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Thread: Extra cache worth it?

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    Extra cache worth it?

    Hi!
    Im a couple of months out from picking a new CPU for my patiently waiting MSI K8N Diamond. I will get a 7900GT (or maybe GTX) and that will finish my upgrade strategy v.nicely. This will last me until atleast the middle of 2007 when I will move to AM2, DDR2 and a 2nd (or better) gen DX10 card setup. My question is: What CPU to get for now? My usage requirements:

    I play Counter Strike Source alot; and thats about it. Stalker is a long way off and I will probably be on my new rig when it finally shows up. Relevant fact: My 17" Iiyama TFT is capped at 1280*1024 native resolution; so I wont be going beyond this. I very occasionally fire up an old version of Cinema 4D and have a play around. Its version 5 (old) and so definetly doesnt natively support dual core CPU's.

    This leads me to, which of these CPU's should I get?

    - A64 X2 3800+ 512K Cache
    - A64 X2 4400+ 1MB Cache

    Will the extra cache help me enough to justify the extra cost? There's not alot of difference in the clock speeds, and a bit of light OCing could remedy that anyway if there were. If I can save almost £140+ (based on todays prices however); I will take it.


    N.B. Ive essentially ruled out Dual Core Opterons due to their availability and the fact I would rather not OC too heavily (as I want to keep my PC as quiet as poss).
    Thanks in advance!

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    More cache is faster, but to what extent depends on the app a lot. I don't know off-hand how much CS:S benefits from more caching, could be a lot, could be almost nothing.
    If you have the cash, get the higher specced chip, it certainly won't hurt. If you'd rather not spend it though, don't, you'll probably not miss it.

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    In terms of VALUE, it is certainly not worth it. You are looking to spend 50% more (and we are not talking £40 vs £60 here). I am pretty sure that you are not looking at more than 10% performance in practice though (and that's really at most).

    Edit: I googled a pretty random comparison here: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...item=219&num=2
    It's not a well known site, but the result falls more or less within my expectations (doubling the cache historically increases performance by 10% in very good situations, and rarely ever more than 20%). For gaming, the GFX card still does most of the work, even at 1280*1024. So again, if you can justify 50% premium for 10% performance, then go for it... otherwise, you won't miss it much.
    Last edited by TooNice; 28-02-2006 at 03:50 AM.

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    Yeah dude! NightshadowUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumFX
    This leads me to, which of these CPU's should I get?

    - A64 X2 3800+ 512K Cache
    - A64 X2 4400+ 1MB Cache
    I've been wondering the exact same as I plan to go dual after July when AM2 comes onto the scene. I'm kinda hoping the 4400+ will take a price drop as I know the larger cache doesn't do much, but it's something you can't gain after purchase. You can overclock all you like, but you're stuck with the same cache (which is what I had in mind when I bought my 3700+ SA).
    Last edited by NightshadowUK; 28-02-2006 at 10:05 AM.

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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightshadowUK
    I've been wondering the exact same as I plan to go dual after July when AM2 comes onto the scene. I'm kinda hoping the 4400+ will take a price drop as I know the larger cache doesn't do much, but it's something you can't gain after purchase. You can overclock all you like, but you're stuck with the same cache (which is what I had in mind when I bought my 3700+ SA).
    That's what I thought when I bought my SD 3700+.
    Unfortunately, I hardly noticed any increase whatsoever as opposed to a Venice 3500+.
    I've since got the 4200+ and am extremely happy with it - oodles faster than the 3700+.

    I don't know whether you've already got a CPU cooler lined up, due to your thoughts on silent computing, but it might be worth ringing up your retailer to ask which type of cooler is coming with the Retail CPUs. I think that all the Dual Cores should soon be coming with the new heatpipe-based stock cooler, but at the moment, it's a bit hit and miss....that could sway it for some I suppose.

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatalSaviour
    Unfortunately, I hardly noticed any increase whatsoever as opposed to a Venice 3500+.
    I found the opposite. I used an old socket 754 3200+ at work (2.0GHz, 1MB cache clawhammer) and bought a S939 3000+ venice at home. For games the home rig is fine, but for work (compiling code) I had to overclock the venice to 2.4GHz just to match the performance of the 3200.

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    I will tell you that using Sisoft sandra, I have a friend who has overclocked his 3800 - X2 and has come out with better resutls than a standard top of the line X2. The other thing you could ask, is if you get a decent clocking 4400+, you might be able to hit FX-60 speeds, which would save you a crap load of money from an FX60.
    Personally I would go for the 3800, especially if you reckon it's going to be gone in a year for an AM2 rig.
    Also for GFX, I have run my 19" CRT (before it died) at 1280 x 1024 full everything on CS, and it didn't dip below 50FPS even on cs_militia. This is using a XFX 6800GS, if there are any left by the time you can afford the upgrade, go with a 7800GTX, that will be fine for you!

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    why not get an opteron dual core 165 or 170 larger chace than the 3800 but a similar price

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    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumFX
    N.B. Ive essentially ruled out Dual Core Opterons due to their availability and the fact I would rather not OC too heavily (as I want to keep my PC as quiet as poss).
    Thanks in advance!
    Quote Originally Posted by user1453
    why not get an opteron dual core 165 or 170 larger chace than the 3800 but a similar price
    I have just got myself an Opteron (a 146, but the 165's have good reports and are dual core) and can tell you that you can both overclock it really easily AND keep quiet - you dont need to up the voltage at all to get a great overclock : mine remains at the stock 1.4v, i have it up to 2.56 Ghz (so far, still pushing a bit at a time & all stable so far), and using the Arctic Freezer 64 Pro. Admittedly I have a great case (Antec P180) for quietness, but you can certainly have your cake and eat it with Opterons.

    That said, you can with any Athlon 64, but just keep your options open!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatinumFX
    N.B. Ive essentially ruled out Dual Core Opterons due to their availability and the fact I would rather not OC too heavily (as I want to keep my PC as quiet as poss).
    Thanks in advance!
    ^

    Meh, slightly late with my post

  11. #11
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice
    ^

    Meh, slightly late with my post
    I'm commenting on an internet forum. Your facts hold no sway over me.
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