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Best 939 CPU FOR a Sapphire AGP 3850

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October 18, 2009 12:45:34 AM

I have a Sapphire AGP 3850 with a Zalman VF700 AlCu cooling upgrade, 4x1gb OCZ PC3200 Platinum memory, and an Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard. The case is an Antec Sonata 3 with S-Flex 1200rpm fan upgrades at the front and rear, running at about 9v.

I have an Athlon64 3500+ New Castle now, but I think it's made a bottleneck for the other components, and am wondering what the best CPU would be for for them, for what I plan to do with the system.

I'm mostly thinking about performance in games, but it seems like in this case, there's two types of games. There's games that are designed to graphically challenge people's hardware, and then there's games that look great without relying on cutting-edge hardware, and for this system, I'm only interested in the later. Games like ETQW, HL Episode 3, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2, are designed for people who don't need to upgrade their systems just to play every game well.

Would getting an Opteron 185 or FX-60 really just be a waste of power, since the other components, like the Sapphire Radeon 3850, would then make bottlenecks? I mean, I want all components to function together at the same level the games require, without any one component being wasted. Why get a FX-60, if the video card is going to limit frame-rate to 35fps anyway. Instead, I could get an AthlonX2 4800+. I think that makes sense, right? Then again, maybe a Sapphire 3850 is good enough that even overclocking an FX-60 would get a significantly higher framerate.
October 18, 2009 12:48:33 AM

Oh, the OS is currently WinXP x64, and it doesn't have to change, but if I did change it, I would want Windows 7 x64. Although I have always been tempted to try Linux.
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December 14, 2009 9:39:34 PM

caribouuu, no matter how you shape it the card is going to bottleneck, the majority of the 939 socket motherboards dont have the ability to handle the bandwidth from the cards and about your only hope for having a decent running system would be to upgrade to a CPU/Motherboard combo with the ability to push the card which means either going with a AM2 or 775 CPU with a motherboard that supports AGP (ASRock have one you might be able to find). Other than that to get the card to run at optimal performance what I suggested in the neverending thread about this and other issues at the Sapphire forum is to downclock the GPU by about 10% and you will notice a slight improvement but not much. The only other option is to look at the HIS 4670 IceQ 1GB which has standard 128bit bus lines and tends to out perform the Sapphire, Powercolor or Asus cards of the same family, but at the same time even under PassMark or Furmark the improvement over a 3850 is only about 10-15% and in RWS it only equals out to be about 3-8fps improvement for most games. Hope that helps you out...Cheers!

~S
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December 14, 2009 10:06:06 PM

EvilScarecroW is a little pessimistic. Depending how much it costs, go for the fastest dual-core you can get your hands on. Anything running 2.6-3.0Ghz will be enuf muscle for a 3850.

But to be fair, if you have to spend over $200, then get a new mobo/cpu/RAM
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December 14, 2009 10:19:14 PM

B-Unit said:
EvilScarecroW is a little pessimistic. Depending how much it costs, go for the fastest dual-core you can get your hands on. Anything running 2.6-3.0Ghz will be enuf muscle for a 3850.

But to be fair, if you have to spend over $200, then get a new mobo/cpu/RAM


i have to agree, If you can get your hands on a Athlon 64x2 4800+ 939 socket cpu then you'll have enough power to last for a while without having to upgrade everything. This is the best dual core cpu your MB can handle

http://asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=tvpdgPNCPaABZRVU

Only place i been able to find this cpu is on ebay...

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m38.l1313...(939)&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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December 14, 2009 10:29:27 PM

Sorry about that. the Athlon 64 FX-60 is actually the fastest dual core cpu. Forgot the FX-60 cpu was dual core scene most (if not all) of the other FX cpu's where single cores.

Although it seams ebay still is the best option for the cpus.

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=m38&_nkw=ATHLON...
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December 14, 2009 10:37:27 PM

Guy the thing you are not realizing is that a 939 board and cpu at best only support 128bit bus lines and the card itself is 256bit so no matter how you shape it its still going to be a bottleneck when your done, yes cpu performance is something to look at but you also have to take into consideration that the bus lines support 64bit X2 and as soon as the data gets to the motherboard you get a bottleneck that causes performance loss and with getting a higher powered cpu all you are doing is making it run a little faster but you still will not get the full performance out of the cpu or the video card running one of those cards on a 939 system. So as I said go with the 4670 with the GDDR3 and the 128bit bus lines and you will have a lot less bottlenecking and much smoother gameplay, and if you are looking for the BEST performing 939 dual core cpu look at the Opteron 185 Denmark which is clocked at 2.6GHz stock.
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December 14, 2009 10:43:32 PM

WTF are you on about? The 'bus lines' as you put it are between the GPU and the RAM thats on the card istelf. The motherboard has nothing at all to do with this.

I ran an Opteron 165 clocked to 2.8Ghz with an 8800GT (256-bit bus) and it ran great. There is no motherboard limitation on GPU memory bus width.
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December 14, 2009 10:43:54 PM

EvilScarecroW said:
Guy the thing you are not realizing is that a 939 board and cpu at best only support 128bit bus lines and the card itself is 256bit so no matter how you shape it its still going to be a bottleneck when your done, yes cpu performance is something to look at but you also have to take into consideration that the bus lines support 64bit X2 and as soon as the data gets to the motherboard you get a bottleneck that causes performance loss and with getting a higher powered cpu all you are doing is making it run a little faster but you still will not get the full performance out of the cpu or the video card running one of those cards on a 939 system. So as I said go with the 4670 with the GDDR3 and the 128bit bus lines and you will have a lot less bottlenecking and much smoother gameplay, and if you are looking for the BEST performing 939 dual core cpu look at the Opteron 185 Denmark which is clocked at 2.6GHz stock.

????????????? Are you telling me I have been running all my 256bit video cards on the wrong system all these years. Starting with the fx series that was it at the introduction of socket 939.
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December 14, 2009 11:08:43 PM

EvilScarecroW said:
Guy the thing you are not realizing is that a 939 board and cpu at best only support 128bit bus lines and the card itself is 256bit so no matter how you shape it its still going to be a bottleneck when your done, yes cpu performance is something to look at but you also have to take into consideration that the bus lines support 64bit X2 and as soon as the data gets to the motherboard you get a bottleneck that causes performance loss and with getting a higher powered cpu all you are doing is making it run a little faster but you still will not get the full performance out of the cpu or the video card running one of those cards on a 939 system. So as I said go with the 4670 with the GDDR3 and the 128bit bus lines and you will have a lot less bottlenecking and much smoother gameplay, and if you are looking for the BEST performing 939 dual core cpu look at the Opteron 185 Denmark which is clocked at 2.6GHz stock.


No system will have 64+ bit width slot for graphic cards.... Even PCI-e x16 2.0 only has 16 bit width. The bits on a Video card (as other's have said) is just memory bandwidth for the GPU and the memory on the card.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_card#Motherboard_int...

You may want to study video cards a bit more.....
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December 14, 2009 11:11:50 PM

B-Unit, the CPU is more of the issue with these cards then you can imagine, I have ran one and I can say that they are a waste of money and time spent trying to get them to be at full potential, the most you will get by getting a FX-60 or a 185 is maybe a frame rate boost of 2-5fps which is nothing to write home to mom about. The cards had horrible design and were not thought out properly prior to release and several people had or still have issues with performance loss about 30-60 minutes into a game and its due to the fact that no matter what CPU you throw in they bottleneck as soon as your cache is full and you lose all sorts of performance, not to mention that the cards were almost a direct port from PCI-e to AGP with little to no alterations to the design which again causes issues. If you look at some of the 4xxx series cards they run 128bit bus lines to prevent bottlenecking the computer and from benchmark and real world results they nailed it dead on because going from a 3850 to a 4670 will generally give you about 5-20fps improvement average with a single core cpu and about 10-30fps for dual core. Now considering the facts at hand (nevermind that this thread was last hit on back in Oct) the specs and stats tend to prove a lot more then anything and their is no real point in arguing anyways since its an issue that also depends on motherboard and ram as well and not any one of us can say that you know for a fact or even remotely that it will or will not bottleneck even if it was still run on a AM2.
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December 14, 2009 11:16:32 PM

EvilScarecroW said:
B-Unit, the CPU is more of the issue with these cards then you can imagine, I have ran one and I can say that they are a waste of money and time spent trying to get them to be at full potential, the most you will get by getting a FX-60 or a 185 is maybe a frame rate boost of 2-5fps which is nothing to write home to mom about. The cards had horrible design and were not thought out properly prior to release and several people had or still have issues with performance loss about 30-60 minutes into a game and its due to the fact that no matter what CPU you throw in they bottleneck as soon as your cache is full and you lose all sorts of performance, not to mention that the cards were almost a direct port from PCI-e to AGP with little to no alterations to the design which again causes issues. If you look at some of the 4xxx series cards they run 128bit bus lines to prevent bottlenecking the computer and from benchmark and real world results they nailed it dead on because going from a 3850 to a 4670 will generally give you about 5-20fps improvement average with a single core cpu and about 10-30fps for dual core. Now considering the facts at hand (nevermind that this thread was last hit on back in Oct) the specs and stats tend to prove a lot more then anything and their is no real point in arguing anyways since its an issue that also depends on motherboard and ram as well and not any one of us can say that you know for a fact or even remotely that it will or will not bottleneck even if it was still run on a AM2.

O s$%# we only have 64 bit cpu´s and 32 and 64 bit operating system we have been had by the computer industry.
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December 14, 2009 11:22:00 PM

The 939 4800X2 was he first desktop Dual Core processor released. The FX57 at 2.8Ghz is fastest single core CPU released. Currently have 939 FX55 as well as 4800X2 running. Both in SLI, the 4800X2 in 2 x 16 PCIE lanes with 8600GTs. The FX55 in 2 x 8 PCIE lanes with a pair of 7600GTs. The FX55 at 2.8GHz. is still fast. The 4800X2 is still an excellent multi tasker. In it's time, the 939 AMD 64 systems were the fastest desktop setup available. Much better solution than P4 Northwood then Presshot. I gave one my 939 systems (AMD 3800 single core 2.4Ghz.) to a 16 year old earlier this year. She games on it every day.
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December 14, 2009 11:24:44 PM

warmon6, I see your point but the bottlenecking on the AGP cards is an issue that was recognized and was corrected on the new series of cards, it is clearly visible by looking at the reviews for the 3850 AGP vs 3850 PCI-e in compaired to the 4670 AGP vs 4670 PCI-e, where the 3850 AGP was out performed on almost every level for the tests back when they came out the 4670 AGP outperforms its PCI-e counterpart on almost every single test so if you had to choose out of the two cards knowing that the 3850 requires a 500W PSU with 28amp on the 12V rail over the 4670 which requires a 400W PSU with 18amp on the 12V rail and has added performance over the 3850 which would you choose? I mean thats not to mention that a lot less people are complaining about bottlenecking with them and the fact that they do support directx 10 and they also have native HDMI as well as several other features missing from the 3xxx series, and the fact that they are smaller and would cost him less then buying a new cpu, I would have to say go with one of those over all the other arguments people could come up with.
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December 14, 2009 11:24:51 PM

Badge+1 I am still running Opty 170
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December 14, 2009 11:28:20 PM

rolli59 said:
Badge+1 I am still running Opty 170


My three or four socket 754's are getting a little 'slow' these days. The two 939's I mentiond are not bad by today's standards. Slow when compared seriously, but still not slow dogs by any means.
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December 14, 2009 11:29:15 PM

badge, we are talking AGP 3850 cards here, they bottleneck on any cpu. to put it as bluntly as possible the whole issue with getting a new cpu compaired to getting a new video card at the average cost of the cpu's for a decent one on ebay being $200+ over getting a decent running video card at $115 I think I would be better off getting a video card and putting the money asside for a new PC now wouldnt you?
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December 14, 2009 11:32:24 PM

EvilScarecroW said:
badge, we are talking AGP 3850 cards here, they bottleneck on any cpu. to put it as bluntly as possible the whole issue with getting a new cpu compaired to getting a new video card at the average cost of the cpu's for a decent one on ebay being $200+ over getting a decent running video card at $115 I think I would be better off getting a video card and putting the money asside for a new PC now wouldnt you?

HD4670 is not an upgrade from HD3850 even in AGP
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December 14, 2009 11:32:41 PM

I have a 3850 PCIE DDR2 in native crossfire with a 780G/PII 940. That card is such a dog. Bow wow.
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December 14, 2009 11:35:03 PM

EvilScarecroW said:
B-Unit, the CPU is more of the issue with these cards then you can imagine, I have ran one and I can say that they are a waste of money and time spent trying to get them to be at full potential, the most you will get by getting a FX-60 or a 185 is maybe a frame rate boost of 2-5fps which is nothing to write home to mom about. The cards had horrible design and were not thought out properly prior to release and several people had or still have issues with performance loss about 30-60 minutes into a game and its due to the fact that no matter what CPU you throw in they bottleneck as soon as your cache is full and you lose all sorts of performance, not to mention that the cards were almost a direct port from PCI-e to AGP with little to no alterations to the design which again causes issues. If you look at some of the 4xxx series cards they run 128bit bus lines to prevent bottlenecking the computer and from benchmark and real world results they nailed it dead on because going from a 3850 to a 4670 will generally give you about 5-20fps improvement average with a single core cpu and about 10-30fps for dual core. Now considering the facts at hand (nevermind that this thread was last hit on back in Oct) the specs and stats tend to prove a lot more then anything and their is no real point in arguing anyways since its an issue that also depends on motherboard and ram as well and not any one of us can say that you know for a fact or even remotely that it will or will not bottleneck even if it was still run on a AM2.


Maybe you should be looking at the gpu and cpu power and not the bandwidth.... Cpu have hardly any problems running video card that are 128+ bits. Heck XFX recommends "an Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon XP or better CPU" to run an GTX 285 which is 512 bits......

http://www.xfxforce.com/en-us/products/graphiccards/200...

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December 14, 2009 11:46:35 PM

I have used this computer I'm sitting at all day today. I updated the BIOS (on this out of warranty ASUS A8N32-SLI) last Friday, so I have had not had time to tweak the system out. Nothing of note to prove here except the system is running dual overclocked 8600GT's and has no bog in it's sole. ;)  Multi tasking on this machine is very capable. The FX55 I have at 2.8GHz. is faster, but not as multi task rugged.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9738/939939939ho.jpg

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December 14, 2009 11:50:08 PM

badge said:
I have used this computer I'm sitting at all day today. I updated the BIOS (on this out of warranty ASUS A8N32-SLI) last Friday, so I have had not had time to tweak the system out. Nothing of note to prove here except the system is running dual overclocked 8600GT's and has no bog in it's sole. ;)  Multi tasking on this machine is very capable. The FX55 I have at 2.8GHz. is faster, but not as multi task rugged.

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9738/939939939ho.jpg

http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/9738/939939939ho.jpg


Nice system. [:jaydeejohn:5]
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December 14, 2009 11:54:32 PM

Thanks. Every once in a while a question about the 462's, 754's or 939's is still asked on the Forum. I have them all running.
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December 14, 2009 11:56:59 PM

badge said:
Thanks. Every once in a while a question about the 462's, 754's or 939's is still asked on the Forum. I have them all running.


well at least you have lots of experience with older and current systems. :D 
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December 15, 2009 12:14:23 AM

Yeah, learned a lot from the Forum over the years. I think I had just built my Athlon XP socket A 3200 right before I logged on here first time. I thought I knew a lot because I built the machine and I had not even read the Forum. Little did I know. Anyway, I still have that machine running. I'm waiting for the good stuff to build with by now. My C2Q's and the PII 940 do OK. I'm good for a while anyway. I like reading and keeping up with the cuting edge tech stuff.
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December 15, 2009 12:20:32 AM

badge said:
Yeah, learned a lot from the Forum over the years. I think I had just built my Athlon XP socket A 3200 right before I logged on here first time. I thought I knew a lot because I built the machine and I had not even read the Forum. Little did I know. Anyway, I still have that machine running. I'm waiting for the good stuff to build with by now. My C2Q's and the PII 940 do OK. I'm good for a while anyway. I like reading and keeping up with the cuting edge tech stuff.


:lol:  i was like that 6 months ago when i first joined. Thought i new stuff but i learned quickly that i did. good times.

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