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Looking to upgrade and need advice

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April 15, 2005 11:41:07 AM

Okey I'm looking to upgrade my computer (it's realy a old hunk of junk) and I despretly need a new one. I'll be using it for GFX work and as a gaming rig. But at the same time I'm not the richest man in the worl so I'm trying to keep the price down.

I have a couble of questions:

1. do all of the Athlon 64 3000+ and above CPU's support duel memory tech?
2. your expert thoughts of my setup :) 

Since I'm not rich and no good at putting money aside. I have deside to do my upgrade in stages.

Stage 1:
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
Dane-Elec 2x256 mb duel pc3200 mem
Athlon 64 3000+

Stage 2:
Club-3D GeForce 6600GT

Stage 3:
Dane-Elec 2x256 mb duel pc3200 mem

Stage 4:
Club-3D GeForce 6600GT

I selected the SLI tech for two main reasons. It makes it posible for me to ugrade in stages and continue doing so. The card has a future since it's 939 slot.
The AMD 64 I chose because (atleast as far as I have been abel to find out) it seems to support Duel mem and is a fairly quick CPU at a low cost.
Why didn't I go with Corsair or Kingston exc.. I feel that the minimum of extra speed and quality you get from it isn't worth the extra cost.
6600 GT? Mainly (again as far as I know) it supports the SLI tech. And it's good card for the price.

There you have it. Tell me am I way of my goal did I step in something ugly along the way or does it seem resonable. And last but not least does my chosen CPU support duel mem. I hope you can and will help me.

thx in advance.

More about : upgrade advice

a b à CPUs
April 15, 2005 12:11:38 PM

1. CPU supports Dual Channel for memory.
2. When there are more than four banks on the RAM, the memory controller will default to 333Mhz (downclock from 400Mhz). IF ALL of the 256MB RAM modules you get have a single bank (memory chips only on one side), then you will be <i>ok</i> with how you want to do your memory upgrade. I would recommend you just get the 2X512 instead of 4 sticks.
3. Although the drivers are getting better for SLI, there are still issues that will keep me away from it: Cost and very touchy on the two cards that will make SLI work.
4. You can get the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Epox EP-9NPA+</A> for $113 after rebate from Newegg. It is an Nf4 Ultra (not SLI) that's $53 less than the Asus board. Get it and spend the extra money on the <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?descripti..." target="_new">Mushkin PC3200 1GB</A> for $85.67.
5. Get a X800XL or similar and avoid your stages 2-4. You'll get better performance from the X800XL anyway...

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 15, 2005 3:21:36 PM

Aside from (and elaborating on) what Rugger said, I'd say that if you <i>must</i> do the RAM in stages then it would be a better idea to just get the 1x512Mb stick, and then add another later on. The performance hit from running single-channel on an A64 is small. My 1Gb is only running in single channel, as I don't have matched sticks, and I don't think the expense of swapping one out just to get DC working is worthwhile (well, not when I have other bills to pay that is :evil:  )

---
Winnie 3200+ @ ~2.5Ghz, ~1.41V
1Gb @ 209Mhz, 2T, 3-5-5-10
Asus 6800GT 128Mb
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April 15, 2005 4:19:52 PM

Ruger said:
>>When there are more than four banks on the RAM, the memory controller will default to 333Mhz (downclock from 400Mhz).

I'm a n00b at hardware, could I persuade you to elaborate on that? As far as I can see there are 4 slot avail for mem on the board so how can mounting it with 2 x 2x256 dual mem downclock it? It might be a stupid question, but I simply dont know :) 

Rugger said:
>>3. Although the drivers are getting better for SLI, there are still issues that will keep me away from it: Cost and very touchy on the two cards that will make SLI work.

Do you know where I might be abel to read some more on the subject? (gonna go see if I can find a article here on it, I seem to remember seeing one)
a b à CPUs
April 15, 2005 6:07:48 PM

Quote:
It might be a stupid question, but I simply dont know

There are no stupid questions! Due to limitations of the memory controller on the Winchester core s939 CPUs, if there are more than 4 banks of memory installed the system will change the default FSB to 333Mhz instead of the standard 400Mhz. If you look at a memory module, there are two sides - consider each side a bank and on each stick there is a possibility of two banks. Most 512MB memory modules have memory chips in both banks. Therefore having 2X512MB equals 4 banks and any more banks will exceed the 4 bank limit and decrease the FSB to 333Mhz. Most 256MB sticks of RAM only have memory chips in one bank (one side), therefore even with 4 sticks of RAM, you most likely will not exceed the 4 bank limit. Now to respond to this specifically:
Quote:
As far as I can see there are 4 slot avail for mem on the board so how can mounting it with 2 x 2x256 dual mem downclock it?

It won't decrease the FSB. If you read the rest of the para I said that you should be ok using 4X256MB. I also recommended using 2X512MB and gave you what I thought was a viable option for implementing my solution. :wink:

__________________________________________________
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
April 15, 2005 6:13:20 PM

for info on SLI, you should read hard ocp's thoughts <A HREF="http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NzQ3" target="_new">http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NzQ3&lt;/A>

with the memory, although the board PROVIDES 4 physical slots, the current a64 memory controller cant handle 8 sides of RAM chips without downclocking it, so it runs at pc-2700 instead of pc-3200. that is, if your RAM is all double sided (it is). also the brand and size you chose is stupid. i ought to slap you. whatd you do pick a number out of a hat?. sorry. heres what id reccomend for you:

ocz modstream 450W (or any decent psu, but modstream is the best quality and ahs awesome sleeved cables)
DFI LanParty nf4 sli-dr
Amd athlon 64 3200+ (if i were you, id wait for the Venice core version, (E3 core revision) be sure to ask waht core you're being sold.)
for your Ram, you should definitely buy either one stick of pc-3200, and then buy your next one later, or buy two sticks of ocz pc-3200 gold for 1gb. you can find it for about $200. for a budget, some patriot/pdp value RAM is a good choice.
as far as video, forget the 6600 gt SLI setup, it wont even match the performance of one 6800 GT clocked at ultra speeds. you should go with a 6800 GT. so, you can add another at any time, but you will still have better performance than with 2 6600's.
hard drive, get just about any standard 7200rpm sata drive, and you'll be fine. for performance, id suggest maxtor's diamondmax 10, or the seagate barracuda 7200.8.
optical: nec nd-3520A

good luck with your system.

-I'm Laughing At It Now-
!