Price Guide, October 2005: CPUs

by Haider Farhan on 10/29/2005 12:05 AM EST
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  • dwirsz - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Did anyone else notice that the AMD Sempron 64 (754) 3000+ 128KB Palermo on the RTPE is at Chumbo for 74.99. The only problem with that is it links to a 2600+ chip instead. The 3000+ chip is $99. Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    Nice catch. Not sure how that happened. Ewiz has the 3000+ for a couple bucks more, and the price shoudl reflect that now.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • Anton74 - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    Is there any word at all about when we might see Socket 939 Semprons available for retail?

    Together with something like the Gigabyte GA-K8N51GMF-9 motherboard (GeForce 6100/430 based board with SATA/300/RAID, Gigabit LAN, integrated graphics, PCI-E, and quiet, passive cooling, for $79 on newegg.com), the Socket 939 Sempron would make a killer office combo (or home entertainment); cheap, decent performance, and very upgradeable (can take dual core Athlon).

    I'll take 3, please. :)
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    With AMD stating that there will be no more OEM chips made available, I'm doubtful that we'll ever see 939 Semprons at places like Newegg. You can buy systems with the chips from HP - that's been the case for over 6 months! - but they've never made it to retail. Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - link

    I had the impression we'd see Retail Socket 939 Semprons around the same time that the big brother Athlon 64 transitions to Socket M2. Socket 939 will become the value socket, and socket 754 will go away, except maybe for mobile applications.

    Though that does beg the question of why AMD transitioned the 100-series Opterons to Socket 939, when the Socket M2/Socket F transition is coming soon... what was so wrong with Socket 940 in the interim? Yeah, 940 boards cost more, but if you care enough to buy an Opteron instead of an A64, you won't be quibbling about mainboard cost.

    Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - link

    just adding to my own post:

    It seems to me that Socket 939 Opterons solve a problem that didn't exist.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - link

    Single socket 940 basically became pointless. Is there anyone out there that wants an Opteron with a single socket motherboard? I don't know about you, but if I were seriously looking at Opteron I'd want two sockets. If you want a single dual-core, you might as well get socket 939. I'm not sure why the San Diego 939 chips are still being called "Opteron" anyway - possibly for marketing purposes?

    Regarding Sempron, when we transition to DDR2 and socket M2, there will also be DDR2 and socket M1 for the value lineup. At least, that was my understanding, and I admit I could have that wrong. The odd thing is that S1 and M2 are both dual-channel DDR2 as far as I can tell, but there are more pins on M2 than S1. Riddle me this: how do you still get dual-channel DDR2 but use 750 to 800 pins instead of 940 pins? Again, maybe I'm wrong and S1 is just the mobile variant of M2. Socket F is for servers and workstations (i.e. next gen. Opteron) and has 1207 (1206?) pins, and I'm not sure if that will have more than dual-channel DDR2. I'm figuring multiple FBD channels is an option, but how many? Four, or does FBD just require more pins per channel?
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - link

    I hadn't heard about either socket S1 or M1 (are there both S1 and M1, or when you mentioned M1 was that a typo?). That makes more sense of course than 939 becoming the value socket... the Intel has moved completely to DDR2, so AMD had best move completely to DDR2 as well. I'm puzzled by your riddle as well... if dual-channel DDR2 can be done in 750-800 pins, then what are the other pins in M2 for? My completely un-informed bet is that M1/S1 is actually single-channel DDR2.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - link

    M1 is a type. Oops. There's socket S1, M2, and F coming out. I screwed up elsewhere as well, as S1 is apparently the mobile version of M2, and pin counts are basically unknown (at least for me). Sad thing is, I even helped write the roadmap update where we http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">discussed this information. Guess I'm getting senile. ;)

    To recap:
    Manila = M2 value (1H'06)
    Orleans = M2 Mainstream (Q1'06)
    Windsor = M2 Performance + Dual core (Q1'06)

    Trinidad = M2 mobile dual core (1H'06)
    Richmond = M2 mobile Sempron (1H'06)

    Keene = S1 mobile Sempron (Q1'06)
    Taylor = S1 mobile Turion dual core (Q1'06)

    Socket 754 and 939 are both transitioning to End of Life by the start of 2007, with both the value and performance platforms moving to M2 (sort of like Intel with socket 775). The mobile market will have a similar shift, only moving to S1 instead.
    Reply
  • johnsonx - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    AMD ought to just kill off 754 now by releasing those Socket-939 Semprons into retail... the lack of low cost Socket-939 CPU's is the only thing that keeps me buying S754 for my customers' office systems; the motherboard cost difference is below $10 in most cases (zero even, depending on chipset choice), and the cost of 2 smaller DIMMs vs. 1 big DIMM is usually a wash. Oh well, AMD's gotta follow the plan I guess.

    Thanks for the link back to the AMD roadmap article. I read it at the time, but hey, it's November now and that was in June.

    If Sockets M2 and S1 are both dual-channel DDR2, then I guess S1 must be very high-density, and/or has fewer power pins, and/or is otherwise form-factor optimized for thin-and-light applications. I guess if you know you'll never need more than 25W, then you can do away with half or more of the power pins vs. a full size socket that has to cope with upwards of 100 watts.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 02, 2005 - link

    I think the dual-core Turions for S1 can still pull up to 65W or so, but that's still a lot less than 110W for stuff like FX/X2. I'd love to see the 754 platform disappear, but I think AMD would really piss off a lot of customers and partners, so they need to stick with it. The lack of a sub-$100 939 chip is really unfortunate. Reply
  • ksherman - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    those Opterons are goin NUTS!!! why is their price moving like crazy?! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    At least on place (Directron) clearanced a bunch of Opteron parts. I'm a little curious as to whether the prices are real or not. Why clearance a $750 CPU for $300, when you could probably still sell it for $500+? They might also be refurbs. Anyway, if you can find an Opteron that you want at such a low price and it's actually available, go for it. Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    You wrote: The X2 3800+ is still a bit pricier than its Pentium D counterpart, the 830, but it has proven to be the better CPU in Anand’s comprehensive X2 3800+ article. The big question is if the small increase in price is worth the increase in performance. If you’re not on a super tight budget and have the $15-$30 to spend, then the X2 3800+ Manchester [RTPE: ADA3800DAA5BV] is definitely the processor to go buy.

    A look at Pricewatch shows:

    A64 X2 3800+ - $320 (incl. shipping)

    P-D 830 - $319.40 (incl. shipping)

    There is no price difference in the market, so this "super-tight budget" comment is rather pointless. It´s not "the big question" at all, rather a
    no-brainer, since the CPUs already cost the same, and X2 platforms can be had for a lot
    less. Don´t make it seem like the P-D 830 is somehow the choice for those with limited budgets - because that simply isn´t true.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Remember that the prices can fluctuate rapidly on computer parts. When the guide was written, the X2 3800+ was more expensive than now. If you're on a budget and you want dual core, the 820 is the processor to buy, as there's simply no X2 alternative to the $247 price point. The X2 3800+ is definitely faster overall (and you'd be hard pressed to find even one application where the 820 is moderately faster), but $325 is a lot of money for a CPU. Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    quote:

    When the guide was written, the X2 3800+ was more expensive than now. If you're on a budget and you want dual core, the 820 is the processor to buy, as there's simply no X2 alternative to the $247 price point.


    But that is not what the part I quoted was about. It was specifically about the X2 3800+ vs. P-D 830 comparison.

    Reply
  • rrcn - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    I believe Jarred answered your question here:
    quote:

    Remember that the prices can fluctuate rapidly on computer parts. When the guide was written, the X2 3800+ was more expensive than now.


    And on our RTPE system, we are still showing a price difference of $10. At the time the article was written, there was a larger margin of about $20 or so. By the time it went went through the editing process and lastly being published, prices obviously changed to reflect a smaller margin.

    And some people are on tight budgets. $10 here, $15 there...it adds up in the end. ;)
    Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    And on our RTPE system, we are still showing a price difference of $10.

    If you want to nitpick, it actually shows less than $9. But that doesn´t make my point any less valid.

    And some people are on tight budgets. $10 here, $15 there...it adds up in the end. ;)

    If that´s true, the platform cost advantage for the X2 weighs in even more. Let´s face it, the point that in a 830 vs. X2 3800+ comparison, somehow the 830 is a cheaper buy for situations with limited budgets due to the (supposed) price advantage of the CPU is just not valid today. You can change the subject to the 820, can claim the article was already somewhat outdated at the time of posting, but that won´t change the fact that these CPUs cost the same in the market. Pricewatch shows them to be within 60 cents.

    The article is still new, why not make sure it fully reflects the very recent price reductions from AMD, that happened before the article was posted. That´s what I´d do, that´s why I made my post, but it´s obviously up to you how valid you want your points to be, and how current. As a reader, I can only make suggestions. It´s a good thing for
    buyers to see the X2 3800+ down to $320.

    http://www.manticoreinc.com/tech/product_info.php?...">null">http://www.manticoreinc.com/tech/produc...hp?cPath...

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    I don't get what the problem is. Okay, so the price difference isn't that much, but what does the next sentence state? "If you’re not on a super tight budget and have the $15-$30 to spend, then the X2 3800+ Manchester is definitely the processor to go buy." How can it be any clearer? Obviously, if prices change and the X2 3800+ ends up the same price or less than the 830, the "definitely the processor to go buy" becomes an even stronger statement.

    The "The big question" part is simply a writing style - filler if you want. Try coming up with articles for a website and you're bound to slip in some filler material at times. The charts tell the story to many people, so perhaps the text is all extraneous? All we need are tables and graphs.... ;) Anyway, we can go and rephrase that sentence in numerous ways, but the final recommendation still clearly goes to the X2 3800+.

    Even with that recommendation, plenty of people are still Intel devotees, for one reason or another. If they still want to buy a Pentium D, that's fine with me - I don't get money from AMD or Intel, so it doesn't really matter.
    Reply
  • Avalon - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    I think it's retarded that the authors of the article say there is no reason to get s754 over s939. Dual channel? Larger cache? Dual channel has at most a 5% effect on performance, and you can get the same ammount of cache on your processor for either socket. You can even get PCI-e s754, so upgradability is a moot point, unless you plan on getting an X2 down the road, but by then there will be better sM2 boards for you to choose from. I guess I'll go spend hundreds of dollars on a s939 4000+ (2.4ghz, 1mb L2 cache) since there's no reason to get a $178 s754 3700+ (2.4ghz, 1mb L2 cache).

    :roll:
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    The 2.2 GHz 1MB 939 3700+ is very similar in performance to the 2.4 GHz 1MB 754 3700+, with the exception of the 939 chip using 90nm SOI vs. 130nm SOI. The top chip for 754 will be the 3700+, with a *mobile* 4000+ coming in the future - which may or may not work on most 754 boards. (90nm SOI chips for 754 exist, but they don't work on quite a few of the older boards.) So, you're saving $50 relative to socket 939, more or less.

    Things you can't get from socket 754 (most likely ever):
    Dual Core
    4GB of RAM
    SLI and/or Crossfire
    Faster than 2.6 GHz (without overclocking)

    None of those things are huge shortcomings, but 939 is a better platform overall. Running two DIMMs is in general more stable, there is a much larger selection of quality motherboards, and the simple fact that 754 is now a "value" platform means that most boards target a different audience. If you're looking at $275 or so for 3700+ 754, $300-$325 for 939 is a pretty reasonable upgrade. Both are destined to be replaced next year, but even when M2 and S1 come out, there will still be plenty of faster 939 chips floating around.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Incidentally, as far as performance, I'd say:

    939 vs. 754:
    dual-channel = 0 to 10% more performance; 7% typical in games
    Rev. E vs. Rev. C = 0 to 7% more performance; 5% average

    So, clock for clock, with the same amount of cache, a San Diego will be around 0 to 18% faster than a Clawhammer, with the typical performance boost being 10 to 12%.

    Right now, the 754 3700+ is a great deal for upgraders - hell, it's cheaper than the 3400+ (both variants) as well as the 3200+ Hammer core. It's a little odd, as the price should be closer to $250 (looking at the other 754 chips). The San Diego 3700+ is probably still faster, but I don't think it's $75 faster.

    San Diego will also overclock better than the Clawhammer, if that's important to you - especially the 754 Clawhammer. You'll be lucky to get that chip to 2.6, but the San Diego will often do 2.7 to 2.8, and even 2.9+ in some cases (water cooling will help). I'd say 939 is by far the more flexible option, but there are still some interesting options at times for 754.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    So Jarred, if one is looking at building a new system, but has no interest in SLI and wants to keep it cheap, would s754 still be a viable option or not?

    Figure using whatever s754 board supports SATA, USB2.0, and PCI-E as the basic requirements.
    Throw in that 3700+ chip, a 7800GT, a 74GB Raptor 10k drive, and 1-2GB of pc3200. No overclocking.

    I'd love to see how that setup runs some of the latest games like FEAR and Quake4.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Wait... did you just use "cheap" and then list a 7800GT and a Raptor!? ;)

    I really don't get why people are so hung-up on Raptors. Yeah, the 10K RPM helps some applications load a bit faster, but I'd take 2GB of RAM with a 160GB HDD over 1GB with a 74GB Raptor. But I digress.

    Performance-wise, the 3700+ 754 should be within 5% of the 3700+ 939 for games, and while 5% is a measurable difference, it's not noticeable. I'd still go for 939, as the increased competition has created a lot more quality motherboards. What's the best socket 754 motherboard? I think it's probably the DFI LanParty UT 250Gb - even now! But that's an AGP board.

    The ASUS K8N4-E Deluxe is pretty good, but more expensive than the feature set warrants IMO. The DFI Infinity 4X is probably the best PCIe 754 board for price/performance, but then you miss out some features like Firewire and SATA2. I can't comment on the Abit NV8, Gigabyte GA-K8NE, etc. as I haven't tried any of them. Anyway, http://labs.anandtech.com/search.php?q=nforce4%207...">here's the list of nForce4 754 boards - choose your poison.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    Thanks Jarred, that's a very helpful reply! :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, October 30, 2005 - link

    The 2.2 GHz 1MB 939 3700+ is very similar in performance to the 2.4 GHz 1MB 754 3700+, with the exception of the 939 chip using 90nm SOI vs. 130nm SOI. The top chip for 754 will be the 3700+, with a *mobile* 4000+ coming in the future - which may or may not work on most 754 boards. (90nm SOI chips for 754 exist, but they don't work on quite a few of the older boards.) So, you're saving $50 relative to socket 939, more or less.

    Things you can't get from socket 754 (most likely ever):
    Dual Core
    4GB of RAM
    SLI and/or Crossfire
    Faster than 2.6 GHz (without overclocking)

    None of those things are huge shortcomings, but 939 is a better platform overall. Running two DIMMs is in general more stable, there is a much larger selection of quality motherboards, and the simple fact that 754 is now a "value" platform means that most boards target a different audience. If you're looking at $275 or so for 3700+ 754, $300-$325 for 939 is a pretty reasonable upgrade. Both are destined to be replaced next year, but even when M2 and S1 come out, there will still be plenty of faster 939 chips floating around.
    Reply
  • Visual - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 (939) 3800+ 2x512KB Toledo
    TOLEDO???
    is that for real, like, they lock half the l2 for these chips, or is it just a mistake?
    Reply
  • Nyati13 - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    The full 1M cache failed test, but a 512K subsection tested good, so they lock the bad half, and sell it as a 512K chip, instead of just throwing it away because the full 1M cache failed.

    CPU companies have always done this... it's nothing new
    Reply
  • beakerman - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    Am I the only one that can't see the Dual Core Product List on Page 2? I see an empty chart. Reply
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    As usual there seem to be some oddities in the pricing, like right now

    Intel Xeon 3.4GHz 800FSB 1MB Monarch Computer 469.00
    Intel Xeon 3.4GHz 800FSB 2MB NewEgg 465.00

    ...but never mind, I suppose it makes choosing between the two easier :)
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    "One of the 64-bit Semprons that caught our attention was the 2800+ Palermo core with 256MB L2 cache"

    A processor with that much cache would catch anyones attention :)
    Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    ah beat me to it Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, October 31, 2005 - link

    Okay, fixed now - I thought someone had already corrected it. Though, I'd really love such a CPU for that price. :D Reply
  • MikeyJ79 - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    Those 3800+ and 4000+ processors are looking more tempting by the week, though I would probably still get a cheaper model at this point. That socket 754 3700+ at ~$178 looks like an interesting buy for someone already stuck on that socket. Soon there may be the Mobile 4000+ with the Newark core which would be nice for current socket 754 users who are able to use it in their desktops. I doubt the price for it would be all that welcoming, however. Reply
  • coomar - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    the new skt 939 opteron's are creating an insane buzz, the better ones are doing 3.0+ ghz on air Reply
  • kmmatney - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    Has anyone tried a mobile Sempron with 1 MB cache:

    http://www.shentech.com/smn3000bix2ba.html">http://www.shentech.com/smn3000bix2ba.html

    Looks very interesting....
    Reply
  • MikeyJ79 - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    I wonder how they got one of those? ....LOL

    To their credit, though, they get the cache spec right further down in the listing. A 1MB L2 cache would mean it's not a Sempron anymore! :P
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Saturday, October 29, 2005 - link

    I'm reall tempted to get a mobile Athlon 64 - 1 MB cache for around $100. Are there any benchmarks anywhere for the mobile Athlons used in a desktop? Reply

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