Posted 07 July 2008 - 11:44 AM
Hello all. I was hoping you could help me with some (probably ridiculous) questions. I just bought a new computer cause I think my old one was dying on me.
My old computer is a:
14-month old HP Pavilion a1730n AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual-Core 4600+ (operates at 2.4 GHz)
Ordering P/N (Tray) ADA4600IAA5CU
Ordering P/N (PIB) ADA4600CUBOX
Operating Mode 32/64
HT Speed 2000
Max Temp 55-70°C
Thermal Power 89W
L1 Cache 128KB x2
L2 Cache 1MB
CMOS Technology 90nm SOI
Socket Socket AM2
Vista Home Premium
2 GB RAM
Integrated 1650LE for graphics.
Installed a PNY Tech nVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT (512 MB DDR2) and was able to play COD4 great.
Recently, however, the computer wouldn't boot up all the way. The screen would just black out and then nothing. I safe booted in, tried system repair, system recovery, and eventually a full reformat. The screen would still black out or it would come up with vertical bars of yellow lines. Thinking I was part way there, I tried to re-install the GeForce 8500 GT but still had the black out or yellow lines problems. The wife took the computer to have it scanned and they found nothing. I had truly intended that I would build my next computer but wasn't quite prepared when the HP started flaking out so soon. Again, it was only 14 months old. Not to mention, I just got hit with orders to deploy soon...so I haven't had time to research component compatability to build my own before I leave. With my luck, I just knew I'd get an MB that wouldn't play well with a GPU or some other component. So I opted for the pre-built for now just so the wife and kids had something they could use and play games on. COD4 and WOW are the big ones the boys play.
Anyway, yesterday we just bought a ($700):
Gateway GT5676 AMD Phenom Processor 9600 Quad Core (operates at 2.3 GHz, 2 MB L3 Cache, 3600 MHz system bus)
Clock Frequency 2.3GHz (11.5x multiplier)
L1 Cache Size 128KB per core, split into 64KB data cache and 64KB instruction cache
L2 Cache Size 512KB per core (2MB total)
L3 Cache Size 2MB Shared
Memory Controller 128-bit wide integrated on-die
Memory Controller Clock Up to 1.8GHz
Memory Support Up to DDR2-1066
HyperTransport 3.0 Link One 16-big, full duplex, up to 3600MHz effective
Transistor Count 450 Million
Process Technology 65nm SOI
Die Size 285mm^2
Nominal Voltage 1.1 - 1.25V
Rated TDP 95W
Vista Home Premium
It also has 4 GB DDR2 Dual-Channel memory and
onboard ATI Radeon HD3200 (up to 256 MB shared video memory).
I know pre-builts usually have the bottom end of what's current in the market of computer components...so we went with one of the better towers they had...hoping to compensate. And maybe I'm behind in the times, but I thought AMD was actually in the lead between the Intel vs. AMD battle.
(From Extremetech - AMD Phenom 9600 Vs. Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600: Fight! - PC Gaming Benchmarks - The Core 2 Duo redefined what users expected from a CPU for games. Previously, AMD had ruled the roost in PC Gaming. In fact, you could argue that gaming was AMD's strongest suit, though the Athlon 64 X2 line of CPUs generally outpaced Intel in the majority of other benchmarks prior to the release of Core 2 Duo.)
Of course, now that I've checked some benchmark sites (like extremetech and others)...it looks like between two fairly comparable chips...Intel wins overall.
And since I was deployed before when dual and quad-cores first came out...I'm still a bit confused about comparing them. Everyone I talked to said a quad 2.3 GHz was way better than a dual 2.4 GHz. I didn't realize, however, that the games might not necessarily work off the quad better...rendering it nothing more than a slower dual as you mentioned. Could having the computer set up as a 64-bit be making it even worse since there isn't much out there for 64-bit at this time? I thought 64-bit was the way to go for gaming.
I powered up and setup up the computer as a 64-Bit machine, downloaded and installed all updated drivers, and then decided to see if the new computer could play COD4 as it was out of the box so I went to www(dot)canirunit(dot)com and did a scan.
It said I passed all of the Minimum Requirements...even said I had 1.9 GB of video memory. Is this because it's borrowing from my 4 GB RAM? Everything else checked fine.
I then checked the Recommended Tab where it said I failed the recommended 2.4 GHz of CPU Speed as it was only reading 2.3 GHz?? Is a dual-core 2.4 GHz that's a year old actually better than a qual-core 2.3 GHz?? Odd thing is, I then installed the GeForce 8500 GT and it started doing the same thing as my old computer. Guess I have a card that's going bad...and it's only 6 months old...so I took it back out.
I tried running COD4 (single and multi-player) on the Gateway as it was out of the box and it was pretty choppy. Is it because of the CPU speed (which I supposedly passed for minimum but failed for recommended) or is the ATI Radeon HD3200 not strong enough? Or, does COD4 have any known issues being run on a 64-bit machine? Any recommendations? Is there anything I can do in order to play COD4 for now with the new computer as it is? In the meantime, I think I'm going to replace the GeForce 8500 GT since it's still under manufacturer's warranty. I was just confused as to why canirunit said the out of the box video capability far exceeded the minimum requirements. Anyway, once I get a replacement 8500 (or maybe upgrade to an 8800)...do you think the current CPU will be okay? Or should I really just take the whole darn thing back and go with a dual core for the time being?
Sorry if these questions seem a bit noobish, but I've been out of the country for most of the past two years and really don't know much about comparing dual and quad cores to the even older Pentium 4 with Windows XP that I had before. Appreciate everyone's help in advance.