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tom's article & pentium m price/performance

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July 24, 2005 7:17:59 PM

I've been very intrigued by "The Next Generation of Cool" article about building a low-power system with modern specs (http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20050621/index.html).

However, now that i'm starting to price out this systems i'm really surprised at the top-of-the-line Pentium M 770 CPU. Priced new at somewhere close to $700, it seems significantly more pricey than comparable top-of-the-line desktop CPUs from Intel or AMD. Am i missing something here? Are mobile CPUs just that much more expensive?

I originally thought the article was making a case for price/performance with the Pentium M, not to mention the obvious performance/efficiency issue. Perhaps that was just a misunderstanding.

I'd really love to build a system based on the components outlined in this article, I'm having a little trouble swallowing the price for the Pentium M CPU.

Any thoughts/comments appreciated.

Thanks!
July 25, 2005 4:29:19 AM

Bah, ignore these people, thier hardcore AMD fanboys, and regardless how good the proc is, they'll always state possitive for AMD.

P-M's are expensive, but, the F-55 is around $1000, yes? The P-M is very close to it at stock speeds, runs cooler, and much less energy, so with a little tinkering, it kicks the FX-55 a new one, and can likely reach FX-57 speeds in higher overclocks. It may be slightly slower, but it wins most everywhere else. So the P-M can be compared to the FX series, and isn't that outragous considering the FX series is overpriced compared to the P-M.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by keman on 07/25/05 00:29 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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July 25, 2005 4:35:23 AM

Tom's doesn't compare it to AMD's coolest desktop processor, the Venice, which draws around 7W more power at around 2.4GHz. Athlon 64 with Venice core goes for a reasonable price, the 2.0GHz 3200+ for around $180.

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July 25, 2005 6:29:18 AM

Quote:
but, the F-55 is around $1000, yes?

no
the fx 57 is around that much.

Quote:
Bah, ignore these people, thier hardcore AMD fanboys, and regardless how good the proc is, they'll always state possitive for AMD.

you said what I said
Quote:
P-M's are expensive


Quote:
P-M's are expensive, but, the F-55 is around $1000, yes? The P-M is very close to it at stock speeds, runs cooler, and much less energy, so with a little tinkering, it kicks the FX-55 a new one, and can likely reach FX-57 speeds in higher overclocks. It may be slightly slower, but it wins most everywhere else. So the P-M can be compared to the FX series, and isn't that outragous considering the FX series is overpriced compared to the P-M.

like what the other guy said they didnt use the venice.
July 25, 2005 8:05:44 AM

From my understanding, the Venice still runs around 40-60Watts, compared to the P-M's 24-28watts, still nearly, if not double. It may still be high priced, but it has quite alot of OC'ing potencial, at stock voltages, it overclocks better than the venice on stock cooling while remaining at resonable temps (Did Toms not get around 2.56GHZ on a 2.13GHZ? (430 MHZ overclock, approx 17%) Stock cooling and voltage...using a Laptop stock HS? Think of the potential with a cool Watercooling+ system, and a good mobo, it'd stomp nearly anything AMD has to offer, and may outdo the FX57 in overclocking. Besides, were comparing a Laptop proc to a desktop proc. I assure you the Turons are more expensive compared to similar performance A64's.
July 25, 2005 9:51:13 AM

It was just a marketing ruse.
The PentiumM chips perform on par with an equally clocked xp-m chip. The xp-m chip OCs better.
The A64 chips run about 15% better perf than an xp-m chip, @ the same speed.
The "m"s do not perform well in games. Even the P4s beat them.
For what it is, the $700 price tag isn't that bad. Remember, that is a high end, limited production, special perpose chip.
July 25, 2005 9:52:46 AM

>From my understanding, the Venice still runs around
>40-60Watts

Actually, no, they draw 30W tops according to.. was it xbit who measured actual cpu power draw (ie not CPU+PSU+VRM+...). And that includes the MC, dont forget.

>still nearly, if not double

Even if it where .. so what ? At what point does it get irrelevant (for desktops) ? Would you care if a certain cpu draws 50% more when one consumes 1W and the other 1.5W ?

>It may still be high priced, but it has quite alot of OC'ing
> potencial, at stock voltages, it overclocks better than the
> venice on stock cooling

Stock cooling of PM ?? Anyway, sure, its a good overclocker, so is Venice. Both of them can be excepted to clock to ~2.5 GHz with little effort, and both have been overclocked to well over 3 GHz on water or phase. Personally, I would certainly opt for the Venice though, for three reasons:
-price
-64 bit capability
-motherboard selection
Three major disadvantages I cant see being compensated by a few less watts, at least in a desktop.




= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 25, 2005 10:03:43 AM

Partially correct, but the P-M was beating the FX-55 at 2.56GHZ, it is alittle more effecient than the venice. I can agree though that the P-M isnt necessarily a logical desktop comp due to lack of mobo's. I wasn't aware the venices were that effecient though. The thing is also, the FX series and higher clocked venices arn't, remember, the FX-57 is a venice at 2.6GHZ, and it was mentioned here some time ago to draw alittle over 100 watts.

First, 64bit is currently useless, a few programs run quicker, yes, but drivers are shoddy, and many programs still have many problems, it'll be a year to several before its worked out. Also if price was that major of a factor, then people wouldnt own any of the FX series, intel Extreme Editions or AMD dual cores period, all which are overpriced.
July 25, 2005 10:15:22 AM

>The thing is also, the FX series and higher clocked venices
>arn't, remember, the FX-57 is a venice at 2.6GHZ

Nope, they are Sandiego's

> and it was
>mentioned here some time ago to draw alittle over 100 watts

73W actually ->
<A HREF="http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-f..." target="_new">http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/athlon64-f...;/A>

And I doubt a PM at 2.6 GHz would be that much less.

>First, 64bit is currently useless, a few programs run
>quicker, yes, but drivers are shoddy, and many programs
>still have many problems,

Driver support is maturing rapidly. Im running Windows64 as my main OS now, and really have no issues at all, and for certain things it is leaps and bounds faster. VMware performance, while I havent benched anything, feels like 3-4x as fast for certain operations and 32 bit apps run at the same speed within a couple of percent (usually a tad faster)

>lso if price was that major of a factor, then people wouldnt
> own any of the FX series, intel Extreme Editions or AMD
>dual cores period, all which are overpriced.

So what is your point then ? That an overclocked PM might be a better deal than a stock FX57 ? What else is new.. how about an overclocked Venice ? :) 

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by P4Man on 07/25/05 06:17 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 25, 2005 10:17:08 AM

>The "m"s do not perform well in games.

Ahm.. are you sure ? I seem to remember a PM on a desktop board slightly beats even the A64 clock for clock.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 26, 2005 3:11:40 AM

Well, there doesn't seem to be a lot of consensus. I shouldn't find that surprising ;) 

Basically, I'm looking at a Pentium M 770 2.13GHz for around $400. Usual price online is closer to $700. The motherboard from that article is around $250 or so.

Can the AMD Venice CPUs be cooled with a more passive option? One of the things that was appealing to me about this system was the lack of heat and large fan(s). What is recommended to cool a Venice?

If there is some consensus that the AMD Venice solution is comparable performance-wise and cheaper, is there a microATX board someone would recommend?

Man, it's been a while. I'm feeling really out of the loop with this stuff. Thanks everyone.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 3030vision on 07/26/05 01:49 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 26, 2005 7:04:29 AM

Actually, tomshardware has an article right now for a 2.26GHZ P-M for $630, and the others dropping down in price. These are getting to be a better buy than the FX series now considering the 2.26GHZ can likely clock into the 2.6-2.8GHZ range stock voltage.

Also the article said the 778 would be down to $284...thats nearing the price per performance of the more mainstream processors.

Drivers maybe maturing in 64 bit, but many devices will never recieve drivers, and many programs will never have 64 bit support, or will never function properly in 64 bit windows. It's a double edged sword, Performance vs Overal Stablility and convenience.
July 26, 2005 12:27:02 PM

>Basically, I'm looking at a Pentium M 770 2.13GHz for around
> $400. Usual price online is closer to $700. The motherboard
> from that article is around $250 or so.

So that is $950 for cpu+mb.. that is just far too much, that money buys you an X2 4600+ with a top end MB. Or a 4000+ and a motherboard for nearly half the price which gives you ample budget to spend on quiet cooling.

>Can the AMD Venice CPUs be cooled with a more passive option?

Slow versions might be cooled passively given a Zalman copper flower and adequate case flow, but it will be borderline. My last build was a Venice 3000+ with zalman, and with the fan at minimum speed -so slow the MB keeps complaining 'cpu fan failed', I think it runs around 1000rpm- its totally inaudible, even with my ear at 10cm. It iddles around 28°C and never exceeds 39°C running CPUBurn. Turning up the fan speed hardly makes a difference. Disconnecting the CPU fan the temps steadily rose to almost 60°C under load.

Of course, if you start overclocking, things will change dramatically, but the same applies to the PM.

>What is recommended to cool a Venice?

Stock cooling is actually quite good. I ordered the Zalman just to be sure, but on hindsight, there was no need for it. Stock cooler is pleasantly quiet and more than good enough even for some overclocking. If you do decide on Venice, I suggest you try the included HSF first.. you can always replace it later if you want to, but unless your a diehard overclocker, most likely you wont.

>is there a microATX board someone would recommend?

Ill leave that to other to recommend


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 26, 2005 12:40:35 PM

>Actually, tomshardware has an article right now for a 2.26GHZ
> P-M for $630, and the others dropping down in price. These
>are getting to be a better buy than the FX series now
>considering the 2.26GHZ can likely clock into the 2.6-2.8GHZ
>range stock voltage.

Again, you are comparing a stock cpu to an overclocked one to conclude the overclocked one *might* be a better value.. thats bogus, if you dont mind overclocking, compare a PM @2.6 GHz with a ~3500+ @2.6 GHz and then consider which one gives you best bang/buck.

>Drivers maybe maturing in 64 bit, but many devices will
>never recieve drivers

there are some.. but very few and pretty much like there are devices some that never got 2k/XP drivers, that will never get Longhorn support. Does that mean you are sticking to Win95 ? And how many such devices do you own and are still usefull ?

>and many programs will never have 64 bit support,

So what ? They run just fine under 64 bit OS, usually even a tad faster, so why would I even *want* a 64 bit version of Skype or Solitaire ?

>or will never function properly in 64 bit windows.

Like which ones ?

>It's a double edged sword, Performance vs Overal Stablility
>and convenience.

"Overall stability", if anything, is likely *higher* on the 64 bit version for several reasons:
-its based on newer, cleaner Server2003 code
-it got rid of some real mode crap code
-there are no windows 64 virusses yet, though that will obviously change

As for "convenience".. if your buying a new rig, just how many componentes do you think will be unsupported ?
And if indeed there would something you cant live without and that is not supported in win64, big deal, no one forces it on you (yet), just stick to win32 then. its not like you have any other choice with the PM.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
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July 26, 2005 3:33:51 PM

>or will never function properly in 64 bit windows.

Like which ones ?

i think some older games like transport tycoon might not be compatable.... we'll find out when i get all my parts and install windows xp 64 bit and hopefully get windows vista beta off the internet somewhere
July 26, 2005 4:35:38 PM

> So that is $950 for cpu+mb.. that is just far too much, that
> money buys you an X2 4600+ with a top end MB. Or a 4000+ and
> a motherboard for nearly half the price which gives you
> ample budget to spend on quiet cooling.

Actually, I'm looking at spending $430 on the processor and probably around $270 on the board, so that's $700 for cpu/mb. But still, that's a lot of money!

However, I haven't seen a microATX board recommended for an AMD Venice processor (socket 939?). Is there's a comparable cpu/mb setup that someone would recommend? I'm assuming it would be significantly cheaper.

Finally, if i understand things correctly, the AMD Venice comes with a decent stock HSF cooling option.
July 26, 2005 4:54:03 PM

<A HREF="http://www.via.com.tw" target="_new">VIA EPIA!</A>

:evil:  یί∫υєг ρђœŋίχ @ 193K :evil: 
Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name.
But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game.
July 26, 2005 6:24:52 PM

>However, I haven't seen a microATX board recommended for an
>AMD Venice processor (socket 939?). Is there's a comparable
>cpu/mb setup that someone would recommend

Do you need a standalone motherboard, or would you consider a SFF PC ?

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 26, 2005 6:39:37 PM

> Do you need a standalone motherboard, or would you consider
> a SFF PC

Well, i was considering the Silverstone Sugo case (http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20050720/index.html). I'm not that familiar with SFF PCs, but I understand that they're custom cases w/ motherboard. I probably wouldn't consider it unless it was highly recommended.

I really like the style of that Sugo case, although it's pricey.

Thanks!
July 26, 2005 7:02:28 PM

Ummmm... I guess I will tell you, cause it doesn't look like anyone else will.

That case you have picked is for a "Small Form Factor" (SFF) PC. So the answer to the above question was: "Yes, I am building an SFF PC".
July 26, 2005 7:06:19 PM

I built one with this:
http://eu.shuttle.com/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-72/1...

Looks terrific, but thats a matter of taste. Looks aside, nothing to complain really. Awesome little box.

>I really like the style of that Sugo case, although it's
>pricey.

Yep, most/all SFF are fairly pricey :(  But with the money you'd save by not getting a PM, you could buy 2 of these ;) 



= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
July 26, 2005 8:30:16 PM

> Ummmm... I guess I will tell you, cause it doesn't look like
> anyone else will.

> That case you have picked is for a "Small Form Factor" (SFF)
> PC. So the answer to the above question was: "Yes, I am
> building an SFF PC".

I know that the Sugo case i selected is about the same size as a SFF PC, but the difference is it uses a standard microATX mb, correct? I believe you can put any microATX board in there. I thought by definition a SFF PC had the motherboard built in. Am i wrong here?

Regarding the Shuttle SFF PC, that does look like an interesting option. I'm definitely willing to spend that kind of money (looks like around $400), but i'd prefer a little more flexibility. Specifically, i'd like an aluminum case. This thing is going to have to sit next to a 23" Cinema Display ;) 

Just seems that there would be some good AMD 64 microATX options for that case i was looking at. Unless, of course, i've just got it all wrong.
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by 3030vision on 07/26/05 04:45 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 27, 2005 12:13:27 AM

At present, MSI makes a micro s939 using the Ati chipset, and Foxconn makes one with an nvidia chipset. I cant recommend either, as I've never used them, so you'l have to check around.
Other mobo makers probably have product as well.
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July 29, 2005 6:24:56 AM

SFF are [-peep-] boxes, he asked about Micro ATX, which is better in every possible way.

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July 29, 2005 6:25:49 AM

I have the Foxconn NF4K8MC-ERS here, it's a nice nForce4 board.

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