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AMD cpu, motherboard, memory selection help

Discussion in 'AMD Overclocking' started by JS, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. JS

    JS Guest

    I'm looking into upgrading my CPU, motherboard and memory sometime in
    September. My target use is first person shooter games like Call of
    Duty, Medal of Honor, Doom3, Half Life2 (if it ever ships), Far Cry,
    Unreal Tournament 2004 and the like. I play on-line if the game supports
    on-line play (3mbps up/256kbps down cable modem). I am an AMD noob so I
    am hoping someone can provide some AMD expertise. My target costs are:

    CPU: $200
    Motherboard: $200
    Memory (1 GigaByte): $350

    These costs are based what I have been looking at for an Intel based
    system. (P4, 3GHz, Northwood or Prescott, Gigabyte 8KNXP mobo or ASUS
    P4C800-E Deluxe)


    Preliminary CPU investigation indicates an Athlon64 3000+ socket 754
    or maybe an Athlon 3200+ socket 754 (retail box versions) are
    in my price range. $172 and $210 respectviely at zipzoomfly.com. Are
    the Athlon 64 CPU's faster than the XP's. I thought I heard that the
    64's were slower running 32bit applications but my recent reading
    indicates that the 64's are faster at least for gaming. Please
    clarify. Are these the AMD CPU's to look at in my price range? How
    good are the stock heat sink and fan? Are they noisy? Do they fail
    frequently? Should I replace them immediately if not sooner? Will the
    stock heatsink and fan support overclocking at all? Are there any
    versions, core voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon64 that are
    preferred or better for overclocking? Are there any versions, core
    voltages or date codes, etc., of the Athlon 64 that should be avoided?
    Are there different processes (i.e. 130nm), cache sizes and front side
    bus speeds available of the Athlon64's?


    I have no idea about motherboards that support AMD CPU's. I may want
    to try to mildly overclock the cpu so I'm looking for a good
    gaming/overclocking motherboard. I would prefer something with OEM
    overclocking tools and using BIOS settings to overclock. I need an
    AGP slot. I have an FX5700Ultra video card. I know it is low
    performance given the CPU's I'm looking at but upgrading is not an
    option. Parallet ATA is also necessary since upgrading the harddrive
    is also not an option. Both serial ATA and parallel ATA with
    RAID would be nice for distant future (6 mos or later) upgrades. On
    board wired LAN, USB, and sound is preferred as I have need of
    these. I prefer wired LAN since my cable modem uses wired LAN. I
    don't have any Firewire devices so Firewire is totally optional. Any


    I have read that AMD CPU's with the internal memory controller
    cannot drive double sided memory. I believe AMD spec's the CPU's
    with internal memory controllers this way. Is this an issue I need
    to watch out for when selecting memory? I was looking to
    get some Crucial PC3200 Ballistix (DDR400) or some OCZ EL DDR
    PC-3200 Platinum Revision 2. What memory speeds do the Athlon64's
    support? Do I need PC2700 or PC3200? I want to run the CPU at at least
    if full
    rated speed.


    My priorities will be stability and performance. I want lots of FPS
    without having to figure out why my system keeps crashing and rebooting.
    Am I on the right track? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Much
    JS, Sep 5, 2004
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  2. JS

    Lachoneus Guest

    Are the Athlon 64 CPU's faster than the XP's. I thought I heard that the
    Athlon 64s are in general substantially faster than Athlon XPs even in
    32-bit mode. You might be thinking of the Intel Itanium, which is
    slower in 32-bit mode.
    The stock fan on my A64 3000+ is a little loud when it's running full
    speed. But my ASUS K8N-E Deluxe throttles back the fan speed when the
    CPU isn't under load, so I think I can live with it. (That feature is
    disabled by default, BTW, so if you don't like it you don't need to use it.)

    I haven't tried overclocking yet, but ASUS does provide a bucketload of
    tweaks in the BIOS.
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find an Athlon 64 board that _doesn't_
    have all these things. Even Chaintech's $75 nForce3-250 board meets all
    these criteria (100Mbit Ethernet, 2 SATA). My ASUS K8N-E has gigabit
    Ethernet, 8 USB 2.0, 6 SATA, 2 ATA-133, 2 Firewire, and even a game port.
    I don't think this is entirely accurate. What I read on Tom's Hardware
    is that it can't drive two double-sided sticks at DDR400, but it can do
    one at DDR400 or two at DDR333. Real world tests don't bear this out,
    though--I'm running two double-sided Corsair Value Select CAS2.5 chips
    at 400MHz on my Athlon 64 3000+, and it's stable. Several others in
    alt.comp.hardware.amd.x86-64 are doing so as well. Just check the
    motherboard manual before you buy (download from the manufacturer's web
    site) and see if the configuration is supported.
    Lachoneus, Sep 5, 2004
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