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Nforce2 2200+ or P4S8X 2.4GHz

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December 9, 2002 4:19:10 AM

As the title is saying...which is better...mostly in upgradeability. An AMD Nforce2 mobo + 2200+ or a P4 mobo with 2.4GHz. I really like the Nforce2 because of the 333MHz FSB. What future AMD CPUs will I be able to upgrade to with Nforce2 mobo?
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December 9, 2002 5:02:24 AM

I've heard a few horror stories on the P4S8X, which is why I'm recommending the GA-8SG667 right now, the only board Anandtech successfully ran with 3 PC3200 DIMMs. But that nForce2 is a nice chipset, and the Asus board for it is killer.

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December 9, 2002 5:16:42 AM

When it comes to upgradeability which mobo chipset is best, the Nforce2 or granite bay? What next gen AMD CPUs will I be able to upgrade with the Nforce2 chipset using 333MHz FSB and what Intel CPUs for the granite bay? Does the granite bay support 667MHz FSB for future Intel CPUs? Is the GA-8SG667 a granite bay?
December 9, 2002 5:18:44 AM

In upgradability, your looking at nForce2 or Granite Bay. As of now, the Asus A7N8X Deluxe and Gigabyte 8INXP are looking the best respectively. Up to AMD Barton and Intel Prescott respectively. 8INXP will cost more but give you more performance. Though, A7N8X has better onboard audio, which means you definitly will NOT need a PCI sound card, and very good performance. Though, the 8INXP's sound is nothing to be ashamed of. Either way, get two quality DDR400 SDRAM memory modules in order to be better prepaired for future upgrades and to take advantage of dual-channel memory controllers contained on both motherboards. There will be 400MHz DDR FSB bartons and 800MHz QDR FSB Prescotts, both will benefit from DDR400 SDRAM memory.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
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December 9, 2002 5:26:33 AM

Granit Bay does nothing for future upgradability except add Hyper Threading, something the i850 has has for years. 8SG667 is an SiS 648 board like the P4S8X but with a better track record, neither support HT.

AMD won't be producing Socket 462 athlons much longer. And Intel is comming out with an "800 bus" for the Prescott, but the Prescott version of the Celeron will probably run at a slower bus speed enabling an upgrade path for current boards.

If you want a better upgrade path than that, you'll have to wait a few months for "800 bus" compatable boards, such as ones with the Springdale or second generation SiS 655 chipsets. If you want to wait a little longer, K8 boards (Athlon 64) should be out by next summer.

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December 9, 2002 5:27:25 AM

I thought the Nforce2 only has a max of 333MHz DDR FSB. That'll be 166MHz. Also what is the difference between the 8INXP/E7205 and the 845GE and 845PE. All I see is with memory being the E7205 officially supports up to PC2100 and both 845GE/PE supports up to PC2700.
December 9, 2002 5:32:58 AM

So with Granite bay I'm stuck with P4 3.06GHz since the Prescotts come after the P4 3.06GHz. How about the Nforce2 chipset, am I limited to the bartons because they are K7 and the Athlon 64 is K8 which requires new socket?

So Intel will skip 166MHz FSB and jump to 200MHz FSB. I can't wait, hafta buy this Christmas.

Are there any sites I can read up on new CPU and mobo formats after the P4 and K7. I think I remember reading that the Barton is the last of the K7s so it's not with the family of K8s/Athlon 64?
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December 9, 2002 5:36:39 AM

My guess is the NW will go to at least 3.6GHz. Intel might even carry a 533 bus line of Prescotts as upgrade processors, they've done this in the past quite often.

Is the barton still coming? Will it scale beyond XP3600+?

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December 9, 2002 5:45:10 AM

It is very easy to go above 333MHz DDR FSB with nForce2. The nForce2 boards that i've seen allow one to go over 400MHz FSB.
Quote:
what is the difference between the 8INXP/E7205 and the 845GE and 845PE.

E7205 (a.k.a Granite Bay) supports DualDDR - doubles memory bandwidth. And it provides the necessary bandwidth to support future intel Pentium4 processors.

Quote:
All I see is with memory being the E7205 officially supports up to PC2100 and both 845GE/PE supports up to PC2700.

Officially supports DDR266 memory but I've heard motherboard reviewers that stated that they were able to get their memory to run at DDR333 speed. How difficult would it be to support DDR400? Not difficult at all. E7205's memory model is better than the 845 model. E7205 is dual channel while 845 is single channel. Even if it's running the memory at DDR266 it's still providing more bandwidth than 845 can provide.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
December 9, 2002 6:02:54 AM

Quote:
My guess is the NW will go to at least 3.6GHz. Intel might even carry a 533 bus line of Prescotts as upgrade processors, they've done this in the past quite often.

Is the barton still coming? Will it scale beyond XP3600+?

They are also planning 800MHz QDR FSB Pentium4 Northwoods as low as 2.4GHz. The barton is still on its way but the XP rating for all/most of the future AMD processors is still a bit cloudy as the XP rating will have to be revised next year.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
December 9, 2002 6:18:39 AM

Quote:
Officially supports DDR266 memory but I've heard motherboard reviewers that stated that they were able to get their memory to run at DDR333 speed. How difficult would it be to support DDR400? Not difficult at all.

<A HREF="http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/articles.hwz?cid=6..." target="_new">HardwareZone writes</A>:

<i>In our overclocking tests, we set the system bus to 166MHz and had the processor running at 667MHz FSB. The memory was running at DDR333 at that setting.</i>

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
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December 9, 2002 6:44:45 AM

Ah, but by the end of next year, the yet unrealesed Barton will be replaced by the Athlon 64!

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December 9, 2002 6:50:29 AM

Assuming Intel makes Prescotts that runs at 533MHz FSB or max the current 533MHz FSB P4s to 3.6GHz then a Dual DDR, HT capable mobo is the way to go? Which is more prefered a 133MHz/533MHz P4 FSB or a 166MHz/333MHz AMD/Barton CPU FSB?

The barton which is Socket A/462 will beat today's P4 NWs right?
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December 9, 2002 7:08:21 AM

Well, the HT capable boards (Granit Bay and i850/i850E right now) would be the way to go...but perhaps the best method would be to think about the motherboard as being a replaceable unit and get memory with future compatability (high quality PC3200).

The Barton should beat todays NW, but the Prescott should beat the Barton, so figure it out:) 

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December 9, 2002 9:41:48 AM

Without 667 MHz FSB, it will be very hard to beat Barton (400 MHz FSB, 512kb).

About prescott celerons: Think how much Northwood Celeron's are worse compared to Northwood "B" P4's. Prescott Celerons might match Willmette P4 in terms of performance per clock.

Let us know <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/community/modules.php?na..." target="_new"> What File compression format you use? </A>
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December 9, 2002 11:20:22 AM

Quote:
Without 667 MHz FSB, it will be very hard to beat Barton (400 MHz FSB, 512kb).

You mean the 800 "MHz" bus won't be as good as a 667 "MHz" bus? Prescott=800 bus. Slower bus Prescotts might show up for special purposes, but that would be like haveing a special purpose Barton at the lower bus speed as well. You can't compare apples to oranges, if you want to compare a not-yet-available Barton bus speed, you have to compare it to a not-yet-available Prescott bus speed, not to hypothetical slower versions which I've speculated about.

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December 9, 2002 1:19:08 PM

Quote:
You mean the 800 "MHz" bus won't be as good as a 667 "MHz" bus?

I think that response was addressing this statement:

<i>The Barton should beat todays NW</i>

When he said, "Without 667 MHz FSB, it will be very hard to beat Barton (400 MHz FSB, 512kb)." I interpret that to mean that todays NW has a much better showing against the barton when it has a 667MHz QDR FSB or faster.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
December 9, 2002 3:03:00 PM

Screw the FSB, let's go simple. What I want to have are mobos that can use Prescott or Barton/Athlon 64. I think this has been answered but I need it clear and final. We are comparing Nforce2(SktA) and Granite Bay(478). Will both Barton and Athlon 64 FIT in an Nforce2(sktA) mobo AND will the Prescott FIT in a Granite Bay(478) mobo?

We all know that Bartons and the Athlon 64s will be running at 166MHz and/or 200MHz FSB while the Prescott will run at 200MHz FSB. But will those physically fit in an Nforce2 or GB mobo?

Here's what I thought before. The Nforce2 is the best mobo for upgradeability since it supports 166MHz/333MHz FSB for future AMD CPUs. The Granite Bay however is stuck at 133MHz/533MHz FSB therefore I am stuck with NW P4s. Obviously Barton vs P4 = Barton wins. BUT if the Granite Bay can support Prescotts then Prescotts vs Barton = Prescotts win!

So again are you guys sure that Granite Bay can support Prescott's both in FSB and physically(Skt) and that Nforce2 can support Barton/Athlon 64 both in FSB and physically.
December 9, 2002 3:28:40 PM

Quote:
What I want to have are mobos that can use Prescott or Barton/Athlon 64.

Barton, yes. Athlon 64, no, because it requires a different socket.

Quote:
Will both Barton and Athlon 64 FIT in an Nforce2(sktA) mobo AND will the Prescott FIT in a Granite Bay(478) mobo?

Yes on the Barton. No on the Athlon 64. Yes on the prescott.

Quote:
The Nforce2 is the best mobo for upgradeability since it supports 166MHz/333MHz FSB for future AMD CPUs.

Can also support future 400MHz DDR Bartons. It's the best chipset (nforce2 is a chipset, not a motherboard)for upgradability on the AMD side. In terms of potential performance, Granite bay wins the upgradability contest.

Quote:
The Granite Bay however is stuck at 133MHz/533MHz FSB therefore I am stuck with NW P4s.

Granite Bay motherboards can already do 800MHz QDR FSB. They just don't support officially because there is no reason to.

Whether it be a Granite Bay or nForce2 board, make sure your motherboard has a PCI bus lock - needed to keep the PCI bus at a safe frequency when operating at high FSB speeds. Asus and Chaintech nforce2 boards for sure lock the PCI bus to a safe frequency and Gigabyte 8INXP Granite Bay has a PCI Lock.

<i>It's your world kid!!!</i>
December 9, 2002 3:48:04 PM

Quote:
will the Prescott FIT in a Granite Bay(478) mobo?

The Prescott will use the same Socket 478 as the current Pentium 4 Processor. It will physically fit in the socket. Will your motherboard support the Prescott? That depends on whether or not it can supply the required 667MHz or 800MHz FSB. You will need a motherboard whose main clock can be turned up to 167MHz or 200MHz respectively, depending on the version of Prescott you purchase. I've heard of many Pentium 4 motherboards reaching that today through overclocking, so it should not be much of a problem.

-Raystonn


= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my employer. =
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December 9, 2002 4:55:00 PM

Hmm, will tomorrow's AMD beat today's P4? It should, unless they screw up badly! Will tomorrows P4 beat tomorrow's Athlon? It should, unless they screw up badly! I don't see AMD capable of any sustanable lead until the Athlon 64 (lets hope they don't screw that up they way they screwed up the release of the Thoroughbred).

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December 9, 2002 4:56:23 PM

Look at that Aopen AX4PE! 248MHz max bus! Aopen has been using clock generators with that capability for a LONG TIME now, it's nice to see they finally submitted one for comparison!

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December 9, 2002 6:40:34 PM

No overclocking please. I'd rather wait a few years and upgrade to that time's CPU, mobo and RAM then overclock just to use Prescott or Athlon 64. Therefore if no OC I can't use Prescott (new gen) with Granite Bay BUT I can use Barton (new gen) with Nforce2. Also if no OC I am stuck with P4/Prescott 133MHz (today's/new gen) which is slower than a Barton 166MHz. *maybe not the Prescott 133 vs Barton 166 but definitely Barton 166 wins over P4 133.

BUT with OC, Granite Bay is the best bet for upgrades coz you can use Prescott but on the Nforce2 you can only go up to Barton and not Athlon64.

So I guess I'm going for Nforce2 with AXP and then upgrade to Barton coz am not OC'ing.

I learned a lot from your responses. Thanks a whole bunch! I'm no longer confused or uninformed. Feel free to continue discussing as I'm sure there's more to learn.

*it's nice though that Intel is sticking with 478 unlike AMD who will change sockets for the K8/Athlon 64. Btw is the Barton K7 or K8 or a new core of it's own?
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December 9, 2002 8:12:21 PM

Yes, well, Intel's "800 bus" and AMD's "400 bus" are both future items not covered by current boards as standard features (aka heavy overclocking of current boards required). So you'd actually compare those two processors. AMD could make a "266" bus Barton as an upgrade as well-you saw how they made a 1400/200 and put the 2x=6x multiplier on the K6-2 400 for backwards compatability.

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December 9, 2002 8:16:11 PM

Use a barton with the nForce2, at 400MHz bus, without overclocking? Ehem, I believe the highest standard clock for the nForce2 is 166MHz (DDR333), not 200MHz (DDR400), although most nForce2 boards can probably handle the higher bus speed (aka overclock), just as many granit bay boards can also reach 200MHz bus through overclocking.

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December 9, 2002 8:18:45 PM

I thought the barton will debut at 166Mhz FSB and the Athlon 64 at 200MHz FSB to compete with the Prescott's 200MHz FSB.

Also if AMD plans on making 266 FSB Bartons then why not go with 333 FSB first?
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December 9, 2002 8:27:55 PM

That's completely possible, but would void the other argument that the Prescott at 533 would be slower than the Barton at 400FSB (which would be a void argument anyway) and gets us back to this: The Northwood will likely go to around 3.6GHz and might go as high a 4.0GHz. The Barton will likely top out with similar XP ratings. Barton is a short term solution for AMD to please their buyers until the Athlon64 is here.

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December 9, 2002 8:59:40 PM

Gotcha! I'm satisfied for a year or two with Barton at 333 FSB and Nforce2 mobo. I'll get a new PC completely after I'm done with the Nforce2 and Barton. Videocard is the one to upgrade only.

Asus A7N8X
AXP 2200+ / upgrade to Barton asap.
512MB PC2700 CL2 (2x256MB)
AIW 9700 Pro

Since I am on a medium budget I can live with Barton using PC2700 DDR RAM. I just want to be able to play games with visual goodies and still only have few decrease in performance therefore I only need to upgrade videocard as necessary.
!