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Conroe. Not my first build, but it sure feels like it.

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August 31, 2006 6:38:47 PM

Hey fellas,

Long time lurker - first time poster.

Recently I've been contimplating upgrading my system from an AMD 3700+ to a Conroe E6400. I'm an avid gamer, and I feel it's time to move beyond the aging 3700+.

I've built about a total of 5 complete systems in the past couple years, all based on AMD sockets. Some fast for me. Some not so fast for family. The problem is, making the move to Intel feels like I'm back a square one. :oops: 

As far as usage, this machine will be 80% gaming, with a fair amount of Photoshop as well. I have no immediate plans to overclock the CPU, but the option would be nice if I attempt to learn how to in the future. I also have no plans to go SLI or RAID.

One question I have is the shelf-life of this socket LGA 775. I literally bought into socket 939 less than a year ago, and now it's already being phased out. Sure, I could upgrade my cpu to a 4800+ or something, but I just feel like I'd be upgrading myself right into a corner.

Now, what to buy. Namely, which chipset do I want to get into? I've always been a fan of Nvidias, but they're not on the market yet. Are there any issues concerning Intels chipsets? Also, which RAM (a subject that has always been confusing for me) would work best with my system?

After reading forums and tech articles, here is what I've come up with so far:

E6400
Asus P5B
Corsair XMS2 DDR2 675

I've read about memory compatibility problems with that Asus board, but it seems to have the best luck with Corsair - so that's why I picked that manufacturer. As far as ram speeds and such, I just picked what was cheapest.

These parts will be built along with my existing 74G Raptor, 480 Antec TPII, and EVGA 7900GT 512.

Any thoughts about what I've chosen so far? Stablitly and compatibility is primarily what I'm looking for. Speed too, obviously. Please give any input or personal experience you've had with these new Conroe builds, and thanks for your input.

More about : conroe build feels

August 31, 2006 7:07:36 PM

Quote:
Hey fellas,

Long time lurker - first time poster.

Recently I've been contimplating upgrading my system from an AMD 3700+ to a Conroe E6400. I'm an avid gamer, and I feel it's time to move beyond the aging 3700+.

I've built about a total of 5 complete systems in the past couple years, all based on AMD sockets. Some fast for me. Some not so fast for family. The problem is, making the move to Intel feels like I'm back a square one. :oops: 

As far as usage, this machine will be 80% gaming, with a fair amount of Photoshop as well. I have no immediate plans to overclock the CPU, but the option would be nice if I attempt to learn how to in the future. I also have no plans to go SLI or RAID.

One question I have is the shelf-life of this socket LGA 775. I literally bought into socket 939 less than a year ago, and now it's already being phased out. Sure, I could upgrade my cpu to a 4800+ or something, but I just feel like I'd be upgrading myself right into a corner.

Now, what to buy. Namely, which chipset do I want to get into? I've always been a fan of Nvidias, but they're not on the market yet. Are there any issues concerning Intels chipsets? Also, which RAM (a subject that has always been confusing for me) would work best with my system?

After reading forums and tech articles, here is what I've come up with so far:

E6400
Asus P5B
Corsair XMS2 DDR2 675

I've read about memory compatibility problems with that Asus board, but it seems to have the best luck with Corsair - so that's why I picked that manufacturer. As far as ram speeds and such, I just picked what was cheapest.

These parts will be built along with my existing 74G Raptor, 480 Antec TPII, and EVGA 7900GT 512.

Any thoughts about what I've chosen so far? Stablitly and compatibility is primarily what I'm looking for. Speed too, obviously. Please give any input or personal experience you've had with these new Conroe builds, and thanks for your input.


Man, I feel your pain! I, too, am wanting to upgrade, but so far, I am not impressed with the motherboard selection out there for AM2/C2D, and I really don't like some of the prices I am seeing.

As far as (C2D) CPUs go, I understand from Anand (of www.anandtech.com), the E6600 is the better buy because of its 4MB cache and OC-ability.
August 31, 2006 7:19:19 PM

i wouldn't say that e6600 is worth the cost. its main performance advantage is in greater clock speed, NOT so much the extra cache. you can overclock e6400 to that level, numerous others have already done so. since the OP doesn't plan to overclock, it seems useless recommending the e6600 on oc ability.

personally, i am planning to get an e6300 and the Asus p5w dh. it would be nice to have an Nvida option but i doubt i'll be able to wait till the 590 chipset comes on to market and stabilizes in price. the X975 chipset seems like a pretty good way to go. the 965 isn't too bad either it seems.
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August 31, 2006 7:41:41 PM

I read at some point Tom's did a test of OC'ing an E6300 (2 mb of cache) and a E6600 (4 mb) to the same Ghz freq...the extra cache only ended up yielding like another 6 %or 7% performance. Worth another 150 to 200 bucks? Not to me. I got the 6400.

There were a lot of board issues with a lot people to start, but they are starting to get better. Now that BIOS versions are being released, etc. I got the Gigabyte DS3. At first I couldn't OC it at all, but then a BIOS was released that fixed it now its up to 2.92Ghz stable as a rock. So...that's just my two cents.
August 31, 2006 7:42:07 PM

Wow, it's good to see that im not the only one in this sad position...
I too want to upgrade but im not happy with am2 or the availablity of am2 crossfire...I hate ecs mobos. I currently on a Athlon xp2500+ barton from 5 years ago :p . Sadly after building many AMD systems, im switching to the core 2 duo as well, and also finding it slightly more complicating.

The e6600 is well worth its pricetag due to the fact that it can be oced on stock heatsink and stock volatage to 3.5 ghz(so i have read)....which is insane. Also note that the price tag of even the e6400/e6300 outperform/compete on the same level as AMD's flagship model the fx62.
August 31, 2006 7:55:28 PM

the e6600 has seen less oc capability vs the the e64/300 because of the extra cache, in anand's recent article with the lower multiplier unlocked they were able to reach 3.6GHz with a e6400 which was greater than what the e6600 at about 3.5Ghz...

go with the e6400 and DDR2-800, it offers the best performance and will allow you to overclock
August 31, 2006 8:01:27 PM

I just (yesterday) built a similar system. I had read about the memory issues as well, and opted for the corsair DDR2800 Cas4 2Gig set. It was around $250, but so far it is working flawlessly.

I have:
E6600 CPU
Asus P5B MB
2-gig Corsair DDR2 - 800 CAS4 Memory
Antec P180B case
Fortron FX600 PSU

The construction went well, and once I got windows installed, updated, drivers installed, updated, and bios updated - it seems very straight forward.

I loved the fact that I could update the bios by puting the ROM onto a pen drive, and being able to access it through the BIOS setup. If you would prefer pulling this from the C: drive - do not create an NTFS.

Good luck,

Cheers.
August 31, 2006 8:34:05 PM

I'm on the same boat. C2D ready but just not happy with any mobo out there. Think I am going to hold off till the Biostar Tforce 965 Deluxe ships. Linky I have the Tforce 939 and have been really happy with it. I don't overclock and I don't really want SLI or crossfire. Im just waiting for the next wave of mainstream mobos.
August 31, 2006 9:36:44 PM

Quote:
i wouldn't say that e6600 is worth the cost. its main performance advantage is in greater clock speed, NOT so much the extra cache. you can overclock e6400 to that level, numerous others have already done so. since the OP doesn't plan to overclock, it seems useless recommending the e6600 on oc ability.

personally, i am planning to get an e6300 and the Asus p5w dh. it would be nice to have an Nvida option but i doubt i'll be able to wait till the 590 chipset comes on to market and stabilizes in price. the X975 chipset seems like a pretty good way to go. the 965 isn't too bad either it seems.


Quoting Anand from CPU magazine, September, 2006, page 28:

Quote:
But the truly impressive part of Intel's Core 2lineup isn't at the very high end, but rather the 2.4GHz E6600. The E6600 is faster than AMD's flagship Athlon FX-62, and at just $316 costs 1/3 as much."


furthermore:

Quote:
The 4MB option can yield a performance boost of up to 10% in some cases and will only get more and more important as working data sets grow larger.


Quote:
You have to do your own cost-benefit analysis to figure out which CPU is right for your budget and upgrade path.


Quote:
All of Intel's Core 2 precessors run off of a 1,066MHz FSB, however its Xeon counterparts feature up to 1,333Mz FSB. The performance benefit you get from a faster FSB on Core 2 is also pretty decent, although it's not as large as the boost the 4MB cache offeres vs. 2MB.


Now, I don't know what any of that means, but it sounds like he does, and considering who he is, I'd trust him on this. Of course, I have not really kept up on this, so things might have changed.
August 31, 2006 9:59:16 PM

Quote:
I just (yesterday) built a similar system. I had read about the memory issues as well, and opted for the corsair DDR2800 Cas4 2Gig set. It was around $250, but so far it is working flawlessly.


Good to know, thank you.

So is there a reason you had to immediately update the P5B bios right away? Is it fully compatible with the memory and C2D chip out of the box?
August 31, 2006 10:05:02 PM

Are there any more general opinions about the current chipsets available? Not so much from an overclocking standpoint, but more so about stability and compatibility?

P965
P975
Nvidia 570
P945P

....?

P965 is the newest and most commonly used, correct?
September 1, 2006 12:28:09 AM

Quote:


P965 is the newest and most commonly used, correct?


To my understanding, you are correct, however the 975 chipset is the 'flagship' chipset and so will likely be compatable well into the future as well, and as the 975 is more 'mature' is prone to fewer difficulties for your build and may have more legacy features.

I too am not happy with my mobo options so far for C2D and so I'm waiting for something better. I read somewhere on here Abit was going to do a board with twin x16 PCI-E slots and Conroe ready (amongst other features) but I'd love to hear some other options.
September 1, 2006 12:59:44 PM

The reason I updated the BIOS was that I was seeing a CPU error on boot up - but the latest bios update fixed that.

The error did not affect the bootup of the system, and was resolved after the update.

Cheers.
!