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It has been a while..

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October 12, 2005 11:07:49 PM

Well it has been almost 3 years since I built my last computer system so I am out of date on a lot of things and wanted to ask a few things.

Now I am trying to figure out which CPU would be the best for the dollar while giving me the performance that can last for a couple years as well.

I plan to use my new system mostly for Gaming

I am looking at the following CPUs listed from the most expensive to the least, (the AMD Athlon 64 3700 Clawhammer is refurbished which makes me a bit uneasy though) and have a few questions about them.

AMD Athlon 64 3700 San Diego 1 GHz FSB Socket 939
L1 Cache: 64KB + 64 KB
L2 Cashe: 1 MB
Operating Frequency: 2.2 GHz

AMD Athlon 64 3500 Clawhammer 1 GHz FSB Socket 939
L1 Cache: 64KB + 64KB
L2 Cashe: 512 KB
Operating Frequency: 2.2 GHz

AMD Athlon 64 3700 Clawhammer 800 FSB Socket 754
L1 Cache: 64KB + 64KB
L2 Cashe: 1 MB
Operating Frequency: 2.4 GHz

While in the past I remember Operating Frequency was a key is the FSB is something to consider now more then it?

Also the difference between the L2 Cashe at 512 KB or 1 MB is it a major factor to consider or not? The price difference is about 30 bucks is it worth it or not?

Finally out of the three, which will probably be the best go with considering, I plan on not building a new system for another two to three years?

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October 12, 2005 11:28:18 PM

Either version of the Socket 939 Athlon would be the way to go. Socket 754 is a dead end solution, not worth the cost saving.
Get a quality motherboard, like the Abit Fatal1ty AN8 or the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR and you will be good for a few years.



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October 13, 2005 1:07:48 AM

So basically Socket 939 is a better way to go for life span.

Now while out of the two Socket 939 CPUs it was mentioned that saving the money by going with the smaller cache would be good, at the same time the core on the smaller cache is older.

Is there a big difference between the Clawhammer and the San Diego other then age? Performance and durability wise is there any difference?

Considering that I plan on using this for Gamming mostly is it better to just put the extra 30 to 40 bucks into a graphics card and go with the older core or to get something that might still be remembered in a few years?


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Gq29 on 10/12/05 09:42 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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October 13, 2005 2:02:59 AM

By all means if you are on a strict budget where $50 makes a differnce, put it towards your graphics card.
Both chips will game fine and can be overclocked, so the graphic card is where you need to put some extra cache!
Also good memory and a couple of fast hard drives.

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October 13, 2005 2:03:23 AM

If I had to build a system for 2-3 years, I'd go with the Asus k8n-e and the 2.4 GHz 3700+ from your choice. And I'd put a good PCI-e video card. While the socket 754 is going to be phased out, so will be the socket 939 in a not so far future. Newer socket M2 will be introduced next year according to AMD road map, and they will offer many improvement over current cpu, newer and better chipset and newer RAM.

So, since that you plan to keep your system for 2-3 years, it doesnt really matter which socket you choose, they 'll be outdated anyway. Socket 754 is cheaper, doesnt need expensive dual channel RAM, as single channel doesnt require having 2 memory sticks so you'll end up with more money for a better video card. and the videocard is what will decide when you'll need to upgrade anyway..

And at 2.4 GHz, you can even do some mild overclocking and gain more MHz.. The higher frequency will help for encoding task too.

But you cannot go wrong with either CPU in your list. I would just pick the cheapest and build around it.

(\__/)
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October 13, 2005 3:02:43 AM

Most of the 3500 chips available today are venice core. They are made on 90 nano tech, as is the San Diego. The difference being the cache.
Your information on the 3500 seems to be incorrect, as clawhammers by definition have 1M of cache, while thier 512 equivalent was called newcastle. This chips were made on 130 nano tech.
The newer chips have more features, a better memory controller, and run cooler than thier older counterparts.
I would recommend a venice core 3500. If the extra cash would help get better gfx, even a 3200 would be fine.
October 13, 2005 3:12:40 AM

Ok I have done some more digging and found that there it seems to be some issues with the Clawhammer core and some people recommend the Venice core instead. I have no clue if the issues people were talking about are true or not.

It seems that the Venice is even cheaper then the Clawhammer but not sure what the deal is with these two cores.

My current system is the first one I built 2 or 3 years ago with a AMD 2100 XP and I spent more on the GeForce 4 Ti 4600 graphics card then I did on the CPU and figure I will probably have to do the same for the one I want to build this time.

So with that in mind perhaps the AMD Athlon 64 3500+ would work for me. now just have to figure out if the Venice core or Clawhammer core would be the best to pick up.

I am not really looking to OC to be honest, perhaps in the future I might try it but now it is still out of my league. Here is the specs listed on newegg for the Clawhammer I was talking about and the specs for the Venice.

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ ClawHammer 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3500ASBOX - Retail

64 bit Support: Yes
Cooling Device: Heatsink and Fan
Hyper-Transport Support: Yes
L1 Cache: 64KB+64KB
L2 Cache: 512KB
Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, 3DNOW! Professional
Operating Frequency: 2.2GHz
Process Type: 0.13 µm
Series: Athlon 64
Voltage: 1.5V

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3500BPBOX - Retail
(limit 20 per customer)

64 bit Support: Yes
Cooling Device: Heatsink and Fan
Hyper-Transport Support: Yes
L1 Cache: 64KB+64KB
L2 Cache: 512KB
Multimedia Instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, 3DNOW! Professional
Operating Frequency: 2.2GHz
Process Type: 90 nm
Series: Athlon 64
Voltage: 1.35/1.4V
October 13, 2005 6:18:11 AM

Well I think I am going to go with the AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice after all and put the extra $50 I will save instead of getting the AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego into the video card.

Now I have to move on over to the Motherboard section and start figuring out what to go with. Thanks to everyone who replied to this post all the feedback was helpful to come up with a solution.
!