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 Post subject: Intel, I'm impressed.
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:19 am 
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I've been wanting to upgrade my old computer. I've been reading lots from this forum and my old setup was an Intel Tualatin Celeron 1.0Ghz @ 1.2Ghz, stock HSF @ 5V, 512MB RAM. It was for all intents and purposes very quiet (almost silent), but not quiet enough power/memory for the times that I've wanted a little bit more power for processing photos or watching h264 at 1080p resolutions or having 30 tabs open in firefox for days. Interestingly, Windows XP Professional SP 2 has been very stable, I've never had a BSOD, the only times I run into poor performance is when I run out of memory, hence upgrading memory was my primary motivation in upgrading.

I had been considering an Intel Pentium D 805 or an AMD Athlon X2 3800+. The main thing going for the 805 was price as it cost less than half of the X2, but I think it's based off the Prescotts so I was afraid it would be very hot and therefore bad for noise. The X2 was widely reported to be running well at decent temperatures, but it cost much more.

The biggest disadvantage to the X2 is that I wanted to get SATAII/NCQ features in the motherboard to further improve the multitasking in addition to dual core, and my choices were mainly NVIDIA nforce4 SLI/ultra boards. I didn't want to get an nforce 4 board as there were lots of reports of data corruption due to bad drivers and download corruption due to the NV Firewall. This was to be my main rig, and I wanted a stable one. So I went for the Intel 945P chipset. I am by no means an Intel fanboy, I have had some great socket A processors and know that the Athlon64s are great, but I didn't want to use a chipset that I didn't trust. I had no idea about the performance/heat/noise of the Intel, but I gave it a go on an impulse buy. I don't think there's many others on this board using this chip.

The system details:

Intel Pentium D 805 @ 2.66Ghz, stepping 05A, stock HSF
Gigabyte 8i945P Pro Motherboard
2x 1GB Kingston DDR2-533 RAM
Seagate 7200.8 PATA 200GB 8MB cache HDD
Antec SLK3700BQE, stock "quiet" PSU and 12cm fan
XFX FX5200 128MB PCI with fan unplugged
LG LGA-4163B DVD-RW

The Intel Pentium D 805 at stock speeds has been a marvel. Mine is the 05A version, I was disappointed to learn that mine didn't come with EIST which is a bit like AMD's C'n'Q. The 05B version should have EIST. However, it seems the 05A's have a TDP of 95W while the 05B's have a TDP of 130W, nothing to be happy about compared to AMD but please read on for real world performance. The CPU was undervolted to 1.100V in the bios, and the EasyTune5 software reports a VCoreA of 1.050V. The CPU idles at 30-33'C and the stock Intel CPU fan is at 1100-1300RPM. It is quiet, but noticeable. I may mess around with the Smart Fan settings soon and slow it even more or undervolt the CPU fan directly.

Multitasking is really improved on a dual core machine. I ran an instance of Prime 95 after unlocking it with the password, with the CPU affinity set to 0 and priority set to 10, and sure enough it pegged that CPU, but I was still able to run other programs. These programs such as watching videos ran well with slight pauses sometimes but nothing worth losing sleep over. It certainly beats any single core performance, and should justify (cheap) dual cores for the public, or for those still considering single core but do need the multitasking.

After finding out in the Prime 95 readme how to run a second instance, I again unlocked it and set the CPU priority to 10. This time I set the CPU affinity to 1 and watched both CPUs being tested, and the CPU fan ramped up to 1700RPM, audible, but not the end of the world.

I ran this overnight for 8 hours, and the machine was still running both instances of Prime 95 without errors. The amazing thing was that the load temperature was 42'C. Keep in mind that there is no Intel-spec side air vent on the SLK3700BQE. The CPU fan was around 2600RPM, certainly loud in my opinion, but it hardly reflects real world usage for me as rarely use up both CPUs all the time, especially when I'm surfing and listening to music. Dual core just makes things smoother, cheap dual core makes me happy. I plan to run a 24hr 2x Prime 95 session sometime soon, to make sure it's stable.

I have considered upgrading the stock Intel HSF but it's great at idle/typical usage and bearable at times when I need the power, and I'm sure it will get even better as I look to configure the Smart Fan utility. The advantages to upgrading the HSF will obviously bring this Pentium D 805 to silence (which I didn't think was possible after reading about the other 8 series processors), but I probably will not do it as I'm happy with the price/performance ratio. Adding another fan only unnecessarily brings it closer to the price of the X2.

Some websites have even reported the 805 as an overclocking champion, like the Celeron 300A or the Durons, or the Pentium 2.4C. I had dual 300A'[email protected] on the Abit BP6 back in the day, and it's great to be finally back on a "dual" rig.

Honestly I wouldn't be able to tell you how the 533FSB on the 805 compares to the 800FSB on other Intels, but I can say that the system runs just fine (fast) for me. Quake 3 framerates haven't improved dramatically since the Tualatin but I'm guessing the PCI video card is the bottleneck.

The Gigabyte 8i945P Pro motherboard based on the Intel 945P chipset is great. It came with all the features I was after such as PCIe and SATAII for my future upgrade needs, and also 8 channel audio, firewire 800, usb 2.0 (I didn't have this on my Tualatin mobo!), optical/coaxial SPDIF, 4 DDR2 RAM slots and dual bios. It was affordable, especially when combined with the 805 processor. The motherboard is fanless but does come with a small fan that can be attached to one of the NB/SB heatsinks on the mobo, but there's no way I'll put that on nor do I think it's needed.

The only problem with the motherboard that I read online whilst researching my choices was that to install the OS, both the HDD and the DVD-RW for installation from a CD needs to be on IDE1. I did this and the install worked perfectly first time. Obviously I've now separated them onto separate IDE channels. Windows XP is installed with nLite, the system flies along with the registry tweaks to DiablePagingExecutive, LargeSystemCache and IOPageLockLimit. Google these if you're interested.

The motherboard is rock stable as expected of this chipset and came with the F10 bios which meant that I could use the 805 right away without having to find some older Socket 775 CPU to flash/update the bios. There are heaps of overclocking options, however my attempts to raise the FSB from 133Mhz to 166Mhz only got the system to POST at around 3.3Ghz then reset itself. Either my CPU is not good at overclocking, or I don't know how to adjust all the settins properly, or I'm limited by the DDR2-533 RAM.

Anyhow I quickly gave up on this as I would rather a slower, cooler, dual core CPU than a fast noisy one. So I turned my attentions to undervolting the CPU, it worked at 1.2V, so I pushed it further to 1.1V, and it still worked, so I didn't bother with pushing any further than that as I wanted to test for stability with Prime 95. If I get bored I'll see how low it can go as this motherboard allows settings from ~0.8V to ~1.6V. It even has FSB settings for 100Mhz to 600Mhz (2.4Ghz at quad-pumped rate)! If anyone knows how to overclock this processor or use this mobo properly or knows if I'm limited by RAM, I'd love to hear it.

The RAM is at a very good price, Kingston is a brand I trust and although 2GB may be slight overkill, it is a dream system compared to the Tualatin with 512MB.

The Seagate 7200.8 PATA 200GB 8MB cache HDD is from my old system - it is very quiet, I heard that it is quieter compared to the Seagate SATA version. I intend on using it until I find a quiet SATAII HDD with NCQ ability which is affordable. That's where I see my next multitasking performance improvement coming from, not from a faster CPU. At the moment 200GB is more than enough for me. The Seagate idles between 37'C and 44'C, and I can't hear in the SLK3700BQE. It's the first time I've had the rubber HDD mounts so I'm happy.

The Antec SLK3700BQE is a great case, my first quality case and I have to thank these forums for the suggestion. I chose it because I didn't want the Intel-spec side vents which leak noise. At first I was concerned about the Pentium D overheating in this case, but after seeing my temps, I shouldn't have worried. The rear fan and included PSU are quiet and work well with my motherboard. The PSU fan is reported at 1100RPM.

My video card is slow but it sure is silent after I unplugged the fan. It runs just fine, being a low power CPU. I will be using it until I find a cheap fanless PCIe card which accelerates 1080p h264. I know the ATI X1800 cards do it, but getting cheap and fanless ones are impossible. I am more than happy to wait, I am happy with this upgrade option in the future and I can wait until the next round of cards when we get better video decoding support. I'm not really into gaming but for an occasional Quake 3 game. I've tried some playback of 1080P h264, and it ran, skipped a bit at times but was definitely watchable, whereas it would play at around 1 FPS on the Tualatin. Therefore I will one day either overlclock the CPU or add a better graphics card to fix this slight issue.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this hardware - I saved a lot of money as the system was really cheap, but I did worry as I was driving home with my loot whether I wasted my money not buying the X2.

In the end I am very happy with my choice. I got a fast dual core computer (sure, not the fastest in the world but sufficient for my purposes) and lots of memory keeps me multitasking all the time. I got a cool, quiet but not silent system which is very acceptable. At this point in time this complete dual core system loaded with RAM is so cheap, it is a great upgrade from a slow single CPU. I know that Prescotts/Netburst and Socket 939 X2s are on the way out with new Pentium-M based CPUs from Intel and AMD's Socket AM2 around the corner, but at these prices you get a good system today with plenty of money saved to buy whatever comes out at the end of the year if it turns out to be true value for money. Those unreleased goodies are not yet proven.

Even with this hardware, I have lots of upgrade paths for the future with regards to PCIe cards and SATAII HDD, I can even put in Pentium D 9 series processors, which I was told by the salesman idle around 30'C and have load temps around 40'c, which is similar to my 805. I don't know if that is true, but I'm sure glad it is true for the 805. I wouldn't have bought a 9 series as they cost the same as an X2, the choice was always between the 805 (cheapest) and the X2 (cheap). I think Intel has done well in bringing affordable dual core to the masses, I hope AMD will be competitive and price an affordable X2. Given the choice again, I would not hesitate to get another 805, but I do believe that the X2 system is an equally good choice for a bit more money. For my usage and I believe for many others, the Intel at the moment represents a good choice.

The Intel Pentium D 805 runs cool and quiet, importantly it runs stable with an Intel 945P chipset. That's all I ask for from my computer.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:03 am 
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Welcome to SPCR!

Nice first post, although a bit long. You could have just added some pics and posted tihs in General Gallery. But I agree with your main(?) point. Intel D805 presents almost unbeatable value. It can be bought for as a cheap as 135e here in Finland or 153$ in newegg. It's my processor of choise for value computer. And with value I mean something faster and more expensive then semron, but slower and cheaper then x2 3800+ (performance).

I have had my share of the pain with the Nvidias chipset problems and the crappy quality of Asus mobo, crappy bios etc... I firmly believe that choosing Intel Processor + Intel chipset will result in much much smoother installation.

Btw it's not based on Prescott, but Smithfield. Just like rest of the hot D8xx dual cores.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 7:44 am 
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Good post. The only think I would have changed is the CPU. I would have opted for the 65nm Intel Pentium D 920 Presler. Of course, that is $80 more than the Intel Pentium D 805, which brings it closer to the cost of a X2 3800+. But it definitely runs cooler which would make for a quieter PC overall.

I have a preference for Athlon, but I am really interested in Intel's Merom dual core solution for my HTPC.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:35 am 
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As well as AMD has been doing lately, you still cannot beat the stability of a combo intel chipset and intel processor. while intel has faultered on other fronts, they have always remained strong on this one, which is nice for us stability zeolots.

I dont consider myself a fanboy of either camp. i choose whichever fits my needs at the time. Last rig it was an AMD chip, this time its a mobil P-M chip. The AMD rig is fairly stable, id like it to be more so, but i cant complain too much. I expect the new intel rig to be a rock, and never faulter. i hope im not dissapointed.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:48 am 
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Aris wrote:
As well as AMD has been doing lately, you still cannot beat the stability of a combo intel chipset and intel processor. while intel has faultered on other fronts, they have always remained strong on this one, which is nice for us stability zeolots.


*cough* *cough*

ok, so I'm nitpicking.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:08 am 
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Your Intel setup, the 805's are not available where I looked in the UK.

Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro SKT775 1066FSB DDRll PCI-E SATA £71.47
2x Kingston Value Ram 1GB 533MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL4 DIMM £112.24
Intel Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz Skt 775 Fsb 800 2 x 1Mb Cache £147.51
Cart Total: £331.22

An AMD setup, NOTE: As the 805 is not available, I have bought the next X2 in the list to compensate for the price difference from the 805 to the 820.

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI SKT939 PCI-E Audio SATA USB LAN £51.07
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket 939 Dual Core 2.2ghz 512kb £212.74
Kingston 1GB 400MHz DDR PC3200 DIMM 3-3-3 x2 £94.96
Cart Total: £358.77

There doesnt seem to be a massive price difference to me, when you look at the extra cost of DDR-2 and an Intel chipset motherboard.

And I expect I dont need to point out that the Intel 820 gets slaughtered performance wise by the 3800+, let alone the 805. They also run cooler and quieter, the price argument just doesnt work for me.

I ran out of time so I skimmed through your mini-review, please tell me breifly what does the Intel platform do for your needs that the above cannot.


Andy

Edited as I missed out the x2 for the RAM in the AMD system, I did however get the price right, and that has not changed.

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Last edited by andyb on Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:24 am 
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Thanks for the information, sounds like the PD 805 can be pretty efficient when undervolted. However, I'm of the opinion that you get what you pay for. X2 3800+ is twice as much, but you get a lot more performance and similar/lower power consumption. Then again for those who only have $150 for dual core, 805 is the only choice unfortunately.

I really doubt we'll see <$200 dual cores from AMD until the shrink to 65nm.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:43 am 
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Andyb. Your AMD system uses only 1GB of ram while the Intel has 2GB and is still cheaper. Maybe this was important to him considering his emphasis on multitasking. Add another 100 to the AMD system for 2GB. Thanks for the post subak. Nice to know it is an undervoltable chip also. I agree that at stock voltages it can be a burden to cool but at 1.1V it can't be too bad. While i wouldn't buy one for myself it could make a good chip for friends and family who have no need for speed but may multitask.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:59 am 
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andyb wrote:
Your Intel setup, the 805's are not available where I looked in the UK.

Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro SKT775 1066FSB DDRll PCI-E SATA £71.47
2x Kingston Value Ram 1GB 533MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL4 DIMM £112.24
Intel Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz Skt 775 Fsb 800 2 x 1Mb Cache £147.51
Cart Total: £331.22

An AMD setup, NOTE: As the 805 is not available, I have bought the next X2 in the list to compensate for the price difference from the 805 to the 820.

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI SKT939 PCI-E Audio SATA USB LAN £51.07
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ socket 939 Dual Core 2.2ghz 512kb £212.74
Kingston 1GB 400MHz DDR PC3200 DIMM 3-3-3 £94.96
Cart Total: £358.77

Gigabyte GA-K8N Pro-SLI Socket 939 104$
AMD64 x2 3800+ 297$
G.SKILL Value 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) 145$
=546$

Gigabyte GA-8I945P-PRO Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 945P 123$
Intel D805 153$
pqi POWER Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) 128$
=404$

All prices from Newegg. With completely comparable parts (2gig vs 2 gig) apart for the processor. AMD rig 35% (142$) more expensive then Intel rig.

Finland AMD (cheapest available prices):
Asus A8N-SLI premium 160 €
AMD64 x2 3800+ 311 €
PQI MDAD-528LA 1Gb DDR400 77.01€ x2 154.02€
=625 €

Finland Intel:
ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe (very comparable to the gigabyte or the A8N-SLI premium) 142€
Intel D805 135€
Twinmos T1024DDRII667CL5 1Gb DDR2-667 52.12€ x2 = 104.24€
=381€

Cheapest available prices from e-tailers in Finland. AMD rig 64% (241€) more expensive then Intel rig. I picked A8N-SLI Premium for this comparison, because based on system advice threads on this forum, it is probably the most popular board around here. P5LD2 Deluxe has the features to match it. Also Gigabyte has really poor availability here.

Andyb: These components make as much sense as the ones you picked. Actually they make more, then they both have 2gb of memory. Intel with D805 is clearly cheaper.
andyb wrote:
There doesnt seem to be a massive price difference to me, when you look at the extra cost of DDR-2 and an Intel chipset motherboard.
No extra cost on DDR2. On the contrary, with 2x1 Gb kits, it is actually cheaper then DDR.
andyb wrote:
And I expect I dont need to point out that the Intel 820 gets slaughtered performance wise by the 3800+, let alone the 805. They also run cooler and quieter, the price argument just doesnt work for me.
Slaughter is a heavy word, granted AMD will be clearly faster. However I think both will offer smooth computing experience. AMD will also be cooler, but probably not any quieter. You can use the ninja + nexus on intel aswell...
Good thing you are rich enough not to care for 35-65% price difference, however Intel is clearly cheaper and "reliable", making it the best option for budget/value dual core.
andyb wrote:
I ran out of time so I skimmed through your mini-review, please tell me breifly what does the Intel platform do for your needs that the above cannot.
You ask the wrong question. When you have the time, read his post more carefully, so you might understand his point.
stupid wrote:
I would have opted for the 65nm Intel Pentium D 920 Presler. Of course, that is $80 more than the Intel Pentium D 805
Actually it's more then 100$ more.

For the record. My system has x2 3800+. I am not Intel fanboy. I just see the potential of a system based around Intel D805.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:11 am 
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Aris wrote:
As well as AMD has been doing lately, you still cannot beat the stability of a combo intel chipset and intel processor. while intel has faultered on other fronts, they have always remained strong on this one, which is nice for us stability zeolots.

I agree - but I would like to add, that I find really good stability with Intel motherboards. Each of the 3 times I've tried AMD processor and/or non-Intel motherboards, I've been burned by a not totally reliable system, some better, some worse. I recently pitched my dual Athlon MP because it was randomly locking up, and now have an Intel system (D975XBK). This new computer has not crashed or acted strange not even once since it was built - so far, it has been perfectly stable. And this is with "cutting edge" stuff - one of the first 955EE's and D975XBX's in the channel.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 12:20 pm 
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I just ordered D805, MSI 945G mATX mobo and 2Gt DDR667. Total price was ~380€. My friend bought a X2 3800+ setup with a basic nForce4 mobo and 2Gt DDR which did cost slightly over 600€. I think the difference is pretty noticeable.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 5:42 pm 
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Thanks Erssa for the welcome. I'm in Australia, and just like in Finland, the Intel system definitely comes out cheaper than the AMD system, DDR and DDR2 RAM costs the same. Consider in Australia that for the money I've saved from not purchasing the X2, I could have bought a fanless PCIe 6600GT video card, which will give great gaming performance improvements over the X2 system without this card.

I definitely agree with the idea that you get what you pay for, in this case, this cheap system may well be enough for some. Again, hopefully AMD will come out with something in this price range. I think we've now got dual rigs at great prices never seen before. For this price I can only build a single core Athlon64, although it may be fast, I don't think it would even compare in terms of multitasking.

Sure, the X2 system may perform better, but for a main production rig which needs to be good at multitasking and stable, the Intel just works. I'm sure that people build rock solid systems out of the X2, it's just that I didn't want the data corruption problems undermining my main rig. Now that the 945P rig is up and running smoothly I'm glad I don't have those nforce4 data worries as some of those reports out there do worry me. If I wanted a truly fast gaming rig, obviously my priorities would be different and I may look at the 805 in a different light.

With regards to the Intel 9 series, I still would choose X2 over the 920 processor due to similar prices, but upon comparing my temps and reading what others have reported at sites like newegg I do think that the 805 runs just as cool as the 9 series. One day when the 9 series are really affordable (when they are supersceded by Conroe?), then that is an appropriate upgrade path for the motherboard I have chosen. One such option is the 950, which improves core speed, FSB and cache over the 805, and I expect it to come down in cost over time. Value wise right now I think the 805 is great!

autoboy, you're spot on with regards to the 2GB RAM, it's what I really needed coming from 512MB and always having sluggish performance once I opened iTunes, Firefox with lots of tabs, Explorer, Media Player Classic, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, AutoGK. It's much better now.

Good luck with your rig Landroval, any idea if you got the D805 with or without EIST which may further improve heat/noise levels?

It did take me a whole week to decide between Intel 805 and X2 3800+, in the end I think you can't go wrong based on either choice and if budget is a concern then the Intel is a worthy option.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:34 pm 
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Intel is planning big price cuts on the 9xx series in April, if this is of any interest to you:

http://www.dvhardware.net/article9916.html


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 2:55 am 
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As far as I can tell, the 805 isn't available in the UK - the cheapest Intel dual core chip is the 820 which is only about 15% cheaper than the X2 3800+.

A pity really as the 805 seems like a good budget chip.

Edit:

I've actually just located a source for the 805 and it's a little over half the price of the cheapest AMD dual core! Very good value indeed if top performance isn't an issue.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:11 am 
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Greetings,

Has anybody compared the actual performance of Intel dual core and AMD X2? If performance is not the issue, then why look at dual cores? The AMD chips are much cooler running, and very often they outperform the Intel offerings.

This is a bit of a reversal of a few years ago, isn't it? :)

[Edit: I'm reading on the web that the reason the Pentium D 805 is so inexpensive is that Intel is giving a "backend" rebate of $75 or so...why do they need to do that, I wonder?]

[Edit 2: The P4 D 805 uses a 533mHz FSB -- this has to serve both cores' memory use. The P4 is starved for FSB bandwidth, and the 533mHz bus hard pressed to work well with just one core. The P4 D 820 would seem to be a fairer comparison, with it's 800mHz FSB and it costs $77 more; still less than the 3800+ X2, though. What you get is the onboard memory controller and the 1gHz HT FSB. The Intel chips have to run everything through their FSB.

The bottom line is, the 3800+ is a higher perfomance CPU that runs a lot cooler; but it does cost more up front.]

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:22 am 
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subak wrote:
Good luck with your rig Landroval, any idea if you got the D805 with or without EIST which may further improve heat/noise levels?

I dont know, it's probably going to be a while before the D805's get here.

I'm a little worried if the 945GM2-FI I ordered has any undervolting or overclocking options, the manual isn't very informative about that. It doesn't even support Dolby Digital Live so I'm not sure if it's the best way to go. I would like to stick with µATX though.

NeilBlanchard wrote:
Has anybody compared the actual performance of Intel dual core and AMD X2? If performance is not the issue, then why look at dual cores?

Oh yes, I have. I dont really care about highest FPS in Q3 or anything like that. Any P4/P-M/A64 is fast enough for me. What makes a big difference for me is the "fluency" of a dual-core setup with sufficient amount of ram. I had a A64 Venice a while back and I did not like it. The system did stuck all the time when the there was heavy CPU activity. My current P4C with HT does much better.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:15 am 
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That's an interesting link, TomZ, it looks like the higher spec 9 series processors will be very affordable by year's end. I look forward to hearing more about the power requirements and heat output. This also looks great from another perspective because I believe AMD will be very competitive (price wise).

Glad you found the 805 Mariner, here in Australia it's just a little under half the price of the X2, so it's great value. It's even better value when you consider it can be combined with a stable chipset from Intel for a good price (I think the 945-based motherboards used to be quite expensive). Good point you made about top performance, I instead chose good rather than top performance with good multitasking. Just like Landroval I think any recent CPU is fast enough, but adding in dual core (perhaps even hyperthreading?) and lots of memory does wonders for the smoothness of day to day computing.

Also there are many boards out there based on the 945/955 chipsets, look around and I'm sure you'll find a microATX board which has what you need if it doesn't work out for you, but I hope it does!

My main concern when purchasing a motherboard for the 805 was whether it was supported by the bios - I didn't have a spare socket 775 CPU around to flash the bios if needed, but the salesman at the shop I bought it for kindly offered to flash the bios for me with one of his processors if I took the goods home and it didn't work.

NeilBlanchard, I suppose for those upgrading from older, single CPU systems, a cheap dual core is a worthy consideration if any multitasking is done. It's interesting Intel may have a rebate on the 805 but I guess it's a good situation for us as the consumer, and it really does get dual core to the masses. I believe there'll be numerous systems from Dell and the likes which will utilise this CPU.

However I think the (relatively) low FSB is a really good point. For those who need more than 533Mhz I guess they must pay a bit more than the bottom of the line options. I know on paper the FSB sounds really bad but as I mentioned in my original post I have no idea on how this impacts my end-user experience, I haven't felt it lacking at all.

Perhaps the low FSB will show up in gaming benchmarks, but I suppose that the 805 may not be targeted at those people, that's why both AMD and Intel have more powerful, and expensive, options. For me with the typical usage patterns I have previously described, perhaps even a FSB of 533Mhz is good enough?

After all the discussion, it's good to remind myself that we're focusing on the extreme low end of the spectrum, the cheapest dual core option to date. That's why I'm impressed. Previous to this I had been considering an X2 for a long time, and ended up happy with my Intel choice.

I don't think the 820 CPU is worthy of comparison to the 805 nor the X2, it seems to be much hotter than both of them. Perhaps the 9 series will be cool enough.

I might get around to testing another reduction in voltage beyound 1.1V, it will be good if it can bring the 805 to sub 30'C idle temps. I just don't feel like rebooting because the system just works solidly and I'm not running out of memory for once!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:09 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
[Edit 2: The P4 D 805 uses a 533mHz FSB -- this has to serve both cores' memory use. The P4 is starved for FSB bandwidth, and the 533mHz bus hard pressed to work well with just one core. The P4 D 820 would seem to be a fairer comparison, with it's 800mHz FSB and it costs $77 more; still less than the 3800+ X2, though. What you get is the onboard memory controller and the 1gHz HT FSB. The Intel chips have to run everything through their FSB.
HKEPC.com has some benchmarks from D805 vs D820. D805 doens't seem to be suffering much from the slower bus. D805 overclocked to 3.32ghz seems to be as fast or faster then D840 at stock 3.2ghz.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:43 am 
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PLEASE NOTE:

I have edited my previous post, as I missed out the x2 for the RAM in the AMD system, I did however get the price right, and that has not changed.

Therefore I wish anyone who wants a dirt cheap system luck when buying an 805 system, as they dont seem to be available in the UK, and DDR(1) is still a fair bit cheaper than DDR-2 in the UK.

At the prices that I listed above the small price difference in the UK makes the AMD system a no brainer. This is especially true as the 805 isnt available, so if price was very important, you would be comparing an 820 with a 3800+ (fair performance comparison) and the 3800+ would actually work out cheaper.

But thats the UK prices..................

I will also add that a system based on the 805 is very tempting at US prices for anyone looking for a new system and should be pretty good for those wanting smooth multitasking performance, but wouldnt make any serious games happy (like me). Please note I am the kind of person who thinks the G7 is worth every penny @ £57

However, I am personally not interested in a SMP system at the moment, as it wont do anything for me. I was a very early adopter of SMP and I think its fantastic for those who use it, however my SMP experience was with the legendary Abit BP6 and a pair of 400MHz Celeron A's which were cheaper than a mobo + single P3 500 and MUCH faster when overclocked 50%, but back in those days a top of the range system was still slow, so SMP made a massive difference, nowadays it wont unless you are multitasking.


Andy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:48 am 
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My last machine was dual Athlon MP's, and now I have a dual-core Intel.

For me, SMP is a must-have feature. It makes the machine run smooth as silk, and I can start one program doing something and then go do something else at the same time, with good responsiveness. I don't have to wait for the computer.

While I do not run any applications that are highly multithreaded, I do tend to run several applications at the same time, and some of those applications are busy doing something sometimes.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:55 am 
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Quote:
This is especially true as the 805 isnt available


Scan.co.uk has the 805 for ~£100 ( see link higher up thread).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:17 am 
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andyb wrote:
However, I am personally not interested in a SMP system at the moment, as it wont do anything for me.

Wait a moment and more games will get SMP-patched:

http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/amd%20athlon%2064%20fx60_010906100124/10513.png

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2668&p=7

Even D820 easily beats single-core-king FX-57...


Last edited by Landroval on Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:23 am 
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That's very nice, but I was under the impression the eye can't see individual frames beyond 60 Hz or so, and the best screens don't do more than 100 Hz anyway? That would mean there would be no difference in visual experience from 115 fps and 148 fps...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:36 am 
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Quote:
I was under the impression the eye can't see individual frames beyond 60 Hz or so


It depends; on a small screen (<14") this is probably true for most people, but flicker is more noticeable on larger displays at the same refresh rate:

Linky 1

Quote:
However the system is set so that the display is 1024 resolution, and the refresh rate is only 60Hz. I was under the impression it had to be around 72-75Hz, this being when the eye can no longer detect flicker. As as it stands the display flickers. I have submitted a report querying this but the IT Dept state I am wrong. What do you suggest?

The Display Screen Regulations state that "The image on the screen should be stable, with no flickering or other forms of instability." The corresponding HSE guidance for display users states that displays should be free from flicker. It probably sounds astonishing, but the difficulty is that there is no accepted criterion for stating that a display is "flicker free"! It depends on a number of factors including:

The size of the display and your distance from it (because we are more sensitive to flicker in the periphery of our vision)

Individual differences in flicker perception (increasing the refresh rate will always solve the problem, but for some people even 75Hz is not enough. There are wide variations in flicker perception amongst the population, and if you are one of the "unlucky" ones you may find that you can still see flicker even above 80Hz!)

The brightness of the screen (screens with a predominantly white background will appear to flicker more than the same screens with a dark background).


Linky 2

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Typically, below 75Hz the human eye begins to detect flickering.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:38 am 
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qviri wrote:
That's very nice, but I was under the impression the eye can't see individual frames beyond 60 Hz or so, and the best screens don't do more than 100 Hz anyway? That would mean there would be no difference in visual experience from 115 fps and 148 fps...

Partly because of that I'm not so interested in high speed single-core processors. I doesn't matter if you get 100 or 150 fps. Although it matters if you get 25 or 50 fps.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:42 am 
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jaganath: the eye can "see" the flicker at 60 Hz (note that this only applies to CRTs... there's no flicker at all with LCDs), but I was referring to actually seeing the movement - anything above 60 Hz is typically a blur anyway.

In other words, the frequency required to get rid of CRT flicker > frequency where objects in motion blur out.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:02 am 
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Cheers Jaganth.

So the 805 is available in the UK at a whopping great big £115 inc VAT less than the 3800+

Which would make the 805 system:

Gigabyte GA-8I945P Pro SKT775 1066FSB DDRll PCI-E SATA £71.47
2x Kingston Value Ram 1GB 533MHz DDR2 Non-ECC CL4 DIMM £112.24
Intel Pentium D 805 2.66Ghz Skt 775 Fsb 533 2 x 1Mb Cache £84.26
Cart Total: £267.97

And the AMD system.

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI SKT939 PCI-E Audio SATA USB LAN £51.07
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ socket 939 Dual Core 2.2ghz 512kb £183.38
Kingston 1GB 400MHz DDR PC3200 DIMM 3-3-3 x2 £94.96
Cart Total: £329.41

A price difference of £61.44 before VAT

Thats very much worth considering if your not after a performance monster, but do want smooth multitasking performance which the 805 WILL give you.

I would love to see a Sempron X2 (939 pin version) it would be dirt cheap and would have the performance edge on the 805, (I hope your listening AMD).


Andy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:25 am 
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Greetings,

Landroval wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:
Has anybody compared the actual performance of Intel dual core and AMD X2? If performance is not the issue, then why look at dual cores?

What makes a big difference for me is the "fluency" of a dual-core setup with sufficient amount of ram. I had a A64 Venice a while back and I did not like it. The system did stuck all the time when the there was heavy CPU activity. My current P4C with HT does much better.


Well, my experience leads me to the opposite conclusion. The much lower latency of the Athlon memory system and the shorter pipelines seemed to make every Athlon 64 system I have used quicker and more responsive than the P4's in my experience.

Remember, HyperThreading is not the same thing as dual cores; not even close. Especially since only some programs are written to use hyperthreading, while the OS can let dual cores work with two or more programs. In other words, hyperthreading has to be used at the program level, while dual cores are controlled at the OS level; IIANM.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:31 am 
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Hello,

Landroval wrote:
andyb wrote:
However, I am personally not interested in a SMP system at the moment, as it wont do anything for me.

Wait a moment and more games will get SMP-patched:

Image

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2668&p=7

Even D820 easily beats single-core-king FX-57...


Right, and the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ outperforms even the Pentium D 820 and the Extreme Edition dual core! :twisted: What is the price comparison between the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ and the EE Pentium 4 dual core? :twisted:

The Pentium EE 840 800mHz, 2X 1MB (not even the 2X2MB model!!) = $1003 Holy moly!

The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ is merely $295 -- One third the cost, and you could likely built the entire box with a gig or two of RAM for the cost of the EE version alone!

Me thinks the shoe is on the other foot! How could we possibly "recommend" a much hotter CPU that is outperformed by a much less expensive and much cooler CPU?! Let alone the P4 D 805...sheesh. :o :D

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:37 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Especially since only some programs are written to use hyperthreading, while the OS can let dual cores work with two or more programs. In other words, hyperthreading has to be used at the program level, while dual cores are controlled at the OS level; IIANM.

No, that's not quite right. To Windows, an HT-enabled processor, and a dual-core are about the same - the OS doesn't schedule threads any differently between these two.

The only difference really is that, when both "virtual processors" are busy on the HT processor, work progress on each thread will slow down to about 50% of the speed of when only one virtual processor is busy. On the dual-core (or SMP dual-processor), two threads can be busy at the same time, and they both run at the same speed regardless of whether there are 1 or 2 busy at a given moment.

The main benefit of HT over single-core non-HT is that one thread can't take 100% CPU at a given moment. The OS will still be responsive when an application gets busy (assuming that app only has 1 thread busy, which is typically the case). The usability improvement is noticable and beneficial, in my experience.


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