AMD Athlon 64 3200+ CPU

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Chuck C, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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    I understand that this new processor is currently available. In fact, here's a computer that runs the AMD Athlon 64:

    MicroFlex 64 Plus

    -Is this processor better (i.e. faster, more reliable, compatible) than the latest and greatest Pentium 4? (3.2MHz w/ 800MHz FSB)?

    -How fast is the bus speed on this new chip?

    -How far away are we from 64-bit Operating Systems for home PCs

    -Is the computer mentioned above one amazing computer or no?
     
  2. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    This processor will absolutely CRUSH anything that is currently out there under two conditions:

    1. You must be using a 64-bit operating system

    2. The application must be compiled for 64-bit processing

    I understand that this processor is still very stable with its 32-bit backwards compatibility, but unless you're running a server, you're going to be wasting money. This processor for the time being is only going to be a benefit to the enterprise server sector. The home sector is inevitable, but until there are a large amount of home applications/games that are compiled for 64-bit processing, save your money.
     
  3. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    You make sort of a good point John; however, the Athlon 64 will generally still beat the P4 in most tests instead of necessarily crushing it. In fact, no practical benchmarks of its 64 bit vs 32 bit performance have been seen yet, as 64 bit xp still isn't out yet.

    Your point that it's probably not worth the money right now stands, though.

    To answer Chuck's questions-

    1) Been well covered.

    2) The chip doesn't have an external bus. It runs with 400mhz ddr memory for the time being. The on-die memory controller is one of the main reasons the chip is faster than the athlon xp right now since we're still using 32 bit software.

    3) Well, it's hard to say since Microsoft has pushed back 64 bit xp at least once (it was supposed to be out by now). Hopefully we'll see it soon.

    4) No. It has the terrible Nforce 3 chipset. And if you're going to put down the money for that processor, why not get a better video card? And it doesn't have a nic. And no serial ATA. I will never buy a home computer without serial ATA again.
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  5. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  6. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Anandtech has a very good writeup on the Athlon 64, and within that article are many links to previous articles about it.
     
  7. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    There already is 64 bit linux, but I doubt Chuck is going to be using it, which is why I mentioned XP.

    I agree with you that obviously programs compiled for 64 bit operation running on an o/s which is 64 bit will significantly outperform the same running in 32 bits on an Athlon 64, but I also contend that it will run faster due to other improvements in the chip design, as well as what will hopefully be a higher clock speed. However, the increase in perfomance is probably not worth the increase in price, unless you just really want it.

    That's what I was trying to say.

     
  8. DeepakJR

    DeepakJR Second Unit

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  9. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Interesting test at Tom's Hardware; thanks for the link. Doesn't seem to point toward the Athlon t4 being quite all it's cracked up to be. Highly confusing situation....
     
  10. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Thing is they've released three different 64bit Athlons - the Athlon 64, the FX51 and the Opteron. Not sure what the real differences are but there's an enormous jump in price for the FX51 chip.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    FX53 (the FX51 is gone) has a larger onchip cache and is an features all Opteron features. A64 is trimmed down cache from an Opteron. Opteron will work in Multiprocessor (2,4,8) Others won't.

    One other thing of note: the Athlon 64s/FX51 chips are almost 30% cooler then Prescott CPUs, which put out heat like an oven.
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    So basically the FX is the real deal while the cheaper versions are effectively the 'Durons' of the 64 bit range.
     
  13. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I think a better comparison would be to say that the FX is the "Itanium" and the cheaper versions are the "P4's", but I may be mistaken.
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    So what's the thinking? Should the next computer purchase (probably within the next few months) be 64 bit? Or just wait that out and go with a P4? I tend to keep my computers a long time (running a Pentium 133 right now), so some future-proofing is tempting.
     
  15. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    From the limited knowledge I've picked up on this, I personally wouldn't bother with a 64 system unless I was going the whole hogg - and that means a LOT of money. It's not just the cost of the chips, but the motherboards are more expensive and memory too (think they - at least the higher chips - need matched ECC ram). I don't see the point in doing it piecemeal just to 'have' a 64bit processor.
     
  16. DeepakJR

    DeepakJR Second Unit

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    Wait a few months for the new 939-pin chips. AMD is putting both regular 64's and FX's. Currently with the 754 pin Athlon 64's you can only run RAM in single channel. The new 939 pin motherboard chipsets will support dual channel ram. I currently have an Athlon 64 3200+ runing on a MSI motherboard with a Via chipset and couldnt be happier. The new 939 pin chips apparently will only have 512K of L2 cache, but apparently AMD is claiming that it does not make a big difference between the 1 MB available on mine. Wait and see how the the new chips and chipsets perform against the P4's. Personally I have come to dislike Intel and AMD seens to make the best processors for gaming.

    L8rz,
    Deepak Jr.
     
  17. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You should be able to get an Athlon 64 system as cheap as or cheaper than a P4 3200 still. Performancewise either will do quite nicely, and the difference between them is minor.

    Basically, it's just a question of what you prefer. The FX line is prohibitively pricey for the moment, so those are out for most of us.

    The key is to not skimp on the other components. 1GB of memory, a fast Serial ATA drive (or two) and a really good graphics card should all be in a new performance PC these days.

    Most motherboards for this class of CPU also want RAM added in pairs, to maximize memory throughput.

    I just ordered a new computer and went with a P4, but I did do comparisons with the Athlon 64 line; in the end, the reason I went with the P4 was that the motherboard had a built-in gigabit network interface and a few other connectors that were useful over the Athlon motherboard, so P4 it is.
     

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