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Does it make sense to go AM2 SLI now?

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May 29, 2006 10:35:49 PM

I would like to upgrade my computer but don't know if it makes sense to go ahead and get a AM2 SLI board. The boards are brand new and I am not sure about the growing pains that it might have to experience.

Would it make sense to just get a 939 system at the moment? How long do you think that the current 939 systems have left? Would they be good for 2 years down the road?

thanks.

More about : make sense am2 sli

May 29, 2006 10:47:21 PM

Unless you're seriously watching your budget (and therefore heavily considering the few $$ you'll save with socket 939 now)...don't base your new rig on socket 939. ...in a month or two you'll regret it and wish you'd given yourself the longer upgrade path presented by AM2.

Yes, today there's no true performance gain but that will change and you'll be glad you can just swap your CPU as opposed to having to swap your motherboard, CPU, and RAM.
May 29, 2006 10:52:03 PM

I believe Socket 939 production will continue for a year or so more... but quickly AMD is to move to production to AM2 for now.
Either way, a 939 is still a good buy today, if you have existing DDR memory that you want to re-use... Otherwise if not, and you are going to use DDR2 RAM via socket AM2 or Intel's 775 for Conroe, then Conroe is the best in value and performance available within 6 or 8 weeks or so... so much to the point that if you need a PC now, then get a Conroe capable board, and a cheap $125 dual core Intel CPU now, and in a couple of months switch to a $300 Conroe... or even the bad a$$ $520 one... then sell old CPU on eBay to recoup some of investment...
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May 29, 2006 11:09:11 PM

If I was building at the moment, I would go AM2 with either SLI or Crossfire capability (depending on whether you prefer Nvidia or ATI). 939 will be around for awile, but will be getting phased out, while AM2 will gain strength. Also, as AM2 matures, the CPU speeds will rise and better ram and overclocking methods will become available.

As for Conroe, it looks good on paper, but no one has seen production maodels yet. It may be worse, as good as, or even better than what the samples have been. That's a wait and see thing. One thing for sure is that it will force AMD to lower its prices a bit, and for AMD fans, that's good.
May 30, 2006 2:14:47 AM

thanks for the replies guys.

Here is my dilemma. My main machine died and I would like to get it up and running pretty quickly. The AM2 really looks like the way to go but reading up the reviews on some of the equipment I am not sure if this is the right time to buy because AM2 seems to be in its infancy as so there are not many conclusive reviews on the AM2.

I am a little bit scared of buying AM2 right now, but the 939 looks good but I am not sure if it will last 2 years from now. if 939 can last 2 years or more, esp with the SLI aspect of it.

please let me know.
a c 473 à CPUs
May 30, 2006 2:17:48 AM

If you had to build a PC now and you are looking to upgrade the CPU in 2 years or so, then it is worth getting socket AM2.

As for Crossfire and SLI, I am one of those people who thinks that they are not worth it unless you are going to buy a top of the line card. By the time you save up money for another card, the next generation of GPUs may be out and a single new generation GPU may outperform a dual GPU setup of the older generation. I think it's worth it for the high end cards because if you are going to buy the X1900XTX or the 7900GTX there is no other way to improve performance other than adding another card. Expect 20% - 40% performance improvements by adding the second GPU.

If you can wait until August (that's when Conroe CPUs should be available to consumers) then you might want to build a system around the CPU. All preliminary indications shows that Conroe will outperform AMD Athlon 64s. but you should wait for official reviews first.
May 30, 2006 2:39:03 PM

It will never make any sense to go AM2
May 30, 2006 3:11:24 PM

Quote:
I would like to upgrade my computer but don't know if it makes sense to go ahead and get a AM2 SLI board. The boards are brand new and I am not sure about the growing pains that it might have to experience.

Would it make sense to just get a 939 system at the moment? How long do you think that the current 939 systems have left? Would they be good for 2 years down the road?

thanks.


I'd a=say go for it. In two months when Core 2 comes out a new rev of AM2 will probably be out that gets more out of the extra bandwidth from DDR2. Just go for the 4400+ or cheaper. Good 667DDR2 is out and 800 is getting better everyday.

It has been showwn that good timings give as much as 18-20% increase in games.
May 30, 2006 3:29:54 PM

Quote:
It will never make any sense to go AM2


Why, precisely, not?
May 30, 2006 3:45:27 PM

He has no proof that that is the case. AMD still has the best systems on the market and they will always be good systems, regardless of whether or not they're the best systems at the time.

I'm going AM2 but not until I get some forecasting on when the next GPUs will come out. I have a feeling they won't be more than 3 or 4 months away.
May 30, 2006 4:11:10 PM

It does make sense to go with the newer, more future proof technology if you're building a rig from scratch but it's still all relative to your needs.

For instance what are you upgrading from? If your old system is an AthlonXP 1700+ then going to a S939-based X2 3800+ is going to make such a huge difference that you'll definitely not regret it. And if your budget is really tight then saving a few $$ on cheaper DDR memory makes sense rather than going with DDR2 right now.

But if you'd rather have the option of swaping to a faster CPU in about 1.5-2 years while keeping the rest of your components then the new platform is the better choice.

And although AM2 is still in its infancy the main chipsets for it are mature enough since they are more or less the same as their 939 counterparts
May 30, 2006 4:56:28 PM

Quote:
I would like to upgrade my computer but don't know if it makes sense to go ahead and get a AM2 SLI board. The boards are brand new and I am not sure about the growing pains that it might have to experience.

Would it make sense to just get a 939 system at the moment? How long do you think that the current 939 systems have left? Would they be good for 2 years down the road?


If I were you, I'd break this down into two or three decisions and deal with them one at a time. Socket first, GPU setup second or vice versa.
Regarding 939 viability, just realize that there will probably be a game available within a year - probably less - that will stress or overwhelm even the best 939 rig. Such is life. But a solid 939 system is an impressive beast and should maintian its present level of performance for a few years if maintained well.

939 vs. AM2 vs. Core... Tough choice. If you're thinking of AM2 in terms of upgrading when 65nm AMD CPUs become available, then you're betting on a product we have no data on. If you plan to buy a current AM2 CPU and stick with it a while, then just realize that only the very expensive current units outperform the corresponding 939 models. I just can't see spending $1200 on the newest, hottest FX when Conroe is only 7 or 8 weeks away and it just might toast the FX at a considerably lower cost.

SLI vs single card... You already got good advice there. Go search out the benchmarks on Toms, Anandtech, etc. and decide it you think it's money well spent. If you decide to SLI or XFire a pair of top cards, you'll need to take a close look at the power supply demands these cards make. Simply buying a big PS won't necessarily get the job done. You probably want 40 amps of +12V capability.
May 31, 2006 5:18:54 AM

ok well here goes:

My old computer was 4.5 years old and a very very reliable machine. Its specs were
dual 1.2 ghz athlon MPs
2gb pc2100 RAM
radeon 9800 pro
tyan tiger 2460
3ware raid card

I do a lot of graphical work but also play a lot of games. My main concern is trying to get a lot of life out of my next computer. I currently have a work machine (at my day job) that I am planning to buy next year.

It has:
dual opteron 246's
2gb pc3200 RAM,
256mb bfg 6800 ultra
3x 200gb sata raid.
Tyan thunder k8we

I was going to try and replicate some of this config with the current components that I have and it was going to cost me about us$1800.

However, I can buy a somewhat temporary solution at the moment, being a AM2 solution so that I can get my data off my computer and have something substantial to work with at home.

Right now I can try and get a AM2 board, chip, RAM, psu and a new 7900gt for far less that $1800, thus saving me money to buy the machine at work.

So right now I am thinking about the new Asus SLI AM2 board and buying a dual core 3800 chip.

what you guys think?
May 31, 2006 8:01:27 AM

you know what? honestly? ... :?

SLi sucks.... its just a gimmick. my single 7900gt ko has yet to be actually tested. most of these benchmarks are for resolutions of 2560x1600+. I run an LCD monitor with a native resolution of 1280x1024 and i operate my games (oblivion, fear, doom3, HL2, WoW) on ultra mode and filtering at that perfectly crystal clear resolution with frames to spare. I can't really justify even buying this Fatal1ty mainboard anymore.

Buy one card, if its not working for you THEN buy another.

On the other note, a "future proof" PC usually means 4-5 years right? but lately, it seems software is advancing almost exponentially (in terms of system resource consumption). I mean hell, it wasnt that long ago we were playing quake 3 arena. Read up on what overclocks the best that way as time goes by, you can advance your clock speeds to keep up with things.
May 31, 2006 10:47:32 AM

If you're thinking of a dual core 3800+ and a 7900GT why would you want to buy your work PC anyway? You'll be fine with that rig and you can save the extra cash to upgrade to a better processor later on (5000+/FX).

And infyrno917 is right: you don't need SLI unless you're buying a 30" LCD display and you want to play at its native resolution
May 31, 2006 1:43:51 PM

Why buy a Ford when someone would give you a Ferrari for free?
May 31, 2006 2:49:21 PM

Quote:
SLi sucks.... its just a gimmick.


There's the G-word again.

Quote:
most of these benchmarks are for resolutions of 2560x1600+.


Most? I'd like to see you back that up with data. 1600x1200 is the most commonly cited threshold where SLI/Xfire gives real world advantages.

Quote:
Buy one card, if its not working for you THEN buy another.


Probably the most cost-effective path to performance.

Quote:
On the other note, a "future proof" PC usually means 4-5 years right?


More like 4-5 months...
May 31, 2006 3:04:12 PM

Quote:
Why buy a Ford when someone would give you a Ferrari for free?

Sure.
I'll pm you my address :lol: 
May 31, 2006 8:46:50 PM

well here is the thing, I do 3d graphics and need a machine that can display decent sized scenes as well as render fast. this new machine at work, in another year, will probably be cheaper than buying the same specs new and importing it. I will get it at a discount and it is highly upgradeable. That machine should last me a good 3-4 years.

In regards to SLI, in case they change the graphical architecture in 3-4, I wanted to be able to have a backup and SLI seems to be a good choice. I would not be getting the highest costing, fastest gpu out there so I think in another year or two, getting another 7900 gt might be cheaper than buying next years equivalent. THe thing is that I want some kind of flexibility.

One other question. With the new AMD AM2 65nm process coming out, will that change the socket that is used? Will i still be able to use the AM2 motherboards that are out now with the new, not yet released, 65nm CPU's?

thanks.
May 31, 2006 9:11:35 PM

Quote:
One other question. With the new AMD AM2 65nm process coming out, will that change the socket that is used? Will i still be able to use the AM2 motherboards that are out now with the new, not yet released, 65nm CPU's?


My understanding is that the 65nm CPUs will be AM2. Perhaps a look at AMDs site would clarify.
May 31, 2006 10:11:41 PM

65nm is when AM2 is really gonna show its worth. That's when AMD will begin ramping up the clock speeds and these Athlon 64s are so scalable that the DDR2 will start to pay off too. 65nm and later on 45nm is the reason why there even is a socket AM2. These new higher speeds will be what it has been all about.

I'd be torn too regarding 939 and AM2. So I rebuilt my two primary (dual cores both) boxes a week or two before having such an option and I'm not at all sorry. I'm actually quite pleased with my performance.

Prices being equal, I'd go the AM2 route. I like DDR's performance better than DDR2 and I did not buy the top model CPUs (X2 3800 and Opteron 175) so my overall performance is about the same as equivalent AM2 processors but more consistent memory performance with DDR.
June 1, 2006 8:15:19 PM

I was just looking at the MSI K9N am2 board and I am a little bit confused about somethings.
Here is the link for the board
http://www.msicomputer.com/product/p_spec.asp?model=K9N...

1. From what I have read the AM2 is a 940 pin socket. I thought the socket had different placings for the pins. The specs says that it is compatible with athlon 64/fx/fx2 chips. I thought those chips where 939 pin chips. Can you mix 939 & 940 chips in the AM2 socket? I have been trying to find info on this but have not found any.

2. The K9N has two PCIe slots but does not say that it has SLI capability. What can you use the other PCIe slot for?

thanks.
June 1, 2006 9:23:18 PM

Quote:
2. The K9N has two PCIe slots but does not say that it has SLI capability. What can you use the other PCIe slot for?


If it doesn´t have SLI capability, then you´ll use that slot for other cards or one more graphicscard so that you can use 4 monitors...
June 1, 2006 9:32:40 PM

Quote:

1. From what I have read the AM2 is a 940 pin socket. I thought the socket had different placings for the pins. The specs says that it is compatible with athlon 64/fx/fx2 chips. I thought those chips where 939 pin chips. Can you mix 939 & 940 chips in the AM2 socket? I have been trying to find info on this but have not found any.


The new processors for AM2 have 940 pins. They're the same with their 939-pin counterparts in all other respects except that they fit socket AM2. You can't mix 939 & 940 chips. If you notice on the site you linked the only FX chip that is compatible with that mobo is the FX-62 because right now it's the only one of the FX series available for AM2
June 1, 2006 10:29:16 PM

ahh ok...understood (the two PCIe slots). Are there any other components that use a PCIe interface?

If you say that you cannot mix 939&940 chips...then how comes the board says it supports athlon 64 3800+ which is a 939 chip? or does the first line cover all subsequent lines beneath it (only those being socket AM2)? it is a tad bit confusing.

CPU
• Supports 64-bit AMD® Athlon™ 64 / Athlon 64FX / Athlon 64 X2 processor (Socket AM2)
• Supports Athlon 64 CPU: 3500+, 3800+
• Supports Athlon 64FX CPU: FX-62
• Supports Athlon 64 X2 CPU: 3800+, 4000+, 4200, 4400+, 4600+, 4800+, 5000+, 5200+
June 1, 2006 10:58:44 PM

Athlon 64 3800+ is not a 939 chip. It is BOTH a 939 chip and NOW there's also an AM2 (ie 940-pin) variant. The same with 3500+ and all the X2's from 3800+ to 4800+. Also it seems AMD now makes a 939-pin variant of the X2 5000+ and the FX-62
June 1, 2006 10:58:55 PM

I swear, before I opened the Kendall Jackson, that I saw a socket 939 mobo that said it supported AM2 with a chip-converter. ...interesting, indeed.
June 1, 2006 11:07:18 PM

I'd not heard of ASRock mobos until recently. The NewEgg reviews seem good, but do we have any forum runners with an ASRock mobo that can shed light? I'm a noob, help enlighten me. ...if you would.
June 2, 2006 12:01:33 AM

Quote:
Athlon 64 3800+ is not a 939 chip. It is BOTH a 939 chip and NOW there's also an AM2 (ie 940-pin) variant. The same with 3500+ and all the X2's from 3800+ to 4800+. Also it seems AMD now makes a 939-pin variant of the X2 5000+ and the FX-62


That was a rapidly vanishing bit of incorrect information. FX-60 and X2 4800, and of course, Opteron 185 are the end of the line for socket 939 though either one should satisfy quite nicely :D 
June 2, 2006 12:14:54 AM

why is it so hard to find these AM2 chips? I have found a few but at prices a tad bit expensive. How comes whenever there is a new chip (and sometimes GPU) release...its hard to find the chips?

if you can show me where to buy a 3800 x2 am2 or a 4000 x2 am2 i would be grateful.
June 2, 2006 12:29:47 AM

Quote:
why is it so hard to find these AM2 chips? I have found a few but at prices a tad bit expensive. How comes whenever there is a new chip (and sometimes GPU) release...its hard to find the chips?

if you can show me where to buy a 3800 x2 am2 or a 4000 x2 am2 i would be grateful.


Here's one place. There are a few here as well.
June 2, 2006 12:37:23 AM

Quote:
well here is the thing, I do 3d graphics.....That machine should last me a good 3-4 years.


Good luck.
June 2, 2006 2:11:01 AM

Quote:
I'd not heard of ASRock mobos until recently. The NewEgg reviews seem good, but do we have any forum runners with an ASRock mobo that can shed light? I'm a noob, help enlighten me. ...if you would.


The problem with Newegg (or other etail site) reviews is that many of the people writing them have little basis for comparison. Dude buys his first whizbang thingamajig and likes it then writes a glowing review. I get more by trying to mentally collect all of the dispariging remarks on a product. If few users have something bad to say, the item just might be good. So asking here like you did is a good plan. Yes, I realize that I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know.
June 2, 2006 3:02:02 AM

Quote:
I would like to upgrade my computer but don't know if it makes sense to go ahead and get a AM2 SLI board. The boards are brand new and I am not sure about the growing pains that it might have to experience.

Would it make sense to just get a 939 system at the moment? How long do you think that the current 939 systems have left? Would they be good for 2 years down the road?

thanks.


939 systems can and will out preform any projected AM2 systems (at this time) and at a lower cost.

Things may change two years from now,yet todays top 939 will still be running strong many years down the road.
June 2, 2006 10:19:19 AM

Quote:
I'd not heard of ASRock mobos until recently. The NewEgg reviews seem good, but do we have any forum runners with an ASRock mobo that can shed light? I'm a noob, help enlighten me. ...if you would.


The problem with Newegg (or other etail site) reviews is that many of the people writing them have little basis for comparison. Dude buys his first whizbang thingamajig and likes it then writes a glowing review. I get more by trying to mentally collect all of the dispariging remarks on a product. If few users have something bad to say, the item just might be good. So asking here like you did is a good plan. Yes, I realize that I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know.

Thanks. I'm interested in the ASRock 939NF4G with its $67 price as a replacement for this Gigabyte GA-K8U s754 (though its been fine for the month or so I've had it). I'd like a good, cheap s939 passively cooled board and that ASRock peaked me attentions.
June 2, 2006 5:32:14 PM

Quote:
Why buy a Ford when someone would give you a Ferrari for free?


Ferrari is back order for some years if you want a new one while a ford is readily available to carry out your familly.. Just like one would have to wait for Conroe while he can get a nice system that will be fast enough for a while anyway..

Go bury yourself with your stupid fanboyism and come back when Conroe will be there..
June 2, 2006 6:32:54 PM

Quote:
Thanks. I'm interested in the ASRock 939NF4G with its $67 price as a replacement for this Gigabyte GA-K8U s754 (though its been fine for the month or so I've had it). I'd like a good, cheap s939 passively cooled board and that ASRock peaked me attentions.


I believe I have a review comparing low/mid priced ASRock mobos bookmarked on my work computer. I'll see if I can find it. A quick Google returned the following links when searching "asrock 939nf4g review":

http://www.pcstats.com/artvnl.cfm?articleID=1917

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2005/asrock/reviews/939NF4G-...

http://www.neoseeker.com/Hardware/Products/asrock_939nf...

http://www.gamepyre.com/hardwared.html?aid=685&p=1

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...

Those will give you a few minutes of browsing. Ain't Google hot cheet?
June 2, 2006 7:10:47 PM

sorry....i should of specified. It kinda hard to find the x2 or the dual core version of the AM2 socket. I checked monarch before and they won't have them till around the end of june. Newegg.com doesnt have any dual core am2 chips as yet.

The only place that has them right now (that i know of) is tigerdirect.com. They are usually more expensive than the rest of the sites and so I have never bought from them. I guess this time I will have to :( .
June 2, 2006 7:26:55 PM

If you want to be able to upgrade later you need AM2 it just won't be an option for 939 since AMD is only planning to deliver the products that are currently available not new ones.

SLI makes no sense unless you have so much cash to burn that you will be buying two absolutely top end cards. For the price of any two lesser cards you can get a single card that will beat it. And when you decide to upgrade your benefit from adding a second low end card will be much less than a slightly better card.

You sound like you want to upgrade later so get a AM2 board (get a non-sli and save that money towrds a better Video card now or a better one when you upgrade) and a decent Proc and memory.

Also reaed the THG article about ram multipliers and AM2. The part about multipliers is in the middle somewhere. http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/05/23/amd_reinvents_it...
June 2, 2006 7:31:00 PM

Quote:
Why buy a Ford when someone would give you a Ferrari for free?


Cause the Ford GT is easily as nice and someone as tall as I am fits in it better. Both have a wait list though.
June 2, 2006 10:02:07 PM

Quote:
Thanks. I'm interested in the ASRock 939NF4G with its $67 price as a replacement for this Gigabyte GA-K8U s754 (though its been fine for the month or so I've had it). I'd like a good, cheap s939 passively cooled board and that ASRock peaked me attentions.


I believe I have a review comparing low/mid priced ASRock mobos bookmarked on my work computer. I'll see if I can find it. A quick Google returned the following links when searching "asrock 939nf4g review":

http://www.pcstats.com/artvnl.cfm?articleID=1917

http://www.ocworkbench.com/2005/asrock/reviews/939NF4G-...

http://www.neoseeker.com/Hardware/Products/asrock_939nf...

http://www.gamepyre.com/hardwared.html?aid=685&p=1

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...

Those will give you a few minutes of browsing. Ain't Google hot cheet?

That was totally cool of you. I'm sorry to have spent your time. Thanks man!
June 3, 2006 2:28:00 AM

Quote:
That was totally cool of you. I'm sorry to have spent your time. Thanks man!


No problem. I love reading reviews on my day off. Search mushkin + ddr, mushkin + ddr2 and mushkin + power supply. They seem to really be getting it going.
June 6, 2006 3:15:02 AM

ahhhh, now with the release of the SLI card in one....that makes more sense and helps me a great deal. I was moving away from SLI boards but now this is the nail in the coffin. no need to spend big bucks on a SLI board and 2 GPU's as I can upgrade to the SLI card in one :) . take care guys.
June 6, 2006 8:21:33 AM

Amen to that. ...though I've not read the THG review, yet, my fellow freaks with $$ to waste could go quad-SLI with only two simpler cards.

Who needs that? No one NEEDS that but imagine the pick-up lines at the pub... "Baby, I've got two of the new SLi boards...I guess that means I've got quad-SLi...come with me, let's game...."
!