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Athlon 64, 939 or 754 pin?

by Zoidburgh / November 16, 2004 9:56 AM PST

I'm looking to upgrade my processor and m/board and the Athlon 64 is looking favorite but I don't want to change the 2x512mb PC2700 ram or Seagate IDE HDD I have on my current XP 2000+ set up, is there any advatange for me to spend the extra $ on a 939 pin version or would I be better off with a 754?

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Go for the 939
by Ray Harinec / November 16, 2004 10:28 AM PST

Go to http://www.anandtech.com and read the AMD road map info. Even though they more or less said that they would support the 754 socket for a while, it is obvious that they won't.

Look at the new 90 NM CPU's for the socket 939 mobo's. Great price and performance and much better thermal performance.

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Re: Go for the 939
by Zoidburgh / November 16, 2004 11:36 AM PST
In reply to: Go for the 939

Thanks for the link, very informative.
More questions I'm afraid.

What is the 90NM figure relating to? I've not come across it before.
Will the memory controller work with my PC2700 ram?
In real terms how much quicker would a 64bit 3000+ be than my XP 2000+ considering that they are running similar clock speeds?

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It's the width of the
by Ray Harinec / November 16, 2004 12:14 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Go for the 939

"printed" circuit wiring on the silicon wafer that the CPU's are created on. The smaller the line width, the more CPU's that they can make on a single wafer. Everything is devoted to getting the yield up on a production run.

That's 90 nano meters. [nano is 10 to the minus 9th] The technology to create this artwork is almost unbelievable. There are at least 7 layers of printed circuitry/components on the chip. Your mobo is 4 layers, some new Intels are six.

Not sure of the equvalence for the 64 bit CPU's but they give it in the equivalent number of transistors on the chip. I'm sure that it well over 10 million, especially in that the MCH is now on the chip.

The CPU itself is just about one square inch. What you see is a metal heat spreader that helps transfer the heat over a larger area. In all but the latest AMD 32 bit CPU's they didn't have the heat speader and you then see that actual CPU. Intel has used the heat spreader for years. Finally AMD saw the light.

Keep in mind they dissipate about 80 watts in that 1 sq inch. Ever touch an 80 watt light bulb? Which has far more surface area to dissipate heat over. The reason that you must pay great attention to cooling considerations.

I don't know if you had every seen or used discrete transistors [one transistor in a metal or plastic case].

I come from the days of vacuum tubes and lived through this progression as an engineer. What a ride, and it's not nearly coming to an end.

http://www.tomshardware.com also gives detailed info on these subjects and tests on the mobos available and the various chipsets they may use.

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Re: The memory?
by Ray Harinec / November 16, 2004 12:28 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Go for the 939

best to read the details about the mobos available before you select one. PC 2700 would now be near the low end, but Most will still support that. Gives you great headroom to go to more and faster memory later.

I will not make any comment about speed improvements, because I am not a gamer. This is being typed on a over 6 year old PII 333 with a 66 MHz bus [long before Intel started at 100 MHz to call it the Front Side Bus] LOL]. I never defrag because I tried it once and saw zero improvement in speed after defragging. [so why wear out the Hard drives LOL]

The larger cache and the much faster FSB will certainly give much improvement. [note that FSB is not specified when the MCH is located on the chip with the rest of the CPU].

The socket 939 will support Dual Channel memory for future considerations, although it doesn't give very much speed improvement [maybe 5 % at best].

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Re: The memory?
by Zoidburgh / November 17, 2004 6:21 AM PST
In reply to: Re: The memory?

Thanks again for your help Ray,

To be totally honest I'm now starting to think that the gain is not worth the pain (in the wallet) at the moment and an upper end socket A might be best as a stop gap for a year or so while the 64 bit market stabilizes and Microsoft gets its self sorted out.

The biggest benefit of a 64 bit cpu would seem to be best appreciated at the heart of a completely new system running a 64 bit OS.

Although I do enjoy a bit of gaming, DV occupies a lot of my PC time at present and encoding 11+Gb of AVI into 4.25Gb of DVD is enough to bring all but the most spritely systems to a snails pace(not to mention flame grilling your hardware) so all round speed is a big consideration for me.

I'm afraid I don't share you're experience of vacuum valves but I did grow up with the humblest beginings of home computing in the eighties when 32kb of memory was a big deal (I now carry a cellphone with a 32Mb memory stick in it).

I wish I could also find a way of preserving HDD's, I have to defrag after every capture just so Pinnacle 8 can process the file without errors - I'm on my third in two years.

One final question, am I likely to encounter any problems with XP after the new mainboard/CPU is installed? This is the first time I've changed the whole setup and I'm not too sure where the stumbling blocks are.

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Possibly you will run into some problems
by Ray Harinec / November 17, 2004 6:47 AM PST
In reply to: Re: The memory?

moving XP to a new system. It WILL interpret it as a new system.

With good luck you will simply get the message with the phone number to call to reactivate XP. From what I have read in these forums it actually is a painless process.

I would recommend that first you post in the XP forum the question asking what type of problems might happen and what is the best action to take if that specific one occurs.

It may be that simply installing XP over itself may solve any problems, but I am not sure.

This is based on assuming that you had the actual XP CD and the system is not one of the proprietary ones that simply gave you recovery CD's. That's a different ballgame because they also have the original configuration stored and may refuse to work with different hardware.

When you make the post in the XP forum, be sure to provide this information in the initial post so people know the entire story about what is on the drive and how it got their.

I know that 80 GB isn't much, but just bought two 80 GB WD HDD's for $61 each with 3 year warranty.

Even with the 1 year warranty you can get 3 years for a slight amount more. The main line drive mfr's fully honor their warranty with no hassle. WD gets the drive back to you within 7 days of them receiving the RMA'd one.

In case you go back to the 64 bit AMD remember that the standard CPU's for the 754 socket DO NOT saupport dual channel. That's the beauty of the 939 socket all CPU's have dual Channel capability and the FX version CPU [very expensive] no longer requires Registered memory as the the 754 version does.

Good luck in whatever route you take.

Would enjoy hearing how you made out when the smoke clears. Just post here and it will percolate back to the top of the first page from wherever it was.

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64 bit PC
by jcrobso / December 17, 2004 3:40 AM PST
In reply to: Re: The memory?
http://planetamd64.com/ Here is a good site for info on AMD 64 bit processors. I have 3-64 746 scokets now run very good on XP SP2/ Also have the latest beta of WINXP Pro 64 bit OS Which you can get from MS for free. THe MB will accept most DDR memory. John
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Re: Athlon 64, 939 or 754 pin?
by Willy / November 16, 2004 12:03 PM PST

Alot depends on your "upgrade path" and just how often you do it. There will always be some new h/w or s/w demanding more and requires serious thought to buy new just to keep up. Of course that isn't an everyday occurance, but no though you can keep some old stuff before chucking it. To be honest, I usually keep a system around for 3yrs. but upgrade it in some fashion at least once, like larger HD, more ram, etc. every year. Then after 3yrs, I save what I can proceed to buy new. That may mean, different ram, cpu, video, etc. at a basic level just to get things going and after 3yrs use, I got my money's worth from the old stuff, IMHO. One reason, I look for a decent system that can expand and more has proven(namebrand) to be around in a few years(cross-fingers). I hope this helps...and yeah you have to bite the bullet($$$) and pay more to get some legs from the system. Silly

good luck -----Willy

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