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AMD Questions

by Atomicsoda / August 2, 2004 9:20 AM PDT

im assembling a new gaming computer and as i look into the AMD processors (which are best for gaming, no?) i become a little bit puzzled, heh.

Athlon XP
Athlon 64
Athlon 64 FX
Athlon Opteron

what is the difference between all these? i've heard that the 64 FX was built for gaming but i always thought that the XP's were better than the 64's?? and what does the opteron have to do with anything?

as a final question, what motherboard would go best with an AMD processor best for gaming. thanks for any help.

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Re: AMD Questions
by Atomicsoda / August 2, 2004 9:28 AM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

also..what does HT technology have to do with any of these? which carry it, and are the ones without it faster?

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Re: AMD Questions
by Brandon Eng / August 4, 2004 1:24 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: AMD Questions

I'd get a migraine if I tried to explain HT, so here's a link: http://www.intel.com/techtrends/technologies/hyperthreading.htm

I agree with Willy- kinda. There's no 64 bit apps or games out there now, and the 64 chips are kinda expensive- and HOT! from what I've read. Prices are relatively high on the AMD 64s, and, from my friendly tech friends where I buy my computer parts, I'm told the 64s are unstable- possibly due to heat. They don't even sell or make AMD chips or systems. They recommended a P4 3.2 Ghz chip (I'm in my annual upgrading mood.) But if you already have a socket A board, I hear the best bang for your bux is an AMD 2500+ Barton chip; 2 versions, 1 w 333 fsb and 1 w/400. About $85 on newegg. I'm thinking of saving myself $$ and grief by simply buying that chip and upgrading my ram. I'm already able to play most games, and limited only by my ti4200 vid card. I'm just trying to be practical for once in my life- just how much speed do you actually need? I know peeps with an AMD 2000+ chip and a better vid card than mine, and they can easily play Far Cry. But if you want to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading....well, tough, call. I'm still debating 'tween AMD 64 (worth the money? will it be stable?) and the higher end P4s (not 64 bit, but when will 64 bit apps come out? Will I REALLY want to lay out $$ to Dollar Bill for a 64 bit OS??? I think not...for now.) Hard call. Go to the AMD site, or tomshardware, or MaximumPC sites to try to make sense of all the different AMD 64s. There's pluses and minuses 'tween the 64s and P4s. I'm still debating the issue, and I've been researching for months. Good luck.

(Heya Ray! I've finally ventured out of XP & CH!)

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Re: AMD Questions
by ozos / August 5, 2004 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: AMD Questions

I have never heard of instability due to heat, if you have good cooling the CPU shouldn't heat up that much, The Pentium 4 makes a lot of heat too, all current CPU's, with exception of the VIA C3 Ezra, CPU cooling shouldn't be an issue unless you want to overclock it, which seems like a waste. I say, if you have good cooling (which for such a pricey chip you really should) go for it. I don't know why that shop says the Athlon 64 gets unstable with the heat, since Tom's Hardware has NEVER to my knowledge said anything about in-stabilty. They say the chip runs HOT but they don't say it runs HOT to the extent of being instable, and AMD to my knowledge has released anything talking about heat instablity. No one on Newegg in their reviews have ever said anything about Heat being an issue, the shop may just want you to buy the Penitum 4 3.2 because they make more money on it, or they just don't like A64. There are no 64-Bit applications out there yet, but there are applications that can benifit from other things with the Athlon 64 (This was an article written about Dual Opteron 64 processors, with lots of professional software) but for music editing the A64 is supposedly the best, since it isn't limited by RAM or a FSB (the FSB thing I was sort of unsure on, since I thought it was just a 1600MHZ FSB or higher) But anyways you can find the article in the August editon of CPU Magazine, about the DAW workstations ( I am guessing CPU Magazine has a website, what it's URL is I have no idea)
But for a good buy get the AthlonXP, buy the best one you can afford (the XP 2700+ is a good model, so is the 3000) or the one that best fits your needs. About 50% of THG's benchmarks are done on the AthlonXP 2700+ with varying graphics cards (they do a lot of GPU benches with the 2700, either the 2700 or a 3.2GHZ Intel, but the 3.2GHZ what they used on VGA Charts III)
I have never had CPU power loss with my AthlonXP 2600+ (the older non-barton T-bred B one, with the 266MHZ bus, so it runs faster than almost any other 2600, 2.14GHZ compared to 1.9GHZ) I am very happy with AMD, I run my CPU at 47-51 Celcius, but I don't think the A64 would run much warmer (if you get a good cooler that is, I don't have anything special on mine BTW, just basic about 1 step above stock i'm guessing) Since I am AMD biased I would suggest the AthlonXP, but Intel's Penitum 4 2.4GHZ and 2.6GHZ models aren't bad either (they perform in-line with mine, the 2.6 is slightly above since mine is designed to perform like the older P4 2.53GHZ) I wouldn't buy the latest and greatest unless you need it, since it won't be the latest and greatest in 8 months.
I again would buy AMD, IMO.

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Re: AMD Questions- the heat issue
by Brandon Eng / August 5, 2004 11:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: AMD Questions

As I said in my first post, I'm getting mixed messages about the 64s- I've done my research online, message boards, MaxPC, and CPU (great mag, huh?)

I trust my shop guys totally. They used to make 64 systems, but they told me about the heat/instability issue. I've never known these guys to lie to me, and even refused to sell me a 2500+ Barton chip (they told me to stop wasting my $$). They told me what many are telling the original poster- wait awhile, and see how things play out with the 64s (and hopefully the chip prices will fall) and decide whether I want to upgrade to a 64 bit OS. Think it was good advice. I'm a compulsive upgrader, so I think I'll just wait awhile. Still, I just may spring for the 2500+ Barton (see my post to Ray below.)

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Hi Brandon good to see you here [anywhere].
by Ray Harinec / August 5, 2004 5:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: AMD Questions

If you read Maximum PC magazine I have no idea why you would not go to a socket 939 AMD 64 bit CPU. Any other socket type 64 bitter would be foolish.

My understanding is that the 64 bitters run cooler than the Intel P4's. Also AMD apparently put temperature protection in the chip like Intel's where they shut themselves down before burning up.

The XP's had a terrible temp protection system. Relied on the mobo to do the shutdown based on uncalibrated temp diode in the CPU.

Other than that, Hello again. Really enjoy when I see some of the old gang around.

Now that I said that I am about to order a Barton core 2500+ from Newegg. Just got a full tower from them with 5 fans including a top exhaust [Thermaltake]. I have no need for another computer and no need for a hi-performance system. Only going to run the Barton at 333 FSB, bought a $50 Soyo mobo. Started to only get a new case for my Win XP system to get better cooling for the AMD 1700+ with old ASUS A7V133 mobo that won't let the 1700 run at its rated speed. When I'm done I'll have the Asus mobo and 1700+ to give to a needy person. The d----d thing has 1 GB of PC 133 SDRAM Not sure what I'll do with the RAM.

Probably have to see if Toni Hackler still collects parts to build computers for kids.

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Hi Ray! (still *somewhat* on topic)
by Brandon Eng / August 5, 2004 10:13 AM PDT

As to the AMD 64s- I'm still not sure. I really trust my tech guys in Chinatown; they USED to make AMD systems, and for a brief period, systems with 64s. They found too many heat issues (well, to clarify my original post, extra heat from additional stuff the buyer would install, but being the honorable business guys they are, they'd spend their valuable time trying to fix the prob- free.)

Aside from MaxPC (you still not getting the disks?), I've discovered another really good pc mag called CPU (Computer Power User- they get more in depth than MaxPC. I've researched everywhere, and get mixed messages. So I don't know what to think. One BIG thing holding me back, is, am I gonna shell out bux to MS for a 64 bit OS? I really doubt it, and I thing the buying public is really tiring of their beta releases (IMHO). If you recall, my system is, for the most part brand new. Last year's big blackout fried my system except for the cpu & ram; think my burner survived also. My insurance gave me a nice fat check, and I upgraded or replaced all the fried components.

So you're getting the 2500 Barton, huh? Can ya believe my guys in Chinatown wont even sell me that chip?! They said not to waste my money! LOL! That's why I trust these guys. But I just may buy from newegg, and upgrade my ram to support FSB @ 333, which is all my board will support. I'm still trying to balance my wants against needs. Do I do a super upgrade, and deny my kids...FOOD? Wink

Well, good to see you here, my friend. I just only recently stopped by when I heard there were changes in the software. I still prefer the old look. I'm sure Toni could put your old parts to good use. There's a double entendre in there, lol!

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Got the Barton because the new Soyo mobo
by Ray Harinec / August 5, 2004 10:34 AM PDT

[fairly old model] will only support a 333 MHz FSB The thorobreads that run at 333 all consume more power [yes also higher clock rate]. Guess that all the Barton has is larger cache.

I agree that the Barton is a likely loser because AMD then came out with the 64 bit CPU's and haven't looked back. Why improve an old dog.

Just read your profile. Pretty powerful system.

Take care.

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Re: AMD Questions
by ozos / August 2, 2004 2:32 PM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

ok i read both of your posts
by HT you mean Hyper Transport or Hyper Threading

the latter isn't and AMD thing, its the Pentium 4 thing.
Hyper Transport is a feature on the AMD Athlon 64/64 FX and I think the Opterons


Athlon XP-Old generation processors, 32-bit, going away by 2005 runs in socket A (462)
Athlon 64- Brand new generation processors, 64-bit, runs in Socket 754 and 939
Athlon 64 FX- Top of the line AMD, currently the FX-53 which is top FX is the fastest desktop processor avaliable (its basicly neck and neck with the Pentium 4 EE 3.4) uses socket 939 and socekt 940 (yes that one ping makes a dif, the 939 is becoming the standard, I think)
Athlon Opteron- Server processor based on AMD 64, some people use them for desktop but RAM is more expensive since you need registered

For gaming I would reccomend a processor from the AMD Athlon 64 line, such as the Athlon 64 3000+ or 3200+.
If you have lots of money get an FX-53 for socket 939.
If you are on a budget be like a lot of people and buy a AthlonXP 2600+ - 3200+. (that is a range of processors)
The Athlon 64 and 64 FX are a lot faster than the AthlonXP.
The Athlon64 and the PowerPC G5(mac) are they only 64-bit desktop processors.

I would just look at how much you have to spend, the socket 939 would probly be the best socket motherboard to get, if you can afford one...if not the 754 would be the next suggestion, down from that the obvious only thing left is the AthlonXP with a Socket A.
Need any more questions answered?

I don't know about the "gaming advantage" but I've heard that AMD Athlon's get an advantage over Penitum in Unreal Tournament, but I don't now nor can I test it since I don't have an equivalent Penitum 4.
The AthlonXP is a good processor, and you can get the top model (XP 3200+) for under $200, while A64's are just starting to cost under $200 (with the exception of A64 2800+ which costs around $5 more than the XP 3200+)
Hope this helps

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Re: AMD Questions
by Willy / August 2, 2004 10:45 PM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

Get a AMD XP class cpu. No games as of yet(I know of) use 64-bit coding and further none use dual cpus. Get the fastest XP class you can afford and take it from there. Whatever game you play or decide to get, usually offers what the requirements are, check them out, you can always be above such requirements.

good luck -----Willy Happy

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What willy said, I'm just long winded ;-) (NT)
by Brandon Eng / August 5, 2004 10:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: AMD Questions


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2nd reply...
by Willy / August 2, 2004 10:48 PM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

Oh yeah, I should mention if you decide on 64 class, then it should run games easily, but for the cost and such XP class is a darn good baragin. No thought 64-bit will rule later, but when is a very good question.

I approved the above message -----Willy Shocked

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No question about it get a Socket 939 mobo
by Ray Harinec / August 3, 2004 9:16 AM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

and whatever CPU that you can afford. FINALLY!! AMD is going to keep a socket type for a few years for the 64 bit CPU so that one can upgrade to a faster CPU in a year or so.

All prior 64 bitters used different socket types.

The 939 supports a basic version and FZ51 version, has Duak Channel MCH in both CPU types. Also does NOT require registered DDR for either the standard or the FX 51 for socket 939.

Any other decision makes zero sense in this writer's HO. LOL

Go to www.tomshardware.com or www.anandtech.com and read about the availaable 939 mobo's and chipsets.

Prices of all can be seen at www.newegg.com

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Re: AMD Questions
by prescotthenry / August 3, 2004 12:14 PM PDT
In reply to: AMD Questions

Gotten a case yet? If not, be sure to get one that is well ventilated!! AMD chips run hot! Use a high quality thermal paste and research your heatsink/fan options. Don't skimp on these.

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