Heads up, hardware geeks: Athlon 2800+ in stock

Any of you speed freaks holding out for the Athlon XP 2800+? You won’t have to wait until 2002 or buy a Falcon NW system – NewEgg has 'em in stock, but you have to buy a motherboard with it. (I’d recommend the Asus NForce2 board.)

I thought about it, but decided my next upgrade is going to be a P4 setup. I’ve been very happy with my Athlon XP 1800+, but the Hyperthreading feature in the P4 3.06 looks really promising from what I’ve been reading. Even though it doesn’t speed up most games, it sounds like it makes multitasking a more pleasant experience.

I suppose, if you have $700 burning a hole in your pocket. Or $400 for that matter.

The future of CPUs is, without a doubt, multiple cores on the same die. HT is a tiny, tentative step in that direction. As with all things multithreaded and multitasking, 99% of people are best served with a single really fast CPU rather than a complex, expensive dual CPU setup-- but in this case you can kinda get the best of both worlds.

As far as Athlon XP upgrades go-- the next big one will be the 512kb L2 cache chips (Barton). Shouldn’t that be sometime in the first half of next year? I’d expect a fairly substantial boost in performance, certainly more than HT brings to the table for Intel.

Anyone know how high AMD will go with the 333Mhz FSB Athlons before they switch over to something new? Just trying to figure out how long my Nforce2 will be useful before AMD obsoletes it with a new CPU socket design, ala Intel.

Well, of course things will be better next year… AMD’s Hammer CPUs, and I’d expect Intel will have Hyperthreading without the included Price Gouge Technology™ early in the year.

But for those who don’t want to wait…

As for AMD having processors faster than HT CPUs, Hyperthreading apparently also makes multitasking a lot smoother in some situations – IE: Burning a CD or rendering an MPEG2 no longer means reading email is risky or full of stutters/freezing.

Smooth multitasking is an appealing feature for us ex-Amiga folk. :)

:D Amiga’s are for pussies … real men use Commodore 64’s.

If you have not written code specifically to take advantage of hypertrhreading it actually comes as a performance hit. There is nothing out there on the market today that will benefit from this technology. Don’t buy all the hype.

I’m not a hardware junkie, so forgive me if this is incredibly naive.

When the new Barton CPUs get introduced, will they use the same sockets as existing Athlons – i.e. will I need to new motherboard or just updated BIOS to make use of one of these?


Well, the rumor flying out of Comdex is that the Barton’s will now use a 400MHz FSB, which would mean that you would need a new mobo if you want to run them at full speed, or you may have to end up running them at a lower speed.

I imagine a lot of folks aren’t too happy with that, considering that the 333MHz FSB mobos and CPU’s just came out, and a bunch of us upgraded to that.

nForce 2 supports 200mhz FSB.

I haven’t seen anything on that. Do you have a source? Cause my manual and mobo state that my Nforce2 board supports 100, 133, 166 FSB (x2 for FSB in MHz). And the jumper on the board only goes up to 166.

Is a bump up to 400MHz bus something they could include in a BIOS update?

I think I’ll stick with the Xbox… thank u very much.


Go away you fuckin’ troll.

Cause my manual and mobo state that my Nforce2 board supports 100, 133, 166 FSB (x2 for FSB in MHz).

Try setting your BIOS to “expert” then up the FSB to 200mhz. I did it last night (experimented with it, I mean, not ran my system at that speed)


This time, NVIDIA gave TwinBank a more palatable name - DualDDR 400. According to NVIDIA, TwinBank is now more compatible and stable with many more types of DDR memory available in the market today than with the original nForce. It now supports officially supports speeds DDR333 (166Mhz bus) and the unofficial DDR400 (200Mhz bus) as well as DDR200 and DDR266. DDR400 is a DDR-1 based signalling method operating which, consequently, is not officially sanctioned by JEDEC. DDR400 is frowned upon due to the standard being deprecated for DDR-II signalling standards in the near future. But as usual, the market demands better and faster memory even if the industry isn’t quite ready for it. To prepare for this, NVIDIA is working closely with memory manufacturers such as Samsung, Crucial, and Micron to make sure the nForce2 is compatible with DDR400 memory modules at release time. When in dual-channel mode (two DIMM modules populated) the effective bandwidth is a staggering 6.4GB/s! If you remember back how long it took memory to make the step up from PC66 to PC100 and then to PC133, NVIDIA is really pushing memory performance at a Moore’s law pace. Finally we’ll see some excitement in this space against Rambus’s RDRAM since memory has been one of the long standing PC bottlenecks. Hopefully NVIDIA holds true on the their promise to make compatiblity and performance a non-issue.

Some people equate Comdex with “for immediate release”. If the earliest that Barton will be coming out is in six months, well that’s not nearly as bad is it? Especially for people who don’t buy the thing the very first day.

It’s about the same as the video card generation gap that many of the same people jump on every six months. Interesting.

But I’ve heard Barton is 1st Quarter, 2003. Which puts it more like 2-3 months away.

Wow. Is the Intel v. AMD gap this big amongst advanced PC users and the general public alike? AMD is still playing catch up in the general marketplace as Intel had such a huge headstart, aren’t they? Is it just the folks ‘in the know’ (Qt3ers and the like) prefer AMD processors?

I think AMD is catching up, but Intel has such a history with companies like Dell that there’s still lots of catching up to do.

Most of the people I know who build their own PCs – or, for that matter, see the prices of the parts and do the research themselves – prefer AMD, for obvious reasons.

General public, joe and jane schmoe, they don’t know anything about computers other than reciting the “Intel Inside” jingle. Case in point. I was at EB today and this grandma wanted to buy Madden NFL for the PC for someone, and she didn’t know the first thing about computers or software. They had to explain it to her that the game is on a CD disc, and the documentation is an electronic form on the disc.

Go to CompUSA and just look at the game section. They actually advertise game software installation service for customers. You know the folks at MS must be banging their heads on their desks, because they’ve been trying to simplify that (aka autoplay) so that even a monkey could install basic consumer software.

So yeah, those folks, it’s Intel all the way. And they represent the vast majority of the PC market in this country. The Pentium brand name is right up there with the major big boys (Coke, Windows), and they’ve locked up whole consumer markets with it. If folks are phobic to trying out a Mac, how must they feel about some computer company called AMD they’ve barely heard before?

But the hardcore, who build their own systems and look for bang for the buck performance and who know that Windows is 100-percent native with AMD’s x86 instruction set, we have no problem with AMD. Unfortunately, that’s not enough for AMD. (Witness the announcement last week of a couple thousand more AMD layoffs)

And AMD has been slamming its head against the door of corporate IT for years, and they’re barely making any headway.

Yeah, AMD has trouble convincing those types that their chips aren’t Chinese Pentium knock-offs.