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AMD X2, or X3?

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October 18, 2008 4:21:14 PM

I've decided to go to an AMD architecture.
The motherboard is an ASUS M3N78-VM:
http://www.directron.com/m3n78vm.html

First choice CPU, an AMD X2 6000+:
http://www.directron.com/adv6000dobox.html

RAM on 1st choice, Corsair XMS2:
http://www.directron.com/twin2x20486400.html

However, I keep hearing that it's better to trade clock speed for more processors. Which gives me the option of an AMD X3 8650:
http://www.directron.com/hd8650wcghbox.html
which also supports faster RAM.

I've seen mixed results, where the X2 outperforms the X3 I listed, and on some tests the opposite is true. I'll be running Linux, with most use consisting of watching online video, streaming audio. And, occasionally compiling and rendering. Also, I do rip/encode some CD's.

Cost is an issue, which is why I've chosen not to go to quad core for now. Given that the newer chips will be out in 2009 and prices will drop. So, if I decide, I'll upgrade then to the X4.

Has anyone had experience with the X2 6000+ and the X3 8650? If so, your input would be greatly appreciated.

More about : amd

October 18, 2008 4:45:43 PM

first no i have not used ether of the cpus but heres what i know

more cores are good if the programs are coded to use them but coding them is not easy so most don't bother. so unless you have a special program to do video/picture/ec editing the x3 will not do you much good

go fore the x2 it will do everything you need and more
October 18, 2008 4:56:24 PM

The 8750 Black Edition is currently the only X3 processor worth buying, and that only if your into messing with your hardware a bit. Although the 6000+ is a fine processor, I'm sure any X2 at 2.4ghz or more would suit the vast majority of people's needs, so, it might be more worth your while to pick up a 5400+, 5600+, or 5800+. Furthermore, any ATI 780G mAtx board would be recommended over the nVidia 8200 board you've selected.
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October 18, 2008 5:00:48 PM

6000 X2 unless you are into heavy duty multimedia apps.

I agree with the poster above. A 780G board or 790G board would be preferable.

I have an AMD processor with Nvidia board and regret it. It works flawlessly but I cannot take advantage of Crossfire or AMD Overdrive features.
October 18, 2008 5:02:19 PM

I suggest you get this model of the x2 6000+
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its the same wattage (89w) but its got 2x1MB cache unlike yours. Yours is about 100Mhz higher but with 1/2 the cache I doubt it will be faster. Not only that but from newegg its cheaper and has free shipping.
October 18, 2008 5:11:39 PM

well, like everyone else has said, unless your applications are multithreaded, the thrid core wont make a differance. i have an athlon 5000+ x2 BE 3.12GHZ and it rips through games and apps. go with the dual core for now and upgrade to a quad later;)
October 18, 2008 5:34:50 PM

phosphor_etch said:
And, occasionally compiling and rendering. Also, I do rip/encode some CD's.


These processes will benefit from having more cores, assuming the software you're using for them has been coded for multithreading.
October 18, 2008 6:10:09 PM

Uhh, actually multiple cores give performance improvements regardless if the app is multi-threaded or not.

If you're going for the 6000+, get the 65nm revision with 89w and 3.1GHz clock speed for the $8 more instead of the 90nm 125w 3GHz version.

I wouldn't bother for the triple core, because for the same price on newegg you can get the 9600, a quad core 2.3GHz. And that one is only about $28 more than the 6000+.

The only way to really check is to compare benchmarks. Look through the Tom's Hardware CPU charts and compare the processors you're looking at. Higher clock speed isn't necessarily indicative of better performance. Case in point: AMD 2.6GHz quad core vs. Intel's q6600 2.4GHz processor. They trade blows fairly often, but in terms of number of benchmarks won, the q6600 bests AMD's comparably priced offering 24-17.

Do your research.
October 18, 2008 6:32:53 PM

its true that point to point that the same architecture catch and clock quad will always beet duel
but that is not the point a x2 at 3ghz will win vs a x3 at 2.1ghz 90% of the time and the x2 is cheaper

+1 fore the 790gx its a good board

but in the end i think both choses will do just fine
October 18, 2008 9:01:20 PM

resonance451 said:
Uhh, actually multiple cores give performance improvements regardless if the app is multi-threaded or not.

If you're going for the 6000+, get the 65nm revision with 89w and 3.1GHz clock speed for the $8 more instead of the 90nm 125w 3GHz version.

I wouldn't bother for the triple core, because for the same price on newegg you can get the 9600, a quad core 2.3GHz. And that one is only about $28 more than the 6000+.

The only way to really check is to compare benchmarks. Look through the Tom's Hardware CPU charts and compare the processors you're looking at. Higher clock speed isn't necessarily indicative of better performance. Case in point: AMD 2.6GHz quad core vs. Intel's q6600 2.4GHz processor. They trade blows fairly often, but in terms of number of benchmarks won, the q6600 bests AMD's comparably priced offering 24-17.

Do your research.

noooooooo, dont get the 9600!! the 9550 or any other phenom with 50 at the end is the one to get. they have the new B3 stepping and have their issue corrected. all i remember about the 9600 was it having lots and lots of issues. steer clear of it.

and btw, the 790gx has my vote:D 
October 18, 2008 9:51:21 PM

shabodah said:
The 8750 Black Edition is currently the only X3 processor worth buying, and that only if your into messing with your hardware a bit. Although the 6000+ is a fine processor, I'm sure any X2 at 2.4ghz or more would suit the vast majority of people's needs, so, it might be more worth your while to pick up a 5400+, 5600+, or 5800+. Furthermore, any ATI 780G mAtx board would be recommended over the nVidia 8200 board you've selected.


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

is the only micro ATX Asus board I can find I like. It has the 780G North Bridge you recommend. Unless I get a new case, it has to be micro. And, I'm after Asus' Express Gate feature with the 5 second boot. I've heard many complain it's no good, but many others say it is good.

I had always heard with linux, Nvidia was the way to go which is why I chose the board I did. Also, I have a dedicated Nvidia video card.
Could you tell me why the 780G would be better suited than the one I listed?

Thanks again.
October 18, 2008 9:57:17 PM

Most seem to think the X2 would be OK. And, I could use the extra money for another component.

But, I'm curious as to why the 780 or 790 chipset would be a better choice. As I stated above I run linux, and I've always known/heard Nvidia was the better option. Is it for overclocking? Because I don't do much of that. Also got a Nvidia graphics card.

While I'm asking question, do SATA DVD burners outperform the IDE's by that much? Would it be worth investing in one. The price has dropped dramatically since BluRay, which I don't want.


October 18, 2008 10:12:20 PM

the 780g and 790gx are really good chipsets and are a better choice than the nvidia offering but then again its still a good chip

i have had more luck with nvidia and linux but i have had ati cards that worked just fine so do some research and find out how the drivers work

ide and sata drives cost about the same and sata is better fore cable management
i believe that there is no difference in performance but there is not reason to go ide over sata if you buying
October 18, 2008 10:18:48 PM

yehh, i have a SATA dvd/CD burner and i see no differance from the IDE drive i had. the only advantage with SATA drives are for harddrives 3gb/s:D 
yesss, poster above me, much better cable management than IDE
October 18, 2008 10:21:21 PM

Since I don't run Linux, I can't comment on the mobo issues that could/couldn't be related to the chipsets that your talking about. In generel, the AMD 780g or 790gx mobo's are the better choice. When it comes to Linux though, I don't know. I know if the past the nVidia chipsets were more friendly, but that may have changed.
Just a quick google check w/780g and Linux got me this from one of the links:
"The 8.3 Catalyst for Linux package (fglrx 8.47 driver) fully supports this chipset and was properly identified as the Radeon HD 3200. The Catalyst 8.3 driver on Linux even supports DisplayPort, for those having DisplayPort-capable hardware."
Here's the link to the article on page 2

and later in the article (on page 2):
"Linux benchmarks ran with this IGP and two PCI Express graphics cards had included Doom 3, Quake 4, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and GtkPerf. Each 2D GTK test was ran 1,000 times with GtkPerf. Due to the lack of AMD OverDrive support under Linux, all graphics solutions were ran just at their stock frequencies. The Linux distribution used during testing was Ubuntu 8.04 Beta with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel."

I don't know if this is totally indicative of the situation, but it might shed some light on it for you. They have just posted newer drivers for the onboard GPU (if you use that), so check them out if you purchase the AMD based chipsets.
October 18, 2008 10:57:41 PM

phosphor_etch said:
I had always heard with linux, Nvidia was the way to go which is why I chose the board I did. Also, I have a dedicated Nvidia video card.
Could you tell me why the 780G would be better suited than the one I listed?


Some AMD processors have automatic factory approved overclocks when paired with certain AMD chipsets. Would be the only reason off the top of my head. Dont know if that holds true under linux.

My suggestion would be to research the two boards and see which one has the least amount of driver issues with linux and go with that one.
October 19, 2008 2:24:40 PM

Did some research, and seems the 780,790 chipsets are better supported in linux, except for the newer kernels 2.6.25+. Since I'll be using a PCIe graphics card, I don't think it'll matter. As, neither ATI nor Nvidia plan on the hybrid Crossfire/SLI support for linux.

The ATI is less problematic with some of the older OS's, but I tend to upgrade often to the latest anyway.

Through my searching, I also learned that what I was originally after -Express Gate- is not necessarily chip based. On the lower-end mother boards, the M3N78 included, it's located on the hard drive and only has Asus support for Windows install. I've seen a workaround for this by using a USB drive, or a script to get it on your hard drive; but, I'd rather have it located directly on the board to avoid this. Oh, well. I might have to look into getting a more high-end board.

For those curious, Phoronix was my best info. source:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvid...

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvid...
October 19, 2008 8:00:17 PM

phosphor_etch said:
Did some research, and seems the 780,790 chipsets are better supported in linux, except for the newer kernels 2.6.25+. Since I'll be using a PCIe graphics card, I don't think it'll matter. As, neither ATI nor Nvidia plan on the hybrid Crossfire/SLI support for linux.

The ATI is less problematic with some of the older OS's, but I tend to upgrade often to the latest anyway.

Through my searching, I also learned that what I was originally after -Express Gate- is not necessarily chip based. On the lower-end mother boards, the M3N78 included, it's located on the hard drive and only has Asus support for Windows install. I've seen a workaround for this by using a USB drive, or a script to get it on your hard drive; but, I'd rather have it located directly on the board to avoid this. Oh, well. I might have to look into getting a more high-end board.

For those curious, Phoronix was my best info. source:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvid...

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvid...

So my link help your out?? Good, glad that you were able to get some research done and that you know alot more now for your situation!!!
October 19, 2008 8:56:15 PM

lunyone said:
So my link help your out?? Good, glad that you were able to get some research done and that you know alot more now for your situation!!!


Yeah, it helped. Thanks.

Even though I've heard negative responses on the board, others with the newer distributions of linux that have the latest kernel seem do well with it.

That the Express Gate is not ROM based on the mother board on the inexpensive models has be taking another approach, though. I've heard of problems with this board and linux needing IDE HD access, or SATA defined as IDE. I don't want to mess with that.

I guess I'm saying I'm looking again at mother boards.

Thanks again.
May 27, 2009 10:57:14 AM

Just as an update, I went with:

ASUS M3N78-VM
AMD 7750; X2 2.7GHz
4 GB 1066 RAM

The BIOS is awesome, and has profiles which allow for automatic overclocking and cessation of during bad timing errors. Great!

Pushing right now at 2.79GHz!

The motherboard's onboard graphics and sound are better than the dedicated cards I had for my other system. And, quite linux frienldy.

I have to recommend this settup for occasional, light usage.
!