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Which is better for gaming (Opteron vs. Athlon)?

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April 18, 2006 10:26:41 PM

Hey all. I'm building a new gaming PC, and I'm torn between 2 procs: the AMD Opteron 246 Socket 940 and the AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Socket 939. The specs look better for the 3800, but I keep hearing over and over that the Opteron is a great choice for gaming and the best for overclocking :? . Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!

More about : gaming opteron athlon

April 19, 2006 2:51:56 AM

The anwer is simple. The X2. The Operton may overclock higher but it is only single core, and many games are allready being optimized for more than one core. In my opinion you cannot compare the 246 and X2 3800. The processor may be cheaper, and may overclock better but the X2 is dual core and 940 mobos are significantly more expensive than a 939 board.
April 19, 2006 3:41:44 AM

He did not say the X2, he only said the AMD Athlon 64 3800.

However, I agree, get the X2
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April 19, 2006 4:38:08 AM

I think you would want a socket 939 Opteron for gaming.
April 19, 2006 5:45:37 AM

::cough::o pteron 165 ::cough::
April 19, 2006 6:08:51 AM

Quote:
Hey all. I'm building a new gaming PC, and I'm torn between 2 procs: the AMD Opteron 246 Socket 940 and the AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Socket 939. The specs look better for the 3800, but I keep hearing over and over that the Opteron is a great choice for gaming and the best for overclocking :? . Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!


The 246 sells for ~$180 and the 3800+ is ~$285, right? That's a large relative difference. In that range of price, speed, etc:

3800+ 1X 2.4GHz $284
3800+ 2X 2.0 297
246 1x 2.0 180
248 1X 2.2 223
165 2X 1.8 327
170 2X 2.0 400
175 2X 2.2 506
180 2X 2.4 712

The 165 looks like the bang per buck champ but if you go out, pimp real hard a few nights and pick up some spare change, you can go for the 180, or at least the 175. I have two 2x rigs now and they are pretty amazing.
April 19, 2006 6:55:00 AM

If the difference between the 3800+ and the 246 is such a large reletive difference at about $105, how the hell can you still mention the 180 that is more than $500 more thant the 246???

Also he didn't ask for prices, he asked for the better gaming performer.
April 19, 2006 7:08:16 AM

Only get socket 940 if you plan on having 2 or more cpus otherwise go s939. And i agree with most people here. Opteron 165 seems to be the go as it overclocks *extremely* well.
April 19, 2006 3:29:15 PM

Thanks to everyone for your replies. To help this discussion, I'm hoping to stay below the $300 mark. I'm planning on spending more on the GPU :twisted:

What I might end up doing is wait for the AM2 to release, and it should drop the prices of the Opteron a bit. If that's the case, then I could potentially get the 165 (socket 939). It's a bit out of my reach right now, but if the price drops with the AM2 release in June (?), then I'll get the 165, no question. Does anyone think the proce will drop enough to justify the wait? Could it drop closer to $300?
April 19, 2006 4:14:59 PM

Quote:
Opteron 165 seems to be the go as it overclocks *extremely* well.


Consider that '06 Manchester cores are much more OC'able than the '05 were, as you can see on This chart and are much easier to get than dual-core opties.

Quote:
The 246 sells for ~$180 and the 3800+ is ~$285, right? That's a large relative difference.


Don't forget that S940 CPUs like the 246 require expensive server class dual socket motherboard and ECC memory. On top of that, one would need to purchase two S940 CPUs to make such a platform worthwhile. Needless to say, you would be hard pressed to find an OC friendly S940 mobo.

When you factor in the "bang for bucks" a S939 platform paired with an X2 CPU is a much better deal, especially if it will be OC'ed.

Quote:
To help this discussion, I'm hoping to stay below the $300 mark. I'm planning on spending more on the GPU


Is that 300$ budget just for the CPU or is that for all the core components (CPU, mobo & RAM) ?
April 19, 2006 6:55:42 PM

$300 for the CPU only.

Thanks to everyone for your replies :wink:
April 19, 2006 7:11:31 PM

Quote:
$300 for the CPU only.

What I might end up doing is wait for the AM2 to release, and it should drop the prices of the Opteron a bit. If that's the case, then I could potentially get the 165 (socket 939). It's a bit out of my reach right now, but if the price drops with the AM2 release in June (?), then I'll get the 165, no question. Does anyone think the proce will drop enough to justify the wait? Could it drop closer to $300?

Thanks to everyone for your replies


Although we can't be 100% sure, there are indications that S939 Opties may be removed from the mainstream retail market and only made available to corporate system integrators through AMD's official distributors as it was hinted by l'Inq in reference to AMD's new pricing.

Seeing how enthusiasts crave those CPUs, their price will more likely rise as supplies dries up.

My advice to you would be to get your hands on a 165 ASAP, if you can't get/afford one, an X2 3800+ is no slouch and likely to yield a good OC, especially if you get one of those '06.
April 19, 2006 7:38:11 PM

That's interesting, SidVicious... If I am to go the route of the Opty, how can I tell if it's an '05 or an '06? I can assume that a majority of what's for sale are '06, based on the popuarity of this chip, but how can I tell? Most products have a date code with it. The date codes where I work are pretty cryptic.
April 19, 2006 8:20:15 PM

Quote:
That's interesting, SidVicious... If I am to go the route of the Opty, how can I tell if it's an '05 or an '06? I can assume that a majority of what's for sale are '06, based on the popuarity of this chip, but how can I tell? Most products have a date code with it. The date codes where I work are pretty cryptic.


You won't have the opportunity to handpick a stepping or datecode if you buy through an online distributor, that's why I like to shop locally since you can easely read the CPU OPN from the packaging.

Look for the 2nd part of the second line, highlighted in red:

ADA3800DAA5BV
LDBHE 0543RPCW
Z8325AJ50477

It means that my CPU was manufactured on the 43rd week of 2005, there is more information that can be decyphered from the OPN but the datecode is, by far, the easiest to read.
April 19, 2006 11:09:16 PM

Quote:
wow, interesting...


The datecode found in the OPN has been on AMD CPUs since the K7 days, including core specs such as the voltage, thermal enveloppe, revision and stepping, visit Fab51 for more information.
April 20, 2006 12:02:33 AM

hehe, which is better for gaming? the X2 offcourse due to it's superior dual core.....the rest wont come close....still it's a bit crazy to only buy a cpu for gaming as I'm sure you also use your pc for other puposes like running more appz at one time. This is also where the x2 ownez the opteron. But when you really are into gaming it would be smarter to first look at the gpu (graphic cards). In my opininion you better wait till the direct x 10 cards arrive if you want to play games that are not far away like crysis for example. This will be a game that will be so awesome thanks to the direct x 10 suported engine it runs on. So it's all up to you. ;)  Patience is the thing to beat to feel more lucky if you dont want your next graphics card to be outdated that soon allready unless you have plenty of money. :p  Direct x 9 can play crysis too but it won't be as sweet as dx 10. That's final. X 2.
April 20, 2006 2:19:30 AM

SyPheR, thanks for the reply, but once again, neither CPU in question is an X2.
April 20, 2006 2:31:45 AM

Quote:
Hey all. I'm building a new gaming PC, and I'm torn between 2 procs: the AMD Opteron 246 Socket 940 and the AMD Athlon 64 3800+ Socket 939. The specs look better for the 3800, but I keep hearing over and over that the Opteron is a great choice for gaming and the best for overclocking :? . Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!



Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.
April 20, 2006 5:13:38 AM

Quote:
If the difference between the 3800+ and the 246 is such a large reletive difference at about $105, how the hell can you still mention the 180 that is more than $500 more thant the 246???

Also he didn't ask for prices, he asked for the better gaming performer.


Well, I'm one of those idiots that believes that you need to look at the big picture to understand a topic as complex as gaming performance. I put the 180 on the list because it is the same clock speed as the 3800+ mentioned by the OP. As in: it was a point of reference. And don't act like you can disconnect gaming performance and price. Sure, you can put your bucks where they do the most good, but these days, if you want to talk gaming and performance in the same sentence, you're gonna drop some change. Or maybe you know where I can get a cheap graphics card that will run Oblivion as well as an x1900XT? Saying the bit about the 180 being $500 more than the 246 is misleading since a 246 rig will get pricey. I'd rather bet my money on a 165 or 175 than on a S940 rig for gaming. There are many happy 165 owners out there that got a good stable OC.
April 20, 2006 5:15:04 AM

Quote:
Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.


Look in the e-mirror, dude.
April 20, 2006 1:57:43 PM

Quote:
Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.


Look in the e-mirror, dude.


Quoth the Baron,

My name is the coolest of the cool. Begone. You gotta admit that's a really silly name but then putting 69 between clue and less is probabaly not up there with the most creative of monikers.
April 20, 2006 2:16:25 PM

Quote:
[...]I put the 180 on the list because it is the same clock speed as the 3800+ mentioned by the OP.


Not quite the same beast since the 180 is a dual-core CPU just like the 165 and 175 Opties are.

Quote:
[...]Saying the bit about the 180 being $500 more than the 246 is misleading since a 246 rig will get pricey. I'd rather bet my money on a 165 or 175 than on a S940 rig for gaming. There are many happy 165 owners out there that got a good stable OC.


But I agree that a S939 Dual Core Optie or X2 would fit the bill.
April 20, 2006 2:33:01 PM

only one can OC if he has enough cooling brought to his hardware. Be shure to invest in aftermarket cooling if You plan on going for th Opty 165. The only problem is, I read an article in GHz magazine, you can OC everything and it might seem fine for a while, but once you've OC'ed for several months, even with adequate cooling, I saw the pic in the article, it showed that the Opteron 165 literally melted on the inside out.
Like I said invest in quality cooling. It was a noob with a air cooled heatsink. If you have the money and if you are planning to OC [H]ard, then go for H20 cooling.
:twisted:
April 20, 2006 3:32:10 PM

I totally agree that an X2 would be ideal, but it's still a little pricey for me :cry:  As was stated before, the Opteron prices may jump (or stagnate) a bit with the release of AM2 (because the Opteron will no longer be produced), but what about the production of current s939 X2s? Anyone know off-hand? If AMD would still make enough current X2s to meet demand, they may drop the price to allure more people to the AM2. If this is the case, the Optys price stays and the X2 prices drop, then I suppose I should hold out until June for an X2. Thoughts anyone?
April 20, 2006 3:38:25 PM

Well Bluntside, I'm planning on doing some overclocking (and who wouldn't :wink: ), but I probably won't go with water cooling on this rig. Since I don't have a lot of cash to throw around, I'd rather take the money I'd potentially spend on a water cooling unit and put it towards a better graphics card. I definately plan on toying with water cooling with future rigs though...
April 21, 2006 7:55:19 PM

Quote:
Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.

Look in the e-mirror, dude.
Quoth the Baron,
My name is the coolest of the cool. Begone. You gotta admit that's a really silly name but then putting 69 between clue and less is probabaly not up there with the most creative of monikers.

That's not a numeric "69", dude. Get some balance in your life. You may think your handle is cool, but then you probably think you're cool too. Two wrongs don't make one right.
April 21, 2006 8:08:41 PM

Quote:
Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.

Look in the e-mirror, dude.
Quoth the Baron,
My name is the coolest of the cool. Begone. You gotta admit that's a really silly name but then putting 69 between clue and less is probabaly not up there with the most creative of monikers.

That's not a numeric "69", dude. Get some balance in your life. You may think your handle is cool, but then you probably think you're cool too. Two wrongs don't make one right.


So I guess you're not as big an idiot as monkey-knife-fight. j/k
April 21, 2006 8:15:13 PM

Quote:
Dude, you really should have thought of a better name. It just ruined the whole post.

Look in the e-mirror, dude.
Quoth the Baron,
My name is the coolest of the cool. Begone. You gotta admit that's a really silly name but then putting 69 between clue and less is probabaly not up there with the most creative of monikers.

That's not a numeric "69", dude. Get some balance in your life. You may think your handle is cool, but then you probably think you're cool too. Two wrongs don't make one right.


So I guess you're not as big an idiot as monkey-knife-fight. j/k

Congratulations, BaronMatrix! You just won first place for the biggest douche on this forum! :trophy:
April 21, 2006 9:01:37 PM

What athalon does an opty165 most closely match...for benchmark comparrison purposes?
April 21, 2006 9:09:53 PM

Quote:
So I guess you're not as big an idiot as monkey-knife-fight. j/k


I don't even pretend to mess around up in that league with you and she. So relax, your kingdom is insecure.
!