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Thread: athlon - but which?




  1. #1
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    Default athlon - but which?

    I'll be putting together a system for the first time (I've upgraded, but this is the first full system - so you'll hear from me again :). This will be a family system and will do University work and MD work and make DVD's and play games (I'm into AA now...). I've looked here and at AnandTech, and it seems that an Athlon 64 xP is the way to go for the greatest longevity (I want to do this right and not do it again for a while..)

    So then the question is which one - looking at PCConnection, the big price jump is clock speed (e.g., a 60% jump in price for a 10% jump in speed - 2.2 to 2.4 GHz). My uninformed intuition says this is not really worth it - true?

    Next jump is cache size - but here, a ~30% bump in price gets double the cache. This DOES seem worth it - again, true?

    FInally, ~$100 gets you "tray" instead of "box". Anybody know what that is?

    If I had to buy now, I"d go with the 4400+ (in a box :) - good move?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: athlon - but which?

    It's Athlon 64, not Athlon 64 XP. Athlon XPs are totally different. You might be confusingthem with Athlon 64 X2s, which are dual-core Athlon 64s.

    What specific price jump are you talking about? Sometimes price jumps are indeed not worth it, but most aren't too bad. A sinlge-core processor to another single-core processor with 10% higher clock speed and 60% higher price wouldn't be worth it. But a 70% price increase for a 3700 San Diego over a 3000 Venice is worth it IMO, because it provides a 400MHz clock speed increase and doubles L2 cache.

    A tray instead of a box... Where the hell are you buying your hardware?

    The 4400 is a great processor and wouldn't be a bad choice at all. However, since you seem to be into checking price gains compared to performance gains, you should know that the Athlon 64 X2 4200 is about 100% more expensive than its single-core counterpart, the 3500, while the 4400 is closer to 115% more expensive than it's single-core counterpart. Of the Athlon 64 X2s, the 4200 sould provide the most bang-for-buck.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: athlon - but which?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    It's Athlon 64, not Athlon 64 XP. Athlon XPs are totally different. You might be confusingthem with Athlon 64 X2s, which are dual-core Athlon 64s.
    I was indeed - I was actually looking over reviews and prices of the Athlon 64 X2, and just typed it wrong (over and over..).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    What specific price jump are you talking about? Sometimes price jumps are indeed not worth it, but most aren't too bad.
    Specifically, I was looking at the 4200+ , 4400+, 4600+ and 4800+ and comparing the price steps among them. (Because it seems that starting from scratch now, a system will have more legs if I get a dual core rather than single).

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    A sinlge-core processor to another single-core processor with 10% higher clock speed and 60% higher price wouldn't be worth it. But a 70% price increase for a 3700 San Diego over a 3000 Venice is worth it IMO, because it provides a 400MHz clock speed increase and doubles L2 cache.
    In the X2's - a comparable step (+200MHz and x2 L2 cache) is about double the cost (from about $500 to $1000). So maybe it's worth it? If the case is similar to the San Diego vs Venice you describe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    A tray instead of a box... Where the hell are you buying your hardware?
    Nowhere yet! But I was looking at prices at PCConnection (for no real reason other than for comparison purposes). But what could the difference be? At $75 to $150 extra (depending on the processor) it can't just be packaging, can it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yawgm0th
    The 4400 is a great processor and wouldn't be a bad choice at all. However, since you seem to be into checking price gains compared to performance gains, you should know that the Athlon 64 X2 4200 is about 100% more expensive than its single-core counterpart, the 3500, while the 4400 is closer to 115% more expensive than it's single-core counterpart. Of the Athlon 64 X2s, the 4200 sould provide the most bang-for-buck.
    More than anything else, I'm trying to educate myself into the right way of thinking about this. For example, 100% versus 115% is close to the same (at least at the moment, when I'm just trying to understand all this). So do I understand that the 2M L2 isn't as big a deal as it's made out to be in ad copy? (Since the difference between the 4200 and 4400 is that doubled cache).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: athlon - but which?

    The cache helps in some applications, but a 200MHz clock speed boost is more important than doubled cache. The pricings don't really reflect that.

    I'd say the situation you described is worth it, but that's just my opinion. Whether or not you will make use of the extra power is what determines whether or not it's worth it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: athlon - but which?

    Terrific - thanks for your time!

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