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Thread: SFF AM2 / Conroe?

  1. #1
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    SFF AM2 / Conroe?

    Hi, im intending to put together a budget SFF PC in the next few days to use primarily as a server, hence no real need for anything more than onboard video, f that.

    Ive been looking at AM2 and a 3800+ combination, but after hitting these forums I see theres a massive buzz about conroe. Im intending for the system to be somewhat upgradeable. Heres my initial Plan:

    Asus V2-AH2 AM2 MATX Barebone System (Seems to be the best value for money) £83.17

    http://uk.asus.com/products4.aspx?l...159&modelmenu=1

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+ 2.00GHz (Socket AM2) - Retail (CP-166-AM) - £105.74

    Corsair 2GB DDR2 XMS2-5400C4 TwinX (2x1GB) (MY-095-CS) £140.99

    Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 NCQ 250GB 6V250F0 SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD-088-MD) £55.81

    Total: £385.71

    Im looking todo some mild overclocking on the system, but I have say this will be pretty much headless most of the time, unless I decide to add a GFX at a later stage and make it more than a server.

    Does the specification look ok? Specifically would the included PSU suffice, or would u recommend a replacement?

    Does conroe really offer such a massive boost in performance over the X2's? Alternatively if anyone can price a similaly priced conroes based system, or better specification AM2 for the same price, id be extremely grateful.

    Many thanks, im new to both SFF and AM2 / conroe, so help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL
    The Conroe/Allendale can outperform the AMD on SSE multimedia instructions by a factor of 2 clock for clock. For games playing & video encoders, that makes a huge difference and is the main reason why in those applications the Conroe outperforms a high end A64 by about 40% clock for clock.

    The Intel chips seem to overclock really well, so you can get higher clock speeds than the AMD chips.

    Right now Conroe motherboards seem limited in choice, and high in price. I don't see any reason for that, and I am sure it will change soon enough.

    So, it all depends on what you want to do with the box, and how extreme you want to overclock to.

    For basic server tasks, I am sure you would be happy with either (I just upgraded my home server to a A64 3000+ using, I believe, the motherboard used in that Asus barebone and the result is so far quite excellent).

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    Thanks for the response, its that lack of any decent conroe motherboards, and high price is what put me off, this is supposed to be budget, also the longetivity of the current conroe sockets.

    Can anyone offer any advice on this? Are the current conroe sockets here to stay, I forget what they are called, im evidently not very clued up on conroe.

    Where as AM2 is rather new, and set to last for a fair while is it not? Im assuming into AMDs next X2 revision?

    Again as mentioned this will be primarily for server orientated tasks right now, e.g game servers, web, apache, mysql, voip servers, file serving and the like.

    Though I really dont want to lay down the money if conroe really does outshine it so drastically.

  4. #4
    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    • DanceswithUnix's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X470-PRO
      • CPU:
      • 2600X
      • Memory:
      • 16GB 3200MHz
      • Storage:
      • 1TB Linux, 1TB Games (Win 10)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Asus Strix RX Vega 56
      • PSU:
      • 650W Corsair TX
      • Case:
      • Antec 300
      • Operating System:
      • Fedora 28 + Win 10 Pro 64 (yuk)
      • Monitor(s):
      • Benq XL2730Z 1440p + Samsung 2343BW 2048x1152
      • Internet:
      • Zen 80Mb/20Mb VDSL
    Intel have called their current socket "S775" for some time, but they change the electrical spec on a regular basis so you end up needing a new motherboard for new processors. So, your guess is as good as anyones.

    AMD have actually stated that socket AM3 processors will be DDR2 compatible and usable in AM2 motherboards, so your motherboard will be good for some years. AMD also have a good track record on socket forward compatability needing at worse a BIOS update to back that up.

    Some time next year we expect a quad core chip to come out where the cores will have some new features (double the SSE rate, load/store re-ordering) which should at least get it back on par with the Conroe.

    If you intend video serving and the box will be doing video transcoding (eg converting mpeg4 files to mpeg2 on the fly for devices that can only copy with mpeg2) then conroe will have more in hand, though even then an AMD chip should cope.

    For the stuff you have listed, either will do. My A64 3000+ does web, apache, imap, smtp, postgresql, file serving through NFS and SMB and video for a Hauppauge MVP. An old Athlon 1000 did that lot easily enough, the 3000+ is just quieter

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