AMD Compatibility?

TotalEclipse

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Hey - I'm a newbie, so my apologies if I breach any netiquette rules...

Basically, I'm looking to build a new computer - I'm going into engineering at unversity and want something that will have some serious power but keep costs reasonable. I've basically settled on either the Athlon 1.33 or 1.4, but I have a couple of questions:

1) A friend said they had been told not to buy AMD due to serious software compatibility issues. However, they couldn't give me any examples. I haven't heard of any problems with the T-Birds in this regard - has anyone else? I know there are some hardware / driver conflict issues with the Via chipsets (esp. SB products and some video cards), and that the K6-2 had Win95 issues, but not T-Bird specific software problems. Specific examples would be appreciated - I've found past postings vaguely hinting at issues but not giving any concrete examples.

2) Is it worth the extra $ to buy a 1.4 over a 1.33? I'll be doing CAD work and sound editing, but I'm not sure I'll notice a difference for 66MHz... On the other hand, the cost gap is not huge.

Any help would be much appreciated.

*As the username implies, I'm generally in the dark*
 

Rop

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Well AMD is your best choice in CPU at the moment. Alot of people in this board will clain here and there that there are some issues with software, but that just Intel die hard lovers and nothing more. As they cannot name a single app that wont work with a Athlon.

I suggest you go for the best bang for the buck and get yourself a good mb perhaps a Abit Kg7 and a 1.4 Tbird.

Hope that helps a bit.


Rop

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Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
 

girish

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1. software compatibility? I havent seen any such problem with any software refusing to run on AMD, with a single exception of SolidWorks99, a 3D modelling software a friend uses in his company. There is a patch available on the AMD site and solidworks site points to it. But, even after installing the patch (which is just a registry entry in a .reg file) the software loads ok, but on every click, it says "AMD CPU detected"! that looks done by purpose. havent investigated into it further.

2. dont even go for a 1.33, get a 1.1 or 1.2 with 266 MHz FSB and overclock it to 1400 or even more.

girish

<font color=blue>die-hard fans don't have heat-sinks!</font color=blue>
 

TotalEclipse

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Well, I have to say that this friend was the first person I've spoken with to give any negative press on the Athlon, and even there it was second hand, not backed up, and from a pro-intel source. Ironically the only new CPUs that I've heard a concrete example of incompatibilities for are the P4s - the tech guys at work needed some sort of patch to get Oracle working properly on their systems... Still, not a bad idea to double check before buying.

Yeah - the current front runners are the Abit KG7 and the Gigabyte GA-7DXR. My choice will depend on availability and price (I'm in Canada, and it seems availability could be an issue...) I'm only really looking at the AMD 761 chipset, though.

As for the overclocking suggestion, I wouldn't mind more info. While I've done various hardware upgrades on my current system this will be the first time I've put one together from scratch and I'm pretty paranoid about winding up with an expensive coaster... Given my relative inexperience, would I be wisest to play safe for now and buy the faster chip, then O/C down the road when I need the power boost and my processor is worth next to nothing anyway?

*As the username implies, I'm generally in the dark*
 
G

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I have had customers tell me that Pro Tools (A music recording system and software) will not run on AMD's. Aside from that no problems!
 

Matisaro

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Thats not true, they run pro tools on amd systems on the screen savers(tech tv show). and have no issues. Sounds like user error, or patch required issue to me.

~Matisaro~
"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
~Tbird1.3@1.55~
 

Rop

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Ive been building systems for 5 years and the only advise i would give is:
First calm down cause if not you are sure to toast something :p And second of all be scared very scared of static electricity. But if you are carefull and take your time it will be a great expirience for you to build your own system so just take the pludge :)

Though i do like to overlock as a hobby i would not recommend it to anyone who is looking at it to keep their system up to par.

I found the KG7 online for sale at www.azzo.com it is a little steep in price but their are 2 mayor factors in a good pc. A GREAT motherboard and good memory. You cant go wrong spending a little more on those 2 components in fact you might take the advise from an above poster and try a 1.2Tbird but with a good mb.

Well again hope it helps,

Rop


Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
 
I just checked pricewatch, and you can get a decent athlon 1.4 generic system with Dram for about $475 plus shipping at Tufshop. That price includes win98. If you call, ask them what motherboard they use, and be sure it has a separate agp slot if you want to upgrade the video card. I recommend the new Radeon 7500 which comes out next month, and will sell for about $200. Then all you need is a decent flatscreen monitor. I use the Samsung 17 inch 753 DF, available for about $153 at EMS computer systems. The 19 inch version is about $310. I would also add a Lite-on 12x10x32 Cd burner with burn proof technology, available for about $75 (pricewatch).
 

AmdMELTDOWN

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>they run pro tools on amd systems on the screen savers(tech tv show)

I have no idea how Pro tools runs on a screen saver, if you can explain this, i'm all ears! :)

I was a beta tester for Pro tools 5.1, Digidesign has to this day not certified certain AMD configurations. Users report a boat load of problems on DUC with this platform. there's is also a bunch of users who use extraordinary means to get it to work, some succeed some don't. the fact is Digidesign is a major Audio/video hardward/software vendor and end users must be able to install the hardware/software and run on the first try, AMD systems don't offer this yet.



"<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
 

killall

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your choice (the 1.33 or 1.4 tbird) is a good one, id stay away from via chipsets if i was a mewbie, you can get the 1.4 for just over $100 so itd be worth getting that being a new student i expect a lack of funds (though that may not be the case) id go for a 1.0 - 1.2 processor and simply overclock it...

if in doubt blame microsoft...
 

TotalEclipse

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Thanks to all those who have replied - this really is useful...

I'm still getting the impression that I should stay away from O/Cing, at least at first, get the system running properly in normal configuration. I'll post the important parts of the specs I'm looking at, for general interest and suggestions... As it stands price is - within reason - a secondary concern: I'll pay more if necessary, but less is better because it leaves more cash for, uh, BEvERages (another important consideration in student life :smile: )

Athlon T-Bird 1.4 CPU
Gigabyte GA-7DXR M/B (or maybe Abit KG-7 Raid - I haven't seen the lite yet)
512 mb PC-2100 DDR Ram
ATI Radeon 64DDR VIVO Retail graphics card (should I wait for the 7500?)
Samsung 955DF monitor (possibly upgrade to a Viewsonic...)
Panasonic 16X DVD
Yamaha 2100 16x10x40 burner
Creative Soundblaster X-Gamer soundcard
Cooling: I've heard good things about Swiftech and Thermaltake... So one of these as CPU fan + at least one case fan

*As the username implies, I'm generally in the dark*
 

Kelledin

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I'd stay away from ThermalTake if I were you...their Orb series has a history of crushing cores.

Kelledin

"/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
 

lhgpoobaa

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if you want overclockability, i would lean towards the 1.4 rather than the 1.333
the 1.4 is pretty much guarenteed to have the newest stepping and is capable of a healthy overclock.
if you want to learn more about overclocking and the ID codes on the athlon cores, go here

www.athlonoc.com

just remember, the 5 pillars to a good overclock.
1. good Power supply
2. good cooling solution
3. quality ram
4. good mobo.
5. the right amd core (AXIA,ARAJR etc)

My hamster really wants to give you a big kiss, you sexy hunk you!
 

Crashman

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*I recommend AGAINST the SB Live (any version). If you want inexpensive quality sound, go for an ESS chipset card like the Diamond MX400, or cheaper, I picked up a bunch of Canyon 3D (ESS) chip cards for $10, that offered better sound than the Live. And the Live is one of the cards that has known issues with the VIA southbridge found on all VIA chipset and most AMD 761 motherboards.
There are very few common cards that won't work with your motherboard choices. Their are MANY specialty cards that have problems with VIA and PCI, but your not building a specialty system, so you'll likely never encounter those problems.
Get the Swiftec cooler. And stay away from Creative labs, everything they make is more expensive and worse performing than alternatives. And the Live can even cause your hard drive to loose data!

I'm so tired of cookies I'd settle for spam!
 

madmike

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I think you're right to stay away from overclocking if you're not comfortable with it. It sounds like you need a good reliable system. Since overclocking is going to push your other components, it doesn't always make sense. If money is tight you might consider going with the 1.33 proc and putting the savings into RAM - either better quality or more (or both). I also haven't heard of any software compatibility issues with AMD. We run a wide range of apps on our K6-2s at work, including Oracle 8 client and even Server for a couple of tests. I've had no problems with my TBird at home. Good luck
 

Rop

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ESS chip ? I havent used one in about 5 - 6 years (or maybe even more..)now. I didnt like them at all at that time. I wonder how good it is now...

I own a Sb live and it has worked fine for me and i havent heard any conflicts with the AMD 761 chipset. I am interested to know if there are any as i am about to updrade to a KG7 and wish to keep my current SbLive. Please make sure that if you do have any info to provide on the subject that it is not based on the Via southbridge only but rather AMD 761 plus the via southbridge as in the Kg7.

The other sound card i would recommend besides the SbLive is the Turttle beach. But you do get addicted to eviromental sound in games :)


Rop

Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
 

Crashman

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Do you think that using the 761 northbirdge could possibly cure the problems of the 686B southbridge? Search the motherboards forum and the soundcards forum, you'll find that MOST of the people having these problems are using the 761/686b combination. And there ARE NO BOARDS with the AMD southbridge.
Besides, I own a Live and a Vortex2, the Live sounds crappy compared to the Vortex2. But since the Vortex2 is NOT compatable with ANY VIA southbridge, scratch that idea. There are actually quite a few good sound chips around being used on a wide variety of cards. Yamaha soundchips are nice, and for more money the Phillips Accoustic Edge is great. Many of these cards use both A3D and EAX extensions.

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TotalEclipse

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Hmm... Ok, I'll leave the 1.33 vs. 1.4 decision until I actually get hard prices from a few stores, then. Heck, going from my current PPro 200 something tells me I'll be ecstatic with either! Am I right in assuming the only differences between OEM and retail are price, included cooling and length of warranty?

And from everything I've heard / all the articles I've read I think I'll try to find an AcousticEdge now. Though I have to say the SBs are far easier to find...

Both of which points lead me to another question: does anybody here happen to know of good places within the Toronto area (or Canadian sites online) for price, selection and service? Specifically:

-I've been impressed by one of the stores I looked at - the Compusmart downtown. The guy I was speaking with has been to a couple of suppliers trying to beat a price he quoted me which is in line with all the websites I've found (~$2100-2200 CAD, +tax). He also warned me about some upcoming price drops and told me to wait a week or so (which I was doing anyway, but they usually don't tell you). They seem to offer good service / warranties - has anyone bought from them?
-I've heard there are some stores in the College / Spadina area with good prices but potentially sketchy parts. Does anyone have any experience with these places (or general tips on how to ensure you get high quality parts, especially if buying OEM?)
-Any other recommendations of online or offline Canadian stores?

Sorry if these questions aren't supposed to be in this forum - it seems to have the most traffic...

*As the username implies, I'm generally in the dark*
 

Rop

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Crashman,
You my friend are correct. I honestly did not research the 761 northbridge with the 686B southbridge enough. After reading your post i did some reaserching and found that even though it is not as proliferated as in full via chipsets the problem still is evident enough to cause concern.

Personally im devided between the Phillips AE and the Santa Cruz. Though i would suggest to whom began this thread to stear clear of SbLive card and choose either the San Cruz or The Phillips AE.

The only prob i am having with the Phillips is that i cant find a vendor that I TRUST online that carries it.. I hope i do soon if not at least for me it is the Santa Cruz i shall choose.


Rop


Why do I use LINUX ? Cause its the BEST OS
Why do I use Windows? Cause its the BEST Nintendo..
 

Matisaro

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A: the screen savers is show hence the (a tech tv show) part, moron.

B: I dont believe your second claim as to have been a pro tools tester, based on the fact you are ignorant about almost all computer related subjects and are nothing more than a troll.

~Matisaro~
"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
~Tbird1.3@1.55~
 

AmdMELTDOWN

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A. yeah, how cool! now show me an episode or a link where techtv ran pro tools on an AMD system.

B. believe it or not!

"<b>AMD/VIA!</b>...you are <i>still</i> the weakest link, good bye!"
 
G

Guest

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>But since the Vortex2 is NOT compatable with ANY VIA
>southbridge, scratch that idea.

Im not sure wether the problem is vortex2 + windows2000, vortex2 + via OR vortex2 + VIA + Win2K.

I have one too (and a VIA KT133A mb), and I have issues under Win2k. After 30 mins or so, the sound dies. I solved it using some VIA utility that sets some registers at bootup.. however, that doesnt work anymore after I do a suspend or hibernate (normal shutdown works ok though).

Under Win98 the card works fine. I think the biggest concern about Vortex2 cards is, the fact that Aureal has been bought by Creative, and there is no driver support for the card anymore. ALso, I have a real hard time hearing any difference in sound quality between my onboard sound and a vortex 2 with games.. even with a very decent 4.1 Altec sound system.. might be just my ears though.

---- Owner of the only Dell computer with an AMD chip
 

Matisaro

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Meltdoofus, how exactly am I going to link you to a television show??? You need to go offline for a while, seein the world with internet colored eyes.

They (the screen savers) reccomend power tools for music editing, and they bring it up on their system whenever they talk about it, and they run a 1.33tbird system. Looks to run fine.

~Matisaro~
"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
~Tbird1.3@1.55~
 

Crashman

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Well, I have certain features set up on mine, they are all available through the configuration menu. 3D sound is more noticeable from the rear speakers on my V2 than my Live, I have the equalizer tuned for my speaker system (it's a hardware feature BTW), I did the 3D demo to test my settings, and it works great. The problem is V2 and VIA, the Win2k issue is separate. Creative bought Aureal so they could kill the drivers, isn't that nice! They actively seek out and take down sites from third party developers claiming licencing prohibits them from distributing modified drivers (of course it does, that's why Creative bought them)!

I'm so tired of cookies I'd settle for spam!
 

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