I'm coming back to the world of desktops
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  1. #1
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    Question I'm coming back to the world of desktops

    After having a latop for over 18 months, I have become distanced from the world of overclocking. I now know relatively nothing! What are thoroughbread and Barton cores? What is Northwood?

    I've just quit university and I'm selling my laptop (see signature) so that I can build my own desktop. Where the hell do I start?

    Last time I built a system it was my PII 400 with a stomping 512mb RAM.

    All these types of ram! PC2700?!?!?! It used to be either PC66 PC100 or if u were really fast PC133!

    I was the only person in my street to hav a Geforce2 GTS when they came out. AGP8x?

    What's with these XP CPU's from AMD? Why is the 2700xp NOT 2700MHZ?

    Someone please help me. I'm honestly not a newbie, I've just been away from "the scene" for too long due to owning a totally unupgradeable laptop and failing a German BA course

    I'm going to have around 700-800 pounds to spend purely on the barebones. Dont need monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, scanner etc, which is why i'm not going to PC World!

    help me please
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  2. #2
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    i'm afraid that for most stuff you asked i'm little help, i've not bought any new hardware for over 2 years and so i've not kept fully up to date.

    as far as i know the ddr speed formats run as 'the higher the better' and are a representation of the bus speed and multiplier or something.

    the athlon xp chips use a 'quantispeed' reference [2400, 2600 etc] which are used as an equivalent to the pentium speeds so that the athlon doesn't seem too far behind. in general their performance is very good for what appears to be a lower clock speed.

    7-800 quid should get a pretty reasonable desktop rig, especially if you've already got a screen and other stuff.
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  3. #3
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    Barton is a Tbred core with 512k of cache. The Tbred-B (second version of Tbred) cores are great overclockers.

    Northwood is the latest core for the P4.

    I don't remember what Quantispeed is, but it's not what you think. The numbers (ie 2400+, etc) are called performance ratings. Generally they're pretty close to Intel's offerings (2400+ ~= 2.4GHz P4), but there's some disagreement over the 3000+ Barton compared to the 3.06GHz P4.
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  4. #4
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    Ok, I had a lot written for ya, and lost it. I'm too lazy to write it again, so it won't be much.

    PC2100 = 266mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC2700 = 333mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC3200 = 400mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC3500 = 433mhz DDR SDRAM

    AMD

    Look into a Via KT400a or an Nvidia Nforce2 based motherboard (everyone will say go for the Nforce2)

    So Abit, Epox, and Soltek Nforce2 boards would be the OCing boards to look into.

    Keep in mind that Nforce2 based mobos are very picky about RAM (and not just in a buy Micron or Crucial and you'll be fine way), so do some research into this if you are going the AMD/nforce2 route. Maybe this has been resolved with bios updates, or in boards with the new nforce2 stepping, but I'm not sure on that.

    Also, the Nforce2 can support dual channel DDR so you want to run two sticks of ram so you can take advantage of that.

    AMD cpus are now PR rated, and that is what the model numbers represent. Allegedly they are rated against the original Tbird core Athlon, although AMD never intended for us to compare it to the tbird, so in theory it's a PR rating comparing it to the old Tbird, but in reality it's a PR rating comparing it to the P4 northwood. Ironically, their PR rating would probably seem more illigitmate than it is if we considered what its really supposed to be compared with. Anyway, the lower speed grades are fairly conservatively rated with respect to the P4, however, the higher you go, the more out of line it becomes. At the top, its not quite accurate, and it gets even worse on Barton cored Athlons.

    It's not that bad in truth, but is not exactly equal either.

    Your best bet for ocing with an AMD would be a Tbred rather than the Barton. The Barton isn't a really good OCer from what I've read (no actual experience with it though). The 1700+ and 2100+ Tbreds have been excellent OCers though, many OC to the performance of a 2700+ or higher. And, for $50, the 1700+ is a hell of a deal.

    The lower model numbered Tbreds use a 266mhz FSB, but the Barton, and higher model number Tbreds use a 333mhz FSB, and a 400mhz Barton should be out pretty soon.


    Intel

    Now if you wanna go with Intel, you'll have to wait for more response. It's more expensive of course, and I'm cheap, so I don't follow it the Intel route too closely.

    You might wanna check out the new 800mhz FSB northwoods though, especially the 3ghz with hyperthreading. I don't think its worth it myself, but if you aren't in a hurry, buy summer it could be more reasonable (not much I expect).

    Also, you might wanna jump ship on Nvidia and look at ATI for the video card this time

    Good luck
    Last edited by RD_151; April 29th, 2003 at 04:52 PM.

  5. #5
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Originally posted by RD_151
    Ok, I had a lot written for ya, and lost it. I'm too lazy to write it again, so it won't be much.

    PC2100 = 266mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC2700 = 333mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC3200 = 400mhz DDR SDRAM
    PC3500 = 433mhz DDR SDRAM

    AMD

    Look into a Via KT400a or an Nvidia Nforce2 based motherboard (everyone will say go for the Nforce2)

    So Abit, Epox, and Soltek Nforce2 boards would be the OCing boards to look into.

    Keep in mind that Nforce2 based mobos are very picky about RAM (and not just in a buy Micron or Crucial and you'll be fine way), so do some research into this if you are going the AMD/nforce2 route. Maybe this has been resolved with bios updates, or in boards with the new nforce2 stepping, but I'm not sure on that.

    Also, the Nforce2 can support dual channel DDR so you want to run two sticks of ram so you can take advantage of that.

    AMD cpus are now PR rated, and that is what the model numbers represent. Allegedly they are rated against the original Tbird core Athlon, although AMD never intended for us to compare it to the tbird, so in theory it's a PR rating comparing it to the old Tbird, but in reality it's a PR rating comparing it to the P4 northwood. Ironically, their PR rating would probably seem more illigitmate than it is if we considered what its really supposed to be compared with. Anyway, the lower speed grades are fairly conservatively rated with respect to the P4, however, the higher you go, the more out of line it becomes. At the top, its not quite accurate, and it gets even worse on Barton cored Athlons.

    It's not that bad in truth, but is not exactly equal either.

    Your best bet for ocing with an AMD would be a Tbred rather than the Barton. The Barton isn't a really good OCer from what I've read (no actual experience with it though). The 1700+ and 2100+ Tbreds have been excellent OCers though, many OC to the performance of a 2700+ or higher. And, for $50, the 1700+ is a hell of a deal.

    The lower model numbered Tbreds use a 266mhz FSB, but the Barton, and higher model number Tbreds use a 333mhz FSB, and a 400mhz Barton should be out pretty soon.


    Intel

    Now if you wanna go with Intel, you'll have to wait for more response. It's more expensive of course, and I'm cheap, so I don't follow it the Intel route too closely.

    You might wanna check out the new 800mhz FSB northwoods though, especially the 3ghz with hyperthreading. I don't think its worth it myself, but if you aren't in a hurry, buy summer it could be more reasonable (not much I expect).

    Also, you might wanna jump ship on Nvidia and look at ATI for the video card this time

    Good luck
    I recently priced out a DCDDR PIV 2400MHz system and a DCDDR 2400+ AMD system and the Intel platform was about $60 more. When you are spending $700 or more on you desktop I think it more comes down to preference. The price gap between AMD and Intel solutions is closing more and more every day. If you want a platform that you can upgrade in say a year then the intel would be the one to go with. Socket A is at its EOL.

    AMD does have intel beat in the chump change $100 mobo/cpu combo though.

  6. #6
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    chump change? man i need a new job.....

  7. #7
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    The gap is narrower when comparing say a 2.4 to a 2.4 or a 2.6 to a 2.6, but when you compare a 1700+ to a 2700mhz P4 you start to notice a difference. And considering the $50 Athlon is OCing to get similar performance to the price isn't so close. However, things are changing, thats for sure. Intel is becoming much more attractive than it has been in the recent past. As for as Socket A going a way, well, maybe. AMD is hopeful that it is, but who really knows when the will have a viable replacement for the K7. It could be another 6 months, it could be another 18. There is a reason they are trying to extend the life of the K7, and I'm sure its not cuz K8 will be 'on time' or early.


    It comes down to preferences indeed, and what you are gonna do with it. I was considering a p4 myself for a while. If the price was right, I'd probably consider going that route as well. But currently, I think its a little too much for me. Nforce2 boards don't seem like chump change to me yet either. Maybe the KT333 boards, but not the Nforce2s. I guess I need a better job too. Ok, I'm sure I do Damn recession
    Last edited by RD_151; April 29th, 2003 at 11:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    From the way it sounds in your post man, you want to Overclock. Well I'm American so I have no idea what 700-800 pounds = in U.S. currency but I would go with the P4 if you want to spend the cash. Yeah AMD is good and they OC good, but if you have the extra cash and want to spend the 700-800 pounds then get the P4.

    And if you get the 3.06GHz you can still Overclock it to 3.5-3.6 or even 3.7GHz. But this would require great cooling.

    Speaking of Cooling you obviously will need it so we might as well cover that.
    I'd go with the SLK-800, and a nice quiet running 80mm fan.
    Make sure you get the one that goes with your system, they make it for both Pentium and AMD.

    The case is going to depend on what MoBo you get, make sure the case will fit the MoBo you buy.

    I would not skimp on memory either, buy the good stuff you'll be happier. like they said make sure it works with the MoBo.

    I would also pick the CPU Core you want then buy the MoBo, then you know what you need to buy to make everything fit.

    I guess that's all I have except if you need a CD-Rom, might as well spend like $90 on a CD-RW that also play's DVD's.

    Hope this helps man.
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  9. #9
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    Originally posted by ol' man


    I recently priced out a DCDDR PIV 2400MHz system and a DCDDR 2400+ AMD system and the Intel platform was about $60 more. When you are spending $700 or more on you desktop I think it more comes down to preference. The price gap between AMD and Intel solutions is closing more and more every day. If you want a platform that you can upgrade in say a year then the intel would be the one to go with. Socket A is at its EOL.

    AMD does have intel beat in the chump change $100 mobo/cpu combo though.
    Is socket A really at it's EOL? Haven't we heard that before? Didn't AMD say they expect to be selling Socket A chips for much of the next year, and in large quantities no less?

    And how often does Intel change it's socket? How can we expect to be able to forecast future upgrades very far when it changes so often?
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  10. #10
    ol' man is offline workin fingas to the bone
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    Originally posted by wetling


    Is socket A really at it's EOL? Haven't we heard that before? Didn't AMD say they expect to be selling Socket A chips for much of the next year, and in large quantities no less?

    And how often does Intel change it's socket? How can we expect to be able to forecast future upgrades very far when it changes so often?
    O yeah I forgot you can slip a K8 into sock A. I also just heard they plan on making .09u bartons on soi with 1mb of cache.

    Yeah right

    Coming back to reality..............

    Sock A is pretty much dead. There may be one or two more speed bumps but I doubt it. I think 3000+ for barton will about be it as also the 2800+ tbred. We may see 200fsb Bartons and tbreds but what will they have to really offer in headroom over current offerings?

  11. #11
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    I'm glad you have so much faith in AMD ol'man. I'm really glad to see it. Who'd of though you of all people would expect the K8 to make it in a reasonble time frame. I'm really glad to see all that optimism

    Who knows with these things though. I could be around a lot longer, or maybe the 3200 is the end of the line. It all really depends. None of us are really in a position to say for certain one way or another. Maybe socket A will stick around to fill the Duron gap and compete with Celeron. Furthermore, I'd be surprised if Prescott doesn't require a new socket though as well.

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