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AMD Athlon 64 processor

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by beast, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    8,965
    Lewisville, TX
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    Rob Guess
    Any one have a PC powered by an AMD Athlon 64 processor? I was just wondering if the speeds are really worth upgrading to one from a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 processor computer? I think my computer is starting to scream mercy from all of my Engineering modeling projects.
     
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  3. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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    Dec 7, 2003
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    J3L2404
    I have built a few for friends, and they are OK...nice floating point performance, but not so much better than a P4 3 GHz to warrant upgrading.

    The main issue I have with them is the supporting chipsets from VIA and Nvidia are junk.

    If you want real horsepower for serious applications, grab a dual XEON system with a decent amount of RAM.

    Just make sure both your OS and your applications support multithreading before you jump to SMP power.
     
  4. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
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    Lewisville, TX
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    Rob Guess

    I have an OS that can handle SMP but unfortunatly the software that i use does not support it so it will be a waste of time.

    What is the max amount of memory does the AMD 64 boards suport right now as 2 GB is not enough.
     
  5. Korr

    Korr F1 World Champ
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  7. Wickeddeus

    Wickeddeus Karting

    Nov 12, 2003
    63
    At this point the chipset is the limiting factor. The CPU doesn't have the 3GB or 8GB limit hence the move to 64-bit. 32-bit memory limit was 4GB of ram. There is really no point in upgrading until there is more 64-bit software support. If the software can't use the extra 64-bit coding then the upgrade in speed is nil.
     
  8. CCarlisi

    CCarlisi Karting

    Nov 4, 2003
    174
    Manhattan
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    Christian
    I have a 64-bit AMD 3200. I upgraded from a 1.4 AMD (which is comparable to 1.8 Intel cpus). Both machines used 512ddr, an ATI 9700pro video card, and the same sound card. I do a lot of gaming and did notice a difference, but it was not night and day. It's most apparent when playing the DOOM III demo; with the 1.4 it would start skipping around when multiple enemies were moving, whereas with the 3200 the frame rate drops to around 10fps, but it keeps going without completely grinding to a halt.

    I also have a 3 gig Intel with 512ddr and a generic dell video card. I run Office XP and Photoshop off both the AMD 64 and the Intel machine. The load time for these aps is shorter with the AMD, but not enough to justify upgrading.

    If you 'need' to buy a CPU today the AMD is worth considering based on its bang for the buck performance running 32-bit aps when compared to Intel products. The fact that it's a 64-bit cpu is not a significant benefit today, but will be useful down the road.
     
  9. mlambert890

    mlambert890 Formula Junior

    Apr 2, 2002
    389
    CA
    The AMD64 parts have double the L2 cache of the Barton parts. You really don't pay much of a price premium on the AMD64, yet you get performance boost over the Barton. If you're goal is to build an AMD system today, I see it as a no brainer.

    I would also disagree that the VIA and NVidia chipsets are bad. They are not fully mature in terms of *AMD64* chipsets, but they compare quite well against Barton chipsets and, again, overall system performance on an AMD64 system will be a cut above the best Barton systems. Even the NVidia 150 which is a partial implementation of Hypertransport posts excellent numbers with an AMD64 3200+.

    The 3.2Ghz P4s *are* generally quicker, but they are also more money.

    If you are looking for an SMP system, you could look towards the Opteron solution, as an alternative to the Intel platform if you're curious or you could look to the Athlon MP for a cost effective solution. From the Intel camp, it's really hard to justify a Xeon system for personal use since the motherboards are so expensive. You can save some money by shoving regular P4s in there, but its still a pretty hefty premium.

    32bit addressing maxes out at 4GB (as stated), and 64bit addressing obviously maxes out at 16 exabytes which is ridiculous and basically removes the address lines as a bottle neck. The chipset, however, is a key piece of being able to utilize the maximum addressable RAM. An example of how important the chipset is is that Intel actually implemented a stop gap extension to the 32bit address line limit in their high end chipsets called PAE. PAE extends the address space to 36bit or 64GB and is utilized by high end applications like SQL Server.

    Right now, you can get the Windows 2003 server beta, the Windows XP server beta and several Linux distros in 64 bit, but driver support is incomplete and software support is nonexistant; basically, it's there for developers at this point.

    My advice would be if you're going for an AMD, go for the AMD64 part, but don't pay attention to the fact that its 64bit.
     
  10. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
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    Lewisville, TX
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    Rob Guess
    Thanks guys for all of your input. Maybe i will just look on Ebay and see if anyone is selling an old Cray supercomputer :D

    I know that Intel makes an Itanium and Itanium 2 processor that is a full blown 64 bit but it will not run Pentium bassed applications. I guess if worse comes to worse i will just have to run my solutions at a lower resolution in order to keep it from using up all of the RAM and VM. The Software itself only requires about 65% of the CPU's processing ability it just eats up tons and tons of ram.

    Rob
     
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