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Thread: Advice on Conroe And Core 2 Duo

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    Advice on Conroe And Core 2 Duo

    Hello, I'm sure alot of people are in the same boat as me now. I currently have a 3800+ Venice and am thinking of upgrading.

    I know that Conroe is the way to go, but with all the RAM and motherboards it confuses me.

    I have a budget of AROUND £350 for a motherboard, RAM and CPU. I really want 2GB of RAM.
    I may overclock even though I have never done so before.

    Are the price set to come down at all over the next 2 months as I am in no great hurry.

    My specs are:

    3800+ Venice
    Abit AN8 Ultra
    2GB PC3200
    Audigy 4
    7900GTX 512mb
    360GB Samsung Spinpoints


    Think that's it, but i think I am going to downgrade my 7900GTX to a 6800GT-7900GT Or something, if anyone wants a GTX it is £250. Or a part exchange would be nice.

    Anyway, any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

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    Is there something wrong with your current computer or do you just want to upgrade?

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    • Hidden Hippo's system
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    Which Core 2 Duo are you looking at? I think an E6300 is around £150 now that the price has come down a little, the motherboard will probably be around £70 for a pretty decent one which leaves about £130 for the RAM. For that you could get some pretty reasonable G. Skill, Geil or Corsair RAM. The stuff in my sig (RAM that is) cost me £125 from Overclockers.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    What are you using your computer for? If you're gaming then the thing to upgrade is the gfx card, not the CPU. But you want to downgrade that?

    If you are running simulations or otherthings that require a lot of processing power then maybe the switch you suggest is fine. I have a 6800GT PCI-E card I could do with upgrading

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    Hello, I don't really do much gaming or anything that needs much power but Conroe sounds pretty good so I thought I might aswell. I maybe play Battlefield 2 once a month or so. I have a 20" Dell and so I need an ok PC to play it.

    I think I want to downgrade the graphics card as I don't really need the power and want to get rid of it ASAP so I don't lose value on the PC by so much.

    Above really does sound like bollocks as they contradict each other but hell why not.

    If you are overclocking then will the 6400 be better than the 6300? The 6300 is now only £120 isn't it? Hell, I may aswell get the 6600, is it that much better than the rest?

    Also, will PC5400 be that much worse than PC6400?

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    PC6400 isn't much faster especially as the cheaper stuff doesn't have such good timings.

    Both seem to be good buys, though you can get the e6300 oem so you can get a better than stock HSF and overclock nicely. If you can spare the extra £30 or so it's worth it maybe, better than spending it on RAM anyway.

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    awm
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    Sounds like you don't have any real reason to upgrade. With the cost of a new MB/RAM/CPU you might be better off waiting another year. The downgrade makes sense though if you're not using the graphics card much.

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    Alex - Your PM box is full, if you can delete some messages then I will reply to your questions

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    Hi, I may buy a 6600 on another forum with 1GB of RAM, this is what he said:

    "ram is ddr5300 and IMO gives a better than mild overclock [from 2.4 to 3.5], normal memory speed of a stock Conroe is 533 [doubled 266] and this ram will run as high as 420 with a voltage boost and loose timings, so you will max out on the chip long before the memory with this particular combo"

    "to get 3.5 gig on the cpu, the ram runs 390 fsb, with my 6300 I can run 420 fsb with the memory at 1:1 ratio, so if running the 6600, the cpu will be the limiting factor not the memory."


    The memory is 2 x 1 gig sticks corsair value select ddr2-667 which does 420 with loose timings.


    Please can anyone translate?

    Will this be a good deal, and use the Conroe to it's full ability even with slower RAM? What kind of performance will I lose from having the full speed PC6400?

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    If it does what he says, then it isn't bad.

    I am a little weary as to wether it will do it though......

    Saw the thread on AVF myself
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    In basic (and therefore slightly inaccurate terms), the conroe effectively talks to the rest of the system at a speed of 266mhz. If you have memory that is running at 266mhz then it runs synchronously with the CPU, or at a 1:1. If you have memory that runs at a different speed then you have to run them asynchronously, using what's called a divider.

    It used to be the case that running on a divider wasn't as fast as running 1:1, but the memory optimisations present on modern CPUs (or the memory controller in the case of AMD chips) has made that largely a non-issue. Note that memory speeds are quoted at DDR(2), which is actually double the real speed, so 266mhz chips are given a number of 533DDR2.

    The actual speed of a CPU is obviously larger than just the speed at which it talks to the rest of the system, so they actually use a multiplier (like 10x) to get the real CPU speed. The most obvious way of increasing a CPU's speed is to increase this multiplier, however the CPU manufacturers realised this (it's how they increase their speeds for different models of chips) and started locking the multiplier except for the 'extreme' or 'fx' series of chips. Becuase of that, the only way you can increase CPU speed now is to increase the speed that the CPU talks to the rest of the system - in Intels case this is the fsb figure (for front side bus).

    When you increase the fsb, everything else has to be able to work at that higher speed as well - you are basically overclocking everything, not just the CPU (though the effect on the CPU is more pronounced, because of the multiplier). Most motherboards therefore also include speed locks on things like the PCI-bus to prevent you overclocking things you don't want to. Memory also gets overclocked, and while you might be able to run memory rated as 533 at a higher rating, someone has already gone to the trouble of creating memory that is capable of that. So in the case of 667 ram you can run a fsb of 333mhz and the memory will be guarenteed to work fine with it. Your chap is saying that his ram works up to 420fsb, or DDR2 840. However he's lowering the timings to do so.

    But remember we mentioned synchronous etc.? You can always run a divider, so that you run the RAM at a different speed to the fsb.

    So ultimately, yes - you will get the full potential of the CPU just fine with slower ram, just make sure you get 533DDR2.

    I've not even mentioned timings, but sufficient to say that timings can make about as much difference as different speeds when it comes to ram, so it can be that running slower ram on a divider at tight timings is actually better than running ram faster with loose timings.

    Hope that helped!

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    Wait a second, reading through again...

    If the norma FSB of a conroe is 533, this only runs at 390, then this will only offer 73% of what I would get if I ran the CPU with DDR6400?

    How can he overclock the CPU if still isn't reaching the stock FSB of the Conroe?

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    FSB is 266

    DDR memory is listed at 2xFSB = 533.

    Running 390 fsb would be using memory running at DDR 780

    The PC rating is something different, so don't get that confused - DDR400 is PC3200 for example

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    Thanks for the patience...

    So I take it that:

    1) The PC5300 runs at stock at 667/2 which is 333mhz, and so this is more than the FSB on the Conroe, allowing me to overclock the FSB by 66mhz x 2 before coming to any limits on the RAM?

    2) At stock, PC5300 runs identicle to PC5400 and PC6400?

    3) PC5300 will fit into any motherboard I buy for the Conroe?

    4) The only difference between PC5300 and PC6400 is when I overclock?


    Probably some of the points are wrong, but I think that is what I have worked out so far?

    Kalniel, thanks for the help so far!

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    With a budget of £350 you can only really afford the e6300. But why don't you just upgrade your current cpu? skt 939 cpu's are dirt cheap at the moment and the real world performance difference between that and conroe will hardly be noticeable. £350 is the bare minimum for a conroe upgrade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexander
    Thanks for the patience...

    So I take it that:

    1) The PC5300 runs at stock at 667/2 which is 333mhz, and so this is more than the FSB on the Conroe, allowing me to overclock the FSB by 66mhz x 2 before coming to any limits on the RAM?
    Correct - infact you can probably go higher with your ram, but this is the limit it's guarenteed to work at.

    2) At stock, PC5300 runs identicle to PC5400 and PC6400?
    The CPU runs at an identical speed yes - if you have a fancy motherboard (and possibly this new fangled EPP memory) it's possible that it will automatically put a divider on to allow your ram to work faster than your CPU - certainly you can do this manually as well. However the gain from doing so is negligable.

    3) PC5300 will fit into any motherboard I buy for the Conroe?
    It will fit, yes. As for compatibility.. check your specific motherboard. Some are picky about some types of memory. If you're not sure email the manufacturer of the motherboard directly.

    4) The only difference between PC5300 and PC6400 is when I overclock?
    If you're running synchronously, yes. But as mentioned, you can run asnychronously and have the ram run faster than the CPU as well, but the benefits aren't really noticable.


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