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THGC CPU Buyers' Guide (Beta) is posted!!!

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February 3, 2004 3:46:19 PM

<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">Check it!</A>

and post your opinions.

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More about : thgc cpu buyers guide beta posted

February 3, 2004 5:55:51 PM

Wow great job. That will makes things alot easier for people.
February 3, 2004 6:09:41 PM

Cool guide. And I'd say one that is really unbiased.
But you may want to consider AXP with 512kB cache as a good options for gamers.
Related resources
February 3, 2004 6:20:47 PM

The scotty has sse3...u forgot that...


If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
110% BX fanboy
February 3, 2004 6:22:32 PM

Yup good guide!

I think he will recommend Barton 2500+ in the Overclocking section. Because alongside with unlocked 1800+/2000+, the Barton 2500+ is the best AMD overclocker and it's damn cheap!

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
February 3, 2004 6:24:08 PM

Nice job :) 

I know the oc section will follow, but I think it is worth saying (perhaps in some graded way) which you will get good oc'ing from (eg xp1800) and which are bad.

Oh, an important point imo: when talking about these lower end xp's, such as the 1700, make it clear that you can upgrade as far as the 2400 (2ghz). Upgradeability for relatively cheap is an important consideration for me, and many others no doubt.

Cheers,

Chris

XP2000, 256ddr 2100ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
February 3, 2004 6:25:26 PM

Good job!

I can say it's not biased. You might add a little section on chipset. Not full range recommendation/decription, just a short note for each platform.

Exemple : AMD XP best chipset is nForce2 400 ULTRA and AMD64 is Via...

I know it's a CPU guide, but it's not worth buying a GOOD cpu with a non performing chipset.

--
Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
February 3, 2004 6:31:53 PM

found a nit picky edit...

Quote:
because there's already x64-64 version of Linux and many x64-64 compatible apps.

replace version with versions...


If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
110% BX fanboy
February 3, 2004 7:09:02 PM

Very nice guide

Athlon 2700xp+ (oc: 3200xp+ with 200fsb) , Radeon 9800pro (oc: 410/370) , 512mb pc3200 (3-3-3-2), Asus A7N8X-X
February 3, 2004 7:12:34 PM

Thank you


If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
110% BX fanboy
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 7:15:57 PM

Congrats, you put a lot of work in it, it may actually be usefull. A few constructive comments though:

1) change the order. Move "Picking the right cpu" to the top of the post, its what people will need/want to read. the rest is more...background info. As it is now, a newbie being directed to the FAQ may not even scroll down far enough to find what he needs to read.

2) I know the whole point of your exercise is to make generalizations, but it might be usefull to include links to specific benchmarks if you have the time. Especially things like DivX encoding, 3D rendering or CAD.. people generally use just one specific app for this (not surprising if you know how much a true 3D package costs), and they should mostly only look at the performance of a certain cpu for that single app. So it would be nice to able to click to benchmarks using 3DS, Maya, POVray, ..

3) you knew this was comming: I can't agree with your x86-64 statements. I'll first discuss factual errors:
-"AMD64 is marketing name of x86-64".. minor nitpicking, but x86-64 was also a marketing name. I would rather say "AMD64 is AMDs marketing term to describe its 64 bit extentions to the x86 ISA" or something
- "and it will overcome the 4GB memory limitation of current 32 bit CPUs. Since this feature is currently not utilized in windows environment and more than 4 GB memory is going to be necessary in desktop PCs at least until 2006, "

NO NO NO NO, and again NO. LOL, please Spitfire, didnt you read any of the discussion on this ? 64 bit is <b>not</b> about accessing more than 4 GB RAM, its about having a flat memory address space, allowing apps to break the 2 GB address space limit, regardless how much or how little RAM you have. A 64 bit cpu and OS are definately usefull even with only 1 gig or RAM. please, do me a favor, and read <A HREF="http://www.chip-architect.com/news/2003_04_20_Looking_a... need for 64 bit processing: Closer than you think." target="_new">this little piece by Hans de Vries</A>. Scroll down to "The need for 64 bit processing: Closer than you think." Its only 1 paragraphs, and nearly a year old, but still as true as ever. Keep in mind Hans is not at all a DTP'er, and there are plenty of people using Photoshop. And this is just one tiny example. Also bare in mind, he is not even mentioning the fact windows (and every other 32 bit OS) is limited to 2 GB /process as they reserve 2 GB for the kernel, VMM, etc. (okay, 3 GB for XP PRo if you edit boot.ini, but you need recompiled apps to take advantage of this).

You are entitled your own opinion on 64 bit adoptions, but at the very least I think you should report that opinions vary widely on this matter... minimum minimorum. Otherwise, I believe you are doing your readers a disservice by not giving them the whole picture. At least allow them to make up their own minds.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bbaeyens on 02/03/04 04:24 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 3, 2004 8:09:14 PM

1) Good idea, I think I'll do this change.

2) Yeah, generalization is the whole point of this guide. But most of the similar apps. prefer similar kind of CPU. Exceptions usually come from programs that aren't used in the first place, but has some use (Ogg Vorbis encoding for example, AXP 3200+ = P4 3.2 GHz = A64 3400+ in this app, SSE2 is useless here). The generalization thing will still be the main concept, but I will try to point out exceptions from now.

BTW, if you use pirated software, then "how much it costs" is useless. Especially students and beginners mess with lots of software without buying. And many small Asian commercial animation houses use any software they want to use, because of free style piracy. (don't be rude on them, they really can't afford to pay $400 to $1000 for a single software. They will be out of business if they're forced to pay for Maya, 3DSMax)

3) Maybe I'll rename the AMD64/x86-64 naming things according to your suggestion.

I've read most of your arguments about memory limitations. I know it's 4 GB addressing (4 GB, 2GB + 2 GB), not only physical RAM. But then, currently most people are fine with 512 MB physical and 512 MB virtual, total 1 GB addressing. In fact, I'm using 512 MB physical + 256 MB virtual, total 768 MB addressing space. I can't remember when I last got "low virtual memory" message (my work is gaming, some audio editing, audio/video encoding). Some people need 1 GB physical and maybe similar ammount virtual RAM, but they are still not majority.

And "until 2006" is my way to say "end of 2005". I want to mean, 4 GB addressing will be good enough for 95% people for whole 2005.

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 8:25:50 PM

>BTW, if you use pirated software, then "how much it costs"
>is useless

Well then, consider the learning curve of a program like 3DS. Once you get to know it, you'll think twice about switching to Maya. Oh well, this is OT anyway.

>But then, currently most people are fine with 512 MB
>physical and 512 MB virtual, total 1 GB addressing.

Most people are fine with a 2500+ for now. I am. In fact, I might be fine with it for another year or two. Does that mean I wouldnt benefit from a 3400+ ? A P4EE ? Sure I would ! same applies to 64 bit. You may not *need* it, but that doesnt make it useless.. far from. And unlike a P4EE/A64/FX, chip, AMD64 support is free.

Besides, if I spend >$400 on just the cpu, I expect to hang on that system for a while. 64 bit is not a requirement, nor will it be for quite a while, but it is anything but useless.

> I want to mean, 4 GB addressing will be good enough for
>95% people for whole 2005.

Define "good enough". You mean like in "sub optimal" ? You mean like people found windows 3.11 good enough in 1996 ? Or windows 98/ME good enough today ? It still gets the job done you know.. who needs XP ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 8:26:22 PM

BTW, did you read that link ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 3, 2004 8:27:05 PM

Quote:
But you may want to consider AXP with 512kB cache as a good options for gamers.

You can see, I've recommended AXP 2400+ to 2600+ for gamers and light/no encoding software users.

I preferred higher clock, because it's helpful everywhere unlike exttra L2 cache.

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February 3, 2004 8:30:00 PM

hey great!

I take it you not going to post anything from Apple are ya?

Perhaps a note to in FAQ about that not being added if you not going to.


<b>on the verge of catastrophy (y1.999...k)</b>
ASUS P4S8X - P4 2.4B - 2 x 512M DDR333 - ATI 9500 Pro - WD 80G HD(8M) - SAMSUNG SV0844D 8G HD - LG 16X DVD - Yamaha F1 CDRW<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by cdpage on 02/03/04 05:46 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 3, 2004 8:35:40 PM

I have to agree with bbayes here. I am a photoshop user, and I am really anxious to move to 64 bit. 2 GB isnt enough for me. I get out of memory errors on a daily basis, and usually lose my work. I even go as far as disabling my firewall, MSN messenger, etc to have as much memory as I can. I have a 10 GB scratch disks in photoshop, but that doesnt help.

I currently own a P4 2.4C with 1,5 GB ram, and when I heard about Apple's G5, I was actually considering buying one until I heard the OS doesnt fully support 64 bit addressing yet, so its pointless. If and when Windows comes out for 64 bit, as does photoshop, I'll buy a 64 bit computer the very same day. I don't even care if it would be little slower than my current P4.
February 3, 2004 8:41:57 PM

Ya i hear ya with that photoshop memory issue

I too understand that the Mac OS is not fully 64 bit yet... not sure when it will be eather... but you'll have to wait for the 64 bit PC version of PS, but i think the new PS for mac is already setup for 64 bit.

by then the OSx might be fully 64 bit...

<b>on the verge of catastrophy (y1.999...k)</b>
ASUS P4S8X - P4 2.4B - 2 x 512M DDR333 - ATI 9500 Pro - WD 80G HD(8M) - SAMSUNG SV0844D 8G HD - LG 16X DVD - Yamaha F1 CDRW
February 3, 2004 8:43:48 PM

Quote:
Besides, if I spend >$400 on just the cpu, I expect to hang on that system for a while. 64 bit is not a requirement, nor will it be for quite a while, but it is anything but useless.

That's all what I said. It's won't be useful for some time. The buyer is the man to decide if it's important to him or not. Some people upgrade within 2 years and some not before 4 years.

Quote:
Define "good enough". You mean like in "sub optimal" ? You mean like people found windows 3.11 good enough in 1996 ? Or windows 98/ME good enough today ? It still gets the job done you know.. who needs XP ?

In my defination, "good enough" means Windows 2000 is still good enough.

Quote:
BTW, did you read that link ?

No. I suppose it backs up your claim regarding this topic. Anything else?

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February 3, 2004 8:45:01 PM

I take it you not going to post anything from Apple are ya?

Perhaps a note to in FAQ about that not being added if you not going to.

<b>on the verge of catastrophy (y1.999...k)</b>
ASUS P4S8X - P4 2.4B - 2 x 512M DDR333 - ATI 9500 Pro - WD 80G HD(8M) - SAMSUNG SV0844D 8G HD - LG 16X DVD - Yamaha F1 CDRW
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 8:49:30 PM

>That's all what I said. It's won't be useful for some time

*sigh*. Then i would claim a 3.4/3400+ is "Not usefull" for quite some time. Maybe remove it from your buying recommendations ?

>No. I suppose it backs up your claim regarding this topic.
>Anything else?

Yes. read it. Its only 2 minutes to read, not even that. It does more than back up my claim.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 3, 2004 9:01:10 PM

Great guide,with no bias...four stars;to get five you would have to list max and typical wattage used and heat generated.
February 3, 2004 9:15:07 PM

Quote:
*sigh*. Then i would claim a 3.4/3400+ is "Not usefull" for quite some time. Maybe remove it from your buying recommendations ?

The extra speed is always helpful. If it takes 1 hour instead of 1.5, then it's of course better.

Quote:
Yes. read it. Its only 2 minutes to read, not even that. It does more than back up my claim.

Okay, I'll add change the memory requirement things a bit, and leave the decesion completely to the buyer to decide which is more important (current speed vs. future speed)

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<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
February 3, 2004 9:17:45 PM

>But then, currently most people are fine with 512 MB
>physical and 512 MB virtual, total 1 GB addressing. In
>fact, I'm using 512 MB physical + 256 MB virtual, total
>768 MB addressing space. I can't remember when I last
>got "low virtual memory" message (my work is gaming, some
>audio editing, audio/video encoding).

My work is image editing, DTP, webdesign and some(light) 3D rendereing and I assure 1 GB is not nearly enough for me. Especial not for photoshop, but also Illustrator I have problems working on big files. More ram dosnt help, even taskmanager shows I have enough free memory, but those programs will bomb with "not enough memory" error . I upgraded from 512, to 1 gb , to 1.5 GB recently, and it is changes nothing. please don't assume your experience is representative for everyone.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 9:26:48 PM

>The extra speed is always helpful. If it takes 1 hour
>instead of 1.5, then it's of course better

How about it takes an hour and a half versus "it plain doesnt work" ? isnt that helpfull ?

>(current speed vs. future speed)

The issue is not speed. AMD64 might speed up some things slightly, but it will be minimal IMHO. But it is about getting the work done, loading big datasets, big maps in future games, etc, etc. Speed is not the main advantage of 64 bit. its the addressing. I can't stress this enough. I bet you still didnt read Hans' article. 1 minute, less than it takes to read this reply. On second thought; let me just paste it here:
Quote:
The need for 64 bit processing: Closer than you think.

64 bit virtual addressing for the desktop will be needed many years before 4 GByte physical memory becomes common place on your motherboard . <b>The point is that the whole idea of virtual memory with page management only works if the virtual memory space is much larger then your physical memory</b>. I actually had to save my work and restart the image software many times during the work on the large images of this article, edited in uncompressed mode. Often I had to shoot down by hand as many tasks possible with Task Manager to free virtual memory just to get my work saved. <b>The problem is not the 1 Gigabyte DDR on my Dell Inspiron 8200. <font color=purple> The whole problem is the 4 Gigabyte [edit: actually 2 GB as you know] virtual memory limitation which becomes so polluted with scattered around bits and pieces of allocated memory so that it's not possible to find a decent part of continues memory anymore. </b></font color=purple>All the result of course of languages like C with explicit pointer handling and processors that do not have specific pointer registers.<b> There is no way to defragment virtual memory like a hard disc to open up larger continuous areas. The only way to "defragment" virtual memory is to save your work on time, shut down the program and restart again.</b>I think these mission critical 32 bit bank transaction servers only work because they start up and kill small processes all the time to avoid virtual memory pollution. Imagine that you have to start killing all kinds of tasks by hand in the hope that you can save a few hours worth of bank transactions....

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 3, 2004 9:36:01 PM

I agree 200%. I never understood why, but now I understand: fragmentation. Thanks bbayens !

by the way, arent there "memory optimizer" programs that do this ? would be very helpfull for me.

Thank you
February 3, 2004 10:06:39 PM

Hans wrote great articles, didn't he? Too bad that most of his predictions on prescott have either not been activated or are currently not functional.

As for the buyer's guide: great stuff.

You could possibly add Prescott for one or two things, though, like Pro-E or any other of those SPECviewperf-related software. Some guys run this kind of software intensively, and it's poor Scotty's only true strength at the time - it beats anything but the $700+ processors at SPECviewperf. But, because it is generally a bit slower than Northwood, I'd understand any reluctance to recommend it! :eek: 

I'm still thinking about something for the CPU guide, but... I'll think it through, and comment on it later.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Mephistopheles on 02/03/04 10:08 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 11:00:46 PM

>Hans wrote great articles, didn't he? Too bad that most of
>his predictions on prescott have either not been activated
>or are currently not functional.

I think most of his predictions where actually spot on. He showed Yamhill is in there, but he never claimed it would be turned on in Prescott. On the contrary in fact. Most other things he predicted, materialized I think. Quite amazing by just looking at a die picture. This guy knows his stuff.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2004 11:07:53 PM

How about taking it one step further ? A year ago, I made a (rather) extensive excel sheet that allowed you to compare price/performance ratio's of different cpu's and platforms. not just like Anand dividing CPU price by performance -which is silly, and will always give you the cheapest cpu as recommendation. Anyway, have a look here:
<A HREF="http://home.pi.be/~bbaeyen2/pp.xls" target="_new">http://home.pi.be/~bbaeyen2/pp.xls&lt;/A>. Enable macro's, they are harmless and necessary.

If anyone wants to take the time to update this chart with newer benchmarks and prices, feel free to do so.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 3, 2004 11:09:37 PM

Great guide spitfire_x86, and verry fair indeed, here are some verry small details to fix: the AMD barton 400, have 400mhz fsb effective not 200MHZ( u didn't pay attention i now), u forgot also the prescott A processor, that is the clone of the actual prescott E processor but withought HT, and with 533 FSB, its clocked at 2.8GHZ, and its meant to replace celerons, and P4 B.
February 4, 2004 1:34:42 AM

Clicked to the end

Prescott is a development platform w/ SSE3

EE XE is targeted at Hardcore gamers and in the budget for Cadd and Video editing.

Beta x86-64 is available from Microsoft download w/ 360day license to match release date.

Socket 939 is expeted to replace socket 940 soon and will have limited upgrade path if any. Some motherboard manufacturers skipped socket 940 production completely like ABit, FIC, and DFI.

<b>"You haven't proven anything that once 64-bit support comes out, it will perform even better." -EDEN</b>
February 4, 2004 2:12:10 AM

Contents:

1.0 FAQ

2.0 CPUs at a glance

2.1 Applications

3.0 Picking the right CPU

3.1 CPUs to avoid

3.2 Athlon XP PR confusion

3.3 Recommended CPUs

3.4 Overclockers' picks

3.5 Few additional notes

4.0 Conclusion



1.1 FAQ

Q) What does FAQ mean?
A) FAQ means "Frequently Asked Questions<font color=red>"</font color=red>.

Q) Why <font color=red>you've</font color=red> decided to make this buyers' guide? <b>have you</b>
A) <font color=red>Too</font color=red> many people ask about "which cpu to get" for their particular purpose. The goal of this buyers' guide is to make the choice easier for people who <font color=green>come at</font color=green> THGC. <font color=red>too isn't necessary</font color=red>. <font color=green>either visit or replace "at" with "to"</font color=green>

Q) I smell "biased" opinion<font color=red>s</font color=red>/recommendations to some particular brand<font color=red>.</font color=red>
A) If you think this guide is biased to any particular brand, don't read it. I've tried my best to keep it as neutral as possible. If something is strongly not recommended, it's not because I like/hate some particular brand. Everything in this guide is fact and established true opinion, not my personal thoughts.

Q) I'm a "x" brand fanboy and I hate your buyers' guide!
A) The purpose of this guide is to help people. I don't care if Intelliots and AMDroids are satisfied or not.

Q) <font color=red>why is</font color=red> The guide <font color=red>is *get rid of this*</font color=red> only about desktop CPUs!
A) Initially, I'm keeping this guide limited to desktop CPUs. I will add laptop CPUs soon.

Q) Will there be a server/workstation CPU section?
A) Most likely, no. Few people buy server/workstations, and their need<font color=red>s</font color=red> vary widely. So it's unnecessary to add server/workstation CPU<font color=red>s</font color=red> section in this buyers' guide.

Q) <font color=red>Why this guide is</font color=red> so plain and <font color=red>have *has*</font color=red> almost no formatting? <b>why is this guide</b>
A) This guide is currently in beta stage and formatting will be applied soon in the final version.

Q) I have comments/suggestions/flames about this buyers guide<font color=red>, how do i bring them to your attention?</font color=red>
A) Feel free to express your opinion<font color=red>s</font color=red>. Your constructive opinions will help me <font color=red>to *get rid of "to"*</font color=red> make the guide better. Post your opinions in this thread or PM me.




2.0 CPUs at a glance

Here<font color=red>,</font color=red> I will describe the CPUs <font color=red>that</font color=red> are currently being manufactured/available for purchase.


2.0.1 Pentium 4 (Northwood "C")

Known as: P4"C", P4 x.xxC GHz
Clock speed: 2.4 GHz, 2.6 GHz, 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz, 3.2 GHz, 3.4 GHz
Platform: Socket 478
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
Cache: 12µops L1 instruction cache, 8k L1 data cache, 512k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, SSE, SSE2, HT


2.0.2 Pentium 4 (Prescott)

Known as: P4"E", P4 x.xxE GHz
Clock speed: 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz, 3.2 GHz
Platform: Socket 478
Manufacturing process: 0.09µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
Cache: 12µops L1 instruction cache, 16k L1 data cache, 1 MB L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, HT


2.0.3 Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (Gallatin)

Known as: P4 EE, P4 XE
Clock speed: 3.2 GHz, 3.4 GHz
Platform: Socket 478
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 800 MHz effective (200 MHz Quad-Pumped)
Cache: 12µops L1 instruction cache, 8k L1 data cache, 512k L2 cache, 2 MB L3 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, SSE, SSE2, HT


2.0.4 Celeron (Willamette)

Known as: Celeron, "P4 based" Celeron
Clock speed: 1.7 GHz, 1.8 GHz
Platform: Socket 478
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 400 MHz effective (100 MHz Quad-Pumped)
Cache: 12µops L1 instruction cache, 8k L1 data cache, 128k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, SSE, SSE2


2.0.5 Celeron (Northwood)

Known as: Celeron, "P4 based" Celeron
Clock speed: 2.0 GHz, 2.2 GHz, 2.4 GHz, 2.6 GHz
Platform: Socket 478
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 400 MHz effective (100 MHz Quad-Pumped)
Cache: 12µops L1 instruction cache, 8k L1 data cache, 128k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, SSE, SSE2


2.0.6 Athlon64 FX (Sledgehammer)

Known as: A64 FX
Model name: FX51 (2.2 GHz)
Platform: Socket 940
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ SOI
FSB: 800 MHz HT link, on-die dual channel DDR400 memory controller
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 1 MB L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE, SSE2, AMD64 (x86-64)


2.0.6 Athlon64 (Clawhammer)

Known as: A64
PR Rating: 3200+ (2.0 GHz), 3400+ (2.2 GHz)
Platform: Socket 754
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ SOI
FSB: 800 MHz HT link, on-die DDR400 memory controller
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 1 MB L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE, SSE2, AMD64 (x86-64)


2.0.7 Athlon64 (Newcastle)

Known as: A64
PR Rating: 3000+ (2.0 GHz)
Platform: Socket 754
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ SOI
FSB: 800 MHz HT link, on-die DDR400 memory controller
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 512k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE, SSE2, AMD64 (x86-64)


2.0.8 Athlon XP (Barton)

Known as: AXP "Barton"
PR Rating: 2500+ (1.83 GHz), 2600+ (1.93 GHz), 2800+ (2.08 GHz), 3000+ (2.17 GHz)
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 333 MHz effective (166 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 512k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE


2.0.9 Athlon XP (Barton "400")

Known as: AXP "Barton" 400
PR Rating: 3000+ (2.1 GHz), 3200+ (2.2 GHz)
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 200 MHz effective (200 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 512k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE


2.0.10 Athlon XP (Thoroughbred "B" 333)

Known as: AXP "Tbred-B" 333
PR Rating: 2600+ (2.08 GHz), 2700+ (2.17 GHz), 2800+ (2.25 GHz)
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 333 MHz effective (166 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 256k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE


2.0.11 Athlon XP (Thoroughbred "A", Thoroughbred "B", Thorton, Palomino)

Known as: AXP, AXP (Tbred-A), AXP (Tbred-B), AXP Palomino respectively
PR Rating: 1500+ (1.33 GHz), 1600+ (1.4 GHz), 1700+ (1.47 GHz), 1800+ (1.53 GHz), 1900+ (1.6 GHz), 2000+ (1.67 GHz), 2100+ (1.73 GHz), 2200+ (1.8 GHz), 2400+ (2.0 GHz), 2600+ (2.13 GHz)
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ (0.18µ for Palomino)
FSB: 266 MHz effective (133 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 256k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE


2.0.12 Duron (Applebred)

Known as: Duron, Duron "Applebred"
Clock speed: 1.4 GHz, 1.6 GHz, 1.8 GHz
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.13µ
FSB: 266 MHz effective (133 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 64k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE


2.0.14 Duron (Morgan)

Known as: Duron, Duron "Morgan"
Clock speed: 1 GHz, 1.1 GHz , 1.2 GHz, 1.3 GHz
Platform: Socket 462
Manufacturing process: 0.18µ
FSB: 200 MHz effective (100 MHz DDR)
Cache: 64k L1 instruction cache, 64k L1 data cache, 64k L2 cache
CPU Extensions: MMX, 3D Now!, 3D Now! Extension, SSE




2.1 Applications

Not all applications require same amount of CPU power. Among current high end CPUs, there's no clear winner, because <font color=red>the</font color=red> performance level of <font color=red>the</font color=red> same processor varies depending on application type. Now I will try to divide apps in few categories.


2.1.1 Office apps. & Internet

<font color=red>even the</font color=red> Slowest processors of today are more than enough for word processing, spreadsheet calculation, slide shows, internet browsing, <font color=red>and</font color=red> e-mail. If your need is just running office apps and internet use, then any of the current CPUs are enough. If you frequently backup good amount of data in compressed format (like RAR) then some extra cpu power will prove handy<font color=red>.</font color=red>


2.1.2 Entertainment

If your entertainment needs are limited to Audio CD/mp3/DVD playback, then current slowest CPUs are able to meet your demand. If you also want to play DiX/MPEG-4 video will full post-processing enabled and rip audio CDs occasionally, then some extra CPU power will be necessary. If you do <font color=red>a</font color=red> lot of video encoding, CD ripping, then spending extra money for a faster CPU will prove very useful.


2.1.3 Gaming

Though currently gaming is more limited by graphics card than CPU, it's still important to have a good CPU for gaming. More CPU power is necessary for multiplayer gaming. If wisely picked a $50-$70 CPU can provide adequate gaming performance. But if you want to enjoy the best possible gaming experience, then a faster CPU is necessary beside a decent graphics card. Many gamers often backup their games in compressed format (RAR for example), so better data compression performance of a CPU proves useful for gamers.


2.1.4 Photoshop and other graphics editing apps.

For simple image editing that every home PC user <font color=red>do *does*</font color=red>, the slowest <font color=red>all *get rid of "all"*</font color=red> current CPU is enough. But if you are involved in serious editing, then you'll need a fast CPU. P4s are the best for these kind<font color=red>s</font color=red> of apps.


2.1.5 Data Compression

Try to get the fastest CPU for these kind<font color=red>s</font color=red> of apps. There's nothing "fast enough" in these apps. Faster is always better. Athlon64s are astonishingly fast in popular data compression apps like WinRAR.


2.1.6 Professional level Audio/Video editing & encoding

Try to get the fastest CPU for these kind of apps. There's nothing "fast enough" in these apps. Faster is always better. P4s are the best for most of the apps of this category.


2.1.7 3D Rendering

Same thing applies for 3D rendering. Try to get the fastest CPU for your app. P4s are the best for these kind<font color=red>s</font color=red> of apps and Athlon64s are decent performer<font color=red>s</font color=red>.


2.1.8 CAD

Same story again for CAD. Faster = Better. CAD prefers CPUs of high FPU performance. Athlon64 and Athlon XP are excellent CPUs for CAD.


2.1.9 Development Workstation

For compiling small apps, a moderately fast CPU is more than enough. But if you often compile big programs, then a faster CPU will prove useful. Athlon64 and Athlon XP are the best <font color=red>of *for, not of*</font color=red> these kind<font color=red>s</font color=red> of apps.




3.0 Picking the right CPU

Picking the right CPU is very important if you want get the best from your PC for your needs and spend money efficiently. If you buy your CPU wisely, then you can save some money and spend <font color=red>it</font color=red> <font color=red>for *on, not for*</font color=red> some other things to make your PC more feature rich. Before I recommend CPUs, I'm going to throw out some CPUs to make things simpler. These CPUs neither have any special advantage, nor good value for your money. *"throw out"? lmao how about "eliminate"?*



3.1 CPUs to avoid

3.1.1 P4 based Celerons (described in 2.0.4 and 2.0.5)

These CPUs are <font color=red>a</font color=red> total waste of money. They aren't good for any CPU intensive apps. Though they're good enough to work as intelligent typewriters, you can get much better CPU for half <font color=red>the</font color=red> money.


3.1.2 Athlon XP "Barton" 2800+ to 3200+ (described in 2.0.4 and 2.0.5)

Though these CPUs perform fairly good, they are not worthy opponent<font color=red>s</font color=red> of their P4 counterparts (PR vs. MHz) and similar PR Athlon64s. Lack of SSE2 support <font color=red>makes them not a good solution *get rid of "makes them not a good solution" and replace it with "affects ther performance"*</font color=red> in 3D rendering/Photoshop/some audio-video encoding apps. Though they're far better than P4 based Celerons, I've put them in this list because of their poor price/performance ratio. Their <font color=red>price/performance ratio isn't good enough to compare with the Athlon64 or</font color=red> P4 "C" level price tag.


3.1.3 Pentium 4 Extreme Edition (described in 2.0.3)

These CPUs perform very well. In fact, there's no complain about their performance level and P4 3.4 GHz Extreme Edition is the fastest CPU in most of the apps. But their price is also insane. They cost $950 to $1050. Spending 2x-3x more money for few extra % performance is definitely <font color=red>a</font color=red> complete waste of money. Unless you are used to spend<font color=red>ing</font color=red> money like water, <font color=red>then *get rid of "then"*</font color=red> avoid this processor. No further upgrade is possible with the platform of this CPU (socket 478)<font color=red>.</font color=red> <b>*"Unless you are used to spend money like water" roflmao thats a first*</b>


3.1.4 Athlon 64 FX

Athlon64 FX51 costs much more than Athlon64 3400+, but Athlon64 3400+ performs almost equal when compared. Though the price is not as insane as P4 Extreme Edition, it's still very high (~$750). Moreover, it needs more expensive registered DDR memory. So the overall system building <font color=red>is cost *i'll let you figure this out*</font color=red> also higher. All <font color=red>of *get rid of "of"*</font color=red> this results in almost equal performance <font color=red>compared to *replace with "of"*</font color=red> a $350 cheaper processor. Love your money and don't waste it <font color=red>after *"on"*</font color=red> Athlon64 FX. However, if you are an overclocker and have very good water cooling, then you may want to get this processor because of it's unlocked multiplier.




3.2 Athlon XP PR confusion

Since last few months, Athlon XP PR ratings have become very confusing because AMD released equal PR but different spec. (different clock speed, L2 cache size) Athlon XPs. Here I will try to clarify the PR ratings and make a quick performance comparison with P4s.


AXP 2400+ (2.0 GHz, 256k L2 cache) -> =P4 2.4B GHz+, -P4 2.4C GHz

AXP 2500+ (1.83 GHz, 512k L2 cache) -> =/- P4 2.4B GHz, -P4 2.4C GHz

AXP 2600+ (2.13 GHz, 266 MHz FSB, 256k L2 cache) -> =/+ P4 2.53B GHz, =/-P4 2.4C GHz

AXP 2600+ (2.08 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 256k L2 cache) -> =/+ P4 2.53B GHz, =/-P4 2.4C GHz

AXP 2600+ "Barton"(2.08 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 256k L2 cache) -> =/-P4 2.53B GHz, -P4 2.4C GHz

AXP 2700+ (2.17 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 256k L2 cache) -> +P4 2.66B GHz, =/-P4 2.8B GHz, =/+ P4 2.4C GHz, -P4 2.6C GHz

AXP 2800+ (2.25 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 256k L2 cache) -> +P4 2.8B GHz, =/+P4 2.6C GHz, =/- P4 2.8C GHz

AXP 3000+ (2.17 GHz, 333 MHz FSB, 512k L2 cache) -> -P4 3.06 GHz, =/-P4 2.6C GHz, -P4 2.8C GHz, -P4 3.0C GHz

AXP 3000+ (2.1 GHz, 400 MHz FSB, 512k L2 cache) -> -P4 3.06 GHz, =/-P4 2.6C GHz, -P4 2.8C GHz, -P4 3.0C GHz

AXP 3200+ (2.2 GHz, 400 MHz FSB, 512k L2 cache) -> -P4 3.06 GHz, =/+P4 2.6C GHz, =/-P4 2.8C GHz, -P4 3.0C GHz, , -P4 3.2C GHz,



3.3 Recommended CPUs

3.3.1 Office PC/Basic home PC

Preferred CPU:- Athlon XP 1700+ or faster
sub $50:- Duron 1.6 GHz, Duron 1.4 GHz
$50 to $100:- AXP 1700+ to 2600+
Comments: Faster than AXP 1700+ is unnecessary for these kind of PCs.


3.3.1 Home PC + Gaming + Entertainment

Preferred CPU:- Athlon XP 2400+ or faster
sub $50:- Duron 1.6 GHz
$50 to $100:- AXP 1700+, AXP 2400+ to 2600+
$100 to $150:- AXP 2700+
$170 to $200:- P4 2.6C GHz
$200 and up:- A64 3000+, P4 3.0C GHz
Comments: AXP 2400+ is the minimal CPU for this kind of system. If you really can't spend more than 50-60 $, AXP 1700+ and Duron 1.6 GHz are not bad choice. A64 3000+ is recommended for high-end systems.


3.3.2 Hardcore Gaming + heavy Audio/Video encoding

Preferred CPU:- P4 2.6C GHz or faster
sub $50:- Duron 1.6 GHz
$50 to $100:- AXP 2400+
$100 to $150:- AXP 2700+
$170 to $200:- P4 2.6C GHz
$200 to $300:- P4 3.0C GHz, A64 3000+
$300 and up:- P4 3.4C GHz, A64 3400+
Comments: P4s really shine when it comes to audio/video encoding. Plus they're decent gaming CPU. Athlon64s are the best for gaming and performs fairly good for encoding. Pick between A64 and P4 depending on which task is more important to you. In sub $150 price range, AXPs are unbeatable. Higher clocked AXPs perform better than higher cache AXPs. This is why 2700+ and 2400+ is recommended.


3.3.3 Professional level Audio/video encoding, Photoshop, 3D rendering

Preferred CPU:- P4 2.6C GHz or faster
sub $50:- Duron 1.6 GHz
$50 to $100:- AXP 2400+
$100 to $150:- AXP 2700+
$170 to $200:- P4 2.6C GHz
$200 to $300:- P4 3.0C GHz
$300 and up:- P4 3.4C GHz
Comments: These applications are P4s' strong point and from P4 2.6C GHz they provide both high performance and good price/performance ratio. In sub $150 category, AXP is the automatic choice. Again, higher clocked AXPs perform better than higher cache AXPs.


3.3.4 CAD and Development workstation

Preferred CPU:- Athlon 64 3000+
sub $50:- Duron 1.6 GHz
$50 to $100:- AXP 2400+
$100 to $150:- AXP 2700+
$200 to $300:- Athlon64 3000+
$300 and up:- Athlon64 3400+
Comments: Athlon are the best CPU for these apps. Again, higher clocked AXPs perform better than higher cache AXPs.




3.4 Overclockers' picks

Coming soon in final version




3.5 Few additional notes

3.5.1 AMD64 (x86-64)

AMD64 is <font color=red>the</font color=red> marketing name of x86-64. x86-64 cpus are capable of running both 64 bit x86-64 application<font color=red>s</font color=red> and current 32 bit x86 application<font color=red>s</font color=red> natively. Currently there's no x86-64 supported Windows <font color=red>and *"or"*</font color=red> windows applications. x86-64 versions of Windows should ship <font color=red>in *get rid of "in"*</font color=red> this year and then windows applications that utilize x86-64 will start to come. x86-64 is supposed to improve performance in many CPU intensive apps. and it will overcome the 4GB memory limitation of current 32 bit CPUs. Since this feature is currently not utilized in windows environment and more than 4 GB memory is <font color=red>not</font color=red> going to be necessary in desktop PCs at least until 2006, I didn't take this feature in account when recommending Athlon64 CPUs. Linux users should keep the extra performance advantage <font color=red>from *"of"*</font color=red> AMD64 CPUs in mind, because there's already x64-64 version of Linux and many x64-64 compatible apps. available.



4.0 Conclusion

Thanks for reading this guide. Your valuable opinion<font color=red>s</font color=red> are highly appreciated for improving the guide.















AHAHAHHAHAAHHA i'm a picky son of a bitch

</font color=red><font color=orange><b>visit my site. then send me your freakin picture.
<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com" target="_new"><font color=red>www.lochel.com&lt;/A>
February 4, 2004 2:47:19 AM

What, are you an english teacher? Dont discourage the boy! Nice edit job though.
Well Spitfire, in your effort to be unbiased, you may have been less than kind, but not anything to argue about. Looks very good (great).
February 5, 2004 9:35:52 AM

Reading your guide it seems a little fanboy slanted, dont take this as a insult, just needs to be fixed.

the price of EE is "higher" do to the added 2M L3 cache, the price is not "insane"

Remove the "spending like water" joke, its not funny and you have no clue what peoples budgets are and we dont need to know yours. no reason to "avoid it" like the socket 940

socket 940 is dead end platform with no upgrade path, not the EE. you got it backwards in the guide. Socket 478 still has some life left in it.

read my other post above and keep it fair please.


<b>"You haven't proven anything that once 64-bit support comes out, it will perform even better." -EDEN</b>
February 5, 2004 10:25:50 AM

Not mind you but there's absolutly no upgrade path in the 478 unless you mean upgrading from 3.2EE to 3.4EE :) 
But the same upgrade path is for 940 where you can put FX-53 as soon as they are released.
And getting FX-51 and PIVEE is pointless when for less than half the price you can get normal PIV 3.4 or A64 3400+.
1100 bucks for 3.4EE is insane.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2004 10:35:08 AM

Reading your post it seems more than a little fanboy slanted, dont take this as a insult, it just needs to be fixed.

>the price of EE is "higher" do to the added 2M L3 cache,
>the price is not "insane"

I don't care if they fitted 24 MBs on it, given its performance, its price is insane, period.

>Remove the "spending like water" joke, its not funny and
>you have no clue what peoples budgets are and we dont need
>to know yours

Budget doesnt really matter, it doesnt matter how many millions you have, a P4EE is still wasted money for pretty much anyone. If you want something faster, you'd be most likely better served with either a dual cpu setup, or a vapochilled overclocked machine

>socket 940 is dead end platform with no upgrade path, not
>the EE. Socket 478 still has some life left in it

LOL ! You mean you can upgrade from a P4EE to a Prescott 3.4 ? Some upgrade path there ! As for s940, nothing will stop you from inserting an opteron 15x or even 16x later, when AMD stops producing s940 FX's (which won't happen before the FX53, maybe even FX55). Since Opteron 1xx is priced the same as FX, I don't see the problem really.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2004 10:47:23 AM

Thanks for changing the 64 bit part.. I still don't agree completely (especially the reference "and more than 4 GB memory is not going to be necessary".. since this leads people to believe you are talking about RAM, and think: sure, i won't need more than 4 Gigs ram), but its already a bit better.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 5, 2004 6:02:05 PM

"Reading your post it seems more than a little fanboy slanted, dont take this as a insult, it just needs to be fixed"

Yes it needs to be fixed you are right, I am glad you can see the AMD fanboy slant in the guide.

The price may be insane for you penyybag, but for others with a real budget can afford a higher/highest performance processors available.

Prescott EE is in the works for socket 478 at higher clock speeds. The 3.4EE might be the last of the galatins but no one knows for sure but you are ready to put a bullet in it becuase you are a hardcore AMD fanboy and hate the fact that it owns you silly.

Learn to control yourself and stop putting Intel down every chance, want me to put AMD down every chance?

I asked for some changes, reasonable request to get the fanboy out of the guide and make it fair. This is not a oppertunity for you to slam me and Intel because you like to troll.

<b>"You haven't proven anything that once 64-bit support comes out, it will perform even better." -EDEN</b>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2004 6:58:43 PM

Why don't you have a look in the mirror fugger..

I don't see *any* prescott based, socket 478 P4EEs on intel's roadmaps. not even the ones you haven't seen yet. I do see plenty of opteron 1xx coming our way though, so face the fact, s940 has an upgrade path, s478 doesnt unless you start out with a Celeron or lowend P4. End of story.

>Learn to control yourself and stop putting Intel down every
>chance, want me to put AMD down every chance?

You do, but its getting harder these days, isnt it ?.. especially now that the FX beat your P4EE on your beloved 3Dmark, in spite of your wild fanboys dreams and claims.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2004 7:00:21 PM

>Yes it needs to be fixed you are right, I am glad you can
>see the AMD fanboy slant in the guide.

BTW, might want to work on your reading comprehension, I was referring to your post, not the guide.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 5, 2004 8:12:28 PM

ROTFL I hope that all you have written is just carefully chosen technique of argumentation not the things you belive.

And paying 500 bucks for CPU which will be several percents faster (such diffrence will be noticeable only in benchmarks) is waste whether you have "real budget" or not.
PIVEE is only for people who need such power for work as an altenative for opteron/xeon workstation.
And if the reviev were AMD biased then there wouldn't be many pentium based cpu's suggested for hardcore gaming.
Oh and it's pretty clear that intel won't be making any more s478 cpu's as every procesor starting from 3.4 Ghz will be for their new socket 775(and they are last ones for 478 as well.
Maybe try looking at this <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1948" target="_new">intel roadmap</A>
February 5, 2004 8:28:38 PM

Quote:
Thanks for changing the 64 bit part.. I still don't agree completely (especially the reference "and more than 4 GB memory is not going to be necessary".. since this leads people to believe you are talking about RAM, and think: sure, i won't need more than 4 Gigs ram), but its already a bit better.

I've did a minor change again. Instead of "memory", now there's "memory addressing".

Beside this, all minor flaws are fixed. Now I'll just finish the OC section (may add a upgradability section) and fomatting.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
February 5, 2004 8:36:38 PM

I think you've missed one part of the guide. In the FAQ, I've clearly said, I can't satisfy fanboys. I don't care if they like it or not.

People don't pay for 2MB L3 cache. They pay for performance. If a processor costs 3x more and performs ~5% better then it's total waste of money, no matter how much cache it has.

----------------
<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new">My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new">My Rig & 3DMark score</A></b>
February 5, 2004 9:17:52 PM

I kinda agree on the upgrading path but maybe it should be changed to:

1) Socket 940 has a small upgrade path.. (probably from 2.2Ghz--2.4/6Ghz FX around 9-20% speedbump.

2) Socket 478 has an even smaller upgrade path..(probably from 3.2Ghz(EE/E/C) to 3.6Ghz(EE/E/C) around 5-15% speedup.

so its not about who has the best upgrade path but more like which one has the least worst upgrade path.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 5, 2004 9:52:27 PM

>1) Socket 940 has a small upgrade path.. (probably from 2.
>2Ghz--2.4/6Ghz FX around 9-20% speedbump.

I fact, I'd be surprised if you couldnt upgrade to a >3 GHz dual core 90nm opteron at some time. Not that it would be cheap.. but AMD has no intentions of changing socket 940 for opterons, nothing stops you from upgrading a FX to a Opteron 1xx. Socket 754 is a different matter.

>2) Socket 478 has an even smaller upgrade path..(probably
>from 3.2Ghz(EE/E/C) to 3.6Ghz(EE/E/C) around 5-15% speedup.

From what I've seen, not even that. >3.6 GHz would require s775.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
February 5, 2004 11:11:27 PM

I see you fixed a few things in question, its getting better.

Prescott is a development platform too, people are writing apps for the new SSE3 and it sure helps to have one for testing after compile.

<b>"You haven't proven anything that once 64-bit support comes out, it will perform even better." -EDEN</b>
!