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new pc build

Posted on 2003-11-12
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I'm a somewhat skilled PC hobbiest, Well getting better anyway. I'm Building my first PC anyway, Got a couple quick questions. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated:

Ive Choosen The A7N8X-deluxe (For its nifty included bells and whistles), Id like to know if there are any significant differances between the AMD XP 2600+ and AMD 2800+ (both 333 FSB) as far as performance. I think the 2800 had the 640 total cache 128L1, 512L2 I think thats the biggy so maybe I already have that one figuered out, But mainly my question is, If the motherboard supports 400 MHZ FSB, Should I bother getting PC3200 400mhz memory if the CPU is only runnning at 333? Or should I just get the PC2700 333mhz? Just for the run down this is my proposed system design, Lemme know what ya think:

A7N8X-DELUXE MOBO
AMD XP 2800+ CPU
ATI ALL-IN-WONDER 9600 PRO VIDEO (I'll be running a projector off this system, the included remote and tv tuner are great, I currently have the older 7500 series, Hopeing to see great impovements in the 9600)
MAXTOR 160 GB SERIAL ATA HD
not sure on the ram though yet, CORSAIR or some ULTRA from Tiger Direct, still foggy on ram aspects. I know windy pc post and question but bare with me, lol
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Question by:cms3717
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Glen A. earned 500 total points
ID: 9736924
The 2800+ With the barton core is a very good cpu.  Performance difference between that and the 2600+ isn't huge, but it is better depending on which applications your running.  If price is a consideration, and you like the extra cache, get the Barton 2500+.  It's dirt cheap and a very good cpu.  Especially for the money.  ($83 for the 2500+ and $129 for the 2800+ on pricewatch.com)

The board your getting is good, you've obviously done your research.  I've sold several of them and three of my coworkers own them ( I had to be different and get a Leadtek though, lol.)

As far as RAM -  Sure, why not get PC3200 RAM?  Just get Low Latency, so you get the best performance.  The price different isn't that much different than PC2700, and you leave yourself a better upgrade path, and better overclocking capabilities if you plan to do so.

As for where to run it though:  EVEN IF YOU PURCHASE PC3200 RAM, RUN IT AT 333MHz, not 400.  The reasoning is that you get better performance out of the system if your memory and cpu bus are synchronous.   you can test it yourself if you don't believe me (many don't, it doesn't sound like it could be possible but it is) by running at 333 for your cpu and 333 for your RAM, and running a battery of benchmarks.  Then run 333 for your cpu and 400 for your ram and run the same benchmarks, and overall you'll see lower performance with running asynchronously.  

go figure.

If you decide to overclock, you'll find that the 2500+ is generally a better overclocker than the 2800+.  It's very common with the 2500+ to push it to 190MHz on your FSB (instead of the default 166) which gives you a performance increase of over 200MHz.  And that's without touching the voltage.

http://www.kickassgear.com/Reviews/Barton2500.htm for more info.

On the RAM:  I'm very happy with the following:

  Corsair TwinX LL (low-latency) PC3200
  Kingston HyperX PC3200
  OCZ PC3500 Platinum (fastest in the world right now) http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.html?i=1914

There's others, but for performance memory those are the brands I've been the happiest with.

Hope that helps you out some.  Let me know if you have any other questions.
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by:Glen A.
ID: 9736931
Oh, and BTW, if you overclock your cpu, keep your memory bus synchronous:  IE:  at 166MHz system bus use 333MHz Memory bus.  At 170MHz cpu use 340MHz Memory.  At 180MHz cpu use 360MHz Memory bus.  

And so on . . .

Gives you the best performance.
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by:milkydoo
ID: 9736982
"As for where to run it though:  EVEN IF YOU PURCHASE PC3200 RAM, RUN IT AT 333MHz, not 400.  The reasoning is that you get better performance out of the system if your memory and cpu bus are synchronous.   you can test it yourself if you don't believe me (many don't, it doesn't sound like it could be possible but it is) by running at 333 for your cpu and 333 for your RAM, and running a battery of benchmarks.  Then run 333 for your cpu and 400 for your ram and run the same benchmarks, and overall you'll see lower performance with running asynchronously.  "


I'm getting pretty rusty now, but I seem to recall the Via KT400 chipset suprized people with this problem.  Asynchronous should normally perform somewhat better, depending on the task, but Via's memory controller was blamed for this strange reversal of logic in this case (from Anandtech).

Now, this is an Nforce 2 board, correct?  I don't really keep up any more, so I'll defer to you.  Just thought I'd bring that up.  I believe that asynchronous operation essentially lowers the effective latency that the FSB sees at the memory bus, assuming the controller is good.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 9737269
Anding to the two comments about RAM if you do get DDR400 RAM you could get a RAM that would run at a low latency of 2 at 333MHz compaired to if you get DDR333 RAM you would possibly only run at 2.5, which slower.  Of course you can find low latency DDR333 RAM that would run at 2.
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by:buckeyes33
ID: 9737271
actualy albertbeef said exaclty what I did.
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by:Glen A.
ID: 9744072
>>Now, this is an Nforce 2 board, correct?

Yup, it's still an nForce2 board, and they also have the same problem.  I've tested it with Asus, Leadtek and MSI nForce2 boards and all run faster synchronously than async.  Go figure.
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