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Maxed CPUs - Impossible to Obtain!

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December 28, 2006 3:26:29 AM

I've been watching the 4800 X2 (socket 939) drop all the way to around $300 on Newegg, and then; it was gone!

It reminds me of my previous desire to purchase a 3.06 GHz P4, the only processor you could use with a 533 bus with hyperthreading (800 proc's would only run at half clock speed without any hope of a bios update) that ultimately was abandoned (the 2x512MB sticks of RDRAM 1066 are laying around someplace, an expensive lesson).

I ordered an X2 4400 (OEM) because it was the last processor I could buy from NewEgg that had two cores, 1MB cache (per core), and fit in to my socket 939. DDR2? Ha! I am as willing to upgrade to DDR2 with it's crappy memory timings as I was to abandon my über expensive RDRAM (my P4 2.26 was an upgrade from a P3-800).

Not all of us can buy-out an entire system. For those like me, buying a CPU, new memory, and a new mobo happens once every two or three years tops. The cool stuff doesn't really come out until the end of a platform's running. By the time you're able to buy it there aren't any trustworthy vendors to buy it out (retail with the warranty).

Thankfully the 4400 is an example of a reasonable last minute upgrade. Sure it's OEM but I'm running a 3500 which I can use if I have to do an RMA. But the main point is that not all of us can afford the latest and greatest, but the greatest becomes completely impossible to get ahold of (at a reasonable price) by the time it's price comes down to most people's levels of affordability (in regards to also acquiring other components). Also I have the cache and can OC the extra 200MHz if I really need to. For me the cache is more important as it's better with number crunching. My 754/3200/1MB gobbled up 100 MB access logs via Awstats in about 15 seconds versus a full minute on my 3500/939/512K that is 200MHz faster.

There is another question, if the top components are in higher demand how come Intel and AMD don't produce more of those parts?
December 28, 2006 3:32:02 AM

"There is another question, if the top components are in higher demand how come Intel and AMD don't produce more of those parts?"

Either they lack the capacity, or they're doing it to keep prices high.

If they produce high and not enough end up buying they take hits left and right. If they under produce just enough to have vendors keep a decent turnover, everyone wins. Except the consumer in the beginnnig, but there are prices that must be paid for innovation and keeping things moving.

Edit: Oh yeah, my computer has it's maxed out chip. Cost twenty dollars off of eBay. Kinda nice that CPUs bottom out to about that price. Eventually even something like the QX6700 will be $20.
December 28, 2006 3:44:38 AM

I hear you. Anyone who has built 1 system can build a great new system now with big dollars! It's not really rocket science, though it is fun.

A harder art is to build smart, efficient in terms of dollars! You have to admire someone who can make their old computer perform very nearly as well as a new system for a lot less money!

Like how many people understand the human eye cannot distinguish frames rates above around 65-70.

200 fps and 70 fps are exactly the same to the eye!

My hats off to all those who look at the real issues in performance.

It's just harder to do, and takes more reading and thinking. But it's easier on the wallet.
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December 28, 2006 4:25:33 AM

The problem is....waiting. You are waiting to see if the 4800 will drop....just a little more, then buy it. That's gambling. We've all known since AMD said they were discontinuing s939 production, that parts would get scarce. It's just all in how much you want to gamble. You gambled, and lost. If you really wanted it badly enough....you would have grabbed it before it dropped to $300... somehow....if that was way out of your price-range...then you were dreaming. :wink:
a b à CPUs
December 28, 2006 4:28:47 AM

I just posted this on yet another X2 thread, so here ya go...

Since your question refers to an X2...it never ceases to amaze me that once again, no one has mentioned AMD's well kept secret CPU...the Opteron!

X2 Manchester Core 4200, 4600 & 5000 = 512Kb L2 Cache - fair choice.

X2 Toledo Core 4000, 4400, 4800 & FX-60 = 1Mb L2 Cache - good choice.

Opteron Denmark Core 165 thru 185 = 1Mb L2 Cache - best choice.

Although the dual core 165's thru 185's are marketed as Denmark cores, CPU-Z will identify them as Toledo cores, which is the same core as the X2 4000, 4400, 4800 and FX-60. Essentially, the 939 X2 4400 @ 2.2Ghz is the desktop counterpart of the Opteron 175 @ 2.2Ghz. The Opteron 1xx series have 1Mb L2 cache per core, and they use standard DDR unregistered, non-parity memory, so the only difference other than price, is that the Opteron is a server / workstation class processor.

Opterons are more stringently fabricated, tested, selected and binned for stability, and are yielded from "cleaner" silicon semiconductor material. They operate at lower voltages and temperatures per clock, as compared with their X2 desktop conterparts, which make the Opterons the best overclockers. The 170 is statistically the highest overclocker, often achieving 50% on high end air cooling.

The overclocking limit for clean 90 nanometer dual core AMD's is about 3.05Ghz. Of course, they're all unique, and there are always exceptions. My previous rig was an Opteron 170 @ 3.0Ghz. It's an excellent CPU, and an inexpensive equivalent to the 2.8Ghz FX-62 Flagship chip. Opteron 170's are currently selling for $188.99, the X2 4400's are $199.99, and the Opteron 175's are $228.00.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Hope this helps, and good luck! :D 
December 28, 2006 4:46:37 AM

1Tanker, I didn't really appreciate the reply. CompuTronix, yours was more useful and my only concern is in regards to usage, are there any downsides to certain types of usage between a consumer AMD and an Opteron processor? For example I game occasionally (Elder Scrolls IV, Heroes V, and WOW).
a b à CPUs
December 28, 2006 5:06:44 AM

Quote:
my only concern is in regards to usage, are there any downsides to certain types of usage between a consumer AMD and an Opteron processor?


There is no downside. Here it is again...

Although the dual core 165's thru 185's are marketed as Denmark cores, CPU-Z will identify them as Toledo cores, which is the same core as the X2 4000, 4400, 4800 and FX-60.

The Opteron 1xx series have 1Mb L2 cache per core, and they use standard DDR unregistered, non-parity memory, so the only difference other than price, is that the Opteron is a server / workstation class processor.

Opterons are more stringently fabricated, tested, selected and binned for stability, and are yielded from "cleaner" silicon semiconductor material. They operate at lower voltages and temperatures per clock, as compared with their X2 desktop conterparts, which make the Opterons the best overclockers.

You can't buy a better AMD processor! :D 
December 28, 2006 5:29:57 AM

Quote:

There is another question, if the top components are in higher demand how come Intel and AMD don't produce more of those parts?


You presented some interesting thoughts, however your post seemed very rambling and I fail to see any point to it besides this last question.

I'm not sure what your getting at, you ask about top of the line components but a socket 939 4800 isn't a top of the line component. Perhaps you were specifically referring to socket 939 top of the line components, in which case as far as AMD is concerned i agree with you that it would be nice if they made more 4800's but AMD's capacity is already stretched to the limit. Why make 4800's when you can make more profit if you manufacture FX-76's instead?
December 28, 2006 6:04:03 AM

Quote:
1Tanker, I didn't really appreciate the reply. CompuTronix, yours was more useful and my only concern is in regards to usage, are there any downsides to certain types of usage between a consumer AMD and an Opteron processor? For example I game occasionally (Elder Scrolls IV, Heroes V, and WOW).
It sounded to me like you were complaining about prices dropping, then boom!...the CPU's were sold out. Read the thread title. Am i wrong?
December 28, 2006 6:48:25 AM

Quote:

There is another question...


I think that he thinks there was a question before this in there somewhere. I agree, all I saw was complaining.
December 28, 2006 11:45:51 AM

Always a good point for value seekers! THANKS.

Now, I'm very curious, did you get to run that opteron with a Raptor and the X1900XT?? If so, how did it compare to your new system? That would be interesting!
a c 478 à CPUs
December 28, 2006 12:51:03 PM

Quote:
1Tanker, I didn't really appreciate the reply.


1Tanker was merely pointing out reality to you. It doesn't help with your current situation, but the moral of the story is don't wait too long to buy any product that has been publicly announced to be phased out of production.
a c 87 à CPUs
December 28, 2006 1:21:54 PM

Quote:

Opterons are more stringently fabricated, tested, selected and binned for stability, and are yielded from "cleaner" silicon semiconductor material. They operate at lower voltages and temperatures per clock, as compared with their X2 desktop conterparts, which make the Opterons the best overclockers.



Not quite. They are made at the same time, with the same silicon as the rest of the AMD chips. They are simply binned from voltage/performance. Those that run on lower voltages, hense put out less heat, are then sold as Opterons. They are not made from different silicon, they are not made at a different time from the rest of the chips. When the chips come out, the top X% are sold as Opterons, nothing more.

Because of the lower voltage/heat, they do make sweet overclocking chips.
December 28, 2006 1:34:59 PM

Quote:
I am as willing to upgrade to DDR2 with it's crappy memory timings as I was to abandon my über expensive RDRAM (my P4 2.26 was an upgrade from a P3-800).


Not all DDR2 has crappy timings. Mine is running at DDR2-720 3-3-3-12, that may be 3 clock cycles, but that's faster in terms of nanoseconds than DDR1-400 2-2-2-8.

Hell, there is even Corsair Dominator DDR2-1111 @ 4-4-4-12. the same latency as DDR1-555 @ 2-2-2-6.

I don't think there was ever DDR1 memory of those speeds.
December 28, 2006 2:20:25 PM

Quote:

There is another question, if the top components are in higher demand how come Intel and AMD don't produce more of those parts?


You presented some interesting thoughts, however your post seemed very rambling and I fail to see any point to it besides this last question.

I'm not sure what your getting at, you ask about top of the line components but a socket 939 4800 isn't a top of the line component. Perhaps you were specifically referring to socket 939 top of the line components, in which case as far as AMD is concerned i agree with you that it would be nice if they made more 4800's but AMD's capacity is already stretched to the limit. Why make 4800's when you can make more profit if you manufacture FX-76's instead?

It is not about demand or capacity, it is about market. And the market is driven by OEM. And OEM demand DDR2 and latest stuff that cost less that outdated stuff, no matter the demand by enthusiasts.

Now, you know why Intel and AMD don't make anything that uses ddr1 memory.. The market is now at ddr2.
December 28, 2006 2:27:20 PM

Quote:
the moral of the story is don't wait too long to buy any product that has been publicly announced to be phased out of production.


I made this mistake too and missed out on a x2 4800. The only reason I hadn't looked into Opterons earlier was that I presumed they'd be too expensive. I ended up getting an Opty 180 for less than what I'd have paid for the 4800, had it been in stock. :D 
December 30, 2006 5:12:39 AM

I'm sorry if my reply seemed a bit harsh. My intent wasn't to berate you, just to explain why/how this happens, and it does happen to lot's of people. :wink: It's also quite true that most people try and wait for the lowest price they can get(or highest...if selling something). It also never seems to fail, that when we buy something...the damn thing is on sale 2 weeks later for a cheaper price...and we end up kicking our butts.
December 30, 2006 6:18:54 PM

I read an article somewhere that said because of the multiplier and the memory a 4600 was faster than a 4800 in some situations. I think that was for am2 chips though.
a b à CPUs
December 30, 2006 6:23:53 PM

Regardless of socket, the 3800, 4200, 4600 & 5000 are all 512Kb cache per core, so they don't measure up to Opterons in two ways; cache and overclocking.
December 31, 2006 3:52:55 AM

Quote:
I read an article somewhere that said because of the multiplier and the memory a 4600 was faster than a 4800 in some situations. I think that was for am2 chips though.
The Brisbane(65nm) 4800+ gets beaten by the Windsor(90nm) 4600+ on most benchmarks(due to Brisbanes higher cache latency...20 cycles vs 12). :wink:
December 31, 2006 7:19:18 AM

Oh ok, yeah thats right, thanks for clearing that up. I got it all backwards...
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