AMD 64 or Dual XEON

By UTKlein · 39 replies
Sep 30, 2003
  1. Which would you go with? Also I'm partial to MSI, Asus and GigaByte motherboards.
    I like games like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. I do a lot of MP3's and I plan on getting the MSI nBox FX5900 Video card.
    I want to keep it low priced sinse I'm getting such an expensive video card.

  2. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    I would still get a AthlonXP... AMD64's are still to new and expensive, and Dual XEON's are wayyyyyyyyyy to expensive and will not give you any noticiable improvements in gaming.

    Untill amd64's get established, if you really want a dual cpu system, get a Dual Athlon MP one, they are far cheaper.
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I would go for the Dual System right now. It will stand you better in the long run, I think. When its time for everyone to start getting AMD64s, you will know.

    XEONs have loads of cache and run just great, a Dual system will OK, fair enough not get fully exploited until you run an application which is SMP aware, but you'll still notice things running a lot sweeter, believe me.

    Be aware, though, that a Dual XEON processor motherboard will undoubtedly take ECC RAM, and only ECC. You will likely have to buy new memory as well.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I've installed operating systems on a couple of dual XEON processor machines at work.... they also had 4GB RAM each as well, which was nice. Anyway, I also ran them with 512MB and they were still sweet as hell.
  5. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    For playing games, there is simply no need for Dual XEON's. Dual processors in principal are not designed for gaming at all (as game developers simply do not write the code for them)...and XEON Cpu's are also simply not designed for gaming applications, and the performance increases over a simple Pentium4 processor would be minimal...if at all.

    Certainly an Athlon64 is about the best you can get at the moment when it comes to gaming, coupled with some decent PC3200 memory with tight timings (such as Corsair PC3200LL), you will not find any better...unless of course you are willing to spend £750 on an Athlon FX :blackeye:

    As for graphics card, i could not stress how much i would urge you to get the 9800Pro over the 5900.

    ...while they are neck and neck in current games (DX7/8), up and coming games, such as Half Life 2 have shown the 9800Pro to be far superior to anything Nvidia has to offer....with even the 9600Pro (costing a mere £120) beating the 5900Ultra.

    ...Aside from this, Nvidia have come under alot of steptical press over recent driver sets, and their "optimisations"...put into detail here:

    Driver Heaven Aquamark Comparison

    Here is a quote: some up, i think an Athlon64/9800Pro combination is going to be about the best you can get at the moment.

  6. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    The Inquirer ...

    Prescott to be slower than P4 Extreme Edition?

  7. UTKlein

    UTKlein TS Rookie Topic Starter

    K, I have another question. If I go with the AMD Athlon 64 and then when the windows XP64 comes out, what will that mean for the current video cards? Will they be able to support it?

  8. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    In theory, there *should* be 64bit drivers out by then...etliest thats the plan :confused:
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Windows XP64 should come with 64bit drivers for all popular hardware.
  10. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    If you get an athlon 64 don't think too much of 64-bit applications. It's just to early for that. Although the speed that gets the AthlonFX with the beta version of WinXP 64-bit edition really makes me want to have it right now :D:D
  11. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I agree with dani_17, I think its still a little too soon for 64bit.

    It would be really nice to experience a dual CPU platform. They are nice, and lots of software DOES support that, games too like Quake III, etc.
  12. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    Indeed it may be slightly too soon for 64bit right now, but having a processor capable of performing 64bit instructions will mean your PC is much more futureproof.

    Advantages of 64bit instructions can be found here:

    64bit vs 32bit

    Sampling from the data provided, encoding/compression seems to benefit very nicely from it:

    32bit Windows/32bit.exe = 9.6secs
    64bit Windows/64bit.exe = 4.3secs (lower is better)

    32bit Windows/32bit.exe = 8.9secs
    64bit Windows/64bit.exe = 7.6secs (again lower is better)

    ...nice improvements huh. :cool:

    Also games are very soon coming out in 64bit format

    -Doom3 far as i know, these will offer significant performance increases over their 32bit counterparts

  13. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

  14. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    What 64-bits on the desktop brings you - The Inquirer

  15. Cucumber

    Cucumber TS Rookie Posts: 154

    Hmm, i stand corrected.

    I know for sure there are etliest 3 upcoming games with 64bit code. UT2004 for sure, and i thought Doom3 was another of them.

    Anyways, general theme is that its a good thing to have 64bit compatable hardware
  16. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yeah but I am well sure that you will get lots of graphs and stuff showing you how nice dual-cpu machines perform as well.

    It comes down to writing different versions of the application - or a application which is aware of dual-cpus or 64-bit processors.

    dual has been around longer than 64-bit - I am sure you will find lots of things that support dual as well if you looked.

    I remember when the pentium came out and lots of people scrambled to spend lots of money on 75Mhz machines, when there were better chips on the way really soon. I'd wait to see how 64-bit materialises - or rather, how quickly it seems to be being adopted - later on, for now the dual cpu rig would be my recommendation. I still think its too soon for 64-bit. Remember, plenty of hype, graphs etc gets posted all over the place when new technologies like this appear. Some if it is plain and simply just there to entice you to spend $$$.
  17. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    Dual Xeon definatly isnt worth the price for gaming - nor (currently) is the Athlon64
    wait until the Athlon 64 FX 939s come out (These will be faster, have more well developed motherboards & bios's AND will NOT require regestered RAM which costs a fortune and is harder to get hold of than weapon of mass destruction)
    just my thoughts


    EDIT - if u do have ALOT of money then Dual Opterons would be FAST..... If u have LOTS of ALOT of money then quad opterons would be SERIOUSLY FAST ..... If u have more money to spend on a computer than an average family spends on food in a year then 8 opterons WOULD OUTPERFORM MOST MINOR SUPERCOMPUTERS
    -*ahem*- please ignore my mad rantings
  18. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I barely even thought of gaming.

    I was thinking of the computer running in general, not just exclusively games.

    I agree - with strickly games, you'd get not that much in justification of your expenses, and you'd probably find the money better spent in the best, fastest 256MB graphics card, etc.
  19. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    Yeah, but think that a futureproof machine is nonsense right now. Instead of buying now a system that will run windows xp-64 when it comes out, buy that machine when win64 gets out. It'll be cheaper and you will be more up to date for the time it comes out. Bios and motherboards need to be more mature. Support will also increase, and as steg said, there is plenty of a headache with all the diferent sockets for the athlon64's.

    By the other way, dual processors are good. even if the specific game/app doesnt suppor SMP, you still get the advantage. You can unzip a 600 mb file without noticing a severe performance hit, because the load is balanced to 2 processors. Where you will notice no speed increase at all is if you are running a single app/game which doesn't support SMP.

    But if you work in windows and have a bunch of programs running, even if they don't support SMP, the load is balanced to the processors.

    And xeons are too expensive, motherboards that come withe them are also more expensive. Get a dual Athlon MP system and you'll save money. ECC memory is also quite expensive.

  20. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    There's no such thing as a future-proof PC at all.

    There's only the amount of money that you have, and what's the best way to get the furthest with it.

    Part of me is still thinking that perhaps you should get a nice Pentium 4 (or even Athlon) of the fastest variety you can, plus lots of memory - say 1.5GB or 2GB even, powerful graphics card, big hard drive with cache, etc RAID controller, etc.

    There's LOADS of cool things to spend your money on, and clock speed isn't everything. Sometimes, instead of being obsessed with making your PC faster, its nicer to find a way to give it a completely new capability like, say, a DVD-writer, etc.
  21. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    ....Yeah, if you have money to spend, have you considered a third option - perhaps the best single CPU system that you can get plus other upgrades as well??
  22. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Who wants twice the noise, twice the cost, and twice the heat of dual CPUs? One is quite enough. Two cores in one CPU is next on the horizon, and that's a much better option for home users :=).
  23. dani_17

    dani_17 TS Rookie Posts: 146

    I see no problem with the double cpus in terms of noise and heat... Unless you overclock them and have to put too many cooling artifacts, then your pretty much ok. Plus, if you buy a fast athlon xp or p4 system you also have the noise present...

    I agree with phantasm66, give you pc new utilities, and lot's of memory
  24. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Yeah, get yourself other goodies like a dedicated RAID controller card, hard drives to RAID with it, memory, dvd-writer....

    ....There's always PLENTY to spend your money on!
  25. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,272   +456

    I can't complain about any of my dual processor machines - I love them. They are incredibly responsive! I also have a 3.0C and it's quite nice as well (hyperthreading perhaps?) It's pretty hard to answer your question though without knowing (at least percentages) what you do/plan to do with your machine.
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