I'm looking at buying an Athlon 64 3200 and wondered if anyone has any experience with them? I'm not talking about performance (there's enough benchmarks around already) but whether there's anything I need to know about putting them together? Also, what memory should I invest in? Is it worth paying the extra for some good PC3200 DDR-RAM?
its always worth investing in branded quality memory; but I'm not sure if paying twice the price for ultra low latency ram is worth it though. Firingsquad's test even showed that when the modules where ran at PC1600 speeds, the performance drop was relatively marginal, so I wouldnt worry too much about it.
Other things I'd keep an eye on is Cool & Quiet. Not all motherboards support this yet, though that should be a matter of bios revisions. more importantly, not all athlon 64's support this; see <A HREF="http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-3200_5.html" target="_new">this page</A>. Might as well pick a cpu that handles this.
Are you going for a nForce3 or VIA board ? Anyway, good luck with your new powerhouse !
= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
If you plan to get the MSI to work with Cool and Quiet you need to upgrade it's firmware. MSI lets you enable Dynamic Overclocking via a CoreCell Chipset that controlls all aspects of OC'ing dynamically. You can enable/disable this option. I would recommend getting PC3200 (I got Corsair 2 x 512MB Low Latency) memory and it worked first time. Also invest in a decent cooler (Zalman CNPS7000Cu is one of them).
The Athlon 64 runs much cooler than any other AMD chips I know and I'm very happy with my system (not a serious overclocker though). VIA RAID works well too! Use VIA version before you use the Promise one - I tested both and VIA one works much better (30-40% better)