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Processor upgrade

Posted on 2000-05-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I'm looking to upgrade my cpu/motherboard, and I'm really confused as to which to choose.  I really want to go intel this time.  Currently running AMD k6-2/400, fic 503+ m/b.  Which is my best choice --

A) p3 533 512k cache slot 1 133mhz $209
B) p3 600 512k cache slot 1 133mhz $249
C) p3 500 256k cache fc pga 100mhz $209

I believe "c" is a original coppermine?  These are the one's I was looking at, at the dreaded Fry's Electronics.  It's possible they have a faster fcpga but it was not on display.  I'm also planning on a new motherboard, the plan is an intel chipset.  I'm not really happy with my current via apollo.  I've read opinions that the slot 1 is on the way out, and the fcpga/370 is the future.  Any thoughts appreciated.
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Question by:rspar1
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:chev
ID: 2798829
If Intel has its way you are right.. Slot 1 cpus will start disappearing over the next 12 months.. This is mainly because the manufacturing costs of the FCPGA (FlipChip) type cpus are much lower.. I would seriuosly consider how much you are willing to spend in the end.. The way things change with PCs these days going with the new technology today dont mean its going to be ok tommorow. If you really want to do a medium term upgrade that will be good for 18 months to 2 years then going with the 500mhz Cpu will be the go.. You will wont have to buy new ram if you already have PC100 ram in your current setup.. You can buy a Slot 1 board or any of the new FCPGA boards.. Go for a well reviewed board... Dont buy a heap of junk... Some good choices would be, Aopen, Tyan, FIC, MSI, Abit.. Remember if you by a slot 1 board and a FCPGA cpu will also need a slot adapter...
Your options with the 133mhz cpus are pretty much the same but dont forget you will need to run PC133 ram...

In the end its your choice.. I run Celeron 533mhz on Abit BE6-II and I can tell you for the things I do with my machine I cant really tell the difference between it and say a 600mhz p3 cpu...

Hope I made sense....

Cheers
Chev
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Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2799090
I disagree with chev on one point--I don't think any of the options you've listed would realistically be fast enough to make the upgrade worthwhile. I'm currently running a 400MHz Celeron, and I have no intention of upgrading to anything slower than 700MHz.

However, if you absolutely *have* to go Intel (personally I'm waiting for the Socket A AMD Duron to hit the streets), FCPGA is definitely the way to go. If you can afford an EB variant (133MHz FSB), so much the better. If you can't afford anything faster than you've listed, I'd hold on for a couple of months until prices drop enough to put 650s or 700s in your price range.
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Author Comment

by:rspar1
ID: 2802680
The reason I want to upgrade from the k6-2 is the conflicts I'm having with the newer games.  I'm afraid to buy a new game, because they don't tell you about the k6 problems until you read the manual.

I'm wondering if there is a significant difference between the 500 flip and the 600 slot 1.  The slot 1 has more (slower) cache, and is 133mhz.  And yes, I'm hoping for a price decrease by the time I make my decision.
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Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2803242
You can get 133MHz FSB flipchips. In fact, according to the snippets on Tom's Hardware Guide (www.tomshardware.com) the faster PIIIs due out later this year will not be available in a cartridge with 133MHz FSB--the socket is going to be the only option.

As for the cache thing--a Celeron, with only 128K of full-speed cache and 66MHz FSB, can almost match a 100MHz FSB PIII (provided the application isn't using SIMD). AFAIK the newer Celerons (566MHz+) are actually just Coppermines with half their L2 cache disabled to maintain the artificial performance gap between high-end and low-end processors.
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Author Comment

by:rspar1
ID: 2806981
So it would seem I'm ignoring the best option, the Celeron 566mhz.  Do the newer Celerons run 66 or 100mhz front bus?  And do games use SIMD, what ever that is?
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Accepted Solution

by:
pjknibbs earned 225 total points
ID: 2807861
The new Celerons are still running 66MHz FSB--like I say, Intel is deliberately trying to maintain a performance gap between high and low end processors. As for SIMD, this stands for Single Instruction Multiple Data, and it's basically the floating-point version of MMX--this means 3D games *will* use it. However, I've yet to find the game (with the exception of Ultima IX: Ascension, which won't run well on *any* system) which doesn't give at least 25fps on my 400MHz Celeron.

However, I just checked the Intel website, and it seems the 566 and 600MHz Celerons *do* support SIMD anyway--so, apart from the slow FSB (which makes less difference than you might think), a Celeron 566/600 has no disadvantage over the PIII.
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