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Suggested hardware for overclocking AMD Athlon 64 X2

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September 15, 2006 6:11:22 AM

Hello,

My current rig is a:
P4 3.2GHz w/ HTT
1GB (4x 256) DDR-SDRAM PC3200 (200 MHz) ram
ATI Radeon 9200SE Diamond Stealth S80 gfx card
Some gay dell motherboard

and I really want to move on and away from this dell and get an AMD machine. I read the FAQ and buyers guide on CPUs and it seems as the AMD Athlon 64 X2 is a good CPU for me. I do some gaming (Call of Duty 2, World of Warcraft, Halo, Need For Speed, and others. Getting BW2 after I get a new machine) but I also do a some photoshoping and 3d modeling once every while.

As I understand the main difference between the different AMD names (3800, 4000, 4400, 5000 .etc) is the default multiplier is different. And by buying a cheaper CPU and overclocking it you can save money but still get the performance of a more expensive CPU (For example buying a 3800 and overclocking it to 4400. Think even 5000 is possible.)

In one of the articles on the forum I read that AM2 is AMD's newest socket. I am guessing that AMD will be releasing more CPUs for this socket and it would be a great socket to pick because its not being left in the dust. Hopefully their quad core CPU will be on AM2 =D.

So moving on. I was originally thinking of getting a AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Windsor... But a AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor is around $100 cheaper. So heres the purpose of this topic.

1) Do you guys suggest I go for the 3800+ and overclock it to a 4600? (400MHz increase)
2) What motherboard, gfx card, PSU, and ram do you suggest is good for what I need and for overclocking?
3) Would you suggest getting Liquid Cooling? If so what company makes good LC stuff? ThermalTake looks like it makes cool stuff but I read a lot that the tank cracks or other similar issues.

I am sort of in a tight budget and would perfer not to go over $500 or $600. For the gfx card if possible a 256mb would be fine. I have a nVidia GeFore FX 5500 (AGP) right next to me not being used but I was told the 5000 series was a poor series and this card sucks. Would you agree? Or is it ok to use this card? AGP is old rechnology isnt it? PCI Express is a ton better, yes?

Do you think I would need new ram? Or would that work just fine? Would it be better to get DDR2 ram?

I am fairly new to building a custom computer. So please forgive me. For the past 4 years I have just been getting my stepdad's old computers (Slowly been moving up from a 2.4ghz to a 3.2ghz w/ htt :lol: ).

Oh and yes I know the Core 2 Duo is faster than any AMD processor currently out but I believe AMD has something up their sleave that will kick the panties of the Core 2 Duo. After all, it is AMD that took ~10% of Intel's profit this year :) 

Sort of off topic question, but what type of a difference does L2 Cache make? Say 2 x 512KB vs 2 x 1MB... I noticed that the second one is 2x the cache but is it worth the almost 2x price?

Cheers. I probably forgot a few questions but I will ask them later when I remember them.

Thanks in advance,
robodude666
October 11, 2006 1:22:08 AM

Couple things:

Get the X2 3800+. You might not necessarily be able to OC to 2.4 Ghz right away, but it shouldn't be too hard. From what you're looking for, all you really need is the X2 3800. I'm running one right now at stock speeds (I only overclock when I want to get benchmarks to show off). It runs FEAR and Oblivion at max settings. Why? Because I have a decent graphics card, which brings me to my next point.

These days, if you want a good gaming experience, you're going to have to spend more on the graphics card than the CPU, because games are simply much more GPU heavy than CPU. I think you can bump up that graphics card a little bit to:

eVGA 256-P2-N554-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB

which shouldn't be too expensive for you.

That leaves about $300 to spend. You still need a mobo, DDR2 RAM (because socket AM2 boards generally only support DDR2), and a power supply? That'll get a bit tight. For the motherboard, I would recommend the ASUS M2N-E which is about $100. With another $130 pick up a gig of orsair XMS2 DDR2-800 and with the remaining $70 invest in a decent PSU. The best choice for me would be this one.

Hope this helps you.
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October 11, 2006 1:30:14 AM

Hey,

Thanks for the suggestions. This topic is rather old and since then I picked out some cool stuff. Heres what I am getting:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor
DFI LP UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W Power Supply 90V~265V (Auto Adjusted) UL, cUL, TUV, CB
RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
eVGA 256-P2-N554-AX Geforce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card

The motherboard is totally not needed but I heard its a GREAT gaming and overclocking. I might get DDR2 800 ram instead but we will see... I am also not sure of what company to get it from. The top ones are a lot of $$$ I may also upgrade to a 700Watt OCZ power supply. I am also planning to "pimp out"(love that term :p  its funny) my system with a danger den liquid cooling system. Yea, I know its a lot more than my original budget but I am getting paid $1,000 next month and thought I should invest in good parts rather than getting crap and upgrading in a few months when it all breaks down.

Cheers,
robodude666
October 11, 2006 6:32:50 PM

Yeah I only noticed the date of your post after I posted. Ammateur mistake.

If it's not too late, I would REALLY suggest going with an Asus motherboard. The one I have, the M2N-SLI Deulxe, is amazing, especially for the price. It doesn't perform lower than the M2N32-SLI Deluxe (which has built-in WiFi) at all, and it costs about $50 less. You could also get the $240 Asus Crosshair which, like the M2N32, has the nForce 590 chipset, but you're not going to see a difference in performence, seriously.

I would also suggest upping your RAM to DDR2-800 like you were considering. It matches up with your (stock) FSB, and obviously performs better than the 667. The Asus AM2 mobos are very picky about RAM, but no one's had any trouble with Corsair. They are the best. You might want to wait for prices to drop a little bit - I have 2Gb of Corsair DDR-800 and they cost $60 more now than they did before!

Your PSU choice might be a little low for an SLI system, but if you're not planning on going SLI, it's completely fine.

Good choice on the video card, but you might consider getting a 7900 GT KO Superclocked from eVGA for an extra boost in graphics processing power

Good luck,
Guruboy
October 12, 2006 4:00:17 AM

Well, the crossfire is totally not needed. I looked at the M2N-SLI deluxe board and I donno.. I like the DFI board more for some reason... DFI is better for overclocking I hear.

As for power supplies, yea.. I am upgrading to a 600 or 700Watt supply. 500watt would just barely be enough for me (according to 3 or 4 different recommended wattage sites).
October 12, 2006 7:11:52 PM

DFI does a pretty good job painting their mobos so they look cool. They're much better than no name mobo manufacturers, and the nForce 590 chipset might be a little better in the overclocking dept. than the 570, but it looks like you'll only be doing enthusiast-type overclocking. It's your choice in the end.
October 13, 2006 12:47:12 AM

Asus M2N-E = utter OC disaster.
Asus M2N(32)-SLI = pwned by the DFI Infinity UltraII-M2.
Asus Crosshair = overpriced, filled with marketing hype.

Even that ive got to admit the Crosshair is the only decent out of those. Its still very overpriced when something like the DFI LP UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G (~$50 less) outperforms it like theres no tomorrow.
There's no going back with DFI and AMD, simply the best AM2 OCing motherboards.

Corsair is overpriced too (even that they lowered their prices a bit recently). But the OCZ Platinum Revision 2 DDR2 800 with 4-4-4 timings overclocks to 550Mhz CL5 and its ~$30 cheaper so it makes it look bad too. No compatibility problems with DFI :D 

As for a PSU I suggest the OCZ GameXstream line. Cant beat those specs for the price, simply cant. 600W would be enough but since the 700W is only $15 you'll want to consider it since youll be water cooling.
October 13, 2006 2:03:20 AM

Yea. I noticed most 600w supplies are like 125$ and the 700 OCZ is 135$ after rebate.. Will probably get that one if I can find an extra 50$ (costs like 160$ at checkout)
October 13, 2006 2:47:38 AM

donno what your talking about.. plus that has nothing to do with what you quoted...
October 13, 2006 3:18:06 AM

rwaritsdario what the hell are you saying? Do you work for DFI or something? The M2N-E gets great reviews, and it's cheap, how is it a disaster? You're going to have to back that up, I could use a laugh. You can compare the DFI Infinity UltraII-M2 to the M2N-E, not the M2N32-SLI Deluxe. How the hell does the UltraII-M2 pwn any of those Asus boards? It got really great reviews...when it was one of the only cheap AM2 boards on the market.

Unless you've actually owned any of those Asus boards (which you would have mentioned if it were true), you're going to have to shut up about their potential. I've got an M2N-SLI Deluxe, I've overclocked an X2 3800+ to 2.75 completely stable...with great temps on stock cooling (with enough case fans) because the M2N series has the passive cooling. I dare you to read reviews about the temps on that DFI board. No way I'm touching that thing after seeing what the massive heatpipe on the M2N-SLI deluxe does for temps.

Oh, and you're completely wrong about the RAM to. For one thing, DDR2 prices have gone up, up, and up for the past few weeks, there's obviously a shortage because it looks like the price increase is spread throughout all new DDR2. My 2 gigs of DDR2-800 that I got from Corsair a month ago for $180 has now sprung up to $240 - ouch! Corsair is not overpriced...you get what you pay for. They are undoubtedly the best memory manufacturer ever, I've never heard anyone actually diss them and mean it. The fact that Corsair runs on the picky M2N series should be a good thing. OCZ also runs completely fine on the M2N series...it's picky when it comes to CRAPPY RAM. Do some research.

You're going to have to point me to 2Gb of DDR2-800 with CAS 4 from OCZ that costs $240 or under, because as of now your claim has nothing to back it up. I searched and sure as hell can't find any.

Speaking of RAM, you've just suggested DDR2-800 to the guy when that DFI board can only run RAM at speeds up to 667 dual data rate. What are you trying to screw the poster big time or something? Think, then post.

That PSU is complete overkill wattage-wise, the OP's not even going SLI anytime soon. With that PSU you're paying for the bling, I wouldn't touch the thing. Save some money and stick with the Truepower II.
October 13, 2006 6:42:13 AM

Quote:
rwaritsdario what the hell are you saying? Do you work for DFI or something? The M2N-E gets great reviews, and it's cheap, how is it a disaster? You're going to have to back that up, I could use a laugh. You can compare the DFI Infinity UltraII-M2 to the M2N-E, not the M2N32-SLI Deluxe. How the hell does the UltraII-M2 pwn any of those Asus boards? It got really great reviews...when it was one of the only cheap AM2 boards on the market.

Unless you've actually owned any of those Asus boards (which you would have mentioned if it were true), you're going to have to shut up about their potential. I've got an M2N-SLI Deluxe, I've overclocked an X2 3800+ to 2.75 completely stable...with great temps on stock cooling (with enough case fans) because the M2N series has the passive cooling. I dare you to read reviews about the temps on that DFI board. No way I'm touching that thing after seeing what the massive heatpipe on the M2N-SLI deluxe does for temps.

Oh, and you're completely wrong about the RAM to. For one thing, DDR2 prices have gone up, up, and up for the past few weeks, there's obviously a shortage because it looks like the price increase is spread throughout all new DDR2. My 2 gigs of DDR2-800 that I got from Corsair a month ago for $180 has now sprung up to $240 - ouch! Corsair is not overpriced...you get what you pay for. They are undoubtedly the best memory manufacturer ever, I've never heard anyone actually diss them and mean it. The fact that Corsair runs on the picky M2N series should be a good thing. OCZ also runs completely fine on the M2N series...it's picky when it comes to CRAPPY RAM. Do some research.

You're going to have to point me to 2Gb of DDR2-800 with CAS 4 from OCZ that costs $240 or under, because as of now your claim has nothing to back it up. I searched and sure as hell can't find any.

Speaking of RAM, you've just suggested DDR2-800 to the guy when that DFI board can only run RAM at speeds up to 667 dual data rate. What are you trying to screw the poster big time or something? Think, then post.

That PSU is complete overkill wattage-wise, the OP's not even going SLI anytime soon. With that PSU you're paying for the bling, I wouldn't touch the thing. Save some money and stick with the Truepower II.


n00bs.. n00bs.. Dont worry, we all went trhu that. I am going to correct you and "back me up" (ild never say something based on one experience or because I felt like it) just because you seem to be so convinced in your errors that most likely youll recommend that stuff to someone else.

Quote:
The M2N-E gets great reviews,

If you mean the reports at newegg, they come from ppl who never overclocked the board and posted that as soon as their comp would boot. Never trust those reviews unless theyre something "the board explods after a week!" or "got 3426767 DOA before getting a good one!".
And even so it hasnt, its filled with picky RAM problems (wich in no effing world would be good), and cold boots and restarting problems. A 24/7 headache.

Quote:
and it's cheap, how is it a disaster?

Because it doesnt overclock for SH!T. The proof you whined so much about "I had no improvements whatsoever because both the mainboards were no good at overclocking." and he even tried to do the impossible thing by switching the BIOS chips. Notice that he stated that BOTH board use the SAME BIOS, meaning the SAME POTENTIAL.
DFI Infinity UltraII-M2 overclocking review.
For something more understandable:
The DFI UltraII-M2 reached HHT 440Mhz STABLE. While the M2N-E (and the M2N-SLI) couldnt even reach HHT 325Mhz. Now if you dont call that a failure, idk what you will.

Quote:
You can compare the DFI Infinity UltraII-M2 to the M2N-E, not the M2N32-SLI Deluxe. How the hell does the UltraII-M2 pwn any of those Asus boards? It got really great reviews...when it was one of the only cheap AM2 boards on the market.

Yes, I know its very unfair due that the Asus one is about $100 more expesive and its using a better chipset. But just to proove the DFI superiority I WILL.
highest HHT oc for Asus
The Asus reached 360Mhz at x8 multiplier as you can see, now I bet you remmber 440Mhz the DFI did at x6 right!? :D 
Outperformed by $100 LESS. THATS RIGHT. COMPLETE UTTER PWNAGE!!
k sry got a bit too excited. Better now.

Quote:
Unless you've actually owned any of those Asus boards (which you would have mentioned if it were true), you're going to have to shut up about their potential.

LMFAO now im the one laughing! Owning one of those boards... I rather use the money on my own vasectomy!

Quote:
I've got an M2N-SLI Deluxe, I've overclocked an X2 3800+ to 2.75 completely stable...

Yeah... Because we all know thats very impressive.... :roll:

Quote:
I dare you to read reviews about the temps on that DFI board.

I dont need to. It uses a very effective all copper heatsink&fan.

Quote:
Corsair is not overpriced...you get what you pay for.

Quote:
You're going to have to point me to 2Gb of DDR2-800 with CAS 4 from OCZ that costs $240 or under, because as of now your claim has nothing to back it up.

The OCZ Platinum Revision 2 DDR 800 CL4 does 550Mhz CL5. Corsair cant even match this and its more expensive.

Quote:
Speaking of RAM, you've just suggested DDR2-800 to the guy when that DFI board can only run RAM at speeds up to 667 dual data rate. What are you trying to screw the poster big time or something? Think, then post.

The DDR2 standards on the motherboards are from the SPD speeds. Let me explain this so itll fit in your head. Almost EVERY module comes with lower speeds at a reduced voltage, this is arbitrary and usually DDR 533 if possible (only some DDR2 <1000 have SPD of DDR2 800), this is only so the modules will POST, once they do you simply set (not OC since its the advertised stuff) it to the speed, timings, and voltage on the package.
This is what EPP does, it select the adequate voltage so the modules will POST at the advertised speed, but its definetly SCAM since you can do it yourself.
LEARN, then come and TRY to teach me.

Quote:
That PSU is complete overkill wattage-wise, the OP's not even going SLI anytime soon. With that PSU you're paying for the bling, I wouldn't touch the thing. Save some money and stick with the Truepower II.

With the OCZ PSU what youre paying for is the excellent Fortron hardware, the high efficency, quad 12v rails, strong amperage along this and good warranty. Without mentioning that you arent paying much for it hehe.
Didnt you read that he was going to water cool his rig??? It is more than obvious that you have no idea how much power a custom water cooling kit can draw. Besides I do want him to be able to upgrade to the upcoming, 200+W power cosuming, DX10 gfx cards.
Now you read, think and then post if youve got anything to say.

I have taken my time (alot of it) to correct everything you said. WHY!? because I want the OP to be guided corrected and I dont want you to go recommend Asus AMD mobos and Corsair RAM at the Homebuilt Forums.
Dont be arrogant. Unless youre sure what youre talking about.
October 13, 2006 9:28:19 PM

Thanks for all the input.

I read a number of good and bad reviews about both Asus and DFI motherboards. Most of the ones I seen for DFI say how great it can overclock and great for gaming. Asus is a wonderful company but I will pass on their motherboard at this time. Maybe if this one breaks il get the asus =P

So I guess 3rd week of Nov is when I order my parts from new egg... I wonder what new rebates will be available then :lol: 
October 13, 2006 10:14:42 PM

Keep yourself on your toes at all times and always look for new stuff that might be appealing to you. You can PM me anytime if you need good recommendations :wink:
October 13, 2006 10:14:59 PM

Quote:
donno what your talking about..


Yeah im sure you dont :roll:lmao why would he think thats cool

robodude ahahah
October 13, 2006 10:49:47 PM

DFI Infinity is a great board. Best AM2 motherboard under $150, IMO. Check out DFI Street for more info.

~Ibrahim~

P.S. OCZ makes kick-a$$ RAM.
October 13, 2006 11:09:00 PM

Under $100! haha
For under $150 maybe the EPoX 570 would take the price. Just cos of the chipset.
October 13, 2006 11:54:58 PM

Maybe. The EPox can brag what extra features? Doesn't even have Firewire. Only one IDE port. Only good things are the extra SATA ports and the dual GBe LAN. Heck, I'll give you the Power/Reset button and BIOS codes. Otherwise, IMO, the DFI wins.

It is a good OC'er, but can it beat what DFI can bring? If the DFI can "boot" 440HTT+, then I imagine at least 350 minimum Prime Stable.

~Ibrahim~

P.S. Where is that board,anyways?
October 14, 2006 12:07:15 AM

The EPoX can brag about the 570 chipset and not having to be modded for SLI. The DFI Infinity is a sick beast at HTT, nobody can argue about it, but for example the DFI NF590 might not beat at HTT but the onslaught of BIOS tweaking options (specially for RAM) makes it superior. The Its not much that the EPoX can brag about, but its only $30 more.
Its at mwave.
October 14, 2006 1:39:16 PM

OK..For only $30 more, sure, what the heck?

~Ibrahim~
!