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AM2 vs 939

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October 9, 2006 8:26:24 PM

I am currently looking at a board that supports socket 939 with the option to later upgrade to AM2, and what I was wondering was whether AM2 will actually be worth it? Should I stick with this board or should I skip straight to AM2?

From what I have seen, there is not a whole lot of performance gain to be had by DDR2 right now (even in the DDR2-800 varieties) over DDR400. I have read and heard that all the extra speed in DDR2 goes to waste largely because of latency issues, and a buddy of mine thinks that eventually the RAM manufacturers will fix this problem and DDR2 will become much better (at which point AM2 will be a must). Do you guys think that is bound to happen sooner or later, and if so, what kind of time frame would you estimate? If I have to wait another 2 to 3 years for the RAM manufacturers to get it right, I think I'll just stick with 939/DDR400 and upgrade later, but if they are going to fix it in a year or less I might just skip 939 altogether.

Any opinions and information you share with me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

-Zorak

P.S. I am sure this has probably come up as a topic in the past, but seeing as how I used the search tool for the forums and couldn't find a thread on this topic, I decided to start my own. Sorry if this is a repeat thread.

More about : am2 939

October 9, 2006 9:26:09 PM

Not sure if you mean that you found a board that is capable of switching sockets from 939 to AM2, as the upgrade path, but I never seen one of those before.

AM2 is the path that AMD is taking for future upgrades. In fact, AMD has officially announced that it will stop 939 CPU production, for the AM2 socket.

As for DDR/DDR2, I am not sure about the differences on that one. I hear one thing, and then another. I know that to get the most performance, DDR2 with tight CAS settings are usually required with AM2 setups.

Also, since AMD is postponing DDR3 support, it might be sometime before AM2/AM3 setups will be able to use DDR3, but again, DDR3 hasn't really been seen "in the wild", so it could be implemented by AMD if they find that DDR3 gives better performance than DDR2 on the AM2 boards.

You're best bet is to stick with your 939 until upgrading the CPU for that board is no longer an option. With quad cores from both Intel and AMD coming, it could lower the prices of present CPUs, but with the 939s being discontiuned, they could be priced a bit higher than usual.

Hope this helps, even just a little.

:D 
October 9, 2006 9:38:14 PM

I agree with NMDante.

If you have a 939 system right now - just get a faster CPU while they're still available. There is no sense in moving to AM2 right now, since you'll need expensive DDR2 which will only give you, at best, a couple of percent performance increase.

With AM2+ coming out, then AM3 - not to mention DX10 and PCIe 2.0 on the horizon - you're better off sticking with 939 until there is official announcements on what will have future compatibility with what.
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October 9, 2006 10:14:56 PM

I can not justify getting AM2 over a X2 939. The performance gains (if any) are not worth the full blown upgrade cost. Dual core 939 with a good pcie motherboard will last well up too AM3 which is a very long ways off.
October 9, 2006 11:05:20 PM

Silly me.. I bought a 939 thinking I would have plenty of upgrade headroom. See what I get for thinking? I think that will be my final AMD purchase for a while. Intel is more expensive but since I'll have to get DDR2 (or better) next time I upgrade, plus another new frikkin motherboard I might as well take the Intel road. Too many sockets in too little time makes Johnny a dull boy! Sheesh, I should have chosen a different, less expensive hobby. Beanie Babies anyone?
October 9, 2006 11:33:13 PM

Tyrvidar wrote:
Quote:

I can not justify getting AM2 over a X2 939. The performance gains (if any) are not worth the full blown upgrade cost. Dual core 939 with a good pcie motherboard will last well up too AM3 which is a very long ways off.


If you really think that 939 will last me up until AM3 comes out, would you mind suggesting a good motherboard ? After all, If I am to skip AM2 altogether, I might as well make sure my 939 mobo will be good, yes?

I was thinking about getting the Dual939 board by ASRock as it supports upgrade to AM2 with a daughterboard. My CPU of choice will be the X2 4600+ since its just as good as 4800+ at a cost of about 30-50 $ less.

Thanks

-Zorak
October 9, 2006 11:49:00 PM

you can build a 939 or am2 system pretty cheaply right now,so really you could go with either one right now.however am2 will be upgradable to k8l in the future.but if you want to use your ddr400 ram now,go 939.only real difference between 939 and am2 is ddr2 on the am2 and thermal as the am2 is supposed to be more efficient.goodluck

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
October 12, 2006 2:15:11 PM

The Asrock mobos that are socket 939, but socket AM2-capable, have been out for quite some time. In keeping with my personal policy of buying "behind the curve" instead of on the "bleeding edge", I just ordered the components to upgrade one of my boxes to a socket 939 Opteron 165 dual-core OEM CPU (since-expired sale, $149, shipped, from Monarch Computers). The mobo and HSF should arrive today or tomorrow.

What was my primary computer, running a 2400XP-M Barton (35w mobile CPU, o/c'ed to 2.4Ghz) went toes-up twice in the last two weeks (corrupt system file error both times), so that NF7-S v2.0 mobo and CPU are getting yanked for a Foxconn socket 939 nForce430/GF6150 mATX (6150K8MD-8EKRSH). This way I can use my existing DDR pc3500 memory and the Foxconn's integrated DX9.0c video (with DVI port!) without having to get a new videocard (for now). Total upgrade cost for CPU, mobo w/ video, and HSF, $263. Not bad for jumping from Socket A. While I was at it, I also picked-up a Samsung dual-layer Lightscribe dvd burner for only $31 (Newegg).

You can get a helluva deal by sticking to socket 939 and shopping the bargain sites. :wink:

Note that what was my "backup" computer (used mainly as a PVR and DVD-burner), is a 3+ year old Athlon 1700XP JIUHB DLT3C running on an ABIT NF7-S v2.0, and it still is running balls-out at 2.4Ghz, 100% load 24/7, as a distributed computing machine. Old-tech? Works jest fine for me!

Hope to get at least 2.9Ghz out of the Opteron by overclocking. The stepping? OSA165DAA6CD, CCBBE, 0617FPMW. 8)
October 12, 2006 5:10:31 PM

Quote:
I am currently looking at a board that supports socket 939 with the option to later upgrade to AM2, and what I was wondering was whether AM2 will actually be worth it? Should I stick with this board or should I skip straight to AM2?

From what I have seen, there is not a whole lot of performance gain to be had by DDR2 right now (even in the DDR2-800 varieties) over DDR400. I have read and heard that all the extra speed in DDR2 goes to waste largely because of latency issues, and a buddy of mine thinks that eventually the RAM manufacturers will fix this problem and DDR2 will become much better (at which point AM2 will be a must). Do you guys think that is bound to happen sooner or later, and if so, what kind of time frame would you estimate? If I have to wait another 2 to 3 years for the RAM manufacturers to get it right, I think I'll just stick with 939/DDR400 and upgrade later, but if they are going to fix it in a year or less I might just skip 939 altogether.

Any opinions and information you share with me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

-Zorak

P.S. I am sure this has probably come up as a topic in the past, but seeing as how I used the search tool for the forums and couldn't find a thread on this topic, I decided to start my own. Sorry if this is a repeat thread.
I don't think that latencies are going to get much lower on DDR2. It's not exactly new technology(~3 years now), so it is getting very mature. With PC6400 modules that are pulling off 3-3-3- x timings, and PC8500 running 4-4-4- x, i doubt there's a lot more room left for improvements(some DDR2 modules need 2.1v-2.2v just to post). DDR3 is on the horizon, and before we know it, it will be the standard.
October 12, 2006 5:44:41 PM

Quote:
I was thinking about getting the Dual939 board by ASRock as it supports upgrade to AM2 with a daughterboard. My CPU of choice will be the X2 4600+ since its just as good as 4800+ at a cost of about 30-50 $ less.

Thanks

-Zorak


I did just that. Went from an xp 3000 to the X2 3800, with AM2 in mind. Since the board is S939, I am able to keep my PC3200 and since it's AM2 capable, it'll have to be able to accept DDR2, if I choose to upgrade later. I like the board. I've had no negative issues at all. Mine is the Dual939-SATA2, not the VSTA2. I think the only dif would be one is Vista certified, one isn't. Boo hoo. It saved me a lot of dough and gave me a lot of speed (for what I do). I'm not an OC'er, so I'm not sure how this package would perform, but my basic lifestyle (gaming, photoshop, homework, music) is just fine with it.

Hope that helps.
October 12, 2006 7:04:03 PM

Quote:

If you really think that 939 will last me up until AM3 comes out, would you mind suggesting a good motherboard ? After all, If I am to skip AM2 altogether, I might as well make sure my 939 mobo will be good, yes?


The ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe is a good board, as is the regular ASUS A8N. They allow for some overclocking, and the Deluxe baord has a lot of extra features that I like.

I have a 939 machine myself and I think it will perform well enough for a couple more years. Its Vista ready, so only a DX10 card will be needed. The slight gains from AM2 so far are too low to justify the cost of making a change. Maybe the problems in ram will be worked out and that will help, but for now, I see no reason to change over. Like some others, if I can hold out to AM3, then I will.
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