3500+ --> 3800+, worth $100?

confusion

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Heya folks, this is my first post here in the THG community.

My question is this. Fry's is having a cpu/mobo bundle with the DFI LAN Party nF3 Ultra-D motherboard and either a 3500+ or 3800+, the prices are $399 and $499. The $100 difference I can add to my computer budget if I can justify the cost. I game almost 100% with my computer (Half-Life 2, Battlefield2, WoW, Counter-Strike). Would you folks reccomend this upgrade given the cost?

-Dan
 
3500+ and 3800+ don't sound right. That is a s754 system and that only supports up to 3700+ and that skt has a 3400+ instead of a 3500+ - do you have a clicky? I know that there were some "special" 3500+ models in s754 that were made for major distributors, but I haven't heard about a 3800+...

Either way, I would go with the 3500+ and spend the extra buck in a better vid card. The vid card will have a much higher impact on gaming performance.

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RichPLS

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Save $100 and overclock farther than that $100 would have bought you stock.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
 

confusion

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Maybe I left out some part of the description of the motherboard, but I'm quite sure that it is s939 (also is SLI, not that I'll be using it).

The video card I was looking to get is the x800xl 256mb. I'm pretty much stuck on this one as our company has an employee purchase program directly with ATI, and the x800xl is the highest PCIe video card they offer. With this video card, what will be the bottleneck in my performace? The CPU, or the video card?

Most likely, the extra $100 would help for more (>1gb) or faster (lower CL) memory.

-Dan
 

confusion

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"Save $100 and overclock farther than that $100 would have bought you stock."

Sorry, I should have noted this originally, but the CPU is going to be overclocked regardless of which route I take.
 

RichPLS

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Save more money, and don't buy SLI if not using it...

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
 

RichPLS

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They will both top out about the same.

<pre><font color=red>°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°`°¤o \\// o¤°`°¤o,¸¸¸,o¤°
And the sign says "You got to have a membership card to get inside" Huh
So I got me a pen and paper And I made up my own little sign</pre><p></font color=red>
 
<A HREF="http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/xx_product_spec_details_r_us.jsp?PRODUCT_ID=3160&CATEGORY_TYPE=LP&SITE=US" target="_new">LAN Party nF3 Ultra-D</A>
I was thinking of the nF3 250GB chipset when I said s754 and this board has the nF3 Ultra chipset. It is s939, but it is AGP - not PCIe - and not SLI capable. Loss of SLI is no big deal in my book - I think the price/perf is horrible. Are you sure you're not getting the DFI LAN Party <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136158" target="_new">nF4 SLI-D</A> or <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813136157" target="_new">nF4 SLI-DR</A>?

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fate

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Um the only version I found of that board is S754 and it didn't even have PCIe, let alone SLI. Maybe I read it wrong, but are you sure that's what board it is?
 
<A HREF="http://www.dfi.com.tw/Product/product_search_result_us.jsp?CATEGORY_TYPE0B=LP UT&CATEGORY_NAME0B=%&SITE=US" target="_new">DFI website</A>

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<font color=red>You're a boil on the arse of progress - don't make me squeeze you!</font color=red>
 
Gotta have faster fingers...

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Bingo - great board! Definitely get the 3500+ - make sure you are getting a Venice core not Winchester. What RAM are you getting?

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confusion

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How do you tell which core the CPU has?

Also, the RAM I was planning on getting 2 of <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145576" target="_new"> these </A> modules. I'm very open to suggestions on memory if you have any. Also, this question probably belongs in the memory section, but given that I have no plans to OC my memory, is it best to get the lowest CL memory I can find? Or is the price difference between CL2 and CL3 not worth it at stock speeds?

-Dan
 

confusion

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Hrm, I did some research and it looks like I have the Clawhammer core. Maybe I should return the bundle and get the Venice core and non-sli board? What do you think?

Dan
 
Clawhammer is a slightly older core - the Venice and Sledgehammer are the newest cores and have an improved memory controller. The older memory controller automatically downclocks the FSB to 333Mhz when more than 4 memory banks are installed (most modern 512MB memory modules have 2 banks). IMO, the biggest reasons to want to switch to Venice/Sledge is if you are going to use more than 2 memory modules (4 banks=FSB downclock) in the system at some point or if you plan on OCing the CPU. The Venice is an OCing beast and can usually reach 2.4 - 2.5Ghz on stock air cooling. If the answer to both of those is no, then keep that CPU. The performance will be comparable to the Sledgehammer. Especially if there would be a restocking fee. On the other hand...if you can save more than the restocking fee by returning that bundle and getting a nF4 Ultra-D and 3500+, then I would seriously consider doing it.

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Get <A HREF="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820227213" target="_new">OCZ Value VX</A> and read this <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=2392" target="_new">Anandtech Value RAM Roundup</A>. That mobo RAM combo should ROCK and save you about $50 more for your vid card or a better PSU.

Give us a system rundown so far and let us critique for you...

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confusion

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I'm definatly going to be OCing my CPU, so it looks like I will go for the Venice core (there is no restocking fee). That being said, I found out Fry's is out of the Venice core 3500's. This limits my options to either putting down the extra $100 for a 3800 Venice or waiting until more Venice 3500's come into stock. In case your wondering, the reason I'm stuck with Fry's is that I have a ton of store credit there (damn Fry's return policy).

Also, I think I will take your suggestion on the OCZ value series. Looks like it should save me some money. I'm wondering if <A HREF="http://shop4.outpost.com/product/4177663?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_new"> this is the same stuff? </A> The Fry's/Outpost website is <b> horrible </b> at giving good item descriptions.

Anyway, this is currently what I'm looking at for my rig:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ or 3800+ (Venice Core)
DFI LanParty UT nF4 Ultra-D (non-SLI version)
2GB OCZ Value Series RAM (4 x 512mb)
Western Digital 120GB SATA HDD
ATI Radeon x800xl 256mb
<A HREF="http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=20430" target="_new"> Antec Truepower 430W </A>
<A HREF="http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=81800" target="_new"> Antec P180 Chassis </A>
<A HREF="http://www.thermaltake.com/coolers/4in1heatpipe/cl-p0071SonicTower/cl-p0071.htm" target="_new"> Thermaltake Sonictower CPU Heatsink </A>
<A HREF="http://www.thermaltake.com/dcfans/led/bluesmart.htm" target="_new"> Thermaltake A2018 120mm Fan (for CPU) </A>




<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by confusion on 07/24/05 10:11 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
 

fate

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Perfect opportunity to get the 3200+ then :p, it's been getting a lot of coverage as a great oc'er.

Hmm any reason you're going 4x512 instead of 2x1024?
 

confusion

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I was thinking of 4x512 just because it's cheaper.

Also, I know it's kinda the luck of the draw regarding OC potential in CPUs, but how high would you guess I can OC a 3200 vs. a 3500 vs. a 3800?
 
If you can get Fry's to give you the model number of that memory, then you can check against the link I sent (Newegg lists part numbers). I can't tell whether that is the same stuff...

If you're going to OC, then the 4X512 is a bad idea. You may have a hard time making 4X512 run with 2T command rate, much less 1T with an OC. I'd stick to 2X512 or 2X1024. What are you doing that requires 2GB? Are you just preparing for future games?

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confusion

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Well, I dont plan on OCing the memory, just the processor. Is that what your talking about with the 1T 2T?

As for the 2GB, I was just trying to increase my Battlefield2 performance. That thing is a resorce HOG.