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Skummel Maske

Hardware Wizards, I Beg Your Attention Once Again

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I tried to revive my old remixing PC thread for this purpose, but I suppose a new thread for it would be better. I've got two decent computers going, but I'm planning to swap hardware around to optimize one of them. I've got the small stuff covered, except for the fact that one of the motherboards seems to have a weak memory module that doesn't accept my 1024mb ram (I've got two of them, in fact).

The main differences are the FSB speeds and memory module. Since the CPUs seem to use the same socket type, I plan to use the most powerful one. Aida32 tells me it's a dual core or 2 CPUs or something along those lines, how do I confirm exactly what it is? ;) Oh, and in case I didn't state it properly: I want advice on which motherboard to use, and perhaps information about their strengths and weaknesses.

Link to my comparison table.

Thanks.

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Well, to be honest, this post should probably be in the Help and Newbies forum, but nonetheless, I'll see what I can figure out here.

Now, IMHO, I would go with the motherboard in Cerberus, mainly for its faster FSB. I do have questions though, what is the highest amount of RAM you can have on both boards? Also, what is the fastest processor you can put onto these boards, and do they have to be a single core processor, or a dual core processor? These things would definitely be beneficial to know before giving you a further opinion.

It would also be beneficial to know the manufacturer of these boards as well as their model number. For example, my desktop's mobo is a Gigabyte 7n-400L.

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OK, several things to address. Number one, these both seem to be 1st generation Pentium 4 motherboards, because they're both 478 pin processor slots. The first Pentium 4 processors had 478 pins, and later on they were upgraded to 770-something pins. What your friend may have been referring to is hyper-threading, which was developed for the Pentium 4 processor. What it basically is is this: The processor has one processing core. Instead of the core doing one complete task at a time like it did before hyper-threading, it does a bit of one task, a bit of another task, a bit of another, and so on, and 'threads' them together so they all get done twice as fast. It works fairly well. However, I'm not entirely sure if any of the 478 pin procs feature hyper threading.

A dual core processor simply has two separate, hyper-threaded cores, so an Intel Core Duo actually processes at basically 4 times the speed listed on the processor. For example, a 1.5GhZ actually processes at roughly 6GhZ speed. There are no dual core Pentium 4's.

As far as everything else, there is kind of a tossup there. The Cerberus all around seems to be a better motherboard, most of the numbers are better, specifically the FSB speed. FSB stands for Front Side Bus. Your bus is basically all the gold leads connecting parts of your motherboard, and the faster the better. Think of it in terms of water. Let's say your processor has an FSB speed of 800 MhZ, so we'll say it outputs 800 gallons of water per minute.

The FSB Effective Clock on the Fenrir's BUS is 400MhZ, so we'll say the bus is your pipes, and they can handle 400 gallons a minute. So basically, the pipes are too small. Even though the processor is pushing 800 gallons a minute, the pipes can only handle 400, so you have a backup at the source and a loss of efficiency and processing speed. The moral of the story? Make sure your pipes are wide enough to handle that processor. 800 is enough for all but the gaming versions of the Pentium 4, which cost ungodly amounts and have an FSB speed of 1000MhZ. There will be a VERY noticeable performance difference with increases in BUS speed.

Now, the memory. You didn't have any data on the maximum slot size of the Fenrir, but based on the other numbers, I would be very surprised if it was any higher than the Cerberus. The vast majority of Pentium 4 generation motherboards could only take a max of 2 gigs of memory. 2 gigs isn't a lot anymore, and SIMM and DIMM memory types are giving way to much faster RIMM.

So, basically my opinion is this: If you're dead set on using the older machine, use the Cerberus board, sell the 1024 chip and buy 4 512's, it shouldn't cost more than $150 or so. But personally, if you have any extra cash and you want a decent gaming rig, I'd start saving for a new computer, with an absolute minimum of 2 gigs ram, a Dual Core processor, and at least a 256 meg video card. That's the basics for today's PC games, which is why I don't play many.

There's my long winded lesson for the day. Let me know if you need anything else!

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I'm glad you answered this one Shadowolf. I'm working at saving up for upgrades to my own machine. I'm doing dual-core, minimum of 2GB RAM, and a hefty graphics card. Of course, I need to figure out what my cooling system is going to be, because fans aren't cutting it. I actually need to acquire another fan or my current set up.

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Actually, you may be surprised at how little cooling you need for a Core Duo machine. When Intel switched from Pentium 4 to Core processors, they also changed one VERY important thing: the pins for a processor are now on the motherboard, and the bottom surface of the processor is nothing but flat receiver plates. This obviously led to a new form factor for motherboards, called "BTX." Basically, because the pins are on the motherboard now, the processor is placed on top of them and locked down with a kind of processor cage.

But by far the most important advantage is that the contact points on the pins are now exposed to open air instead of being sunken into a slot, which means a BTX processor can be cooled twice as efficiently with half the fan, because air can be sent right through that forest of pins to pull heat away.

So, you'll probably find out that a good CPU fan and a couple 120mm auxiliary fans at the front and back of the case will do the trick just as well as it always has. As long as core temp stays below about 100 degrees fahrenheit, you should be ok. Also make sure that whatever video card you buy has its own fan. Any NVidia or ATI card should, but just be certain.

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Well, after a really lazy Google search for translation from what I assume was Norwegian, the internet tells me you said:

"and so makes a you no matter a post at hardware.no instead? a good deal of brighter there :P"

So, in response:

Sykehuslege oversetteren er skrekkelige. Vil du vite Engelske så JEG kanne fortelle hva helvetet du rettferdig sa?

EDIT: After a small amount of research, I've come to the conclusion that you said something to the effect of:

"Why don't you just make a post on hardware instead? That would make more sense\be more helpful."

How close was I?

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A dual core processor simply has two separate, hyper-threaded cores, so an Intel Core Duo actually processes at basically 4 times the speed listed on the processor. For example, a 1.5GhZ actually processes at roughly 6GhZ speed. There are no dual core Pentium 4's.

No, none of Intel's current Core 2 Duo processors feature hyper-threading. Furthermore, hyper-threading does not double your performance power. Intel suggests that the performance increase of switching from single thread processing to hyper threading is between 15% to 30%.

Now, the memory. You didn't have any data on the maximum slot size of the Fenrir, but based on the other numbers, I would be very surprised if it was any higher than the Cerberus. The vast majority of Pentium 4 generation motherboards could only take a max of 2 gigs of memory. 2 gigs isn't a lot anymore, and SIMM and DIMM memory types are giving way to much faster RIMM.

SIMMs haven't been used since the Pentium II era. You're a bit behind the times here. Also, RIMM never got off the ground as a competitor to DIMM for the home PC market. They saw some use in sever and workstation applications (particularly for their ECC), but never survived in the home PC market due to their cost. Intel began to phase out their RDRAM (RIMM) operations in 2001, so I have no idea why you would think it's going to be the next big thing. Maybe you're cofusing SIMM/DIMM/RIMM with DDR/DDR2/DDR3?

Actually, you may be surprised at how little cooling you need for a Core Duo machine. When Intel switched from Pentium 4 to Core processors, they also changed one VERY important thing: the pins for a processor are now on the motherboard, and the bottom surface of the processor is nothing but flat receiver plates. This obviously led to a new form factor for motherboards, called "BTX." Basically, because the pins are on the motherboard now, the processor is placed on top of them and locked down with a kind of processor cage.

But by far the most important advantage is that the contact points on the pins are now exposed to open air instead of being sunken into a slot, which means a BTX processor can be cooled twice as efficiently with half the fan, because air can be sent right through that forest of pins to pull heat away.

The original poster should ignore this entire post. Moving the CPU pins to the motherboard was the effect of switching to LGA775 from Socket 478, and is not at all related to BTX architecture, except that they were introduced at the same time. BTX architecture aims to rearrange the components on a computer motherboard to increase airflow through the computer case, thus increasing the cooling efficiency of the fans (it also specifies a change in position of the power supply, among other things).

LGA775 puts the pins on the motherboard as a cost-saving feature for end-users, and has nothing to do with cooling either. Previously, if a processor pin was bent, broken, or otherwise damaged, end-users would have to purchase a new $250 processor. Having the pins on the motherboard means only the $100 board needs to be replaced if they are damaged. If you had ever installed a LGA775 processor, you would know that the sides of the 775 socket support the weight of the processor around the sides, and do not permit air to flow freely around the connecting pins.

So, you'll probably find out that a good CPU fan and a couple 120mm auxiliary fans at the front and back of the case will do the trick just as well as it always has. As long as core temp stays below about 100 degrees fahrenheit, you should be ok. Also make sure that whatever video card you buy has its own fan. Any NVidia or ATI card should, but just be certain.

The number of fans you should have in your PC will depend mostly on your PC's power consumption. It never hurts to have more (unless the noise bothers you), but a machine designed for music production probably doesn't need more than 3 good fans; the CPU cooler, the fan built into the power supply, and maybe a case fan or video card fan. In lower power applications, a fanless video card is not a problem, and you'll probably be fine with only the two fans. I do not recommend that for gaming, however.

Skummel Maske, could you have a second look at the motherboard you've listed from Fenrir? Springdale is a chipset architecture from Intel, and not a motherboard manufacturer. It might help to tell us where you bought that PC from.

I think the best bet for you would be to use the board from Cerberus. Unfortunately, there are some problems with that board. It was manufactured by ASUS for companies like HP, and the BIOS supplied by HP doesn't give you much flexibility. AFAIK, that board is based off of ASUS' P4G800, which with a proper BIOS should allow you to have 1024MB RAM modules in each socket, and supports a maximum of 4GB. I've heard of some people having limited success in reflashing the ASUS P4SD-LA board with the P4G800 BIOS, to allow access to 1024 MB memory modules, though permanently destroying the board is a possibility too. :\

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Your'e right, some of my info is a bit off, I'm going off a hardware and form factor study I did back in 2005 when I was still a CS major and not a nurse, which may as well be the 1800s as far as computers go. I thought dual core procs were hyperthreaded. I also got some terms mixed up, I thought RIMM was simply another term for DDR2 and 3 memory chips. My bad.

I understand BTX was a form factor designed to increase airflow and cooling, but it's still a simple logical fact that it's easier to cool the contact points of a processor if they're exposed in any way, shape or form. In this case, even if the supports cover the pins from the sides, there is still going to be greater heat exchange directly from the pins to the heatsink, rather than from the pins through the processor to the heatsink. Furthermore, LGA775 architecture was never prominent, or even seen by any of my CS profs on any form factor prior to BTX. As such, LGA775 kind of got rolled in part and parcel with the BTX form factor, although it may not be the entire reason it exists.

However, in summation, homes up above obviously knows more than me, so do what the man says.

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The info I've got is what I've extracted from Aida32. Unfortunately it didn't seem to be able to detect certain things from the Fenrir machine. I'll hook it up and try again as soon as I'm up to date on the posts here again ;)

..jeg kunne jo spurt på hw.no også ja.

Buying a brand new computer is out of the question though, as I've got three computers right now and two of them run new/semi-new games fine. I prefer console games to PC games anyways. Who knows what Warhammer Online and Age of Conan might change though..

[Edit]

Aida32 can't detect the name of the motherboard. It specifies the ID as 08/12/2004-Springdale-6A79AFK8C-00. Any suggestions?

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