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Thread: System upgrade, please advice...

  1. #1
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    Default System upgrade, please advice...

    Hi all, it is now my turn to ask for a little help just getting the facts in place for my major system upgrade. Noteworthy is that I have not upgraded my system in the last three years, and even though I have not been "off the hook", I have not had any direct experience with newer hardware since.

    So I'll start by asking about these main core components for the bulk of the system upgrade. First off, I've had a hard time deciding which way to go this time. Despite the apparent overwhelming evidence to go Intel this time around (at this point, anything will be an update on my system), here's what I've compiled so far from parts that I can easily get down around these parts:

    AMD:
    • Motherboard ASUS M2N-SLI DELUXE
    • 2 Gb PC6400 DDR2 RAM some or another brand.
    • AMD Athlon64 X2 6000+
    • EVGA 8600 GTS SuperClocked (720MHz) PCI-E 16x video card.


    Intel:
    • Abit IP35-E (can't find the Pro version down here)
    • Same RAM
    • Intel Core 2 Duo E6750
    • Same video card.


    Now, all the reviews on the net seem to favor Intel, except for a consistent test: Science Mark. Since I work at a scientific lab on 3D visualization and on occasion take work home I was giving this some thought. However, for all other intents and purposes the Intel systems beat the AMD ones hands down on pretty much all benchmarks. I have not seen any direct comparison of the CPUs in question (at most I've seen comparisons of the E6750 against an FX-62, and the 6000+ is faster than the FX-62.

    Now, all the reviews available have one MAJOR flaw: They're done in Windows, and I couldn't find a single meaningful Linux benchmarks/review report. And of course my primary focus is with Linux, NOT Windows. So how would either fair in Linux? I know pretty much any dual core setup would feel leaps ahead of my current system (and the addition of 2Gb of RAM are much appreciated, especially for 64-bit Linux). Are there any significant differences in the CPUs in Linux? One thing I know for certain, the compiler used for test apps DOES have a major impact, more so on Linux than Windows, as the Intel compiler has major boosts of performance on Intel CPUs compared to AMD's, however, it is my understanding, that even -O2 code built in gcc, is slightly faster on AMD CPUs.

    Another thing to consider is that the 6000+ is still a K8 at its core (Toledo), and the new K9 (Phaenom or whatever it is going to be called, basically a two-three core CPU based on Barcelona), should be around the corner... And may present the C2D's with more competition than the current sorry state of things.

    At any rate there are many technical reasons that make me want to go AMD, due to design purely:

    • Hyper Transport, is still apparently more efficient for inter CPU communication (though the massive L2 cache of Intel CPUs help them a LOT)
    • Integrated memory controller, which means (as demonstrated by many memory benchmarks) better memory access.


    Keep in mind I'll be upgrading from:
    • K8*800 VIA Platform (motherboard)
    • AMD Athlon64 2800+ (S754)
    • 1Gb PC2700 RAM
    • GeForce FX 5900 (AGP)


    So this is indeed a major upgrade. Any insights will be much appreciated! TIA!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Default

    The Core2 apparently has some problems with 64bit code
    (read: not as efficient as the AMD64 parts), but excels
    when thrown 32bit code at.

    I suggest you get a K10 derived opteron if you're going
    to do lots of 64bit, memory-intesive workloads.

    On the other hand, I'm no fan of AMD chipsets, as they
    all suck IMO. Intel's chipsets are better supported in
    linux (well, at least the "advanced" features which windows does not use and most board vendors therefore do not validate).

  3. #3
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    Yes. I'm going to be using 64-bits exclusively. There is no way I'll go back to 32-bits for certain tasks, and since you can run all your 32-bit apps on 64-bit Linux (provided a chroot env, or multilib), I'm keeping 64-bits

    Thanks for your suggestions. Any ETA for the new CPUs?

  4. #4
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    Sep 2007
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    FOr amd ?, november december for new ones, you should go ati, im soooo satisfied with my performance under games, and aiglx looks soo good, even though i have some issues, but, the aiglx driver hasnt matured yet, as lots of guys call it.

    but Amd based pc, and go a 2900 PRO, and use the spare money for a better psu =)

    I got atm
    4400+ @ 2.2 ghz 2mb cache running @ 2.7 ghz
    Ocz pc4000 ddr @ 600 mhz
    2900 XT watercooled.

    Running smooth.

  5. #5
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    It'll take a bit more than a single driver release to make me go back to ATI on Linux. When I see Windows comparable figures, and no major problems with primary features such as AIGLX, XVideo, etc, etc... then I'll seriously consider it. Plus with the new ATI stuff around the corner too, there's going to be the RV670 based cards (HD3x00) and R700 a little more down the pipe... I think I'll wait for those. The 8600 is but a place holder and for my budget the only one that'll deliver the performance for the price and budget I currently have. The HD2600 is completely ruled out, as it truly is the worst performer on all tests I've seen with 8600's.

    I may wait to see the new CPUs and how do they fair in the wild against current C2D's and the upcoming Intel design (not to mention 45nm manufacture process). Will keep an eye out on AMD's site for any news on the upcoming CPUs. I thought they had already launched them, but I'm not sure if they are already delivering them.

  6. #6
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    Apparently the C2D's have a security flaw:
    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/06..._2_duo_errata/
    However I haven't seen any real issues regarding this. 8600 is a good card. Very good price/performance ratio.

  7. #7
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    While checking some more information on reviews, benchmarks, etc, I saw something that struck me like lighting:

    I know that the P35 and newer chipsets from Intel will support the upcoming crop of CPUs, which also means that the LGA socket is going to stick for some time still, at least until the next generation of CPUs (unlike AMD who has had so many socket revisions, that I believe the one which they held on for the longest time was the Socket A). At any rate with Desktop Phenoms just around the corner, will they support the AM2 socket still? I know that what will most likely dictate this is the type of memory, but since DDR3 with its impressive speed has higher latency than DDR2, what is more likely to happen, for DDR2 to reach higher speeds, or AMD adopting DDR3?

    From what I've read, the Phenoms will be able to work under AM2 sockets (albeit not at their fullest) and their "native" sockets will be the AM2+ (which supports both split power plane and Hyper Transport 3 @ 2.0GHz). According to Wikipedia, there seems to be another socket for the quad core FX CPUs (socket F+) and there will be an AM3 socket (HyT3/DDR3?)... Darn AMD they do make life difficult!

  8. #8
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    A friend came to me and raised a very valid point: "Since the G80 parts seem to have problems in Linux, performance-wise, why don't you initially get a 7900 GS instead of the 8600? It should be selling for much less nowadays" Then came across this review... It should be a no brainer. Could then move to a G90 when they are released, and I get enough money.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetargos View Post
    A friend came to me and raised a very valid point: "Since the G80 parts seem to have problems in Linux, performance-wise, why don't you initially get a 7900 GS instead of the 8600? It should be selling for much less nowadays" Then came across this review... It should be a no brainer. Could then move to a G90 when they are released, and I get enough money.
    The G80's a nice design, but until the drivers expose all the nice DX10 capabilities that it provides in the form of ARB extensions (which are being worked on by ATI and NVidia, by the by...) and the titles all USE those extentions, they're just not worth the trouble and headache. The G80 versions are nice, but they just don't bring anything to the table for Linux gaming yet that a nice GeForce 7 series GPU from the upper end of the spectrum brings along for less money.
    Last edited by Svartalf; 10-25-2007 at 01:07 AM.

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