What To Buy?

By (=DoM=) · 17 replies
May 4, 2004
  1. Hi All, ive been away for a few weeks due to working a lot and college/Uni etc, and in this time ive accumulated quite a bit of money, im thinking about upgrading soon but im not too sure what to get.

    Im thinking about upgrading in about 2 weeks time, by which time i should have nearly £450 to spend but im not too sure what to buy.

    Check my profile for my current system spec;

    Im thinking about getting 1 of 2 things;

    A new Mobo and CPU


    New VGA (Either Radeon X800 or GeForce 6800 Ultra)

    If i wasnt so damn cautious with spending my money i'd go and buy a lovely new sockt 754 mobo and a shiny Athlon 64 3200+ right now, but ive heard a few things which have left me a bit confuddled;

    Firstly, ive heard that AMD and Intel are changing all thier CPU's soon, not really sure on the details but its something to do with unifying the sockets to create a new universal socket??

    secondly, whats the deal with Opterons? are they good for gaming? there the same spec as Athlon 64 FX's at half the price?!?!? im confused about that

    thirdly, the Athlon 64 3400+ Ret is nearly twice as expensive as the 3200+ which is a bit weird, if i was to go for an Athlon 64 which should i go for concidering my budget?

    fourthly (thats a word btw) um...there is no fourthly i just wanted to type "fourthly"

    Ok those are my concerns about getting a new CPU and Mobo (not too sure what mobo to go for if i got a socket 754 CPU, prolly an asus one)

    I want to spend my money on what will offer me the best performance gain in games (Im quite happy with the image quality of my Radeon 9700 Pro, but if a new VGA will offer me a massive performance increase then i would get one of those)

    So basically, it comes down to this question;

    What would be best for playing Doom 3 with?...

    A shiny new top of the range VGA (RX800 or GeForce 6) with my current processor and motherboard;


    An ultra fast mobo and CPU with my current graphis card (radeon 9700 Pro) ???

    May i also add, that my 18th birthday is in June, so ill be getting a **** load of money for that (and a massive hangover prolly) so with that money ill properably be able to get whatever i chose not to get this purchase.

    Thanks for the feedback guys, my money depends on YOUR replies :grinthumb
  2. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    I just read that back to myself and found it incredibly hard to understand what i was going on about;

    Basically, what should i get for maximum performance gain in games for £450?? New CPU and Motherboard (if so, which?) or one of the new next generation VGA's from either nVidia (GeForce 6 series) or ATI (Radeon X800 Series)
  3. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Athlon64-FX = Opteron for now. Once it moves to the Socket-939 platform, the Athlon64-FX will no longer require registered Ram, the Opteron will always require Registered Ram since it is oriented at the high-end server/workstation market.

    AMD has confirmed that it would still release at least one other Athlon64-FX for the S940 socket once S939 is out so you'd get at least one upgrade. But it also means that if you buy a S940 board for an Athlon64-FX right now, you'll always be able to upgrade with futur Opteron releases ( since they won't change sockets ) but you won't be able to put newer Athlon64-FX chips in it other then maybe the FX55 ( 2.6GHZ ? ). Confusing, isn't it ?

    As for the price difference, Athlon64-FX is aimed as an enthousiast part so the price is in consequence. Here's an example.

    Athlon64-FX 51 ( 2.2GHZ / 1MB of L2 cache ) -> $748.00

    Opteron 148 ( 2.2GHZ / 1MB of L2 cache ) -> $424.00

    It's the same chip but the price wouldn't really make you think it is.

    On the other hand, once Socket-939 comes out, Socket-754 will become a low-end form factor. The only new CPU to be released for it will be the Athlon64 3700+. After that, it will mainly be used to support new AthlonXPs ( basiclly Athlon64 chips without the 64-bit instruction set ). It will still have SSE2 & the integrated memory controller but will probably have less then 1MB of L2 cache ( rumours say it will have 256kb of L2 ).
  4. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    So what your saying is i should wait till socket 939 platform is released? if so, how long till they come out?
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    S939 should be announced at the end of this month or the next one, or a worst case scenario would be around the same time S775 for P4 gets announced.

    Myself I'd go for an Opteron if it wasn't for the more expensive Ram. It's the only platform available now that will last.
  6. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    Thats another thing im worried about;

    If i was to get a new VGA, what platform will it work on? ive heard that the new chips with be both AGP 16x and there will also be PCI-Express models later on, so again, id be having to upgrade to a PCI-Express mobo after a few weeks/months
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Judging by what Longhorn is going to need...

    Longhorn Recommended Requirements

    I think what you will need is a new computer.

    You should start saving now ;)

    Anywayz, I remember being at Uni and being in a similar position and what I decided to do was BUY BOTH!!!!!

    Believe me, it was the best decision ever.
  8. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    lmao Phantasm, concidering its not gonna be out yet for at least another year, i dont believe any bs speculation like that, its all rumour and backed up with nothing, I SERIOUSLY doubt that the spec for an O/S will be that high, if their marketing this at the average PC user then only about 5% of everyday PC users will be able to run it, which makes no sense at all
  9. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    im not really any the wiser as of what to buy, im getting the impression that you think i should wait for the dust to settle before i buy, right? wait a few months for all the new CPU Sockets, mobo's and VGA's to wear in a bit before i choose what to get.

    The thing is, i have all this money burning a hole in my pocket, thru my leg and working its way up into my brain and i dont think i can continue saving any further, HELP ME!
  10. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    AGP8X is probably the last AGP evolution. Newer VGA cards will come out in both flavours for a while ( AGP / PCI-e ) before moving completely to PCI-e but that's not about to happen before sometime next year.
  11. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Socket 939 with AGP8X will probably be your best bet in a couple of months. If by then a PCI-e solution is out then you you can get that but I don't see PCI-e bringing any huge benefits to graphics card anytime soon but thats just my understanding of the bandwidth requirements of these cards internally and externally.

    I went the 754 route, mainly because I wanted a new toy but also because I was running an old 2100+ overclocked and so many better chips had come out since. When PCI-e, BTX form factor and DDR2 are all matured to a beneficial stage I'll upgrade again.
  12. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    ok, so when do you guys think would be the best time for me to buy (the new new CPU and Mobo route i assume)??

    When Socket 939 comes out, or when i can get a mobo with PCI-e, coz i heard PCI-e is insanely faster than AGP 8x, it allos for transfer of information both ways through the interface and also costs no more to manufacture than current AGP cards.
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Probably in a couple of months you'll be able to get S939 boards with PCI-e (maybe) :confused:
  14. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    couple of months, i dont think i can wait that long, this money has a mind of its own i swear, by that time i would have blown it all on something stupid like a remote controlled blimp or something
  15. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    Well if you wait a month then S939 with AGP8X will definitely be out. Just not sure that PCI-e will be on those though. Honestly from what I have read the duplex operation of the PCI-e won't really benefit the first PCI-e graphics cards very much so it wouldn't be a terrible investment to get a S939 board with only AGP8X slot.
  16. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    /me weighs up benefits from having new CPU and Mobo with having remote controlled blimp, hmmm
  17. (=DoM=)

    (=DoM=) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 230

    well, after vigerous thought and contemplation ive decided to go for a new CPU and Mobo, Figured that will offer me best all round performance, the RC blimp on the other hand would be really fun, but only for a few minutes or so, so thats a no no.

    Will Socket 939 CPU's be out as soon as the mobo's are released? i assume so, would be pretty dumb to release a mobo with no CPU to go on it, also will they be a lot more expensive than Athlon 64's?

    what kinda price are we talking about here? Cheers guys, btw Can i add that i hope Chelsea get thrashed tonight against Monaco :)
  18. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Prices should be pretty much the same for the same PR-rating. A 3400+ Athlon64 will sell for the same price whether it's on a S754 / S939 interface &/or whether the L2 cache is 512K or 1MB, at least in theory.

    If everyone buys the S939 chips, they might be harder to find & thus more expensive but we can't predict that.
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