new comp build planning: CPU+ questions

(please excuse all spelling errors ahead of time!) :)
Hi there again

Just been considering my option for AMD chips

I need my own system again... there are too many games that I am missing out on and playing games at fluctuating 3-18 fps is nausiating!

In 2003 I was considering my tax refund but after staring at a 625.00 3000+ barton and reading over and over again... dont buy wait for the 64 bit stuff... its finally out.


other sites that I have read reviews on say that the 754 sockets are obsolete for upcoming 64bit progs already, then they say dont get 940 pin either. so that leaves the ultra expensive 939 pins!


dont know what to believe

Sorry cant buy a 400-700 dollar chip again and watch it turn into a decorative dump item in two years.

If I want one of these 995.00 FX55's from new egg I have to accept the fact that if the processor falls the same rate as the 3000+ barton, I will lose $33.50 a month! Until it settles down to the 190-200 range. 80% drop for 250 is easier to swallow than 1 grand

So I guess what I need to know is this.

I really want a nice intensive graphic playing machine

I'm tired of having to tweak a setting cause it causes major tearing, lag, lockup.

so... guess I'll say Half Life 2

For half life 2 and the future "longhron" OS, what CPU am I going to need to run 64 bit apps, have all the settings set to high and play the game without chopping?

I have never been certain about fps but 72 fps. should be sufficent for smoothness.

Or did I just ask for the impossible?

Any way, sorry about the long explanation so here is the questions:

1.) will a 3200+ 939(235.00 newegg), 3400+ 754(223.00 NewEgg) 754 socket be sufficent?

2.) which is faster for gaming?

3.) for 3D apps?

4.) Are these really obsolete for future 64bit stuff?
(plan on using a 6800GT)

5.) what is memory should be used?
(is more but value better than faster but smaller amount)

6.) What motherboard is best?
(was thinking K8N Neo Platinum (MS-7030) for the 754 socket)

I always get everything through newegg and if i overclocked, it would have to work with stock heat sink and fan cause I'm too chicken to experiment yet till understand the tweaking better and read more success how to stories

Will use Artic Silver 5 overclocking or not cause the stuff just sounds like a must have.+

7.) Will these get the 72+ fps that I am looking for without overclocking for half life 2 max settings?

Thanks ahead of time
17 answers Last reply
More about comp build planning questions
  1. Half Life 2 will run fine with a nVidia 6600GT, 1024 megs of ram and an AMD A64 3000+

    Your questions:
    1. Yes it will
    2. Probably the 754
    3. 4. and 6. I leave for others
    5. Get 1024 meg, one chip for s754, two matched chips for s939. You probably will not notice a difference between extremely low latency or normal RAM.
    7. If you overclock you are better of with fast RAM, a good overclock mainboard, another fan+heatsink and other paste which will void your warranty with boxed CPU's.

    I think this setup will do quite well but: How much money do you have and at which resolution do you want to play hl2? I think that it'll do quite a lot of detail at 1024*768.

    If you wait some more you will get additional valuable recommendations.
  2. Forgot to mention that ATI cards seem to outperform nVidia cards in HL2 but I don't know if that was a driver issue which has been solved in the meantime. Anyway, the 6600GT is supposed to be the better overall performer compared to the X700Pro (or whatever ATI thing costs the same).
  3. thank you for answers

    probably wont overclock just due to lack of know how

    I guess I'll lean towards the 3400+ 754 socket the cost and the CPU part 2 numbers impress me enough

    guess the only thing I really need to know is if anyone can answer question 4 now
    again thanks!
  4. In addition to the resolution and amount of $, what all components will you be buying? HDD? Vid card?

    You can save over $75 by going with the A64 3000+ vice 3200+, and might be the better choice if you want to overclock. Save money on the processor to get better RAM/HSF OR go with the 3000+ and spend the extra money on a better video card. You can get the Sappire X800XT for the price difference between the 3000+ and the 3200+! For gaming, this be the better way to increase your performance/gaming experience. Take a look at the performance differences on Tom's VGA comparison here:
    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> You get around 30FPS more with the X800XT then with the 6800GT even at 1600X1200 resolution!

    That being said...the test setup is using an A64 4000+. I don't think that the CPU will be a bottleneck. Can anyone provide more info on this?

    I agree that the 754 will be sufficient for what you're doing right now. As for the future I think you would be happier going with one of the s939 boards for upgradeability. You can wiat those couple of years then buy the FX55 at the discounted rate. Chaintech has a really affordable board the VNF4 Ultra. Here it is on Newegg:
    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>


    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  5. 1-To make it clear, both the 939 and 754 are in great shape. The 754 3400+ is single channel and 2.4Ghz of power, while the 939 is dual channel and 2.0GHz. Dual channel give maybe 5% of performance increase, so, I doubt that it could compensate for the 400MHz boost the 3400+ has.
    2-Whitout a doubt, the 3400+ 754. It has the same specs than the 3800+ 939, except it is single channel( as every 754 cpu)
    3-it depend of the apps, but the 400 MHz advantage should give the 3400+ an edge over the 939 3200+. rendering and encoding are MHz ungry task, for most apps. Some like memory bandwidth more, but the extre 400 MHz the 3400 has will be hard to beat.
    4-64bits is not yet officially out, So I guess that they are not outdated yet....
    5- there again, the 3400+, from being single channel can use standard and cheaper RAM opposed to 939 which demand better RAM as dual channel is sometime picky with memory. Dual channel certified memory is often more expensive.
    6-Well, it depends of what you are looking in mobo. PCIe mobo are hard to find for the 939 and not yet produced for 754. But if you go for AGP, there is much more choice. I recommend nforce3 motherboard. The MSI may be good, but it has a lot of onboard feature and SATA connector, that if you dont plan to use all of them, may be wasted money. there are better alternative. I currently use the Soltek k8an2e-gr. Rock stable and fast, but doesnt have a firewire controller onboard, meaning that, if I ever need firewire, I would have to buy a firewire card. But it was priced right and had all that I need. Some other board, that I dont know of may have different features which should better fill your need. Instead of paying more $$ for feature you may never need, get a cheaper motherboard and spend more on maybe HDD or memory. The 3400+ cpu is a nice one, very good performance/price ratio. Socket 754 wont see faster processor than the 3700+, which is the single channel version of the 939 4000+. So it is by no means, a weak cpu. And by the time you may need a faster one, then new motherboard with better feature and performance will be available, So you'll probably want to upgrade both the motherboard and CPU, as well as RAM.

    Listen, If I had a 3400+ in my motherboard and a 6800gt with 1 gigs of RAM ... I would be smiling for some years for sure... I run a 3000+...

    So, if you dont plan to overclock, then, get the 3400+, the 6800gt, 1 gigs of RAM, and a fast HDD... all that on a good nforce3 motherboard that has ONLY the feature you need..
    and you'll be going thru game at very good speed, that many will be jealous of!!!

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  6. sweeeeeeet

    true i wont be doing anything fancy, just want to plug and play then go...

    Just out of curiosity... way out of price range but is 2 GB of memory benifical to a regualrly set up system? or is that just for overclockers?

    thanks all for your answers

    Got me grinnin bad! LOL
  7. I don't know of anything that can really utilize that much RAM at this point.

    "He who will not risk, cannot win"
    - John Paul Jones
  8. 2 gigs of ram will be usefull, after 64 bit has lots of apps. Give it a couple of years.
  9. You may not have the know how to OC effectively yet, but it would be worth it in the long run to learn. I have a system with the $150 3000+ Winchester running @ 2700 MHz. The $580 3800+ runs at 2.4GHz. I saved $450+ and have 300 MHz to spare. As many will tell you, your mileage may vary, but 2.4 is pretty safe with any Winchester so long as you have a good motherboard. I'd also advise against 2 GB of memory right now, as by the time you need that much it will likely be cheaper. It might not be a bad idea to get one 1 GB stick and skip the dual channel right now since latency beats bandwidth on A64's. That way you'd have a gig and could always expand and go dual channel later. The reason that people say the 754 is dead is because the roadmap ends @ 3700+ I believe, meaning that AMD will not be continuing to produce the fastest CPU's for that socket. That being said, it will probably be a couple of years before that 3700+ feels slow.

    Mobile P4 1.6 @ 2.4 - Gigabyte 8ipe-1000 Pro - 4x256 Corsair Value PC3200 - MSI 128 MB 9800Pro @ 435/730 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
  10. What you said is that he should buy a 3000+ 939 winchester, overclock it a 2.4 to be safe, get one gigs of ram but run the dual channel CPU in single channel on a dual channel board!!!

    He's better getting the 754 3400+ which already run at 2.4Ghz, and very safely, as it is desingned to run at this speed, and get a cheaper 754 motherboard with 1 stick on 1 gigs RAM, which he is going to run in single channel anyway.

    I post on the motherboard section that dual core CPU will probably run DDR2, according to the inquirer, so, when its 3400+ will be too weak, he'll be buying either a 3700+ or another motherboard anyway to run the dual core cpu.

    And with the 6800GT, he will have a very, very nice system. period.

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  11. and by the way, your winchester 3000+ is normally running at 1.8 GHZ, so, if it is running at 2.7, as you say, either you have a damn good CPU or a damn good cooler, as it is 900MHz overclock. So, as the 3400+ run almost in par with the 3800+, at stock speed, I guess that you just run the risk to ruin your CPU or mobo or both, over the time, so you'll end up buying new stuff while he'll be still running his 3400+ happily!!

    So tell us your secret? how do you acheive this 900MHz overclock? air, liquid? other?

    -Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
  12. Winy's have been hitting between 2.6-2.8 ghz on the stock cooler. AMD is just getting better @ 90nm so the chips are going higher.
  13. My 1700+ is over 2 years old, and I can run stable at ~2255Mhz, which is almost 800Mhz Overclock. Pretty sure with the cooler I fitted yesterday I can get over 2.3.

    It's not <i>that</i> much really... If your CPU FAB is turning out a huge bunch of cores that can all easily run beyond the official 'top end' of your range, then you run out of lower-quality cores to use for the lower-end chips, so the low-end ones are made from silicon which is just as good as the top-end ones. Just cost a lot less.

    The secret is knowing about such a batch. My 1700+ was actually a chip I bought to replace a XP2000+. why did I buy a 'lower' chip? Because I <i>knew</i> it would clock beyond 2Ghz.

    "Sex without love is an empty experience...
    But as empty experiences go, it's one of the best" - Woody Allen
  14. Ok, I didn't mean to draw anybody's ire by stating what I thought was obvious. These points are:
    1. Winchesters are very good @ overclocking.

    2. A64 doesn't benefit all that much from running dual-channel since it's performance limitations are more evident with high latency than with low bandwidth. Running a 939 in single channel is no less crippling than starting with a 754 as you have recommended.

    3. Safety first does not apply to overclocking so I can't dispute the chance that by running my CPU above spec I am risking breaking it. Oh well, unless I burn up one every month it'll still be worth it.

    4. I'm on STOCK cooling. Yep. WITH STOCK VOLTAGES. Yep. With 100% load CPU temps (seti) in the mid 50's on the Abit AV8 that is widely regarded as overestimating your temperatures. Sucks to have a Prescott doesn't it?

    6. DDR2 doesn't offer a benefit to A64 yet, isn't yet on A64 roadmaps, and if he's upgrading to DDR2, whatever CPU he buys is going to become the bottleneck because we're talking two years into the future.

    7. Read it and weep:

    Now I know why I quit visiting these forums... it's so conflictual and everybody is assuming the other poster doesn't know what they're talking about. BTW, the SuperPi would be faster, but I'm running my Corsair VS PC3200 at stock speed because value is #1 with me and even fast DDR doesn't offer enough performance to justify the cost. Then there's the whole DDR2 thing...

    Mobile P4 1.6 @ 2.4 - Gigabyte 8ipe-1000 Pro - 4x256 Corsair Value PC3200 - MSI 128 MB 9800Pro @ 435/730 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
  15. And one more thing, Pat. A 6600GT does not alone a nice system make. Unless you're the only one with inside information on performance of next generation cards, you can't make such a blanket statement. Don't forget, the 9600 Pro was the 6600GT of the last generation and within 18 months it's now substandard and performs @ about 40% of today's top cards in demanding games. There is not yet enough known to rule out the same thing happening to the 6600GT (I'm not saying that it will, I am just saying that it is possible).

    Mobile P4 1.6 @ 2.4 - Gigabyte 8ipe-1000 Pro - 4x256 Corsair Value PC3200 - MSI 128 MB 9800Pro @ 435/730 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
  16. Dont you be saggin my 9600pro. It's still great, and will be untill the X800XL- agp card comes out. That will put that lousy 6600gt in it's place.
    Wait a second, did I just prove you right?
  17. Yeah, I didn't mean to hate on the 9600's. That's why I used facts to back up what I was saying instead of just saying that it's long in the tooth. I had a Gainward GF2 MX400 that was awesome in it's day getting about 85% of the performance of an Ultra (with a hefty OC), but that was years ago-time makes even the best pieces obsolete.

    Mobile P4 1.6 @ 2.4 - Gigabyte 8ipe-1000 Pro - 4x256 Corsair Value PC3200 - MSI 128 MB 9800Pro @ 435/730 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
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