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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2006 15:25 
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Lo guys,

I have been using my Opteron 146 at 2500 for a while now, and with my X800 XT PE it runs IL-2 beautifully.

But I've just been offered the crack of a twin Core A64 cpu, (for a free trial) and a deal on an X1900 512 card.

So will report back soon on what diff it makes if any having twin cores (espaecially when Alt Tabbing in and out of IL-2 and activating stuff like Team Speak etc)

Anyone here using a twin core Athlon or Intel?

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2006 15:29 
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oh ....and that will make my X800 XT Platinum Edition PCI express available for Sale.

It's full boxed retail, with Web Cam, and full VIVO dongle box too. 256mb DDR 16 pipeline beasty.

Delivered to a Marlin for £80 inc.


Note this is NOT one of the new X850 cut down rip off marketing hype models!

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2006 22:02 
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I'm on an x2 4400 but havent played IL2 since I was on my old A64/3200 and I've had an x2 3800 since then, someone sort a LAN so I can get away from the missus and have a weekend gaming :lol:

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2006 23:12 
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would love to.. but still without a place to open the doors to. :(

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PostPosted: 15 Oct 2006 23:50 
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Aye LAN would be great :bob:

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2006 09:38 
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Dual cores/cpus doesn't mean you can specify A to run 'x' and B to run 'y' btw - it just means they can do twice as much in the same time :)

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2006 12:20 
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true....i'm interested to see how XP and the mobo BIOS deals with it all.

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2006 12:50 
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The same as a single core.. mutliples all come with a single controller that splits the instructions between them, so other than the gauges you'll see in Task manager, it'll be just like having a single core/cpu.

You'd need multiple boxes, or specialist Mobo's, and Windows Server Advanced to make 'real' use of loadbalancing between cpu's.

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2006 13:15 
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I dont want load balancing...I want powa! ;)

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PostPosted: 16 Oct 2006 20:13 
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Might be interested in that card Zakkers,

I've just got to find a mobo, cpu, RAM, etc to go with it.....
And then sneak it all past the missus :prop:

:cool:

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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2006 00:48 
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MA_DanglyBob wrote:
Might be interested in that card Zakkers,

I've just got to find a mobo, cpu, RAM, etc to go with it.....
And then sneak it all past the missus :prop:

:cool:


LOL Same problem here :)

Ive got a decent card sat here...just short of cpu, board and ram lol

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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2006 09:20 
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Nforce 4 , for first gen Socket 939, right up to Opteron (ie EXCLUDING AM2) takes standard PC2700 and 3200 DDR 1 :)

It's very backwards compatible.

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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2006 09:24 
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£64 mobo
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductI ... tID=273376

Opteron 144 £88
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductI ... tID=289427
that CPU has a heatsink too

Use ya old ram and hdd :)

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PostPosted: 17 Oct 2006 23:24 
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Cheers Zakky.

OK, so if I go for that Mobo, that Opteron CPU thing, I've already got 1 Gig of PC3200 RAM which runs at the boards top speed of 400..

Sounds like a reasonable upgrade to me.
I'm going to need a new HD, running out of room.
I see that mobo has SATA II & SATA RAID. this something to do with newer HD's? time I googled up on the new technology. I'm a little out of date.
Can I run IDE HD's as well as SATA stuff at the same time?

Two PCI slots look a tad tight to me, I got at least three cards, TV, Wireless network and a firewire 1394 card at present, though there is a firewire slot listed for the mobo.....

OK so the mobo looks good.
Now what about this CPU thingy.
Just read a review from someone who claims to have O/C'd it to 2.83Ghz....

Guess its helluva lot better than the Athlon XP3000+ I'm using at the mo.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 00:13 
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DB im no expert gawd knows but when I was speccing a new rig before I broke foot and ran outta cash the Opteron was a brillant chip for the money,,,and i was looking then at £118 for one.....dunno re HDs though

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 09:13 
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wooah..slow up

First things first. Opterons and S939 mobo's are bloody clever and dont give a shake of a monkeys tail WHAT the fsb is. PC3200 is fine and dandy. It's the ultimate value for money combo for people with DDR1 :)

I have 4 x 512 COrsair Value PC3200 in mine.

CPU default maximum multiplier is what you'll run it at (mines a 146 so it's 10x) and 144's are a tad lower (cant remember how much, but think it's 9x) Must be .....200x9=1.8mghz

But...to overlcock them (which is a doddle and a half) you lower the ram timings from DDR400 (PC3200) to DDR333 (PC2700) and then up the bus speeds from the ram to the chip a bit at a time until you get back up to the rams 400 speed.

You see the ram runs on a divider, but the motherboards often dont tell you that (though the Abit is better than my Asus for BIOS explanation)

You drop the HTT (Hyper Transport Technology) from 5x to 3x as it makes less than1/4 fps difference in games (have tried it loads) just in case the HTT inthe cpu cant manage your new found CPU speed and go up from 200 to 210 (that's a 5% increase so rams gone up from 333 -> 350 then you go again from 210 to 220 (ram now at 366) to a maximum of 20% overclock making your ram run at the defaul 400 again, and your internal bus speeds show at 240

This means your 1.800 64bit chip is now running20% faster too= 2.16. Both 1.8's I've made for people who don't need faster are running 24/7 on that.

Then, (I'll bet it'll piss all over that speed at stock volts) you go back into ram timings and drop the bus from 333 down to 266

This sounds like the crime of the century, because for over 10 years we've been trying to feed our CPU's with as much bandwidth as technically possible

The A64 range, Socket 939 (NOT AM2) is the one exception. Clock speed is everything. The clever way the mem controller works and the brilliance of the nforce 4 mobo, means that all we're aiming for is clock speed. IF we can get the ram back up to it's highest possible...fine. But it makes very very little difference. Ditto the HTT. If it'll go back to 4x later on fine....but its worth nothing in real terms.(not over Mosow is snow, anyway)

So.....266 ram timings. The cpu bus speeds already at 240, so the ram is now at 20% over 266 (so 319) The weird thing at this point is that if you run benchmarks you can SEE that the thing is not noticably slower even though you've dropped its memory feed by a huge chunk. Reason: the cpu's going higher!

250 cpu bus is a 25% overclock, ram is therefore running 333 and the thing is blisteringly fast by now. And it is VERY LIKEY that it will still be on stock volts. Cpu: 2.25ghz

I think a 144 is currently a good choice if its OEM as it'll come with a heatsink and you can use default pre-applied thermal paste too (its all much better quality this year) If not, skip straight from 146 to 148 as it's already cheaper than the 146 ! 146 OEM was a best seller, so the cpu prices rose, and the 148 stuck. It's £8 more from 144 to 148 :) Default is 2.2 ghz on a 148. That'll go higher too :)

Mine is 146 with an £8 cooler on and rock solid 10x250-2.5 ghz Ram is at 266 (and then it's up by the 25%) so effective 333.

Warning about RAID. It's not worth it. Period. Been there (2x Seagate Barracuda SATA 2 80 gig drives on this mobo) Seems good in benchmarks, needs defragging every three days (not kidding) and one drive was just as good in real life terms, plus it means I got a spare drive for data :)

I also got myself a Raptor...but that's another story!

If I can suggest lastly, to please consider: Barracuda's are the best all round drives (160gb SATA 2 drives are the best value for performace: al of Hexus use them for reviewing) BUT every now and then the noforce 4 mobo wont recognise them properly and you need a new firmware from Seagate by email (3 day dealy but worthy)

If you have drives at the mo, and aint run out of space...use them! The cpu will rip through windows boot up so fast you'll cry laughing :)

I do everytime I reboot :)

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 09:28 
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Here Bob....cpu power comparison for you

http://pifast.hexus.net/pifast.php

Download Pifast, unzip it, and run the batch file with nothing else going (MSN etc closed)

What's the time it takes (final screen) on your XP at the mo?

It's pure cpu power, calculations etc

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 09:46 
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Set my PC to a 144 overclocked

9x240= 2.16 ghz Pifast 59.70 seconds

IL-2 Black Death Track
1280x960 forced 4XAA and 2XAF
Water =1
Perfect settings and max cloud details

It's a big screeny (bitmap) Ran through twice then hit Print Screen for this one
http://www.zen100376.zen.co.uk/data/il2 ... ater=1.bmp

Avg 34fps :)

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 11:33 
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I'd say go for the Venice core 3000+. Almost identical to the opteron, and a damned site less expensive (half the price). Got mine running at 2.5Ghz.

I mean put it this way, you pay twice as much, you want twice the performance surely? They are identical performers, really the only difference is overclocking potential, and with that there are no guarantees.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 11:34 
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Have to say that motherbaord isn't really necessary too, you could pick up a bloody decent one for 1/4 - 1/3 less than that. I'm gessing you don't really need SLi. Unfortunately SCAN's stock of nForce4/nf4Ultra non sli motherboards is a bit slim these days.

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Last edited by SmoothNuts on 18 Oct 2006 11:37, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 11:36 
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3000+

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductI ... tID=209793

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 12:08 
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Blimey Zakky, read through that twice, Things have moved on quite a bit since I seriously built PCs.

Image

no idea which bit I'm looking at straight off.
RTFM?

Thing I like about that Mobo is that it uses my PC3200 RAM, or will most still...
tbh I'm not really an overclocker, unless it's older chips, £20 quids like, don't mind them going bang......

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 13:47 
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Nuts has a point, but I've gotta say, the Opterons are ALL good overclockers, and it's easy.

I'd disagree on the mobo, though. Stick with Abit/Asus to be safe. Avoid Gigabyte (dull) and Foxconn (pants)

That Abit is a good board because it has a better PCI bus system than mine and while SLi is no use, it's so damn cheap it's irrelevant. Abit BIOS are good too. I dont like cheap mobo's/ Period.

That A64 Venice core is a good value beasty. I'd say Nut-ster has a good point and has saved you a lot of dough.

DAKKY.......this is your chance dude. Very VERY cheap upgrade, just like Bob

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Last edited by MA_Zak33 on 18 Oct 2006 13:54, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 13:51 
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31% slower than that example of an Opty at 2.16. You'll see a mammoth increase in IL-2 performance, plus a new card too.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 13:56 
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Abit.. ASUS.. safe?! :S

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 14:16 
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MA_Thorn wrote:
Abit.. ASUS.. safe?! :S


yes

try an Asrock or Foxconn...then I'll pass you the handkerchief ;)

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 15:44 
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Well gonna go for it Zakky :bob:

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 16:32 
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MA_Zak33 wrote:
MA_Thorn wrote:
Abit.. ASUS.. safe?! :S


yes

try an Asrock or Foxconn...then I'll pass you the handkerchief ;)
and I'll pass you the endless lists of problems with Abit/ASUS boards and nForce :P

Then the ATi problems for dessert :P

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 16:45 
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ahh..but I've been through them already....

better the devil ya know and all that :)

Dakky has a 7800 GT already waiting...and I just dont get ATI Problems!

Omega drivers, job done. We're not talking crossfire here....not at all.

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 18:11 
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ok so have we got a fight over the card then?

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 18:17 
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That would make a nice track..

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PostPosted: 18 Oct 2006 18:27 
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MA_DanglyBob wrote:
ok so have we got a fight over the card then?


nope...it's yours ichap.

Dakky is buyying all new mobo and cpu and has an Nvidia card already in his top drawer :)

I'm just waiting for David to send me the frikkin X1900 :)

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PostPosted: 19 Oct 2006 06:01 
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You having a crack at my Gigabyte motherboard Zak?


/me hugs motherboard dearly.

:)

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PostPosted: 19 Oct 2006 19:31 
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no chap...glad you're both so happy :)

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PostPosted: 19 Oct 2006 20:57 
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must admit I had a gigabyte board a couple of years ago, and I liked it.

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 13:45 
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I've had 3....all great boards.

But they don't currently do what Asus and Gigabyte bios's do. Voltage control and support for the A64 overclock potential is quite a lot lower on Gigabytes board.

Abit and Asus truly are very good. MSI too, but lots of dough.

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 14:54 
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well.. im glad you lot know what youre talking about :)

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 15:25 
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I think that's highly debateable. The only major difference is that Asus and Abit do half decent localisation in their documentation. Want to update your Gigabyte BIOS? You are told to heed the following 3 warnings...

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Moth ... leID=12177

#1. If the file that you select does not exist, please try to download the file from country, Asia.
#2.If there are still missing files or file errors, please write to us about which products and which country that you had been selected.
#3.For better download quality, it is recommended to use the download monitor shareware like Flashget, Getright...etc for reserving your treasure time and effort.

Yes please, i'd like to reserve some treasure.

MA_Zak33 wrote:
I've had 3....all great boards.

But they don't currently do what Asus and Gigabyte bios's do. Voltage control and support for the A64 overclock potential is quite a lot lower on Gigabytes board.

Abit and Asus truly are very good. MSI too, but lots of dough.

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 17:31 
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That's quite funny :)

But shall therefore agree to disagree on Gigabyte being as good as they could be.

If I was building a PC for my Dad, I'd use a Gigabyte. They are uber stable.

But I'd not expect to eeek every bit (reliably) out of the CPU like I can with an Asus or an Abit. Ok....Abit and Asus allow people to push waaay too far and you can break things on one of their mobo's, and become unstable, because the bus speed options, voltage options etc, go waaay beyond what is sensible.

I shall continue to agree that Gigabyte make nice boards. But I shall continue to spend a tad more on Asus and Abit :)

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 18:37 
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Ive always liked Epox :roll:

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PostPosted: 20 Oct 2006 20:07 
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glue?

:cool:

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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2006 23:42 
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New Rig tomorrow :cool:

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2006 21:45 
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waiting with credit card at the ready..

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2006 23:35 
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Zak said its very fast... and all bar a few minor hiccups, it all went very well...
He'll report in tomorrow ;)


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 00:54 
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Zak its brillant

Just got online at home...

Zak has full before and after benchmarks but sufficiant to say its over doubled my results in every way

Old Rig

1gig DDR PC2700
XP2000 cpu at 1.6
80gig HD
Radeon Pro 9800
New rig

1 gig DDR PC3200
160 gig Maxtor Sata drive
Nvidia 7800GT (Overclocked by BFG)
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Stock speed 2gig now running at 2.45 stable on stock cooler (was at 2.4 when I left Zaks going for 2.5 in a min)

Latest benchmark 3d mark 2003 score is 14552 (irrc old rig was 5500ish)

And IL2 runs like a dream.

Cannot thank Zak enough for giving up his day to get this built

edit

This chips amazing rock solid at 2.5gig thats a 25% overclock

New 3dmark score of 14652 and pifast score 0f 41.29

:rox:

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 08:37 
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looking like that's nearly as damn fast as Nutster said it would be :)

That, I'm sure, is because of the use of two sticks of ram, and not 4.

Nforce 4 runs the memory controller at a faster speed with just two slots used.

I'll try mine later like that. OK, Dakky PC update.

Apart from the fact that it was always gonna be faster than his old rig, I think even Dak was shocked.

His old rig went through the following:

PiFast: 97.88
3dMark 2001 SE: 10928
3dMark 2003: 5375
IL-2 Black Death: 22 fps (with vsync off)
CPU Mark:151


New rig at stock speeds (ie A64 3200+ at 2.0 gig, 10x200 5xHTT)
and the 7800 GTX that he already owned (note Dangly: this is a tad faster card than that X800 XT PE)

Pifast: 64.22
3dMark 2001 SE: 20565
3dMark 2003: 13962 (now THATS the CPU as well as the vid card)
IL-2 Black Death : 46 fps (WITH VSYNC ON so it never went above 60!)
CPU Mark: 235

Then we twiddled a bit, and got that cpu up to 2.4. The factory heatsink is actually doing a brilliant job. We put Arctic SIlver 5 on in place of the stuff that was on as standard.

Pifast dropped to 59 seconds and then he had to go. Was 8 hours all in though!

Words of advice for Dangly: Nice hard drive, but it shows as an ATA 133 in the BIOS, even though it is running as a Sata300 drive. Spoke to Agent about it, it's normal on the new single chip nforce 4 boards, as the sata and ide controller mask the true speeds because the bioses simply cant hold all the options and permutations that ware possible.

HD TAcho has it at over 200 gb/s, and the average seek time was just under 60gb/s, and my Seagates are at 61, so we know it's ok

Windows boots like lightning, BUT we used old USB headers for Dak's front panel at one point, and it dropped all the USB ports to 1.1 instead of 2, and BIOS post took ages.

Once they were off, and the provided back panel usb ports were installed (2) plus the 4 that are built in tothe mobo back plate, I think he'll not run out ;)

Nuts: Sorry I doubted you on your Pifast speed chap. I'm shocked that both of you get such fast speeds. I'd even say that I have no idea why a Venice is so fast, but...it is :)

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 09:02 
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additional info while my brain's firing on coffee ;)

We had a proper "it wont boot Dak" moment. This moment lasted over 20 minutes. We sweated for a while.

I think that the fact it went again was because we reset the cmos with the psu unplugged from the motherboard entirely and left it for 5 whole, brain achingly tense , minutes. Dak also swapped the psu leads around, plugging them into optical drives at this point, and when we replugged it all in, it booted straight away. Pheeeeewwwwww :)

But we'd reset cmos, and the battery for cmos was taken out, and the psu was unplugged for a few seconds...several times before. Tense? Damn right.

But as I've learned with mobo's that won't post, you have to WAIT for the power to leech away, qand cmos resets don't always work!

This only came about because we tried every combination of SATA and EIDE channel being on or off, and switched sata 2 to sata 1 on the hdd jumper, trying to get the frikkin thing to show as a sata drive....when it was working all along!


Also: ATTN Dangly Bob!! Do you have SATA power plugs on your PSU? IF not, can you get a little convertor, cos the Abit doesn't come with any :( Luckily, my Asus has them in the box, and I didn't need mine. Or we'd have come unstuck.

Lastly, that hard drive is very light and I believe it's a single platter disk, it boots fast, and loads stuff fast. I'm quite shocked at it's cheap price!

Right...better sell some cars today ;)

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 14:38 
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You are probably right in that it is a memory bandwidth issue that results in us getting lower PiFast calculation times, but i'd suggest that is simply due to the faster bus speeds we are using after overclocking.

You might want to use prime95 and it's torture test to ensure the stability of your system.

Oh and dependant on your RAM you may be able to force it in 1t operation. It's usually hidden away in CMOS setup somewhere. Try pressing control-f1 on your BIOS main menu to see if you get a further menu option.


Oh and what did you drop the HyperTransport speed down to in the end?

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 17:21 
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HTT went straight down to 3x. He can use it like that for a week, and if its rock solid,he can crank back to 4x

I'm gonna put the Opty back in tomorrow and see if I can get my Pifast sub 40 seconds with two sticks and 1T

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2006 18:50 
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OK so I'm ordering a few bits then.

Abit KN8 SLi, NF4 SLI, S939, PCI-E (x16), DDR 400/266/333, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX £63.44

160 Gb Maxtor 6G160EO DiamondMax Plus 17, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, 9.0 ms, NCQ £37.00

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Socket939, VeniceCore, 2.0GHz, 512KB Cache, OEM £43.48

Akasa AK-862 S754/S939 + AM2 9cm Ultra Quiet Amber Heat Sink Fan - A64/FX53

plus a SATA PSU converter if I can find one on scan

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