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Athlon vs Sempron

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December 5, 2006 3:06:57 AM

all right, i know that the athlon is the better one, but my question is:

the difference of performance is so big? Sempron have lower price, maybe saving some bucks in the choice of a cpu, and spending more in the gpu and memory, the system will become better for games

More about : athlon sempron

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December 5, 2006 3:45:20 AM

In playing games the semprons are worse because they have half the L2 cache of the athlons. For word processing and surfing the net the difference is not perceptible. Dont cripple a gaming system with a sempron just to get a few more $ for a gpu. Just spend more.
December 5, 2006 4:06:49 AM

I second that. L2 cache is pretty handy, and the Athlon's don't have a huge amount to begin with, so halving that is really crippling your CPU as far as gaming is concerned. If you're on a tight budget, get, say, an Athlon 3200+ instead of a Sempron 3500+.
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December 5, 2006 4:30:27 AM

i am very tight budget,

let me put that way

which one will play better?

Sempron am2 3200+ (worst cpu)
1 giga ram
evga 7600gt KO (better gpu)

or

Athlon am2 3200+ (better cpu)
1 giga ram
evga 7600gs (worst gpu)

same mobo for the 2 configs
December 5, 2006 4:37:32 AM

Can you tell us whats your total budget and also the price of those parts?
December 5, 2006 4:48:03 AM

Quote:
Can you tell us whats your total budget and also the price of those parts?


well here in Brazil we dont use dollars, soh the price may be High for you guys

Sempron am2 3200+ (worst cpu) R$ 199.00
1 giga ram R$ 300,00
evga 7600gt KO (better gpu) R$650,00

or

Athlon am2 3200+ (better cpu) R$ 299.00
1 giga ram R$ 300,00
evga 7600gs (worst gpu) R$500,00
December 5, 2006 4:48:28 AM

I'm sorry, it doesn't work that way. Some games, especially strategy games are very cache intensive. Most shooters are more gpu intensive.
There are exceptions to bothe, but if you play stategy games, go with the A64, for most FPS games, the sempron, with a better gfx card would be my choice.
December 5, 2006 4:51:47 AM

so to me the best choice is for the best gpu!
December 5, 2006 5:01:01 AM

Quote:
Can you tell us whats your total budget and also the price of those parts?


well here in Brazil we dont use dollars, soh the price may be High for you guys

Sempron am2 3200+ (worst cpu) R$ 199.00
1 giga ram R$ 300,00
evga 7600gt KO (better gpu) R$650,00

or

Athlon am2 3200+ (better cpu) R$ 299.00
1 giga ram R$ 300,00
evga 7600gs (worst gpu) R$500,00
So those are the Brazilian prices right?
December 5, 2006 5:25:27 AM

Given your situation, I'd still get the athlon 3200+ and the 7600gs. Your system will be faster overall and more upgradable in the future.
December 5, 2006 7:01:59 AM

Quote:
So those are the Brazilian prices right?


yes 1 dollar equals R$ 2,50

Quote:
Your system will be faster overall


are you completely shure about that? my games will run faster too?
December 5, 2006 3:19:05 PM

The problem with the Sempron, as others have pointed out is it only has 128KB of L2 cache vs 512KB for the Athlon. This will really cripple your system if it's used for any cpu intensive games.

While the 7600GT is quite a bit faster than a 7600GS, if your budget is that tight, you probably will benefit more from the much better processor.

Too bad parts are so expensive where you're at. Here there'd be no reason to even consider a $59.99 Sempron as an Athlon 3200 can be had for only $20 more (S79.99 on Newegg).
December 5, 2006 3:26:50 PM

Quote:
The problem with the Sempron, as others have pointed out is it only has 128KB of L2 cache vs 512KB for the Athlon. This will really cripple your system if it's used for any cpu intensive games.

While the 7600GT is quite a bit faster than a 7600GS, if your budget is that tight, you probably will benefit more from the much better processor.

Too bad parts are so expensive where you're at. Here there'd be no reason to even consider a $59.99 Sempron as an Athlon 3200 can be had for only $20 more (S79.99 on Newegg).


I thought the Semprons had 256kb of cache? Maybe not.

The K8 architecture, especially on AM2, isn't very dependent on cache according to 512kb vs. 1mb differences, but I don't know how lower than that competes.

edit - also, the clock speed is different between the two. I say go for the Athlon.
December 5, 2006 4:04:57 PM

Quote:
The problem with the Sempron, as others have pointed out is it only has 128KB of L2 cache vs 512KB for the Athlon. This will really cripple your system if it's used for any cpu intensive games.

While the 7600GT is quite a bit faster than a 7600GS, if your budget is that tight, you probably will benefit more from the much better processor.

Too bad parts are so expensive where you're at. Here there'd be no reason to even consider a $59.99 Sempron as an Athlon 3200 can be had for only $20 more (S79.99 on Newegg).
Don't forget, if he has the proper HW, he can overclock the CPU, and the video card as well. :wink:
December 5, 2006 6:44:01 PM

well thanks for that review, now i m more convict that the sempron is a better choice, at least at my Poor Brazil CPU doesnt make much difference , In FEAR, the best game for me! i m surprised with the fps, is almost the same

Quote:


Don't forget, if he has the proper HW, he can overclock the CPU, and the video card as well


i will overclock my sempron at least to 2,4ghz that will make him a sempron @4000+


Quote:

Too bad parts are so expensive where you're at. Here there'd be no reason to even consider a $59.99 Sempron as an Athlon 3200 can be had for only $20 more (S79.99 on Newegg).


well thats my reality hehehe , here a sempron is a good choice!

thanks for everybody
December 5, 2006 6:46:40 PM

That's not much of a surprise, FEAR runs like pretty smoothly (33fps avg) on my Pentium III 1GHz with a 9600XT on medium graphics, minimum CPU settings. That is, FEAR is VERY GPU intensive.
December 5, 2006 6:55:50 PM

Semprons are slower and more expencive than Athlon64 CPUs. AMD PR rating for Sempron is fake compared to Athlon64.

http://www.amd.com/gb-uk/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_609,00.html
Sempron 3800+ (64-bit, 2.2GHz, 256KB L2 cache, 1600MHz HyperTransport bus, AM2) $108
Sempron 3500+ (64-bit, 2.0GHz, 128KB L2 cache, 1600MHz HyperTransport bus, AM2) $91

Athlon 64 3800+ (64-bit, 2.4GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 2000MHz HyperTransport bus, AM2 and 939) $108
Athlon 64 3500+ (64-bit, 2.2GHz, 512KB L2 cache, 2000MHz HyperTransport bus, AM2 and 939) $91

For example, the Athlon64 3500+ is faster for everything and cheaper than the Sempron 3800+.

Both Athlon64 3800+ and 3500+ outperform both Sempron 3800+ and 3500+, but their pricing is same for the same PR number.

I don't know what is wrong with those people from AMD who are making those unreasonable pricing lists, but if you have to decide forget Sempron, and get Athlon64.
December 5, 2006 7:01:40 PM

i think you are wrong ! sempron has a better price!!! at least in My Country ! i leave in Brazil! and the real difference in games will be decided for gpu!
December 5, 2006 7:03:43 PM

Ok, now I saw the pricing you have there. Better to have better GPU for gaming.
December 5, 2006 7:05:51 PM

You're right about the Sempron naming; it's crap but they say it is compared to the CeleronD performance, not P4 as Athlons are supposed to be.
December 5, 2006 7:14:44 PM

Quote:
In playing games the semprons are worse because they have half the L2 cache of the athlons. For word processing and surfing the net the difference is not perceptible. Dont cripple a gaming system with a sempron just to get a few more $ for a gpu. Just spend more.


Not true. I score exactly the same or above similiarly clocked A64's, the cache makes little difference. I play lots of the latest games, BF2, BF2142, COH, etc. Not a hickup. Ram is more important.

Funny how back when they first introduced caches the performance increased tremendously...
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December 6, 2006 3:45:09 AM

Yea, coz amd chips have the onboard mem controller and core 2 doesnt. Therefore it needs to offset this disadvantage with a massive cache and a quad-pumped FSB. I remember the days of DDR (you know what I mean, double-pumped if you want it reworded) FSBs of 200Mhz, and even further back to 66mhz. I havent lived long enough to go much further back :) 
December 7, 2006 12:31:56 AM

Quote:
Yea for some reason on the AMD chips cache is nowhere near as important as it is for the Core 2's.


That sounds like FUD. Until we get our hands on the 400 series Celerons and the 2xxx series Pentiums, we won't know how much cache is necessary on the core 2 architecture. As it stands right now, the difference between an Allendale and a Conroe in terms of performance due to cache is minor (a max of 10%improvement for Divx, but the average being 3.5%)

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=279...

Quote:
Not true. I score exactly the same or above similiarly clocked A64's, the cache makes little difference. I play lots of the latest games, BF2, BF2142, COH, etc. Not a hickup. Ram is more important.


Agreed about the Sempron, for the most part (there is a small performance hit due to the smaller cache, but it's minor), but the deal about more ram is another performance myth. 1GB of ram is perfect for most games. Even 512MB is passable if you're on a super tight budget.





December 7, 2006 2:16:34 AM

[code:1:401a6719c0]1GB of ram is perfect for most games. Even 512MB is passable if you're on a super tight budget. [/code:1:401a6719c0]

well thats sounds true, most games dont need 2 giga o ram, but in cases like Fear you can see that the game settings are inmedium quality, if you put that on the maximum settings you will really need 2 giga,


about the sempron vs athlon , i already decided, Sempron will be my cpu
December 7, 2006 2:58:49 AM

Quote:
[code:1:1f5e20466b]1GB of ram is perfect for most games. Even 512MB is passable if you're on a super tight budget. [/code:1:1f5e20466b]

well thats sounds true, most games dont need 2 giga o ram, but in cases like Fear you can see that the game settings are inmedium quality, if you put that on the maximum settings you will really need 2 giga,


about the sempron vs athlon , i already decided, Sempron will be my cpu


Not true.

I only have 1GB of ram and am able to play fear on high settings just fine. The only thing making me want more ram on that game are the loading times and the wait to go back to desktop when I'm done, as fear does take up around 600-700MB of my memory. Some games like BF2 will benefit more from 2GB, but in most cases, you'd be better off spending the money on a decent videocard and cpu and then worrying about having more than 1GB.
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December 7, 2006 3:39:53 AM

Those graphs are all well and good, but fps isnt everything. Smoothness is what you get with more RAM, especially in bf2. 512mb for bf2 = more occasional and more frequent jerks, but generally the same framerate as 1gb or 2gb. I would rather lower fps but have it smooth than high fps. So for bf2 at least, you want 1gb. FEAR, not so sure about, but I did try it with 384mb once and a 978mhz athlon k7 and geforce 4 ti 4400. Was pausing to page every time I opened a door or did anything really and was generally slow on low settings (probably due to proc but RAM was cause of paging).
December 7, 2006 4:12:11 AM

Agreed. I wasn't recommending using only 512MB of ram for a gaming rig, I was just pointing out that even with as little as 512MB of ram, playing a newer videogame is doable. Sure, you will experience some areas in the game where the frame rates drop abysmally low, but on 512MB ram, 75% of the BF2 demo Tom's hardware ran still got over 60 fps, something to consider.

December 7, 2006 4:18:47 AM

i know that you can play just fine, but if you put an extra giga you can play just great
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December 7, 2006 4:22:56 AM

Its not just the dip in framerate because your in a highly intense shootout :D  but the split second jerky lag that is experienced when you have not enough RAM.
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