whats the difference between CPUs?

October 13, 2005 at 19:02:45
Specs: XP, 512

might be a really "newbie" question, but what are the differences between a AMD Athlon 3000+ and say a... AMD Athlon 3200+, and a 3500+, 3700+, etc?

I've asked questions on here about which processor I should buy for a good gaming comp., and was told to buy a AMD Athlon 3000+. But why not a 3200? 3500? What are the differences? I'd expect they're, "better", but how so... and why wouldn't a gaming pc need a better CPU (or maybe they do).

thanks in advance


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#1
October 13, 2005 at 19:29:50

well there are very little differences in CPUs with the same core. a Venice 3000+ is essentially a 3200+ with a lower multiplier. The 3200+ can be lowered to a 3000+ but since they multis are locked from raising the multi, you can't make a 3000+ into a 3200+ which is why they can make slower versions of the same CPU. This is why the 3000+ or 3200+ is the better buy since they are relatively cheap and can easily overclock to a speed similar to the more expensive chips. For example, my 3200+ is overclocked a bit faster than the much more expensive FX-53.

My Current Rig:
NZXT Nemesis Elite Black
Athlon 64 3200
Abit An8
OCZ EL PE Rev2 DDR400
X800PRO OCd to 545/560
80GB SATA150 WD HDD
3dMark05: 5827



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#2
October 13, 2005 at 19:40:23

A gaming PC needs a decent CPU...but it also needs 1GB of RAM, & a decent video card.

I assume you're referring to Athlon64's. The reason the 3000+ (1.8GHz) is recommended is the price...$146 at newegg.com. The 3200+ (2.0GHz) is only 200MHz faster, but costs $45 more. You could overclock the 3000+ an additional 200MHz & it wouldn't cost you an extra penny. The same can be said about the 3500+ (2.2GHz). The 3700+ runs at the same speed as the 3500+, but's it's based on a different core & has 1MB L2 cache (the others have 512K L2)...while this may have some advantages, it's also $120 more than the 3000+. You could can as high as $1000+ for the Athlon FX-57...but is it worth it just to play games?

ASUS A7N8X-X
Athlon XP 1800+
8.5 x 200MHz
1024MB PC3200 2.5-3-3-7
Asus A9550GE/TD 128MB
WinME/WinXP Pro SP2


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#3
October 13, 2005 at 19:48:45

The other thing is raw clock speed doesn't usually make a major difference.

Comparing the Athlon 64 Venice 3000, 3200, and 3500, the ONLY difference is the raw clock speed. That simply doesn't make much of a difference in performance.

However, when you compare CPU's that have different amounts of cache, different FSB specs, etc., you will usually see significant differences in performance.

Compare an Athlon 64 3500 to a 3700, and suddenly the 3700 looks a lot better? Why? Simple: it has more cache!

Usually the best bang for your buck is the lowest end in the series of a CPU. (IE, the lowest end Venice, or San Diego, etc.)

Please help survivors of Hurricane Katrina...err...Rita. Starting to lose track...

www.redcross.org


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#4
October 13, 2005 at 21:16:33

I've never overclocked anything ever... is it safe and easy? Does it require changing settings from ur comp, or physically doing something to it?

I may go with the 3000+ then... but will my gaming experience be hindered if I don't overclock it? (such as... will my FPS be lowered a little, will the game take longer to load between "levels", etc).


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#5
October 14, 2005 at 05:39:28

"I've never overclocked anything ever... is it safe and easy?"

Yes, It is safe if you know what your doing. As far as it being easy? I would have to say no but it's not rocket science either.

"Does it require changing settings from ur comp, or physically doing something to it?"

Yes it requires changing multiple settings in the motherboards BIOS but it is also dependant on the type of CPU/MEM used. As far as physical changes, you may need to change out a stock cooling fan and heatsink for a better one, Or even goto a water cooling setup. Those are things you may or may not have to do. It all depends on how far your going to overclock.

"I may go with the 3000+ then... but will my gaming experience be hindered if I don't overclock it?"

I dont know if the multiplier Is locked on that CPU but i am going to assume that it is. If thats the case, Then your overclocking is limited and the gains you see from OC'ing are minimal if any.

"will the game take longer to load between "levels", etc)."

Load times for games aren't very dependant on clock speeds (assuming that your not running a P1) but instead rely more upon amount of system memory for quicker load times. Second in line for load times would be the speed/type of hard drive used.

Example: I would rather have config 2 over config 1 when game load times mattered to me.

1. 2x256 of DDR 3200 (400 mhz)
2. 2x512 of DDR 2700 (333 mhz)

Clock speeds are virtually irrelavent in this scenario.

My own computer use's an AMD 2600 moblie wich has an unlocked multiplier (making it mobile) and i have overclocked it by a considerable amount.

Stock CPU speeds: 2000 GHZ / 266 FSB

Overclock result: 2600 GHZ / 430 FSB

As you can see my results are substantial and do yield a good boost in gaming performance. especially when you consider my video card is a 6800 ultra and needs all the cpu power it can get.


Have the lambs stopped crying Clarice?


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#6
October 14, 2005 at 05:53:06

"I may go with the 3000+ then... but will my gaming experience be hindered if I don't overclock it?"

Not significantly. Yes, the multiplier is locked so as not to allow it to go higher than it's default. However, overclocking it consists of raising the HTT speed, which increases your memory bandwidth (provided your memory can also take the higher clock speed). This DOES significantly increase performance.

For this reason, choose your memory wisely if you want to overclock. If you're buying RAM for your upgrade/new system, consider getting something higher than PC3200. Venice 3000's often hit 275HTT, so it's not a bad idea to price memory all the way up to DDR550, and go with whatever is priced reasonably.

Please help survivors of Hurricane Katrina...err...Rita. Starting to lose track...

www.redcross.org


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