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Can I overclock a Dell or alienware comp?


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#31
hrdwrjnkie

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Err, so my question would be, if a p m is slower than p 4, why take the p m? Because its cooler? Whats the difference if neither melts down (I wont exchange hardware nor will i overclock anything) Thx


OK, Master Axe, it seems that you are stuck behind the "MHz myth," the (arguably) mistaken idea that more MHz=performance. I will be blunt and simple.

More MHz does not equal better porformance. Let me back this up with some numbers:

Sisoft Memory Bandwidth (Integer Buffered): This is a test of the amount of data that a given processsor (in a platform identical setup) can move through the RAM channels. Results given in index (NOT a true measurement of actual data, but of the capability to move such data)

Athlon FX-53 (2.4GHZ): 5844
P4 3.4EE(2MB Cache): 5726

Funny how a full 1000MHZ difference can actually give reduced bandwidth measurements. Again:

Athlon FX-51 (2.2GHz): 4986
P4 3.2EE (2MB Cache): 4870

Again, a 1GHz 'faster' processor turning in slower scores

Now, when intel takes the SAME processor, and drops the on-die cache to 1MB, the results are interesting (prior results repeated for reference):

Athlon FX-51 (2.2GHz): 4986
P4 3.2EE (2MB Cache): 4870
P4 3.2E (1MB Cache): 4918

Less cache on the P4 equals better memory banwidth, per these results. Again, the processer that runs a full 1000MHz slower wins.

Now, lets look at this in terms of gaming:

3Dmark2001SE

Athlon FX-53 (2.4GHz): 21469
Athlon FX-51 (2.2GHZ): 21309
P4 3.4EE (2MB cache): 21048
P4 3.2EE (2MB cache): 20714
P4 3.2E (1MB cache): 19153

The two procesors with the lowest "speed" trounced the processors with the higher MHz numbers

Again in real life gaming situations (performed at lower resolution and with eye candy tuirned off to be processor indicative of performance):

Unreal 2003(fps@1024x768, low details)

Athlon FX-53 (2.4GHz): 94.61
Athlon FX-51 (2.2GHZ): 89.79
P4 3.4EE (2MB cache): 76.86
P4 3.2EE (2MB cache): 74.03
P4 3.2E (1MB cache): 65.51

The two procesors with the lowest "speed" trounced the processors with the higher MHz numbers (it's great that I can just copy and paste this :tazz:)

I took a Pentium M 2.0GHz processor that several have reccommended to you and you have turned down as a "huge speed loss," and tested it in an Aopen desktop Pent-M board, using the same video card and RAM as the other two test setups.

Now, if we take those previous numbers, and compare them to the Pentium M, things get interesting:

Sandra Memory: 5814 (the only one higher is the Athlon FX-53)
3dMark: 21355 (the only one higher is the Athlon FX-53)
Unreal 2003: 79.54 (this one gets beat by both Athlon processors, but still holds its own against the P4s)

My point is is that using MHz to be an indicator of spped is a bad idea. You need to consider other things such as cache, ipc (instructions per cycle), available bandwidth, and of course if you can find real-world data in a gaming situation, even better. Now, these numbers are about from a test that I did about six months ago, so the processors are now considered "last-generation" technology, however, the premise holds true today. AMD now has their flagship FX-55, which sped things up by no longer requiring redistered RAM. Intel's P4 line has moved up to the 3.6GHz chip, and the Pentium M line has moved to 2.13GHz.

Again, keep in mind that the FX and Pentium 4 chips can all easily use 100+ watts of power (and conversely, produce 100+ watts of heat) under full load, while the Pentium M, even in its latest 2.13GHz iteration, the Pentium M 770 that JourneyMan speaks of, produces around 30 watts max.

I hope this helps to enlighten you and to assist in your computer shopping adventures.

Test Setup (for reference):

AthlonFX-53, AthlonFX-51 - Asus SK8V (VIA K8T800 w/ 4.51 Hyperion Drivers ), 1GB (2x512MB) Muskin DDR400 ECC Registered DDR400 (2,3,2,5), ATI 9800XT (ATI Catalyst 3.8 drivers), 40GB Maxtor ATA133 HDD, Windows XP w/SP1 and DX9B.

Athlon64 3400+, A64 3000+ - MSI K8T Neo (VIA K8T800 w/ 4.51 Hyperion Drivers), 1GB (2x512MB) Kingston PC3500 HyperX DDR400 (2,3,2,5), ATI 9800XT (ATI Catalyst 3.8 drivers), 40GB Maxtor ATA133 HDD, Windows XP w/SP1 and DX9B.

Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz & 3.4GHz, Pentium 4 3.2C & 3.2E - Intel D875PBZ (i875P w/ .1012 Intel Inf Drivers ), 1GB (2x512MB) Kingston PC3500 HyperX DDR400 (2,2,2,5), ATI 9800XT (ATI Catalyst 3.8 drivers), 40GB Maxtor ATA133 HDD, Windows XP w/SP1 and DX9B.

Pentium M 2.0GHz - AOpen i855GMEm-LFS (Intel 855GME w/ .1012 Intel Inf Drivers), 1GB (2x512MB) Kingston PC3500 HyperX DDR400 (2,2,2,5), ATI 9800XT (ATI Catalyst 3.8 drivers), 40GB Maxtor ATA133 HDD, Windows XP w/SP1 and DX9B.
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#32
Master_Axe

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Ah, thats good to know... so what doea the "E" and "EE" mean? and um, ipc has to do with bandwidth, and bandwidth is the bus (32 or 64), right? thx

franz
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#33
hrdwrjnkie

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P4E is the prescott core Pentium 4 procesors. P4EE is the Extreme Edition Pentium4.

Instructions per cycle is a tad more complex, it delves into the execution theory of instructions, the ability to cache instructions, and the length/efficiency of the pipeline. A great explanation of IPC is here. Again, this is a very dated piece that discussxes some old processor technologies, but the ideas are there.
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#34
Master_Axe

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ok, so let me get this straight: if i decide on what processor i should get, i should look really closely, because when ex. intel says they have a 3.2 GHZ processor, only one part of the processor could have that clock rate, and other parts could have 1 ghz, and the pipelines could be really long, and therefore take away the 3.2GHZ advantage.

And if athlon says they have a 2.2 ghz processor, it's possible that the whole processor runs at that speed, and that the pipelines are short, and therefore the whole processor would be faster than intel's.

But it's easiest, i assume, to just check comparisons in the net, like the one's you have shown me. So right now, athlon would be best, then a p m, and then a p 4?

And in conclusion, two questions :tazz: : If the P M is faster than the P 4, why don't desktops use the P M, and why is the P 4 so much more successful than any other processors? THX again

Franz
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#35
hrdwrjnkie

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ok, so let me get this straight: if i decide on what processor i should get, i should look really closely, because when ex. intel says they have a 3.2 GHZ processor, only one part of the processor could have that clock rate, and other parts could have 1 ghz, and the pipelines could be really long, and therefore take away the 3.2GHZ advantage.

And if athlon says they have a 2.2 ghz processor, it's possible that the whole processor runs at that speed, and that the pipelines are short, and therefore the whole processor would be faster than intel's.

But it's easiest, i assume, to just check comparisons in the net, like the one's you have shown me. So right now, athlon would be best, then a p m, and then a p 4?

And in conclusion, two questions ;) : If the P M is faster than the P 4, why don't desktops use the P M, and why is the P 4 so much more successful than any other processors? THX again

Franz

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Really the easiest way it to find some solid benchmarkes on the net, using the setup and games that you want to play. Some processors do better at certain tasks than others, media encoding for example. A P4 will generally smoke an athlon in media encoding due to hyperthreading. Different processors have different features like that to do different things. Right now, for gaming, the Athlon FX is the king of the hill. However, those are a little tought to find in notebooks.

The Pentium M IS used in desktops, it just has not made mainstream yet. Intel designed and marketed for laptops, and it took quite a while for a desktop-style motherboard to be released that supported these processors. They also contain no built-in heatspreader, just a bare core, so they cater less to the entusiast as they are less physically durable than the P4 or Athlon (the cores can crack under stress of repeated installation, and then you have an $800+ keychain :tazz:).

The P4 is successful merely due to Intel's marketing department. How many times have you seen a commercial for an Athlon? But everyone has hear the Intel Inside noise and/or seen the logo. Intel spends billions of dollars in advertising, AMD doesn't.
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#36
Master_Axe

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lol great! i think i can remember a month ago alienware had an athlon laptop :tazz: doesnt matter though, i wouldnt have bought it, even now that they have a 500$ off sale. I want newest graphic card... ^^ Ok, so let's assume the games of the future will be programmed with dual core and or HT. Then it'd be smart to get an intel, right? So, when i buy a new computer, i should see what processors i can get, and check which one is better at games, since that's all i'd use it for.

Of course, the Ghz isn't all that important, example: my computer now cant keep up with the new top of the line games(excluding WoW, i could play it...´i just don't want to see that game with it's lowest details ;)), because they are starting to need 64mb graphic cards. My 1ghz is still enough, just not my 32mb gefore 2 go. And since at the cebit this week they are showing off 512mb graphic cards, ive decided to wait.

Anyhow, thank you for your help. I'll have to check the processors before i buy one :thumbsup:. There's more to it than Ghz! THx again

Franz
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#37
Master_Axe

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YOu woudn't guess how i came back here, i found exactly this thread on google ^^. Har har, 512mb graphics are out- only for desktops, till now :tazz:. What'll it be now... 3 months? ^^
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