Worth investing in the AMD X2 for MCE?

springtide

Well-known Member
I’m just finalising the ordering of my HTPC. I’m currently trying to decide on what AMD processor to order. I’m tempted by the AMD X2 (3800) as this would give better multiprocessing performance (so better performance when recording, viewing and changing channel etc)

The X2 3800 are now down to £240 so this would only add another £100 onto the price of an AMD 3500.

Are there any know issues with MCE and the AMD X2 or dual processor setups?

Any recommendations or experience with the X2s
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
No issues here. More than powerful enough, and also runs nice and cool (35 idle, 55 underload /burnin test running for 60minutes
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Any specific reason why not the Intel D 820? Very fast indeed with encoding/decoding, only £164.....I think it only gets beaten by the AMD's when playing games, but if that is not something you are interested in (like myself...) then I would give it some serious thought....
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Even more savings on your heating bill ;-) Nah seriously, yes the P4 runs hotter, so what? They are meant to be...I've got a 3.4EE in my laptop which is just fine...But fair enough, if you have a small enclosure then perhaps not....I think Intel has done great, provide dual core for the price of a single core processor...The AMD's are expensive in comparison I think....
 
hmm....so how hot does your 820 run?, just curious, I have a P4 Northwood 3.4GHZ, 43 degrees idle, 55 degress under load..how does it compre to the 820?...and which cooler are you using?
 

springtide

Well-known Member
Four reason for not going the 820D route:

1) £177 buys you the Dual Core 2.8GHz - the 2.8 model does not have Intel® SpeedStep (important for something you want to run cool) which means you have to go for the 3.0Ghz which is £225

2) The Intels run generally hotter - my system will be completely passive so this is a very bad thing for me.

3) I have a 1GB of DDR RAM in my draw doing nothing. I go the 820 route - I have to buy more RAM.

4) I have yet to find a PCI-E based Intel board with 4 PCI slots. If fact, I've struggled to find one with more then 2 PCI slots!
(And before say that the AMD board only have a max of 3 ! MSI have a board with 4PCI, 1x PCI-E 16x , 1 PCI-E x2 & 1 PCI-E x1 - this took some finding!)

I'm not saying the AMD is any better - just that it doesn't make much sense for my HTPC! Any savings I make on the processor - I'll have to blow on RAM!
 
What do oy need more than 2 PCI slots for?....it's more than enough for a soundard and a dual analogue tv tuner...?..you reall don't need more than three, unless your worrieed by the fact the the first PCI slot is blocked by the PCI-E graphics card...
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
meansizzler said:
What do oy need more than 2 PCI slots for?....it's more than enough for a soundard and a dual analogue tv tuner.
well, it's *just* enough for a soundcard and dual analogue tuner, but not everyone has or wants just a soundcard and dual analogue tuner - for instance what if you wanted to add WiFi to that without adding another external box? Or you have a swweetspot capture card plus a couple of PCI DVB-S/T tuner cards?
 

springtide

Well-known Member
Yep, spending enough on this HTPC and I don't want to limit myself for any future upgrades.

If all I wanted was 2x PCI slots, I would have ordered a pre-built Hush PC!
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
That would explain why they're like hen's teeth at the moment as suppliers run down their existing stock.
 

rdhir

Active Member
Hen's teeth - I hear Intel give them away with their new Dual cores to make them run faster with less power. ;)

Rajiv
 

springtide

Well-known Member
Managed to pick a X2 3800 from Overclockers for £240 (reduced from £270)

Not 25% less though :(

Never mind, I needed to order the bits as my HFX case is on it's way to me!
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
meansizzler said:
hmm....so how hot does your 820 run?, just curious, I have a P4 Northwood 3.4GHZ, 43 degrees idle, 55 degress under load..how does it compre to the 820?...and which cooler are you using?
It is actually running at 26.0 degrees Celcius at idle....but I'm having trouble to slow down my CPU fan...that thing is noisy at 2580RPM.....So I'll have to see what it will be afterward.....

It's a running a lot cooler than I thought and just blazing through any HD demo material.....I need to sort out my fan to slow down and then take another measurement....But if it stays like this...I'll start overclocking it....I must admit that the LC16M case is great....
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
dejongj said:
It is actually running at 26.0 degrees Celcius at idle....but I'm having trouble to slow down my CPU fan...that thing is noisy at 2580RPM.....So I'll have to see what it will be afterward.....

It's a running a lot cooler than I thought and just blazing through any HD demo material.....I need to sort out my fan to slow down and then take another measurement....But if it stays like this...I'll start overclocking it....I must admit that the LC16M case is great....
What motherboard are you using and are you using cool at quiet? ATM I have an X2 3800 setup to run fanless below 40c (which is does for most MCE tasks), and then at increasing speeds up to 60dergrees where it runs full pelt (which it never gets to.)
 

sanderton

Active Member
Does anyone know if dual core will help when it comes to running extenders?

My next MCE machine will be a media server without any display of its own, just servicing some Xbox 360s. I was wondering if dual core would be a good idea.
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
I have LinkSys MCE extender I set up and was playing with over the w/end.
The 3800 X2 coped admiraly whilst streming TV to the extender and playing a DVD. It even streamed TV to both with the ability to pause/rewind etc individulay - I was mosty impressed.
CPU useage was showing considerably higher than usual (60% V 20%ish) so it does look like the extra horse power is required. Not had chance to try it on a lower speced machine yet, but I have a couple of 2.8Ghz P4' systems kicking around I can try it out on when I get time
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I am using an Abit AW8-MAX for my D820. This is a passively cooled motherboard with Silent-OTES. No cool-and-quiet as it is a 755 chipset based...I'm using 2X 512Mb Corsair DD2-667 memory, 2xSpinpoint 160Gb, 4xSpinpoint 250Gb, Gigabyte 6600GT Fanless, NEC 3540A, Elan Vital Greenager 500W and a Zalman CPU cooler.

I just can't believe how cold this thing stays....But then again I am having difficulties lowering the speed for the Zalman cooler...I give it another go but I might be tempted to get one of those Ninja's passive coolers....

I think dual core is great for HTPC as those apps are multi-threaded...and the D820 is a steel at £164...
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
The Ninja doesn't fit - neight does the shogun - I've tried. So far the best cooler for this case is teh Thermalright XP120.
Which Zalman cooler are you using? CNPS9500? or a CNPS7x00?
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
I'm using the CNPS9500 which fits with plenty of space....I noticed what I've done...I didn't install the fan-mate as I can control the voltages via my motherboard...But as it is a three-pin CPU fan, I guess the 4-pin header can't slow it down....I've installed the fanmate-2 and the fan is slowing down and relative quiet...But considering when playing an WMV-HD it is still only reaching 33 Celcius I need to look for something slower/quieter...

I'll take a look at the Thermalright XP120...Cheers
 

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