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Mobile Athlon 64 vs Athlon 64

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May 21, 2004 6:03:12 PM

I just realised something. And no one talked about this issue here.

Mobile Athlon 64 have 1Meg of CACHE / Vcore=1.25Volt and desktop Athlon 64 have 512K or 1Meg of CACHE / Vcore=1.5Volt. They are both Socket754 processor.

The pricing of Mobile and non-mobile Athlon 64 at same rating is equal. The only difference is the core speed. So, I assume that the best Athlon64 core are reserved for the mobile version, like the best Barton core become Mobile Athlon-XP.

PR / Mobile Athlon 64 / Athlon 64
2800+ / 1.6GHz-1Meg-1.25V / 1.8GHz-512K-1.5V
3000+ / 1.8GHz-1Meg-1.25V / 1.8GHz-1Meg-1.5V or 2.0GHz-512K-1.5V
3200+ / 2.0GHz-1Meg-1.25V / 2.0GHz-1Meg-1.5V

I wish a review site will compare OC potential of Mobile Athlon 64 versus Desktop Athlon 64. Theorically, the overclocking potential of Mobile Athlon 64 should be better than normal Athlon 64. I really think AMD Mobile CPU will become the overclocker's choice, since the introduction of the Mobile Barton we all realised that the best core are reserved for mobile version.

I just updated my wishlist! I replaced the Athlon 64 3200+ with the Mobile Athlon 64+ I only need a good HSF now, any suggestion?

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May 21, 2004 6:09:27 PM

I think the mobile version runs at lower HT, a good HSF, the Thermalright SLK948U is definently the best, but i bought a cheap Thermaltake Venus 12, it does the job well, handles 1.7Vcore under 50C with medium fan speed.

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
May 21, 2004 6:31:28 PM

i agree. It would be interestig to see how far the mobile 64's o/c

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May 21, 2004 7:21:16 PM

If the price is indeed the same (are you sure ??) its a no brainer, get the mobile chips ! Even if they would not overclock any further (which would surprise me already), at least they will be even cooler :)  (provided your MB can supply such low voltage)

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 21, 2004 7:22:33 PM

Theorically the core can go at 2.4GHz at least, because Athlon FX-53 is running at this speed.

Let's say you buy a Mobile Athlon 64 2800+. It is running at 200x8 = 1.6GHz. Since Athlon 64 are locked. We would need to put the FSB at 300MHz to reach 2.4GHz. Wow! DDR600 anyone? The fastest speed achived by AnandTech was DDR571 with the OCZ PC4400 DC Kit and this was on an Intel platform in dual-channel mode.

In the AnandTech latest review of OCZ 3700EB RAM, they could achieve a stable 268MHz with their "weak" Athlon 64 3200+ (the editor confirms me, that he couldn't test with the newest revision 3200+ because it was use for another article that will be posted in the coming weeks).

So, with a low speed Mobile Athlon 64, the memory could become the limiting factor in overclocking. the cost of the high-speed DDR module can be prohibitive. AMD low-speed architecture is the limiting factor here, because you have to increase FSB speed by a higher percentage to get to the core limit.

Going from 1.6GHz to 2.4GHz need a 50% increse in FSB speed. With price/performance in mind it would be wiser to get the Mobile Athlon 64 3000+ that run at 1.8GHz. This CPU "only" need a 267MHz FSB to reach 2.4GHz (and I earlier mention that AnadTech have reach this speed with their test platform). This reduce the memory requirement to DDR533. The other thing that could help is that Socket754 platform is single channel and it's easier to run memory at higher speed with single channel (1 module) setup. But, the big problem is that high-speed memory are mostly sold in MATCHED-PAIR for DUAL-CHANNEL setup.

I will keep the Mobile Athlon 64 2800+ on my wish list until I read some review about their overclocking potential.

Maybe it's possible to tweak memory controller settings on Athlon 64 MB. For example changing the memory interface from a 1/1 ration to a 4/3 or 5/4 ration would help boosting CORE speed while keeping memory at reasonable speed, but I'm not sure it's possible to do this.

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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 21, 2004 7:30:16 PM

Ahem.. the 2800+ should support lower memory dividers, supporting DDR266 (333 and 400), so it should not be a problem at all. Just use a lower divider, and you'll only be overclocking the HTT bus (which may or may not limit your overclock) and the AGP bus if you don't have a nForce3 250.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 21, 2004 7:34:23 PM

I'm sure they are the same price, I checked NewEgg.

<b>ATHLON 64 (Socket754) PRICE list :</b>
Athlon 64 2800+ OEM = 173$
Athlon 64 2800+ BOXED = 187$
<font color=blue>Mobile Athlon 64 2800+ OEM = 187$</font color=blue>
Athlon 64 3000+ OEM = 211$
Athlon 64 3000+ BOXED = 223$
<font color=blue>Mobile Athlon 64 3000+ OEM = 226$</font color=blue>
Athlon 64 3200+ OEM = 270$
Athlon 64 3200+ BOXED = 282$
<font color=blue>Mobile Athlon 64 3200+ OEM = 284$</font color=blue>
Athlon 64 3400+ OEM = 404$
Athlon 64 3400+ BOXED = 416$

Basically thay are sold at the same price, except they don't have the HSF.


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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 21, 2004 7:41:25 PM

<A HREF="http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/..." target="_new">From the AMD website :</A>

<font color=blue>* AMD64 technology, which doubles the number of processor registers and dramatically increases the system memory addressability
* Enhanced multimedia instructions support including 3DNow! Professional technology and support for SSE2 instructions.
* <b>Up to 1600 MHz system bus using HyperTransport technology</b>, with up to 9.6 GB/sec total processor-to-system bandwidth
* An integrated memory controller with peak memory bandwidth of 3.2 GB/sec, supporting <b>PC3200, PC2700, PC2100, or PC1600 DDR SDRAM</b>
* The industry's largest cache memory system (1 Megabyte L2 cache) to speed up memory access and reduce processor bottlenecks
* Native execution of 32-bit software, allowing today's PC software to run seamlessly, simplifying the migration to 64-bit software</font color=blue>

So no problem there 4x200 HT BUS and DDR400 support, this sheet confirm that Mobile Athlon 64 are identical to Athlon 64 with lower power requirement.

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May 21, 2004 7:45:37 PM

I'm happy, I can set the memory speed to whatever I want!!! And the Athlon 64 are probably not very impacted by async speed between HT and memory, since they have embedded memory controller.

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May 21, 2004 7:47:09 PM

Hey, no heat spreader usually mean higher OVERCLOCKING!!! The more I search/read about the Mobile Athlon 64, the more I loved them!!! :smile:

This should not be worst than current Athlon XP. They don't have heat spreader.

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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by TheRod on 05/21/04 03:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
May 21, 2004 8:08:40 PM

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.html?i=2057&p=1..." target="_new">Check this!</A>

It's interesting to see that running the memory at 268MHz with the Athlon 64 don't necessarly boost that much real-world performance. Quake3 gets only a 5% boost, Aquamark get lower than 2% boost and UT2003 get less than 4% when compared to 214MHz memory speed. Only SiSoft Sandra MAX 3 - INT and Float get a big boost, but it's a synthetic bench.

It seams to me that it's more important to boost CORE speed with A64 than trying to achieve steller memory speed. I will probably keep the OCZ PC3500 EB in my wishlist. I don't think it's worth the extra money to get PC3700/PC4000 sticks with A64.

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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 21, 2004 8:14:10 PM

That's so true, i'm using a divider right now, so my ram's running at about 192mhz, The memory bandwidth didn't take much of a hit, well i did use timings to make up for it, 2-2-3-5, but the integrated memory controller didn't seem to care that much.

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
May 21, 2004 8:19:27 PM

From what I have read, the higest scores are achive with X-Y-Z-10 memory timings. <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.html?i=2057&p=1..." target="_new">Check this page</A>. If you haven't read this AnandTeach article yet, it's worth! There is a lot of good info about A64 overclocking, even if it's not the purpose of the article.

By the way, do you have a VIA or nForce3 MB? And what's is your current OC setup?

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May 21, 2004 8:26:25 PM

I have a crappy nforce3 150, the Gigabyte GAK8N, however have my SATA drives attached to a PCI raid controller, so i can get to 242HT, I'm currently running at 2300mhz at 1.6Vcore, i can go to 242HT, not too stable at 1.7Vcore. I wanted to stay at 240HT, so my ram runs at 200mhz, but it's summer now, can't really do that, i can't stand the Venus 12 fan on full so... Have to turn it down a little. But hey, 11k Aquamark CPU mark isn't bad.

<A HREF="http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/myrig.php?do=view..." target="_new">My PC</A>
May 21, 2004 9:38:50 PM

>It's interesting to see that running the memory at 268MHz
>with the Athlon 64 don't necessarly boost that much
>real-world performance.

Probably videocard limited.. even though I've seen lots of benchmarks indicate A64 isnt all that sensitive to how fast the memory subsystem is (both bandwith/frequency) and (cas)latency). Much less than the P4 in any case

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
May 21, 2004 11:42:25 PM

Why did you get nForce3 150 then?

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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 21, 2004 11:49:08 PM

But obviously, it's what it's good with A64... You can buy not TOP-NOTCH and still get big boost in performance by haveing a faster CPU and tweaking the FSB/MEMORY ratio.

I might be tempted to only buy CPU/MB and keep my DDR333 to start. I will then compare the result I obtain to various results from websites/reviews. And see if it's worth getting DDR400 or more to squeeze the las t drops of performance of my Mobile Athlon 64. If I see that I would only get 5% performance, I might keep my old DDR333, or maybe even buy 2Gig of cheap DDR333 (by the time I will buy, it will probably be cheap DDR400 for the price of today's DDR333).

It's just some ideas I have! I prepare my mind for late August or September upgrade.

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Lookin' to fill that <font color=blue>GOD</font color=blue> shape hole!
May 21, 2004 11:51:44 PM

We might start to see recommendation like : "Buy an A64 and keep your old DDR333 it will only cost you 5% in performance".

Cheap upgrade! :smile:

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May 22, 2004 12:39:14 AM

I will try it, but my Kingston DDR333 have hard time running fast on my A7N8X Rev 1.04. I might try some tweak this weekend with memory timing/voltage combo. I hope to get at least 10% increase in speed. I would like to achieve 180MHz.

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