Questions about CPU gaming compatibility

By rliu ยท 21 replies
Feb 19, 2005
  1. I have an AMD Athlon 2000+ 1.67Ghz CPU, how long do you think it'll last before it fails even the minimum requirement for the latest games? And if I upgrade it to say a AMD Athlon 3400+ will I have to change the motherboard as well?
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388


    Depends on the game. Pretty soon SOME games will recommend more, but not all. Upgrading depends on what type of motherboard you have now. Like a socket a, 754, or 939. You can usually look up the motherboard at the manufacturers website to find a list of supported processors. What motherboard do you have?
  3. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Chronicles of Riddick requires a 1.8 processor, and seems like I've seen a game that requires more than a 2.0, like 2.2, but I can't remember, maybe wrong. So as vnf4ultra said, some high end games are going to need a faster processor, probably soon.
  4. rliu

    rliu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    I don't know what type of motherboard I have, will I be able to find this out if I opened the case up and looked? I thought that upgrading similar type/technology processors didn't require a motherboard upgrade, and such a change is only required if Pentium made Pentium 5 or if AMD made a new version of their processors.
  5. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388


    Most motherboards say on them somewhere what model and brand they are. Mine has a sticker that says mfg. date, revision, and model number. And the brand is silkscreened on the board. Upgrading is tricky, pentium 4's, while all called pentium 4 can be of three different socket types (423,478,775). Amd athlons are socket a, and athlon 64s can be 754 or 939. And all that is not mentioning front side bus speed(intel p4 400mhz, 533mhz, 800mhz, 1066mhz). Basically, a new processor has to be the same socket type and use a front side bus speed that your motherboard supports. I think athlon socket a is the most simple because they only use 1 socket type(a) and 266, 333, and 400mhz front side bus. Some utility programs can find information out about your motherboard. I think Everest can do this and it's free.
  6. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    You cannot upgrade from an AthlonXP to an Athlon64 without changing boards, unless you use that weird ASRock board which has both sockets ( ASRock K7 Upgrade 880 ).
  7. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    Hey Didou..

    I don't mean to hijack this post, but do you know if someone makes a DUAL Channel MoBoard for AMDs new 64 bit chips ?

    I looked all over NewEgg and couldn't find one.

  8. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    You just need to look for boards that have the Socket-939.
  9. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    You mean all socket 939 boards are DUAL Channel ?
    Because I'm about to do my first build, and was planning on getting an Athlon XP because I wanted DUAL Ch.
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    An AthlonXP cannot really use a DualChannel memory configuration. The fastest FSB for the AthlonXP was 200mhz (400 DDR) & at that speed it couldn't only transfer about 3.2GB/s between it & the northbridge. PC3200 in a DualChannel configuration can transfer about 6.4GB/s so pretty much 50% of the bandwidth is unused.

    Yes, all Socket-939 Athlon64s have an "on-die" DualChannel memory controller. The memory controller is now integrated to the Athlon64/Opteron CPU rather then the Northbridge.
  11. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Be it a Palomino, Thoroughbred, Thorton or Barton based AthlonXP, it is still an AthlonXP. 333 FSB means the FSB is running at 166mhz (333 due to the DDR nature of the AthlonXP's FSB).
  13. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    aaaahhh... I got it now.

    I missed the (DDR), so the 333 would be just as you say...a 166.

    It makes me wonder why they bother making Athlon MoBoards with DUAL CH if they aren't going to be able to use it.
    Are there any other socket A chips that can take advantage of DUAL CH ?

    You may have just saved me $20 bucks off a DUAL MoBo.
  14. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    No, there aren't any Socket-A chips capable of using it to the fullest of its potential.

    The object of DualChannel memory controllers at first was to also provide memory access to other devices on the system (all DMA devices such as sound cards, NIC, IDE controllers, etc.) without it having to fight the CPU for the available bandwidth.
  15. rliu

    rliu TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    What's the top speed for an Athlon XP processor? 2 Ghz?

    In response to vn4ultra's post I downloaded Everest and it tells me that my motherboard has the following properties: FSB properties are bus type DEC Alpha EV6, bus width 64 bit, real clock 133 MHz (DDR), bandwidth 2132 MB/s. What are the upgrade possibilities in relevance to that data?
  16. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    The top speed AthlonXP was the 3200+ which ran at 2.2GHz on a 200mhz FSB (400 DDR). If you're limited to a 133mhz FSB, your maximum upgrade will be the 2400+ which runs at 2GHz.
  17. nein

    nein Banned Posts: 109

    Ofcourse, Nvidia's chipsets do. They're the only one capable of on-the-fly Dolby digital Encoding for the last 5 years in Joe User consumer market.

    There're 2 kinds of parallelism, co-operative parallelism, aggregate parallelism, and a combination of both. Nvidia utilized both in combination, hence they are called crossbar memory controllers.

    Typical primitive and lower grade dual-channel implementations can only do "RAID 0" memory mode (co-operative parallelism - also called dual-channel-linear-mode memory) which most manufacturers other than Nvidia do have.
  18. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    oh, my bad...I meant processor chips ie..AthlonXP etc..unless Im missing something here.

    Would it still be worth getting a DUAL Channel board with an AthlonXP (all else being equal) even it the AthlonXP can't use it ? ie...other components as Didou was talking about ?
  19. nein

    nein Banned Posts: 109

    Yes it is, the benefits usually is transparent to users especially in aggregate mode (Dolby Digital Encoding on the fly is aggregate mode).

    Its primary benefit is lower inherent IRQ latency for real-time, the reason why Creative Sound cards worked well with Nvidia chipsets, better than other manufacturers. The same applied to ATI video cards.

    Problem, problem... <--- Both of them have the same identical problem despite variance in symptoms. The problem is excessive inherent IRQ Latency.
  20. pizzada

    pizzada TS Booster Posts: 72

    cool, thanks, Nein..

    I can't afford a 939 MoBoard with DUAL Ch....because the cheapest 939 CPU was at around $150.

    I only have $200 MAX for processor and MoBoard combo.

    I am planning on a DUAL Channel, Asus 'A7v880'/Athlon 2800+(Barton) combo.

    I'm about to buy this Thursday....any suggestions for same $ ?
  21. nein

    nein Banned Posts: 109

    I'm a hardware guy not a saleman, I tried to avoid those kind of suggestions when possible - it tended to make hardware fanatics go nuts.
  22. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

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