View Full Version : About to Upgrade but....

12-28-04, 05:08 PM

After using my P4 3.0ghz I868PE setup for 1.5 years, I think it's time to upgrade to a better CPU and new socket. I'm planning to buy an AMD 64 FX-55 and MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (nforce3 Ultra), however have heard bad things about multitasking issues for AMD 64s in general in comparison to P4s with H/T.

So anyone with a P4 that upgraded to an Athlon 64, could you please share your experience so I'll know what to expect, and possibly stay away from AMDs completely. I use this machine about 50/50 gaming/work and I do most of my work in Photoshop, 3DMax, Flash, Dreamweaver etc.

I've heard things like you can't leave winamp open while playing games due to bad multitasking (do this all the time with CS:Source and my P4 along with a few other apps open). Or huge latencies when opening 3-4 resource intensive applications at once in comparison to a P4.

Also is the Nvidia Chipset RAID stable enough to run RAID 0 (had no problems with ICH5R) on a daily basis?

Please Voice Your Opinion. Thanks! (snow=D)

12-29-04, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the Replies!

12-29-04, 11:11 AM
You bumped this less than 24 hours after the initital post. Chill out.

12-29-04, 11:17 AM
Impatient? Well here is my limited experience. Using my main machine powered by a P4 2.4C clocked at 3.0GHz on an IC7 I find that multi-tasking is acceptable as long as I don't combine my graphical work. Word processing, streaming audio, internet, and a few other lite operations is good. Add gaming and it tends to be acceptable although at times I run into problems. If I add photo work in Paint Shop or downloading photos I run into problems. Stability is unacceptable while working with photos and in some cases graphics with an active internet connection.

My AMD system (strictly setup for gaming) seems to take this in stride although I have not done much mult-tasking with this system. What little I have done has been acceptable vs. the problems I encounter with the P4 as outlined above.

I have a new P4 3.4E, PCI-e system that I will probably use to replace my main system within the next month or so and I am confident that it will do as well and hope for improvement even over the AMD setup. Wish I could give you some specific performance examples but I am still testing this P4 setup although initial results do look promising. Working with photos/graphics while downloading with an active internet connection seem to be stable.

Venturing into multi-tasking by converting over to an AMD system will have to be taken with a positive approach. If all you have heard are negative then you would probably be better served sticking with a new P4 setup, IMO.

Hope this helps but also hope someone with more experience in this area responds to you questions more adequately. So, in the meantime, just consider this a 'bump'. (xmasmile)

If you use some of the newer drives I think you can do away with the use of Raid 0.

12-29-04, 11:23 AM
My apologies, I need to order this soon because my 3 ghz is burning up.
If anyone has any RAID 0 experience with the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, any comments would be appreciated. I read somewhere on this site that it took RAID 0 poorely and there were problems ghosting and the array was recognized as a removable device and hence in the tray when running windows xp.

I'm still somewhat new to posting, so excuse the "bump".

12-29-04, 09:18 PM
hope you dont mind me butting in to your thread here keith but im a very similar situation to you. My P4 has been good to me, but after aquiring the 6800 card I have really been feeling the cpu limiting. Would upgrading to a A64+ 3200+ (939), and MSI neo2 plat make any noticable difference (i would of course overclock it), I have made a deal to get the mobo and cpu for $370 US.

01-01-05, 05:58 PM
hope you dont mind me butting in to your thread here keith but im a very similar situation to you. My P4 has been good to me, but after aquiring the 6800 card I have really been feeling the cpu limiting. Would upgrading to a A64+ 3200+ (939), and MSI neo2 plat make any noticable difference (i would of course overclock it), I have made a deal to get the mobo and cpu for $370 US.

To answer your question, yes, there would be a visible difference to anyone who is overwhelmed with the upgrading bug. You'll see the speed in games and things where single applications are the priority.

To answer the original poster's question, I upgraded from a P4 2.4 at 3.2, which I then set aside as a media server. The P4 with hyperthreading is definitely better at multitasking, but you've got to understand how I think it achieves that. The A64 is a hotrod. It runs fast, burns fast, does everything fast. So it takes multiple programs and it seems, in my experience, to do everything fast. So let's say you have your Opera up, you have Foobar 2k, you have PowerDVD 6, you have World of Warcraft in the background where you decided to take a break, and you have a little Windows Messenger window full of people praising you for your A64 greatness.

Its going to do each of those things fast. Real fast. But its going to noticeably hop between them. So if you were to, for instance, take out WinRar and begin unraring some files, well, its going to be noticeably slower. If you pull it up to priority, it will speed up, but in my experience, there are slowdowns in the progress of the winrar as you watch your dvd, you listen to your songs, you have your game waiting on you, and you webbrowse.

The P4 on the other hand does everything more slowly. So you'll notice its going to handle everything more "smoothly." In that you won't see slowdowns. So it makes the A64 seem more "sloppy" (for lack of a better term), but that's only because they're taking two tracks to it. The P4 becomes in this analogy the workhorse. It takes each program and does them more slowly, but each one more consistently. Giving you the impression the P4 is better at multitasking. But in fact its just doing everything more slowly. They're probably the same at multitasking efficiency. Now there is a problem here.

So lets say you have a GF6800 GT or Ultra. Lets say you have an nForce chipset that does not allow you to run FastWrites on it without the stutter that plagues so many on the combo of the two. And lets say you have an A64 (as all nF3/4 peeps must be for now). Well, this combo really emphasizes the problem of the multitasking when combining video playback and ... well, anything else intensive because:

1) The A64 seems more sloppy when its probably not.
2) Fastwrites is meant to help with the video playback (in bypassing certain steps in writing data to the video card), but having to turn it off to play games (which ostensibly is why you buy a video card) nullifies any help this feature might give.
3) The GF6800 GT or Ultra (even in PCI Express form) lack the full features of Purevideo, which in my experience means that a lot of work is put upon the CPU. My experience with my former Radeon 9800 Pro was that not so much work was left to the CPU as with the GF6800 GT. With the lack of fastwrites and the lack of a CPU designed more for smooth but slower processing of multiple threads, the reliance of the GF6800 GT for video playback (dvds, divx, xvid, etc) on the CPU means that multitasking will cause your video to stutter, to stop, to pause, to hiccup, etc.

It is for this reason that your WinAmp might stutter. Its a combination of three factors in my experience that are really unfortunate. Fastwrites is not the end-all solution, of course, but it would help. A fully functional purevideo unit on the GF6800 might also help, but that's too little, too late. And an A64 designed more for multitasking... well, that's already in the pipeline.

That's what the dualcore CPUs will do for us. I've become less interested in speed with the arrival of SLI and the stunning realization that we need more than speed now. We need power. Dualcore promises to give me the power to multitask and that... that is what I want now.