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Is it worth upgrading my CPU?


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#1
Congo

Congo

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Hi,

I have an nForce2 ultra 400 chipset that's getting a bit long in the tooth on it's current configuration.

I'm currently running a Thorton core (late barton) XP2800+ cpu, overclocked a fair bit from it's stock 166mhz fsb speed to 188mhz. It's been running fine and stable at that for some time now with no heat issues on the standard AMD boxed HSF.

The final upgrade I'm thinking about before pensioning off this rig, is to get an XP3200+ cpu which runs on the 200mhz FSB speed instead of 166mhz.

At the moment, a new 64bit, socket 939 nForce4 ultra, "venice" CPU and quality PCIe graphics are just going to have to wait due to financial contsraints.

Now, I realise that I'm not going to gain that much FSB speed from my current overclocked configuration, unless of course the XP3200+ allows me to make a further overclock without spending a small fortune on a cooling solution.

The 3200+ runs at a stock speed of 2.2ghz, my current 2800+ is clocked at 2.35ghz and running as cool as it does at stock speed.

Benchmarking with SiSoftSandra shows my CPU result comfortably in excess of a stock 3200+.

However, benchmarks show my PC's memory bandwidth is not quite on par with a stock 3200+ based rig, and this I attribute to the slower FSB speed I am on.

My RAM is 2 x 512mb PC3500 Kingmax modules, and though they don't have excellent latency, they should handle a bit of an overclock with a 3200+ fitted on a 400mhz FSB. (or will they? :tazz: )

From what I've read, the 32 bit barton's don't like going over 2.4 ghz, so I'm apparently very close to the silicons limit already.

I guess my question is, is it worth forking out the cash for the 3200+ and will that piece of silicon offer me further overclocking potential on air cooling, with a view to increasing my bandwidth towards the 3ghz/sec barrier, or is this just pie in the sky and should I hang out for 6 months until I can scrape up the dough for a new 64bit upgrade? Or is there another economical solution to boost this 32 bit platform?

;)

Edited by Congo, 13 April 2005 - 10:37 AM.

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#2
Doby

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I don't think I would do the 3200+, I would wait the 6 months then build the 64 system heres why,

You could get a thermaltake volcano 12 here for $ 40.00 with it I think with that chipset you could get the 2800+ to run well above 3200+ speeds with your current ram and sure beats spending $140 or so on a cpu. I have a 2500+ running at 2200 mhz with some junk generic ram cas 3 and from what I understand the 3200+ don't OC much at all especialy on stock cooling so you would have to add a hs anyway

I currently backed off the oc because I am running some research projects that requirer 100% cpu usage all the time, and heat was not an issue but noise was and I had to turn my fan controllers up, but at stock speeds I could turn them down and still stay nice and cool. Witch is by the way why I like that model hs because it comes with a fan controller.

Well thats just a thought if you want to try and push it further but either way I think I would stay with the 2800+.

Rick
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#3
Congo

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Thanks for the input Rick.

I hit a barrier when I try to run a 200mhz FSB speed, windows crashes on startup.

How would I get over this? (I'm only a wimpy overclocker :tazz: )
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#4
Doby

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Hey Congo,

Whats your vcore set at? stock for the 2800 is 1.65 try uping it to 1.7 then bump the fsb up to 195 and see if your stable if so the try a fsb of 200.

keep raising the fsb till you are not stable anymore then back off abit. Then set the vcore to 1.75 and raise the fsb some more till you determine the max OC your ram or cooling will permit.

Raising the vcore will add temp to the cpu so monitor closely and with stock cooling I don't know if you can raise it to 1.75. With real good air cooling I have herd of some with barton cores going as high as 1.85 but that would be extreme and I don't think I would even go to 1.8.

It seems to me with the OC you have now, the cool temps and its been stable for so long that you have a exceptional chip that maybe able to do alot more but you would have to experiment and that takes alot of time and patients.

Rick
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