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AMD CPU Question.

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July 19, 2006 4:59:01 PM

When AMD cuts there prices i plan on buying a new processor to replace my athlon XP proccessor. My first question is will i notice much of a differnce betwen say a 3800+, 4200+ and a 4600+. Im very aware conroes are better and cheaper but there is no board that will do what i want from them.

Im also looking to buy a Asrock 939dualsata2 board, does anyone have any experience with it, I know its sort of a cheap board compared to asus or some of the other better brands but its the only one i see out there with AGP + Pci. I really would prefer to wait for dx10 cards to come out before buying a pci card. Also im sort of a beginner at OCing, will this board let me OC like 100-200 mhz?

and lastly sort of a dumb question, most of the boards have a DDR standard of pc3200, does that mean they only take pc3200 or can that take any type of DDR as long as it has the right number of pins?

Thanks for any input.

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July 20, 2006 1:21:23 AM

Quote:
When AMD cuts there prices i plan on buying a new processor to replace my athlon XP proccessor. My first question is will i notice much of a differnce betwen say a 3800+, 4200+ and a 4600+. Im very aware conroes are better and cheaper but there is no board that will do what i want from them.


It all depends on what applications you want to run on them. If you plan on overclocking the CPU, then you will notice less of a difference. Soon the 3800+ X2 will be around $150. I would recommend a Conroe. What do you want the motherboard to do?

Quote:

Im also looking to buy a Asrock 939dualsata2 board, does anyone have any experience with it, I know its sort of a cheap board compared to asus or some of the other better brands but its the only one i see out there with AGP + Pci. I really would prefer to wait for dx10 cards to come out before buying a pci card. Also im sort of a beginner at OCing, will this board let me OC like 100-200 mhz?


I think you mean PCI-X card. I don't have any experience with this board, but I would stick with a better brand for the sake of sanity. If you are going for a new setup, forget AGP and buy a cheap PCI-X card for now, then you can upgrade later.
Quote:

and lastly sort of a dumb question, most of the boards have a DDR standard of pc3200, does that mean they only take pc3200 or can that take any type of DDR as long as it has the right number of pins?
Thanks for any input.


It depends on the BIOS options in the motherboard. Some memory, like OCZ, requires above average voltage. If the motherboard does not support faster RAM, then you may still be able to use the RAM but probably not to its full potential
a c 448 à CPUs
a c 111 À AMD
July 20, 2006 1:40:13 AM

Quote:
When AMD cuts there prices i plan on buying a new processor to replace my athlon XP proccessor. My first question is will i notice much of a differnce betwen say a 3800+, 4200+ and a 4600+.


Yes, you should definitely see a difference depending on the application. If it's games then you may only see about 5% - 7% increase in performance from one model to the next depending on the game. Most games are limited by the video card, not the CPU. But fear not because games that will stress both CPU and video have started to creep into the market. Most notably Oblivion. I believe Prey is another. A lesser known game that stresses both is X3: Reunion; a space simulation game. If you do video encoding, then you will definitely see performance difference.

Quote:

Im also looking to buy a Asrock 939dualsata2 board, does anyone have any experience with it, I know its sort of a cheap board compared to asus or some of the other better brands but its the only one i see out there with AGP + Pci.


This may be a budget board, but it is a solid mobo that can handle some overclocking. Post a question about the Asrock 939dualsata2 in the Motherboard Section of the forum and you will get positive responses. Or simply Google a review for it. Like the following:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2524

Asrock even recently announced the release of the long promised socket AM2 adapter card for this motherboard. It won't be as good as buying a true AM2 motherboard, but it's definitely a cheap alternative.

Quote:

and lastly sort of a dumb question, most of the boards have a DDR standard of pc3200, does that mean they only take pc3200 or can that take any type of DDR as long as it has the right number of pins?


As long the DDR RAM has 184 pins on it you can stick it into the motherboard. Do not use those mutant 183 or 185 pin RAM sticks. :lol: 

Just be aware the sticking anything less than PC 3200 RAM will slow down your system.


Regarding Conroe... It really is the better CPU, but then you will have to toss out your AGP video card. I recommend that you bite the bullet and simply get a PCI-e video card.
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July 20, 2006 4:01:30 AM

Quote:

I think you mean PCI-X card.


Lets not start off the newbie on the wrong path. :)  PCI-X is not found on the desktop platform, only the server environments. Its called (mostly) PCI-e (short for PCI-Express)

Quote:
...forget AGP and buy a cheap PCI-X card for now, then you can upgrade later.


Honestly, if you are "only" looking at / can only afford the 7600GT , then the 6800GS AGP is just as good. And sometimes better. And "regardless" of what most people say, PCI-e is "not" actually faster (in real life situations that is, on paper it actually is) .... especially with current games. In fact, for the next 1-2 yrs , you will not see much difference. Its really a fight between jet li and jackie chan , and definitely NOT a fight between jackie chan and chris tucker .... like most people seem to believe. It WILL later on though, but not just yet.

So, if you're on a budget, AGP is one man(superman maybe?) that can go up against the gods, the PCI-e. HOWEVER, if you're budget is skyhigh , or trying to build a new rig from scratch ..... then forget EVERYTHING that I've just stated in the above paragraph. :lol:  :wink:
a c 96 à CPUs
July 20, 2006 4:30:36 AM

Quote:
When AMD cuts there prices i plan on buying a new processor to replace my athlon XP proccessor. My first question is will i notice much of a differnce betwen say a 3800+, 4200+ and a 4600+. Im very aware conroes are better and cheaper but there is no board that will do what i want from them.


My experience with overclocking is that you need at least a 15% increase in speed to be noticeable in anything but benchmarks or other timed operations such as "time make" code compile or a long video render that can take hours. So you should see a difference between the 3800+ and 4600+, but you'd probably not know it if somebody switched a 4200+ for your 4600+ or 3800+.

Quote:
Im also looking to buy a Asrock 939dualsata2 board, does anyone have any experience with it, I know its sort of a cheap board compared to asus or some of the other better brands but its the only one i see out there with AGP + Pci. I really would prefer to wait for dx10 cards to come out before buying a pci card. Also im sort of a beginner at OCing, will this board let me OC like 100-200 mhz?


I have not used an Asrock board nor known anybody who has. I run an Abit and my friends use ASUS, Gigabyte, Aopen, and one likes PC Chips mobos. Also, get an AM2-socket board unless you have a large investment in DDR 400 RAM as AM2 boards' chipsets are better and they have a better upgrade capability and more memory bandwidth than 939 systems do. Why do you need both PCIe and AGP ports? Do you have an AGP card you're trying to save? GPUs have a shelf life similar to that of milk- they start to stink after a little while. So if your AGP card isn't dead, then either put off the upgrade until it is and get a new PCIe board and GPU or eBay the AGP card and buy a PCIe system and GPU. AGP boards' chipsets are two generations old and I would not consider them for anything but a cheap office-app/internet rig.

As far as overclocking, it is overrated in my opinion unless your chip OCs very, very well and you push it hard. My X2 4200+ can get up to 2500 MHz on 1.4 V, which is a pretty safe voltage as the chip is rated for 1.35 V. 2.5 GHz is about the lowest clock speed that I can tell any real difference over the stock 2.2 GHz. It also runs several degrees hotter under full load and Cool and Quiet is disabled. So I leave it at stock and enjoy the cooler, quieter computer even though it is a tad slower than overclocked. You will not see any real improvement in going over by 100 or 200 MHz- you need to look at 300-500 MHz before it becomes a real improvement. That requires a better cooling solution and better RAM, and since you want to keep an old AGP card, I am guessing that you'd be better off buying the value RAM and using the stock heatsink and keeping the CPU speed at stock.

Quote:
and lastly sort of a dumb question, most of the boards have a DDR standard of pc3200, does that mean they only take pc3200 or can that take any type of DDR as long as it has the right number of pins?


You can insert any speed of 184-pin DDR SDRAM, from DDR 266 (PC 2100) on up to DDR 600 (PC 4800) and it will function. However, unless your X2 is a revision E socket 939 version, you can only utilize DDR RAM at up to 400 MHz. Anything less than 400 is a performance hit, anything more than 400 is wasted. Rev. E X2s can utilize DDR 433, 466, and 500 RAM without overclocking the CPU and disabling Cool 'n Quiet. But DDR > 400 costs a bit more than DDR 400 and the X2 doesn't really do that much better on DDR 500 than on 400, so get the less expensive RAM. Well, get the value series RAM from a good vendor like Corsair, OCZ, Patriot, Kingston, Mushkin, or Crucial. And also test it with the Memtest86+ utility from a boot floppy or CD for errors to make sure that your sticks are good.
July 20, 2006 5:05:32 AM

Ok its sounding sort of like most of you would recommend just getting rid of the AGP card, which is easier said than done. What would you recommend as a good mid range video card? Something that can play oblivion, maybe not on mid-high setting but something that could play it pretty smoothly? $150-250ish

Thanks for all the input so far, very appericated
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