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Socket 939 vs AM2

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September 3, 2006 4:12:25 PM

I'm considering upgrading my computer. I was going to go with the Abit AN8 32X SLI Socket 939 board with a Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Dual Processor and 1 Gig of memory. This looks like a nice setup to me. My brother said he would not upgrade at all right now as the AM2 is the way to go in the future (he said 4-6 months) and there are too many bugs to consider the AM2 right now. I don't always agree with his opinions so I wanted to ask the group what you guys thought. Should I wait or not?
I just should also add that I do not play games and such. I just surf the net, email, some photo touchup, listen to mp3's and burn cd's and dvd's backups. So I don't do anything really intensive except for backing up my cd's and dvd's.
Thanks.

More about : socket 939 am2

September 3, 2006 4:24:17 PM

Quote:
I'm considering upgrading my computer. I was going to go with the Abit AN8 32X SLI Socket 939 board with a Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Dual Processor and 1 Gig of memory. This looks like a nice setup to me. My brother said he would not upgrade at all right now as the AM2 is the way to go in the future (he said 4-6 months) and there are too many bugs to consider the AM2 right now. I don't always agree with his opinions so I wanted to ask the group what you guys thought. Should I wait or not?
I just should also add that I do not play games and such. I just surf the net, email, some photo touchup, listen to mp3's and burn cd's and dvd's backups. So I don't do anything really intensive except for backing up my cd's and dvd's.
Thanks.


I would go with AM2, it's much more future proof!

Have you considered a Core 2 Duo however? It should give you better performance than the equivalent AMD chip when photo editing and encoding music etc.
September 3, 2006 4:29:25 PM

Quote:

I would go with AM2, it's much more future proof!

Have you considered a Core 2 Duo however? It should give you better performance than the equivalent AMD chip when photo editing and encoding music etc.


Upon seeing benchmarks result and reports from some C2D owner, i would agree with quantumsheep, but if u really want to stick eith AMD, AM2 IS more future proof than S939 cpus in terms of future cpu/memory etc, other than that, most of the time i can only see that s939's benchmark are quite on par compared to AM2's...IMO
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September 4, 2006 10:36:12 PM

The AN8 32X is a very good board & there is very little difference in performance between equivalent 939 & AM2 CPUs.
If you already have the RAM then I wouldn't be worried about going 939 but if you are having to buy all the hardware then it makes sense to go for a DDR2 solution for futureproofing.

At the moment both AM2 & Core2 are looking a little buggy to me & I'm waiting for all the quirks to be worked out before shifting platform (probably early 2007).
September 5, 2006 6:11:13 PM

Am2's buggy.
I'm not sure if he knows.
Lots of Am2 solutions are out there and it's pretty main stream.
Conroes might be better but more expensive/buggy as far as simplicity/things figured out with them.
If adopting too early is your plan I'd say go AM2 it isn't as new as he might think.
September 5, 2006 9:39:24 PM

Quote:
Am2's buggy.
I'm not sure if he knows.
Lots of Am2 solutions are out there and it's pretty main stream.

& still buggy ...

Most of the problems on AM2 & C2D seem to be similar i.e. memory related.
Once the mobo/RAM manufacturers have the solution nailed both should be fine but at this stage they are still tweaking ...
September 6, 2006 8:39:33 AM

AM2 is buggy but not for all mobos, as u can see there are still 939 mobos with lots of bugs so bugs will allways be there, i would go for AM2 and if u considered buying AN8 32X SLI then best choice for u is next step AN9 32X SLI, i had it working really fine with kingmax ddr2 667MHz and sata2 hdd, procesor is 3500+ AM2 all games working fine so AM2 for me cause later u can easily upgrade it.... but thats my opinion..
September 6, 2006 9:55:23 AM

A core duo system would be nice and I think there are one or two reasonably priced motherboards coming along from the likes of Asrock etc. If you have a bunch of parts to reuse though i.e. memory and more than two of IDE drives the AMD route is still pretty viable and even the basic 3800 isn't exactly a slouch.

Only real question I have is why are you considering and expensive SLI motherboard if you don't play games? especially if you stick with skt939. Consider looking for something cheaper and perhaps put the money you save to another couple of sticks of ram and/or slightly faster processor.

I'm still happily using my Asrock 939Dual Sata2 and I carried over my AGP Radeon 9800 to boot. If you don't play games and your graphics card isn't ancient you could quite happily continue using that as well, 2D speed hasn't got much faster over the past few years.

The only problem with skt939 of course is what you have out there cpu wise is about all you're going to get (I'm not too fussed, I'll probably update my 3200 to a dual core and that'll last me for a fair old while). If memory is all you're thinking of moving over then perhaps flog it on ebay and consider AM2 or a cheap core duo.

Smile, just found an invoice in the draw for a K6/200 at £160, whatever route you go it'll be pretty good value!

Karl
September 6, 2006 3:49:53 PM

Quote:
A core duo system would be nice and I think there are one or two reasonably priced motherboards coming along from the likes of Asrock etc. If you have a bunch of parts to reuse though i.e. memory and more than two of IDE drives the AMD route is still pretty viable and even the basic 3800 isn't exactly a slouch.

Only real question I have is why are you considering and expensive SLI motherboard if you don't play games? especially if you stick with skt939. Consider looking for something cheaper and perhaps put the money you save to another couple of sticks of ram and/or slightly faster processor.

I'm still happily using my Asrock 939Dual Sata2 and I carried over my AGP Radeon 9800 to boot. If you don't play games and your graphics card isn't ancient you could quite happily continue using that as well, 2D speed hasn't got much faster over the past few years.

The only problem with skt939 of course is what you have out there cpu wise is about all you're going to get (I'm not too fussed, I'll probably update my 3200 to a dual core and that'll last me for a fair old while). If memory is all you're thinking of moving over then perhaps flog it on ebay and consider AM2 or a cheap core duo.

Smile, just found an invoice in the draw for a K6/200 at £160, whatever route you go it'll be pretty good value!

Karl


Very good points there!

If you're intending to get Vista i would get 2gb of RAM and a Dual Core CPU. You will also need a DX9 comp. graphics card (anything over an ATI X300/Nvidia 6200 will be fine).
September 21, 2006 6:11:12 PM

Thats a really good question... when the AM2 first came out my friend and I looked into this to see which one was better... the only difference we took away was that the AM2 basically has a better memory controller and supports DDR2 (which is super expensive right now)

Now when you look at that.... AM2 is better to go with to be a little more future proof, but what about the Conroe?

I am stilll in debate as to what to get... I am a loyal AMD fan (all 4 of my PCs are AMD) but I am actually thinking about moving over to the other side now that I have seen some benchmarks and such

But as far as your question.... I would go with the AM2 (940)
September 21, 2006 6:42:02 PM

In all honesty, i think the setup you thought was good should be just fine. There is no point in "future proofing" your computer with am2 if you don't really play any games. That setup should be good enough to support many of the current generation of games (albeit at somewhat lower resolutions) if you are really interested, and if you really don't play any games, then your processing power requirements will probably not go up until you are ready to build a new machine from scratch anyways (maybe in 5 years, yes?) .

Some people might say, "well what if you want to use windows vista?" to which I would respond that for the applications you listed, vista will probably never be needed. If you really want to install it just for the eye candy, you probably could, but it would run more slowly. What I would recommend in that case is that you use a user friendly distribution of Linux (like fedora core or ubuntu) with the XGL/compiz window manager which gives graphics comparable to macOS and vista, but with less severe performance penalties. If you absolutely have to run windows dependent software, you can always use wine in Linux to run those programs (like photoshop for your photo touch ups).

Personally I am a big fan of performance and future proofing systems, but if you aren't really going to be gaming much, then there is no point to blow extra money on extra upgradeability if you aren't going to put that upgradeability to use.

One final note, if you are a big fan of HD video content, supposedly playback of Blu-ray and HD-DVD is going to HOG resources, so that may be a factor to consider.

-Zorak
September 21, 2006 7:03:18 PM

There is no point in going 939 for a new build at all. AM2 CPUs are normally a buck or two cheaper anyway. A system like the one in my sig would be perfect for you (minus the x1900). For a graphics card, conside the x800
GTO. They can be had for under $100USD and still perform well in most modern games.

If you were really serious aboud video editing, encoding music, etc.. then obviously, conroe is the way to go.
September 22, 2006 3:58:11 PM

Quote:
There is no point in going 939 for a new build at all. AM2 CPUs are normally a buck or two cheaper anyway. A system like the one in my sig would be perfect for you (minus the x1900). For a graphics card, conside the x800
GTO. They can be had for under $100USD and still perform well in most modern games.

If you were really serious aboud video editing, encoding music, etc.. then obviously, conroe is the way to go.


Word.
September 22, 2006 5:16:00 PM

I allways laught about people saying that core duo is this... and that..... is good...., now think un 3 months, AMD allways have a trick inside in there pockets, I remenber when pentium 4 ex where out, 3 months later the amd 64 where out, everybody whit AMD. A smart way to buy is to whait holidays, and be patient, thats all what can I say.
a b V Motherboard
September 24, 2006 3:29:05 PM

Some very early AM2 boards' BIOSes had some bugs in them. But like any new tech, the very first units are the most expensive and have the bugs in them. The bugs get worked out and the price drops a little later, leaving good, fast, new stuff for "the rest of us."

AM2 now is actually better than Socket 939 because:
1. There are more CPUs in AM2 than in 939. The 65W EE and 35W SFF EE X2s as well as the 5000+, FX-62, and the upcoming Brisbane 65nm units are in socket AM2 only.
2. Good DDR2-800 is no more expensive than good DDR 400 right now. All RAM is expensive at the moment, but DDR2 will drop more than DDR will, so outfitting a DDR2 AM2 setup with RAM will be less expensive than a 939/DDR setup.
3. You can stuff 4 2GB sticks of RAM in an AM2 unit while you are limited to 4GB for a Socket 939 unit. If you want to run a future 64-bit OS, I'd recommend 4GB RAM now and more later.
4. The chipsets for AM2 are newer and more capable than the Socket 939 ones. Particularly with regards to PCIe and SATA ports.
5. Future upgrade path, if you care about that. (I don't.)

And as when to buy- most times are as good as any others, with a few exceptions. Generally don't right after a major product launch or in the early-mid fall time as there are few sales and things are expensive. You will also find decent prices just before a new product launch in clearing out older stuff as well as back-to-school time, Christmas, and my favorite, the January-February after-Christmas sales. I like that time as retailers generally drop their prices a lot to move out stuff that didn't sell at Christmastime as well as drop prices to spur some sales volume as few people buy during that time due to the sting of the Christmas credit card bills. I got my parts for a darn good price then :D 
September 25, 2006 2:19:03 AM

Quote:

2. Good DDR2-800 is no more expensive than good DDR 400 right now.

it is in the UK plus there is a lot of excellent DDR s/h cheaper.

Quote:
3. You can stuff 4 2GB sticks of RAM in an AM2 unit while you are limited to 4GB for a Socket 939 unit.

you can put 8Gb in a 939 e.g. Abit KN8, AN8 32X etc. ...
of course as you say unless you are running 64-bit you can't use it all.

Quote:
4. The chipsets for AM2 are newer and more capable than the Socket 939 ones. Particularly with regards to PCIe and SATA ports.
several of them are the same
October 1, 2006 8:15:37 PM

I would wait before making the move to AMD, as the AM2 socket if having trouble making its way into the market, compared to the 754 and 939... I was a strong AMD follower since their first AMD 486,Personnally I think that AMD is switching socket way too fast for users to follow and this is negative point, you never know, maybe AM2 will be replaced by AM3 in a few months... Use a offlease 939 with a fair CPU and you'll save cash in the end, because you will still need a new mobo to support quad core and other things of 2007-2008. Maybe until then we will see more clearly what the merge between ATI and AMD will produce...

I switched back to Intel because of all this, they seem to stick more with their technology these times... and they lowered their price a lot compared to 3-4 years ago.
October 2, 2006 4:45:53 PM

Quote:

I switched back to Intel because of all this, they seem to stick more with their technology these times... and they lowered their price a lot compared to 3-4 years ago.

I would disagree with the first part - look at all the 775 boards that can't run Core 2 because although Intel kept the socket the same they changed all the VRM requirements ....
Traditionally Intel have forced mobo changes with new CPUs more frequently than AMD.

Intel prices are certainly priced more competitively than before but that's because strong competition from AMD is keeping them honest.
a b V Motherboard
October 2, 2006 9:07:57 PM

Have you decided yet?
October 2, 2006 9:41:45 PM

Quote:

I switched back to Intel because of all this, they seem to stick more with their technology these times... and they lowered their price a lot compared to 3-4 years ago.

I would disagree with the first part - look at all the 775 boards that can't run Core 2 because although Intel kept the socket the same they changed all the VRM requirements ....
Traditionally Intel have forced mobo changes with new CPUs more frequently than AMD.

Intel prices are certainly priced more competitively than before but that's because strong competition from AMD is keeping them honest.

What he said.
October 2, 2006 10:19:14 PM

For what you are doing with it, C2D is probably a relative waste of money. even that S939 and that X2 3800+ is relative overkill.

So is any motherboard that is a capable overclocker. Just find something stable and cheap and get that. I assume the object here is to spend as little money as possible and not have something to brag to your peers about. Then everything I said goes out the door...
!