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Author Topic: L2 cache vs. clock speed
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 15:27      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a question from my brother who is building a computer: Which is better for gaming, a fast clock speed or a large L2 cache? He told me that both are not an option, and that the difference is between a 256k or 512k L2 cache and 2.0 GHz and 1.8GHz. (The one that possesses the 256k L2 has the 2.GHz and the 512k the 1.8GHz)

Also, he was wondering if a PCI-e 16x slot supports an AGP 8x card. He said he didn't think it supported it, but thought he might have read it somewhere.

(FYI: He typed everything before this addendum! I keep telling him to get his own name, but he hasn't yet. [Razz] )

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 16:18      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
AGP is a completely different slot type than PCI-e. A card for one will never work in the other.

Unless the system has the highest end video card on the market, you're unlikely to see a lot of performance difference between the two processors in games. Most games these days are limited more by the processing power of the graphics card, rather than the CPU, so my advice would be to go with whichever is cheaper and apply any savings to upgrading the video card.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
alfrin
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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 20:38      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
AGP is a completely different slot type than PCI-e. A card for one will never work in the other.

That's bull, with a bit of saudering you can get a AGP to fit into ANY SLOT.

Sure you don't get any video, but hey, I use punchcards to begin with.

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Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 20:41      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Saudering as in soldering? That alone won't help, he'll also need to use the good old hack saw [Smile]

On a more serious note, tell us which processors and video cards he's trying to decide on. Sounds like a sempron vs athlon issue to me, but I might be wrong.

Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
magefile
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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 22:16      Profile for magefile     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I could be wrong on this, so take with a hefty grain of salt ... but I believe the main reason you might want PCI-e is if you want to do dual-head, since most mobos only have one AGP slot, but may have multiple PCI-e slots. Unless I'm thinking of plain PCI ... it's been a few years since I did a BYOPC.
Posts: 743 | From: Massachusetts | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged
frantic_neutrino
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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 22:20      Profile for frantic_neutrino     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Knowing the type(s) of processor we're talking here would be better! From the looks of the L2, russian is right, we're talking about AMDs.

However based soley on the specs you gave us, he would be better off with the 1.8Ghz core. This is because a larger L2 cache will allow the CPU to push more data around at faster rates of speed (you don't have to talk to the system memory as much). Pushing large amounts of data around is what games are about, so there's your answer [Smile] .

Oh and magefile, while your assumption that PCI-e does allow for SLI (yummy!) is correct , it's not the primary reason to go with PCI-e. The PCI-e architecture provides dedicated bandwidth to each slot, unlike the old PCI architecture where it was shared.

So in this case, not only will you get boost from the faster bus speed, but your cards won't be fighting each other for bus time, which in a SLI scenario is a Good Thing (TM).

One last note, to run a SLI system, you would need to buy a motherboard with dual PCI-e 16x slots on it. Most that I've seen right now only ship with one (I do know for certain Gigabyte ships duals on certain models).

Just my $0.02! [Smile] .

Edit: I was saying dual-head instead of SLI, I _meant_ SLI [Smile]

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Posts: 11 | From: Bellingham, WA | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted January 01, 2006 22:31      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
magefile: you're thinking of SLI (two video cards running in tandem,) not dual head.
Posts: 1094 | From: Boston | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 06:27      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As everyone else has said, PCIe and AGP are two very different things.

And I'm with the new guy on the cache issue -- 512k of cache will probably perform better than 256k cache and 200 more MHz of processor power since *everything* (even friggen notepad) is needlessly memory intensive nowadays.

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 07:50      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It really depends on how you use the system. If you're pulling a lot of data from memory (for example, if you routinely edit huge images in Photoshop) and your memory bus is slow (AMD has started doing something interesting recently: Putting the memory controller on-die. If you have this, go with the faster CPU), then you may be better off with the larger L2 cache. Otherwise, go with the higher clock speed.

Also, L2 cache matters less than L1 cache, as it is slower.

Posts: 664 | From: Morganville, NJ | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 09:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks everyone for helping me out! You are correct in your assumption that the real debate is Sempron 64 vs. Athalon 64. I was pretty sure I was going to go with the Athalon 64 any way, but thanks for removing most of my doubt. The two chips in question are an Athalon 64 3000+ and a Sempron 64 3400+. The 3000+ is cheaper by $20, but the 3400+ is ranked higher. (I assume for a good reason too.) So I am a little worried about that. Do you think it is only because of the higher clock speed? Thanks again!

(FYI: This is my brother again. Now he has abandoned all pretense.)

Rhonnie here: Oy... 15-year-old brothers... Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em, and can't them to get their own screen names! [Razz]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 09:33      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And they need to be reminded that there's only one a in Athlon. [Wink]
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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 10:34      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd go with the Athlon 64, but that's just because I innately distrust budget chips [Smile]
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 02, 2006 15:20      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You're definitely better off with the Athlon 64 rather than the Sempron 64.

The rating AMD puts on both processors is, in marketing speak, meant to be a rating that will equate it to a comparable Intel prodoct. In other words, an Athlon 64 3000+ is meant to compare with a 3GHz Pentium while a Sempron 64 3400+ is meant to compare with a 3.4GHz Celeron.

So don't worry about the rating difference too much. It's not meant to compare the Athlon 64 to the Sempron 64.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted January 03, 2006 14:35      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hah! Thanks, Newf. I totally missed his (mis)spelling of Athlon, as well as the fact that he posted in the wrong category. Sorry guys! I'll try to be more alert next time.

Thanks for answering my brother's questions! [Smile]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Lenin
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 03:12      Profile for Lenin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you really want to get nitty gritty we can talk about all the various cores, die processes, memory controllers and what not.
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alfrin
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 17:55      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by frantic_neutrino:

One last note, to run a SLI system, you would need to buy a motherboard with dual PCI-e 16x slots on it. Most that I've seen right now only ship with one (I do know for certain Gigabyte ships duals on certain models).

Just my $0.02! [Smile] .

This is SLI Enabled motherboards we're talking. I think you meant "my $250.00"

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Posts: 813 | From: Nevada, USA | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 19:47      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think he meant his $79. I don't think it's worth it though - buying two (expensive) video cards and a fancy power supply with enough juice to run the said video cards just to get a couple extra FPS in games is pretty damn stupid, if you ask me.
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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted January 04, 2006 21:02      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, my brother's pretty much a spendthrift, so I can practically guarantee that he won't buy all that stuff dp suggested.

Rhonbro thinks he'd be able to build a system, then sell it on eBay. I don't think he'd be too successful, 'cause it looks like brandname systems sell better than home-built ones. Have any of you been successful at selling home-built on-line?

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 05, 2006 07:29      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Yeah, my brother's pretty much a spendthrift, so I can practically guarantee that he won't buy all that stuff dp suggested.

Rhonbro thinks he'd be able to build a system, then sell it on eBay. I don't think he'd be too successful, 'cause it looks like brandname systems sell better than home-built ones. Have any of you been successful at selling home-built on-line?

Don't bother. You won't make money.
Posts: 4897 | From: Cambridge, ON, Canada | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged


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