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3700 vs X2 3800 vs 920/930

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April 20, 2006 9:23:52 PM

Hi there, recent joiner to the forums and was looking for some help,

I am trying to build a gaming machine for reasonbly sensible money, ie no more than say $1000.

I do not want the machine to be outdated fast but I do not see the point in waiting around for AM2 or Conroe as there always seems a new technology around the corner.

Because of my budget I would think to spend between 200 and 300 on the CPU. I have narrowed my choices down to the AMD 64 3700+ or I can take money from elsewhere in my budget and go for the AMD 64 X2 3800+.

I have been researching and can not work out in terms of future-proofing and gaming is dual core is the way forward?

Also not sure whether the Intel dual core 920/930 are decent in terms of gaming rigs?

Any advice in the area would be really appreciated, thanks in advance

More about : 3700 3800 920 930

April 20, 2006 9:31:01 PM

For gaming, go with AMD. Intel currently has better chances for upgrading, as Conroe will support Socket LGA 775, but you can buy an upgrade card for AMD's 939 to support Socket AM2.

How badly do you need a new system? AM2 will be out this summer, which isn't far away at all. I've said before that a few weeks ago I would have said to upgrade now, but at this point I would say to wait for AM2, or perhaps the release of Conroe in the 3rd quarter of this year.
April 20, 2006 9:31:55 PM

Quote:
Hi there, recent joiner to the forums and was looking for some help,

I am trying to build a gaming machine for reasonbly sensible money, ie no more than say $1000.

I do not want the machine to be outdated fast but I do not see the point in waiting around for AM2 or Conroe as there always seems a new technology around the corner.

Because of my budget I would think to spend between 200 and 300 on the CPU. I have narrowed my choices down to the AMD 64 3700+ or I can take money from elsewhere in my budget and go for the AMD 64 X2 3800+.

I have been researching and can not work out in terms of future-proofing and gaming is dual core is the way forward?

Also not sure whether the Intel dual core 920/930 are decent in terms of gaming rigs?

Any advice in the area would be really appreciated, thanks in advance


Well, to be honest, any of those processors you named would be good for gaming. AMDs are generally known for producing more framerates in games if that's of any importance to you.

The thing is, Intel is supposed to be cutting prices on all of their processors by the end of this month. I still believe for your needs though, the AMD might be the better way to go as, the boards that support AMDs are generally cheaper and that would save some money for you to buy better graphics or other hardware.

I was in the same boat as you and I went with an Opteron 165 dual core and i'm very glad I did. Buying dual core now will mean you'll have the hardware in your machine for near future gaming which is all going the dual core route.

Look into the X23800 or 165 for your needs. I use DFI boards which are very good but can be kinda pricey like ASUS. I have an EPOX board that was very reasonable and is a nice board.
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April 20, 2006 9:37:10 PM

DFI's are really nice but can also be really complicated to set up and use. EPoX's are almost as good at overclocking and much less complex. They would be your best bet, I think, as DFI's also carry a bit of a price premium. However, you get what you pay for.
April 20, 2006 9:41:22 PM

Wow than for all the rapid replies, the other reason why I may consider the 920 processor is because in the uk there are some great deals available through the dell outlet. As in D920 processor, 1 gig ram, 2 x 160GB sata hard drives, sound card etc all in for 600 dollars which seems cheap to me?
April 20, 2006 9:47:46 PM

Quote:
Wow than for all the rapid replies, the other reason why I may consider the 920 processor is because in the uk there are some great deals available through the dell outlet. As in D920 processor, 1 gig ram, 2 x 160GB sata hard drives, sound card etc all in for 600 dollars which seems cheap to me?


If your going that route then I would say yes, the Intel is your only choice as that is all Dell equips their machines with. The 920 will work fine. Just make sure you up the ante on the graphics for your game play. A machine from Dell equipped with on board graphics will not play games as well as having a seperate graphics card.
April 20, 2006 9:53:31 PM

If that sounds like a decent price then I was thinking of taking the dell machine and adding a decent graphics card, ie between 150 and 200 dollars, hopefully a 6800 or something, I am hoping just to get the processor sorted and deal with the graphics card after :) 
April 20, 2006 10:17:01 PM

make sure the PSU will handle a much more powerful card.
April 20, 2006 10:17:02 PM

Quote:
If that sounds like a decent price then I was thinking of taking the dell machine and adding a decent graphics card, ie between 150 and 200 dollars, hopefully a 6800 or something, I am hoping just to get the processor sorted and deal with the graphics card after :) 


you ,ight get a 6800 for that I take it your form teh uk, were 6800's start at £115 :-/

edit sry mix up :-/.

Dunno cost foa 6800 in staes :-/
April 20, 2006 10:19:18 PM

Beware of lowend dell system's with crappy PSU's.
April 20, 2006 10:23:38 PM

Quote:
Wow than for all the rapid replies, the other reason why I may consider the 920 processor is because in the uk there are some great deals available through the dell outlet. As in D920 processor, 1 gig ram, 2 x 160GB sata hard drives, sound card etc all in for 600 dollars which seems cheap to me?


If your going that route then I would say yes, the Intel is your only choice as that is all Dell equips their machines with. The 920 will work fine. Just make sure you up the ante on the graphics for your game play. A machine from Dell equipped with on board graphics will not play games as well as having a seperate graphics card.

Also consider that a 600$ Dell system is likely to lack a PSU powerfull enough to supply a mid to high end GPU. Unfortunately, the motherboards and PSUs that Dell use are intentionally made uncompatible with the industry's standard, making them notoriously hard and expensive to upgrade.

Furthermore, Dell systems suffer from a bad case of software bloat which cripples their performance. This is due to the amount of useless crap that is embedded into both the OS it ships with and the proprietary recovery disk.

I strongly suggest that you take a serious look at this Review from [H], where a 1300$ Dell performed barely better than a 500$ Sempron based budget computer due to the pre-installed crap crippling the Dell system.

IMHO, you would be better off building your own 'rig than trying to coerce a Dell system into performing adequately.
April 20, 2006 10:23:45 PM

Yeppers, I am from the uk, from the earlier advice I am now at step 1. Get a dual core cheap from dell and replace the psu and graphics card or build an amd from scratch, seems much of a muchness however dells may be more upgradeable due to the whole socket 475 thing....
April 20, 2006 10:32:04 PM

On the basis of building my own gaming rig, do I go for the pentium duo core on the basis of easy future upgrading, or go for the AMD route which are apparently better for gaming as such. Also is duo core worth the hype? Ie i hear the 3700+ is an awesome chip, I won't be overclocking as I never have tried like that before and would worry about toasting my machine, so is it worth spending the extra to go duo core? Thanks for all the help by the way
April 20, 2006 10:38:08 PM

Quote:
Yeppers, I am from the uk, from the earlier advice I am now at step 1. Get a dual core cheap from dell and replace the psu and graphics card or build an amd from scratch, seems much of a muchness however dells may be more upgradeable due to the whole socket 475 thing....


As I pointed out in my previous post the words "upgrade" and "Dell" don't belong in the same sentence, unless accompanied by colorfull expressions that range between "pain in the ass", "ungratefull biatch" & "absofuckinglutely impossible" depending on whom you speak to.

Just in case you're wondering about a Dell system having an upgrade path that could eventually lead to Conroe, forget it ! Conroe CPUs will require a new type of voltage regulation modules on the motherboard, making it extremely unlikely that a 600$ Dell could be made Conroe ready, unless you gut it and install a real motherboard and a matched PSU, then again, you would have to mod the case into submission...
April 20, 2006 10:43:38 PM

So basically as far as a gaming rig goes I may as well go for AMD, so which is the way to go, 3700+ as they are great value for money or sneak into dual core with the X2 3800+ ?
April 20, 2006 10:48:13 PM

Quote:
So basically as far as a gaming rig goes I may as well go for AMD, so which is the way to go, 3700+ as they are great value for money or sneak into dual core with the X2 3800+ ?


Just refer to my first post for the answer to that one. I would agree that building your own machine is the better option for sure.
April 20, 2006 10:56:30 PM

Ok cool, thanks again for all the advice guys, I will go read up on the 165 now but was told the socket 940 boards would not be forward compatible with the AM2 chips, thanks again all...
April 20, 2006 10:57:03 PM

Both the 3700+ and X2 3800+ offer a great bang for bucks ratio even at stock speed. I am partial toward the X2 3800+ since the hardware industry took a turn toward dual cores, game publishers are already moving in that direction as well.
April 20, 2006 11:06:56 PM

Quote:
Ok cool, thanks again for all the advice guys, I will go read up on the 165 now but was told the socket 940 boards would not be forward compatible with the AM2 chips, thanks again all...


BTW, The Opteron 165 is a Socket 939 CPU, it will work on most if not all motherboards.

If you are worried about an upgrade path toward Socket AM2, the Asrock 939Dual-SATA2 feature a special expension in which you can plug a Socket AM2 riser.

Not only is that board cheap, it offers full AGP and PCI-Express support (usefull if you got a decent AGP GPU in your current system) and a respectable OC'ing potential.
April 20, 2006 11:10:10 PM

As far as the mobo, if you go 939, get the A8N SLI Premium..... I have also had the Ultra D and the SLI DR...... they are much louder, and produce the same overclock that my Asus board produces with the same cpus. The Asus board has passive cooling, better SLI setup, and has been completly bug free. The DFI boards that I have owned have been a Little buggy, not bad though. As far as Conroe, I have read it will not be compatable with current sockets, but it may be misinformation.... I would go with AMD if you have to upgrade now, especially if it will have an AM2 adapter in the future.....
April 20, 2006 11:29:42 PM

I am definately not into overclocking so this is not a real concern to me at all. The only reason that I am looking into upgrading is because 18 months ago I got what was then a top of the range laptop, dell inspiron 9100, radeon 9800 256MB graphics card, p4 3.2 and I upgraded the ram to 2 gig last summer.

The machine used to work a dream but the last few months it has become a nightmare. It gets seriously hot, seriously fast and everything suffers, 3d games fps go to nothing, surfing the web can take ages as even opening IE can stutter the machine up. I am seriously careful in terms of spyware and adware so I am relatively this is not the problem.

I also recently started a job where I received a brand new laptop so i thought that there is no point having 2 laptops so I may as well sell the older, stuttering machine on ebay before the new chips come out and devalue it more and pore the cash into a new machine.

This is my thinking so that is why I am looking at the best way to make a decent gaming comp for my house that will last for a decent amount of time...
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April 20, 2006 11:48:31 PM

Dual core is the way of the future, if you have a few months to wait, wait for conroe, or a cheap AMD, they will make the current offerings look crap.

Quote:
I am definately not into overclocking so this is not a real concern to me at all. The only reason that I am looking into upgrading is because 18 months ago I got what was then a top of the range laptop, dell inspiron 9100, radeon 9800 256MB graphics card, p4 3.2 and I upgraded the ram to 2 gig last summer.

The machine used to work a dream but the last few months it has become a nightmare. It gets seriously hot, seriously fast and everything suffers, 3d games fps go to nothing, surfing the web can take ages as even opening IE can stutter the machine up. I am seriously careful in terms of spyware and adware so I am relatively this is not the problem.

I also recently started a job where I received a brand new laptop so i thought that there is no point having 2 laptops so I may as well sell the older, stuttering machine on ebay before the new chips come out and devalue it more and pore the cash into a new machine.

This is my thinking so that is why I am looking at the best way to make a decent gaming comp for my house that will last for a decent amount of time...
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