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PyRoT
01-04-2006, 12:25 PM
Greetings :)

I currently have an AMD Thunderbird 1.2 GHz with 512 pc133 RAM and a gf4 ti4200 128mb vid card which is severely limited IMO.

I am planning on getting a new comp and am unsure about the CPU and Vid card

With CPU, I think everyone here will tell me that dualcore is better than single core but is this idfference worth the extra price and will the dual core be worse than a single core equivalent when I'm playing games? In any case, its a future investment so dual core is just about certain.

The vid card however is confusing. I'm looking at a 7800 GT 256mb card for around $565 AUD (australian currency). Its pretty high end and I know it will help with games but wil it help with 3D viewports in 3D max?

I have thought about getting something cheaper but it seems like.. if spend 250 now and then buy a card like the 7800gt for 250 one day later on.. ill be in the same situation having spent the same money but with more delay. The performance diff between the 7800GT and 6800GT diffres between diff games and its really confusing. The strange 3dmark scores also confuse me more as im not sure why the x1800 XT beats these 2 nvidia cards so much in 3dmark but not really in any other games.. at least not by such a margin.

Even though it will cost me half the price to get the 6800.. upgrading later will result in the same card for the same..total money spent but only at a later time.. perhaps im wrong..I dont know

Tomek

cryptosporidium
01-04-2006, 12:42 PM
My recommendation is to spend money rather on CPU, RAM and motherboard than a video card. It doesnt really matter whether you have high-end or some common stuff. Fast graphic card may help you in viewport if you have a compex scene, but it doesnt affect rendering time. Far more important is fast cpu (preferably 2x dual core :-), a lot of ram (2gb is enough in most cases) and proper motherboard.

PyRoT
01-04-2006, 01:16 PM
Intersting.. it seems taht my reasoning with the vid card applies to the CPU too!

Here are the dualcore prices..
AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 3800+ $486
AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 4200+ $604
AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 4400+ $735
AMD Athlon64 X2 Dual Core 4800+ $1179


I was planning on the 3800.. the jump to the next speed is jst really high.. I have no idea if the increase in rendering speed would be worth 120. I am probably going to have this current comp here as a rendering buddy so not sure. The computer is als largely for games which is why I think I do need a good card.

Its not that I cant afford..as I can save up and get great cpu and vid card but i feel its wrong to spend too much haha..not sure why. THe whole argument about not having to upgrade later from current mediocre components is compelling to me though.

Knotter8
01-04-2006, 02:52 PM
Odd,

The X2 4800 retails in Europe for about 800 ( $ 958 usd )

Of course, whatever you do, don't go single core.

lots
01-04-2006, 08:36 PM
With games, dual core will not help too much, but with rendering and 3D it should help quite abit. In essence most games will only utilize one core while active, thus the performance of a dual core CPU should be almost on par with that of an equivelently clocked single core. Maybe a slight edge to the dual core since it can do other tasks while gaming (OS stuff).

jscott
01-04-2006, 09:00 PM
@ lots: do you know if the newer Nvidia drivers are dual core/processor aware (multi-threaded). I ask because back in my design visualization days we used Wildcat cards which had very low CPU usage. This was around the time of the first Quadro 980 (geForce 4 based cards). I seem to remember the Nvidia cards had much higher CPU usage.

If that holds true today the second core/processor could be used to support the GPU leaving the #1 processor almost completely dedicated to the game engine. If the game engine was capable of taxing the CPU that could be dual core advantage even though the game engine itself isn't multi-threaded.

-jscott

PyRoT
01-04-2006, 09:09 PM
The Dual Core sure sounds good. I might go for the 4200+ AMD since anything more would cost way too much. The video card though, would there be any reason to not go for the 7800GT? Perhaps go ATI instead? Going lower..won't really run the latest games very well according to benchmarks. I know benchmarks are done on maximum quality but I want something that can run everything today more than fine.

BTW, this price list I gave is really cheap. Its almost swapmeet if not swapmeet prices but its at a shop which I can go back to if something went wrong. I have a friend who suggested it and he is very knowledgeable and says its not risky or anything.

In a way it eems lik I've already made up my mind anyway haha..

Tomek

mike0006
01-05-2006, 06:44 AM
I'm pretty sure that I will be the first of many to tell you to stay clear away from ATI if you are doing 3d stuff. Also, I think when "high-end videocard" is said, they mean a 7800 stacked against a quadro of some sort. Though the 7800 is the best card (imo) out for gaming it is signifigantly cheaper than most quadro cards. I think you will be more than happy with a 7800 for both games and 3d. I have a 6800GT and I really can't complain. Though I've been having a wierd bug with BF2. Mabey a driver thing, I dunno.

Good luck on the computer shopping. Oh, and since when were the X2-3800s so expensive. I got mine for 379.99 USD at a local computer store with out even trying to get them down on the price.

PyRoT
01-05-2006, 07:54 AM
Hey Mike

Thanks for that. The prices I quoted are in Australian dollars as I live in Australia.

Something just confused me though..maybe it deseves a different topic but if wel look at the following benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/21/the_mother_of_all_cpu_charts_2005/page29.html

It seems like the 6800GT card that is being used is limited by the CPU's in all cases. Scariest of all is the way that the dual cores do not perform as well as single core cpu's of lower power and cost. I guess the performance increase when rendering is much more significant with dual-cores than their weaker standing in games but it is still a dissapointment. I wonder if there will be any dual-core games coming out soon.

Tomek

jscott
01-05-2006, 08:11 AM
the dual cores do not perform as well as single core cpu's of lower power and cost.
Yes and no. The problem is the naming scheme takes into account both cores. But the dual cores are clocked lower but this is changing as the faster dual cores are becoming available.

I currently have an Athlon XP 3200+ (2.2ghz I think). Of course they came out with the Athlon 64, and now we have Dual core Athlon 64s. The newer Athlon 64s and dual cores are inherintly faster than my Athlon XP clock for clock. There have been a lot of improvements to the core.

I have played Doom3, Half-Life, Quake 4, Battlefield 2 on my system with at 6800GT. Now I didn't play on max settings but I think I was only limited by the video card.

The fastest single core is the Athlon 64 FX57 2.8ghz. The fastest dual core is the X2 4800+ 2.4 ghz. I think any dual core over 2.2 ghz and over will play any game fine.

I'm installing a Opteron 175 this weekend (2.2 ghz) with a 7800GT so I shall soon see if I'm right.

lots
01-05-2006, 12:31 PM
@ lots: do you know if the newer Nvidia drivers are dual core/processor aware (multi-threaded). I ask because back in my design visualization days we used Wildcat cards which had very low CPU usage. This was around the time of the first Quadro 980 (geForce 4 based cards). I seem to remember the Nvidia cards had much higher CPU usage.

If that holds true today the second core/processor could be used to support the GPU leaving the #1 processor almost completely dedicated to the game engine. If the game engine was capable of taxing the CPU that could be dual core advantage even though the game engine itself isn't multi-threaded.

-jscott
The new nvidia drivers are multithreaded (the 80.xx series), however its this multithreaded-ness that seems to be causing alot of issues. Though, in my case, the 82.12 drivers have been much better. It has been said that these 80xx drivers have really improve performance for some applications, so hopefully the multithreaded drivers will eventually get thier bugs worked out and everyone can enjoy the speed boost.

Hey Mike

Thanks for that. The prices I quoted are in Australian dollars as I live in Australia.

Something just confused me though..maybe it deseves a different topic but if wel look at the following benchmarks:

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11...005/page29.html (http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/21/the_mother_of_all_cpu_charts_2005/page29.html)

It seems like the 6800GT card that is being used is limited by the CPU's in all cases. Scariest of all is the way that the dual cores do not perform as well as single core cpu's of lower power and cost. I guess the performance increase when rendering is much more significant with dual-cores than their weaker standing in games but it is still a dissapointment. I wonder if there will be any dual-core games coming out soon.

Tomek
Tom's hardware isn't a great place to get info, but I will point out something in the page you showed.

If you take a look at all the X2 entries on the farcry benchmark, you will see that every single X2 comes within a few FPS of an equivelently clocked Athlon64 single core. This supports my statement that an X2 will perform in games at near the pace that single core A64s at the same clock speed do.

Games, for the most part, are not multithreaded. They see no benifit of dual or more CPUs/Cores. However, with a dual core/CPU setup you do get to enjoy the benifits of being able to render while playing a game, or encoding, or something.

Games that DO support multithreading are Quake 4 ( I hear performance gains in the area of 20%) and Call of Duty 2 (which sadly sees a 5% performance loss due to multithreading). Those are the only two games I know of with SMP patches

As for video game performance with a 6800GT, if you look at modern games the 6800GT is the limiting factor. Actually, if you look at it, at low resolutions, cards like the 6800GT and higher, tend to be CPU limited. At high resolutions (1600x1200 and above) with some AA, games are GPU limited. I recently upgraded from a 6800GT to a 7800GT (it was fairly cheap in my case :P), and the difference is pretty impressive. Before I could run BF2 in single player at just below the max @ 1600x1200 with no AA and get decent frame rates, it felt kind of unresponcive every so often. With AA on, it was pretty unplayable. With the 7800GT I set everything to the max, and upped the AA to the max as well, the system didnt even break a sweat. I will probably be trying more intensive games later on, but that is all I've played with so far. I figured that BF2 was pretty intensive :P

PyRoT
01-05-2006, 02:13 PM
This all so helpful but as more info is given i find more questions to ask. If games are unlikely to really take advantage of DualCore, I wonder if its worth an extra $300. If I knew taht I would really get into 3D and that it would be a huge help with it PLUS if new games and upcoming games were using multithreading then I might be more inclined but atm.. I'll have to see how my 3D goes until that happens..

Tomek

lots
01-05-2006, 09:31 PM
Games are not so easy to multithread, and in most cases game houses generally do not have experience coding multithreaded software at all, not in the sense for parallel computation. This is bound to change, as Intel has released many tools to help developers write software more quickly and efficiently with SMP support. And the next gen consoles ALL are SMP capable, so game devs will eventually figure out how to code multithreaded games. I can see that PC games will be SMP aware in the future, the question is how fast will that happen. Also seeing as the industry is moving more towards multi core CPUs, you will be hard pressed to find many single core solutions in the near future..

Dual core is great for multi tasking. You can game while leaving up all sorts of applications (chat / irc / ie/firefox / etc.) and it shouldnt really hurt performance at all. Believe me there is a difference between having two cores and one. I can no longer stand the wait time on my old (previously "good") machine when I launch applications or run many things at once (not including 3D software)

PyRoT
01-05-2006, 11:24 PM
Well DC sure seems to be the future but I currently run firefox while playing games and it doesnt seem to significantly affect performance. I'm also not spoilt with the multitasking stuff so I don't know if its really worth it. If I knew whether the multithreading stuff was coming in the near future.. and not when my DC 4200+ would already be obsolete then it might make it easier to choose. spending 299 instead of 604 for the same game performance is a big deal.. I don't mind it loading slower for taht price difference. Anyway, it depends on how into 3D I feel in the next few weeks hehe

lots
01-05-2006, 11:52 PM
Well loading slower, as in processing data.. was more of a typeo on my end. Loading is mroe or less HD bound. Either way dual CPUs lets me do alot more at a time than I could before, and I usually do alot at once. WoW and Lightwave are often up at the same time... while browser windows are going and aim.. and mp3 players..

Sometimes I put on movies too...... not that I'm watching them, but other people are on a diff display.. :)

Fighting HM
01-06-2006, 02:15 AM
Tom's hardware isn't a great place to get info, but I will point out something in the page you showed. (QUOTE)

Lots (Oh Lord of Posts) :)

Do you have any alternative sugestions to this Toms? Whats are your favorites?

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