The Current Generation(s)

Loop ----------------------------- me.

As noted in my previous thread, I apparently did my previous system so well that there was little motivation for me to follow the tech trends for a year or two. While my system is still holding decent with the latest PC games, it’s finally showing its age in my eyes. A single upgrade of a CPU or memory will no longer do, so a larger leap is needed.

However, there has been quite some changes in the computer world in the past year or so. The last time I read up on the trends was when the next generation of processors was the Athlon 64 line, and they were considered to be overpowered for that day.

Now I’m reading up on the 64, 64-FX and 64-X2. Various sockets line up, and there is now DDR2-type RAM out there, along with many of the first generation. PC5400?! I’m still running on PC2700! There’s a SATA2 now? Are my SATA1 drives obsolete? Christ, does anyone even use IDE anymore? Oy vey!

Can anyone fill me in on the status of the current generations? What CPU goes with what RAM and how do they compare to my ol’ Athlon XP 3000+? Does, what appears to be, a measly PC3200 rock my PC2700, or should I look higher for something that will last longer? CPU caches! RAM latencies! What the hell is going on?

This very lost person asks for your wisdom in gaining better performance with Doom 3, Half-Life 2 and Battlefield 2. And maybe even Civ4.

Amen to this post, I’m even farther behind. I think my RAM might be PC2300 or something? Athlon XP 2400+ for me. Suffice to say, I don’t know what’s up any more.

The PCGazillion is just overclocked. PC3200 is the requirement for a current A64 motherboards.

Sata2 - marketing for the moment. The latest WD drive is Sata1 and it tops the benchmarks.

DDR2 is featured in Pentium systems but AMD won’t launch it till this spring when they release socket AM2 motherbords.

Socket 939 will be around for a year longer but without updates or new CPUs.

And in video card news - Ati’s x1900 will be released week of the 25th. The GeForce 7900 is scheduled for March. Both will release DX10 cards in the fall.

What do you have now and what makes you think it’s time to upgrade? Just wondering since I upgraded over a year ago now (and not to the highest level) and I still don’t see any reason to do anything more.

At this point I’m not sure I’m gonna upgrade until some game comes along that I want that requires multi-processor power.

Athlon XP = past the “sell by” date
SATA2 = no better than SATA 1 with anything you can actually buy
Modern memory = DDR 400 / DDR2 533 or better

You can build an amazing system right now around a 939 socket. But within a month you will be able to build a similar system around a longer-lived AM2 socket (which will be using DDR2 vice DDR RAM, and will have many more CPU upgrades ahead of it).

There’s also Yonhah, but Intel has a miserable track record of having a chipset last longer than a single CPU generation, so come Merom there is little chance of any motherboard actually being able to upgrade to that CPU.

AMD Athlon XP 3000+
1gig PC2700 DDR RAM
GeForce 6800 GT 256mb AGP

I notice with certain games, such as Doom 3 and Battlefield 2, that the performance just isn’t what I’d like it to be. I feel my video card can hold out, but the CPU and RAM could definitely use a boost. Thinking about just getting a Athlon 64 board and a gig of speedy RAM to boost me, but I’m not sure about the difference it would present to my current system.

Now I’m curious, what graphical settings do you use with BF2? I have an Athlon XP 2800+, 512MB of RAM, and a Radeon 9800 Pro card and I found BF2 to be smooth like butter.

If you’ve got some PC upgrade money, might I recommend a sexy hawt Dell widescreen LCD monitor? That’s where I spent my upgrade dollars this year and I’m quite pleased with it.

So you’re wondering what the difference is between the 3 CPU types?

64 - Single core, getting old, don’t bother.
64 FX - Single core, extremely fast, and will outperform the dual core in just about every modern-day game. Very expensive, though.
64 X2 - Dual core and all the benefits associated with it like faster multi-tasking. It can outperform the FX in multi-threaded apps. Thing is, games are just now taking advantage of multi-threading and there’s no guarantee what percentage of them will make use of it in the future. The X2 is probably more forward-looking than the FX in that respect, and IMO is the best performance you’ll get for your buck, considering how expensive the FX is.

Follow the rest of the advice in this thread for HD/memory. Keep that video card for a while though, the 256MB 6800 will get you by probably for another year.

I can not believe 512 megs would run BF2 smoothly for anyone, good sir. I had to run on 512 at one point due to a dead stick, and what a nightmare that was!

I run BF2 at 1024x768, with medium settings all around, except no AA.

If you’ve got some PC upgrade money, might I recommend a sexy hawt Dell widescreen LCD monitor? That’s where I spent my upgrade dollars this year and I’m quite pleased with it.

My monitor is going, so I’m curious as to how well the current LCD monitors run games. I’ve always heard the refresh rates for them are not up to scratch in comparison to CRT’s, and the main use of my PC is for games.

Re: Scry: What’s the leap between the XP and the standard 64? From what I’ve seen, the 64-FX is too expensive for me, an the X2 will be, for the moment.

My aim is to get this machine to be a powerhouse with current games, and to last for at least another year. I’ll stick with my current video card, so I’m not really focused on getting a system together that will be upgradeable again. With that in consideration, the generations on the horizon (ATI’s new thing, DDR2 and this X2) aren’t my focus, instead I want to take advantage of a leap into something that won’t cost so much.

Thus, the standard 64 does look the most appealing to me, but I’m not sure how it compares to my current CPU.

It really just isn’t worth it to get the standard 64 at this point. They max out at 3700+ I believe and they’re just not fast enough to warrant paying for one anymore. What kind of money are you looking to spend on CPU/motherboard?

Not One Of Us:

I’ve got basically what you’ve got, but with a 2400XP and a 9600 Pro.

What I’ve found is that you CAN’T keep the same video card – no motherboards that are any good have AGP slots!

So I’m looking at 4400XP + NF4 Mobo + 1 gig RAM + new case (cuz mine sucks) + 7800GT and looking at a cool grand.

Is it really worth it to wait for the new sockets?

I’m running an excellent gigabyte mobo, the K8U-989, with an Athlon XP 4400+ X2. I really wanted to hang onto my 6800. The mobo cost me $50. When I’m ready to move onto PCI-E, which won’t be for another year (I’ll be waiting for the DX10 generation in the fall) I’m willing to take that $50 loss – it would have cost me a lot more to upgrade to a 7800.

Scry: $400 USD is currently what I have, but not limited to, for mobo/CPU/memory (want at least a gig).

How much did the X2 cost you?

It was about $400 for the CPU. I already had a gig of DDR400 so in total my upgrade was $450 + tax.