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Ultimate Gaming PC ?s

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July 16, 2003 5:49:29 AM

Hey tomshardware forum members! I have a few items that I would like to pick a couple brains here. I am saving to build the ultimate gaming machine. My plan is so blow 4,000 and this sounds quite nice to me. Of course my questions are a little early, but it never hurts to plan. I am waiting until February 2004 to buy my new system, that way a good selection of new stuff will be out and the second revisions will be out. Fewer problems this way. Now on to my questions –

1.) I am interested in running a Dual Processor System. My choices are the opteron, (which will be replaced by the sledge hammer) or the AMD Athlon64. I see all good points here (besides the price). Of course there are no benchmarks that I know of for the Athlon64, but by the time I will buy my system there will be. So what do you think? Dual server chips or dual desktop chips? This is also assuming that Athlon64 is dual processor compatible. If it is not that would be a good thing to know.

Recap –
A. I would like Information on the AMD Athlon 64 Processor.
B. As of today what Processor should I get?
C. Any thing else that I missed?

2.) Item Number 2 is The Motherboard. I want a Motherboard that has 64 bit Phi’s. This way I can use SCSI which is the next topic of discussion. Plus all the other main technologies like, USB 2.0, fire wire, 1394 (Yes, there is a difference for those that don’t know. A small one but a difference non the less), dual sockets (for 2 CPUs), AGP 8x, ect. Of course if something else is better then let me know. Since this is a living discussion, what ever is best at the time.

Recap –
A. What Motherboard to Buy?
B. Any thing else that I missed?

3.) SCSI is a dream of mine that I have been entertaining for sometime now. Time is almost at hand. I have been researching SCSI for sometime now and have barely anything to show for it. I have found that Maxtor’s Atlas 15K 72 GB Drive seems to be the best. But I don’t know what card to get and if cables matter (they usually do) what type and kind to get. I see connector terms like wide SCSI, and 80 pin SCSI, and so on. Something to keep in mind I don’t want a huge Drive, like a 200 or even

Recap –
A. What SCSI drive to buy?
B. What SCSI 64 bit Controller card to buy?
C. High Quality Cables?
D. Any thing else that I missed?

Well thanks for your responses and keep in mind that I am looking for parts that I can buy today. Not in a few months. Because I don’t know about you but I lost my time travel device. About the future technologies I am just looking for information. Thanks again.


Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.

More about : ultimate gaming

July 16, 2003 6:18:24 AM

Quote:
I am interested in running a Dual Processor System. My choices are the opteron, (which will be replaced by the sledge hammer) or the AMD Athlon64.

Negative. If you want to run a multiprocessor AMD system, your only choice is an Opteron. Athlon64 will never support multiprocessor. I can say "never" with confidence because the chips are basically the same, but the Opteron will be marketed as the server-class CPU, while the Athlon64 is the home/workstation-class CPU. Allow the cheaper Athlon64 to support multiple processors, and AMD won't sell many of the more expensive Opterons, will they?

<font color=white><b>_________________________________________________</font color=white></b>
Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
a b à CPUs
July 16, 2003 6:47:11 AM

Wow, big questions for big thinkers! OK
1.)
A. The Athlon64 isn't supposed to be used in dual configuration, the Opteron uses the same core and is specified for dual or quad operation. It isn't that fast with 32-bit code, so unless you really need to run 64-bit code, I'd advise against it.
B.) You could get XEON processors with up to 2MB L3 cache. This is soldered directly to the pin grid and I believe it runs at full speed like the L2 cache. Of course, the standard P4 desktop CPU is always "cutting edge" compared to the Xeons, which are released in a more mature state. But desktop P4's can't be ran in dual configuration.
C. Unless your running some serious apps designed for multithreading, or doing multiple task under ideal conditions for multithreading, you'll probably not see a significant gain from it. Also, dually boards are designed for stability, not speed, they normally don't include the latest features nor offer the best available performance.
2.) You can use SCSI on ANY board! More on that in a minute.
3.) The transfer rates of the fastest SCSI drives still don't exceed the old Ultra80 speed, even though these drives are using Ultra320 protocols. Your best speed would come from RAID 0, 10, or 5.

If you plan on a small number of drives, RAID 5 with 3 drives would be fine, but you wouldn't need more than 80MB/s per channel on a 3 channel card, so buy mine! Otherwise, better performance would come from more drives. For instance, 9 drives on a 3 channel controller (3 per channel) in RAID 5 would be almost ideal! Hmm...that would allow you to at least take advantage of Ultra160 speeds on each channel, and starts to get you into Ultra320 territory.

If you REALLY want to take advantage of Ultra 320, I'd suggest 15 drives in RAID 5 on a 3 channel controller!

Now, the 64-bit thing, yes, you would need a server board for that. I don't know of any server boards that would give you the other features you're looking for though. I'd suggest PCI-X for best speed right now in a SCSI card and server board slot.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
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July 16, 2003 11:22:15 AM

$4000?

For a gaming machine?

Spend about $2500 for the Samsung 24" LCD and then spend about $1500 on the Gaming computer. You'd still get the same FPS, but the game Doom3 would load about 2-3 seconds slower. ;) 

1 - Very few games are geared for dual CPUs. And as stated, the Athlon64 is the consumer version of the Opteron and you I severely doubt you'll find dual-AThlon64 boards on the market (Then again, some folks were running dual Celeron systems some years back).

Dual Opteron CPU boards start around $700.. ouch.


1 - Get the FASTEST AMD 64 you can get.
2 - Get an ASUS board, first choice. Might not be as FLASHY as the other brands (black, purple, blue or silver PCB boards) - but they have features and stability.

3 - Get a KICK ASS case, put lights in it, 400watt PSU and a fast HD or RAID 5 (3 drives) as Crashman said.

Check out this baby:
<A HREF="http://www.coolermaster.com/case/tac-t01.htm" target="_new">http://www.coolermaster.com/case/tac-t01.htm&lt;/A>

or on Newegg:

<A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-119-02..." target="_new">http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage.asp?image=11-119-02...;/A>

$143 on that site. I'd replace the 80mm coolers righ lighted versions, which should look SWEET

Then buy the FASTEST 3D Gaming card on the market when you are ready to buy.


Amiga - The Original Power
July 16, 2003 11:58:58 AM

First of all thanks for your responses I very much appreciate them. Here are my thoughts.

CPU –
AMD
If the athlon64 can't be ran dual processor wise, then that shoots that plan out of the water. Would it behoove me to run dual opterons or a single Athlon64? My main purpose will be gaming, but I also do a great deal of multitasking; like video encoding, multiple (Internet) explorer windows (who thought that that would slow down a system), Programming, and a lot digital media (like game mod making). But most of my current applications are 32 bit, with the current information that would suggestion the Athlon64.

Intel –
I have heard very bad things about Intels. So I don’t use them and the way over priced for my piece of mind. Plus I am a big amd fan. But I am open to ideas, have any?


SCSI-
Pertaining to the SCSI issue I would like to run 1 maybe 2 drives and have it be fast as hell. The Maxtor drive that I mentioned above said that it can do 75 MB Sustained Transfer with a maximum of 320 MB/s. That is very very fast. When compared to ide or sata drives which there transfers aren’t sustained but completely bursts ranging from the 10-30 MB range. With SCSI do I have to run multiple drive to get that fast of a transfer rate? Any other ideas pertaining to fast transfer either via SCSI or raid?

Misc –
The ASUS SK8N is $300 Which is for the opteron.
A 24” LCD Monitor is to big. I don’t even like 19”. 17 is my size.
Asus is my favorite Motherboard Manufacturer.
I don’t want a frilly case with lights or a window. Call me old fashioned I guess. I was thinking of a full tower server case. But the case that nfaq linked to is nice.


I think I have covered everything.



Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
July 16, 2003 12:44:07 PM

If you're going balls-to-the-wall here, and $4000 is certainly enough to do it with, then the fastest gaming system you can build is going to be an Intel system, not AMD. I'm not a fanboy from either camp, so I don't care about who makes what (my current rig is an AMD, for that matter), but right now, Intel has the fastest chips on the market. Anything above a P4 2.8Ghz/800Mhz FSB is going to outperform any AMD chip, including their top of the line 3200+. Just take a look:

<A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030623/p4_3200-08.htm..." target="_new">http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20030623/p4_3200-08.htm...;/A>

Of course, it won't be 64 bit, but I don't see that being a probem anytime in the foreseeable future. With Intel not having its own backwards compatible 64 bit architecture, gamer developers are not exactly going to be in a rush to create 64 bit games. But then thats open to debate, so your decision really depends on how much weight you personally put on 64-bit.

<font color=white><b>_________________________________________________</font color=white></b>
Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 16, 2003 3:07:18 PM

Hey man, it sounds like you are aiming at a top end full on stable gaming box. An amd box is *not* the way to go in that case. Don't mean to pop your cherry but amd boxes are generally require more work to get to the same stability level as an intel box, and with the release of the intel c series there is no comparison on speed what-so-ever.

If you are interested in gaming and feel you need a multiprocessor system, you want to step up to a xeon... *but* as an owner of a multiprocessor scsi system for the past 3 years (which is about to become my primary linux machine), I can tell you it does absolutely jackshit for 95% of games... it does help with video work but not enough to justify the lose of the other features (800mhz bus, dual ddr, etc.) A single faster processor with a wider bus and dual ddr memory will do more for you than the second processor will do in games. If you go with an intel xeon the board you want to go with is an E7505 or E7205 based board. The IWill is a good one and I believe asus makes a nice model based on that chipset also.

SCSI isn't going to get you significantly better performance than IDE unless you have a 64bit pci slot to use with it... which are generally only included on higher end server boards... which aren't going to have other features you would want on a gaming box.

If you are after truely fast access without scsi the thing to consider is the western digital raptors... those are 10k rpm drives that compare quite favorably to scsi, especially in a raid 0 configuration but they aren't dead silent and they don't have a large ammount of storage... and the difference in performance on the pc isn't going to be signficantly different than a good standard ide drive in raid 0 configuration. (The raptor 10krpm drives run ~150$ 36.7gb.)

If i were building the 'ultimate gaming box' presently it would look alot like this...

Motherboard - ASUS P4C800 Deluxe - 178.00
Processor - Intel Pentium 4 3.2 HT 800FSB - 675.00
Ram 1 - Corsair CMX512-3500C2 - 151.00
Ram 2 - Corsair CMX512-3500C2 - 151.00
Hard Disk 1 - EIDE 250.0GB 7200 RPM 8MB CACHE - 262.00
Hard Disk 2 - EIDE 250.0GB 7200 RPM 8MB CACHE - 262.00
Sata Disk 1 - WD Raptor 10K RPM 8MB Cache 36.7GB - 151.00
Video Card - Gainward 1600XP Golden Sample GFX 5900 Ultra - 483.00
Sound Card - Creative Audigy2 Platinum - 162.00
CD-RW - Lite On 52x24x52x CD-RW - 40.00
DVD-RW - Sony DRU-500AX - 285.00
Speakers - Creative MegaWorks THX 6.1 650 - 339.00
Floppy - Teac 1.44 Floppy Drive - 12.00
Case - Xaser III V2000A Case - 174.00
Power Supply - Antec TRUE550 Power Supply - 98.00
Monitor - Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB-BK - 738.00
Mouse - Logitech MX500 - 41.00
Keyboard - Logitech Elite Black Keyboard - 26.00
OS - Windows XP Professional - 188.00

This is pretty much a screamer of a box... no problems turning on the eyecandy here. Totals out to a about $4416.00 and is pretty overclockable if you want to go that route... I'd raid 0 the big drives togeather as primary on chain 0 and primary on chain 1 and put the os on the raptor all alone. Install all games and programs on the raid. The dvd-rw/cd-rw would go on as the secondaries on each of the respective chains. If you prefer ati then go the route of the 9800 Pro 256mb card instead of the fx, and it will cut a couple dollars off the price of the system (~5-10$ish).

For gaming purposes, unless you get a vapochill and go the serious overclocking route, this is probally the hands down top of the line gaming system currently buildable... and with video editing and such it will make you shudder with delight heh. I suppose you could go up to 2gig of ram if you wanted to but it's really unnecessary and redundant in most cases unless you are doing alot of rendering or video work (although it is nice to be able to pop out a gig ram drive and put your swap file over on it... *grin*.) I highly recommend the monitor, you may think it's to big, but it is really a superior monitor for gaming and video work, the colors are true, the blacks are black and it has plenty of real estate for running the newest games at high resolutions without making everything to tiny to deal with. If you are going top of the line, go top of the line, don't half ass especially on the display. You also do NOT want LCD for a gaming rig. You want a *good* crt. In a couple years, I'm sure LCD will be the only route, but a good crt is still superior to an lcd.

Shadus

Edit: You could add more SATA raptors to raid togeather for the os drive, *BUT* windows is oft times funny about living on a raid... so I would suggest giving it a lone raptor all to itself.
July 16, 2003 3:35:24 PM

If you are nor upgrading until next February, why not go with the new Prescott core from Intel?

I'm not a fanboy of either, but I have an Intel 2.4Ghz, and I run Intel on another machine, and they do make a quality processor. I do agree that if you are after a stable high-end performance machine, Intel is the way to go.

If I was as sexy as I was smart.....I'd still be ugly..DAMN :mad: 
**Finally made Newbie...HAPPY DANCE..HAPPY DANCE..**
July 16, 2003 3:45:18 PM

I was going with what was available today, shrug, hard to guess prices that far out, so anytime I build a pc that has a price attached I build it current timespan or availability.

Shadus
July 16, 2003 4:10:35 PM

With the Prescott due out later this year, and the new PCI express due out mid 2004, if I were you, if you could, I would hold off until then.

PCI Express is reported to be twice as fast as the current AGP 8x, which will (apparently) be the last revision.



If I was as sexy as I was smart.....I'd still be ugly..DAMN :mad: 
**Finally made Newbie...HAPPY DANCE..HAPPY DANCE..**
July 16, 2003 5:40:39 PM

Shrug, if you wait a few months something better is always available... until NV/ATi put out something that is PCI Express however it doesn't matter if its 10000x faster )they both will have new chipsets out by then of course, and nv at least has commited to pciexpress on the nv40 from the press releases i've seen... not sure on ati.) Shrug, like I said, I build for current time not future :) 

Shadus
July 16, 2003 6:02:15 PM

Quote:
My main purpose will be gaming, but I also do a great deal of multitasking; like video encoding, multiple (Internet) explorer windows (who thought that that would slow down a system), Programming, and a lot digital media (like game mod making). But most of my current applications are 32 bit

No offense, but what you're describing sounds like <i>exactly</i> the perfect reasoning to buy a single Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading. Unless you really expect to be running 64-bit software, I can't support your obsessive desire for an A64. Go with an AthlonMP or AXP if you need an AMD solution.

Quote:
I have heard very bad things about Intels. So I don’t use them and the way over priced for my piece of mind. Plus I am a big amd fan. But I am open to ideas, have any?

I do not understand your strange hatred of all things Intel. Ever since the Northwood core I haven't heard a single bad thing about Intel. And as for Intel's prices, have you seen AMD's lately? And have you compared the performance of AMD's CPUs at those prices to Intel CPUs? Frankly with as much cash as you're planning to blow on this system I can't even understand why you'd care about price at all, but even if you do, Intel has become very cost-effective for anything but low-end systems (which yours certainly won't be).

If you truly are open to ideas, then I suggest that you be open to the possability that AMD just isn't what it used to be. In the P3 era AMD rocked. In the Willamette P4 era AMD rocked. These eras ended years ago though and AMD hasn't rocked since. They've barely even held on for the ride.

Quote:
Pertaining to the SCSI issue I would like to run 1 maybe 2 drives and have it be fast as hell.

As Crashman said, 1 or 2 drives on SCSI <i>won't</i> be fast as hell compared to what SCSI is capable of. It isn't even worthy of a 64-bit PCI card. You might as well just run that on a 32-bit bus. If you're going to get 64-bit PCI SCSI then you should at <i>least</i> look at a RAID5 setup and at <i>least</i> five drives. Otherwise there really isn't a point.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 16, 2003 6:13:35 PM

Shadus, I have to support your sentiment, but I'd seriously reconsider that 'ultimate gaming box'. I'd take the same basic concept, but throw in another two 512MB sticks of RAM to bring it up to 2GB. Then I'd find a SATA RAID card like a HighPoint RocketRAID 1640 and pick up at least four Raptors to run in a RAID5 configuration instead of messing with RAID0 at all.

That or get a SCSI card and run a SCSI RAID5 array. Heh heh.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 16, 2003 6:44:47 PM

IMO SCSI just isn't really worth it anymore. IDE is a fraction of the cost, significantly larger size, same warrenty (on the high end wd drives), and less hassel now that there are decent sata controllers. Unless you can get a 64 bit pci slot to put the controller card in for scsi, it's a waste of time... and on a good gaming machine generally you're not seeing a 64bit pci slot.

I am generally more inclined to go 0, 01, or 10 rather than 5 just because there is less cpu overhead (if my memory still serves from when we did testing at my last job for the news server raid.)

Gotta admit though a 0 or 5 raid array of 4 raptors does have a certain appeal... ;) 

Shadus
July 16, 2003 7:07:11 PM

Oh I agree that most of us really don't need anything even close to SCSI, especially with SATA now. You have to admit though that a five-disk RAID5 SCSI on 64-bit PCI would be pretty sweet. :) 

I mostly support RAID5 over RAID0 though just for the data redundancy. That way should a drive actually fail, you're still safe. Granted, there are plenty of other good ways to backup your data, but I'm lazy and always forget to use them. Heh heh. :) 

And I still really like RAID1.5. I'd love to see products <i>not</i> produced by DFI that use it.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 16, 2003 7:59:57 PM

Shadus...who said amd boxes are not stable...latly the p4s have been getting a terrible rap because even high quality corsair modules are not running at rated speeds when pat is enabled...

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 16, 2003 8:02:14 PM

I'm thinking 5x76gb 15k RPM Cheetah's... you know, the 3.x ms access time ones :p  hehe *drool*

Shadus
July 16, 2003 8:13:11 PM

Quote:
I'm thinking 5x76gb 15k RPM Cheetah's... you know, the 3.x ms access time ones :p  hehe *drool*

That'd just be so narsty. Hell, I could maybe even live with Windows swap files then! Ha!

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 6:12:20 AM

CPU –
Well being open minded I think I will try Intel if there are the best of the best when I buy my system. Hopefully amd will pick of the slack and give Intel some real competition. The only bad sign that I see by doing this is that A64 will support 64 bit and 32 bit simultaneous processing with no performance loss. Intel currently can do that. On the other had thought there are barely any 64 bit applications that I would use. Plus I really like trying new things, since I have ran an Intel since MMX came out, its probe about time.

Dual CPU –
If there are no advantages to my main purpose which is gaming then why run dual cpus? My answer you don’t. But if I can I would like to run dual P4s or dual a64 if there the best.

SCSI –
I am planning on getting a Motherboard that had 64bit pci just so that I can use SCSI properly. Or if they come out with a pcix or express (I think there the same). Or would it behoove me to go with some sort of a raid system. I don’t want a ton of drives. So in my opinion SCSI is the way to go.

Raid –
I have tried messing with raid. I ran a raid 0 and raid 1 system for a while. (Separate systems) With raid 0 there was no performance increase. With raid 1 there was loss of performance.

Overclocking –
Not interested

Misc –
Where’s 3GIO?
When is PCIX going to be out?

My current system thoughts –
Motherboard - ASUS P4P800 Deluxe - 137.00
Processor - Intel Pentium 4 3.2 HT 800FSB - 685.00
Ram 1 – ?
Ram 2 – ?
Hard Disk 1 – ?
Hard Disk 2 – ?
Sata Disk 1 - ?
Video Card - Sapphire RADEON 9800 PRO ATLANTIS ULTIMATE - 573
Sound Card - Audigy 2 platinum ex - 205.89
CD-RW - Lite On 52x24x52x CD-RW – currently own
DVD-RW - Sony DRU-510A (oem) - 222.33
Speakers - Creative Inspire 6.1 6600 - 80.00
Floppy - Teac 1.44 Floppy Drive - 12.00
Case - Xaser III V2000A Case - 149.00
Power Supply - Enermax EG651P-VE 550watts - 132.00
Monitor 1 - Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB-BK - 738.00 (thinking)
Monitor 2 - ?
Mouse - Logitech MX700 – currently own
Keyboard – ?
OS - Windows XP Professional – Currently own

Total so far is $2935


What do you think?




Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
July 17, 2003 12:47:12 PM

> Shadus...who said amd boxes are not stable...
> latly the p4s have been getting a terrible rap
> because even high quality corsair modules are
> not running at rated speeds when pat is enabled...

Almost anyone who builds machines for a living. There have been several posts on these forums at various points arguing it. An experienced person can put in a little time and make an amd box run as stable as an intel box, but it will never be as tolerant as an intel when a heat sink becomes unattached or a fan dies on the heatsink... the chipset detection for amds can usually catch it before anything drastic happens... but not always. I've not seen a P4 catch fire yet. That is a chip level problem, with a chipset level fix.

I've not seen any p4s, especially since the b/c revisions, get a 'terrible rap' yet, the problem with low latency modules is a chipset problem with the 865/875 NOT with the intel chip itself. It is easy to resolve if it's the problem I know of (Just move timings to a minimum of 2-3-2-6-T1), corsair already fixed it in all future releases of the LL modules. It's not a problem with corsair alone, it's any module set at timings lower than those above... Again though, this is a chipset issue, not a chip issue and is completely solveable by simply switching to a non-865/875 chipset motherboard.

Shadus
July 17, 2003 12:50:41 PM

If you're really dead set on scsi there is a canterwood board (I think it's gigabyte or perhaps msi) that has an onboard u320 controller that is damn nice... may want to consider that board instead...

Again, though, I will say, I have scsi raid 0 setup (which is about 30-40% faster than a single drive setup in my experience) presently and the performance is only marginally better than the ide drives in my other computer that are raid 0.

scsi just really isn't worth it anymore unless you are going screaming high end... ala drive rack. The more I work with pcs the more I lean away from scsi... although I will say, my scsi 8x burner is a work of art... and i'll miss that when I goto an ide/sata only system.

(I'm presently maintaining 4 systems at home, 1 linux, 1 nt 4, 1 xp pro, 1 98se.)

Shadus
July 17, 2003 2:57:31 PM

Quote:
I have heard very bad things about Intels

That's a strange one indeed. I wonder what kind of things this guy has heard? I can't think of any. He must be hanging out around some guy who keeps defending AMD all the way and keeps bashing intel... who knows?... :frown:

Anyway, that configuration looks great. I don't know about SCSI, though... I'd probably go with WD Raptors in RAID if I had the kind of money songoku has. Unfortunately, I haven't... I find SCSI to be an interesting technology (I'm running a SCSI drive here right now!), but for me, someone still has to prove that it has real advantages over SATA RAID for non-server/workstation users. (I'm writing on a workstation at this moment... it's not mine, though. :frown: )

<font color=red><b>M</b></font color=red>ephistopheles
July 17, 2003 5:30:48 PM

A fast harddisk means better for a gaming system?
If u got enough RAM what is the effect of HDD in a gaming system other than better initial loading time?
July 17, 2003 6:11:06 PM

If the swap file is on a fast drive, it has better access time when the drive goes to vmem.

Shadus
July 17, 2003 6:13:25 PM

Quote:
A64 will support 64 bit and 32 bit simultaneous processing with no performance loss.

That's really a point of view issue. The 32-bit software will run more or less the same as an equivalent AXP. From that point of view there is no performance 'loss'. However, the 64-bit code optimized to use the extra registers should run noticably faster. So from that perspective, 32-bit <i>will</i> run slower than 64-bit, and thus it is actually a performance 'loss'. Semantics, I know, but I always love to bring up these sorts of details. :) 

Seriously though, the whole 64-bit software thing might catch on and make the AMD platform worth it. Then again it might not, which would make an A64 just an overpriced AXP. Time will tell.

Quote:
If there are no advantages to my main purpose which is gaming then why run dual cpus? My answer you don’t. But if I can I would like to run dual P4s or dual a64 if there the best.

For what you're talking about, I can't imagine there being much (if any) real purpose to a dual CPU setup. Dual CPUs only make sense for people who depend on the performance of multi-threaded software or for people who run multiple CPU-intensive tasks. The internet is not CPU intensive. And most games (most softwares in fact) are single-threaded.

That aside, here again is where Intel makes more sense. The HyperThreading CPUs will run multi-threaded code (or multiple CPU-intensive programs) better than any other single CPU. So with HyperThreading you get a multi-tasking performance boost without spending the excessive money on multiple CPUs. It's a nice middle point between single and dualie. Call it a one-and-a-halfie. :) 

Quote:
I am planning on getting a Motherboard that had 64bit pci just so that I can use SCSI properly. Or if they come out with a pcix or express (I think there the same). Or would it behoove me to go with some sort of a raid system. I don’t want a ton of drives. So in my opinion SCSI is the way to go.

PCI-X will likely only come out for a graphics card on the desktop systems. <i>Maybe</i> it'll replace PCI on them one day, but even then I'd bet it's only 32-bit instead of 64-bit.

And three to five drives isn't too much for a simple RAID array. :)  Heck, my new case supports four hard drives <i>and</i> I could probably fit a fifth in the remaining floppy bay. And there are plenty of cases out there designed to hold a lot more than that without being abnormally huge.

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I have tried messing with raid. I ran a raid 0 and raid 1 system for a while. (Separate systems) With raid 0 there was no performance increase. With raid 1 there was loss of performance.

No offense, but if you set up RAID0 with exactly the same performance as one hard drive and RAID1 with a performance loss, you <i>definately</i> had something set up wrong or else had some seriously bad hardware. RAID is like dual-channel memory for your hard drives. It just kicks arse! :) 

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Where’s 3GIO?
When is PCIX going to be out?

The answer is blowing in the wind. Seriously, beats the heck out of me. There's talk of PCI-X replacing AGP. That however does nothing for the PCI cards. So I don't know. I've seen some nice Xeon server boards with PCI-X. I'd imagine that Opteron has the same. (Or else it'd be a crappy server, no?) Us poor folk with our little desktops though don't get this neat stuff very often. :( 

Quote:
My current system thoughts –
...

Personally I'd wait for Grantsdale, Prescott, DDRII, and PCI-X video. It's a bit of a wait, but if you want something that'll be upgradable in the future there isn't much choice. Besides, the performance should be worth it. :) 

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 6:42:12 PM

If I got greater than 512 MB RAM why I need swap file?
I will disable it.
July 17, 2003 6:54:56 PM

Can you dissable the swap file?

I think ya can but on the next restart it will re-enable swap file space on the hard drive.

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 17, 2003 7:36:06 PM

Quote:
If I got greater than 512 MB RAM why I need swap file?
I will disable it.

Heh heh. If I did that at work, I'd be constantly running out of memory. I swear I need at <i>least</i> two gigs with the software that I run.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 7:45:16 PM

Quote:
Can you dissable the swap file?

I think ya can but on the next restart it will re-enable swap file space on the hard drive.

I think it depends on the version of Windows. I know that I've done it on Win95 in the past, but that was when I had a P133 with 128MB of RAM and programs just didn't use very much RAM. Heck, back then I'd have to force Quake1 to utilize 32MB using command-line arguments.

I did it more recently with Win98SE once ... bad idea. There was this stupid bug where Windows would tell me that I was out of memory and that I should close some programs, but yet it didn't have enough memory to even let me close any programs. So it was basically locked-up except that I could still move the mouse around. **ROFL** Brilliant.

I've never dared to even try it on my Win2K box. Heck, occasionally I still get an automated message from Windows asking if it can increase the size allocated for virtual memory because I'm about to run out. It'd be crazy for me to then just go and disable it. It'd run out of RAM in no time.

I don't have enough experience with WinXP, but as I understand it WinXP saves it's state to free up RAM whenever you run anything like a game, so I'm not sure that it'd even allow you to completely disable all swap file use. Not that it matters though, since supposedly WinXP is at least smart enough to only use virtual memory when it's needed. (So if you have enough RAM you'll never have a swap-file-slowdown anyway.) Of course, again, that's all just theory to me since I don't have enough personal experience with WinXP to know for sure.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 17, 2003 8:21:56 PM

Really even with huge ammounts of system memory a swap file is beneficial, it lets the computer swap out unused dll's that haven't been unloaded. You don't want the computer using it to awful much, but even with a gig of ram, when I disable the swap the computer does run considerably slower once memory hungry apps are loaded (and no, it wasn't using a gig of ram, was eating a few hundred meg at the time.)

Shadus
a b à CPUs
July 18, 2003 1:15:48 AM

I hate to burst your bubble, but the fastest AMD processors are about the same speed right now as an upper midlevel P4, often at twice the price, which blows your value theory out of the water. You only get the best value with AMD if you're goind low to mid performance, because that's where AMD processors have steep price cuts.

If you wanted a great value in a SCSI card, I can sell you my 3-channel RAID card with 64MB cache for $100. Put a bunch of cheap used 10k RPM drives on it, and you have a super fast settup for around $300.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
a b à CPUs
July 18, 2003 1:16:44 AM

Faster hard drives mean you can load the game faster, and you can load the new sceens faster, that's about it.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
July 18, 2003 12:58:58 PM

There's some confusion here i.e. this is totally wrong.

Quote:
PCI-X will likely only come out for a graphics card on the desktop systems.

Quote:
There's talk of PCI-X replacing AGP. That however does nothing for the PCI cards

Actually what is happening is that Intel are pushing to change the whole PCI bus. PCI-X is old technology as far as Intel are concerned and it will never be used for video cards as far as I am aware.

What is coming is PCI-Express. It is a serial PCI interface that will give huge bandwith improvement over the old parallell PCI we are used to, consequently the old AGP / PCI(-X) standards will be phased out. As a result of the high bandwidth there will be no need for a seperate bus for the video card and new video cards can just slot into a PCI-Express slot. The first PCI-Express capable motherboards are expected to be introduced with the Grantsdale chipset somewhere in H2 2004.

A detailed article on PCI-Express and the improvements it offers can be found at <A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,522663,00.as..." target="_new">ExtremeTech</A>.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=114979" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
July 21, 2003 2:42:34 AM

ok sorry for the long reply, I got a little busy. Now I have a few questions about a raid 0 sata using the Western Digital Raptor. According to tomshardware its almost as fast as a ultra 320 drive but half the cost. What raid controller card should I use? Or should I get a board with it built in?

As for the cpu I have to wait to see who is the fastest along with everything else. I am planning though on not going all out but instead, do a big upgrade and then go all out then pci-x comes out.


Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
July 21, 2003 2:46:58 AM

PCI-X is already out... I think you mean PCI-Express. They're different technologies... :frown:

<font color=red><b>M</b></font color=red>ephistopheles
July 21, 2003 3:02:39 AM

yes you are right. Are there any devices for pci-x? I Havent seen any?

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
July 21, 2003 4:40:22 AM

PCI-X, i think, is some sort of bus technology in server motherboards.

"I Don't Got It,
Cause You Didn't Get It" - Anonymous
July 21, 2003 5:11:11 AM

that is correct...i would recomend using the raid controler intigrated into INTEL motherboards because they are connected directly to the chipset...they are not limited to the 133mb/s pci bus speed...this is unlike the nforce boards which have their controlers connected via the pci bus.

There is no smell better than fried silicon :evil: 
July 21, 2003 5:29:25 AM

Well I wouldn't buy that expensive ram unless I was going to overclock, which I would but he might not.

As for the super system, can't say a damn thing. Shadus gave you some good ideas in everything especially the hard drives, but I'll bet come february the mobo and cpu advice won't mean a damn thing. Things are a changing and no one knows what will be hot in 6 months.
July 21, 2003 10:58:45 PM

thanks guys. your responces were quite helpful.

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
!