socket 939 Opterons are Athlon X2s that are tested a little more.
!