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Cova

New Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Last weekend I won a P4 3.2Ghz EE CPU and Intel D875PBZ MB at Fragapalooza, and I'm slowly working towards building something out of it. My problem comes in that I've always been an AMD guy and I don't really know much about all this Intel stuff. To start with, here's the specs on my existing system, which will be providing most of the parts for this upgrade.

AthlonXP 2500+ @ 2300Mhz
Asus A7N8X Deluxe
Corsair PC3200 TwinX 1GB kit (2x512MB)
ATI AllInWonder 9700Pro
2x Seagate 7200RPM SATA drives - RAID 0
CPU, GPU, and northbridge are water-cooled.

So far, I've purchased an ABit IC7-MAX3 MB to replace the Intel one I won, since I can't OC at all on that Intel one. I've also bought a DangerDen TDX block for the CPU, and a Maze-4 chipset block for the northbridge (existing pump, rad, and GPU block will be coming over, with the rest of the vid-card attached)

I've hardly been able to find any information at all on what kinds of speeds I should expect from this CPU. The multiplier will be locked at 16 - can I do anything at all with it? (I'm pretty sure I can't increase it, but can I decrease it for higher FSB's?) Where do you anticipate I'll run into problems - chipset FSB limitations? memory speed limitations? Everything important will be watercooled so I shouldn't have any problems with temp. What types of voltages are safe for all this stuff? (my Athlon is at 1.85V) Is it ok to run my ram at less than full speed since I can't increase the multiplier?

I'm also curious about audio on this thing. Every system I've built lately has had SoundStorm audio from the nForce2 onboard. This board has some type of 6-channel audio, but I have no idea what 3D API's it supports for gaming, or how the quality will be. Would you recommend getting a sound-card and disabling the on-board audio? I'm pondering the Audigy 2 ZS but I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on sound cards too since I've been spoiled by SoundStorm everywhere for quite a while. I haven't bought anything audio related yet as I figure I can at least try the onboard.
 

Foxie3a

Normal Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2003
Normally I'd say just sell the P4 that you won since you need the whole rest of the system, but I wont say that since your switching from amd. :)

I HIGHLY do not recommend going to 1.85V on your P4. I personally like to stay under 1.6V, which is a little too careful, but I dont want my chip dying. Some people go in the 1.7's, but I dont see too many 1.8's, if any.

You did good buying that new motherboard, it will help you a lot. I've had 3 boards with onboard audio. The bset of the three is my current P4P800. I compared the sound quality with my sound blaster and it couldn't even compare. And that was an old SB too. Just get a nice little SB Live for $15 and you'll be happy I'm sure.

Now onto overclocking. With Intel you can NOT touch the multiplier whatsoever, unless if you have an engineering sample, which you do not have, so I won't get into.

I feel fairly confident that you can hit 230FSB on that CPU. 250FSB would be 4ghz, which is a little high, but if you are serious with your cooling you never know.

That is agreat chip even when its not overclocked though. Good luck to you, and welcome to the forums! :)
 

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Cova, you might get more responses by posting in the Intel CPU section, but I'll try to answer your questions.

Not a lot of us have the EE series since they are so expensive, but they overclock close to the same as a 3.2C which averages about 3.6 to 3.8 gig. Since you'll be using watercooling, you might get more. No guarantees though.

Intel multipliers are locked. The only ones that can be adjusted down are some Xeons. You picked a good mobo, so you won't be limited by that. Your RAM might be limited using the 1:1 ratio, but unlike AMD, the P-4's love the 5:4 memory ratio. So, that won't be a problem.

I don't have any experience with the EE CPUs, but all Intel processors can safely handle at least a 10% vcore increase. With watercooling, probably a little more. Just don't get carried away.

Sound quality is very subjective. That mobo uses Realtek AC97 which is not as good as the Soundstorm. Some people like the on-board sound and some think it sucks. You can always try it and if you don't like it, get a good card. Don't get the cheap SB Live like Foxie suggested, that soundcard uses the some codec as the AC97, so you won't be gaining anything. The Audigy 2 ZS is the ultimate gamers card in my opinion.
 
OP
C

Cova

New Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Thanks for the responses - I threw it in here instead of the Intel forum hoping to get more comparison-type info from my AMD system (stuff is easier to learn when its in reference to something I already know well).

Foxie3a: Not sure what you mean by I "need the whole rest of the system" - The only things I'm buying are a MB and some cooling equipment, and perhaps a sound-card. I did consider trying to sell the EE and use that cash to get a A64-FX instead, but decided I'd have too hard of a time getting anywhere near what the EE is worth, and I'd end up paying too much out of my pocket for the new chip. I wasn't really planning on upgrading before I won this - a [email protected] is still a decent CPU - and after selling the Intel MB, and my 2500+/A7N8X after the upgrade, it should pretty much pay for the IC7-MAX3 and the new watercooling parts.

batboy: Stuff like knowing the P4's like 5:4 mem ratios and stuff is the type of info I'm looking for - thanks. Also good to hear that they OC simiar to the 3.2C's - I've been reading about them some due to the lack of anything written about the EE's.

As for the sound - if I wanted an old SB-Live I'd take one off my shelf and put it in - but I'm looking for something good here. Since I've already gotten it included with the MB anyways I'm going to try the onboard sound, and if I don't like it I'll get the Audigy2 ZS. I'm gonna miss the dolby encoder from my nForce either way. I was more hoping for either some thoughts from people with the IC7 as to what they think of the onboard sound, as well as if anyone knows what sound API's the onboard sound supports eg. DirectSound3D? EAX (version?), etc.