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upgrading pc, need help with going to intel from amd.

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October 22, 2006 9:46:44 AM

i'll start off by saying ive been reading a lot lately about some of the latest hardware on tomshardware. ive almost always based my computer buying decisions on their hardware reviews.

so far ive read about the AM2 and intel core 2 duo. what ive learned about these 2:

am2: needs new higher priced ddr2 memory and will be superceded by am2+ and am3.

intel duo: i read the article on the e6400 oc to 3.0ghz+ with stock cooling which made me seriously consider going to intel from being amd since i first built my own system and even prebuilt systems for years. i know next to nothing about intel hardware because ive always used amd but from looking at the benchmarks with the latest processors it looks like intel is the way to go if upgrading the pc like im looking at doing.

what im wanting to do and what my budget is: i want to upgrade my processor(amd athlon xp 3200+), motherboard(gigabyte ga-7n400 pro2 nforce 2), videocard(ati aiw 9800 pro 129mb) and add another 74gig raptor drive to raid them in level (0? which one is the fastest for 2 drives, i forgot which). id like to stay around $800.00 for everything, new cpu, mobo, ram, video card, raptor drive.

i also want a true dual sli 16x capable motherboard if i choose to add another video card later.


now on the flipside of things before i came across the intel duo, i was planning on just upgrading my mobo, cpu and video card to an sli based amd based system because i was wanting to keep the memory i have which is 2 gigs of kingston hyperx ddr400 pc3200 memory. http://www.valueram.com/datasheets/KHX3200_1G.pdf i wouldnt need to buy all of this but because i simply want to upgrade my video card and i refuse to buy a good overpriced agp video card for a dead end socket a platform system i have to upgrade about everything.

so the question on the flipside before continuing with intel recommendations is am i better off staying with amd for what my budget is and get a amd x2 processor and an sli mobo and keep the memory i have or does the extra money spent for an intel system outweight that?

ok on with the rest of the topic. my current system specs are:

APEVIA 520W ATX-AS520W power supply http://www.apevia.com/product.php?pid=22&xcSID=a38d4a0c...
amd athlon xp 3200+
gigabyte ga-7n400 pro2 nforce 2 mobo
2 gigs kingston hyperx KHX3200 ddr 400
ati aiw 9800 pro 128mb
x-fi elite pro sound card
wd raptor 74gig sata
maxtor diamondmax 10 300gig sata
2 dvd burners
ms keyboard
logitech g5 mouse

so if the question i asked about whether i should stay with amd is no, what hardware can you all recommend me that meets my requirements of: overclock duo to 3.1ghz+ on stock fan, sli support and raid? preferabley a mobo with at least 4 sata connectors as i have 1 74 gig raptor and a maxtor 10 300 gig sata atm and i am looking to purchase another 74gig raptor to raid with the other one. i think the power supply is usable with a core 2 duo system but im not sure cause im a noob at intel stuff. i also want a quiet system, no loud chipset fan or gpu fans going. i read that the stock intel fan is quiet. i think thats about it, if i left any needed details out please let me know and thanks very much for the help and reading all this, i know these questions are asked all the time on here and ive read about 10 pages worth already!

ps. prefered shopping sites are newegg and zipzoomfly.

More about : upgrading intel amd

October 22, 2006 11:54:39 AM

$800 is definetly a workable (if tight) budget for being able to switch over to a core 2 duo setup, especially considering youre only upgrading 5 different parts...

offhand i could suggest an E6300 Allendale to overclock

1-2GB of DDR2-667, shouldnt be too expensive (or if youre keeping your existing memory, scratch that part)... youll take a performance hit though keeping your existing memory if going over to a core 2 duo, TBH

a 7900GT, or so... or an X1900XT if its feasible as far as price

a 74GB raptor is around $150, honestly, for raid 0 in gaming, it may not be worth it, as far as performance gains (~15%), and a 7200.10RPM hdd may be a better option for price/performance/storage capacity, if youre running your games off of it, (just my opinion on an alternative anyhow to the raptor)

and motherboard choices, im not sure... if youre wanting sli/xfire for later, 520W *might* not be sufficient, depending on how many amps your existing PSU proves on the 12v rails

EDIT: thinking about it more, it may just be more feasible pricewise to stick with amd, keeping your existing memory, going for a s939 X2/opteron, 3rd party HSF, gpu, 74GB raptor, getting an NFORCE4 SLI/xfire based motherboard... and if youre going sli/xfire, maybe a new psu as well... but, that does sound more feasible than being able to afford a high performing core 2 duo setup, TBH

if you do go for a s939 system, im sure you know that any of the X2s are by no means poor performing cpus, far from it.
October 22, 2006 11:56:40 AM

You can't have everything you want for $800.
To come closest, buy a skt939 mobo with an X2 CPU. Put emphasis on a new PCI-E videocard. Keep your RAM (too expensive to replace on your budget).
Related resources
October 22, 2006 12:23:06 PM

It seems like it could be done for $800

1) Processor E6300 $180
2) 2GB of memory approx. $220. Currently CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) $220. There are others for sale at newegg right now for less than $220.
3) Motherboard is a tough call. Right now for $220 ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP Socket T (LGA 775). This gives you full speed pcix16 x2 plus a 3rd slot running at x8.
4) Video card: maybe pick up a 7600GT for now for about $120 and upgrade later. I picked this to help you stay under budget.

Total: $740 + shipping/taxes.

Edit: Ooopss. Forgot about the additional HD. Save up a little more cash :) 
October 22, 2006 9:29:42 PM

the asus P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP looks nice and it has all the features im looking for. if i get the CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 675 can i still run that in dual channel mode on that motherboard or does that really matter much if i run the memory in dual channel mode on these kinds of systems? i know on my system theres not a huge performance increase and it actualy leads to instability. also is this board a good overclocker? my main concern with it will it be able to get me to the 3.1ghz mark with the stock cooling. i was reading in this forum about the kinda steps needed to overclock a duo: http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=503808

i cant find that corsair xms2 2gb memory on newegg. i only see valueselect.

the two raptors in raid would only be used for windows, i have the big maxtor drive for storage/games. i think this will help improve performance on vista more so than xp also.

is the E6300 Allendale better to overclock or is it simply cheaper than the E6400 conroe? can the e6400 overclock more than the e6300?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
seems like a good start but a bit pricey and it may be pushing it on my powersupply because it requires 22amp min, my ps is rated for 26a normal and 35a max +12v. also it states that it supports ATX Intel 12V V1.2, will it still work with the duo processor?

i may have to go over budget, probably in the 900's to get the good parts. im trying to keep the processor around 220, memory around 220-230, 220 for mobo, newegg running a sale on that mobo atm.. and around 250 for the video card.

edit: heres another 7900gt but its by msi, has 256mb memory, and has Core Clock 500MHz (vs. 450MHz standard)
Memory Clock 1530MHz (vs. 1320MHz standard)
vs. evga 512mb memory and
Core clock 650MHz
Memory Clock 1320MHz

price for evga: 260.13
price for msi: 209.99 after rebate.

im confused on which one of those i should go with lol.
October 22, 2006 9:41:07 PM

You can get the PCI-express vid card, Geforce 6100/6150 MB and keep your DDR even if you want to, get either a 939 or AM2 and youll be done super cheap and have your video upgrade path covered.
I just paid $90 for a 939 3700 and $68 for a 6100 board, love it. Used my 4 512 sticks in dual channel. Goona buy a big vid card as soon as the DX10 S!@#storm blows over. Using the onboard 6100 for the meantime and its way better than the GF4 TI4200 128MB that i had.
October 22, 2006 9:50:21 PM

Couple things. Instead of the 3700+ spend less and get the Opteron.

Next off...planning to overclock? go with 2 sticks of 1GB.... 4 dimms and the memory controller gets finicky (sometimes defaulting you too a 2t command line) and an odd number doesnt give dual channel. which with 939....would be quite a negative impact.
October 22, 2006 9:56:29 PM

Opterons arent cheaper and only buy opterons for servers because they are server chips. Same reason not to buy a sports car to pull a trailer.
October 22, 2006 11:15:26 PM

Quote:
Opterons arent cheaper and only buy opterons for servers because they are server chips. Same reason not to buy a sports car to pull a trailer.


He said $90 for a 3700+

Opty 144 @ $79 on newegg.

940 was mainly aimed @ server..939 was a toss up, but make great use on desktops...I had a 148 that made 3ghz on air.

Make sure you know exactly what your talking about before you step like that again....becuase I'm sure every person here would agree with me....thx.
October 22, 2006 11:53:39 PM

so is the ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI ATX good and stable to overclock the core 2 duo past 3ghz with ddr2 800 memory or does 667 memory have to be used? which memory timings should it be if i get 800 or 667? looking at this guide for overclocking it, http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=503808

it seems pretty easy, but thats for a gigabyte motherboard so i dunno if the asus has the adjustments necessary to achive that same speed. does anyone know? im reading the asus mobo manual now to get an idea of the bios...
October 22, 2006 11:58:57 PM

The 590 chipset for Intel does not overclock well. Either wait for the 680i coming next month or stick with Intel 965/975 boards.
October 23, 2006 12:28:51 AM

Quote:
The 590 chipset for Intel does not overclock well. Either wait for the 680i coming next month or stick with Intel 965/975 boards.


by 965/975 you mean the southbridge chipset on the mobo? can anyone recommend me some? im having trouble finding them on newegg..

edit:nvm, 965/975 is northbridge. now im looking for one that has dual x16 x16 slots for sli.
October 23, 2006 12:48:32 AM

What you'll gain in speed and CPU benchmarks, you'll lose in features. C2D's don't support Hyper-Threading, don't have an integrtated CPU controller, and that 4mb of shared L2 cache will actually cause your system to run slower due to Northbridge and RAM functions being canceled by a large L2 cache. :wink:

-----------------

My System:

AMD 64 X2 3800+ OC'ed to 2.2 Ghz, BFG 7900 GTX 512 mb OC'ed, ASUS A8N-SLi Deluxe, 2 Gb Kingston Value RAM CAS Latency 2.5-3-3-6, Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 4, Westen Digital 74 Gb Ratop ADFD, 2x Western Digital 250 Gb Caviar SE, 3x Thermaltake Hardcano 14 HDD coolers, Thermaltake Blue Orb II CPU cooler, Zalman VF-Cu 900 Blue LED VGA cooler, Thermaltake Extreme Spirit Northbridge cooler, and a PC Power & Cooling 510w PSU.
October 23, 2006 12:51:49 AM

Hyper threading?? wow kid. If anything thats a bad feature that practically neuters your chip into 2 logical units. Which is why Intel removed it.

Remember the P4EE??? It had 2 physical cores and then HT....many users ran into huge issues with memory addressment and thread management in windows.

slower 4mb?? I'll still take it. Do you realize how much of an app gets stored into that cache??
October 23, 2006 1:04:00 AM

Quote:
What you'll gain in speed and CPU benchmarks, you'll lose in features. C2D's don't support Hyper-Threading, don't have an integrtated CPU controller, and that 4mb of shared L2 cache will actually cause your system to run slower due to Northbridge and RAM functions being canceled by a large L2 cache. :wink:


the e6400 has 2mb cache not 4mb.
October 23, 2006 2:16:17 AM

well from what ive been reading so far on 975X mobos, you cant run dual 16x sli cards, and only 8x if you run 2 ati's.

if i were to go amd, which processor offers the most oc capability on the latest chipset? like can you oc an amd 64 x2 on a nforce 590 chipset or does it have to be like nforce4 or something?

i knew all this pci express stuff was a lot different from the agp era in video cards, but i didnt realize it was all this complicated and so many different cominations with a wide range of performance differences was there. i cant decide if i want to get a c2d and oc it to 3ghz+ on a 975 mobo with just 1 7900gto x16 or go amd sli x16 with maybe 2 7900gto's on a nforce4 or 5 mobo...i dunno how much u can overclock the new amd's though...help!! lol.
October 23, 2006 7:43:47 AM

i think im going to get:

c2d e6600
asus P5B Deluxe
Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400 2GB Kit DDR2-800 XMS2-6400 Xtreme Performance Tested at 5-5-5-12-T1 latency settings at 1.9V
SPD programmed at 5-5-5-12-T1 values
eVGA GeForce 7900 GTO PCI Express 512MB

is this a good looking list and will it be able to get me to say 3.0-3.4ghz if the silicon is good?

also i cant find if that mobo will support the quad 2 duo, i read that most mobos that support c2d will but on the asus site it doesnt list it any ideas?
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