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AM2 Dual-Core build questions

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October 31, 2006 12:52:29 AM

The first thing everyone probably wants to tell me is probably to get a C2D. I agree, they are wonderful processors, but I'm getting AMD now so that I can upgrade to the AMD Quad Cores later. Now that's cleared, on to the build...

This is a budget system, so please don't recommend heavily expensive changes.

Mobo: DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 Socket AM2
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Windsor Socket AM2 Processor
RAM: OCZ S.O.E 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) (Is there a difference between PC2 5400 and 5300?)
HDD: HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722516DLA380 (0A31637) 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
19" Monitor $195
Combo Drive $25
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro

If you want a better list, here's the wishlist:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...

A few questions:
1) Should it be hard to reach a 2.7 or 2.8Ghz overclock with this setup?
2) Will that ram be sufficient for mild overclocking?
3) Any recommendations? If you want to comment on the GPU (its on the wishlist), you may. I was planning on getting a 7600GS (it's cheap and I could overclock a little, I don't game much.) Or I might get a 7900GS
October 31, 2006 2:00:13 AM

From what I understand the AMD quad core processors will use the AM2+ socket that will be backwards compatible with the AM2 socket, the difference being that the AM2+ socket supports HT 3.0. You may be able to upgrade to quad core, however you may not get the performance you are expecting.

AMD systems are more sensitive to memory speed than intel systems so why not get motherboard that supports ddr2 800?

Is wintec ram any good? It dosn't sound good to me, but I don't know.

1,2) Can't help you with overclocking.

3) The 7600GT video cards look good.
October 31, 2006 2:02:07 AM

I dont know, it had good reviews, but I just changed the RAM anyway. I'm getting 2GB of OCZ rather than that 1GB.

I'd like to have that overclocking question answered :D 

Any other advice is welcome too.
Related resources
October 31, 2006 2:16:16 AM

What about This Board, or This Board They both support ddr2 800. For AMD systems you really need to get ddr2 800 from what I hear
October 31, 2006 2:20:29 AM

The ASUS M2N32/SLI is better for OC'n...but their not for the timid
Your PSU is 130W too small...
The 4200+ will blow smoke with a 3% OC...
AM2 processors prefer Geil memory...OCZ sux
Scrap the hitachi and get a Seagate Barracuda...
Viewsonic makes a better monitor for $19 more...
AM2 processors run very cool so you probably wont need the Arctic Cooler, I run 3% on stock fan at 49 centrigrade...
The 7900GTO is only $250 and is just little slower than a X1950...
Remember that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, so don't get a small cheap-ass PSU...most modern boards require 600W min with their advanced on-board features like AC97, HD, SATA, RAID....etc
October 31, 2006 3:24:20 AM

Quote:

Your PSU is 130W too small...
The 4200+ will blow smoke with a 3% OC...
Remember that a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link, so don't get a small cheap-ass PSU...most modern boards require 600W min with their advanced on-board features like AC97, HD, SATA, RAID....etc



Ha! ha ha ha ha ha!!! I wouldn't listen to what he says about the PSU stuff, the other stuff is more or less correct, 'cept maybe the ram thing, but the PSU stuff is not true. It is true that you are getting a teensy bit close to the low point of your PSU stuff, but unless you're running dual graphics cards (or an x1800xtx), you can run that thing with a 400 watt PSU with no problems, though it is nice to have some headroom. An upgrade to a 450 Watt or probably your best bet is 500 watts for your PSU will make sure you are sufficiently powered for years to come, though 430 watts is quite sufficient.

Since I have AM2 I did a lot of checking up on OCZ ram, and it is only with Asus motherboards that OCZ ram does NOT work. On most, if not all other motherboards OCZ ram works quite fine, although you will want to get ddr2-800 ram as opposed to 667, as AM2 really likes their high bandwidth memory, I would almost say pick a slower processor and get better ram if you're pushing your budget.

Also, you would not need the Arctic Cooler if you were only going to do a small overclock. On my 3800+ I achieved a 12.5 percent overclock on my stock cooler, and I had even put on my arctic silver on wrong (turns out on normal processors, you're supposed to put a blob on and smash it with your heatsink instead of spread it out with a razor, contrary to popular belief), so I would stick with the stock cooler for a while, and then one day you'll feel the need to overclock and you'll end up getting a really nice aftermarket cooler, like the tuniq tower or something.

Oh and pshrk, I have never heard of this AM2+ thing you are talking about, though I am intrigued by it. If you happen to find a link to whoever said that, could you please pm me the link?
October 31, 2006 3:43:20 AM

I agree.

I always got the impression that most people here like OCZ memory, oh well. I've heard good things about G.SKILL as well.

Maybe a slightly better PSU. I would get one with Active PFC to protect all that nice hardware you're buying.


@bigsby

Link!
Link!
Link!

I know... the last link is the dreaded inquirer, but I backed it up by posting the tgdaily and digitimes links first :wink:
October 31, 2006 11:08:46 AM

I have to get a cooler, the processor I'm getting is OEM. And, it can't hurt to have better cooling. I realized that my setup won't use more than 300Watts with extra cards and usb devices. That's why I focused on a lower wattage PSU that has good reliability. But I may change it. I'd really like to try a DFI board, that's why I got that one. For more features, I'd have to pay about $100 more for the better DFI. I think this board will be plenty. And I'm not doing a huge overclock.

Any other input? Oh, and I might go back down to 1GB of ram to save money.
October 31, 2006 12:06:10 PM

Toasty - I've got the x2 4200 on the Epox MF570 mb. OC'ed on stock HSF to >2.6 so you should have no trouble pushing the 4800

Definately agree with the DDR2 800 - I bought Kingston HyperX667 (budgets suck) and I think I probably could have got to about 2.8 or so with the faster Ram. My ram is OC'ed to just under 800 speed, but going any higher (even with a major voltage boost) makes it lock up

The Epox board is solid no issues and OCs real easy - this was my first shot at OCing. Got it and the CPU from MWave for about $300 two months ago (180 CPU, 130 MB).

As to the GPU, Tom's has a new GPU article that goes through the various price points and picks the best cards - may be helpful

web
October 31, 2006 9:05:40 PM

If a 400Mhz overclock wasn't too hard for you, then this should be fine. I don't need more than a 400MHz overclock, and it will probably be plenty at stock anyway.

As for that GPU article, I doubt I've seen it. Could you find a link to that? There's so many articles on THG, it's hard to find some things. Especially with all the amount of Graphics articles. I have looked at Tom's VGA Charts though.
October 31, 2006 11:32:04 PM

It didn't tell me anything I didn't know :p 
I'm getting a 7600GS (its cheap, dual DVI, and I could oc it)

I think the Video card is decided, so what else might I change? I changed ram again, look at the wishlist link.
November 1, 2006 12:32:42 AM

I agree with the comments about the ram, needing to be faster. You want as low latency as possible with the new am2 chips. As for the type.... I have OCZ but it is a s939. I have had no problems with OCZ at all. It's always been AMD friendly as far as I know.

I would just suggest you maybe move up to a 7600 GTS card for a few dollars more and get something that is clocked close to a GT for GS prices. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
is a link for it. I know it has a MIR, however, it's nicer and only a few dollars more.

If you need to shave a few dollars, get a slower proc. The cache doesn't make any where near the difference on an AMD processor as it does on an Intel one...
November 1, 2006 12:54:59 AM

I've never heard of the 7600 GTS, am I the only one? What's the difference between it and a GT? I really have no need for anything higher than a 7600 something, because I don't care about having all settings up or playing hugely demanding games like Oblivion. I play CS:S and America's Army mainly.

I'd like to have the extra cache, because it makes a difference with multi-tasking. I want to be able to overclock the X2 4800 to 2.8Ghz. For only a 400Mhz overclock I think it shouldn't be too hard, especially with this DFI mobo.
November 1, 2006 2:27:47 AM

Nevermind the GTS, it doesn't have 2*DVI, and I need that. Feel free to answer the other questions in my previous post.
November 2, 2006 1:22:31 AM

I had a nice topic in the AMD forum, but no one ever visited it. So I'll just continue this topic...

Here is the current chosen components:
DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 Socket AM2
FSP GroupAX450-PN, 12cm FAN, version 2.0, 2 SATA, PCI Express, 450W Power Supply
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Windsor 2.4GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADA4800IAA6CS - OEM
OCZ S.O.E 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Desktop Memory Model OCZ2SOE6671G
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro

Link to Wishlist


Will it be difficult to reach 2.8Ghz with this setup? If not, what should I change?

Should I change the ram? My other 2 options are PQI turbo ram or Crucial Ballistix. I know Crucial is great, but is it good for overclocking? If it is, I'd still like to know whether the PQI or OCZ is better, since they're in stock right now.
November 2, 2006 2:02:53 AM

Quote:
The first thing everyone probably wants to tell me is probably to get a C2D. I agree, they are wonderful processors, but I'm getting AMD now so that I can upgrade to the AMD Quad Cores later. Now that's cleared, on to the build...

This is a budget system, so please don't recommend heavily expensive changes.

Mobo: DFI INFINITY NF ULTRAII-M2 Socket AM2
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Windsor Socket AM2 Processor
RAM: OCZ S.O.E 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) (Is there a difference between PC2 5400 and 5300?)
HDD: HITACHI Deskstar T7K250 HDT722516DLA380 (0A31637) 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
19" Monitor $195
Combo Drive $25
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro

If you want a better list, here's the wishlist:
http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...

A few questions:
1) Should it be hard to reach a 2.7 or 2.8Ghz overclock with this setup?
2) Will that ram be sufficient for mild overclocking?
3) Any recommendations? If you want to comment on the GPU (its on the wishlist), you may. I was planning on getting a 7600GS (it's cheap and I could overclock a little, I don't game much.) Or I might get a 7900GS


Dude admit defeat C2D is faster,less sensitive to ram speeds and it really cheap!

Common you know you want the E6800X !
November 2, 2006 3:00:47 AM

You could reach 2.8GHz with a lower rated CPU. My X2 4000+ (yes, I got it almost at launch for way too much) is set to 2.66GHz with stock cooler and no special goo (just the stuff that was pre-applied) and could go higher, just too lazy to reboot. I suppose the X2 4400+ should reach 2.8 and likely the X2 4200+ could as well.

But you should look for an NForce 5 board instead of this NF4 mobo. That chipset is ageing. Further I am not able to OC even half as well on my bf's NF4 (which has AS5 applied to the HSF).

As soon as the 65nm come out I'm ditching this X2 4000+, is it a collector's item by now? :lol: 
November 2, 2006 10:57:13 AM

Actually, no I don't...I believe I said this for a reason:
"The first thing everyone probably wants to tell me is probably to get a C2D. I agree, they are wonderful processors, but I'm getting AMD now so that I can upgrade to the AMD Quad Cores later."

I'll look into NF5 mobos, thanks.
November 2, 2006 12:03:06 PM

Quote:
Since I have AM2 I did a lot of checking up on OCZ ram, and it is only with Asus motherboards that OCZ ram does NOT work.


This is not true. Althought ASUS reccommends GEIL for their AM2 boards, I have 2GB of OCZ PC6400 DDR2 Platinum EL on my M2R32-MVP and it works great. No Problems at all.

toasty2
Instead of the 7600GS, get the ATI X1950 Pro. It's in the same price range, but offers better performance. Google it to find all the reviews.
November 2, 2006 12:46:34 PM

Since you're not going for the next benchmark crown, I'd say what you've got listed is fine.

The only thing I'd seriously consider upgrading for your stated uses is the Ram from the 667 to the 800. You'll be able to push the OC much further with better timings.

web
November 2, 2006 12:57:31 PM

I'd consider getting a AM2 opteron instead of the 4800. The 2.4ghz version only costs about $30 more than the 4800. The nforce5 boards are nice, but really not worth the extra dough if you're not going to be stressing them much. If you're not going to go dual GPU, which I doubt since you'll be using a lower-end GPU, you could even step into one of nvidia's IGP boards. Both the 6100/410 and 6150/430 boards would suite your needs nicely. I'd recommend just about any of them, really, but I tend to stick to Asus, Msi, AsRock, and Abit. G.skill sells a 2x1024MB DDR2 800 kit for the same price as your listed OCZ one. There is a 7600GS on newegg for $80 that sometimes has a MIR that makes it even cheaper.
November 2, 2006 8:48:07 PM

I might look into the opteron, I've always kind of wanted one...

This motherboard does support DDR800, unless a recent revision or something says otherwise. I'm sure the 667 will be good enough, not awesome, but good enough...

As for the GPU, I do play games. Just not with high settings. And I need 2 DVI for dual monitors. Which is why I chose that 7600GS.
November 2, 2006 9:06:32 PM

Might want to think about a 7600GT.
November 2, 2006 10:00:38 PM

Quote:
Since I have AM2 I did a lot of checking up on OCZ ram, and it is only with Asus motherboards that OCZ ram does NOT work.


This is not true. Althought ASUS reccommends GEIL for their AM2 boards, I have 2GB of OCZ PC6400 DDR2 Platinum EL on my M2R32-MVP and it works great. No Problems at all.

toasty2
Instead of the 7600GS, get the ATI X1950 Pro. It's in the same price range, but offers better performance. Google it to find all the reviews.

The x1950 Pro is at least twice as much as the 7600GS anywhere I've seen it..
November 2, 2006 10:08:38 PM

I don't think you'll have a problem getting a 400mHz OC with the 4800. I have a 750mhz OC on my AMD, although its only a single core. Just make sure to use some arctic silver when you mount the CPU.
November 2, 2006 10:23:14 PM

Quote:
This motherboard does support DDR800, unless a recent revision or something says otherwise. I'm sure the 667 will be good enough, not awesome, but good enough...


That isn't exactly a good idea. As you'll be upping your reference clock, your memory will OC as well, unless you lower the multiplier. So DDR2-800 is definately advisable if you want a good OC.
November 2, 2006 10:56:07 PM

Quote:
This motherboard does support DDR800,


Couldn't tell if this was a typo... but just to clarify. On newegg it says that The DFI mobo that you chose only supports DDR2-667. I know you really want a DFI mobo. It is my understanding that DDR2-800 is very important for AMD processors , But its your box, so get what you will be happy with.

Whatever you decide I will be jealous. I'm stuck with my Prescott for a little while longer... At least it will help keep the heating bill down! :D 
November 2, 2006 10:59:02 PM

Yeah, I'm looking into getting a DFI LP for AM2. It's nearly $200, which is making my budget not happy. If I can make it work out, I'll up the ram to DDR2 800. I'll post back in awhile. I'll go look into this possibility.

And ya, I've considered the 7600GT. It all depends on the budget. Graphics aren't the number 1 thing to me.
November 2, 2006 11:46:50 PM

Consider Abit's 6150/430 board.
November 3, 2006 12:09:28 AM

I still need a graphics card, and the 7600GS is as low as I want to go. I DO play games, just not a lot.
November 3, 2006 12:39:52 AM

The 7600GS would be fine. But if you are constrained to stay below $1000, and especially want a DFI board, I'd advise this one. If you pair it with a X2 4200+ you'll still have enough for a DDR2-800 stick. The 4200+ should be able to reach 2.8GHz (although a little bit of luck may be needed). The board certainly will help getting it as high as you can.
November 3, 2006 1:04:37 AM

Yeah, that's the board I've been trying to fit in. I would get other boards, but a DFI is pretty much guaranteed to be a great overclocker. I'd like to have the extra cache, which is why I'm going with a X2 4800+ (better when multi-tasking), and I could probably get it to 3Ghz when this becomes kinda aged. With a X2 4200+, that's a bit harder, since it starts at 2.2Ghz. I might just have to raise my budget...I dont want to cut many corners.

Another reason this build is kinda hard to get under budget, is the 19" widescreen monitor I'm getting with it. I've never had a LCD, and I've always wanted one. Are there any major differences between a 19" widescreen and a normal 19" when using programs and games? Does anything have problems with widescreen? I'll just try to keep this thing under $1,100. Any other suggestions?

Edit: Damn, the Crucial Ballistix was cheap for DDR2-667, now its like $150 for 1GB at DDR2-800.

Here's what I have so far: https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/PublicWis...
November 3, 2006 1:35:11 AM

Well... an LCD monitor is opening an entirely different can of worms... If you want the games to look good they need to support the native resolution of the monitor. Remember the higher the native resolution of the monitor the harder it is on your video card, but that shouldn't be a probelm with a 19" one. Not all games have support for widescreen resolutions, most games have "hacks" to get them working at the native resolution but i'm not sure how well they work. Some people report the tops and bottoms of games being cut off. And then you have to worry about the response time and ghosting... Still other people report "input lag." Probably your best bet is to try them out at the store first and see if you like 'em. I like viewsonic and samsung, but ive heard good things about acer, benq, and others.

Check out these threads here, and here
November 3, 2006 1:42:51 AM

That wishlist looks good, just be aware that the DDR2-800 you picked is CL5, so you might not get as much out of it as a CL4 stick. The GeIL I suggested is CL4 and only costs $2 more. It's about as good as OCZ.
Those X2 4800+ chips must be old stock, I thought only the FX series had 1MB cache per core since the prices dropped like a rock just before the C2D launch.
November 4, 2006 7:59:19 AM

I think the CAS4 G.Skill looks nice here. Never used G.Skill, but i've heard good things about it.

I would probably go with a 2.4GHz X2 over a 2.2GHz Opteron. Never owned either so better ask someone else :wink:
November 4, 2006 1:27:22 PM

I will :D  Does anyone else know about these new opterons? Maybe they would overclock more since its a newer core...

Most people dont think of this, but I have noticed it...There are opterons that run at the same speeds as many of the X2's for about or slightly more price. The opterons always have 2x1MB L2 Cache though, so it would be better to have a 2Ghz opteron than an X2 3800+. But, in my case, I'm comparing an X2 4800+ (2x1MB cache) with an opteron that has the same amount of cache but is 200Mhz less in speed. Would the opteron overclock better? People usually have great luck in overclocking Opterons...
November 4, 2006 2:14:10 PM

I have not seen anyone first hand attempt to overclock the new Opteron steppings. But for only ~$30 difference, I'd gamble on it. It certainly won't overclock less, but it is possible it could be the same. The Opterons DO tend to be a higher bin than the equivalent x2.
November 4, 2006 2:28:44 PM

Yeah, I'm going to get one anyway. The X2 4800+ was taken off of newegg. I believe its not coming back either. I would get the 2.4Ghz Opteron, but its $30 more than the X2 4800+ was. Too bad they dont sell the OEM versions for cheaper, why are they more expensive? I dont need a HSF, I'm buying one for overclocking.

I guess I'll go with the 2.2Ghz one. People get X2 4200+'s up to 2.7 or 2.8Ghz commonly, so this shouldn't be much different. And it has more cache, that's better when multitasking :D 
November 4, 2006 2:56:29 PM

I might consider that, but instead of the 1210, a 1212.
November 4, 2006 3:12:07 PM

Sounds like you got a plan. Personally, I wouldn't let the $30 change my processor decision. I certainly would NOT go up to the 2.6ghz version, either, though.
November 4, 2006 3:32:52 PM

Why? What's wrong with it? It's too expensive for me anyway.

Since I've chosen to go with the $199 2Ghz Opteron, I have a little more money I'd like to spend on better parts for overclocking. RAM is my current focus.
Will this ram be good for overclocking?
G.SKILL 4-4-4-12
November 4, 2006 4:47:54 PM

Nothing is wrong with it at all. The $200 parts are probably the best buy for performance/$ right now anyway. I just would recommend either getting the 2.0 like you are, or going up to the 2.4ghz. The 2.2 is kinda in no man's land. I'll probably be getting a socket 939 170 2.0ghz myself. I'd stick with this memory, if you've got voltage adjustments the stated timings won't really be used anyway.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/CustratingReview.asp?Item...
November 4, 2006 7:01:06 PM

I am interested in that G.SKILL 4-4-4-12 RAM as well, does anyone else have an opinion on it?
November 4, 2006 7:12:27 PM

The ram on my wishlist? I was talking about the 5-5-5-15 ram that Shabodah was suggesting....
November 4, 2006 7:34:53 PM

The 7600GS is a great card for the money & a good choice of processor
!