-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

AMD 64 - Sorting out the truths and advantages


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
51 replies to this topic

#1 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 12:34 AM

Where to begin....

Okay, I am looking at possibly purchasing a
new computer even though I already have one
that's 14 months old and still pretty much
state-of-the-art.

Let me give you some quick background....

I own a Dell Inspiron (8250 I think) computer
that's basically a Pentium 4 3.06 with 512 Ram.
All I basically do is surf the web, ocassionally
do graphics work (Photoshop) and burn DVDs and CDs.

The problem is that I run a lot of programs at
startup. These programs include: Weatherbug,
GoBack, Norton AntiVirus, Mail Checker, Smart
Butler (announces & reads emails & IM), Trillian
and Rainlendar.

As you can see a lot of resources are being used
up. If I could have more programs running, I would.
However, if I need to burn a DVD, I have to start
closing down programs to free up resources.

This is where AMD 64 comes in.....

If I understand this technology correctly,
the 64-bit processor allows more information to
pass through at once. Most importantly, it also
allows Windows to run more memory thus allowing
more programs to run at once without resources
being drained.

If this is true, this would be my ultimate
reason to hop on the bandwagon and buy one of
these AMD 64 computers now.

The problem?

Windows XP. It's a 32-bit operating system.
If I read correctly, I hear there is a free
limited-trial download of a 64-bits version
available -- but when will Windows XP 64
be shipping with new computers?


Is this the right time to jump onto the 64-bit
bandwagon? Also, what is the difference between
the Athlon 64FX and the standard 64 chip?

Would appreciate some help here getting all the
facts straight.

Thanks

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#2 of 52 Wayne Bundrick

Wayne Bundrick

    Screenwriter

  • 2,358 posts
  • Join Date: May 17 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 03:29 AM

I could be wrong but I believe the difference in the Athlon 64FX is that it uses dual-channel memory instead of single-channel.

Is this the right time for 64-bit? I don't know if it is now, but it could be soon.

Intel already has the 64-bit Itanium processor and a 64-bit Windows XP already exists for it. But you don't hear much about it. It is very expensive and nobody buys it. At the desktop level Intel doesn't have anything, and AMD is poised to eat their lunch, especially with the new 64-bit Windows XP that will run on AMD. There is some speculation that this week at the Intel developers conference they're going to announce plans for 64-bit processing on the desktop to follow AMD's lead. If they do, it will be interesting to see how they reconcile these plans with their new Prescott core which is expected to reach speeds as high as 5 GHz.

Right now the driver situation for the 64-bit Windows XP preview is pretty bad. If you can find a 64-bit driver, it probably isn't optimized for 64-bit and the performance is no better than 32-bit. But with it being a public preview, there is pressure on the vendors to get their 64-bit drivers up to speed.

My advice: bump your RAM up to 1 gig while you wait for 64-bit Windows XP to mature (by year-end maybe?). Windows XP will be a lot more comfortable with 1 gig, as will Photoshop, and all those programs running in the tray won't be so much of a burden.
Wayne Bundrick

"It tastes like there's a party in my mouth and everybody's throwing up!" -- Philip J. Fry

#3 of 52 Vince Maskeeper

Vince Maskeeper

    Lead Actor

  • 6,504 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 03:36 AM

Yep, as wayne said- maxing out your board with RAM will make a bigger diff in running application headroom, probably more than you'll see in the early stages of un-optimized 64bit apps.

-V
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#4 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 04:13 AM

Guys,

Will I see a significant improvement by
going from 512 to 1024 Ram?

Dell wants about $450 for the upgrade.

What improvements will I notice? Will
it allow me to run more programs at once?

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#5 of 52 Vince Maskeeper

Vince Maskeeper

    Lead Actor

  • 6,504 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 04:42 AM

seems a bit steep, although it might mean replacing your existing chips. i would say if it has 4 channels (even if it's dual channel) you could get a second pair of chips for less than that price.

Although i dunno how comfortable you are opening a case and installing ram (although if you ever played atari, it's about the same as putting in an atari cartridge.

-V
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#6 of 52 Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,651 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 05:20 AM

That price is 2x the going price for RAM. Find out the specs on the RAM and buy it elsewhere.
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#7 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 05:37 AM

This is what Dell tells me I need....


DELL - 512 MB Module for a Dell Dimension 8250 400 MHz FSB System
512 MB RDRAM, PC800, Non-Parity, Unbuffered
Dell Part #: A0066475 | Manufacturer Part #: D4T236


Price $398

You guys come up with something better? I want
fast memory.

I have replaced memory before so I am not concerned
about this other than being sure I buy the right
memory the first time.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#8 of 52 Vince Maskeeper

Vince Maskeeper

    Lead Actor

  • 6,504 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 18 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 05:49 AM

Oh no, RAMBUS.

Ok, well, you will spend a fortune upgrading ram.
Need an introduction to home theater? Check out our FAQ and Primer!!

#9 of 52 Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,651 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 06:16 AM

But www.pricewatch.com shows some promise as to RDRAM pricing. Search on "rdram 256mb pc800 nonecc" or "rdram 256mb pc800" You'll need to buy 2 sticks of 256MB RDRAM to get up to an additional 512MB needed for a total of 1GB of system RAM.

http://store.yahoo.n...5pcnorard1.html

http://www.upgradena...2580nonra1.html

http://www.jazztechn...oduct/MBP800256
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#10 of 52 Craig Woodhall

Craig Woodhall

    Supporting Actor

  • 596 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 11 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 07:24 AM

that is why i NEVER buy a brand name computer, proprietary stuff sucks.. i also have an Athlon 64 and love it.. i definately wouldn't spend $450 on a ram upgrade, you can get a whole computer for that price..

Craig

#11 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 07:26 AM

I mean....is the Rambus Ram worth the price over
regular Ram?

Thanks for the links, guys. The sticks look like
they'll cost $100 each. I need two. Is the
SAMSUNG good ram?

Also, getting back to my original question, will
I see a significant difference in the performance
of my computer and the amount of programs I can run
at once? I know upgrading from 256 to 512 is a big
improvement, but is it just as big going from 512
to 1024?


Quote:
i also have an Athlon 64 and love it..

Chris, what did you buy and where did you buy it?



Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#12 of 52 Chun Lam

Chun Lam

    Agent

  • 46 posts
  • Join Date: Jan 20 2004

Posted February 16 2004 - 07:53 AM

Ron,

I definitely think you'll see an improved performance jumping from 512 to 1026 MBs of Ram. Going by what you've told us, your computer seems to take time starting up. Many of the programs you listed, anti-virus, etc, are memory resident programs which utilize memory. But the program you'll notice the most performance increase on is Adobe Photoshop.

It's been years since I've used it, but back in the 4.0 days, it was a memory hog - and I presume - still is. For about $250, I don't think you can go wrong with upgrading ram. Whether you see significant performance increases depends on your definition of significant. That's like asking if a certain set of speakers would sound "good."

Hope this helps.


#13 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 08:26 AM

You know what?

For piece of mind, I'll pay double the price
for the RAM from Dell.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#14 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 08:33 AM

Hey guys....

Interesting question.

Dell has this offering....


DELL - 256 MB Module for a Dell Dimension 8250 (400MHz FSB) System
256 MB RDRAM, PC800, Non-Parity, Unbuffered
Dell Part #: A0066474 | Manufacturer Part #: D4T235


Price $155


DELL - 512 MB Module for a Dell Dimension 8250 400 MHz FSB System
512 MB RDRAM, PC800, Non-Parity, Unbuffered
Dell Part #: A0066475 | Manufacturer Part #: D4T236


Price $398


Now....

Couldn't I just order 2x256 modules at $155 each
and save money over buying the 512 module? Or, do
I have to buy the 512 module?

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#15 of 52 Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,651 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 09:53 AM

The first option will probably give you two 128MB RDRAM sticks.
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#16 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 10:00 AM

Tell you what.

I'll make it easy on all of us.

Kindly look here:

Click Here

Which one do I need?

(Remember I am going from 512 to 1024)


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations


#17 of 52 Patrick Sun

Patrick Sun

    Studio Mogul

  • 37,651 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 30 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 10:11 AM

The more I look at it, I think the 256MB module is probably what you want (just order 2 of them, as required since you need pairs for the additional RAM). So that'll be $310 for 2 sticks of 256MB RDRAM.
"Jee-sus, it's like Iwo Jima out there" - Roger Sterling on "Mad Men"
Patcave | 2006 Films | 2007 Films | Flickr | Comic-Con 2012 | Dragon*Con 2012

#18 of 52 Wayne Bundrick

Wayne Bundrick

    Screenwriter

  • 2,358 posts
  • Join Date: May 17 1999

Posted February 16 2004 - 10:45 AM

Ron, since your system uses Rambus RAM, you definitely have to add memory in pairs. To add 512MB, you'd want two of the 256MB modules at $155 each. One 512MB module isn't going to work unless you buy two for $796!

But you need to check something first. Your Dell Dimension 8250 has four slots grouped as two banks with two slots each. Does your system have four 128MB modules occupying both banks, or two 256MB modules occupying only one bank and the other bank is empty?

You can either open the case and take a peek, or check the manifest of components that Dell should have provided with the system. When you ordered the system from Dell, you might have been given the choice. If so then you probably remember it because a system configured with four 128MB modules filling both banks probably cost a little less than a system with two 256MB modules filling only one bank.

If you peek inside, note that even if only one bank is filled, the second bank will have blank modules installed. These modules have no actual memory chips, they just have some resistors to terminate the bus. You should see a notable difference between them and the actual RAM modules. The RAM modules probably have a metal heat spreader plate, while the resistor modules are practically barren.

If only one bank has RAM and the second bank has resistor modules, then you can just replace the resistor modules with a new pair of 256MB modules.

But if both banks have RAM, then you can't simply add more RAM. You have to replace one or both banks. You can replace one pair of 128MB modules with a pair of 256MB modules. This won't get you to 1 gigabyte, but it will get you to 256 + 512 = 768MB. That's still better than 512MB but it's a harder decision to spend $310 on an upgrade that replaces half of what you already have instead of doubling it.
Wayne Bundrick

"It tastes like there's a party in my mouth and everybody's throwing up!" -- Philip J. Fry

#19 of 52 Bob_Bo

Bob_Bo

    Agent

  • 41 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 08 2004

Posted February 16 2004 - 11:00 AM

Ron, If you're up to a little tweaking, you can probably free up a few more resources by managing some of Windows bloated services that run in the background.

Blackviper. com has put up a decent guide that explains what many of these services and processes do and how to manage them.

Just be sure to document what you do and back-up anything important first.

#20 of 52 Ronald Epstein

Ronald Epstein

    Studio Mogul

  • 39,208 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 03 1997

Posted February 16 2004 - 11:39 AM

Wayne,

Thought the best thing to do was to open my
computer and snap a photo.

Posted Image

So, what do you think, Doc?

It appears the second set of banks is empty.
I gather I should order the 2x256 modules for these
banks, yes?


Bob_Bo,

I will look into your suggestion. Thanks.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

gallery_269895_23_10043.jpg Click Here for the latest/hottest Blu-ray Preorders gallery_269895_23_1316.jpg Click Here for our complete Blu-ray review archive

gallery_269895_23_773.jpg Click Here for our complete 3D Blu-ray review archive gallery_269895_23_992.jpgClick Here for our complete DVD review archive

gallery_269895_23_7246.jpg Click Here for Blu-Ray Preorder Release Schedule gallery_269895_23_3120.jpg Click Here for forum posting rules and regulations