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How Deep Does the Rabbit Hole Go?

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June 7, 2006 1:55:33 AM

hello everybody, i'm confused. what should i do? i've been scraping up measly amounts of dough so i can build a computer for a while now. almost a year, actually. and just when i was getting comfortable enough to build, intel and amd decide to bust my nuts by releasing new sockets.

what should i do? i was all researched up about the good old socket 939, and now they go and change on me. sheesh. how inconsiderate of us small town teenagers, huh? we are a very important demographic, you know. joking. anyway, i have alot of uncertainty about what may come around with the rise of all this new technology. so, here come the questions:

you've got the looming threat of g80/geforce 8 series/dx10 [when is all that junk coming out?]. is am2 that different from 939? is ddr2 significantly better than ddr1? is an am2 proc significantly better than the same 939? a 939 3200+ and an am2 3200+ look identical to me. does am2 oc well? should i wait till the procs go all 65 nm, or whatever? what are ram requirements going to be like with vista coming out? is conroe/ core 2 intel's silver bullet that'll knock my socks off and make intel my new favorite? which processor should i go with, in the even of a build sometime soon? can i build a computer for a modest amount of money, and still have futureproofability/decent performance [in, specifically, games such as the whole source jazz, doom3, you know the ones]? is 7950 gx2 really as sweet as it sounds? do i need to brace for quad-sli?

i'm sorry to have asked so many questions, but i figured i could find some good guidance here. i've come to the tgforums with questions before, and recieved great answers. i know i've asked alot, but i hope you could bear with me, and on top of any answers i may recieve here, i will do research of my own. but could someone please enlighten me?

More about : deep rabbit hole

June 7, 2006 2:13:30 AM

First things first, what is your budget?

For the moment there are no real significant differences between AM2 and S939 Athlon 64. If you intend on upgrading your CPU within 2 years, then I would suggest going for AM2 because AMD's next generation CPU, the K8L, is due out in 2008. If you don't intend on upgrading for more than 2 years (3 preferably) then just get S939 because by that time a new standard should be emgering (a guess).

If you can wait a little longer Conroe is a very viable option for you. Conroe systems will be available for sale on July 23rd. Conroe CPUs should be available for sale to the general public by early August. All Conroe CPUs will not be available on the same day, faster ones will come out maybe a month later. That's the same with the AM2 Athlons.

Here's a preview of Conroe Extreme vs. the FX-62.
June 7, 2006 2:21:20 AM

RAM...

I haven't done extensive research on this topic because I am definitely upgrading to Conroe or AM2. Last time I research this issue there is no significant difference between DDR and DDR2 for the Athlon 64. Socket AM2 merely lays the groundwork for the K8L CPU.

As for Conroe you will have no choice in the matter it's DDR2 or nothing.

DDR2 is a little more expensive than DDR RAM so by going with a S939 Athlon 64 you will save a little bit of cash. Like I said before, if you don't think you will upgrade the CPU for 3 years, then S939 seems the route to go.

Based on what I've read so far, 2GB would be optimal for Windows Vista. But as with any new OS there will be problems. I myself won't upgrade until they come out with Service Pack 1.
Related resources
June 7, 2006 2:23:07 AM

[jedi mind trick] YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW MY BUDGET. [/jedi mind trick]

i'm poor. 'nuff said. thanks for responding.i was going to build a decent 939 system, with a 3200+ and some variety of 6800 (this was before the 7 series blossomed, all you had were expensive 7800s) and, obviously, ddr1 ram, a gig of it, tho. i have a bunch of parts that i'm going to recycle, which helped my costs significantly.

the good thing is, i haven't blow all that money on other stuff. i still have it. my next question: what would you recommend as a decent am2 alternative? if you could put it on a reasonable performance tier as the good old 939 sys, that'd be great. i think a big deciding point is the ram. is it more expensive for ddr2? i haven't checked that, but mobos are like the same. prices, that is. and what about ocing? do you know?
June 7, 2006 2:29:37 AM

Quote:

Socket AM2 merely lays the groundwork for the K8L CPU.


oooh... i'm excited! do tell! i haven't heard of this... k8l... sounds sweet. actually, i take that back. sounds scary. it reminds me of the k6 in my current computer... running at a pitiful 3-something MEGAHERTZ. ouch. anyway, is it just going to be another proc for the am2 socket? or will it be a whole nother socket of its own?

Quote:

I myself won't upgrade until they come out with Service Pack 1.


lol. playin' it safe on the vista. thats funny.

i think that i will either build with am2 or hold off all together... that is unless conroe turns out to be amazing and changes my mind. i don't suppose there is much reason not to wait for its release. in the eventuality that it is super-fantabulous, i'll build with it.
June 7, 2006 2:40:18 AM

Quote:
hello everybody, i'm confused. what should i do? i've been scraping up measly amounts of dough so i can build a computer for a while now. almost a year, actually. and just when i was getting comfortable enough to build, intel and amd decide to bust my nuts by releasing new sockets.

what should i do? i was all researched up about the good old socket 939, and now they go and change on me. sheesh. how inconsiderate of us small town teenagers, huh? we are a very important demographic, you know. joking. anyway, i have alot of uncertainty about what may come around with the rise of all this new technology. so, here come the questions:

you've got the looming threat of g80/geforce 8 series/dx10 [when is all that junk coming out?]. is am2 that different from 939? is ddr2 significantly better than ddr1? is an am2 proc significantly better than the same 939? a 939 3200+ and an am2 3200+ look identical to me. does am2 oc well? should i wait till the procs go all 65 nm, or whatever? what are ram requirements going to be like with vista coming out? is conroe/ core 2 intel's silver bullet that'll knock my socks off and make intel my new favorite? which processor should i go with, in the even of a build sometime soon? can i build a computer for a modest amount of money, and still have futureproofability/decent performance [in, specifically, games such as the whole source jazz, doom3, you know the ones]? is 7950 gx2 really as sweet as it sounds? do i need to brace for quad-sli?

i'm sorry to have asked so many questions, but i figured i could find some good guidance here. i've come to the tgforums with questions before, and recieved great answers. i know i've asked alot, but i hope you could bear with me, and on top of any answers i may recieve here, i will do research of my own. but could someone please enlighten me?


No AM2 will not OC well (not as well as a 939 and which cost all around alot less).

CPU....Optron 146-939 pin ($200 boxed with 3 yr warrenty).
Does 2Ghz out of the box and will push 3Ghz on stock volts!

DFI Expert.....best MB you could ever find. $150-179 but worth every red cent!

G.Skill 4000USU2-2GB-HZ (DDR500) $150-160 and runs up to DDR600 with "tweeking" and on stock volts. The "tweeking" can be had useing the DFI MB.

Best cooler I ever built a system with (only one I use for customers now) is the Thermalright SI-120,and the way it is built also cools your ram and MB voltage regulators. $44 plus a 120MM fan.
Cools as well (better given the ram and regulaters) as a $300+ watercooling system.

Use a CoolerMaster case for best airflow.

Use a PC Power & Cooling 510....it will cost more than any of the other parts other than the gfx card but also worth every red cent,plus it will last so long your Grandkids will be able to use it!

Get the cheepest 7900GT you can find....no human eye will be able to see better gfx.

If you build useing these parts you will have a system with a P-4 rateing of up to 4.38Ghz....running under 38C on the cpu and still running strong 6-10 years from now.

Z

PS: Open the case 1 day each month and use a pipe vleaner and 1 inch paintbrush to remove dust,lint,pet hairs and COBWEBS.
June 7, 2006 2:41:10 AM

GPU...

I'm not really a hardcore gamer so a single card solution is my recommendation. Yes, SLI and the 7950GT do look interesting, but having them will not double the performance of a single 7900GT or 7900GTX. The higher you go, the more you need to pay to get extra performance. Quad SLI? At that point you're looking at $1,100 to $1,200 just on the video card. I'm sure that can pretty much compete against the ATI's X1900XT Crossfire, but that's a lot of money to spend for GPUs.

If you game at 1600x1200 or higher, have the money to spend, and your really are a hardcore gamer then go for it.

DX 10 cards are not expected to come out until the end of the year. But more importantly there are indications that they will be true power hogs. This Anandtech article state that DX 10 cards may use up to 300w power alone. Of course that would apply to the high-end and premium cards . That's without overclocking. The estimate is from 130w to 300w, which also means that a more powerful PSU will be necessary. 1000w to 1200w PSU may become more common place for high end gaming rigs.

Also note that DX 10 cards will only show their true colors if Windows Vista is used. When placed in a system with Windows XP or below, they will simply act as DX 9 cards.
June 7, 2006 2:48:00 AM

Quote:


No AM2 will not OC well (not as well as a 939 and which cost all around alot less).

CPU....Optron 146-939 pin ($200 boxed with 3 yr warrenty).
Does 2Ghz out of the box and will push 3Ghz on stock volts!

DFI Expert.....best MB you could ever find. $150-179 but worth every red cent!

G.Skill 4000USU2-2GB-HZ (DDR500) $150-160 and runs up to DDR600 with "tweeking" and on stock volts. The "tweeking" can be had useing the DFI MB.

Best cooler I ever built a system with (only one I use for customers now) is the Thermalright SI-120,and the way it is built also cools your ram and MB voltage regulators. $44 plus a 120MM fan.
Cools as well (better given the ram and regulaters) as a $300+ watercooling system.

Use a CoolerMaster case for best airflow.

Use a PC Power & Cooling 510....it will cost more than any of the other parts other than the gfx card but also worth every red cent,plus it will last so long your Grandkids will be able to use it!

Get the cheepest 7900GT you can find....no human eye will be able to see better gfx.

If you build useing these parts you will have a system with a P-4 rateing of up to 4.38Ghz....running under 38C on the cpu and still running strong 6-10 years from now.

Z


WOW. with a capital "w." and, for the record, i don't use capitals alot. thanks. this compy sounds awesome. but i still wanna see what the new sockets have to offer. one of my friends wanna build current gen- i.e. socket 939. i'll pass this right on to him. do you really think this compy can do 6-10 yrs? thats crazy.

Quote:

GPU...

I'm not really a hardcore gamer so a single card solution is my recommendation. Yes, SLI and the 7950GT do look interesting, but having them will not double the performance of a single 7900GT or 7900GTX. The higher you go, the more you need to pay to get extra performance. Quad SLI? At that point you're looking at $1,100 to $1,200 just on the video card. I'm sure that can pretty much compete against the ATI's X1900XT Crossfire, but that's a lot of money to spend for GPUs.

If you game at 1600x1200 or higher, have the money to spend, and your really are a hardcore gamer then go for it.

DX 10 cards are not expected to come out until the end of the year. But more importantly there are indications that they will be true power hogs. This Anandtech article state that DX 10 cards may use up to 300w power alone. Of course that would apply to the high-end and premium cards . That's without overclocking. The estimate is from 130w to 300w, which also means that a more powerful PSU will be necessary. 1000w to 1200w PSU may become more common place for high end gaming rigs.

Also note that DX 10 cards will only show their true colors if Windows Vista is used. When placed in a system with Windows XP or below, they will simply act as DX 9 cards.


alright.... thats what i thought.... it still won't be suicide to buy a single card, and more than 2 graphics cards just isn't there yet. over 1000 watts by the end of the year? surely you jest! that is mind blowing. especially compared to the 200w in the computer i sit beside now. WOW. craziness.

i've read that anandtech article, and its just yet another publication that has gotten me hyped for conroe. er... core 2. excuse me. is that wrong for a closet amd-fanboy such as myself? am i jumping the gun? and that just compares the supah-dupah top of the line processors... how do you suppose that the other levels of performance will stack up? i'd probably do less than $200 for a proc.... so maybe a core 2 duo e6300, or equivalent am2. i suppose i'll just have to wait for price/performance comparisons.
June 7, 2006 2:53:07 AM

Quote:


No AM2 will not OC well (not as well as a 939 and which cost all around alot less).

CPU....Optron 146-939 pin ($200 boxed with 3 yr warrenty).
Does 2Ghz out of the box and will push 3Ghz on stock volts!

DFI Expert.....best MB you could ever find. $150-179 but worth every red cent!

G.Skill 4000USU2-2GB-HZ (DDR500) $150-160 and runs up to DDR600 with "tweeking" and on stock volts. The "tweeking" can be had useing the DFI MB.

Best cooler I ever built a system with (only one I use for customers now) is the Thermalright SI-120,and the way it is built also cools your ram and MB voltage regulators. $44 plus a 120MM fan.
Cools as well (better given the ram and regulaters) as a $300+ watercooling system.

Use a CoolerMaster case for best airflow.

Use a PC Power & Cooling 510....it will cost more than any of the other parts other than the gfx card but also worth every red cent,plus it will last so long your Grandkids will be able to use it!

Get the cheepest 7900GT you can find....no human eye will be able to see better gfx.

If you build useing these parts you will have a system with a P-4 rateing of up to 4.38Ghz....running under 38C on the cpu and still running strong 6-10 years from now.

Z


WOW. with a capital "w." and, for the record, i don't use capitals alot. thanks. this compy sounds awesome. but i still wanna see what the new sockets have to offer. one of my friends wanna build current gen- i.e. socket 939. i'll pass this right on to him. do you really think this compy can do 6-10 yrs? thats crazy.

Yes I think it will last.
No AM2 is NOT a good deal at this point in time....and this system will out perform the slated top AM2 system.

I build here in LA Claifornia for those who want performance.

Z
June 7, 2006 3:02:25 AM

Quote:


No AM2 will not OC well (not as well as a 939 and which cost all around alot less).

CPU....Optron 146-939 pin ($200 boxed with 3 yr warrenty).
Does 2Ghz out of the box and will push 3Ghz on stock volts!

DFI Expert.....best MB you could ever find. $150-179 but worth every red cent!

G.Skill 4000USU2-2GB-HZ (DDR500) $150-160 and runs up to DDR600 with "tweeking" and on stock volts. The "tweeking" can be had useing the DFI MB.

Best cooler I ever built a system with (only one I use for customers now) is the Thermalright SI-120,and the way it is built also cools your ram and MB voltage regulators. $44 plus a 120MM fan.
Cools as well (better given the ram and regulaters) as a $300+ watercooling system.

Use a CoolerMaster case for best airflow.

Use a PC Power & Cooling 510....it will cost more than any of the other parts other than the gfx card but also worth every red cent,plus it will last so long your Grandkids will be able to use it!

Get the cheepest 7900GT you can find....no human eye will be able to see better gfx.

If you build useing these parts you will have a system with a P-4 rateing of up to 4.38Ghz....running under 38C on the cpu and still running strong 6-10 years from now.

Z


WOW. with a capital "w." and, for the record, i don't use capitals alot. thanks. this compy sounds awesome. but i still wanna see what the new sockets have to offer. one of my friends wanna build current gen- i.e. socket 939. i'll pass this right on to him. do you really think this compy can do 6-10 yrs? thats crazy.

Yes I think it will last.
No AM2 is NOT a good deal at this point in time....and this system will out perform the slated top AM2 system.

I build here in LA Claifornia for those who want performance.

Z

If you want to go dual core cpu....use an Optron 170.

All the Optrons have the full cashe and run at lower volts and thus also cooler. Whatever you decide pay the extra $6-10 for a BOXED set (comes with a cooler) as the warrenty jumps from 90 days to 3 years. Just use the cooler and parts I pointed out....top shelf stuff buddy.

Z
June 7, 2006 3:05:43 AM

Quote:


Yes I think it will last.
No AM2 is NOT a good deal at this point in time....and this system will out perform the slated top AM2 system.

I build here in LA Claifornia for those who want performance.

Z


wow. too bad i live in kentucky, or else i'd have you build me one. if i had the money. and was convinced you wouldn't rip me off. i haven't checked prices, but it seems expensive. but i will definately tell my friend.
June 7, 2006 3:11:41 AM

Quote:

If you want to go dual core cpu....use an Optron 170.

All the Optrons have the full cashe and run at lower volts and thus also cooler. Whatever you decide pay the extra $6-10 for a BOXED set (comes with a cooler) as the warrenty jumps from 90 days to 3 years. Just use the cooler and parts I pointed out....top shelf stuff buddy.

Z


thank you so so so much. i'm amazed.
June 7, 2006 3:24:26 AM

Yeh no problem.
I charge $200 for putting the parts together for those who don't feel up to doing it themself. It's not rocket science after all.
I do take a few days (up to a week) if the customer wants the system "peaked-n-tweeked" as we used to say back in the 25+ years I worked on 2-way radios.

On a side note I help mod a "cheating forum" and also deal with programmers and work with the sysop there to help make a new video game and alot of people who run/rent game servers/ladders know me.....see my profile.
I just go for the best of what I can work with whatever it may be.

Z
June 7, 2006 3:32:28 AM

I forgot to say...
To be honest you can put the system I outlined together and I can use the forum I mod OR the DFI forums to help you "fine tune" things.

I use this same posting nic on both forums so just PM me on them.

Z
June 7, 2006 3:46:07 AM

Quote:
RAM...

I haven't done extensive research on this topic because I am definitely upgrading to Conroe or AM2. Last time I research this issue there is no significant difference between DDR and DDR2 for the Athlon 64. Socket AM2 merely lays the groundwork for the K8L CPU.


You're really confusing me here - DDR has 184 pins, DDR2 has 240. 939 requires DDR, AM2 requires DDR2, surely you know that. Super fast DDR2 is coming online like about twice that of DDR, but with high latency, right? So tell me what you're getting at.
June 7, 2006 3:49:17 AM

Kentucky? I think I understand your budget crisis. I would advise keeping it simple and spending your money wisely on proven parts and combos rather than worring about future proofing. AM2 sounds nice.. so does conroe, even core duo, but every new generation has kinks to work out and the end users foot the bill. Will you have enough cash to pay for troubleshooting a bad mobo? incompatable ram? Keep it in mind and check out forums before you buy. 939 is more safe and mature, and though it's not futureproof.. when can you afford to upgrade?..1 year..2..3? Unless you want to constantly prune and replace parts, forget about upgrading when you buy..just go for affordable and fast. or..you could just get an xbox360[/list]
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