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Decided on a 8800GT & X2 5600+,runs great..But the cpu cores seem hot

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April 23, 2008 3:08:43 AM

Hi guys

Well it seems I've grown tired of some of my games bogging down with low
fp2, so I'm thinking of a new card.

After seen the 8800gts on Newegg for about $140 (with a $30 rebate) I just about wet myself lol

It's been a while since I priced out cards and had no clue that prices had dropped that low for a 88xx card.

But while reading different site reviews I also came across the new 9600 card.

Though it's reduced in several areas it still seemed to hold up pretty well in the bench tests I've seen.

One thing is my current monitor tops out at 1280x1024 85hz which I'm fine with for a while. So I don't "need" a ton of memory for the high def settings.

Basically looking for the best bang for the buck...and I'm thinking that the 8800gts card is going to be hard to beat in that category so I thought I'd toss out the question here to the experts

Any opinion or view is quite welcome (as always)

Regards

MC

Here's a few links on both cards for any that are interested


9600 GT 512mb - $159.99 (after rebate)

- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130328
- http://www.digit-life.com/articles3/...g94-part1.html
- http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3234

8800 GTS 320mb - $114.99 (after rebate)

- http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82E16814130082
- http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2953&p=6
- http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/416/
- http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/articl...50aHVzaWFzdA==

OR for a bit more headroom for future resolutions or mem intensive games:

GeForce 8800GTS SSC 640MB - $199.00 (after rebate)

- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130317

If you wanted the "best" card for the "best" price which card do you think falls into the best price/performance ratio?

OR, should I wait and see how some of the higher end 8800 cards drop once the 9xxx series really gets going?

What say you?

thx
April 23, 2008 3:32:43 AM

WAIT WAIT WAIT

If you can wait for 2 more months, new cards from ATI and Nvidia are coming out. ATI (AMD) is releasing the 4850 and 4870, which double the number of ROPs (a supposed bottleneck on the 38xx) and increase stream processors by 50%. That may mean the cards are 50% faster while selling for under $300 (supposed target).

Nvidia is also due to the release the 9900GT sometime around July, which will be the GT200 chip. It will be expensive (rumor of $500), but it will drive the cost of current cards down.
Related resources
April 23, 2008 3:36:04 AM

It's gonna be more than 2 months before Nvidia releases the 9000's. It's scheduled for Q3 minus delays. Depends on what res you game on. If you do high res you sure as heck don't want a weak 320 gts. The 8800GT's are about as low as you're gonna see them even after a 9000 series launch.
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 3:51:48 AM

Here is how I look at it:
8800gts (g92) 512mb>8800gt (g92) 512mb>9600gt
I'd get an eVga card, since you can use their 90 day "Step Up" program, if needed. This might buy you some time until the newer GPU's from nVidia come out. Otherwise the Limited Lifetime warranty is a good reason to buy eVga.
At a minimum I'd go with the 9600gt followed by the 8800gts (g92) 512mb card. The 8800gt is nice, but if you don't get one with a better cooling solution than I would rather have the cooler and faster 8800gts (g92). Rumor also has it that AMD might be bringing out their newer GPU's sooner than later, might be within a couple of weeks. This might/might not change nVidia's prices. Time will tell.
April 23, 2008 4:11:04 AM

So for even at near just $114 you wouldn't bump up to the 8800gts 320? My monitor is maxed at 1280x1026 85hz (Samsung 700ift crt) so I'm not worried about the rez atm.

Would the performance boost from the 7800GS be noticeable?

Then maybe 6 months or so I could see where the prices are...

Hard to decide, there's always something better on the horizon, these cards just seemed like a good price for a better card than I have atm you know ;) 
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 4:56:36 AM

OK, so you have a 7800GS AGP, but now you are buying a PCI-e card for a new rig (or mobo that supports both)?

Forget the 8800GTS 640MB SSC. It peforms like an 8800GT for more money.

Depending what you want to spend, sticking to NV, the G92 8800GTS 512MB would be best, then the 8800GT, then the 9600GT, then the 8800GS. All 4 are great for the money. Here are some options starting at about $100 and going up:

Better than the 320MB GTS for less money $110 shipped AR:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Then the 9600GT (oodles to choose from) is a bit better with fsaa.

Next is the 8800GT 512MB with sweet Quad cooler or cheaper reference cooler:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

One step up is the 8800GTS 512MB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Oh, and prices are so freakin' amazing now (in the USA anyway) I just can't understand anyone saying wait. If $100-200 is your price range, there has never been a better time to buy as prices have dropped and the table is stacked with great performers throughout that price range.
April 23, 2008 11:06:40 AM

Looks like your budget is quite, small.
I think the 9600gt is a better buy than the old 8800gts's.
Or just wait a few months till the 9900 or the 4800s come out, then everything's gonna change.
Price too!
a c 1399 U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 1:14:36 PM

7800GS is AGP. All the cards you are looking at are PCI-e. Do you have a MB that runs both?
April 23, 2008 1:17:13 PM

Thanks a lot guys for the suggestions and info :) 

It's not that my budget is "that" small, it's just that the surprisingly low price for the 8800 gts 320 really caught my eye and got me excited about the prospect of a better card for a great price.

Then I began digging a bit further and found a few more that seemed like similar good deals.

I normally stay a year or so out from the top line cards, till the prices fall between 2-3 hundred...so $114 (AR) looked like a steal for a good 8800 card.

This is my current setup:

/ASRock 939 Dual/AMD 64 4000+/G.SKILL 2GB DDR 400 (PC 3200)/eVGA 7800GS/500GB Seagate 16MB cache/200GB Seagate 8MB cache/80GB WD SE 8MB cache/Lite-On DVDRW SOHW-1693S/400w RaidMax PS/Windows XP Pro SP2

and yes my mobo will accept pci x16, I'm assuming that the new 2.0 backward compatibility would also work with the new cards, not as much bandwidth perhaps but "compatible" I hope. If not it would give me a great excuse to get a new system ;) 

Again thank you for the info, I'll hopefully decide something by the end of the day.

Basically do I want a cheap stepping stone or something better for a bit more heh

Decisions, decisions....

Regards

MC
April 23, 2008 1:21:02 PM

mrcairo said:
Thanks a lot guys for the suggestions and info :) 

It's not that my budget is "that" small, it's just that the surprisingly low price for the 8800 gts 320 really caught my eye and got me excited about the prospect of a better card for a great price.

Then I began digging a bit further and found a few more that seemed like similar good deals.

I normally stay a year or so out from the top line cards, till the prices fall between 2-3 hundred...so $114 (AR) looked like a steal for a good 8800 card.

This is my current setup:

/ASRock 939 Dual/AMD 64 4000+/G.SKILL 2GB DDR 400 (PC 3200)/eVGA 7800GS/500GB Seagate 16MB cache/200GB Seagate 8MB cache/80GB WD SE 8MB cache/Lite-On DVDRW SOHW-1693S/400w RaidMax PS/Windows XP Pro SP2

and yes my mobo will accept pci x16, I'm assuming that the new 2.0 backward compatibility would also work with the new cards, not as much bandwidth perhaps but "compatible" I hope. If not it would give me a great excuse to get a new system ;) 

Again thank you for the info, I'll hopefully decide something by the end of the day.

Basically do I want a cheap stepping stone or something better for a bit more heh

Decisions, decisions....

Regards

MC


Yes, pcie2.0 is fully backward compatible. Besides, 8000s Nvidia cards still use only pcie1.1, so it's fine.
April 23, 2008 2:33:34 PM

http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/02/g80-vs-g92-hi-end-ge...

I love this article :D 

Basically, the 8800GS is untouchable for 100 bucks, but the extra bill on an 8800GT gives tangible yet debatably worth-while increases. Hopefully scanning these vast and thorough charts for 1280x1024 results will help you make up your mind.
April 23, 2008 2:40:13 PM

9600gt or 8800gs
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 3:51:30 PM

mrcairo said:

This is my current setup:

/ASRock 939 Dual/AMD 64 4000+/G.SKILL 2GB DDR 400 (PC 3200)/eVGA 7800GS/500GB Seagate 16MB cache/200GB Seagate 8MB cache/80GB WD SE 8MB cache/Lite-On DVDRW SOHW-1693S/400w RaidMax PS/Windows XP Pro SP2

and yes my mobo will accept pci x16, I'm assuming that the new 2.0 backward compatibility would also work with the new cards, not as much bandwidth perhaps but "compatible" I hope. If not it would give me a great excuse to get a new system ;) 

Hey I Have two of those mobos myself. You may be interested to know in One I have an 8800GS and have been testing CPU performance between the A64 4000+, X2 4200+, and tonight I'll be installing the AM2 daughter card and testing an X2 5600+ in it. Quite the upgraders mobo supporting native AGP 8X, PCI-e16x, S939 and socket AM2.

Anyway, with S939 X2 dual cores so rare and expensive, and DDR2 much cheaper than DDR, I wanted to look into just what the AM2 X2 + DDR2 upgrade will do for the single core 939 Dual Sata II owner. An AM2 5600+ and 2GB GDDR2 and the daughter card combine are about the cost of a S939 X2 4800+ now. And the used PC3200 should bring in enough money to buy 2GB new PC6400, lowing the upgrade cost more. A whole new system is always an option too, but not everyone wants to go through a new build, OS, and software install if all they need to do is a quick CPU/mem upgrade.


April 23, 2008 4:23:51 PM

Wow that Chart was very detailed and exactly what I needed!

Thx JuiceJones :) 

After looking over the data and checking out newegg I decided to go with a 8800 GT 512mb!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After the rebate it's $159 but from the looks of the tests it has quite a bit more power and ability than the 8800 gts card. (the large mem helps i'm sure)

It also will allow me the "ability" to game at a higher rez if I choose to get a new monitor.

If not, I should see very playable (hopefully improved) FPS in my games that I play at 1280x1024

Will be fun to check the numbers and see the real difference between it and my 7800 GS :) 

Again TY to all who replied, every little bit helped and that chart was amazing!

Now I'll need to check my PSU and make sure I have enough power on my 12v rail ;) 

Should have the card by the weekend, I'll keep you posted.

Regards 2 All

MC
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 5:13:11 PM

The 8800GT is nice and will help some in most games for sure. At 12x10 resolution, you will very often be CPU limited with that single core CPU. I think you may have had very similar 12x10 performance on that system with a $100 8800GS. Anyway, crank the FSAA & AF levels to best take advantage of that new card. Good luck.
April 23, 2008 6:48:09 PM

Yea I was actually thinking the same, but I'm hoping that this will give me a bit more head room for the future, if and when I get a new LCD. And the added pipes and memory will hopefully help with the more memory intensive games.

I was comfortable with spending $50 more (or so) to have a little more freedom.

This should tide me over till I build a new system that will then be able to utilize the card to it's full potential ;) 

That's cool that you have 2 of the ASRock boards, I've had nothing but good luck with it. Actually took a gamble and bought it from newegg "refurbished" for $39 lol

Was prepared for it to go either way, but it worked perfect from the first boot :) 

Seeing that you have some experience with the board, what would you recommend as the proper steps to switch from AGP to the PCIe slot?

Should I change out the card 1st and then go into the bios to change to PCIe when booting?

Need to check the manual and see if there's a jumper that needs to be switched as well, I know there is for cpu, not sure about the video slots.

Any thoughts would be appreciated :) 

Regards

MC
a b U Graphics card
April 23, 2008 9:15:03 PM

The switch is simple. No jumpers. Uninstall the NV display drivers, shut down, swap the cards, boot up, and install the new NV display drivers. To be honest, the bios setting is just for primary display...as in if you have multiple cards installed, which should be the primary display device. With one card, you could have it set to PCI, and still boot & run an AGP or PCI-e card fine. I do liek to uninstall the Uli AGP drivers though if not using an AGP card. SHould be fine either way though.

BTW, new pics just in. Here is the AM2 upgrade card, with retail X2 5600+ and 2GB Corsair PC6400....ready to install. This requires switching jumpers but is a piece of cake.


And the switch was effortless, already had the latest bios and the Am2 X2 5600+ was recognized no problem. Sweetness, and a relief, as the 5600+ isn't on the official support list.


Anyway, already ran some 3dmarks and super pi. Tonight I'll start testing it in some games.

April 23, 2008 10:44:28 PM

VERY nice! 2.8ghz X2 for about $130 is impressive :) 

Now I just might have one more upgrade before I switch mobo's lol

Do share your game findings, I and I'm sure other's would be interesting in hearing what kind of gains you experience.

btw what was you 3DMark score?

I'll have to do that myself when I get the new card in. Thank you for the pointers on swapping them out, sounds like it'll be very easy. Glad you mentioned the drivers, probably would have forgot about that in my haste ;) 

Looks like I'll be picking up a new PSU as well, my Raidmax 400w (which i've ran for years) only has 15.0A on the +12 rail :( 

Don't think I want to chance that heh

Regards and thanks again, do let us/me know how things go with your new setup!

MC

PS - did you have any trouble with the heatsink between the cpu socket and the am2 slot? looks like it would be a bit tight ;) 
a b U Graphics card
April 24, 2008 12:14:28 AM

I'll post performance when I get some testing done. There is no issue using the stock retail AM2 heatsink/fan; You don't even have to remove the old S939 retention mechanism which was nice (didn't have to pull mobo out). Larger aftermarket coolers could cause a problem (both size and weight). There is also quite a bit more space between the PCI-e card and the CPU upgrade card than I imagined there would be.

I really like the Antec Earthwatts PSU's. QUiet, quality(made by seasonic) and decent 12v for the price. The 430W has 30 amps on the 12v, which is plenty for an 8800GT. 15amps won't cut it though. http://www.buy.com/prod/antec-earthwatt-430w-80-plus-ce...


BTW, out of stock, but the X2 5600+ retail is $122.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And the AM2 card was $23 + shipping when I got it:
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=AM2CPUBRD

And the 2GB Corsair PC6400 was about $25 (after a $25 rebate).


April 25, 2008 12:33:41 AM

Well man you've inspired me lol

After looking at some cpu charts and comparisons I've decide to go the same route and try to squeeze the last bit of usage from this board :) 

With the new setup I think I should be quite satisfied for a while heh

Thanks a lot for the links and info!

Hope yours is still running smoothly :) 
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2008 4:11:43 AM

LOL, good for you. A64 4000+ to X2 5600+ is a very nice boost for newer games.

The system has been a rock. I've tortured it through 12+ hours of benchies with the 5600+ so far, and not a single glitch. I still have Oblivion, NFS:Carbon, and Test Drive Unlimited to bench and then I'll make a new thread with all my findings.

I can tell ya though, in Crysis, the X2 5600+ make a huge difference compared to the A64 4000+. As far as the 3dmarks you asked about.... the default 3dmark06 score went up about 2,200 points. Keep in mind, this is totally stock clocks, driver defaults, and the lowest factory clocked 8800GS (XFX 580/1400), so your scores with the 8800GT will be significantly higher.

S939 A64 4000+ - 6,176 3dmarks, cpu 945
S939 X2 4200+ --- 7,446 3dmarks, cpu 1,690
SAM2 X2 5600+ --- 8,364 3dmarks, cpu 2,127

I don't put much value in 3dmarks, but it's a nice comparison anyway. As you can see the cpu upgrade made for a nice boost of 35%, and 125% in the CPU score.
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2008 4:24:03 AM

Also, just a precaution. I'm not sure if all AM2 X2's will work in the upgrade card. Check Asrocks site for the official list. Like I said, the 5600+ is not listed, but the 2.8GHz Windsor FX is listed, so I figured it would work. Personally, I felt to be safe I had to find a Windsor X2. Others may work, I just didn't want to chance it. So research before buying a different core. I also don't know if it works for Windsors above 2.8GHz, I can only vouch for the 2.8GHz 5600+ as a working model not on their official list.

Looking at Neweggs in stock Windsors, I'd play it safe and go with the 5200 for $109. Although the 6000+ or 6400+ could work. Let me know if you've seen more info than I have on this as I am curious if I have maxed out this upgrade card or not. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Newegg deactivated the Windsor 5600+, but zipzoom has the same model for $135 shipped. They don't specify the core, but the model number is the same as mine from newegg: http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
April 25, 2008 2:11:50 PM

Hey pauldh :) 

Thank a ton for the continued dialog and work your doing with the board!

I find this all pretty interesting, especially since I had (mistakenly) thought my board was ready to retire ;) 

TigerDirect has a good price on the boxed 5600+, as I have credit with them I'll probably use them for the cpu.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

But I did come across this forum thread that discusses your exact question (and mine too)

http://my.ocworkbench.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=66572

Looks like the 6400+ "works" with this beta bios :) 

Now I guess I need to see what kind of increase that would be, for $40 more:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those using the beta bios seem to be pleased with the results.

Hum, more decisions lol

:) 
a b U Graphics card
April 25, 2008 10:31:29 PM

Hey, thanks for the info on the 6400+. Hmm, not sure which route I would go; Decisions, decisions. It would be fun to go with the 6400+, but I like the $129 price for the 5600+ too, especially if you have credit to use up. Anyway, let me know which route you take.
April 29, 2008 2:53:56 PM

Hello again :) 

Well I was able install the EVGA 8800GT last night:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and the new PSU (Rosewill RP550V2-S-SL 550W)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both items installed and powered up without a hitch, I was "very" pleased. But I was soon to realize that not all was as perfect as I'd first thought or hoped ;) 

So after reading quite a bit about the 8800GT, I assumed the card would run a bit hot...so I downloaded the Nvidia tool (not sure WHY that's a separate thing and not included in the normal driver setup package?)

But once I checked I found that the card was near 80c in idle???

That got my attention, but I'm painfully aware that my mid-case is stuffed to the gills. Even though I have 3 fans that try to "flow" the air, I know it's far from ideal.

So I installed the latest RivaTuner, which I found a bit daunting till I was able to find a very good "guide" for how to setup Fan Speed settings.

I adjusted the fan speed to 60% (across the board) in idle & load and the temp came down to the low 50s (52c) which I was more comfortable with. Also I detected no real increase in the fan sound, so that was nice as well.

I then chose a few graphic intensive games, STALKER, The Witcher, Gothic 3, Hellgate London...after running them in the settings I prefer (high, 1280x1024) the temp seemed never to climb higher than the low 60s

SO...I felt good about that finally. I also registered the card through EVGA and purchased the discounted RMA shipping, for possible future use ;) 

But the other issue I ran into was that apparently I have a "ground" issue somewhere because every time I put my case panel back the system froze completely, mouse, keyboard, crt picture.

So I had to turn off using the PSU switch (which i'm leery of, but reset didn't work either)

And was able to boot back both times this occurred. After the door panel is on and locked in it runs fine and I never have the problem...unless I take the panel off lol

So there's that...


Then after all was placed back and running I settled down to play some games a bit more and suddenly realized that one of my hard drives was missing from windows? /ouch

I thought well perhaps the power or sataII cable had come loose in the install/s

So back into the belly of the beast I dove ;) 

Checked ALL the connections and everything looked/felt right.

But on boot it was no go, even the bios didn't see the drive.

So I decided to try connecting it in SATA mode instead of sataII...bingo I got the boot message saying hit Ctrl-C? to enter the Raid Config, which I did and set it to 0

The system booted up and all 3 hard drives were listed! (i did the happy dance) ;) 

So that seems ok again...I need to read up more on Raid configurations, I'm not sure what setting would be the best for my purposes.

I also got the AMR card and have that to mess with in the near future. I'm interested in the beta bios but I don't have a floppy drive (atm) and for some reason Nero isn't seeing the .img file/s I've downloaded to try and create a boot cd...

Going to try and use my other comp to make the cd and see if that works, if I can flash the beta bios I might just try the 6400+ ;) 

But right now I'm just concerned with getting my system stable and running right.

I think I might upgrade to a full tower and give my hardware some breathing room heh

Any way just wanted to keep ya posted, I'm very happy with the card's performance. Hit 12K+ with 3DMark '05 with was a good jump

And I saw a visible and playable difference in ALL the games I loaded last night. So I'm pleased with the decision to go this route.

I'll download '06 and see where I fall :) 

Hope your sys is running well!
a b U Graphics card
April 29, 2008 4:57:36 PM

One thing with the 939 dual sata 2, it is picky on power supplies. I have found the Antec Smartpower 2.0 450W that come in the sonata II case will not be stable powering that mobo, even with a puny 7600GS, 1HDD, 1 optical (low power system). All kinds of weird stuff happens, like plug in a USB device and the system reboots is an example. Tried a 400W of the same Smartpower 2 line and the same problems occur. Both PSU's were fine too, just incompatible for some reason. But With an Antec Earthwatts power supply powering both mine (500W and 430W) I have seen no stability issues or funky stuff at all in either system.

Anyway, if weird stuff happens, like instability with USB devices plugged in, suspect the power supply. Rosewill isn't a real good brand and that Asrock mobo may be holding a grudge against it. (If you decide on a new PSU, the Earthwatts 500W would be a great match. )

April 29, 2008 7:18:24 PM

Hey thanks,

I did look at the Earthwatts link you provided (TY) and it looked ok, but I was looking for a psu that had 2 fans. I realize that the concept and design is such that 2 fans "shouldn't" be needed but after reading quite a few reviews, there were many who said that it still got pretty warm in their cases.

I'll keep a look out though. I wasn't as clear as I should of been in my earlier post, but the lock up happened actually before and after the psu switch. So I'm pretty sure it's a grounding issue...but I'm far from an expert lol ;) 

I don't have an answer for the SataII problem, but after more searching and reading I found that many have had an issue with the Ali driver with the result that the sataII doesn't function properly, thus forcing owners to use the sata setting.

All in all I'm happy, while I don't enjoy little odd bugs or quirks...it's manageable atm

I am looking for a better case solution though ;) 

Thanks again and I'll let you know if I do anything with that beta driver!

Regards

MC
May 5, 2008 3:08:23 PM

Hello again :) 

The system is running quite well with the new card, I'm very pleased. But now I'm ready to move on to the cpu.

I'm now leaning towards the x2 5600+ as I've read alot of posts dealing with heating issues with the 6400+....with my Mid case pretty packed as it is and a bit on the warm side, I'm thinking I might be better off with the 5600+

Was wondering pauldh, what your temperatures are like and if you stayed with the stock fan & HS?

Thanks again for all your help!

btw the PSU is running perfect so far, hopefully will continue as it is nice and quiet ;) 

Regards

MC
a b U Graphics card
May 5, 2008 10:55:39 PM

Hey again. That didn't take long. :)  I'm done with my testing and yeah the 5600+ is a nice leap over the single core 4000+.

I am using the retail AMD fan on mine. Nice thing is the size makes it so I didn't have to remove the mobo and pull off the S939 retension mechanism. A wider larger diameter heatsink/fan may force you to do that. For me, cpu temps are not at all an issue as I am using an open bench system for ease of swapping hardware. I did find that the small passive Asrock northbridge cooler got quite hot to the touch, so I added an 80mm fan at low RPM (6 volts) to move the air around the chipset heatsink. My setup has no case fans, so it only took a small amount of air movement to cool that right down. In a normal case with rear venting fans, it shouldn't be an issue. If it is, a front case fan blowing in toward the chipset would fix it.
May 9, 2008 1:29:51 AM

Well your sound reasoning and the fact that at my given gaming resolution of 1280x1024 (old crt lol) there is only a variation of less than 10fps on most games that I've seen stats on...And the possible heat issue, and the most likely need to flash to a beta bios.

I decide upon the 5600+ as well lol

I've heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery and I do hope you take it as such. I certainly appreciate your advice and insight and information in general concerning this mobo project ;) 

I have the card and the new ram, the cpu should arrive tomorrow.

I'm excited to get it all together!

The new video card almost doubled my 3DMark '05 score lol

Here are a few scores:

3DMark06 - 6482

XP 4000+ w/8800GT Test1May 07, 2008 19:02 CDT
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 4000+GPU:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT OS:Microsoft Windows XPBenchmark Settings: Default

http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=6616485


3DMark05 - 11826

Favorite : XP 4000+ w/8800GT test1May 07, 2008 17:12 CDT
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 4000+GPU:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT OS:Microsoft Windows XPBenchmark Settings: Default ยท

http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=4245361

3DMark05 - 6166

amd 64 4000+May 10, 2006 21:25 CDT
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 4000+GPU:NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS

I'm excited to see how the X2 performs as I'm sure that I'm now heavily cpu limited.

I'll keep you posted :) 

Thanks again!

BTW - my scores reflect a normal conservative bios setting and memory timings and NO Overclocking...which may account for a bit lower score than might be expected. I prefer to run my system with as "cool" temps as possible and with minimal stress...I prefer longevity vs a shorter lived brighter light you might say lol
a b U Graphics card
May 9, 2008 2:44:43 AM

LOL, glad to be helpful. I think you'll be quite happy with how it will perform. I know I am and just got done playing some crysis on it after running some crysis benchies.

Looking forward to your results. Taking a stab from my results, I'm guessing you'll probably hit 14K in 05, and about 8700 in 06.
May 13, 2008 1:26:44 PM

Just got my AMD X2 5600+ cpu and DDR2 ram put in!

So now I have new scores

3DMark06

9427 3DMarks

Favorite X2 5600+ w/8800GT 520mb test 1May 12, 2008 18:24 CDT
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+GPU:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTOS:Microsoft Windows XPBenchmark Settings: Default

http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=6689081

3DMark05

14366 3DMarks

Favorite X2 5600+ w/8800GT 520mb test 1May 12, 2008 18:11 CDT
CPU:AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+GPU:NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTOS:Microsoft Windows XPBenchmark Settings: Default

http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=4256870



I'm pretty happy!

My dvd encoding time has dropped from 18-20min to 6 lol

But I am a bit worried about my core temps. They normally sit in the mid 40s(C) but with a full load can hit 58-61C (this is normally only one of the cores as the other reports 8-12 degrees cooler)

I have 3 case fans (front (pulling) Rear (pushing) and side pulling cooler air into the case...as well as the 2 fans on the PSU...though the one inside fan on the PSU is on the bottom which faces the AM2 card and cpu heatsink & fan unit. I'm pretty sure the psu fan "blows" air out of the unit...which would mean that it's blowing right onto the cpu lol :( 

As I said before, my mid case is pretty packed, I was just hoping to get by with it till I upgraded and built a whole new system.

So now I'm trying to decide if a better H/S would work out and bring my temps more inline with what I think they should be, OR if perhaps it seated poorly when I installed it, or it's an air low problem or ALL the above ;) 

I'll keep you posted though, and "as always" any thoughts or suggestions are welcome and appreciated :) 

Regards (i AM happy with it's performance, played a few games last night and had zero lag, could completely tell a difference!)

MC
May 13, 2008 1:54:25 PM

Looking at this H/S for a possible replacement...just need to measure the clearance I have to see if it'll likely fit or not.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And perhaps turning "off" the Cool & Quiet feature might help reduce temps.

Guess I'll be trying some different variables tonight ;) 
May 14, 2008 1:22:54 AM

Also was wondering "if" I needed to install the AMD dual core optimizer and the Microsoft hotfix?

Right now all I did was install the AM2 card/cpu/ram and booted up. I do think that a driver was loaded when XP detected the card and new hardware and prompted me to re-boot.

But the system seems to be running well, been on over 24hrs now, games load and play perfectly (as far as i can tell)

Is this a needed thing anymore or should I leave well enough alone? ;) 
a b U Graphics card
May 14, 2008 4:36:26 AM

I'd leave it alone if games play well. Not that it matters, but your 3dmarks are in check. Mine has been a total rock so far.....I am completely thrilled with this Asrock AM2 card.

What are you using to read the CPU temp? Core temp?

Where is the side fan aimed at in relation to the CPU heatsink?

If you are worried about temps approaching 65 degrees, you may want to remove the heatsink, clean it with 90% or higher rubbing alcohol (I use 99%), and then reapply the heasink using arctic Silver 5. You could also look into lapping the heatsink. The only hesitation I have about a different heatsink is the size limitation, if it fits at all, and if you would have to then pull the mobo from your case to remove the S939 retention mechanism. That would be a pain. Although a cooler that aims the hot air directly out toward the rear exhaust fan like the freezer would be nice. There are for sure limitations to the coolers yours and my Asrock setup can take.
May 14, 2008 7:04:00 PM

Thanks for the reply pauldh :) 

I'm currently using 2 main programs to monitor the core temps:

Core Temp http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/

Nice little program that also shows the load on each core (which i like)

and

CPUID http://www.cpuid.com/hwmonitor.php

which shows quite a bit of info.

Both show the same temps, though they do flip which core is running the hottest.

I think I might try re-seating the H/S, I've read a bit about the Arctic Silver 5...how does one take that off if need be in the future?

I've thought for some time that air flow was a main problem for me, now that I'm running parts that are quite a bit warmer I think the problem is more apparent.

Thus I decided to purchase a new case today ;) 

The Antac 900 looked like a good deal, especially with the rebate and I hope will increase my system air flow and help cool everything down a bit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There are a few issues like the increased dust from the open bays but I plan on placing some type of screen or filter on the inside so that should help in that regard.

After I do this I'll see where my temps are running and how much room I have for another type of h/s and fan assembly.

But as you said, I too am thrilled by the board and the new performance, I can tell a difference across all the applications and games I play.

Very happy with the upgrade!

Will be exciting to get everything in a nice new case as well :) 

I'm glad yours is continuing to run smoothly, do you game much? I think I remember you saying you had it hooked up to an open board for quick adjustments...that should help your temps some ;) 

As always I'll keep you posted, and appreciate your opinions and insight!

Regards

MC
a b U Graphics card
May 14, 2008 10:49:04 PM

I don't just sit and game much on that system, but I use that system to do video card testing and comparisons. So I end up gaming on it quite a bit. My gaming rig is in my sig.

That case should do the trick. Artic SIlver 5 can easily be removed with rubbing alcohol. The higher % the better to not leave residue behind. Do not use the 70% junk.

I use core temp too, but my temps are obviously lower than yours from the open system.
!