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E6400 vs. X2 3800+ build, SLI mobo?

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August 18, 2006 3:57:43 PM

So in a dramatic turn of events (I'm sure you're all shocked), I might be switching back to a C2D build. Mobo and CPU prices have dropped--and are still dropping--to the point where I can seriously consider spending a little more for a great processor.

Question is, should I hold out for K8L with the X2 3800+, which AMD is promising to be excellent...or should I go for the unlocked overclocking beauty that is the E6400 (or maybe just get an E6300)? I play sims, which demand a good processor (i.e. E6400), but I also have a 21", 1680X1050 native res monitor, which needs a good video card...something that would be easier to get with a cheaper processor (i.e. X2 or E6300). I know I could just get a 7600GT, but with DX10 not being fully mature until later next year, I might want to go a little higher. Any advice on this one?

Also, has anyone bought or heard anything about the Asus P5N-SLI? It's an nVidia 570 SLI chipset that was recently released, for a really good price...
August 18, 2006 7:46:05 PM

Well if you want an upgradeable system over the long term(year and a half) i would go with AM2. However if you want to overclcok and want power now, maybe the e6300. I wouldn't wast money getting the 6400 when you are overclcoking. Keep in mind that the 3800 overclcoks well too, and is cheaper so you will be able to get a better GPU. I wouldn't get the 7600gt althought its a good budget card. Maybe try to get a 7900gt. I've never played the newer sims games so i don't know what its needs in terms of a video card. But the 7900gt sounds like a good choice. Maybe someone that knows the game can give a better recommendation.
August 18, 2006 7:57:58 PM

On the other hand, money saved by getting a cheaper motherboard which can't hit superhigh FSBs can justify getting the E6400.

Waiting for K8L with an AM2 motherboard is like waiting for Conroe with any pre-Conroe LGA775 motherboard. You may not be able to pair up K8L with what it's optimized for (ie. DDR3).

If you want the best performance NOW, upgrade the video card, unless you are buying a holdover card for DX10 (for which the 7600GT is a good idea). But be wary: "There is no point in actually trying to get hardware for software over a year out"
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August 18, 2006 7:57:59 PM

So you're saying that AM2 provides a longer upgrade path versus C2D? I know AM3 CPUs will work on AM2 boards...will future Intel CPUs (e.g. quad-cores) not work on current C2D motherboards in 18 months time?

I play Flight Simulator 2004 and GTR (racing sim), btw...
August 18, 2006 7:59:51 PM

People, please do NOT capitalize "intel"... IntellitXt sucks.

Quote:
will future Intel CPUs (e.g. quad-cores) not work on current C2D motherboards in 18 months time?

Kentsfield already runs in current C2D-compatible motherboards, so compatibility is assured.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2006 8:03:29 PM

Quote:
Well if you want an upgradeable system over the long term(year and a half) i would go with AM2. However if you want to overclcok and want power now, maybe the e6300. I wouldn't wast money getting the 6400 when you are overclcoking. Keep in mind that the 3800 overclcoks well too, and is cheaper so you will be able to get a better GPU. I wouldn't get the 7600gt althought its a good budget card. Maybe try to get a 7900gt. I've never played the newer sims games so i don't know what its needs in terms of a video card. But the 7900gt sounds like a good choice. Maybe someone that knows the game can give a better recommendation.


Sims don't need much graphics performance, lately they're more demanding on the CPU. But if you're going to be holding out until the second generation of DX10 VPU/GPU's then perhaps the better card for you might be something more powerful.

The best priced graphics card right now is the x1900XT. It's actually priced close to the 7900GT but often performs twice as fast. But I am unsure about your budget (Sapphire x1900XT is $289USD on Newegg).

Now if that's too much for you then I would certainly look towards a Core 2 Duo rather then an Athlon64 X2 3800+. Contrary to myths propagated from others on these forums both the 965P and the 975x support Intel's next generation Quad Core processor (codenamed Kentsfield).

So your platform would be totally upgradeable to the more powerful processor.

Now between the E6400 and the E6300 it's all up to how much money you're able to spend without breaking the bank. None of use know if you can afford one over the other. If you can afford the E6400 then by all means it should be the processor you buy. If you're just scrapping by buying this rig even with the E6300 then you could get an X2 3800+. That's the only reason I'd recommend an X2 3800+ system. That is if you can't afford a Core 2 Duo.

Some will justify speculation as a means to buy an X2 3800+. That's, IMHO, retarded. We don't know how K8L will perform, we don't even know how well it will work on current AM2 boards or if certain current AM2 models will not be compatible. So you'd be taking a chance. And all too often, you're left SOL.

Core 2 Duo if you can afford it (highest model you can afford without breaking teh bank). If you're just scrapping by then X2 3800+. As for a video card... 7600GT will work on current games.. but it's already showing it's age. That's a decision I'll leave up to you on what you can afford.
August 18, 2006 8:12:08 PM

I know it sounds stupid...I just don't want to spend more and switch to Conroe, only to find that I could save money now with AMD, and find out that they're going to have something that will trump "intel" in the next 12 months. I know current games are GPU limited now, but the idea of having everything run significantly faster than it is right now (running a Socket 754 A64 3000+ :? ) for just a little more than the X2 3800+ (which I'm sure would already be pretty fast) is extremely tempting. When you watch your system response go to trash when the "System Idle Process" comes online, or realize you can't watch most 1080p videos because your CPU isn't fast enough, you start to seriously crave processin performance...
a c 478 à CPUs
August 18, 2006 8:19:11 PM

Quote:


...or should I go for the unlocked overclocking beauty that is the E6400 (or maybe just get an E6300)?


The only unlocked Core 2 Duo CPU is the X6800.
August 18, 2006 8:19:54 PM

Quote:
Well if you want an upgradeable system over the long term(year and a half) i would go with AM2. However if you want to overclcok and want power now, maybe the e6300. I wouldn't wast money getting the 6400 when you are overclcoking. Keep in mind that the 3800 overclcoks well too, and is cheaper so you will be able to get a better GPU. I wouldn't get the 7600gt althought its a good budget card. Maybe try to get a 7900gt. I've never played the newer sims games so i don't know what its needs in terms of a video card. But the 7900gt sounds like a good choice. Maybe someone that knows the game can give a better recommendation.


Sims don't need much graphics performance, lately they're more demanding on the CPU. But if you're going to be holding out until the second generation of DX10 VPU/GPU's then perhaps the better card for you might be something more powerful.

The best priced graphics card right now is the x1900XT. It's actually priced close to the 7900GT but often performs twice as fast. But I am unsure about your budget (Sapphire x1900XT is $289USD on Newegg).

Now if that's too much for you then I would certainly look towards a Core 2 Duo rather then an Athlon64 X2 3800+. Contrary to myths propagated from others on these forums both the 965P and the 975x support Intel's next generation Quad Core processor (codenamed Kentsfield).

So your platform would be totally upgradeable to the more powerful processor.

Now between the E6400 and the E6300 it's all up to how much money you're able to spend without breaking the bank. None of use know if you can afford one over the other. If you can afford the E6400 then by all means it should be the processor you buy. If you're just scrapping by buying this rig even with the E6300 then you could get an X2 3800+. That's the only reason I'd recommend an X2 3800+ system. That is if you can't afford a Core 2 Duo.

Some will justify speculation as a means to buy an X2 3800+. That's, IMHO, retarded. We don't know how K8L will perform, we don't even know how well it will work on current AM2 boards or if certain current AM2 models will not be compatible. So you'd be taking a chance. And all too often, you're left SOL.

Core 2 Duo if you can afford it (highest model you can afford without breaking teh bank). If you're just scrapping by then X2 3800+. As for a video card... 7600GT will work on current games.. but it's already showing it's age. That's a decision I'll leave up to you on what you can afford.

I hear you...it's just a really tough choice to make, because you don't want to regret the decision either way. I wish there was someone who went from an X2 3800+ to either the E6300 or E6400 who could pipe in; then I could get a better guage of how much better they are...it's one thing to look at benchmarks, but I also want to hear (or I guess read) how users find even the most mundane tasks performed with Conroe.
August 18, 2006 8:22:24 PM

Hey, don't worry about it, both cpus are great and will last you a long time. Heck, and 2GHz CPU is all that's required these days.

I would probably agree that AM2 motherboards will have a longer life than intel 965/975 as AMD have said the AM3 will be drop in compatible. Going by intel's record, they kept LGA775 for ages, but, board revisions were required in the jump from Pentium 4 to Pentium D and from Pentium D to C2D.

I would personally go with the C2D as I don't cannibalize components and the e6000 range is stonkingly good.
a b à CPUs
August 18, 2006 8:25:51 PM

Quote:
Well if you want an upgradeable system over the long term(year and a half) i would go with AM2. However if you want to overclcok and want power now, maybe the e6300. I wouldn't wast money getting the 6400 when you are overclcoking. Keep in mind that the 3800 overclcoks well too, and is cheaper so you will be able to get a better GPU. I wouldn't get the 7600gt althought its a good budget card. Maybe try to get a 7900gt. I've never played the newer sims games so i don't know what its needs in terms of a video card. But the 7900gt sounds like a good choice. Maybe someone that knows the game can give a better recommendation.


Sims don't need much graphics performance, lately they're more demanding on the CPU. But if you're going to be holding out until the second generation of DX10 VPU/GPU's then perhaps the better card for you might be something more powerful.

The best priced graphics card right now is the x1900XT. It's actually priced close to the 7900GT but often performs twice as fast. But I am unsure about your budget (Sapphire x1900XT is $289USD on Newegg).

Now if that's too much for you then I would certainly look towards a Core 2 Duo rather then an Athlon64 X2 3800+. Contrary to myths propagated from others on these forums both the 965P and the 975x support Intel's next generation Quad Core processor (codenamed Kentsfield).

So your platform would be totally upgradeable to the more powerful processor.

Now between the E6400 and the E6300 it's all up to how much money you're able to spend without breaking the bank. None of use know if you can afford one over the other. If you can afford the E6400 then by all means it should be the processor you buy. If you're just scrapping by buying this rig even with the E6300 then you could get an X2 3800+. That's the only reason I'd recommend an X2 3800+ system. That is if you can't afford a Core 2 Duo.

Some will justify speculation as a means to buy an X2 3800+. That's, IMHO, retarded. We don't know how K8L will perform, we don't even know how well it will work on current AM2 boards or if certain current AM2 models will not be compatible. So you'd be taking a chance. And all too often, you're left SOL.

Core 2 Duo if you can afford it (highest model you can afford without breaking teh bank). If you're just scrapping by then X2 3800+. As for a video card... 7600GT will work on current games.. but it's already showing it's age. That's a decision I'll leave up to you on what you can afford.

I hear you...it's just a really tough choice to make, because you don't want to regret the decision either way. I wish there was someone who went from an X2 3800+ to either the E6300 or E6400 who could pipe in; then I could get a better guage of how much better they are...it's one thing to look at benchmarks, but I also want to hear (or I guess read) how users find even the most mundane tasks performed with Conroe.

Everything is quicker with Core 2. But that's a given since it is a better processor. Even mundane things like starting up your PC takes no time. I spawn in Battlefield 2 before anyone else..:p  Helps me get the Apache Helicopter more easilly.

You now know that if you go the Core 2 Duo path that your system will support Intel's Quad Core. It's a fact and has been proven by the link I gave you. So as far as an upgrade path.. it's the only configuration out of the two that one can claim upgreadability with certainty ;) 
August 18, 2006 8:28:50 PM

Quote:


...or should I go for the unlocked overclocking beauty that is the E6400 (or maybe just get an E6300)?


The only unlocked Core 2 Duo CPU is the X6800.

Huh. I wonder why I thought the E6400 was unlocked as well...thought I read that somehwere...well, sorry about that. :roll:

Well, if that's the case, maybe I should just consider the E6300 (since it OCs well too) and be done with it? Though that still leaves the issue of the motherboard...I can't find any useful information on the P5N-SLI...it looks perfect, and the price is great, but there are no reviews as of yet.

What about the Sapphire X1900GT...anyone using that card? I've seen the price below $200 already...
August 18, 2006 8:32:05 PM

I just noticed your systems specs, Elmoisevil...no wonder you're so happy with C2D! Your E6800 must be insane...how's that Asus board? Any initial problems?
a c 478 à CPUs
August 18, 2006 8:35:05 PM

Quote:

I would probably agree that AM2 motherboards will have a longer life than intel 965/975 as AMD have said the AM3 will be drop in compatible. Going by intel's record, they kept LGA775 for ages, but, board revisions were required in the jump from Pentium 4 to Pentium D and from Pentium D to C2D.



LGA775 has been out since 2004. It is likely that by the time Intel releases their next core architecture "Nehalem", there may be a new socket. Nehalem is scheduled to be released in 2008 if Intel can stick to the aggressive timetable. By 2008 LGA775 will be 4 years old, that's a long time for a socket.

Wolfdale, the 45nm refresh of Conroe, is expected to be out next July.
August 18, 2006 8:40:08 PM

Shite...45nm next summer??? 8O I haven't been keeping up to date on the roadmaps at all...
August 18, 2006 8:43:33 PM

by its name "wolfdale" it will be the K8L Killer.. harharhar




ooops.... NDA
a c 478 à CPUs
August 18, 2006 8:43:44 PM

Quote:

What about the Sapphire X1900GT...anyone using that card? I've seen the price below $200 already...


The general consensus is that the X1800XT performs better than the X1900GT. Both are going for the same price. See the following review:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/powercol...
August 18, 2006 9:14:16 PM

One more question...I know you need DDR2-800 and above if you're seriously oveclocking...but what if I'm mildly overclocking initially (what would be mild, like 10-15%)? Will you still need 800? Or can you drop down to 667 or 533 and still accomplish the same?
a c 478 à CPUs
August 18, 2006 9:17:23 PM

DDR2 667 should be good enough. DDR2 800 is an overkill for a 10% - 15% overclock; and expensive too.
August 18, 2006 9:21:03 PM

Excellent...thanks you guys, you've all been incredibly helpful. Pretty much why Tom's is the only computer forum I'm a member of.
!