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Dual Opterons or Single FX for Gaming System?

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June 16, 2006 2:02:57 AM

I'm evaluating motherboards for a new system, one that I hope will last about 3 years. I've generally used DFI's AMD boards, but have recently discovered the world of dual-Opteron boards.

Would a dual-Opteron (multi-core) board with 2 PCIex16 slots set up for SLI work well as a gaming platform? My thought is to buy one Opteron, a GeForce 7950 and the board, run that until it's clear I need more GPU and/or CPU power, and then buy another 7950 or Opteron. Can the boards run with only 1 CPU? Will they work well as gaming platforms? I'm a very amateur 'enthusiast,' and don't have the time or skills to overclock or watercool my systems, so it seemed to me that this might be a viable upgrade path for a powerful system.

I'm aware that dual 7950's might not do much good other than allow me to run a 30" monitor at high res and that the Opteron boards require more expensive registered memory, but I'm willing to wait and see if some benefit emerges in a year or two. I'm also willing to spend a little more now so that I have an easy upgrade path for the next couple years.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Fritz
June 16, 2006 2:05:31 AM

I would not recommend you to waste more than $500 on Geforce 7950 right now because as you can see we are right next to year 2007 which will bring Vista with DirectX 10 and all this videocards you see in stores this year will drop their prices really really low.

Regards
June 16, 2006 2:12:19 AM

I think it's unlikely that DX10 cards will be necessary for a while; I don't see games being written that MUST run on Vista or with DX10 (same thing). I'm not willing to take the risk that Vista will have the same problems that XP did; I'll wait for Vista SP1. Also, I don't think that game designers will write themselves out of the XP market; too many people won't be switching to Vista for a while. The 7950 should last me through at least December 2007, if Vista/DX10 doesn't catch on, it (or two of 'em SLI'd together) should last through 2008. Expensive, but what hobby isn't?

Any opinions on the MoBo (Opteron v. AM2/FX) issue?

Fritz
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June 16, 2006 2:40:11 AM

Yeah thats a good think about the 7950.
Anyways in my case Im gonna get conroe with some 7600GT etc etc

About the opteron/FX topic, I would say get an FX-62 now. Opterons are as described "for servers and workstations" so if you really want a gaming PC go for the FX-62 which doesnt have too much time in the market and will give you good perfomance. You would have a High-End Enthusiast Gaming PC ;) 

Regards
June 16, 2006 3:40:47 AM

I'd say wait for socket F if possible, otherwise get a Dual S940 Tyan S2895A2NRF.
June 16, 2006 3:45:15 AM

Thats the problem
I think he wants it right now
I would go anyways for the FX62 because it would be a true gaming machine. And is dual-core why would you want 4-cores? when we just entered dual-core?

Regards
June 16, 2006 10:29:42 AM

The other good thing about the 7950 is its resale value should not be horrendous if I choose to switch to DX10 cards.

The quad-core potential has my attention because quad-SLI seems to have limited utility due to the CPU ceiling. If I can raise the CPU ceiling by having two in a system, then quad-SLI might have more utility and a longer life. That's really where I'm going with this. If two CPU's won't really allow a quad-SLI setup to shine any more than a single, powerful, CPU, then it's probably not worth it.

As you can see, I know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to come to a conclusion.

Fritz
June 16, 2006 11:17:10 AM

Quote:
I think it's unlikely that DX10 cards will be necessary for a while; I don't see games being written that MUST run on Vista or with DX10 (same thing). Fritz


cough...cough...Halo 2...cough... ...
June 16, 2006 11:21:45 AM

I misspoke; I think that MOST games will be compatible with DX9; only a very few will REQUIRE DX10; most will use both.

Then again, I'm predicting, and could be wrong. Worst case scenario; I get a new DX-10 card. My current system is a paperweight; I need something new now.

Fritz
June 16, 2006 12:15:31 PM

Since your not into overclock and have the $$$ to buy an expensive cpu...go for the FX. Opterons run everything that a "normal" processor does. The "FX" series are nothing more than a renamed opteron. My Opty165 is a beast, much better oc than my "old" x2 3800+. Its now running at 2.5ghz (crappy ram).
BTW....there are no FX's single core right now...only dual: aka FX60 and FX62.
June 16, 2006 4:30:31 PM

Yes we all right
Just go for the FX, also in the future you will be able to get FX-65, FX-67 etc because of socket M2 just released.

Regards
!