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AMD Upgrades Hardware

Athlon64 Motherboards And Chips Compared 205

An anonymous reader writes "Just noticed that OverclockersClub has a new article (free, no reg, blah blah blah) that describes the AMD64 processors. The article talks about the differences in each processor and compares them as well as puts everything in a nice easy to read chart. Pretty nice article if you aren't familiar with all the new tech." Makes a good match for Johnny-boy's submission. He writes "HardwareZone has a 46 page article out that compares many of the Athlon64 motherboards out on the market now. If you are planning to get that Socket-754 motherboard, maybe this article is worth a look."
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Athlon64 Motherboards And Chips Compared

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  • Don't get socket 754 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DarkHelmet ( 120004 ) * <mark@seventhc[ ] ['ycl' in gap]> on Monday January 26, 2004 @03:56AM (#8086225) Homepage

    Now really isn't the time to get an Athlon.

    The 939 pin athlons are just around the corner, which is the migration path of most of the athlon sets.

    754 series sets will still only have a single channel 128 bit pathway. It's not worth it.

    Wait until the 939 pin, and get dual channel memory transfer in a non-FX Athlon64. Even if you're only getting half the cache (1 meg vs 512kb) on the 939 pin versions, chances are you will be able to overclock it more because it's a smaller die space.

    46 pages... I wanted a motherboard review, not a dissertation :)

  • Well..... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:03AM (#8086249) Homepage
    I was actually looking into Athlon 64's today; and i'm not seeing the price benefit compared to a PowerMac G5.

    Right now, there's no GREAT 64 bit OS out there (linux, forget XP 64bit) I think we should treat Athlon64 like MacOS 10.0 (sorry, i'm a mac guy) for early adopters only

    Give it another 6 months, then it'll be a great server/workstation solution
  • by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:11AM (#8086261) Homepage Journal
    Back a few years ago, these speed increases really meant something. It meant the difference between waiting for the OS to finish some task and being able to use the computer without much noticeable latency. These days, the difference just isn't as staggering.

    I will admit, though, that if you use KDE/Linux there are some things that could definitely use a speed-up like switching between apps and loading the GUI shell. However, beyond that, modern operating systems work just fine with today's processors.

    The argument to this is always "what if you're doing serious number crunching or graphical rendering?", but the answer to that is that there are dedicated DSPs out there that can perform those computations much more efficiently than the CPU. Relying on the CPU to give good Quake framerates is like relying on your auto-body shop to soup up your ricer. Yes, there are some increases in performance, but the real horsepower behind these things lies in the video card and engine, not in the CPU and rice spoiler.

    I'm all for improvements in chip technology, but software lags so far behind the capabilities of modern CPUs that it's preposterous to climb on the upgrade cycle, regardless of the circumstances.
  • by double-oh three ( 688874 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:14AM (#8086273)
    Would someone mind telling me the difference between the 939 pin and the 940 pin? What difference can that one pin make?
  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:20AM (#8086289) Homepage
    As much as I love AMD, I would recommend against the Athlon64 chipsets, unless you *must* have a 64 bit chip. What is interesting, however, are the Opteron chips, where you can easily buy a nice dual proc mobo [] that has some nice features. Of course, this will cost you ...and the price hasn't dropped in the past couple of months, too much :-(

    Of course, 754 is being deprecated and all that, but I thought I'd put a word in for what I'd buy... if it weren't so damn expensive. *sigh* Will we ever have dual athlon64 goodness?

  • Are the apps there? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by leftie_hater ( 744932 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:27AM (#8086310) Homepage
    Are there any apps that are 64 bits? Is there any reason at all to go 64bit?
  • by viralburn ( 606633 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:45AM (#8086365)
    Are there any apps that are 64 bits? Is there any reason at all to go 64bit?
    The Far Cry game engine [] is being optimized for athlon 64.
  • No 64bit Linux OS??? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by _Pinky_ ( 75643 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @04:56AM (#8086394)
    If I do recall there is a gentoo live CD out right now.. In fact the gentoo page has a Athlon 64 faq out here: [] s. html
    Now, like all new technologies, there maybe certains apps that don't work, compilations errors, and other problems... But how will they be fixed unless people try it, and send back bug reports?
  • by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[NO@SPAM]> on Monday January 26, 2004 @05:04AM (#8086417)
    I have to disagree.
    First of all, games are not necessarily limited only by the video card. Certainly if you run the latest games in the highest resolution with 8x AA, your video card will be the bottleneck, but often times only these extreme situations make that true.

    Morrowind, for example, doesn't really care much about your video card. If you have a Geforce 3, it is happy. It does, however, care about your CPU. If your CPU is not god incarnate, your frame rate will be limited, particularly in some of the more dynamic scenes. The fastest CPU at the time of release, the P4 2.53GHz, could not muster much of a frame rate regardless of video card.

    Any 2D game will be CPU limited as well. Baldur's Gate 2 still chugs on some of the extremely large fights even on my AthlonXP 2500+.

    In Starcraft, I assure you that my carrier attack will slow your frame rate regardless of your CPU. ;-)

    Other than in video games, I am currently transcoding a Babylon 5 video from MPEG-2 to DivX (using Xvid) on my laptop. It is an Athlon64 3200+--the fastest laptop processor money can buy (well, strictly for video transcoding, the highest end Pentium IVs are actually slightly faster) and it takes about 6 hours for a 2hr movie, 3 hours for an episode. If I had a 20GHz Athlon64 it would still take forever.

    To come to a point, yes, modern operating systems do tend to run fine on modern fast processors (with the possible exception of WindowsXP and anything running KDE or Gnome2 ::ducks::), but there exists quite a bit more software than old games and operating systems.

    A few other examples:

    - There isn't a computer on the planet fast enough to install Gentoo Linux quickly.

    - FreeBSD's make world will be noticeable non-instantaneous for many GHz to come.

    - Waiting for Visual C++ in Windows to compile... Well, anything at all, is not instantaneous even on an 8-way Xeon.

    - Waiting for Regedit in Windows to search for a certain key or value will NEVER be fast on ANY computer. I don't know what search algorithm Microsoft chose for that thing, but it's damn slow for searching through just 10 or so megabytes of data.

    - Anything ever written with SWING in Java. It was slow in 1996 and it's slow now. To avoid flames, I love Java as a language, but SWING is slower than a dead slug stuck in frozen molasses.

    The opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the poster.
  • by poszi ( 698272 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:04AM (#8086532)
    Back a few years ago, these speed increases really meant something.

    There are still a lot of situations where faster CPU is great. I do scientific calculations for my work and, surprise, the faster the CPU, the quicker you get the results. Actually, cheap commodity PCs made a revolution in my field, where you no longer need an access to a terribly expensive supercomputer to do reasonable simulations.

    I've got also a digital camera and image manipulation is very CPU intensive. Unsharp mask on a 6Mpixel file takes several seconds and if you need to aply it to hundreds of images, you can do the math. CPU is also important in ogg encoding, program compilation and just anything that takes 100% CPU if you check top.

  • by gbulmash ( 688770 ) <> on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:20AM (#8086565) Homepage Journal
    I wish I'd done more research on hardware compatibility, particularly motherboards, because installing 64-bit Linux has been a bitch. I'm only now getting to the point where I can have a fully-working installation without having to add in redundant devices to compensate for onboard chipsets that AMD64 Linux distros couldn't work with.

    Nvidia Nforce drivers only got released in the last month so my onboard LAN on my ASUS SK8N works. Mandrake 9.2 RC1 recognizes my Promise onboard SATA RAID controller, but SuSE doesn't, and even then the driver in Mandrake is an 0.83 release.

    I haven't played with the Fedora Core release candidate test version for Athlon 64 yet.

    IMO, If you want to run 64-bit Native Linux on AMD64 without a lot of headaches and weeping, wait another 6 months until the distros and drivers have solidified more. In 6 months, you'll probably be able to get a CPU a generation or two higher than you can today, but for the same money, and you'll be able to install AMD64 native Linux much more easily... It's win-win.

    - Greg
  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @06:20AM (#8086568) Journal
    "Anything ever written with SWING in Java. It was slow in 1996 and it's slow now. To avoid flames, I love Java as a language, but SWING is slower than a dead slug stuck in frozen molasses."

    That's funny.

    I wrote a very complex Swing GUI in 1999, complete with highly customized look and feel, font anti-aliasing, and overkill use of graphics. Guess what? It ran perfectly ok on a 400 MHz K6-II with a TNT graphics card. Go figure.

    Yes, Swing is _not_ newbie friendly. If you're clueless, Swing gives you enough rope to hang yourself, _and_ the guns to shoot yourself in both feet.

    However, any half-competent Swing programmer should be able to get perfectly adequate performance out of it. Anyone who can't get it to work fast enough on an Athlon 3200+, no offense, but is one of those clueless burger-flippers who shouldn't have got hired as a programmer to start with.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton