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visualboo
11-04-2003, 03:24 AM
Well, I'm posting this for a friend but whats the difference between the athlon 64 and 64 FX?

I haven't heard anything about the FX so I don't really want to give bad advice.

Personally I would stay away from 64 bit anything for a little while but he's set on one. He want's it for games also so I'm not sure how that works with 64 bit procs.

Thanks guys.

elvis
11-04-2003, 04:00 AM
the athlon64-FX has a higher pin-count than the athlon64, and slightly higher clock speed.

essentiall speaking, the athlon64-FX is a single-processor opteron with a higher clock speed (2.2GHz). you cannot use athlon64-FX chips in athlon64 boards, and vice versa.

here's some techy stuff:
http://www.amdzone.com/articleview.cfm?ArticleID=1344

and here's AMD's table:
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/ProductInformation/0,,30_118_8796_9240,00.html

MadMax
11-04-2003, 04:14 PM
One very nice thing about the FX is that the multipliers are unlocked, and since the boards come with PCI and AGP busses locked to standard speeds, the FX can be overclocked without affecting the stability of your system.

the 2.2 FX will hit 2.4ghz fairly easily with stock cooling, 2.8ghz. with a Prometeia cooler.

Thalaxis
11-04-2003, 04:30 PM
The FX version also has just under 2x the memory bandwidth,
and presently requires registered memory.

Although you could come up with good reasons to buy a
competing product, there really aren't any good reasons to NOT
buy an Athlon64 or 64FX. The fact that it's 64-bit certainly does
not fall into the category of things to avoid, because it runs 32-bit
code perfectly well, and extremely quickly.

alphatron
11-04-2003, 04:48 PM
Also, and correct me if I'm wrong, the FX allows for dual channel memory, while the non-FX only singe.

Thalaxis
11-04-2003, 04:56 PM
That's right. That's how it's able to provide close to 2x the memory
performance of the Athlon64.

Because the Athlon64FX requires (right now, anyway) registered
memory, which isn't quite as fast as unregistered memory, it's not
QUITE doubled memory bandwidth, but close :)

In actuality, the difference is in latency; the Athlon64FX is able to
make up for the small increase in latency with its huge increase in
bandwidth, plus a clock speed bump over the Athlon64.

For MOST applications, the latency issue is more important than
the bandwidth, but for things like DV, that extra bandwidth will
come in handy.

Sieb
11-04-2003, 09:33 PM
This should change as Registered becomes more mainstreme. So far its been relegated to server only which don't need high speeds. But as 64bit takes over and registered becomes widespread, we should see a good increase in speed/stability. Basically, it was never needed so never tapped, but just waitin for the pickins. :)

alphatron
11-04-2003, 09:38 PM
I thought it was well known that in January AMD is chucking one of the FX pins and making all future chips compatible with unregistered RAM.

MadMax
11-04-2003, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by alphatron
I thought it was well known that in January AMD is chucking one of the FX pins and making all future chips compatible with unregistered RAM.

the FX series is continuing through 2004 with 940 pins alongside a 939 pin version.

Thalaxis
11-05-2003, 12:37 AM
Sieb --

Even with the same clock speed, registered memory has a higher
latency than unregistered. So the Athlon64FX will gain a little bit
even without upgrading the memory clock just from changing to
unregistered memory.

However, you are correct about the speed of memory; it will be
possible to get PC-3200 registered memory before long.

Still, most of the Socket940 platforms out there are Opterons;
it's not going to be long before the Socket939 version of the
Athlon64FX hits the streets. AMD's not going to kill off the platform
after such a short time, but socket 939 will be more desirable than
socket 940, so it will almost certainly sell in higher quantities.

oxyg3n
11-06-2003, 03:21 AM
Originally posted by Thalaxis
Sieb --

... but socket 939 will be more desirable than
socket 940, so it will almost certainly sell in higher quantities.

What will make socket 939 more desirable? <--Is this only for a64fx

And are they planning to change the athlon 64 Socket 754?

I am in the process of building a new computer for myself and the only thing I havent decided on yet is what mb and cpu to go with.

I would like to get the athlon 64, but am uncertain if they plane to changes it socket too.

And I dont know what mb I should get... i am looking at the asus K8V Deluxe.

Could you recommend something?

alphatron
11-06-2003, 03:39 AM
939 is more desirable because it will work with standard memory which is cheaper and faster.

Thalaxis
11-06-2003, 04:03 PM
Alphatron already answered one question for you.

Yes, socket 939 is for Athlon64FX.

I don't think that there are any plans to change the socket for
Athlon64 anytime soon, so socket 740 should be around for quite
a while.

oxyg3n
11-06-2003, 07:55 PM
Thalaxis

Thanks for that answer I was not sure if they were changing that too.

Can anyone recommend a good athlon64 board? I have seen two, the ABIT KV8-MAX3 and the asus K8V Deluxe. I think that they are both based of off the K8T800 chipset. Or is it better to go with one that has the nforce chipset??

Thanks for your help.

MadMax
11-06-2003, 08:04 PM
personally I would go with the nForce3 boards.

VIA has only a marginal performance difference, but has a very long history of shoddy QC and inumerable fatal system flaws that many will never touch a VIA board again.

VIA is also responsible for the bad reputation AMD had early on as being an unstable system.

Thalaxis
11-06-2003, 08:08 PM
It's a tough call, surprisingly (considering that we're comparing
Via to nVidia...).

The Via K8T800 has a far better feature set, and a higher-
bandwidth HT implementation for I/O to live on. That's apparently
the primary reason that the K8T800 shows better AGP and
memory performance than the nForce3-150.

The catch is that Via isn't the best when it comes to reliability. The
K8T800 does seem to be their most reliable chipset yet...

The nVidia nForce3-250 is due to ship in about one month, and it
has (finally) a completely state-of-the-art feature set, plus support
for SMP.

Which to get right now? It's a tough choice... I tend to favor
nVidia, but I find the nForce3-150 chip to be a bit disappointing.
Not that it's crappy, but as I wrote above, it's a bit lacking in a few
areas. Not egregiously so, though.

Lorecanth
11-06-2003, 08:53 PM
Any user in 3d who doesn't go with a dual board is a glutton for punishment. You can put a dual 2.5 ghz xeon system for what 1 of those 64's cost. Look at the lightwave, max, and maya benches say , don't pay attention to the rest of that crap. (also anyone else notice that a lot of the newer games are multi cpu aware ?)

Thalaxis
11-06-2003, 09:26 PM
It's a tradeoff... single-threaded performance is more useful for
editors, and very few games so far make particularly worthwhile
use of SMP just yet -- which is only to say that you're early, not
that you're wrong.

Also, the OpenGL pipeline itself is still single-threaded.

I suspect that that also will change, in time.

But for rendering, there's no comparison. The dual Xeons will
outmuscle everything out there other than the Itanium2 and
Opteron equivalents.

And if AMD DOES launch an anti-EE AthlonFX, the prices might drop
before Christmas ;)

Lorecanth
11-06-2003, 09:38 PM
Well as far as editing yeah for the raw amount of realtime effects its possible the single proc system is faster. However, when you want to crunch out to mpeg 2 you'll notice the difference.

Regarding games its just a matter of even taking advantadge of hyper threading. But I imagine a physical dual xeon will be faster than a virtual dual p4.

On a side note the opterons that are going to be clashing against the xeons are going to eventually be sweet. I'm just talking about the most bang for your buck in a system right now for 3d users. This forum isn't dedicated to hobbyists but the 3d community, hence the above sentiment.

Thalaxis
11-06-2003, 09:57 PM
Originally posted by Lorecanth
Well as far as editing yeah for the raw amount of realtime effects its possible the single proc system is faster. However, when you want to crunch out to mpeg 2 you'll notice the difference.
/quote]

True. I was thinking with a focus on 3D when I wrote my previous
post.

[quote]
Regarding games its just a matter of even taking advantadge of hyper threading. But I imagine a physical dual xeon will be faster than a virtual dual p4.


No doubt about it. In fact, you even get the benefit of HT from
both processors (if you're running XP Pro or Win2k Server), so you
get to have your cake and eat it, too.


On a side note the opterons that are going to be clashing against the xeons are going to eventually be sweet. I'm just talking about the most bang for your buck in a system right now for 3d users. This forum isn't dedicated to hobbyists but the 3d community, hence the above sentiment.

Well, as I said, the lower echelons of the Opteron 200 series are
not particularly expensive... and and AthlonMP's aren't just
inexpensive, they're dirt cheap.

If what you want is to maximize rendering muscle for the buck,
one way to go is a bunch of nForce2 SFF's with $85 Athlons and
a pair of 512 MB PC-2700 DIMMs, and 40 GB hard drives. Total
cost:
$270 (Biostar iDeq 200N)
$75 2 GHz Athlon XP (2400+)
$170 1 GB Corsair Value Select (2 matched 512 MB PC-2700)
$60 40 GB Western Digital ATA-100 drive.
---------
$575

And you could go even lower than that, but that was a quick
search :)

So you could build a renderfarm of 3 of those for the price of a
P4EE processor, or two of them for the price of an AthlonFX + a
motherboard :)

Lorecanth
11-06-2003, 10:10 PM
the catch is that really in comparison the athlons don't match up to p4's for 3d, especially the extreme math calculations needed for such operation as GI and final gathering. But you're right it is a tradeoff in regards to the amount of render power for final rendering of a project or the ability to render fast for previews (granted this isn't taking into account such renderers as final render that have an interesting distributed rendering system).

Whenever I try to build a system I always try for finding that line of performance without paying the premium for the absolute best. I can afford to get a new system fairly often because I don't drop 3 grand on the system, so the idea is that I'll be a couple ghz faster when the majority is still paying off that 2 year lease from dell.

It really comes down to what you get enjoyment out of, for some people being able to say they have the latest and greatest is worth the money. For me its being able to render a 2 mil poly scene in maya with mental ray in half the time.

Thalaxis
11-06-2003, 10:17 PM
That's a sensible strategy. :)

Normally you would think that a flock of chickens would be more
expensive than a smaller number of cheetahs, but the cheetahs
tend to command such high premiums that it generally doesn't
end up being the case :)

Anyway, one or two speed grades off of flagship models is
usually the sweet spot for bang/buck targets.

oxyg3n
11-07-2003, 07:27 AM
Originally posted by Thalaxis
It's a tough call, surprisingly (considering that we're comparing
Via to nVidia...).

The nVidia nForce3-250 is due to ship in about one month, and it
has (finally) a completely state-of-the-art feature set, plus support
for SMP.


Hello All

This discussion is raising more questions for me and opening up a few different options.


I dont plan to purchase my cpu and mother board until around the middle of december, to see what happens to the prices as the holidays come up. So, I dont mind waiting if there is something better just on the horizon. I am more familiar with nvidia and if they have a new chipset coming out soon I would like to see it.


Would someone please tell me what SMP is? Why is it important?

And would you guys recommend a dual xeon setup? It doesnt look like it will cost much more and I can always get the second cpu later. What is the fastest memory I can use in a xeon, ddr3200? Does it have to be registerd memory??

Well I really appreciate your help, as I am really itching to get a new system and want to make an informed choice.

Thalaxis
11-07-2003, 03:05 PM
SMP = Symmetric Multi-Processing. I.e. more than 1 processor.

(SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading, quite a different beast
entirely, the purpose is to keep a single processor's resources
busier.)

If you plan to buy in mid-December, you might be in luck; it seems
that AMD plans to trump the P4EE's actual release with a new
release of their own, which should have the effect of driving down
prices a bit on the current flagships.

There should also be by then more options across the board for
purchase.

The fastest FSB's currently supported by Xeons is 533 MHz, which
equates to PC-2700 memory (aggregate total of 5.4 GB/s).

You could also consider a dual Opteron setup; the flagship
Opteron 246 model is quite expensive, but the slower 244 and
242 models are pretty reasonable, and there should be several
dual Opteron boards aimed at workstations (i.e. include AGP, and
that sort of thing) on the market by then.

Lorecanth
11-07-2003, 08:35 PM
For a 3d user going for a single "cheetah" system that will be used for the ititial design and testing and a little bit of the final rendering, go with the xeons.

I'm all for AMD if you want a generalist system gaming and whatnot, but really AMD is really targeting the pants of the corporate buyers. Intel is still dedicated to the more finicky multimedia user as shown by their optimisations for video encoding.

As far as getting one cpu at a time be real careful about that. I did it back with an old dual intel 1 ghz and i got incredibly lucky finding the same batch numbred proccesor. If you don't have the same batch there are no guarantees it will work. You can check intels site about which batches are compatible.

Anyway regarding sytem speed just remember that that second proccessor adds about 50-80 % in terms of ability. So even that dual 2 ghz xeon system for what we do, will still beat the latest greatest single proc.

Thalaxis
11-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by Lorecanth

For a 3d user going for a single "cheetah" system that will be used for the ititial design and testing and a little bit of the final rendering, go with the xeons.


As much as I like AMD, it's hard to deny that reality, since you
can't really make buying decisions based on what's coming down
the pike.


I'm all for AMD if you want a generalist system gaming and whatnot, but really AMD is really targeting the pants of the corporate buyers. Intel is still dedicated to the more finicky multimedia user as shown by their optimisations for video encoding.


That's why AMD now has SSE2 support. Compared to Intel's,
their SIMD's pretty mediocre, but in scalar FP using SSE2, the
Opteron's looking pretty sweet. Too bad AMD doesn't have SMT
yet.


As far as getting one cpu at a time be real careful about that. I did it back with an old dual intel 1 ghz and i got incredibly lucky finding the same batch numbred proccesor. If you don't have the same batch there are no guarantees it will work. You can check intels site about which batches are compatible.


Good point.


Anyway regarding sytem speed just remember that that second proccessor adds about 50-80 % in terms of ability. So even that dual 2 ghz xeon system for what we do, will still beat the latest greatest single proc.

Not for long ;)

Seriously though, dual 2.4's are not all that expensive, and do
indeed provide pretty good performance. If you want total ass-
whoopage, the way to go is to spring for the dual 3.2 GHz Xeon
DP's with the on-die L3, which of course will cost you a pretty
penny... but at least you'll be able to revel in knowing that the
only things that are faster cost $10,000 (base) and use either
POWER4 or Itanium2 processors :)

oxyg3n
11-07-2003, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by Thalaxis
SMP = Symmetric Multi-Processing. I.e. more than 1 processor.

(SMT = Simultaneous MultiThreading, quite a different beast
entirely, the purpose is to keep a single processor's resources
busier.)....

....The fastest FSB's currently supported by Xeons is 533 MHz, which equates to PC-2700 memory (aggregate total of 5.4 GB/s).

You could also consider a dual Opteron setup; the flagship
Opteron 246 model is quite expensive, but the slower 244 and
242 models are pretty reasonable, and there should be several
dual Opteron boards aimed at workstations (i.e. include AGP, and
that sort of thing) on the market by then.


@Thalaxis

Since the The nVidia nForce3-250 will have support for SMP does that mean I will be able to have an athlon64 system with dual cpu's??

Also, do the opterons works with 32bit apps like the athlon64?

I took a look at the price for a dual opteron board and they are really expensive. The one I looked at was a tyan and it was about 500$.

@Lorecanth

Thanks for the head up on buying cpus together. I didnt realize that they had to be from the same batch.


Oh and if I go with a dual xeon, which just by doing a quick search the mbs dont look to expensive, can someone tell me what the best mb is for it. I would like one with sata and a nice chipset?

Thanks for answering all my questions. Your answers are helping my out alot.

oxyg3n
11-07-2003, 10:21 PM
Hello Again,

I was looking at xeon mb and I found one from asus that looks good. It is the PC-DL Deluxe, asus mb at newegg.com (http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduct.asp?DEPA=&submit=Go&description=13%2D131%2D055&searchdepa=0&page=1)


Here is the link at asus website:

asus mb (http://usa.asus.com/products/server/srv-mb/pc-dl/overview.htm)

Would this be a good choice if I went with xeons? It even has support for dual channel ddr333

Lorecanth
11-07-2003, 10:23 PM
well I wish I could be more help but the board makers are coming out with variants so quickly the last friend who bought a xeon MB his version is already out of date.

Really take a look at the tyan and asus boards. Also if price is an issue make sure to look for MB's that take unregistered RAM as registered costs quite a bit more.

oxyg3n
11-07-2003, 10:31 PM
Oh you have been great help to me.

is unbufferered ram the same as unregistered ram?

Lorecanth
11-07-2003, 10:57 PM
yes different name same thing. its officially ECC or non-ECC you want non-ECC probably.

Thalaxis
11-08-2003, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by oxyg3n
@Thalaxis
Since the The nVidia nForce3-250 will have support for SMP does that mean I will be able to have an athlon64 system with dual cpu's??


No. The Opteron uses what is referred to as Coherent Hyper
Transport (ccHT) for SMP. So to implement 2-way SMP, you need 2
HT links; one for I/O (AGP, PCI, etc) and one ccHT link. The
Athlon64 only has one. This is for market segmentation, which is
to say that it is marketing and business driven. If AMD did not do
this, it would eat into their revenue by lowering their average
selling price, which they are trying very hard to increase.


Also, do the opterons works with 32bit apps like the athlon64?
[/q]

Absolutely. In fact, when running 32-bit software in a 32-bit OS,
it's basically an Athlon on steroids.

A lot of steroids, but still... :)

[b]
I took a look at the price for a dual opteron board and they are really expensive. The one I looked at was a tyan and it was about 500$.


Was that the Thunder? Tyan has two lines of SMP boards; the
Thunder is their higher end, more server-oriented line; the Tiger
is their more workstation-oriented design. The Tiger line costs
less than the Thunder line.

If that's the Tiger that you priced, then the only thing I can say is
that you'll have to wait for more motherboard vendors to launch
their products.


Oh and if I go with a dual xeon, which just by doing a quick search the mbs dont look to expensive, can someone tell me what the best mb is for it. I would like one with sata and a nice chipset?


One using Canterwood-ES would be ideal. There is an Asus board
with that chipset out, and I think it's around $300, and does not
require registered memory, and being based on the Canterwood
chipset, it has a state-of-the-art feature set.

Glad to help when I can :)

Novakog
11-15-2003, 12:33 AM
I don't know that much about hardware, but I think it's important to remember forgetting that when Win 64 and 64 bit programs come out, the 64-bit processors will be ridiculously fast. Getting a single Athlon 64 might not be as fast as dual Xeons now, but in a couple of years it could get pretty close because of 64-bit software.

Casmira
11-15-2003, 06:52 AM
Yep the Athlon64 FX would be great, unless your friend doesnt mind spending alot of money on ram, the CPU is great, beats the A64 of course due to large memory bandwidth which is great for rendering (assuming he is into that), There is already a 64bit version of Windows XP, and its got an emulating layer so any 32bit compiled program would work fine

Thalaxis
11-15-2003, 02:54 PM
Originally posted by Novakog
I don't know that much about hardware, but I think it's important to remember forgetting that when Win 64 and 64 bit programs come out, the 64-bit processors will be ridiculously fast.


Will be? Even running 32-bit mode, the K8's are at worst giving
the P4's a run for their money, and in several areas already
leading them. Have you seen the OpenGL performance on the
AthlonFX? Or read the interview transcripts from Gabe Newell of
Valve Software?

Ironically, that's in some ways a problem for AMD; they already
offer such insane performance that there isn't much incentive for
most of the market to care about optimizing for 64-bit just to get
more performance than the already overkill performance that they
have. :/

So, the improvements will be limited to high-end games and
content creation tools, for the most part (not just CG content, I
mean).


Getting a single Athlon 64 might not be as fast as dual Xeons now, but in a couple of years it could get pretty close because of 64-bit software.

A single Athlon64 doubling the performance of a Xeon? Not likely.
AMD may be able to pull out a performance lead if they pull off the
transition to 90 nm, but to expect them to double the performance
of a P4 is expecting miracles.

Though that may change if AMD pulls off their dual-core version
before Intel does (which if the 90 nm transition goes well seems
like a pretty good bet).

MadMax
11-15-2003, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by Casmira
Yep the Athlon64 FX would be great, unless your friend doesnt mind spending alot of money on ram


I always find this particular point of view a bit annoying.

For example, a year ago when I purchased an nForce2 board with Corsair ram, PC2700 (by mistake, I wanted PC3200) the cost was almost 200.00 per 512mb module. and that was for PC2700.

Today, Corsair PC3200 TwinX modules, 512mb. PC3200 are 122.00 per module at the cheapest dealer on pricewatch.

Alternatively, if you check the prices for registered Corsair PC3200 512mb modules, the lowest price is 142.00, a mere 20.00 more per module.

If one took some of these posts at face value, you would think that the difference in price was enormous, which just isn't accurate by any means.

THe FX requires an only slightly more expensive memory. A very minimal additional expense to gain insane bandwidth.

Careful selection of components and looking for good prices can easily offset that 40.00, but if you are looking at 40.00 as a make or break situation or determining factor you have to ask why you are even buying an FX in the first place.

Novakog
11-15-2003, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by Thalaxis
A single Athlon64 doubling the performance of a Xeon? Not likely. AMD may be able to pull out a performance lead if they pull off the transition to 90 nm, but to expect them to double the performance of a P4 is expecting miracles.

What I meant, of course, is that if you ran a 64-bit optimized program on the AMD 64 and compared it to the 32-bit version of the same program on Dual Xeons (like, for instance, the 64-bit version of Mental Ray as compared to the 32-bit version of it). I might be wrong on that, but I thought that 64-bit programs would be really fast.

And ya, I know that the 64 FX-51 is already ridiculously fast (and I know ridiculously is not a word) on 32-bit programs, but I meant if you buy a 64 FX-51 now and wait for a year, the P4s (and P4 EEs) will be faster on 32-bit programs, but when 64-bit programs/OS come out, without upgrading your processor, the speed of the current AMD 64 will be faster on 64-bit programs than the future P4s on 32-bit programs (same idea as with the Dual Xeons).

Thalaxis
11-15-2003, 07:24 PM
There is a potential for speedup, but it has to do with the
architectural features, not "64-bitness". The K8 has features that
are not available in 32-bit mode when running in 64-bit mode,
like extra SSE2 registers.

AMD has claimed that the benefit is up to 20% better performance
in floating point, hardly anything to sneeze at. :)

Novakog
11-15-2003, 07:25 PM
Oh alright, thanks for clearing that up.

Thalaxis
11-15-2003, 07:31 PM
No problem... 32-bit vs 64-bit has been a source of considerable
confusion, and the putz journalists who keep writing "64-bit
processors can crunch 2x as much data per clock cycle as 32-bit
processors" are not helping.

MimikOctopus
11-15-2003, 08:03 PM
it also depends on your frame of reference. Someone upgrading from top of the line dual xeons to top of the line dual opterons won't notice the benefits nearly as much as someone coming from an older single processor machine into the top tier. I went from an older 2500+ to dual opterons and wow, though I have worked a lot on dual xeons when I was still in school and it's not so much better that my socks exploded across the room, ok they did but that's cause my feet stink and someone lit a match.....

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