What's the diff between A7N8X and A7N8X-X ?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Silence Seeker, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. For the life of me, I can't find any meaningful (to me) differences
    between the two, except for the chipset which doesn't tell me much:

    A7N8X-X: http://secure.newegg.com/app/specification.asp?item=13-131-468
    A7N8X: http://secure.newegg.com/app/specification.asp?item=13-131-455

    There is a $20 price difference between the two and Newegg says the
    A7N8X is newer and "supports AMD Barton 400Mhz". What is "AMD Barton
    400Mhz"?

    Also, the specs for A7N8X-X state that it, too, supports
    Thoroughbred/Barton Core and max. FSB is 400MHz. So it seems the two
    Mobos have no differences? I am confused...

    One last question please: I also noticed the A7N8X-VM which has
    integrated VGA in it. Sounds attractive, since I am not a gamer and
    don't need the latest and greatest graphics engine. The max. FSB,
    however, is 333MHz. Will it be foolish of me to buy the A7N8X-VM
    instead of the A7N8X? I intend to initially install a XP-3200+ CPU on
    it.

    Many thanks!
    Sam
     
    Silence Seeker, Oct 15, 2003
    #1
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  2. Silence Seeker

    Clark Kent Guest

    (Silence Seeker) wrote in
    ====

    There are some interesting benchmarks about Barton at:

    http://www.linuxhardware.org/article.pl?sid=03/02/19/1544249
     
    Clark Kent, Oct 15, 2003
    #2
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  3. I think most of the differences can be determined by looking here:
    http://www.asus.com/ and comparing the differing A7N8X models.


    Why spend big bucks on the XP 3200+ when an XP 2500+ can be had for about
    25%, or less, of the price of the XP 3200+? The XP 2500+ will, in most
    cases, overclock easily to the XP 3200+ level.

    Newegg: XP 3200+ = $458.00 (retail); $445.00 (oem)
    Newegg: XP 2500+ = $90.00 (retail); $85.00 (oem)
    (all prices as of 15 October 2003)


    400 MHz DDR = 200 MHz actual frequency
    333 MHz DDR = 166 MHz actual frequency


    The majority of the 333 MHz DDR Barton CPUs will run at 400 MHz DDR if the
    power supply, motherboard, and ram can support it.


    --
    callsignviper


    The truth is out there. You just have to look in the right places and ask
    the right questions.
     
    callsignviper, Oct 15, 2003
    #3
  4. Silence Seeker

    Barry Walsh Guest

    The -x has the nforce 2 400 chipset. The normal one has the nforce 2 400
    ultra chipset. The main difference is the -x can't do dual channel
    memory and therefore has lower memory bandwidth, but not drastically.
    The Barton is the latest revision of the Athlon XP core and is capable
    of a 400 MHz bus speed. Before the Barton it was the Thoroughbred, and
    before that the Palamino.
     
    Barry Walsh, Oct 15, 2003
    #4
  5. You are absolutely correct. I changed my mind - I will go for the XP
    2500+. I don't really need the latest and greatest.
    Could you tell me please how this relates to FSB? I haven't been
    following the latest Mobo tricks for a while and I am confused about
    this issue.

    I would also appreciate any link/tip to help me get an idea whether a
    P4-based system that supports an 800MHz FSB is supposed to perform
    much better than an AMD-based one that only supports 533MHz FSB.

    Thanks!
    Sam
     
    Silence Seeker, Oct 16, 2003
    #5
  6. Barry - thank you so much! That is exactly the clarification that I was looking for.

    Sam
     
    Silence Seeker, Oct 16, 2003
    #6
  7. Simply put it is the FSB speed in either actual frequency terms or in DDR
    terms. DDR = Double Data Rate. DDR = Data is transferred twice per clock
    pulse of the square wave frequency waveform (E.g.: 2 x 200 MHz = 400 MHz
    DDR). This method usually uses the rising and falling edges of the pulse (or
    some other method the engineers for a particular motherboard have chosen to
    use in their design). Note: Most of the time you will see the higher number
    in advertising hoopla because the marketing types are pretty clueless as to
    what they are trying to sell!!!


    Here you go (from Upgrading and Repairing PCs - 13th Edition):

    "Processor Bus. Also called the front-side bus (FSB), this is the highest
    speed bus in the system and is at the core of the chipset and motherboard.
    This bus is used primarily by the processor to pass information to and from
    cache or main memory and the North Bridge of the chipset. The processor bus
    in a modern system runs at 66 MHz, 100 MHz, 133 MHz, or 200 MHz and is
    normally 64 bits (8 bytes wide)."


    Additional explanation from the same source:

    "The processor bus (also called the front-side bus or FSB) is the
    communications pathway between the CPU and motherboard chipset, more
    specifically the North Bridge or Memory Controller Hub. This bus runs at the
    full motherboard speed - normally between 66 MHz and 400 MHz in modern
    systems, depending on the particular board and chipset design."

    HTH.


    --
    callsignviper


    The truth is out there. You just have to look in the right places and ask
    the right questions.
     
    callsignviper, Oct 16, 2003
    #7
  8. Silence Seeker

    Ben Pope Guest

    Just ato add confusion, altough it has not dual channel, and in theory less
    bandwidth, that doesn't appear to be the case in benchmarks. Dual channel
    is not as impressive as it could be in most circumstances. It shines with
    onboard video, otherwise, it's hardly noticeable. I suspect that it helps a
    tad if you are using lots of DMA'd I/O as well - not benchmarked it, or even
    sure how to, but thats my edumacated guess. :p

    In other words... don't make the lack of dual channel influence your
    decision much, if at all.

    Ben
     
    Ben Pope, Oct 19, 2003
    #8
  9. Silence Seeker

    Ben Pope Guest

    FSB connects the northbridge to the CPU.

    Memory bus connects the Northbridge to the Memory.

    It's almost always best to have the two buses running at the same speed and
    as fast as possible.

    As you can see, not all data transfers must go to the CPU with this
    configuration (using a mechanism called DMA - Direct Memory Access, devices
    can dump data to from RAM directly, so there could be advantages to running
    RAM faster then FSB, but only on I/O intensive tasks - not the sort of thing
    your average home PC is geared up around)

    Basically they are two completely isolated buses, doing different tasks.

    All devices (AGP, PCI, USB, etc) are connected to the Northbridge (sometimes
    via the Southbridge, which usually provides peripheral devices such as axtra
    PCI buses for RS-232, USB, Sound, Parallel Port etc.). The Northbridge is
    the centre of all data communication, if you will - if data is shifted,
    it'll go via the Northbridge (somebody prove me wrong :)
    Sooo many benchmarks out there. I usually go to anandtech first for these
    matters.

    FYI, maximum FSB of Athlon XP is 200MHz DDR (DDR400) and on P4 is 200MHz
    quad pumped or 133MHz quad pumped (533MHz and 800MHz in the literature, I am
    not going to do this discussion again. I will just say that the maximum
    number of transfers is 400Million/s on AMD and 800Million/s on Intel)

    Ben
     
    Ben Pope, Oct 19, 2003
    #9
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