Posted by Cal Vanize on April 29, 2006, 8:56 pmPlease Register and login to reply and use other advanced options
[OK, so I cross-posted.]
I'm in the process of building a new computer for a friend who is a
rather demanding business power-user.
The computer will be used mostly for internet browsing / email, business
applications, and some light gaming. The game that would probably
present the most CPU burden would be MS Flight Simulator 2004.
User often has 4 - 6 business applications open at the same time then
may launch FS keeping the other apps in the background. He indicated
that memory usage sometimes tops 1g in his current system.
He wants a "very responsive" system. I don't want to hear him express
any concerns about stability.
The hard drives will be two WD SE16 250gb in RAID 0 (I have concerns
about the reliability of Raptors). Memory will be two gig (2x1gb) of
Corsair XMS Platinum CAS2 (becuase I have it).
O/S will either be W2K or XP Home.
I'll probably use a ASUS A8N-VM CSM since there is not a heavy burden on
video performance. (I run FS 2004 on a GF-6100 board without any problems.)
The board is only capable of ~ 20% overclocking but reports indicate its
I'm interested in using a dual core processor for this application and
are considering either a X2 3800 or an Opteron 165.
In this application, are there any opinions on whether the X2 3800 or
Opteron 165 would perform better?
Posted by General Schvantzkoph on April 29, 2006, 9:49 pm
On Sat, 29 Apr 2006 19:56:57 -0500, Cal Vanize wrote:
Either processor is overkill of the type of system you are talking about.
The performance of the Opteron 165 and the 3800+ will be about the same.
The Opteron has bigger caches but a slightly slower clock, in some
applications big caches make a huge difference but in a simple desktop
system the sensitivity to cache size is likely to be much smaller.
There is absolutely no reason to do RAID0 on a desktop system, all you are
doing is doubling the probability of a catastrophic disk failure. Disk
performance matters at boot up time and that's it. If you are seeing
much disk activity on a desktop system that's a sure indicator that you
don't have enough RAM. Put one drive (with a 16M cache on it) in the
system and spend the money you would have spent on the second drive on
more RAM, I'd put at least 2G in any new system.
Posted by Cal Vanize on April 29, 2006, 10:28 pm
General Schvantzkoph wrote:
What would not be overkill? If not a dual core, what single core proc
would do the truck? At what point would additional processor power not
make any noticable difference in this application?
(As an aside, I've been doing RAID 0 on systems for years even with some
of the old [less reliable] drives. Never had a problem, never lost a
drive. Not that the odds don't point at the increased possibility of
failure. Maybe I've just been lucky.)
Posted by General Schvantzkoph on April 29, 2006, 10:53 pm
I'm not saying you shouldn't use a dual core processor, the price is
reasonable on the both the X2 3800+ and the Opteron 165 so there is no
reason not to use one. Using a dual core will give the system plenty of
headroom for the future. All I was saying was that the decision between
the X2 3800+ and the Opteron isn't all that critical, your friend will be
thrilled with either one. As for motherboards, any Nforce4 board will do a
great job. I have an MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum with a 3800+ (single core) in
my workstation and an MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum with an X2 4400+ in my compute
server. Both systems have been running 24/7 since I got them, I haven't
had a single hiccup on either one.
The RAID0 failure issue is a matter of simple probability, if one disk has
an MTBF of 5 years then two disks have an MTBF of 2.5 years. However the
real issue is that it won't speed up the system. Look at the disk light on
your own system, I bet it almost never blinks. If you are seeing a lot of
disk activity then you should add some RAM to your system. You should have
enough RAM so that you can keep all of your frequently used programs in
RAM without having to do any paging.
Posted by DRS on April 30, 2006, 5:01 am
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