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View Full Version : Athlon X2 3800+.... a few questions....


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ViN86
09-21-05, 11:01 PM
so, ive decided to make the plunge into dual core. lately at school, ive been doing a lot of multitasking, including burning dvd's, encoding, and multitasking in general, but i still want to play games, which i simply dont have the CPU resources for. so, that leads me to dual core cpu's.

first question is, does the L2 cache make that much of a difference? ive been googling the crap out of this topic, but id like to hear it from you guys, as you all (me inlcuded) are the end users, and thats the opinion i really care about.

second question, overclockability. im lookin at the 3800+ and i plan on OCing it to at least 2.4GHz (what my current 3200+ runs at). will my XP-90 handle this well? will the chip handle it well?

i like the price on the X2 3800+, so its probably what i will go with, then OC it to a 4600+. please let me know if this is a good idea. all comments/suggestions are welcomed. also, please realize that i have limited funds, so i cannot simply go to a 4800+ lol. thx in advance

Roadhog
09-21-05, 11:07 PM
hmm, id like to know alot of this also, since i want one. I can answer one of your questions!

yes, it OC's pretty good, alot of people are hitting 2.5+ on the stock cooling..

Riptide
09-22-05, 12:04 AM
More L2 cache makes very little difference in games and has the potential to lower the overclockability of the chip due to a higher transistor count and power consumption.

superklye
09-22-05, 12:37 AM
More L2 cache makes very little difference in games and has the potential to lower the overclockability of the chip due to a higher transistor count and power consumption.
Have things changed then? I thought L2 was like THE biggest thing for games...if it makes no difference, why does Intel pack it on the Emergency Edition CPUs with no regard for human life?

ViN86
09-22-05, 12:41 AM
i understand the overclocking issue with more L2, as it contains many more transistors which must all increase speed accordingly, and since there are many more, theres a higher chance for some of them not to be able to do it.

however, the difference in L2 cache really doesnt make a difference? im a gamer/multi-tasker. but, if thats true and the L2 cache doesnt make a noticeable difference, i will be very happy :D

Peoples-Agent
09-22-05, 12:44 AM
Have things changed then? I thought L2 was like THE biggest thing for games...if it makes no difference, why does Intel pack it on the Emergency Edition CPUs with no regard for human life?

Because they came to a point when they realised raw Ghz power wasn't the way forward, AMD were making hefty progress winning awards at their very own setup shows and decided... hmmm blockade the CPUs with copious amounts of L2 cache memory.

I'm sure they have found the error in their ways and moved along but I doubt anything will show up for a good year or two yet.

On another note, L2 cache does render the overclocking factor into dismay, but it does serve a greater purpose when it comes to high intensity of CPU action mainly with things like encoding video.

Rytr
09-22-05, 12:53 AM
The L2 cache makes little or no difference in gaming.
Overclocking my 3700+ SD with the 1MB cache does not seem to hold it back. Of course, overclocking can vary from processor to processor even of the same type.
The XP-90 should have no problems cooling the X2 3800+.

superklye
09-22-05, 01:04 AM
I dunno, I mean, I believe you guys, but I just find it so weird that both AMD and Intel pack it on for their extreme gamer chips if the performance gains are non-existent.

Rytr
09-22-05, 01:21 AM
The 1mb cache comes in handly when encoding or video editing plus it will probably be the desired processor for many apps and games in 64-bit.

nutball
09-22-05, 03:10 AM
I dunno, I mean, I believe you guys, but I just find it so weird that both AMD and Intel pack it on for their extreme gamer chips if the performance gains are non-existent.

Why? The "extreme gamer" nonsense is all about marketing. More biggerer numbers => more biggerer sales. They're selling to the e-penz0r market, so 1MB>>0.5MB, and 2MB>>1MB, regardless of performance impact.

Riptide
09-22-05, 09:21 AM
Back when I was shopping around for my FX53 the alternative chip I was considering was the 3800+ claw. The 3800+ was the exact same clock speed but with 512K cache vs. 1024K on the FX53.

Every benchmark I saw, and there was even a review where they did a direct comparison (no link, this is old stuff here), showed a performance gain at most of about 5% and in many cases it was even less.

So yes, nutball and the others are right, it's not going to help much at all with games.

BrianG
09-22-05, 09:56 AM
The 1mb cache comes in handly when encoding or video editing plus it will probably be the desired processor for many apps and games in 64-bit.
A friend confirmed this by testing two A64s with the different cache sizes at the same clock speed encoding DVDs. I can't recall the actual numbers, but the 1M cache was significantly faster.

The thing is ViN86 will be doing the work in the background, anyway. It probably won't make much difference to him as he is gonna be mindlessly absorbed in gaming or pr0n, heh.

The XP-90 has no problem cooling the 4800+. I can get idle/load temps this evening if needed...

superklye
09-22-05, 10:07 AM
Why? The "extreme gamer" nonsense is all about marketing. More biggerer numbers => more biggerer sales. They're selling to the e-penz0r market, so 1MB>>0.5MB, and 2MB>>1MB, regardless of performance impact.
Meh, okay. Like I said, I wasn't sure. In the past this was different though, wasn't it? I KNOW in PCGamer and Maximum PC and other magazines years back, they always talked about the benefits of L2 cache for gaming.

ViN86
09-22-05, 10:29 AM
The thing is ViN86 will be doing the work in the background, anyway. It probably won't make much difference to him as he is gonna be mindlessly absorbed in gaming or pr0n, heh.
yea, this is a very good point. i think ill go with the 3800+ and OC it. my Pentium M in my laptop has 2 MB L2, but tbh, i cant tell unless i look at it in CPUZ. also, could you please post your idle/load temps? if i OC the 3800 to 2.4, it should dissipate probably about the same power (figuring fewer transistors due to L2 cache, but higher voltage due to the OC). that should give me a good idea about the temps to expect.

thx :)

BrianG
09-22-05, 11:28 AM
Meh, okay. Like I said, I wasn't sure. In the past this was different though, wasn't it? I KNOW in PCGamer and Maximum PC and other magazines years back, they always talked about the benefits of L2 cache for gaming.
A few years ago we were talking about 128K vs 256 or 512. 512K to 1024K is not as much of difference, unless you are working on much larger chunks of data, like when encoding DVDs. Games like Q3A and UT2k3 pushed the limits of the L2 cache because of "large textures", heh.

superklye
09-22-05, 12:18 PM
A few years ago we were talking about 128K vs 256 or 512. 512K to 1024K is not as much of difference, unless you are working on much larger chunks of data, like when encoding DVDs. Games like Q3A and UT2k3 pushed the limits of the L2 cache because of "large textures", heh.
Huh...well, I'll definitely keep that in mind. I'm glad I found this out, because I was still under the impression that more L2 was teh 4w350m3.

Riptide
09-22-05, 12:58 PM
More L2 = more e-pen0s

Definitely not worth the extra $$ from a value standpoint (IMO). But hey, if you're feeling a little inadequate go for it. :D

ViN86
09-22-05, 06:52 PM
hmm i am feeling inadequate..... but my wallet tells me that i cant afford to be inadequate atm, so im goin with the 3800+

will i need a re-install of windows? or will it automatically detect the second core and be ok? i just got my current install filled up and runnin the way i want hehe.

btw, what is it with ppl like us (me at least)? i mean, we have these systems that are fast and stable, yet we continue to add things to them. this whole power/enthusiast aspect of computers is insane imo.

superklye
09-22-05, 06:55 PM
You're going to need to reinstall Windows. There's going to be a new CPU ID found (I can't remember exactly what it's called), but yes. Even if you went from a 3000+ to a 3200+, you'd have to do a reinstall.

ViN86
09-22-05, 07:11 PM
thats ok, im going to have to update my BIOS first, heh

Riptide
09-22-05, 07:16 PM
Dude... You don't need to do a reinstall if all you are doing is changing chips and going dual core.

My Windows install detected it, loaded the driver for it ("ACPI Multiprocessor based PC"), and it took off and worked just fine. This was XP64, I doubt it would be any different for XP32. It did NOT redetect any other devices at all.

Now if you're changing motherboards that's an entirely different scenario... Then yes reinstall.

BrianG
09-22-05, 09:06 PM
You're going to need to reinstall Windows. There's going to be a new CPU ID found (I can't remember exactly what it's called), but yes. Even if you went from a 3000+ to a 3200+, you'd have to do a reinstall.
I was able to just slap this puppy in. Windows saw the second CPU and added the ACPI Multiprocessor driver. Opened Task Manager, two graphs.

superklye
09-22-05, 10:17 PM
Seriously? I went from an XP 1700+ to a 2600+ and Windows refused to boot. A geek friend of mine told me it was because some CPU ID no longer matched and Windows registration didn't like that or something.

Meh, if this is the case now, then awesome. It saves a ton of hassle. But I'm of the camp that I would just feel safer having a completely fresh install.

ViN86
09-22-05, 11:23 PM
nah, im just gonna swap out CPU's. also, i gotta install the new Asus chipset fan, the one im using now is dying and making a wonderful loud grinding noise. im gonna order the chip this weekend of early next week. plan on going home (only 30 min away from my school) to install it in a couple weeks, cause thats where all my tools are. thx for the advice everyone.

btw, i too like a fresh install with new hardware kyle, hehe

superklye
09-22-05, 11:45 PM
nah, im just gonna swap out CPU's. also, i gotta install the new Asus chipset fan, the one im using now is dying and making a wonderful loud grinding noise. im gonna order the chip this weekend of early next week. plan on going home (only 30 min away from my school) to install it in a couple weeks, cause thats where all my tools are. thx for the advice everyone.

btw, i too like a fresh install with new hardware kyle, hehe
It just makes me feel better, you know? I don't have that "not-so-fresh" feeling afterwards.

wait, what?