Ok, I've been reading this forum for a while now and have used a ton of the posts in making my decisions on what hardware to buy for my system. So far I've purchased the following...
MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
OCZ EL Platinum Rev 2 (512x2)
Antec SL450 PSU
Samsung 160 gig SATA HDD
Sapphire 9600XT 256MB AGP (I know, I know, wanted a 6800GT but price was an issue at the time - maybe someday)
Any way, my main question is this. I've waited until now to pick up my processor (obviously socket 939 Athlon 64) and I'm needing a little advice.
I'm going for one of the three following processors
A64 3500+ 2.2GHz 512K 90nm Rev E ($287)
A64 3700+ 2.2GHz 1MB 90nm Rev E ($344)
A64 3800+ 2.4GHz 512K 90nm Rev E ($389)
All prices from Monarch as of today
In the past I've always been leaning toward the 3500+ based on price but they've come down enough that the 3700+ and the 3800+ are possibilities. Which would you guys suggest?
I'm thinking that the 1Mb cache on the 3700+ would outweigh the 200MHz bump in processing speed.
System is going to be used for a little bit of everything (gaming, video editing, email, internet, pong, etc.). I plan on only doing a "little" overclocking (not a ton as I've never fiddled with overclocking at all - having used OEM systems with limited BIOS's in the past).
Thoughts, comments, suggestions, warnings?????
Thanks for any help... (dang that was a long one?)
That 200Mhz will outweigh the 1MB cache - that's why it's rated as a 3800+. It will be faster, but the question is whther or not you want to pay for that speed. With the Rev E (Venice core) you can easily OC your system to the 3800+ performance levels - I would still go for the 3500+ and do that mild OC to at least 3800+ performance levels.
How much did you pay for the 9600XT? For the extra $100 you're willing to drop on that CPU, you could have had a MUCH faster video card. As it is right now, the 9600XT will be your performance bottleneck.
<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
If it was an Intel CPU, I'd agree with you that the extra cache more than makes up for 200mhz. But this is AMD - I don't think the cache makes up for 200mhz. I would personally go for the 3500+ because 200mhz isn't worth $100, but that's me.
I know the 9600XT is going to be my main bottleneck. At the time (6-8 months ago) my 64Mb GeForce card (not sure on the model) died and I had to pick up something fairly quick. I think I paid $160 for it and I do plan on upgrading it but I'm without a system right now (too many failures to list). Since I've got a vid card to use right now I'd rather just live with the 9600XT and have a system until I can get something better.
I am planning to upgrade to a Rev E core in the next month as well. It is my intention to get the 3700+ San Diego instead of a 3500+ or 3800+ Venice and then OC it 2-300 MHz to 4000++ speeds. I will only be doing this if benchmarks demonstrate the extra cache being useful in games (my main concern). Otherwise I will probably get the 3500+ and OC it the same amount.
Or maybe not... I just got a good job, and I could spend $70 on a night out at the bars. Surely getting an extra 512 KB of cache is a better return than waking up in the morning with a headache and smelling like cigarettes?
Why's that wusy? I thought I had made a pretty good choice on the OCZ memory, based on the information that I had read. Or is it just that the OCZ and the 3500+ work so well together that you think I'll be plenty happy with the 3500+ and everything else would be overkill?
I'm leaning towards the 3500+ right now based on the responses that I've gotten so far. It just sounds like the added cache and/or MHz just won't be worth the extra money. (Plus I can then almost justify getting a better video card in a little while).
the ocz RAM based on tccd chips will be great for ocing, it think that's what wusy is talking about, so the 3500+ would be best for overclocking you entire system. my opinion: get the 3500+ and oc it to 250x10 (2500Mz) that will get you equal or better performance than the 4000+ plus you can get ddr500 bandwidth. the cache is NOT worth the price premium for games alone.
Well the responses are overwhelming. Guess I'll be going with the 3500+. I'll order tomorrow. Monarch is "selling" the Venice core (didn't know the code name until today) but it's presale and they say it won't ship out until late May. Oh well, I've waited this long.
Quick question. I'm moderately shocked that not one person opted for the faster cpu's. Normally there's at least one person that takes the other side. Any thoughts as to why?? (Not that I'm complaining, just curious)
Any way, thank you all again. Look forward to hearing from me again when I post "How the heck to I OC this thing now?"