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Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?

by Brandon Eng / September 14, 2004 12:30 PM PDT

I feel like a fool for even posting this, but I was looking at some ebay items, and saw this combo kit:

"New AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 333 FSB 512 K L2 Cache Socket A CPU in Retail Box
New ECS N2U400-A Motherboard
nForce2 Ultra 400 Chipset, AGP 8X, 6 Channel Audio, Support Dual Channel DDR400 Memory in Retail Box
Brand New! Not Refurbished! Never Used!"

I won the bid for $144.48. The Athlon chip goes for $140 retail on newegg. The ECS (jumperless) supports a 400 Mhz FSB and goes for $40-$50 depending on where you buy from, and got really good reviews.

I really don't NEED this setup, and kinda feel I did good getting the chip and highly reviewed mobo for less than the chip retail. Having just upgraded my daughter's system because of a blown motherboard with a Biostar P4VMA-M motherboard and a 2.8 intel Duron, I kinda feel like I tossed some $$ out the window (not to mention what I'm gonna say to my wife,lol). I can always pop the chip into my existing system that has an XP2000+ chip w/a FSB of 266 and upgrade my ram to 333 FSB for a little speed boost. But after a dialogue here with Ray Harinec here, we both kinda agreed it wasn't worth my upgrading to a 2500 Barton that he was offering for sale. I guess I can try to sell the ECS board on Ebay (never have sold on Ebay, only bought) to recoup a few bux, may bundle my 2000+ chip too. I've kinda put off my AMD 64 upgrade for awhile, while waiting for the chip prices to come down a bit. I have to admit I wasn't paying attention too well during the bid cuz I was looking up reviews on the ECS board (all very good), and bid a a couple of bux above the last bid (kinda leaving it up to the pc gods), and before I knew it, I won the bid! Oy! So I guess I'm asking- what others would do in my place; swap out chips, sell the ECS board, resell the whole kit, sell the board and my old 2000+ chip. Or you can just tell me I was an idiot for not paying attention. Assuming this is in fact a retail chip as advertised, it's not the end of the world (until my wife finds out), but now I'd have to spend some bux on pc 2700 ram to get the 333 FSB. I normally don't buy chips from Ebay, especially from a seller with a short history. I did pay for the item with a credit card, so I feel somewhat protected should things go wrong. fwiw, here the link to the sale: Doh! I do feel like an idiot at the moment. Would appreciate opinions, good, bad or ugly, lol.

Discussion is locked
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Re: Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?
by Willy / September 14, 2004 2:29 PM PDT

What's the problem??? You got what you ordered and by your accounts seemed to save some money. It apparently works or will once you install it. It is what is says it is, so I don't see it. I hope you will like it in the long run. IMHO, I don't buy ECS stuff and they're low end compared to other brands but yeah, I've seen quite a few(other models) installed and working. I figure for a few $$ more, I go for Asus,Biostar, Gigabyte, etc., but it seems hardly that much difference nowadays. As for the cpu pricing, make sure you're not comparing retail(boxed) with OEM types, the chips maybe the same but not the overall complete offering plus the warranty side.

good luck -----Willy Happy

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Re: Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?
by Brandon Eng / September 14, 2004 2:53 PM PDT

Thanks Willy,

Well, the problem was I was asleep at the wheel; I was actually watching the bid, while really looking at a 64 chip. I guess I'm looking for, "yeah, great buy! Don't worry about it!"

Or, "I wouldn't waste my time on such a minor upgrade."

Point/problem is, I'm just tired of gutting systems and rebuilding, especially just after my daughter's this past weekend. I was looking forward to the AMD 64 upgrade to be my last for quite awhile. I guess if I get enough opinions, I can decide hopefully decide what I think of as a bone-headed mistake on my part. Live with it and wait 'til the 64 prices drop? Or sell the stuff and wait. Just can't make up my mind at the moment.

Not a fan of ECS boards either, as my last one an ECS K7S5A was a nightmare, but at least this one is jumperless except for the cmos and got good reviews. But I really think I only have the energy to swap out the chip. Thanks for input.

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NT: yeah, it was a retail price comparison.
by Brandon Eng / September 14, 2004 3:03 PM PDT


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Re: Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?
by Art / September 14, 2004 2:47 PM PDT

Never mind what I or anyone else think. How do you feel about it? If you think you got a bargain then you got a bargain..if not..chuck it up as a lesson in ...what ever, hehe.

I have bought lots of things from ubid but I have never venture into ebay. I just don't like to deal with someone I don't know anything about.

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Re: Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?
by Brandon Eng / September 14, 2004 3:02 PM PDT
How do you feel about it?

That's the prob, Art. I feel like I made a bonehead mistake, and not sure what to do. I don't have comparison benchmarks to see how much I'll get out of this upgrade, already spent $$ on daughter's system, then this. Can't make up my mind what to do with this chip; as it was, I was thinking of the 2500 Barton for about a yr. and overclocking it, then the 64s came out, and decided, yeah, definitely going for the 64; I trust the members in here enough to have posted this. Guess I want to hear soothing words, lol. Or someone simply telling me I made an unfortunate dumba$$ mistake. I'm not normally this indecisive, but buying from someone that doesn't have a long track record has added to my fear factor.
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(NT) (NT) ok you broke it feel better :)?
by Mark5019 / September 14, 2004 6:50 PM PDT
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I feel like I made a dumbA** mistake.
by Brandon Eng / September 15, 2004 3:21 AM PDT

Just needed to vent and subject myself to public humiliation, lol. Chip I didn't really need or want. Just trying to rationalize it all ('specially to my wife- "YOU shoulda known better!"). And I should have. DOH!

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Re: Doh! Did I make a mistake on this Ebay auction?
by Mark5019 / September 14, 2004 6:47 PM PDT

im running that very same chip now 2800 its a very stable and fast cpui play all games and not a prob.

id swap it out for its lot faster than your other

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Hey Brandon you failed to tell us
by Ray Harinec / September 15, 2004 3:58 AM PDT

what your friends found was wrong with the failed system.

I'm too lazy to look up the mobo, but explain the dual channel memory on an AMD 32 bit CPU. I was not aware that any 32 bit AMD CPU supported dual channel. [the 64 bitters do].

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Re: Hey Brandon you failed to tell us
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2004 5:00 AM PDT

ray if im wrong im sorry but im running amd 2800 with 2 256 ddr 2700 chips its doing dual .
if im misunderstanding you explain for me please.

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What mobo are you using??
by Ray Harinec / September 15, 2004 5:40 AM PDT

Dual channel would mean that your memory bus is 128 bits wide. if that is what you have, fine. I wasn't aware that there were mobo's for the 32 Bit AMD's that do that.

I looked at Brandon's mobo and it has three memory slots it seems that it can only support Dual Channel on two slots [different colors].

Normally dual channel 400 will give an 800 MHz FSB.

I'm guessing that in the AMD case, the memory controller hub [MCH] part of the Northbridge has two channels to/from the memory, but still only a single channel to the CPU [Intel had two channels from the MCH to the CPU.] That's why the FSB is only 400, not 800. I could well be incorrect. wouldn't be the first time.

The 64 Bit AMD's have the MCH as part of the CPU die and thus support Dual Channel all the way.

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Re: What mobo are you using??
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2004 11:53 PM PDT
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I don't understand, Mark
by Brandon Eng / September 15, 2004 12:58 PM PDT

pc2700 runs at 333 Mhz, right? So if you're running dual channel, you mean to say you have a FSB of 666??? Or am I missing something again? To the best of my understanding, dual-channel is dependent on a memory controller on the chip (and sometimes on the board). The Athlons don't have a dual channel memory controller (far's I know), your board may have a dual channel memory controller, but I don't think you'll get more than a 333 FSB cuz the chip doesn't have the dual channel controller. Now I'm really confoozed!

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Re: I don't understand, Mark
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2004 11:50 PM PDT

im running msi hold on got to go get info and i have 3 slots 2 brown 1 blus 1 chip is in blue and other is green
im running K7N2 Delta-L DDR Dual Channel 400 fsb 400 edition

its FSB is 333 wayne
from the manuel "please note that the system supports 128-bit dual channel DDR when you install DDR moduuels on DIMM1 purple slot and DIMM3 green slot or Dimm2 purple slot and Dimm 3 green"

im very happy with it i play all games high video my video is a nvidai 5200 128 DDR not the best but im happy

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Think there's some misunderstaning
by Brandon Eng / September 15, 2004 12:30 PM PDT

The failed system was my daughter's, with an ECS K7S5A with a 1.4 Athlon running @ 266 FSB; had 98 loaded, so had only 1 stick 256 pc 2100. Turns out the motherboard was shot, power supply seems fine, no way to test if the chip survived as there were no socket A boards to test in. Guess I can test it in the new mobo when I get it, lol.

Sorry if I may have confused you (I'm confused myself about everything, at the moment) if I suggested anything was running dual channel on the Athlon. The new chip is a 2800 Barton with the FSB locked @ 333 (as you know, some will run @ 400). The new ECS board I'm getting is capable of running @ 400, but since my Asus is locked in at 333, I wont be getting pc3200 for it.

I rebuilt my daughter's system with a Biostar P4VmA-M socket 478 micro-atx board that's surprisingly versatile. It can accept an Intel chip up to 3 Ghz; loaded XP on it, which she wanted for her birthday. It has a fsb of 400, so I bought a stick of 512 pc3200, and a 2.8 Duron chip. Running surprisingly well, but after some benchmarks, e.g pcpitstop, it still doesn't compare to my existing system. My system scores about 1300 at pcpitstop, while her's scores a hair over 1100. The Phoenix-Award BIOS stinks, no settings for FSB or much of anything else, but it was cheap, seems stable, and the cost of the board and chip was about $165, which is what the individual parts would have cost on newegg. The ram cost $85, and the 80 gig HD was $75 (was gonna put in my extra 80 gigger I already had, but didn't expect the system to toast when it did.)I'll have to look in the BIOS more to see if set something wrong; it was a rush job to get it together in time for her birthday last Fri.

So neither of my systems, or the new one coming in will run dual channel (I wish!). Geesh, for the $$ I've spent on rebuilding my daughter's system, the hairbrained bid I did on Ebay, I probably coulda gotten my A64 system together. I've decided to go with the 64 3200 chip (not a socket 939!) as the prices above that chip really begin to skyrocket. Just curious, what did I say to suggest the AMD chip would run dual memory?

Anyway, maybe there's a happy ending for this debacle. If I'm comfortable with the speed bump, I'll live with it for awhile. I already have some potential buyers for the board which I'll sell for around $40, which I think is a fair price. Which means I'll have gotten a 2800 Barton for roughly $100-should arrive at my job t'mmw, Fri. latest. Just hope I bought from an honest seller and everything is retail as advertised. But now the problem is that I'll have an extra 1.4 chip, and 3 sticks of pc2100, 256 megs each. Enough to build yet *another* little system, which will make my wife REAL happy, lol.

Anyway, I posted this to commiserate with my online friends; to tell ya the truth, I was kinda playing with the bid, thinking there was a bot that pumped up the bid, and at the same time looking at other stuff on the net, and before I knew it, I won; DUH! Well, it seems my 64 system wont happen until after the new year. I read in a computer mag today that ram prices are going to be going way up and staying high for awhile because flash memory is taking up a big market. Tween my daughter's Intel system (my first), and all the different chipsets, I'm totally confused. For the moment, I've decided on an MSI K8T NEO-FSR KT800; was thinking about an ASUS (my board of choice) A7V...Deluxe, but I read their were issues with it. Need more research. On alotta boards it says what type of ram it'll accept, e.g. the MSI accepts ddr400, but not clear to me that I'll be running a FSB @ 400 or 800. You'll be among the first I ask, unless you want to impart some wisdom how to easily figure out what is what. Or is it simply a given that when using an AMD 64 with a compatible board, the ram speed is effectively doubled? Right now, my head is spinning; the past week has been a killer for me pc-wise, my ebay idiocy sure didn't help!

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The ECS that you bought DOES support
by Ray Harinec / September 15, 2004 10:43 PM PDT

Dual Channel. It has 3 memory sslots which seems wierd but what the hey it's an ECS. LOL So you can only run dual channel on the specific pair of memory sockets designated. Apparently the Nvidia chipset includes handling dual channel memory. I don't think that the interface from the MCH to the CPU is dual though. That's why FSB is max 400 rather than 800 as in Intel mobos.

Dual channel operation effectively makes the memory bus 128 bits wide rather than 64. 32 bits times 2 bits per clock with DDR.

I went to the ECS site to download the Manual for that mobo but it didn't offer the manual. The mobo data was there. I wanted to read about the weird memory setup. I think that you can use more memory single channel than dual channel because of only 3 slots rather than 2 pairs of slots.

Re the 64 bit. Not getting the 939 socket type WILL NOT get you DUAL CHANNEL unless you get the F51 version CPU which also requires registered memory. The standard CPU only has single channel MCH built-in.

The beauty of the socket 939 mobo and CPU's is that they all support Dual Channel and neither the standard or the F51's require registered memory. You get Maximum PC don't you??? LOL RTFM LOL

I enjoy reading about your computer adventures. I type this on a 7 year old PII 333.

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Oh, I see why you asked about the dual channel memory
by Brandon Eng / September 15, 2004 1:16 PM PDT

From the specs of my first post. Well, you understand this stuff better than I ever will. I tried to explain my understanding of it to Mark below. The board *accepts* ddr 400, but even I didn't think for a second I'd be running effectively at a 800 fsb. I know there's a memory controller on the 64's, so I guess I have to make sure the board I get *also* runs in dual channel, correct? In my mind, I just don't understand why a 64 compatible board *wouldn't* have an onboard memory controller to take advantage of ddr memory. Alternatively, the 64's *are* the memory controller, and the ram/fsb is automatically, effectively doubled. Am I correct in my thinking?

PS: glad this thread has taken a different turn; takes my mind off the original topic, lol.

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You are mixing DDR with Dual Channel
by Ray Harinec / September 15, 2004 10:55 PM PDT

two different things. DDR SDRAM is memory that is read on both the leading edge and the trailing edge of the clock thus the term Double Data Rate. All mobo's that use DDR do this. And yes the 64's handle the DDR the same way. [see my other post; they do not ALL support dual channel]

Dual channel is where there are two sticks of memory [always DDR at this time] each with its own bus to the memory controller, thus you have 2 32 bit busses each being read twice per clock giving 128 bit effective memory bits of data each clock cycle. [somewhat over simplified].

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Re: You are mixing DDR with Dual Channel
by Mark5019 / September 15, 2004 11:57 PM PDT

here ray
from manuel
im running msi hold on got to go get info and i have 3 slots 1 blus 1 chip is in blue and other is green
im running K7N2 Delta-L DDR Dual Channel 400 fsb 400 edition

its FSB is 333 wayne
from the manuel "please note that the system supports 128-bit dual channel DDR when you install DDR moduuels on DIMM1 purple slot and DIMM3 green slot or Dimm2 purple slot and Dimm 3 green"

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I kind of deduced that
by Ray Harinec / September 16, 2004 12:34 AM PDT

from looking at the the layout of the memory sockets. Thanx for the words from your manual.

The post you are responding to here was only to point out to Brandon [you got Wayne on your mind, Speakeasy must be getting to you. LOL] that he was confusing DDR with Dual Channel.

The thing that totally baffles me re your mobo manual is the "supports up to 600 MHz for" certain CPU's.

I don't know if this is some form of overclocking or ??? I'll have to download the design data on those CPU's from AMD.

MSI makes very overclockable mobo's.

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Re: I kind of deduced that
by Mark5019 / September 16, 2004 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: I kind of deduced that

there wild i have so many optins it scares me lol ray i just updated online the bios i thought after i installed sp2 i saw a faster responce well either im on drugs besides my pain meds its flying.

and i not evan oc just stock seems great to me temps are 177F on cpu under load and case temps are 90/100 F i running 8 120 mm fans in here . little noisey but i listen to sounds i know when one is dirty have cat

oh oh were getting big rain from ivan here.

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Sounds really great.
by Ray Harinec / September 16, 2004 1:55 AM PDT

Hope that Ivan doesn't do too much damage/flooding for you.

I can't offer any real help for the pain.

Give em hell in Speakeasy. LOL

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Re: Sounds really great.
by Mark5019 / September 16, 2004 3:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Sounds really great.

i allways try to lol

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Re: I kind of deduced that
by Mark5019 / September 16, 2004 3:02 AM PDT

and i not evan oc just stock seems great to me temps are 177F on cpu under load and case temps are 90/100 F i running 8 120 mm fans in here . little noisey but i listen to sounds i know when one is dirty have cat

temp was missprint lol 117 not 177 lol

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Dazed and Confused.
by Brandon Eng / September 16, 2004 12:25 PM PDT

OK, I have a decent handle on ddr memory (which you explained to me on the old boards a coupla yrs. ago).

Before all this was posted, last night I was surfing for motherboards, and saw some socket 754 boards that run in single channel. Why would someone want a board that runs in single channel w/a A64??? Or is there an inherent benefit with a dual channel board because you've made the memory bus "wider"? But here's how I'm confused: say you have a cpu like an XP Athlon 2000+, no MCH built in; cpu FSB locked at 333, but on a board, like Mark's, that supports dual channel. Does it make any difference whether he's running dual or single channel, if the FSB is locked at 333? I can't say I fully understand dual channel at this point, depite your explanation. E.g, there's no benefit in dual channel if the cpu doesn't have a dual channel controller like Mark's, is that correct? So to reap the full benefits of dual channel, you'd need a MB with a DC controller AND a chip with a built in DC?? Or, again, the benefit is a wider memory bus?? Geesh, I'm confoozed!

You get Maximum PC don't you??? LOL RTFM LOL

Yep, Silly and a REALLY good mag, CPU! My prob is I read a little bit of this and that, file certain things away "for research later" which I never get around to, lol.

Here's something I REALLY don't understand re: the A64s: up to at least the A64 3500+ chips, the core operating frequency is 2.2 Ghz, and come in 2 varieties of L2 cache, 512 & 1 meg. WHAT'S THE DIFF?? Is it the fsb? According to the newegg site, it says FSB: Integrated into chip. Sample: Are there different FSBs for each chip??

And I don't understand the L1 cache "64+64". Do these chips have different integrated FSBs? Guess I should visit the AMD site, which I was gonna do before I dealt with the ebay seller, then checked in on this thread.

Well, I've kinda settled on this MSI motherboard: . The KT800 will pump ddr 400 to an effective 800 Mhz FSB (think I got THAT right!). I don't think I've seen a socket 754 board with a faster FSB. I don't intend to connect via SATA or have a RAID array; my tech guy is testing an A64 2800 on SATA, and he says he didn't notice any speed gains, otherwise, he says it's really fast compared to his P4 3.0. Sorry for such a long post, but I figger it's easier for everyone if I replied in 1 spot.

I enjoy reading about your computer adventures.

I'm a regular barrel of monkeys. Just ask my wife! Wink

Help, Ray! I've fallen down and can't get up!

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I have a headache
by Brandon Eng / September 16, 2004 12:50 PM PDT
In reply to: Dazed and Confused.

I was just at the AMD site looking for a chart or something to sort out the A64s. There's a forum there also with people equally, if not more confused, than I.

Where the heck can I get a chart or something re: the A64s and FSBs? Apparantly there's different FSBs for the A64s, but I couldn't find anything to help me distinguish what from what.

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Allow me to try to help.. I'll use multiple posts.
by Ray Harinec / September 17, 2004 4:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Dazed and Confused.

RE FSB on a CPU where the MCH is on the die with the rest of the CPU circuitry. It is a moot or undefined point.

One must understand that the digital signals can only be transnitted a short distance over wire or printed circuitry. The signal [very fast rise time (nanosecond) rectangular or square waves] at these high frequencies get badly distorted traveling over a few inches of wire and become useless.

The FSB that runs from a separate chipset to the CPU must travel over a few inches of printed circuitry, thus it is limited in speed [we sat at 66 MHz for years until they found ways to go faster]. Same with the memory bus and why memory brands don't all work on all mobo's, memory timing is very tricky at these speeds.

Now you see that the CPU's can run at 3 GHz and up. That is because the circuity is connected by virtually zero length wires inside the chip [the output of one transistor is directly connected to the input of the next by plated cidcuitry] [no they are not really only transistors]. Thus if the MCH is put inside the chip the FSB could also run at that 3 GHz plus speed. Now the only limit is the practical one that a new set of data bits to put on the internal FSB cannot be obtained faster than the memory bus can present it, but there really is no need for an FSB since the data is presented within the CPU die already. So FSB then loses any meaningful definition.

The fact that some cache was also put on the CPU die starting a few years ago was also one of the causes of increased CPU speed performance.

It's basically the laws of physics related to high speed Transmissiuon Lines

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Well, gee, Ray. THAT was simple!
by Brandon Eng / September 18, 2004 12:34 AM PDT

NOT! I'm just reading (perusing, more like it) your responses for the first time right now. I think I understand Nietche better than that stuff! My head has been spinning for quite awhile, reading about all the chipset (both for Intel and AMD; was considering a P4 for awhile. Decided not going that way), which has totally fried my brains. I'll have to come back to this.

Can you answer this though? I've been to AMDs website, trying to figure out how the core frequency speeds for the A64s are the same (2.2 Ghz) for the 3500+s and below I think, but don't understand the difference 'tween say an A64 2800+ and a A64 3500+ when they apparently have the same specs. Found an area, more like an advertisement, where it says the A64's support FSB up to something like 1000+, but I can't find anything on WHICH particular chips does exactly what! Also, as I said in another post, I haven't found an A64 motherboard that supports a FSB above 800 Mhz! I'm not going to be spending more than $300 for the really high end chips; however, the more I read about the socket 939 you've mentioned, I just *may* go that way...but those chips are pretty expensive. Will bbl. Thanks much!

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One is easy. With the MCH on the CPU die
by Ray Harinec / September 18, 2004 1:55 AM PDT

the term FSB has no real meaning because, as I said, the circuitry within the chip can effectively run as fast as the rest of the CPU interior [3 plus GHz]. [the result of very, wery, very, short physical path for the signals to flow over]. The FSB is the output of the MCH, so what's to limit it or define it?? It'll be the internal CPU design to pass the data to and from the memory bus that'll make the speed. Probably some form of high speed cache/buffering at the MCH output

I am not sure about the evolution of the 64 chips. I believe it is basically that they started with two basic CPU versions, the standard and the F51's. F51's were the hi line with dual channel et al. My thoughts are that since then they have been adding things/architecture to the standard that weren't in the early models to bring it closer to the F51's and then in the F51 eliminating the need for registered memory. The difference, now, between the two, in the 939 socket versions, is the difference in the size of the cache.

Remember the gimmick that AMD uses to give the 3000+, 3500+ numbers which are NOT the speed numbers. It is supposed to be the clock speed that an Intel CPU would have to give the same performance. Both Intel and AMD know that, except for advertising purposes, clock speed is NOT the be all and end all for performance. Intel has even changed their naming system such that the clock speed is no longer included in the model of the CPU.

The faster performance is acheived by the design architecture of the CPU. There is no single architecture that is best for all possible applications. That is why an Intel will out perform an AMD for some applications and vice versa for other applications. AMD tends to be better in gaming.

For example the long processing pipeline that Intel initially bragged about, turns out to be somewhat of a bottleneck for some apllications. AMD has a little shorter pipeline and different architecture to carry on more operations in parallel.

At this time,CPU design is in such a state of flux there's no sure way to know what to do. I say use the 939 because that has reasonable hope to be around for two years.

Intel has been constantly revising their roadmap. The AMD success with the 64's caught them off guard. Just think a CPU for which no Operating System existed turns out to be a success.[Brilliant design by AMD has it running 32 bit code as well as any 32 bit machine]

The detailed info about the AMD's as well as for Intel CPU's is available in the design documentation available by download from the respective sites. They are PDF files and really tough to read. I look at them and maybe understand 2 per cent of the info. I mainly save the speed per CPU and Power consumption per CPU info. None of them say in simple English that, this CPU has this set of features and this one has this other set of features. It is also confusing that there can be 3 versions of a CPU that is called 2800+. Engineers don't like to dummy it up for management because then everyone could understand it and they'd get a pay reduction.

I was a Deparment Manager of a Systems Engineering Group in Electronic Countermeasures when I retired, so I know how much I really didn't know or understand, but never let on. LOL

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Getting (a VERY) small handle on this
by Brandon Eng / September 18, 2004 4:46 AM PDT
the term FSB has no real meaning because, as I said, the circuitry within the chip can effectively run as fast as the rest of the CPU interior [3 plus GHz]. [the result of very, wery, very, short physical path for the signals to flow over].

OK, I think I have a reasonable grasp of this, as I've been all over the place reading up on this.

Hmmm...I've just visited newegg, and there seems to be a bit of a change regarding core clock speeds. Everything's not 2.2...1.8 and goes up accordingly.

Maybe the simplest thing to do instead of trying to understand all this, is settle on a chip, see what boards support it, and go from there. My tech guy suggested the A64 2800 w/512 cache, but I understand the 1 meg cache makes a HUGE difference (how huge, who knows? lol- I get this stuff from the net.) At first, I was thinking of the A64 3200+ with the MSI board I posted somewhere here. Definitely not going for 1 of the FX chips, that would be insanity on my part. Part of the question now is timing- there's debate whether the chips will go down in price or not. There seems to be big demand for them and supply can be short. Even the Ebay guy I spoke to told me he has a hard time getting these chips, as my techie does. Just as well, I need my head to clear out before I do something REALLY impulsive and stupid.

Thanks so much for your insight and knowledge Ray. I'll muddle through, as usual, lol. Hey, on a different note, I got an Honorable Mention in the question of the week from Lee. I don't know if you get it in your email, but last week I got CNet mail with a question of the week I attempted to answer. The most acceptable answer get the responder some kind of CD or something. So there's hope for me yet!

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