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Cost Efficiency with AMD...

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May 2, 2004 11:51:04 PM

I am in the process of building a new computer and want to get the best price/performance ratio out of it since I don't have a lot of cash. Therefore, I want to go with AMD so I can hopefully overclock. The buyer's guide on this forum said that the Barton processors are not very cost efficient. What would be my best bet then? I take it the Athlon 64s are going to be the best bet long-term but they're pretty expensive right now. I currently have an AMD Athlon XP 1900+. Should I wait around for prices to drop more and keep using my 1900 or go for something like a 2500 or even dish out the extra cash for a 64? Also, what sort of motherboard should I get with the processor? Any thoughts are much appreciated. Thank you.

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May 3, 2004 1:47:56 AM

The XP Mobiles are still unlocked, you could get an XP2500+ mobile and put in in your board, and overclock that...

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May 3, 2004 2:35:41 AM

Ok, so the XP 2500+ Mobile is the easiest CPU to overclock at this time? I might want something a little faster though. Is it a good idea to buy an Athlon 64 right now? I read that nothing takes advantage of 64 bit technology at this time, so would it be better for the prices to drop on that?
One other question: I'm looking at an XP 3000+ with 400 mHz FSB. Is this a good idea for price/performance? I'm still a newbie with all of this. Thanks.
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May 3, 2004 3:01:42 AM

Wanting something faster is the point of overclocking. It's a 2500+ when you buy it, then you overclock it and you have someting along the lines of a 3200+ (usually) which is a much more expensive piece.

If you don't think that an overclocked XP Mobile will suit your needs, then you're looking at an overclocked Northwood 2.8 as your next-best price/performance CPU for overclocking. You'll end up with better performance, but also a much higher cost.

At this point, A64's are really good at 32-bit code, so using 64 bit is just kind of a sales pitch right now, or a future benefit if you choose to look at it that way. They still rock for games and many other apps. As far as buying one to overclock, the results that I've read haven't been so great. Usually the reviewers get about a 10-12% overclock out of them. They are seriously fast out of the box, so the OC is not all that much of an improvement-it's nice nonetheless. Plus, if you're considering an A64, read up on the roadmap, because AMD currently only makes the 64's for Socket 754. The highest graded CPU that is currently on the map for that socket is the 3700+. AMD is coming out with a new socket (939) later this year that is expected to be the AMD standard of choice for years to come.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
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May 3, 2004 3:25:02 AM

I recommended that CPU because you said you were on a tight budget!

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May 3, 2004 4:11:29 AM

you can get a AMD64 2800 for about $180 on newegg.com that would be your best bet for a cheap 64 bit
May 3, 2004 5:09:18 AM

same price p4 2.8C, much better overclocker.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
May 3, 2004 1:04:46 PM

You actually have a 1900+, have you tried overclocking it? Most Athlon will run at 2.0GHz and 166MHz FSB with standard cooling. My Athlon XP 1800+ run at 2.0GHz.

What is your MB? If your MB support 200MHz FSB, the Mobile Barton (2400/2500/2600) are the best overclococker, you can easily reach 2.4 to 2.6GHz with them.

Athlon XP (Barton) @ 2.2GHz is equal to P4C 2.8GHz in term of performance.
Athlon XP (Barton) @ 2.4/2.6GHz should perform equal or better to 3.0GHz P4C in most situations.

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May 3, 2004 5:53:15 PM

Now that I think about it, this really might be the best idea. Might have to get a new motherboard, but I could pop on a good heatsink and fan then overclock the 1900. I want to use this machine primarily for gaming. That being said, is it a good idea to just stick with an OC'd 1900 for a few more months until some prices drop and I can get a 64 or something like that? Thanks.
May 3, 2004 6:17:05 PM

Quote:
Might have to get a new motherboard, but I could pop on a good heatsink and fan then overclock the 1900.

I have a Volcano7 heatsink for my Athlon 1800+ that I run at 2.0GHz. I keep the Volcano fan at low speed, because I hate high noise level and my PC is up 24/7. The temperature is at 60 Celsius on full load. Before I bought the Volcano7, my temperature was 70 Celsius at full load. I had not instability issue, I just wanted to cool down the chip a bit with a new HSF, it's why I bought the Volcano7.

What is your MB model/revision and what is your RAM?

Quote:
I want to use this machine primarily for gaming.

My Athlon 1800+ at 2.0GHz serve me well in games. In fact my main problem is my GPU. My Radeon 8500 is not powerful enough for new game. I can play FarCry at 800x600 with decent FPS and I set most quality settign to medium. It's not bad, but I would really need a GPU boost.

On overclock 1900+ should satisfy you in games if you have a fast enough video card. What is your video card?

Quote:
That being said, is it a good idea to just stick with an OC'd 1900 for a few more months until some prices drop and I can get a 64 or something like that?

It's exactly what I do right now, I wait a few months and I will buy new CPU/MB/RAM/GPU around september/october. Anyway, during summer, there is so much things to do outside and Doom3/HL2 might be delayed to september too so there is no need for a new rig right now.

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May 3, 2004 6:26:39 PM

I dont understand you ppl, why would you need a stronger cpu than the 1900, its not the best cpu out there but what the hell are you going to do with it?
If you have a good Graphics Card you will play all the games with great performance. when i had my XP1700+ and Radeon9500pro I played all the games out there with high quality and it worked great, so what if some one else can make a zip file in 5 sec faster, it does not justify the cost. But if you do feel the need to upgrade you can get a good price for AMD's OEM's like an 2600 for 70$.
May 3, 2004 6:57:20 PM

What is your actual budget and what do you have now for mobo, vid card, memory, etc.? Then we could take the guesswork out of your questions and provide some real answers. If you mainly want a gaming boost, I'm guessing that your graphics card is going to be the first option to upgrade-the 1900+ will provide enough cpu speed to get good frame rates with a good graphics card.

But if you need to get 445 FPS in Quake, you'll have to spend a grand on the 3.4 EE! LOL

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
May 3, 2004 7:11:08 PM

Quote:
I dont understand you ppl, why would you need a stronger cpu than the 1900, its not the best cpu out there but what the hell are you going to do with it?

Have you read all the post, I recommend him to not change CPU and only overclock it. And I recommend him a good video card too! Before posting, please CLEARLY read all posts made before on the subject.

Quote:
when i had my XP1700+ and Radeon9500pro I played all the games out there with high quality and it worked great

So, why did you changed your CPU if you could run games well with your Athlon 1700+? :smile: In your first phrase you recommend him to stick to is Athlon 1900+ and on the next phrase, you said you dropped your Athlon 1700+ that served you well? Where is the logic? Please explain to us the reason of your upgrade. If I were a newbie I would be really confused after reading your post.

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May 3, 2004 9:12:30 PM

I got a free xp2000...
And my point was that even if he's got the XP1900 he doesn't needs to OC.
May 4, 2004 1:27:57 AM

Ok, after reviewing everything you guys have said and reading through the various other topics, this is what I have come to so far:

Asus NF7-S Motherboard (need to buy)
AMD XP 1900+ (already have, but need to OC)
Thermaltake Volcano7 HSF (need to buy)
ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (need to buy...can I OC this? should I? A little off topic on this thread)
1GB Kingston PC2700 RAM (need to get - Is this what I should get with this CPU and MB? or go for PC3200 for upgradeability?)

My budget is about $600, $700 absolute maximum. Really wish I could save as much as possible though (I'm a college kid, we need beer too).
Thanks guys.
May 4, 2004 1:49:29 AM

You won't be able to find a 9500 Pro at a good price. You'll want to go with a 9600 Pro (not SE!) or a 9700 or better.

Do you know if your CPU is a Thoroughbred core? If so, is it an A or B core? These are going to determine how much of an overclock you get. I don't want to bury you in info., but my signature is indicative of the average performance of Thoroughbred B cores with good air cooling. If yours is a TBred A core or a Palomino Core, you will not reach such a high overclock. If you do have a TBred B core, you'll want to get the PC3200 for sure. The price difference is minimal and this will allow you to run a FSB of 200 (400 DDR). Most of the Nvidia NForce2 boards are practically equal, so you motherboard should be ok-just be sure that it supports DDR 400 (PC3200)in dual-channel mode.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
May 4, 2004 9:20:46 AM

I was checking on Ebay and found several 9500 Pros and most go around $100 I think. If I can't find that I'll definitely go with the 9600 Pro unless anyone is opposed.

I don't know if the CPU is Thoroughbred, how can I find out? I bought it over 2 years ago and didn't know much about computers at the time so who knows. Thanks.
May 4, 2004 12:23:57 PM

I didn't know Ebay was an option. I was just thinking retail. The 9500 is actually faster than the 9600, so that wouldn't be a bad move. When you run CPU-Z, you'll know what core you have and we can predict roughly what kind of overclock you'll get.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
May 4, 2004 12:52:22 PM

Quote:
I got a free xp2000...

What an upgrade, from 1700+ to 2000+! :smile:

Quote:
And my point was that even if he's got the XP1900 he doesn't needs to OC.

I don't agree, increasing CPU performance when you have a low-end system will greatly impact overall apps/games performance. Of course, you will not double your performance, but every CPU speed increase in low-end system have a noticable impact on overall speed. In the other hand, when you already have a mid/high-end system, CPU speed increase are less noticable in apps.

Example :
From 1700+ to 2400+ equal about 30% CPU power increase
From 2800+ t0 3200+ equal about 10% CPU power increase

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