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Thread: Opinion wanted from A64 X2 owners

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Opinion wanted from A64 X2 owners

    Am almost ready to buy a whole new machine (for a friend) for the purpose of 'general internet, office use with some games (Sims 2) and media playing (mostly music)'.
    Will be getting (briefly) an Athlon64, 1GB Corsair RAM, Geforce 6600, Samsung 250GB hard drive, NOT o/c'd.
    Am only thinking that this machine will almost certainly not be upgraded over the next 3 - 4 years and has to still be good / useable at that point.

    From experience (as opposed to review websites graphs & charts), is there a tangeable benefit in going with an X2 3800+, or will a single core 3700+ suffice? The X2 will add approx £90 to a system that overall costs currently around £1200. (It's costing so much not due to core components but quality peripherals that are less likely to devalue so quickly).

    Cheers in advance.
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    For most applications today you are not going to notice much difference between single and dual core processing, unless you are running numerous applications all at once. The dual core stuff is still a bit ahead of its time since most programs still aren't made to take advantage of the technology - even games. This is, of course, going to change within the 3 to 4 year timeline you gave.

    In short, I think it worth it to drop another 90 quid on an X2 if you want the computer slightly more future-proof.

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    it isnt even worth the money for a 3700 imo, a 3500 and a 6800GT would be a far better combo imo.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    But there's only around £12 difference from a 3500+ to a 3700+ (same speed, double the L2 cache - SURELY worth it!). That money wont do much for the graphics card. And games are only occasional, Sims hardly requires 100 FPS!
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    Senior Member kasavien's Avatar
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    I would agree with ilikeoatmeal, an X2 at the moment isn't really necessary, but it will future proof the machine more. The way things are looking, cpu's will start to have 2 or more cores as standard in the next year or so, and as a result more and more applications will start to take advantage of this.

    Hope this helps

    Andy

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    Treasure Hunter extraordinaire herulach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSIC
    But there's only around £12 difference from a 3500+ to a 3700+ (same speed, double the L2 cache - SURELY worth it!). That money wont do much for the graphics card. And games are only occasional, Sims hardly requires 100 FPS!
    My apoligies, in head prices need updating obviously.

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    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    Depends what u do really. X2 is SUPER great when u run engineering softwares or scientific applications. I experienced at least 40 to 80% improvements in computational time depending on software. Best results are when ur running loop multi dimensional simulation.
    Me want Ultrabook


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    not posting kempez's Avatar
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    I'm a normal user I would say. I use many more programs at the same time now though, then when I did when I had a single core. Gaming is still excellent, but running over 6 big apps at one time is very smooth and I will never have a single core again!
    Check my project <<| Black3D |>>
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    Games are developed by teams of talented people and sometimes electronic arts

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    Hi MSIC,

    I'm in a similar situation in that I'm about to build a new system.

    I started off thinking about an X2, but there are several things that have put me off.
    The price is quite steep (£230 for 3800 from scan) and I'd say not worth it unless you're certain that your going to get the benefit. I've also heard of people having problems with some games. Basically you have to asign the game to one core only, before it will work properly. That may not be a problem for an enthusiast but I doubt your friend would thank you

    The Athlon64 3700 "San Diego" is a really nice chip and "only" £155 (scan). It has the same 90nm core as the FX57 and they're ~£750.

    The only thing that has made me stop and think is the article in this months CustomPC about Opterons. The 144 again has the same core as the FX57, can be overclocked to 2700-3000MHz (depending on how lucky you are) and is only £110.

    I'm probably going to choose an Opteron (for myself), but if I was building for someone else, who was only going to use it for surfing, office and a bit of gaming, I've go for cheap, cheerful and mainstream. That has to be an Athlon64 and the 3700 is the one with the best performance before the prices get silly.

    If you think your friend really might need the extra power (of an X2) I'd advise you/them to wait a while. Who knows, in a few years the FX57 will probably be £150 and the 4400/4600 X2s certainly will be

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    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    U will need to ask ur fren wat sort of software he uses. Is his rig ONLY for normal stuff? Does he encode DVDs? Will he need to work with several high CPU processes in one go?

    If u're familiar with the habit of multitasking, you'll appreciate what the X2 offers you. If you game, how many times have Norton or Diskeeper suddenly begin to do its work while you're playing chase in CS:S?

    If ur fren's going to be running complex VB, AutoCAD, SolidWorks and Mathematica then he'll feel the improvement immediately.. really.
    Me want Ultrabook


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    Banned Smokey21's Avatar
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    3-4years. X2 no doubt.

  12. #12
    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    If this guy is just a general user I'd think even a 3700+ is a bit too much. Go for a 3200+ or something similar, hell, people around here are happliy using Socket A setups for more than general uses. I'd save the money and get a large monitor or something that's useful to him.

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    Banned StormPC's Avatar
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    If overlocking and gaming is your thing then the 3700+ will destroy even a 4800+. If you are not a gamer or overclocker (when I say overclocker, I don't mean a person who merely goes into the BIOS and adds a couple hundred MHz to his otherwise stock CPU) then you definitely want an X2, just in case you ever want to run multiple CPU intensive applications.

    I'd like to clear up a myth though, so please pay attention you gaming lot:

    A dual-core CPU is no more smooth than a single-core if the CPU utilization reaches 100%. Also, you can run 1000 applications on a single-core and it will multitask as smooth as a dual-core as long as all of the programs demands do not exceed 100% of the CPU time.

    The true power of a dual-core is almost always wasted on gamers. Only programs written to take advantage of multiple cores will truly tap the dual-core's power.

    Games are almost all videocard these days and that will not likely change. Gamers are better off spending their money on dual GPUs rather than dual CPUs, don't you think?
    Last edited by StormPC; 07-01-2006 at 02:25 AM.

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    NightshadowUK's suggestion to save the money and buy a bigger/better monitor, is excellent advice. Get you're friend a 19in TFT and they'll be far more impressed than with some techie explanation about dual processor thingumies

    StormPC is also spot on. For gaming the graphics card is much more important than the cpu. There are plenty of games where switching from a 3700 64 to a 3800 X2 will make no difference. It'll certainly make no difference for "internet, office and music". I do all those things on my old 1GHz Athlon with no trouble.

    £1200 is quite a lot for an ordinary PC these days (my parents recently bought a Dell for £350), so getting him a system for "only" £1100 might please him.

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    I'm getting them (it'll be a family PC) a Dell 2005FPW, same as me. Best monitor ever - apart from the 24" version. And now the 30" version (i'm not jealous...).
    Also Logitech 3000 Mouse & Keyboard, Akasa PSU & Antec P180 case, with JBL speakers. The peripherals are already taken care of, this thing will look 'wow'. I know, because that's my computer's exterior.
    And they already have an Athlon 1.3 Ghz with 256MB ram, it works, and I have already suggested them upgrading current PC, they want a new one. Full stop. I'm not going to talk them out of it.
    So the only issue at hand is the CPU, X2 or not. There doesnt seem to be an easy concensus, but people actually with X2's in their 'My System' are all saying get one. I think I just might do...
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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    Senior Member sawyen's Avatar
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    If you're not using or at least not GOING to use the horsepower, then dun spend &#163;230 on an X2 and just settle for a solo instead. But if the family's a heavy user, X2 couldnt be a better choice.
    Me want Ultrabook


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