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C2D 1gb single-channel vs. AM2 X2 2gb dual-channel

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February 2, 2007 4:31:14 PM

For gaming performance.

I know, this is a rather perposterous comparison but bear with me. This is the length at which C2D zeloutry has come to. People are actually recommending sacrificing a gig of ram and running in single channel to finance an "upgrade" to C2D.

I call bull. Am I crazy?

Feel free to make up your own compartive examples, but I'll throw one out their for starters:

e4300 with a decent OC to 3.1ghz using one stick 1gb of DDR2-800
vs.
X2 3800+ windsor mild OC to 2.2ghz using two sticks of the same ram

So clearly the C2D system has a ton more processing power here, that's a given and not really the point of my question. Doesn't the AM2 system have a ton more memory bandwidth and lower memory latencies due to higher clock AND HyperTransport to boot making it at least as good at many, if not most, games?

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People are also encouraging downgrading GFX cards to "upgrade" from AM2 to C2D on a budget. My reaction is that this is some of the poorest advice for building a gaming rig I have ever heard. Am I completely out of touch with reality or am I right in thinking that the C2D zeloutry needs to be checked? Intel uses a FSB-dependent architecture. If you run in single channel you choke it, no?

If you've got the money go for it and get C2D. You'll get up to 30% or more peformance for as little as 10% more money if you can get a decent OC. If you've got the money why are you even considering a low-end CPU+mobo anyway? But downgrade your RAM and/or GFX card to get C2D at the same price, that's crazy talk.

Links to benches appreciated, but who benches C2D in single channel?
February 2, 2007 5:06:03 PM

Can you give specific examples, links to these threads?
February 2, 2007 5:23:01 PM

well, I did already link to one example. You can pretty much look at any build thread on this forum that didn't start out with C2D in it already and see similar things. Or any thread trying to build a budget system.

But more importantly I want the question in the title answered more then a scrutiny of C2D mania. I mean, if the C2D really does perform well in games even in single channel the side-arguments about C2D being erroneously over-applauded become somewhat irrelevant as it would appear that this example isn't incorrect afterall. But I'm fairly certain that it is.

The 2gb vs 1gb could be seperated out into a different argument but most people are beginning to accept that you want 2gb dual-channel for a gaming rig unless you plan on running very, very clean single-tasking environment (but if you're running a very clean system you don't really need dual-core to play video games either which further complicates and side-lines the argument).

I don't think that there is anyone who thinks that you won't want 2gb in dual-channel with multi-core a year from now, but I suppose there is some room for debate for today which is why I started this thread.
February 2, 2007 5:31:03 PM

I think you're correct to say that if you're looking for short term game performance, downgrading your 3d card in order to get a C2D is a bad idea. If you are looking for upgradeablility maybe not. But I think that the C2D w/ 1 gig compared to the X2 with 2 gigs is a very close call, and I would go with the C2D just because its so easy to grab another gig of ram in the future and throw it in, at which point the C2D is obviously better.
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