Tech, rather than Apple: Socket 939 Athlons and memory speed

brap

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Nottingham
OK, yeah, I know, it's not an Apple thing. But I've just decided I'm in rather a good position to upgrade my folding machine, and have a few questions about the Athlon 64.

1. Main, killer all-or-nothing question: I have some old DDR333 sticks which are running with my Barton atm, and I want to save expense by re-using them. They won't clock up to 400, though, so would using them at 333 cause my CPU to fall back?

2. The 64-bit Windows beta. Worthwhile?

3. I'm pretty much decided upon socket 939, (a 3000+ actually) since it's current. The new 90nm Winchesters, exactly how cool, and how quiet are they?

4. Finally, do they deliver a visible increase in speed over and above their 32-bit counterparts? I've read Toms, but really want firsthand experience.

Motherboards I can research, but there's so much crap out there regarding CPUs I'd rather hear it from someone. Cheers!
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,757
133
Harrogate
1) Not sure, but really not recommended. The advantage that the Athlon-64 has over previous Athlons (and the Pentium IV) is it's built in memory controller. Crippling that will really slow it down. I'm fairly certain it won't work!

2) No idea: the people I know with these are not using it!

3) With AMDs Cool'N'Quiet enabled they seem to be good.

4) Massive difference! Really worth it!
 

brap

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 10, 2004
1,701
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Nottingham
robbieduncan said:
1) Not sure, but really not recommended. The advantage that the Athlon-64 has over previous Athlons (and the Pentium IV) is it's built in memory controller. Crippling that will really slow it down. I'm fairly certain it won't work!
Well, I have seen in product specs that these boards are compatible with all DDR memory, even down to 2100 - just wondering how they did it... :eek:
3) With AMDs Cool'N'Quiet enabled they seem to be good.

4) Massive difference! Really worth it!
Yeah, I'm thinking with the lower wattage, an upgrade would help on the power bills quite significantly!

Think I'm going to jump for it even if the memory makes it clock down a few notches, the SSE2 will probably be worth it. Now to find somewhere close to the magic 'break-even' price...
 

Timelessblur

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2004
1,086
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for number 2 windows 64 is still a beta program. It is slower than the 32 bit wiondows there will be a lot of drivers problems due to the fact no one is reallly currently making them.
Get a legit copy of the current 32bit XP for the computer.

The ram would be holding back the computer and since you are not going to use DDR 400 just get a socket 754 amd 64 and even then a it should still be DDR 400
 

vashim66

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2003
98
0
Just built a 3500+ as my gaming machine in a shuttle sn95g5 and I cannot hear the processor fan whatsoever..it idles at 33C and gets up into the mid 40's while playing games. In fact the only thing i can hear is my x800xt PE...but just barely.

i think tomshardware just did a benchmark with the socket 939s with ddr33 vs ddr400..
 

brap

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 10, 2004
1,701
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Nottingham
Timelessblur said:
for number 2 windows 64 is still a beta program.
Yes. That's why I said:
Me said:
2. The 64-bit Windows beta. Worthwhile?
You said:
The ram would be holding back the computer and since you are not going to use DDR 400 just get a socket 754 amd 64 and even then a it should still be DDR 400
Yes, I know the RAM will be running slowly, but I'm reading that it's compatible, and asking for users who might have experience. I can guess just as well as you, but it's not really much help.
vashim66 said:
Just built a 3500+ as my gaming machine in a shuttle sn95g5 and I cannot hear the processor fan whatsoever..it idles at 33C and gets up into the mid 40's while playing games. In fact the only thing i can hear is my x800xt PE...but just barely.

i think tomshardware just did a benchmark with the socket 939s with ddr33 vs ddr400..
That's impressive, especially with the heat dissipation issues inherent with a Shuttle. I'm liking the idea of a quieter machine :)

I've been looking through Tom's for the past hour or so reading the 939 stuff... can't seem to find that one, though.
 

brap

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 10, 2004
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Nottingham
daveL said:
You can fold very nicely on Linux, you know. Why bother with crappy XP? Besides, Linux is free.
Why? This is why :D

vashim66: Yeah, low power consumption. Yummy. FYI, I just ordered a 939 3000+ (retail) and an MSI K8N Neo Diamond, but only because the store from which I was buying has put the wrong price on it :)

edit: From AnandTech:
The largest differential between DDR400 and DDR333 is about 7%
...score. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Toreador93

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2003
190
0
I also just built a SN95G5 shuttle with an AMD 3000+. It would be dead quiet had I not gotten the 6800 GT :\

My processor idles around 37C without Cool N Quiet (haven't downloaded it yet). It's very fast for being 1.8GHz. Many have been able to overclock it to around 2.4GHz. I've had it up to 1.98GHz, but I didn't notice any appreciable difference, so I put it back. However, my 3DMark03 CPU score was 616 vs. 577, whatever that means.

And the Athlon 64s accept pc2700 (333) and pc3200 (400) RAM.

I'm moving up from a 1GHz PIII, so I'm blown away by the speed. I really can't help with a comparison between 32 and 64 bit.
 

frozenapple

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2005
6
0
You should have no problem running it with the 333. The CPU's internal controller will automatically set the speed according the the RAM's rated speed. That is if you have it set to auto in the BIOS which would be the default setting anyway.

I have built seven A64 systems based on the socket 754 and 939 and I have tested and used PC 2100 & PC 2700 without issue. In fact, some setups required me to install some cheap PC 2100 Samsung in order to get it to boot to the BIOS in oder to set the correct VDimm voltage for the high perf Mushkin memory. The only thing you have to be concerned about is if the mobo's chipset is finicky about memory, such as the nVidia chipset. The VIA based not so much but RAM timings are more of an issue at first with the new CPU's onboard memory controller. The question you ask is only partly answerable in the fact that the setup will accept and run at those rated speeds but compatability could be an issue, especially in dual channel mode.

All systems were MSI K8n Neo, Neo2 Platinum and the ASUS I cant remember off hand. All nVidia chipsets. The MSI's were the only ones that did this.

The difference between 333 and 400 is marginal but the only ones who'd notice are folders, benchmark whores, and the avid gamer enthusiast.

You won't suffer that bad until you can afford the PC 3200 and by then, perhaps it won't be worth it. Tough call.

I actually have a media server with the 754 and 2100 memory running flawlessly.
 
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