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Can't decide on which CPU...

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Eluzion

Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Hey everyone,

It's been a while since I've been "in" with the computer scene. Been so damn busy with school and other things I haven't had time to think about much else. Anyways, I sold my previous PC a while ago but now I'm in the market for a new setup with winter break coming up. Here is what I have so far:

mushkin eXtreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR 500
DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 SLI-DR Socket 939
XFX GeForce 7800GT 256MB
Samsung SpinPoint P Series 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s
OCZ ModStream OCZ45012U 450W Power Supply
Zalman CNPS9500 Cooling Fan/Heatsink
Artic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound
COOLER MASTER Centurion Black Aluminum Case
Samsung 940b-Black 19" 8ms LCD Monitor
Samsung DVD Burner
Logitech Internet Pro Keyboard


I can't decide which CPU to go with. I plan on purchasing it through NewEgg.com, so I'm pretty much limited to what they carry (using a NewEgg credit card). The two processors I have in mind is the AMD 64 X2 3800+ and AMD Operton 150 Venus. NewEgg doesn't carry the AMD Operton X2 165, but that was something else I was looking at.

From the research I've done, the Opertons seem to be the "king" of overclocking. I've also seen most people push their AMD 64 X2 3800+ to 2.5-2.6ghz stable on air. With the AMD Operton 150, think I'll be able to hit 3.0ghz on air? I don't see myself going any higher than 250 HTT (or FSB, whatever it's called now days) since that's about where the mushkin DDR500 ram is suppose to be. I've read it can go up to 260-270, but quite honestly I'd be more than happy with 250 HTT I think.

I guess it comes down to, less performance in gaming with the AMD X2 3800+ for better multi tasking or better performance in gaming with the AMD Operton 150 with not-as-good multi tasking capability. For those that have the X2 3800+, is it really that fast for multi tasking? For those that have the Operton 150, is it really that good so I can hit 3.0ghz on air? ;)

Any input, advice, suggestions, whatever... would be greatly appreciated. I want to order this asap (tonight perhaps). I've been doing a lot of research for the past week and I'm getting anxious to order. ;)

One last question - Is the new DFI Expert board worth it? I hear it uses higher quality capaciters, PCI-E slots are further apart, and runs much cooler than the previous DFI LANParty motherboards.

EDIT: My apologies, the main purpose for this system will be gaming, music, and homework (which I definatly don't need a fast computer for, lol). I do tend to multi task quite a bit at times (listening to music, chatting, burning cd/dvds, etc... something the Operton 150 could probably handle easy).
 
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Eluzion

Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
After doing a bit more research, I'm now thinking about the AMD Opteron 170 Denmark (Dual Core). Price tag of $410 for the OEM version at NewEgg... so many choices, so little money. ;)
 

rseven

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Location
New Jersey
The Opteron's seem to be disappearing from the market, so I wouldn't hesitate long. Your assumptions about the various cores all seem to be correct. I would highly recommend a dual core as over time more applications will be optimized to take advantage of it. Even if you have to "settle" for a 3800 I would still go with that over any single core regardless of how high it clocks.
 

bLack0ut

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Right now you're comparing a dual core to a single core, as the opteron 150 is a single core while the x2 3800+ is a dual core. Dual cores are generally more expensive and perform better than a single core, but the benefits for the money are highly debated. If you were to get a single core, the 144, 146, 148 would all clock about the same as a 150 and be quite cheaper as well. However, like Rseven said, the opterons are sold out almost everywhere (check mwave and monarch). If you were to go dual core, the opterons are still a better choice than the x2 series due to better overclocks, and in the case of the 3800+, larger caches (512kb in 3800+ vs. 1mb in the opteron 165, 170 series).

So first you gotta decide, single core or dual core: purely based on your money status atm :p. Then you gotta go find the opteron that fits your needs.
 
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Eluzion

Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Thanks for the replies fellas.

Well, it's either I go with a "low-end" dual core or "high-end" single core since they seem to be in the same price range.

I think I'm set on dual core though, since Elder Scrolls: Oblivion will support dual core/multithreading (that is one of the games I'm really looking forward to). By the time the game comes out (around spring of next year I'm assuming), I could throw on another XFX GeForce 7800GT with a new power supply and SLI them. I'm hoping that on top of two gigs of mushkin eXtreme DDR500 ram and a dual core CPU will be able to handle the game well... and other games coming out in 2006.

Dual core definately looks like the way to go at this point though. The cheapest dual core Opteron that NewEgg offers is the Opteron 170 which is $410 (oem version). It's unavailable at the moment but is expected to be in stock Wednesday so I think I'll order everything then.

Any opinions on heatsink/fans? I currently have the Zalman on there but I've been hearing about this Artic Cooler 64. I've also read on some reviews on NewEgg that the Zalman comes with a slightly rounded surface on the heatsink which kind of worries me.
 

rseven

Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Location
New Jersey
The Artic Cooler 64 is one of the best bargains in cooling out there. If you are really a hard core overclocker you might want to look at an XP120, but for moderate OC's the Arctic Cooler is more than ample. Anything that has a fan that blows down on your board and helps to keep it cool is the way to go.
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
It looks like one heck of a system you are planning there, you should see some good clocks with whichever processor you choose. I suggest the 170 (I just got mine up yesterday), and going from a 3000+ venice @ 2.8ghz to my opteron 170 @ 2700 is a huge difference in the "feel" of things. Everything just seems to run much more smoothly, not to mention my Pro/E seems to love it. Its nice to be able to jam some mp3s and not worry about my games slowing down as well. Oblivion being multi threaded is just icing on the cake since its the game I'm saving for.
 

mysterfix

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2005
Location
Holly, MI
Go with the best performance possible and get the XP-120 or XP-90c. If you want to save a few bucks then rseven's suggestion is your best option. You should be aware though that the opty's seem to run hotter than normal A64's.
 
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Eluzion

Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
Hm, NewEgg doesn't seem to sell the Artic Cooler 64. ;(

I'm really liking that Opteron 170 but I don't know if I really want to spend $410. Well, I know that I do, but my wallet doesn't seem to agree. ;)

The AMD 64 X2 3800+ is very tempting due to its price tag. At the same time, so is the AMD Opteron 150 which I could run at 250 HTT (FSB) for a nice 3.0ghz frequency without running a memory divider...

Definately going with the LANParty Expert board though. I was trying to keep this system under $1,800 but it doesn't look like that is going to happen unless I go with the Opteron 150 or X2 3800+...
 
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Eluzion

Registered
Joined
Jun 26, 2005
That Thermalright XP-120 is awesome! I wonder if it will fit on the DFI LanParty Expert motherboard though...
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Eluzion said:
Hm, NewEgg doesn't seem to sell the Artic Cooler 64. ;(

I'm really liking that Opteron 170 but I don't know if I really want to spend $410. Well, I know that I do, but my wallet doesn't seem to agree. ;)

The AMD 64 X2 3800+ is very tempting due to its price tag. At the same time, so is the AMD Opteron 150 which I could run at 250 HTT (FSB) for a nice 3.0ghz frequency without running a memory divider...

Definately going with the LANParty Expert board though. I was trying to keep this system under $1,800 but it doesn't look like that is going to happen unless I go with the Opteron 150 or X2 3800+...

The 3800+ is definatly a nice processor, whatever you do I'd go dual core. Keep your eye out for a 165 opteron, they can be had for not much more than a 3800 and then you get 1mb of cache plus the chance of getting a higher OC. Also, dont be afraid of memory dividers on A64 systems, you really don't take a performance hit like you do on XP systems. If you're getting mushkin redlines you shouldn't have a problem running at 280mhz, mine did great all the way up to 295 with almost stock timings.
 
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Eluzion

Registered
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Jun 26, 2005
I'm going with the mushkin eXtreme DDR 500. The redlines are too expensive for me. ;D The eXtreme have a $50 instant saving at NewEgg right now so it's $239 total (2gb, 2x1gb).

I'm really tempted to just order this setup with the AMD 64 X2 3800+... I'd be at $1,761.37 total (not including shipping which is about $60). Seeing your Opteron 170 at 2700mhz really makes me want to wait and spend the extra $$$ though, lol.