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Which Athlon XP for my Gigabyte GA-7VAX (oldKT-400

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February 24, 2004 8:40:49 PM

Hi there,
Time again for upgrade: I want the high end of Athlon XP before it phase out because I don't plan to change my system for a long time. I am just not sure of what are my alternatives. Here are my current specs:

1 year old mobo GA-7VAX with old KT400 (not -a)
512 MB DDR266 (2x256)
ATI Radeon 64DDR VIVO to be changed for an already bought ATI 9500 non-pro softmoddable to 9700
Athlon Tbird 1200MHz

Here are my thoughts about the new cpu I want:
-I want the performance of a 3000+
-I have seen on e-bay an attractive 3000+ but with 400fsb and I don't know if I can modify fsb and multiplier to get a 3000+ 333fsb version
-On gigabyte web site, there is no indication that my mobo supports 3000+ (they seem to have halted testing at 2800+)
-I'm wondering if any Barton can o/c to 3000+ easily which could make me buy a cheap 2500+
-Overclocking should be easy to do. On my actual Tbird, I have used the pencil trick to unlock multiplier and get 1333 MHz. I would not do anything harder than this...
-I am not willing to have any special cooler (the retail one with Athlon XP must be fine)
-Price is a prime consideration: I don't want to pay more than 150$US including shipping, cooling solution and taxes (which is possible on eBay)
-I have no plan to upgrade my RAM on short term, but I will consider it on long term.

So this is it, I'm getting confused with my constraints and hope to get some help here.

Thanks a lot guys!

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 24, 2004 9:35:07 PM

KT400 doesn't support 400 MHz FSB, so you can't use 400 MHz FSB AXPs in this mobo. The best CPU for you is AXP 3000+ (333) and second best is AXP 2700+

If you don't use DDR333 memory with 333 MHz FSB CPU, then it will hurt performance.

The best upgrade option for you is AXP 2400+. It costs lot less than 3000+ and not that slower. In fact, they will perfrom almost equal if you use DDR266 with AXP 3000+. T-bird 1200 to AXP 2400+ is still a nice upgrade.

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February 24, 2004 9:43:39 PM

Well, I would go with an Athlon XP 2500+. This processor can easily overclock to 3000+ speed. Your only problem is your RAM. You must have DDR 333 memory. I would reccommend getting DDR 400 so you can overclock the 2500+ higher. You could keep your RAM and go with a 266 FSB processor but you will lose a lot of performance. Here is what I would buy.

1. AMD Athlon XP 2500+ $80.00
2. Thermalright SLK900A $38.99
3. Vantec Tornado Fan $9.99

I would not reccommend using the stock cooler if you are going to be overclocking. I selected the Vantec and Thermalright setup but any after market cooler will be better than the stock fan. You can get a Volcano 9 or something like that for $ 25.00 or so. Also remember to use Artic Silver thermal compound.
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February 24, 2004 9:56:26 PM

Quote:
Well, I would go with an Athlon XP 2500+. This processor can easily overclock to 3000+ speed. Your only problem is your RAM. You must have DDR 333 memory.

HE WILL USE KT400.

KT400 doesn't support FSB400, and using between 333 MHz and 400 MHz FSB is not a wise idea, since it has NO PCI BUS LOCK.

AXP 2400+ costs little less and in many cases faster than 2500+ due to higher clockspeed

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February 24, 2004 10:01:29 PM

I would get a new mobo in his case + 2500+ , but thats me.

A long long time ago, but I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile... <A HREF="http://www.nexus.hu/zonix/DIGGER.MID" target="_new"><b><font color=blue>Digger rulz</font color=blue></b></A>
February 24, 2004 10:36:45 PM

2600+ (266 MHz FSB) is very hard to find.

In fact, 2600+ (2.08 GHz, T-bred) are not so easy to find nowdays. Most of the current 2600+'s are "Barton" 2600+ (1.93 GHz)

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February 24, 2004 11:18:54 PM

Thank you for helping. Keep going! :-)
Is there a way to unlock the multiplier on, say, 2500+ to get 3000+ 333 fsb run stable easily?
The reason I do this is that I want to get the Athlon XP 3000+ performance with my actual system before it phase out for the athlon 64 so I can keep my system long. I know that I can wait longer so the price can go down, but if I find a deal on eBay or elsewhere, I'll know what to look at. Therefore, I don't want to change my mobo. Maybe I'll change my RAM.
Thanks again

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 24, 2004 11:23:54 PM

What about a mobile xp2500. They run on a 266 fsb, have multipliers up to 12.5 and oc like nobodies business. Ofcourse, they do not come with a hsf, and would oc better with pc3200/ddr400.

People have oced this puppy to 2.7 gigs on air.xp3500 anyone?
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by endyen on 02/24/04 08:26 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 25, 2004 12:13:48 AM

I have heard good things about that chip.
February 25, 2004 1:34:29 AM

I have a mobo that supports 333 fsb. What would be the advantage to get a 266fsb cpu? Is it because of my RAM DDR266? Would it be so worse? If so, I can consider buying DDR333 or DDR400 depending of what's best. (I remember that reviews on KT400 said that it was worse on DDR400, I don't know if they fixed it)
Thanks

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 25, 2004 3:25:15 AM

If you stick with the ddr266, you should have a fsb that is in sync with it.The reason the pc3200/ddr400 is not good on your board is because it cant run in sync.because it doesn't have the propper pci divider. Some of the xp2400+ chips still have an unlocked multiplier, as does the xp-M 2500+ (mobile) The unlocked multiplier is your best bet with pc2100/ddr266. If you get new ram, pc3200/ddr400 is good because when you raise your fsb above 166, say to 175, it will still be under spec when run at that speed, whereas pc2700/ddr333 would be overclocked. Some ram does oc better than others, but why have the ram control the oc.
February 25, 2004 8:30:55 AM

I got the same board and an 2000+, does it matter if i use pc2700? Will that be wrong?
February 25, 2004 8:40:16 AM

Pc2700 is fine for a fsb that is less than 166. If you want to raise the fsb above 133, I would recomend that you use pc2700, minimum. If you do not raise the fsb at all, you may find that that ram will give you better, lower latencies. I do suggest though that, if you are thinking of running the ram at 166 while your fsb is at 133, you use a few benchmarks to see if you get better performance. Often, that is just not the case.
February 25, 2004 8:51:56 AM

so there should be no prob running xp2000+ with pc2700?
I mean, is it at least equivalent to xp2000+ with pc2100?
If so, how does it work? does it automatically match the fsb?
February 25, 2004 9:29:57 AM

Yes, yes, and yes.



A long long time ago, but I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile... <A HREF="http://www.nexus.hu/zonix/DIGGER.MID" target="_new"><b><font color=blue>Digger rulz</font color=blue></b></A>
February 25, 2004 9:42:43 AM

Thanks, thanks and thanks :-)
February 25, 2004 9:59:28 AM

I forgot to mention that i'm not interested in overclocking before posting these posts. Hope the answers i got are still the same.

you said: If you do not raise the fsb at all (which is 266mhz), you may find that that ram (pc2700)will give you better, lower latencies...

Could you please try and explain how that is?
Why would a pc2700 match a 266fsb better than a pc2100 would?
Would the same be true if the mobo was KT266a?
February 25, 2004 10:01:20 AM

Also you said: ...if you are thinking of running the ram at 166 while your fsb is at 133, you use a few benchmarks to see if you get better performance. Often, that is just not the case...

You mean often there is no better performance or that it gets slower?
February 25, 2004 10:16:18 AM

i will but couldn't i get at least some short answers?
February 25, 2004 10:36:55 AM

Short, um :/ 
I'll try, but I suck at explaining.


Like a CPU, Memory is made to run at a certain clock. pc2700 is made to run at 166 mhz, running it at 133 is obviously less stressfull on the memory. I'm not going to attempt to explain latencies, but lets just say that lower latencies = more stress on the memory. If you reduce the stress by reducing mhz from 166 to 133 you can put more stress by using lower latencies. Lower latencies = better performance.

As for your second question, it's benificial to run everything in sync. If the FSB and memory both work at 133 mhz one is not waiting for the other.
Running memory at 166 and FSB at 133 improves memory performance (more memory operations per second) but you lose out on sync. Basically, they cancel each other out, and you have to run tests to see how your system reacts.



A long long time ago, but I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile... <A HREF="http://www.nexus.hu/zonix/DIGGER.MID" target="_new"><b><font color=blue>Digger rulz</font color=blue></b></A>
February 25, 2004 11:03:43 AM

No, you don't suck at explaining, you're doing good, thanks :-)

i have some kind of a picture now and hopefully i will have issues cleared out with time.
When i asked the above Q's i was/am not thinking about overclocking anything. So, putting together all you told me i keep that having the xp2000+ with pc2700 running at standard settings is not worse than using pc2100.

the only Q that i have is what if u have a KT266 and use pc2700 with the same cpu? does it autiomatically run as pc2100?
February 25, 2004 2:59:22 PM

Ok, let's summarize that.

Considering that I can afford a loss of performance with DDR266 because I will buy DDR400 someday, I am targeting an Athlon XP with 333fsb that can run on my mobo KT400.

The next decision is if I go with Barton or Tbred. No matter which I take, I want to have a cpu that is overclockable to 3000+, possibly with DDR400. I'm out to date about overclocking Athlon XP. Is it possible to unlock the multiplier?

For example, is it possible to take a barton 2500+ and modify the multiplier to get a barton 3000+? Isn't it all the same chip anyway? Another way could be to change the fsb from 166 to, say, 175. Would it become a 3000+?

The other example would be to take a 2400+ unlocked and overclock it to 3000+ with standard cooler.

Do I understand well?
Thank you

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 25, 2004 6:18:16 PM

On eBay, there seems to be early Athlon XP 2500+ 333fsb with unclocked multiplier. Is it possible? Wouldn't it be my best bet to buy one and set it to 2166 MHz (3000+) only by the multiplier?

Would it take any special cooling device or a retail AMD fan rated for 3000+ would be ok? Is there any difference with an AMD retail fan for 2500+ and a 3000+?
Thanks again

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 25, 2004 8:22:10 PM

AMD started super-locking multipliers(bridge trick no longer works) from the 39th week of 2003.

If you can find an old barton(before 39th week of production) that would be the best possible choice for you. All bartons OC to ~2.2Ghz easy with good air cooling.

Another good choice is to find a mobile AXP, because their mult. are unlocked. The only problem is that they are very sought after. I heard that newegg.com has them, not sure, check yourself.

The third choice I would'nt recommend to most people: there is a way of unlocking the multipliers even now, but it is a really big pain in the ass...

A long long time ago, but I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile... <A HREF="http://www.nexus.hu/zonix/DIGGER.MID" target="_new"><b><font color=blue>Digger rulz</font color=blue></b></A>
February 26, 2004 3:01:05 AM

2.2 GHz o/c, isn't that about a 3000+? Then, the stock fan should be ok, isn't it?
I could reach 2.166 GHz with a 2500+ just by changing the mutiplier and keeping the stock fan, right?
Thanks

<font color=red>The good Smoked Meat Maple Leaf Extra-Fat!
February 26, 2004 5:14:44 AM

Umm... could someone please address my last post?
February 26, 2004 6:49:37 AM

yes, it would run at the fastest ram speed natively supported, unless set otherwise in bios.
February 26, 2004 7:13:28 AM

The xp2500+ uses a fsb of 166, your ram only supports a 133 fsb. Even if your board supports that type of asyncronous operation, the performance hit would be huge.
!