What would yield the best performance gain?

By Vehementi ยท 51 replies
Jan 12, 2004
  1. Hello all,

    Well, me being the shifty, underhanded type has gotten the oppurtunity (with a certain amount of deviousness) to get his hands on a shiny new Athlon 64 3400+. But, I am fairly satisfied with my Pentium 4 2.6C as of now.
    Thing is, I have some money to spend. I could easily use this money for an Athlon 64 3400+ and a nice nForce3 or VIA K8T800 board. Or, I could use this money to buy a new Radeon 9600XT (have an 8500LE), two WD Raptors for RAID0 (have a 120GB WD SE) and something else cool, like a DVD drive (gave mine to my dad...), a case skin, and some other stuff. Of course, I don't really need ANY of this stuff, but that's beside the point. If I did choose to go with the Athlon 64, I could sell my 2.6C, P4P800 Deluxe, and Thermalright SP94 on eBay or to a friend of mine (who asked me about the 2.6C) for $250, which I would end up using for either the hard drives or the video card anyway :)

    Anyway, what do you guys think I should do? Upgrade my rig to something pretty cool, or get the coolest thing I could possibly get my hands on?
  2. Scol

    Scol TS Rookie Posts: 88

    wow $250? good price :)

    What do your regular computing tasks include? I think you could up your graphics, but RAIDing your drives sounds like it'd be good to do too...

    I think it depends what you use your computer for, but of course it never hurts to have the newest and best toys :D
  3. farmer

    farmer TS Rookie Posts: 48

    I think you ought to go for the AMD build. It would be new, and give you new goals to go after as far as OC'ing. You might have already maxed out your Intel system, and this would be just plain new...

    If you go the AMD, have loads of fun...

  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    the best bang for your buck would be the upgrade from the 8500LE to the 9800 pro or XT and the raptor drives. just those two things alone would yield a very noticible performance improvement.

    simply put if yuo want to increase performance deal with the bottlenecks. the P4 2.6C is not the bottleneck the 8500LE is. while the WD is not necessarily a bottleneck going to the raptors drops your seek times from 8.9 to 4.5 you can put the little hourgalss in windows on the back of a milk carton as missing.
  5. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I say if the things you use your system for area heavy on the multimedia side (games and such), go with the 3400+. It'll open the bottleneck right up and also allow your 8500 a little more breathing room.
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    are you seriously suggesting that a P4 2.6 Ghz chip is bottlenecking a radeon 8500LE?
  7. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    any P42.6 on a P4P800 Deluxe is not bottlenecking ANY 8500...the CPU will be sitting idle half the time waiting for the GFX card to keep up. The best performance increase you could get would probebly to be to upgrade the graphics card (a 5700 Ultra sounds about right) but if ur getting a A64 3400+ snatch it up right now - should give a nice performance boost - stick it on a VIA K8T800 board and ull be well away....and with the funds u get back from the 2.6c/P4P800 etc get yourself a GFX card and you will have a very powerful gaming rig

    btw - the 9800Pro/XT (and the 5900/5950 ultra) and DEFINATLY NOT the best bang per buck..the price is stupidly high..if you want BpB then ull be looking at the 9600XT the 5700 Ultra and perhaps the 5900LS.

    Hope that helps

  8. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    I say go for the 3400+ and then pick up a 9600XT with the extra money...That will be one sweet rig...
  9. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I guess what I'm saying more so is that the Athlon 64's Hyperthreading can more easily remove I/O bottlenecks for increased system performance. That's the context I'm referring to. Take it as you will. :D

    I fully agree here. I've seen and heard of some issues with the 9800XT....specifically with a few games for which some hot fixes have been released.
  10. NoisySilence

    NoisySilence TS Rookie Posts: 98

    P4s use HyperThreading, Athlon64s use HyperTransport & both are not related.
  11. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    You're right.....slip of the lip. Okay, HyperTransport......nonetheless, as I said, that's my take on it.


    Just my $.02
  12. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    the question of the original post was " what would yiel the best performance gain." I find it odd that given he has a P4 2.6C CPU clocked to 3.4 Ghz the recommendations are to go with an athlon 3400. quite clearly the performance gain of doing so would be minimal compared to the performance gain replacing the 8500LE with a 9800 pro and the WD 7,200rpm with the 8.9 ms access times with 10.000 rpm raptors with a 4.5ms access time.
  13. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Strictly a personal opinion.....but I feel that the 64-bit 3400+ would give him his best boost. I know the drives would, but I'm not sure how much more the 9600XT would help him.

    Of course I'm talking stock speeds, not the overclock per his pics above. ;)
  14. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    the 9600XT is a nice mainstream card. I have a 9500 Pro which slightly outperforms the 9600XT. but it is not even close to the performance of the radeon 9800 non pro much less the 9800 pro that I also have. the 256bit memory bus on the 9800's makes a big difference in both performance and image quality.
  15. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Hell, they're all nice cards. I'm running on an old stock Radeon64 VIVO right now which STILL takes everything I can throw at it, but I can't wait until the 9600 Pro gets here. :)
  16. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,704


    I don't think I'll get the Athlon 64. I mean, it would be nice, but not as nice as a fast extra 74G of space, and a new video card. I'm thinking of dual 36G Raptors and I dunno yet about the video card. I have about $200 for it, any suggestions?
  17. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    ATi 9600 pro or the GFX 5700. those are good cards for around that price. i just got an Ati 9600 pro and i love it. its like a whole new world in BF 1942 from what i saw with my GFX 5200.
  18. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    check around the net for 9800 non pro cards some places are discounting them to 199.00 and it is an excellent card.
  19. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,978   +15

    9700 PRO. Its not too much more then the 9600XT, its numbers are without a doubt suporior to the 9600.

    9800 would be dumb, its not much (at all) better then the 9700, and costs $100 more. not to mention its out of your budget.

    As much as i dispite Powercolor, this is the deal:

    btw look at this.... a 9500 - is that not odd or what. I didnt think they were still being made?
  20. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,704

  21. farmer

    farmer TS Rookie Posts: 48

    Ah agissi, but there is a difference if you're into benchmarking! The 9800Pro will blow a 9700Pro right out of the water. It's all relative...

    I have to agree with the 9800np. A "built by Ati" can be found in the mid to low $200US, you do the bios flash, you have a 9800Pro. Vehementi, you appear to have a screamer rig being bottlenecked by the video card. I don't know if your into the benching thing, but I saw your OC screen, and with the dual Raptors, and a Radeon, you've got a 20k machine easy...

    BTW, all this is just my opinion, so if you don't do the benching, hope you don't flame me...:D

    Good luck....
  22. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    I think a 9700 Pro for $219 is the best offer right now.

    9700 Pro at NewEgg
  23. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,704

    Well it comes down between the 9700 Pro and the 5900 I posted. I like the 5900 better, but I'll keep reading reviews.
  24. Scol

    Scol TS Rookie Posts: 88

    I say the 5900 cuz its a "newer" card, even though you could potentially take a loss with AA and Aniso compared with the 9700. You'll have to consider how much that matters to you. You could even take a drop a little and go for a 5900SE. They're not bad performers themselves despite the spec differential, and are better in most benches than the 9600xt and the 5700 ultra.

    I don't know if you're concerned with getting a new card, but I've always seen refurbished 5900s on Newegg for some pretty good prices.

    The one you pointed out looks good, but I've personally like Leadtek's version of the 5900 because of the encasing, though I don't know how they compare spec and overclock wise...
  25. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 2,704

    Well thank you everyone, I am going to order my Raptors, Black Samsung CD-RW/DVD drive, and my Gainward 5900 (and my free black newegg tshirt :D) right now :)
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