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Core 2-Compatible Chipsets Compared 145

Posted by Zonk
from the edification-for-the-afternoon dept.
theraindog writes "Intel's Core 2 Duo is clearly the most attractive processor on the market, but which motherboard chipset is it best paired with? The Tech Report has rounded up four of the most common Core 2-compatible chipsets on the market to find out. The chipsets' features are compared and their performance is tested in a wide range of application, peripheral, and even power consumption tests. One emerges as a lemon, two as solid options, and the other as a clear winner." From the article: "Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog, but most enthusiasts have seen the light and are looking at Core 2 for their next upgrade or system build. The prospect of a Core 2 system build can seem a bit daunting for enthusiasts who have spent years focused solely on the Athlon 64. Core 2 processors need new motherboards for those switching from the Athlon 64, and that requires navigating a whole new world of core logic chipsets. Since the Core 2 processor relies on the chipset for its memory controller, one's chipset choice can also have a much more profound impact on performance. "
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Core 2-Compatible Chipsets Compared

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  • No bias there... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darlantan (130471) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:28PM (#16155479)
    "Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog..."

    Gee, that doesn't sound like the author had an opinion up front. No sir.
    • by Veetox (931340)
      I figure I fit into the author's stereotype. However, if you consider the sidebar, here ---, as an indicator, I'm thinking he represents a minority.
    • by Visaris (553352) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:40PM (#16155583) Journal
      Quite correct.

      What ever happened to evauating the performance of a chip based on the actual application that is going to be run? I can honestly tell you right now that almost every application that is memory bandwidth limited is going to perform better on an AMD K8 chip than Core2/conroe. The K8's integrated memory controller supports much better memory throughput.

      I suppose it is out of style to recognize the good and bad charictaristics of each offering. The current trend is to call one the all around "winner" and call everyone else a fanboy..
      • Re:No bias there... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Doctor Memory (6336) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:31PM (#16156593)
        The K8's integrated memory controller supports much better memory throughput.
        That's fine in theory, but that's not proven by the results in the test. As shown on this page [techreport.com], memory access is pretty even across the board, with the exception of the 570 SLI, which showed remarkably higher latency (almost 50% higher). As they mention in the article, that could be an aberration with the particular board they used, but they also noted that the board was supplied by nVidia, so it should (hopefully) be one that showed good performance.
      • I can honestly tell you right now that almost every application that is memory bandwidth limited is going to perform better on an AMD K8 chip than Core2/conroe.

        Okay, let's see your performance benchmark.
    • I have my opinions in my Y-fronts.
    • Since the Core 2 processor relies on the chipset for its memory controller, one's chipset choice can also have a much more profound impact on performance.

      Since I'm not really a fanboy and don't have time to research memory controllers, I might end up with a dog system? Screw that. I'm not going to be playing chipset roulette, especially with a company that's infamous for not cooperating with the free software community outside of slower graphics chips. Hardware zealotry is almost as expensive as soft

      • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:33PM (#16156611) Homepage Journal
        The worst parts about these fights is that it's millions of words in thousands of forms and blogs over what amounts to a 2% performance difference. BFD.
      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        I run Debian and have been thinking about moving to AMD 64.

        What does you using Debian have to do with anything in the rest of your post? Were you just trying to name drop to look good?
        • What does you using Debian have to do with anything in the rest of your post? Were you just trying to name drop to look good?

          I use Debian because it's easy and it works. Because of that AMD 64 looks like a cheap and practical platform for my next computer. I'll wait and see what things look like under core duo, but I doubt it will be a contender anytime soon for software and hardware reasons. New stuff is almost always a huge pain in the neck for me. It also costs more. Like I said, right now I can ge

  • by Aardpig (622459) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:31PM (#16155495)

    From the article:I can't understand why Nvidia would drop a unique feature like hardware TCP/IP acceleration.

    Might I suggest it's because this acceleration has been found to cause serious data corruption on some NFORCE4-based AMD motherboards? I'm surprised the authors weren't aware of this problem.

    Myself, I'm wary of NFORCE4 for other reasons. I've recently found that my quad-core Opteron box, built on a Tyan S2895 (K8WE) mobo with an NFORCE4 chipset, will undergo spontaneous data corruption under Linux when I transfer large (>GB) files. I'm not the only one who's had this problem; looks like there's a bug in the NFORCE4 SATA controller. Caveat Emptor.

    • by EconolineCrush (659729) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:38PM (#16155569)
      Nvidia fixed ActiveArmor's data corruption issues a while back. They haven't dropped TCP/IP acceleration from their entire chipset line, either, just the 570 SLI for Intel. The 590 SLI, 570 SLI for AMD, nForce4 SLI X16 for AMD and Intel, and others still support hardware GigE acceleration.
      • by alexo (9335)

        > Nvidia fixed ActiveArmor's data corruption issues a while back.

        Source please.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by adisakp (705706)
      FWIW, I bought an XPS600 from Dell with the "NForce for Intel" MB and I was getting write errors on my hard-drives until I disabled both hardware TCP/IP acceleration and SATA command queuing on the NVidia chipset. The computer doesn't run any noticeably slower (real world maybe 1-2%) but it's 100 times more stable. To me, stability is more important than minor speed bumps that corrupt my data anyday.
      • by XzQuala (950050)
        To me, stability is more important than minor speed bumps that corrupt my data anyday.

        Honestly now... Why then did you buy an XPS? You are seriously confused.
      • by Aardpig (622459)
        Was this under Linux? And if so, how did you disable the command queuing?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Animats (122034)

      I can't understand why Nvidia would drop a unique feature like hardware TCP/IP acceleration.

      Because unless you're running a server with gigabit Ethernet at high utilization, it won't noticeably help performance. For an "enthusiast PC" out on a DSL line, you'll never notice.

      • by Tweekster (949766)
        Dont let facts get in the way...

        That hardware acceleration just makes everything feel snappier.
  • CONCLUSION (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:31PM (#16155496)
    Thanks for the 21 pages...Concusion:
    Conclusions
    The landscape of Core 2-compatible chipsets is an interesting one. On one hand, you have tried and true chipsets like the 975X Express and nForce4 SLI X16 appearing on boards that have been updated to support Core 2 processors. These chipsets aren't new or particularly flashy, but they're proven designs that don't sacrifice performance when compared with the latest and greatest core logic.

    Of course, the Core 2 chipset market isn't all retro refits. Nvidia's nForce 570 SLI is new, at least in name. Unfortunately, the chip's features make it look more like a minor update to the aging nForce4 SLI than a legitimate member of the nForce 500 series. The discrepancies between the chipset's features and those offered by the nForce 570 SLI for AMD processors are striking, and for the life of me, I can't understand why Nvidia would drop a unique feature like hardware TCP/IP acceleration. Extra features have long been a tenet of nForce chipsets, and on that front, the 570 SLI comes up well short.

    Compounding the 570 SLI's disappointing feature set is comparatively high memory latency with two-DIMM configurations. This particular problem might be a quirk of the Asus P5NSLI motherboard we used for testing, but it's a retail board with a production BIOS--a board Nvidia itself provided for review.

    Intel P965 Express
    September, 2006

    Unlike the nForce 570 SLI, which feels like little more than an uninspired retread, Intel's P965 Express still has that new chipset smell. It also has a number of new features, including Fast Memory Access optimizations and additional south bridge Serial ATA RAID ports. The P965 also has relatively low power consumption, competitive performance, more robust Matrix RAID options, and evolving CrossFire support that should be complete by the end of the year. No wonder this chipset has proven so popular with motherboard manufacturers, who are building everything from budget $100 wonders to high-end enthusiast boards based on it.

    The Intel P965 Express chipset's mix of features, performance, and power consumption make it the perfect partner for Intel's new Core 2 processor and our Editor's Choice. Really, it's an easy call to make. The P965's upcoming CrossFire support kills the one reason we might have recommended the 975X. If SLI's your bag, the nForce4 SLI X16 is a solid--albeit power-hungry--option, but the more attractive nForce 590 SLI should be just around the corner. The nForce 570 SLI, meanwhile, doesn't even measure up to its own name, let alone to the P965
  • Conclusion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:32PM (#16155501)
    I'll save you the time of scrolling thru all 21 pages by skipping right to the conclusion...
    The Intel P965 Express chipset's mix of features, performance, and power consumption make it the perfect partner for Intel's new Core 2 processor and our Editor's Choice. Really, it's an easy call to make.
    • by Daverd (641119) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:35PM (#16155543) Homepage
      Which is strange, because from most of the benchmarks I looked at, the nForce4 mobo did better than the P965.
    • The Intel P965 Express chipset's mix of features, performance, and power consumption make it the perfect partner for Intel's new Core 2 processor and our Editor's Choice. Really, it's an easy call to make. The P965's upcoming CrossFire support kills the one reason we might have recommended the 975X. If SLI's your bag, the nForce4 SLI X16 is a solid--albeit power-hungry--option, but the more attractive nForce 590 SLI should be just around the corner. The nForce 570 SLI, meanwhile, doesn't even measure up to
      • consumer level dual CPUs (4X4)

        Wouldn't "4x4" imply four processors with four logical cores each, for a total 16-way system? Somehow I don't think that's what you meant. Or was it?

        A dual-core per processor, dual-processor system would be, I would think, a 2x2, and if you had a processor with four cores, and then two of them, it would be a 2x4 or 4x2.

        The only way I can think of to make a 4x4 would be with a specialized high-end mobo; I can't see anyone making a quad proc board for consumer use anytime soon. M
        • by DarkJC (810888)
          4x4 is the name AMD is marketing for this dual dual-core processor tech. I know, I can't make sense of it either, but hey, it's marketing.
          • 4x4 is two dual-core processors, plus two dual-chip video cards (Quad SLI). Think of it not as an "X", but a diagonal "+".
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Surt (22457)
          4x4 is AMD's marketing platform for dual-processor, dual-core (4 CPU) systems with dual-board, dual-processor graphics (4 GPU).

          Hence 4x4. But it's 8 processor cores, not 16. But heck, when you buy a 4x4 truck do you expect 16 wheels?
          • when you buy a 4x4 truck do you expect 16 wheels?


            I certainly don't expect 8.
            • by Surt (22457)
              Well, that was perhaps a slight abuse of the analogy on my part. More accurate might have been to suggest that you don't expect more than 4 of any one thing on a 4x4 truck, and that part of the analogy would hold up, since there are actually some significant differences between CPUs and GPUs (they really aren't quite the same thing).
  • by hxnwix (652290) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:32PM (#16155504) Journal
    The core2 is fast in 32bit mode and certainly a step in the right direction for intel. Kudos to them, but fie on their 64 bit support. In deference to the Itanium, they think of it as existing to provide extended memory support, and only because AMD was flanking them. Two important factors drag down core2 64 bit performance: micro-ops fusion, which welds multiple trivial ops into a single macro op, works on 32 bit instructions only, and they support DMA on only memory addressable with a 32 bit pointer. The message from intel is clear: for 64 bit performance, buy an Itanium or an opteron.
    • and they support DMA on only memory addressable with a 32 bit pointer.

      Indeed. Hence the software bounce buffer in Linux, to make up for the lack of an IOMMU. And while I'm extremely pleased with my recently-purchased E2700 Core 2 Duo box, I wonder how well the Core architecture will fare in quad/oct-core land, with it's memory access issues. The lack of both IOMMU and (more fundamentally) a per-core or per-die memory controller seriously hampers Core's ability to scale.

    • You know it's funny (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:16PM (#16156479)
      I keep seeing this in relation to Intel processors "They aren't really 64-bit! Their 64-bit is t3h slow!" Ok fine but let me ask you two things then:

      1) What's your source? Do you have some Intel technical docs that talk about how their chips are gimped in 64-bit? Remember: A post from some guy on some web forum isn't a legit source.

      2) If that's the case, why do they perform well in 64-bit mode, in relation to 32-bit mode? You take things like, say, Prime95. Install XP 32-bit and XP-64-bit on the same system and do some benchmarks. You find that Prime95 gains a little bit of speed when both it and the OS are 64-bit compared to when both are 32-bit. So how's that happen? Isn't that counter-evidence to a poor 64-bit design?

      I'm not claiming to have the answer here, just saying I see this "Pentium (and now Core2) sucks at t3h 64-bit, buy AMD!" trotted around a lot, but I see very little backing for it. So please, provide some relevant docs. What I'd like to see:

      1) Intel tech docs describing the limitations of 64-bit support on the Core 2.

      2) Benchmarks showing a non-trivial loss of speed in 64-bit. This means you take a 32-bit OS, 32-bit app, bench it, then a 64-bit OS and 64-bit app on the same system and rebench it.

      3) Benchmarks showing the Core 2 vs Athlon on a 64-bit app, 64-bit OS.

      If you haven't looked at things like that, you might want to reconsider the confidence with which you state your point of view. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying that there appears to be counter evidence so you need to get some backing to try and straighten things out.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by HotBBQ (714130)
        You won't find (m)any benchmarks showing drastic speed improvements moving from Intel to Athlon 64-bit architecture. If you look purely at how fast does this program X run on these two systems you aren't going to see much. As has been suggested, though, is that AMD systems have a better 64-bit design. The Intel design lacks a true 64-bit IOMMU. This means it cannot use DMA on anything higher than 32-bit address space. Not a big deal unless you have a gigantic amount of memory. The Intel design is close
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Hal_Porter (817932)
        xbitlabs tested Core2 on 64 bit

        http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2 duo-64bit.html [xbitlabs.com]

        Their conclusion

        The average performance improvement we have seen from Athlon 64 FX-62 equaled 16%, while Core 2 Extreme X6800 demonstrated only 10% average performance boost. This way, there is a certain difference: AMD K8 turns out 6% mode efficient in 64-bit mode than Intel Core. However, this difference cannot compensate for the 20% performance advantage of the Intel Core 2 Duo over the Athlon 64 X2 working at

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hxnwix (652290)
        I keep seeing this in relation to processors: "There are technical drawbacks to this architecture! But according to my annecdotes, it seems pretty fastish! Why don't you go and do a bunch of research to disprove my annecdotes, which are by there nature not disprovable!" Well, I can at least attack the premise you are attempting to establish.

        Read the other reply to my comment - 32bit-address-only DMA is a well known limitation of the EM64T ISA. This limitation, by requiring additional memory copies, redu
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Agripa (139780)
          The DMA 32 bit addressing limitations are mostly a function of the memory controller and various expansion devices including some poorly designed or tested PCI cards. Because of the K8's built in memory controller, AMD was in a position to ameliorate this problem to some extent through use of the GART as a limited IOMMU in a standardized way. Intel would have had to build this functionality into its north bridge memory controllers which would have made universal support very difficult never mind third par
  • Fanboys (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colonslashslash (762464) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:38PM (#16155563) Homepage
    "Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog, but most enthusiasts have seen the light and are looking at Core 2 for their next upgrade or system build.


    Yes, 'fanboys' ... or maybe alot of people on AMD64 systems at the moment don't *need* to upgrade, can't afford to upgrade, don't want to have to change motherboards and RAM as well as a CPU, sacrifice their nVidia SLI setups etc etc.

    Just because I'm not rushing out to buy a Core 2 Duo system to replace or upgrade, and instead 'cling' to my AMD64 system, it doesn't make me an AMD fanboy. Core 2 Duo is looking like a fucking superb processor family, but I think I'lll get a bit more life out of my current system before diving into a complete upgrade / replacement of my current hardware thank you.

    As a side note; does anyone have any info on what AMD are planning, if anything, to compete against the Core 2 Duo in the near future? I read something a while back about them switching to 65nm at a new fab, but I don't follow the processor market that closely anymore.

    • Context matters (Score:5, Insightful)

      by EconolineCrush (659729) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:47PM (#16155639)
      "Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog, but most enthusiasts have seen the light and are looking at Core 2 for their next upgrade or system build." Nowhere does it say when that next upgrade or system build has to come, or that anyone needs to upgrade from AMD64.
    • Barcelona / K8L (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Visaris (553352) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:54PM (#16155709) Journal
      As a side note; does anyone have any info on what AMD are planning, if anything, to compete against the Core 2 Duo in the near future? I read something a while back about them switching to 65nm at a new fab, but I don't follow the processor market that closely anymore.

      AMD has a couple of interesting products comming out:

      - First is 4x4, comming out in 4Q2006. This is essentially a dual-socket platform designed for the high-end desktop and low-end workstation/server market. This isn't a product for everyone, but it will make for a very price attractive dual-socket workstation. To start with, it will support two dual-core chips for a total of four cores. AMD has stated that later, when they release quad-core chips, 4x4 will support two of them for a total of eight cores. It's a niche market, but a neat idea.

      - Second, AMD is releasing a new core in 2Q2007. This core has double the number of FP (floating point) pipelines, double the L1 cache bandwidth, larger reorder buffers, a L3 cache, and will come in dual and quad-core versions. This chip is going to be a beast, and will be supported in any current socket AM2 mother board. For more, read this: HardOCP [hardocp.com], HardOCP [hardocp.com]. This new core is the direct answer to Core2/conroe, and I expect it to be a good one. It looks really good on paper, and after seeing AMD's delivery of K8, I expect the new core to live up to the hype.
    • There's nothing wrong with being a fanboy. Fanboys are irrational zealots, and zealots often make things happen in the long term.

      Consider Linux in the 0.x days, probably buggy as hell. Using Linux at that stage would have been irrational if you just chose what was best on the day. However, without those fanboys that believed in the long term dream and contributed, we'd never have got to where we are today.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, 'fanboys' ... or maybe alot of people on P4 NetBurst systems at the moment don't *need* to upgrade, can't afford to upgrade, don't want to have to change motherboards and RAM as well as a CPU, sacrifice their Rambus RDRAM setups etc etc.

      Just because I'm not rushing out to buy a AMD64 system to replace or upgrade, and instead 'cling' to my P4 NetBurst system, it doesn't make me an Intel fanboy. AMD64 is looking like it royally fucking owns my processor family, but I think I'lll get a bit more life out o
  • In virtually all MB reviews with the same chipset, they are usually all within 5-7% of each other in the benchmarks. This usually doesn't translate into meaningful "sitting in front of the keyboard" performance differences. It's like horsepower in cars - it's hard to tell 195hp from 205hp when you're behind the wheel. (and yes, I like to compare apples to oranges...)
    • You know there's gearheads that'll spend thousands of dollars to bring their car from 195hp to 205hp? Sometimes it's irrationally all about who has the biggest number.
  • "Intel's Core 2 Duo is clearly the most attractive processor on the market..." That quote sums it up, Its An Intel-Fanboy article.

    That said, I still lean AMD. If Intel lowers the cost on these chips and AMD stays where they are Intel will really have a lead. They certainly have a good product now. However, Once you add the and chips and boards to the basket (by new egg prices) the Intel solution is easily $100-200 more expensive when comparing equivalent power (especially budget) processors. Its not
    • by Frobozz0 (247160) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:50PM (#16155675)
      For gaming, which requires the most performance, AMD is soundly beaten. Period. That doesn't mean they won't come out with something to one-up Intel in the future, but right now only a fanboy would recommend AMD if performance is the number one criteria.

      If you move away from performance as the only criteria, I think AMD competes well with the cost-to-dollar performance. HOWEVER, if you are willing to overclock, even the sub-$200 Core 2 Duo will outperform any desktop AMD chip you can buy-- at any price.

      It's not a matter of fanboy-ism. It's a matter of numbers. Right now Intel wins on performance. That's just a fact. However, AMD could very well get back into the mix and make this argument mute in the near future.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Criteria's plural. You want criterion.

      • by dnamaners (770001)
        I make servers and work boxes, I do use 64 bits from time to time but most of the code on them will do 32 just fine so I am not even hung up on 64 bits. I just feel Opteron is where its at in my world, and will be for quite some time. Its good enough, cheap enough and can do 64 and 32 bits and is so close to the same performance that keeping a consistent closet (that means spare parts for all) has more value than the difference.

        I don't game much so perhaps you are right on that front. However have one r
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        and make this argument mute in the near future

        You don't make arguments (or points) mute. You make them moot.

        http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/moot [wiktionary.org]
        • You could tell the person making the argument to STFU NOOB [funfry.com].

          That would make them mute.

          Image macros with cute animals end any argument on the internet, everyone knows that.
    • Intel will have to be better, cheaper and keep the edge for quite some time before I jump ship.

      If so, you deny yourself the benefits available now from Intel for months, or years.

      This is the mistake that Dell has made by sticking with Intel while AMD was clearly superior, and only now that Intel is ahead again after years in second place, then going to AMD. And you wonder why Dell is in so much trouble.

    • by NerveGas (168686)
      I've been buying AMD since before it was cool, for at least 10 years. But I recently bought a laptop with a t2300e chip for the lower power draw (15 watts), and have been completely blown away at the performance. This puts my X2s and Pentium Ds to shame. A friend of mine who does video rendering on a quad-core mac was pretty impressed at how fast this bottom-of-the-line CPU can crank through video encoding.

      Regardless of the name-calling on both sides, the Core 2 Duo is a *very* fast chip.

      steve
  • by gentimjs (930934)
    Ok, so some of us are "stubbornly" clinging to AMD? Intel had what, 5 years to top K8 and 5%-10% better speeds (in SOME benchmarks!) was the best they could manage? I'll stick with AMD thanks, Intel totally underachieved on Core Duo despite what most casual observers may think .....
    • Eh.. it depends. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Visaris (553352) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @03:27PM (#16156013) Journal
      Intel had what, 5 years to top K8 and 5%-10% better speeds was the best they could manage?

      Well, it depends. Core 2 is really good at 32-bit single threaded tasks that fit inside a 4MB cache or have sequential memory access patters. On these workloads Core 2 will wipe the floor with AMD's K8, hands down. Just look at SuperPI scores for an example.

      Here's the question though: What happens with heavily threaded 64-bit tasks that use much more than 4MB of memory in a random access pattern? AMD's K8 wipes the floor with Core 2, hands down.

      There is a reason most gamers/encoders buy Core 2 for their desktops and many businesses and universities buy K8 Opterons for their servers and HPC centers.
    • by Syrrh (700452)
      It'd be interesting to find out what freakish benchmarks you're looking at where somehow AMD scored higher on any significant number of tests. I've never seen such numbers.

      Anyway, the riot over Core2 isn't that it's faster, it's because Intel stole all the advantages AMD used to have. Intel is no longer making clumsy, high heat/power, and expensive processors by comparison, they're equal now. More than equal, since directly comparing prices puts Intel *way* ahead. That's the catch, Intel is now better on th
  • Why do the new Intel chipsets have just one P-ATA channel, if any at all? It is ridiculous. 95% of all optical drives are P-ATA, and P-ATA hard drives as of yet are just as fast, if not faster thanks to more mature drivers and technology, than their SATA counterparts. What do they expect people with 2+ perfectly fine last-generation PATA hard drives to do when upgrading to Core 2 Duo? Getting a separate PCI controller (as PCI-E x1 ones are still rare) to already expensive C2D motherboards with just 2 PCI sl
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MojoStan (776183)

      Why do the new Intel chipsets have just one P-ATA channel, if any at all?

      Probably because serial ATA does have performance/connection advantages over parallel ATA, and the new Intel chipsets (965 series) are the fourth generation of Intel chipsets to support SATA (865/875 chipsets were released in May 2003). Intel thinks it's about time, and I think they might be right.

      It is ridiculous. 95% of all optical drives are P-ATA...

      I think around 95% of all motherboards using the new Intel chipsets have at le

      • Even without the performance advantages, SATA connectors/cables are a heck of a lot more convenient. Modern motherboards have four to six little SATA ports with no master/slave nonsense. The cables/connectors (including power) are so much thinner, easier to work with, and less likely to get loose. Haven't you ever had a boot problem from a bad PATA or power connection to your hard drive (like I have)?

        Mmmm, the SATA connector is not the best designed connector in the world in my experience. And that appl
      • by snuf23 (182335)
        This demands on the motherboard. My Core 2 duo motherboard has support for 4 PATA plus SATA. I have 2 PATA optical drives, 1 PATA HD and 2 SATA HDs in the case. I can also opt to boot off of any device irregardless of which bus it's located on or it's master/slave setting.
  • > Some fanboys still stubbornly cling to their favorite underdog

    True. The rest of us get incredible SMP scaling up to 32 cores on one motherboard, using Opteron socket F CPUs.
  • Are (good) Core2 boards available for ATX or BTX?

    You see, I have several nice ATX cases and like to switch hardware between them.

    If I have to buy BTX, my next CPU is still still likely to be AM2, not Core2 Duo...
  • I'm sure I read somewhere that the (now with Catalyst 6.9) Crossfire enabled P965 boards will be 1 x 16 lane enabled PCI-e 16 slot and 1 x 4 lane enabled PCI-e 16 slot (for those P965 boards with two slots) at most vs the P975x having 2 x 8 lane enabled PCI-e 16 slots: if so, how will this affect their Crossfire performance overall on the P965 boards?
  • Only an individual with money to burn (and small brain) is going to upgrade from an Athlon 64 single core 3000, to an Intel Core 2 Duo.

    I'm sorry but I could envision the same idiot upgrading from his 2500mhz cpu to a 2800mhz cpu as soon as it comes out.

    I upgraded from my 700mhz (overclocked from 533mhz) celeron, to an athlon xp 2500 to play Halo (I also got a decent graphics card of course). So far.. even the so called state of the art games coming out run smooth on this same machine. Half life 2 ep 1 is a
    • "Article says to upgrade from Athlon 64? Why?"

      Acutally, it doesnt' say that. Seriously, RTFA, with comprehension this time.

      Also, upgrading from a single-core Athlon 64 3000+ to a dual-core Core 2 Duo is a huge leap over the move from 2.5 to 2.8GHz. There are plenty of SMP-aware apps that scale quite nicely, and even ATI and Nvidia's graphics drivers are making use of dual-core chips to improve in-game frame rates.

    • by PIBM (588930)
      I went from a 3200+ which was running at ~2.3ghz to a core 2 duo 6600 .. I get about 3 times the performance of what I had before, so I don't call that a small change. I kept the same video card and the games that I play are much faster, and the time it takes when I use video editing software went down by a lot. I wasn't planning to change but I got an offer for my system, and it was totally worth it :)
    • i just upgraded from a 939 3500 and i am quite pleased. the overclockability of the 6x00 is phenomenal (almost 2.6ghz on stock cooling http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2802&p=1 [anandtech.com])

      not only that, but i decided it was time to get a dual-core because i've started doing multiple things now that i have a pc that's capable. in the past, converting video or extracting, compressing, etc meant leaving my machine to do it's business (or just surf the net). now, i can encode a dvd image for easy access on

  • G965 Reviews? (Score:3, Informative)

    by HRbnjR (12398) <chris@hubick.com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:14PM (#16156451) Homepage
    I was dissapointed that this review didn't include any G965 reviews.

    If you want the new Linux XGL/AIGLX/Compiz functionality to work out of the box with no binary drivers, a G965 board may very well be what you are looking for.

    The G965 chipset includes the new GMA X3000 graphics core, which is the only DX10 feature level graphics solution with FLOSS Linux drivers: http://intellinuxgraphics.org/ [intellinuxgraphics.org]

    The new C2 stepping is rumoured to solve many of the performance problems of the first stepping, and although probably still not suitable for FPS gaming under Linux, other less demanding games and desktop users needs could be well met.
    • The performance problems of the G part of the G965 aren't going to improve [theinquirer.net], even with the C2 stepping.

      I wouldn't hold your breath. It took Intel three tries to make a modern embedded chipset with "decent" low-end performance, with the GMA 900, and that wasn't even very advanced. With hardware shaders, this is an entirely new concept for Intel to tackle, so give them till next chipset to beat the performance of the GMA 950.

      Of course, the Inq could be full of shit, but when it comes to Intel and graphics I'
  • by martinultima (832468) <martinultima@gmail.com> on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:14PM (#16156461) Homepage Journal
    but I'm still sticking with my Athlon 64, thanks. Besides, I can't even tell which damn Intel processors are even 64-bit capable – at least AMD makes a clear naming distinction. (I may be wrong here, of course... disclaimer, I used to be an Intel guy myself, but I've since changed.)
    • by srk2040 (973509)
      Agreed, whats with all the freaking intel naming conventions on these new processors?
  • Playing Hopscotch (Score:4, Interesting)

    by m.dillon (147925) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @04:52PM (#16156757) Homepage
    It's fun seeing AMD and Intel playing hopscotch, but the days of a simple cpu upgrade causing the masses to replace their machines whoesale are long since over, and Intel was just a tad too late to the game for their Duo to be able to steal back all the market share they lost to AMD. I don't know about the rest of you but fan noise hasn't been an issue for me since I upgraded to an AMD64 X2 based MB with its hardware fan control and started using heatpipe technology. I have three shuttle XPC cubes on my desktop right now and the room is still very quiet. I have no desire to 'upgrade'.. my machines are already overpowered and mostly idle, what do I care if Internet Explorer takes 0.05 seconds less time to pop up?

    Intel is likely to make some inroads in the server market except... well, except unfortunately Core Duo doesn't scale as well once you go to quad cpu setups due to the memory bottleneck. So their only real claim to fame is power use. Power is extremely important in the long term, but I don't see anyone rushing to replace all their AMD boxes with core duo just for that when they know AMD will come up with a power-competitive design in fairly short order.

    The real problem Intel has is their inability to compete with Hypertransport. AMD is already pushing hard to make it a defacto standard for chip interconnect. Intel is working on their own solutions to the problem, but they are not hitting on all cylinders yet.

    If anything is going to drive machine replacement in today's market, it is going to be the new ultra-fast PCI bus technologies. PCI has needed an upgrade for a long, long time. Nothing else will have much of an impact. GiGE is already faster then most hard drives so there isn't going to be much of a consumer push for 10GiGE. Cpu's are already fast enough and machines are already quiet enough. We are a far cry from the old days where every new advance doubled the performance of the previous year's boxes. In today's world magazines proclaim victory and tell people to trash their old machines for barely a 10% improvement, but unless there is a huge improvement in video technology even game players have no real reason to do so any more. The connection to the video card is the only thing left for which significant improvements can drive machine replacement.

    -Matt

    • Amd is also trying to push Hypertransport in to add on cards and maybe even video cards I think buying ati is big step to that if that comes true then intel may be fored to use Hypertransport.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      If anything is going to drive machine replacement in today's market, it is going to be the new ultra-fast PCI bus technologies. PCI has needed an upgrade for a long, long time. Nothing else will have much of an impact. GiGE is already faster then most hard drives so there isn't going to be much of a consumer push for 10GiGE. Cpu's are already fast enough and machines are already quiet enough. We are a far cry from the old days where every new advance doubled the performance of the previous year's boxes. In
  • Glad to see power consumption measured!

    I hope ATI still releases an Intel RD580 chipset. They are pretty power efficient and acceptable performers. I'm just waiting for one to get used in a small form factor system.

    -LM
  • by daybot (911557) *
    People seem to be missing the point about Core 2. Where CPU performance is considered, Core 2 doesn't just have to take on AMD's current offerings - it needs to be compared with Intel's previous offerings too. Here are some quick real-world numbers from my company where we've just bought a twin-CPU Core 2 Duo Xeon 5160 system for a performance-critical task.

    Systems Involved
    Dual P4 Xeon 3.4GHz (will refer to this as "P4")
    Dual Core 2 Duo Xeon 5160 3.0GHz (will refer to this as "Core2")

    Test suite for our

    • by LurkerXXX (667952)
      There is no need to compare it to Intel's previous offerings.

      Why? Because they were absolute crap compared to what AMD has been putting out.

      Core 2 now gives Intel something to actually compare with AMDs. Saying Core 2 is competitive with AMD 64 aready clearly states that it blows P4's out of the water. Who cares by how much? Anyone concerned with performance is going to base the comparison vs AMD's offerings, because they were the only realistic choice before Core 2.
  • Intel vs AMD Prices (Score:3, Informative)

    by owlstead (636356) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @07:22PM (#16157782)
    Here in the Netherlands, if you want to buy a processor for a DOY project, AMD is always cheaper, even if Intel says it's got AMD beaten. I can buy an X2 starting at 150,-, while the Intel already is at 220 minimum. That's 70 euro's that I'd rather spend in the bar or at a restaurant or three. Ok, it's much faster then the 3800 I got now, but I've still got a plenty fast dual core. It will probably beat any non-Intel Core 2 Duo out there. And it's a bit like David against Goliath as well. Intel isn't going away, so to have a healthy marketplace, we need AMD.
  • I built a bloody fantastic machine the other week - slick as hell, stable and almost totally inaudible (there's a discreet blue light on the box to tell you it's on).

    However, I am having a fucking nightmare trying to get any DVDs to play on it (one of the reasons I wanted it silent). The Intel P965 chipset includes ICH8, which should be brilliant but has some serious problems with drive support when compared with its older sibling the ICH7.

    It doesn't have P-ATA IDE support as standard, but sort of "cobble

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