This topic has come up fairly frequently in this forum, but I was hoping that we could shed some light on this issue as I keep on seeing this coming up in sparadic places throughout the forum and only one side of the argument is presented and then somewhere else the other side is expressed...
There is a few issues I would like to see discussed... including the upgradability or "future proofness" of the 939 and the performance advantage of the 754 (pat had a link that hopefully he will post again)... As well, are there other options on either of the two that you like better??
I know there has been threads about this in the past... but they seemed to be dominated by a few individuals (and seemed to be pro 754), and since then I have heard many other voices many of wich have been pro 939. So I think it is worth discussing again.
A lot depends on usage.
If you never OC, or you never upgrade piecemeal, like most people, get the s754. If you change chips every few months, or are an OCing banshee, get the s939. Anyone in between can get either. They are bothe great.
I'm still not thrilled with the s939 boards, but they are getting better.
I would like to see performance reviews with all three 3200+'s, both at stock speeds and at max OC.
That would be nice... although I think the 754 would come out ontop of the 939 for sure without OCing. Of course the OC test would be interesting. That said, I doubt this is a test that THG will do anytime soon...
In my 25+ years of working with PC's, I have NEVER upgraded a PC by changing the CPU alone. By the time you are ready to buy that new CPU, there will be new memory options, new chipsets, faster bus speeds, new and faster periperals, all which will require a new motherboard as well (and new memory).
Neither platform is secure for future upgrading.
Example. Get the best there is in 939 motherboards today. Let's say that in 8 months, AMD releases the Athlon 64 with DDR2 support. Since the memory controller is built into the CPU itself, your system can no longer be upgraded without a motherboard as well. This new processor (if still on the 939 platform) is not compatible with the older ones.
Unless you replace your cpu every 2 months, planning on upgrading a new PC is not practical. It will require much more then just a faster cpu.
In my opinion, the platform does not matter. Buy which ever has the features you want at the price you can afford. When upgrade time arrives, you will have to replace the whole thing anyway.
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I have 5 systems at home, which I am responsible for. 4 have athlon chips.
My budget is $100/month. 3 of the athlon systems have seen 3 or more chips. The A64 is s754. I am debating getting another 754 board, but putting the new chip on this system. The other option is waiting for non-SLI nforce4, and the X800XL. If I wait, I will go s939, because I will need a cheaper chip, that OCs better.
I also have a regular customer who is chomping at the bit for a new system. She is on hold, until I can set her up with PCI-exp for vivo ( she records hdtv to DVD). If it is working well on nforce4 s939 boards before it's possible on s754, that's the route I'll go.
I do miss swapping out chips every couple of months, and would love to see it happen again, but I'm not holding my breath.
My point of view on that subject, is that peoples sometime doenst listen to other's need when thay advise on system. Yes, overclocking is nice, but not always advisable according to what he or she want to do with his or her system. DV capturing and editing is one area where overclocking is simply not advisable because risk of corruption is greater due to heavy use of HDD.
The need for upgrade will come faster if you dont pick the right system first. To me, I dont buy cheap parts now expecting to maybe upgrade the cpu later or the board because, based on my personnal experience, it simply doenst worth it. Technology is always moving forward so if you buy a full featured board and have no money to put a fast CPU and you get a slower one expecting to upgrade later, then later, your board will probably be obsolete, as new board will have improved performance and feature. Just like SLI. Yes it is nice. But you need 2 video cards to enjoy it. But you dont have the money to buy 2 cards now. OK, SLI is new, overpriced. So, you'll wait to get another video card. That board may have cost you maybe 100$ more than a standard, so it is 100$ sitting there doing nothing. By the time you'll have the money to get the other card, probably that, SLI board will be cheaper, video card will be cheaper and faster cpu will be cheaper. What does that mean? You wasted some money. OTOH, instead of going SLI, you decide to buy a cheaper board. Socket 754 or 939. Then , an adequate CPU and a NICE video card. I guess that a , let say, nforce3 board, socket 754 witha 3200+, 1 512 megs RAM stick and a, I dont know, let say, a gforce 6800 or equivalent will be better now than a SLI motherboard, running a 939 3000+ and a 6600 gforce. Then, what if, by the time you are ready to buy another 6600, well, SLI motherboard with better feature and performance and features might be available. for the same price you paid for the 3000+, maybe the 3500+ will be just couple bucks more and the 6800 will be priced around the 6600 price. So, what will you do. What I would do is sell the current CPU/RAM/mobo to get a newer and better one and 2 6800... I always upgrade CPU/RAM/mobo. What make a performing system is how balanced are all the component.
When I have to built a system, I first ask what will be the purpose of that system and then, what is the budget.
for gaming, and depending of the budget, I look for the video card first, then balance the remaining around it, For DV,RAM and HDD speed and storage possibility is what will influence my choice of componant. General computing need, well, I look for onboard features and depending of the precise need, for maybe a good photo printer that could be added instead of a fast CPU...
Someone who is completly happy now with his new system will be using it for longer time before it feel the need to upgrade than someone who get a computer that he expect to upgrade when he'll havethe money with better parts.
I've been building computer for maybe near 10 years. I, first, was getting cheaper component expecting upgrading it later when money will be available. It always ended up having some outdated parts with newer one and was spending more that I'd like to have only an adequate system. Now, I only buy the best I can afford without thinking about future upgradability and longetivity and it always pay up because I usually keep my computer for a longer time, I have more time to save for my new one and I can make some money by selling a complete computer built with my current CPU/mobo/RAM, a cheap video card and HDD as well as other used component to someone that need a cheap system for general purpose, or it is easyer to sell a complete motherboard with CPU and RAM to someone that want to upgrade his computer as sometime, maybe only the cpu or RAM wont fit on his system.
I dont bash socket 939 CPU. for now, there is not enough motherboard"s choice and the CPU are not performance/price ratio wise. I think that the 3200+ 939 should be the 3000+. The 3500+ should have a faster core and the current 4000+ should be the current 3800+. This way, you'll get more value and performance.
Socket 754 are nicer chip for now, as they are well priced and perform very well. There is a wide selection of board availabe and PCIe should be soon, as some manufacturer has announced boards with PCIe for that socket. Yes, maybe in 3 years, socket 754 will be outdated. But so will current 939 board be. And maybe SLI will be ... same for DDR ...and SATA, ... and gigabits ethernet as wireless networking is improving,... and firewire as newer standard are on the way, ...and current CPU and ...well everything is moving forward and following is an expensive race....
-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
Ditto for me Endyen. I also have many systems on my home LAN and often find myself upgrading just the cpu or just a video card for that matter. But the mobo and ram stay. Or sometimes I will need a cheap chip for someone, and rob one of mine and end up upgrading instead of just replacing. This came in real handy as the cheapest Athlon XP to buy, or at least the "best" buy, kept going up and up. For ages it was an XP1600+, then XP1700+, then 2000+, then 2400+, then 2500+. This KT266A machine I am on right now has had a XP1600+, 1800+, and now a 2100+ in it.
If you have one system, you may never just upgrade the cpu. But if you have spares, you will find yourself upgrading your top system, and moving the parts down the line. It never hurts to have an upgrade option available. I mean go back a year. Would you want to have a KT266 XP1700+ system, or an NF2 Xp1700+? One is not worth upgrading, and one is still quite capable when the cpu gets maxed out or OC'ed even.