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Thoughts on AM2

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July 9, 2006 9:17:13 PM

Now, I know regardless of what I say at least one flame comment will come of this. To begin, I would like to state that I have and have always had an Intel chipset running my computer, never have I owned an AMD machine.

However, I am in the sales/repair/custom building industry and I have seen many a AMD walk out my front door. We of course run a standard 12 hour hardware burn in... (King Kong isn't that good.) Anyway what I've found to be a popular setup as of late are the new AM2 boards. With good reason I believe from ground up perspective.

Once I saw the demand for the boards I started researching them more here on TomsHardware. The first thing I noticed is the problem with the memory, supposedly the only feasible upgrade memory-wise is to go with DDR2 800, which imo if you're building up a top end computer would be the way to go anyway. And some posts stated that supposedly AMD has or is already fixing the problem.

Now with that in mind whenever I sell one of these boards I let my customer know, that the early release boards should use DDR2 800.

Secondly, recently I came across an article stating that AMD plans to make the upcoming AM3 chip backwards compatible (or the board forward compatible, however you want to push it.) Now I have to take into consideration the upgradability of the board, a year or two down the line a person who just spent $2,000-$3,000 on a complete system build won't have to come back and swap out the chip AND mobo to get the best out there at the time.

With all this in consideration, and still not being totally informed on the future of Intel's chip and how leniant it will be within the upgrading arena. At the moment I have been pushing people toward the AM2 route, those with the lower budgets will still roll in the 939s which I don't see as a huge sacrifice but anyone that walks through the stores door with a dream machine in mind I will be mentioning upcoming technology and if they don't want to wait, selling them an AM2 system.

Again in no way does this reflect my ideals of Intel, I think in the processing arena Intel is King, but in the gaming arena the AMDs I build put my personal computer to shame. By the way, the majority of business I get is for gaming computers. Only a few server/workstation seekers have passed through.

More about : thoughts am2

July 9, 2006 9:23:09 PM

Ummm... ok.
July 9, 2006 9:27:19 PM

Just leaving my opinion on the matter. That is one function of a community forum...correct?
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July 9, 2006 9:30:30 PM

Quote:
Now, I know regardless of what I say at least one flame comment will come of this. To begin, I would like to state that I have and have always had an Intel chipset running my computer, never have I owned an AMD machine.

However, I am in the sales/repair/custom building industry and I have seen many a AMD walk out my front door. We of course run a standard 12 hour hardware burn in... (King Kong isn't that good.) Anyway what I've found to be a popular setup as of late are the new AM2 boards. With good reason I believe from ground up perspective.

Once I saw the demand for the boards I started researching them more here on TomsHardware. The first thing I noticed is the problem with the memory, supposedly the only feasible upgrade memory-wise is to go with DDR2 800, which imo if you're building up a top end computer would be the way to go anyway. And some posts stated that supposedly AMD has or is already fixing the problem.

Now with that in mind whenever I sell one of these boards I let my customer know, that the early release boards should use DDR2 800.

Secondly, recently I came across an article stating that AMD plans to make the upcoming AM3 chip backwards compatible (or the board forward compatible, however you want to push it.) Now I have to take into consideration the upgradability of the board, a year or two down the line a person who just spent $2,000-$3,000 on a complete system build won't have to come back and swap out the chip AND mobo to get the best out there at the time.

With all this in consideration, and still not being totally informed on the future of Intel's chip and how leniant it will be within the upgrading arena. At the moment I have been pushing people toward the AM2 route, those with the lower budgets will still roll in the 939s which I don't see as a huge sacrifice but anyone that walks through the stores door with a dream machine in mind I will be mentioning upcoming technology and if they don't want to wait, selling them an AM2 system.

Again in no way does this reflect my ideals of Intel, I think in the processing arena Intel is King, but in the gaming arena the AMDs I build put my personal computer to shame. By the way, the majority of business I get is for gaming computers. Only a few server/workstation seekers have passed through.



Am2 is an excellent platform for anythign you need to do. The talk of 800DDR2 is incorrect. You can get slower and still be fine. The key is the latency. Most 667 goes out at CAS4 now so you can point people that way. They won't notice the difference.

I have yet to see really comprehensive tests of 667, though. I would say keep recommending them. AM3 CPU is compat with AM2 socket, so that's a really good upgrade path.
Also the K8L is supposed ot be applied to dual core so they will catch Core 2 as soon as it's released for the desktop.

The serer quad core verison will come out first, but I expect that around Jun/Jul they will be out in force.

Also for awhile mbos will be expensive and supply MAYBE tight. Someone said a site has Core 2 instock but i think that's illegal. They can't advertise that way AFAIK because Intel hasn't released the chip yet.

I don't kno but either way, AM2 is more than enough for ANYONE.
July 9, 2006 9:37:30 PM

Quote:



Am2 is an excellent platform for anythign you need to do. The talk of 800DDR2 is incorrect. You can get slower and still be fine. The key is the latency. Most 667 goes out at CAS4 now so you can point people that way. They won't notice the difference.

I have yet to see really comprehensive tests of 667, though. I would say keep recommending them. AM3 CPU is compat with AM2 socket, so that's a really good upgrade path.
Also the K8L is supposed ot be applied to dual core so they will catch Core 2 as soon as it's released for the desktop.

The serer quad core verison will come out first, but I expect that around Jun/Jul they will be out in force.

Also for awhile mbos will be expensive and supply MAYBE tight. Someone said a site has Core 2 instock but i think that's illegal. They can't advertise that way AFAIK because Intel hasn't released the chip yet.

I don't kno but either way, AM2 is more than enough for ANYONE.


Great, I wasn't aware of this I will definately look more into it, and check with my reseller on availability on the 667s. Thanks for the additional info =)
July 9, 2006 11:26:45 PM

Quote:
Now I have to take into consideration the upgradability of the board, a year or two down the line a person who just spent $2,000-$3,000 on a complete system build won't have to come back and swap out the chip AND mobo to get the best out there at the time.


Why do you rule out customers upgrading their motherboard in the future? Despite it's size and lots of complicated screws. fixtures, plugs and colours, you know it generally is one of the cheaper components in a system and hugely influences performance.

Quote:
Again in no way does this reflect my ideals of Intel, I think in the processing arena Intel is King, but in the gaming arena the AMDs I build put my personal computer to shame. By the way, the majority of business I get is for gaming computers.


Regardez bien le tripe. Boy, are your customers for the last 2 years about to get a shock. Not that they'll tell you - they won't have to come back for new motherbaords eh? Infact, your business could well benefit from never having to see them again....
July 9, 2006 11:49:54 PM

Well, there should be some advantages to the AM3 mobo me thinks. I mean, yes, you can use an AM3 CPU with an AM2 mobo.. but you can't use an AM2 CPU with an AM3 mobo. What that tells me is that just as AM2 CPUs and DDR2 memory works well, so will AM3 CPUs and DDR3 memory.

I think it's just more of a marketing tactic by AMD by them to make people think "hey, I'm future proof!". Yes, you are. But you won't get the most out of it unless you upgrade.:) 
July 9, 2006 11:59:33 PM

Quote:

Am2 is an excellent platform for anythign you need to do. The talk of 800DDR2 is incorrect. You can get slower and still be fine. The key is the latency. Most 667 goes out at CAS4 now so you can point people that way. They won't notice the difference.

I have yet to see really comprehensive tests of 667, though. I would say keep recommending them.


Yeah the lower the latency the better on AMDs thanks to the integrated controller, i've seen some cas4 corsair DDR800 running at 4-4-4-5 though, which is pretty sweet for the price imo.


And I agree with the original poster, despite conroe being better - i'm still tempted by AM2 because it offers such a good upgrade path.
July 10, 2006 12:00:03 AM

Quote:
Well, there should be some advantages to the AM3 mobo me thinks. I mean, yes, you can use an AM3 CPU with an AM2 mobo.. but you can't use an AM2 CPU with an AM3 mobo. What that tells me is that just as AM2 CPUs and DDR2 memory works well, so will AM3 CPUs and DDR3 memory.

I think it's just more of a marketing tactic by AMD by them to make people think "hey, I'm future proof!". Yes, you are. But you won't get the most out of it unless you upgrade.:) 


Except you'll have to use an AM3 mobo if you want to use the touted DDR3 RAM.

AMD are so all over the place with their future plans at the moment it's better just to sit back and wait for something concrete to happen. There's too little accurate information available to discuss, let alone speculate.
July 10, 2006 12:05:13 AM

Quote:

Except you'll have to use an AM3 mobo if you want to use the touted DDR3 RAM.


Um.. that was my point actually, hence why I talked about the 'advantages to the AM3 mobo' at the start of the paragraph.:lol: 
July 10, 2006 12:16:16 AM

Quote:

Except you'll have to use an AM3 mobo if you want to use the touted DDR3 RAM.


Um.. that was my point actually, hence why I talked about the 'advantages to the AM3 mobo' at the start of the paragraph.:lol: 

So the advatnages for AM2 are?

Please write entries down in this box:

[AM2 now uses DDR2 memory]
[enter text here]
July 10, 2006 1:23:35 AM

Quote:
Now, I know regardless of what I say at least one flame comment will come of this. To begin, I would like to state that I have and have always had an Intel chipset running my computer, never have I owned an AMD machine.

However, I am in the sales/repair/custom building industry and I have seen many a AMD walk out my front door. We of course run a standard 12 hour hardware burn in... (King Kong isn't that good.) Anyway what I've found to be a popular setup as of late are the new AM2 boards. With good reason I believe from ground up perspective.

Once I saw the demand for the boards I started researching them more here on TomsHardware. The first thing I noticed is the problem with the memory, supposedly the only feasible upgrade memory-wise is to go with DDR2 800, which imo if you're building up a top end computer would be the way to go anyway. And some posts stated that supposedly AMD has or is already fixing the problem.

Now with that in mind whenever I sell one of these boards I let my customer know, that the early release boards should use DDR2 800.

Secondly, recently I came across an article stating that AMD plans to make the upcoming AM3 chip backwards compatible (or the board forward compatible, however you want to push it.) Now I have to take into consideration the upgradability of the board, a year or two down the line a person who just spent $2,000-$3,000 on a complete system build won't have to come back and swap out the chip AND mobo to get the best out there at the time.

With all this in consideration, and still not being totally informed on the future of Intel's chip and how leniant it will be within the upgrading arena. At the moment I have been pushing people toward the AM2 route, those with the lower budgets will still roll in the 939s which I don't see as a huge sacrifice but anyone that walks through the stores door with a dream machine in mind I will be mentioning upcoming technology and if they don't want to wait, selling them an AM2 system.

Again in no way does this reflect my ideals of Intel, I think in the processing arena Intel is King, but in the gaming arena the AMDs I build put my personal computer to shame. By the way, the majority of business I get is for gaming computers. Only a few server/workstation seekers have passed through.


When I upgrade my machine, I always upgrade both motherboard and CPU. It is like I married them at build time and I don't divorce them...

This ensure that I always have the best performing chipset with the best feature for my new processor..

Yes, CPU are evolving, but so are motherboard. faster HDD controller, better feature.. To me it worth it to upgrade both.
July 10, 2006 12:41:11 PM

Quote:
AMD are so all over the place with their future plans at the moment it's better just to sit back and wait for something concrete to happen. There's too little accurate information available to discuss, let alone speculate.
This is true as far as our own personal machines go, but customers don't want to hear that....they want to know which is the best route...NOW!!
July 10, 2006 4:59:01 PM

Some people don't like to think things through before they post something. When I say that they don't have to upgrade mobos for the AM3 chip that means its up to them whether or not they decide to when the time comes. Some people don't enjoy swapping parts out as much as people like us. People who would rather get the quickest fix. Of course I'll carry boards specific to AM3, but the point I was trying to make is someone who is tired of swapping out 2 components to replace 1 will be pleased to hear that they won't be caught in the same cycle for a little while.
July 11, 2006 12:28:35 AM

Quote:
AMD are so all over the place with their future plans at the moment it's better just to sit back and wait for something concrete to happen. There's too little accurate information available to discuss, let alone speculate.
This is true as far as our own personal machines go, but customers don't want to hear that....they want to know which is the best route...NOW!!

Customers don't care.. enthusiast does.. Customers just go at the store to get what they need when they need it..
July 11, 2006 12:32:58 AM

I want my... I want my... I want my C PEE U...

Wattage for nothing.... Heat for free...
July 11, 2006 1:23:24 AM

Oui l'article est pas mal bon
July 11, 2006 6:48:53 PM

Upgradeability?

How many years has it been since people could upgrade their CPUs without changing mobos and/or PSUs after 8 months or so of a chipset release?

So lets forget about RAM changes for a minute

Even on the intel side think back....
Couldn't put PII-100FSB in LX, couldn't put Coppermine-133 into many BX boards, Couldn't put Tualatin into i815. Couldn't put northwood into Willamette Socket 423 P4, Couldn't put prescott into 845/850, prescott and smithfield burn up many S478 i865 boards in months, can't put smithfield into S775 i915, conroe can't go into 945.......

I don't think VIA and SiS had quite as many changes, but still needed to come out with many new chipsets for new CPUs

So many people had to buy new mobos for AMD XP bus speed changes, S754 was short lived and now S939 is done in favor of AM2. How long will AM2 last?

Who knows and who cares. AMD can change their mind in a heartbeat a day after they say something will have a long product cycle. So can intel. Remember when serial memory (RAMBUS) was the future?

Stop with the "future" support rumors and just sell people what they need now. Nobody has a crystal ball to say what works down the road and what will change and when.

I cringe when i see customers overspend on "upgradeability" only to find out things/roadmaps changed and now that CPU they could have bought is EOL, no longer available and the new ones don't work with their board.

Don't overspend on mobos unless you NEED the performance and/or features of the premium models and buy as much CPU as you can afford. RAM and hard drives are the only components available for years down the road in older technologies. Those you can spend less on now and add more later.
July 12, 2006 8:22:09 AM

I need some advice conerning this issue. Money is tight for me where upgrading is concerned. Usally about 5 years between systems, when the money is there. From past experience with retail computers and upgrade limits, I've decided to try my hand at a DIY system. The idea is have a system where over the next few years I can make minor upgrades to squeez a few more years out of the PC life. I haven't been happy with my last two intel systems and want to give AMD a try. Though the Conroe drum beat has me second guessing. So would what the original poster suggests, about upgrading to K8L in a year or two, be ideal for my situation? I'm mainly thinking of going with a duel core system for gaming and media on a $1500 budget.
July 12, 2006 12:29:58 PM

Great post, sure beats the heck out of reading rubish the fan boys throw at each other. :D 
!