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  • rupe120 - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    So no dual Opteron test? Reply
  • Nighteye2 - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    About the not working well with 4 sticks of RAM: maybe there are only 2 banks for each processor, given that each processor has it's own memory controller?
    Reply
  • MS - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    Wes,

    ok, I would need to check which version I am using .... D'UH, here it is: 3.43 from June 20 (release date). I guess I need oto check with nVidia and see whether there are newer drivers that increase performance :-)

    Thanks!!

    (gotto run a few errands now, be back later)
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    Michael,

    We don't generally use nVidia's IDE drivers either, but we do use the chipset driver set. The nForce unified drivers released just a few weeks ago appear to improve performance quite a bit on the nF3 compared to the earlier unified driver.
    Reply
  • MS - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    Wes,

    Thanks for clearing that one up, actually I am just using a standard Barracuda SATA -V drive on the SiI controller without the nForce drivers, also, I am getting some 59.8 - 59.9 on the ASUS K8V and the ABIT KV8 MAX3 (VIA chipset)

    With respect to the GunMetal benchmark, I am (presumably) using the same system as the one you have and the only thing that makes a difference there is how much eye-candy is turned on or off. --- I don't know either what to say here but GM appears to be more GPU limited than anything else. Which is why I would like to find out about your magic sauce for the FX-51..
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    Michael - The Dell is a 3.2 P4, while the Shuttle AN50R is an nForce3-150 Athlon64. You likely used nVidia's latest drivers, which do improve benchmark performance. We are using them for our upcoming reviews, but the nF3-150 scores were from earlier reviews using the slower earlier drivers. Those are likely the differences between your scores and ours.

    As I stated in the review, the Gun Metal 2 scores among FX51 chipsets remain a mystery. We are searching for answers.

    Reply
  • MS - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    "While Dell just achieved the first Content Creation score to approach 60, the Titan FX scores almost 70 in the same test. The Titan FX score of 67.9 is almost 10 points higher than the best that we have ever seen in this benchmark. That is 10 points better than a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 running almost the same components in the Dell Dimension XPS."

    Huh???

    We are getting over 60 with a standard Shuttle AN50R (single drive) and almost 65 with the FX-51 system, what's wrong here?

    Also, I don't quite understand the GunMetal benchmark results of the FX51 system, can you elaborate on those, that is, why is the FX51 system so much faster than anything else? Just curious what it is that I am overlooking here...
    Reply
  • Doop - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - link

    Well that's good Wesley Fink...AMD said they wouldn't work, you tested and they didn't work.

    Sorry for the comment about the article didn't mean to offend, I just usually expect AnandTech to be the most complete.

    It just seemed obvious to me to wonder why they would ship a single only CPU in a dual mobo. Glad you made the effort to check. Take care.

    Reply
  • stncttr908 - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Wow, if I were rich and didn't build my own systems, this would be on my desk in a heartbeat. Reply
  • rupe120 - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    So when will the article be redone with dual Opterons? :o) Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Adding, but how much of the system actually follows industry standards. Like why would I want a D/Hell with a stupid bios that is worse than features included even on uATX boards? Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    The power supply is FSP, and unlike the stupid dell is not proprietary. FSP are known for making good PS. Like the ones with the 120mm fans inside them.

    Of course the p4 systems can be faster with the RAID setup but neverless impressive. You should compare not only the specs and scores.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Doop - While AMD has stated from the beginning that the FX would not be multi-processor capable, MANY reviews have speculated that the shipping FX chips did not, in fact, have the 2nd and 3rd HT links disabled. If links were not disabled, then the chips WOULD work in a dual-processor board. Manufacturers tell us many things, but we still prefer to find out for ourselves, because things often turn out not to be exactly what we have been told by manufacturers.

    Now that we have tested this for ourselves, the article has been corrected. We have also added the recommendations from Elite PC on multiple CPU selection to the review, and I have just received a written response from AMD. We have done our best to answer the question with hands-on testing in a timely manner, and post the information as soon as it is available.

    I also read many other sites, and I don't recall an actual attempt to run 2 FX51 chips being reported. The question has never been AMD's intention with FX, but there have been many questions as to whether the other two HT links were actually being disabled on FX chips. We can now say that on FX chips we have tested, Dual-Processor operation with FX chips did not work, and the Opteron 2 and higher series should be used for dual processors.
    Reply
  • Doop - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    tfranzese, not many people think the Athlon FX is dual capable. AMD has clearly stated that they are not. This article was clearly not up Anandtech's usually extremely high level.

    Now this is purely wild speculation on may part but it could be possible that you get higher yeilds of opteron cores if you accept some with not all the functioning hypertransport links.

    Just like Radeons with 4 instead of 8 pipelines.

    You could enable the hypertransport links but there is possibility that you've got a chip where the links needed for dual operation will never work.
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    I don't think it's been clear, because I and others were under the assumption that they were not disabled in an effort to get them out asap. Might have just been engineering samples though, because these assumptions came from an article. Reply
  • Shinei - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Uh, tfraneze, I'm pretty sure it's been clear since the start that the FX-51 has had and always will have two disabled HT links... Turning them on MIGHT be possible, but that depends on how much time and money you're willing to waste (since a mistake can cost you $800). Reply
  • Shinei - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Uh, tfraneze, I'm pretty sure it's been clear since the start that the FX-51 has had and always will have two disabled HT links... Turning them on MIGHT be possible, but that depends on how much time and money you're willing to waste (since a mistake can cost you $800). Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Locutus, the board is a design that uses only one memory controller to cut down on traces. There's a recent article, I think from GamePC that compares it with an Extended ATX dual board with use of both memory controllers. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    #31 - The board is located on the MSI site under 'server workstation' at http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/server/svr/... As stated in the review the board is the VIA K8T800 chipset. Reply
  • Locutus4657 - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    I couldn't find this motherboard on the MSI web site. But to me it looks like this is a dual system using a via chipset? If so I didn't think this was possible... Or at the very least sane. Could some one confirm this? Reply
  • tfranzese - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Doop, no I don't feel like a fool. It's better to be informed than be completely ignorant like yourself. Even Wesley, the guy who wrote this article, was under the impression the current FX's were dual capable. It could either have been fixed by AMD or fixed in the BIOs for all you know.

    As for sales, sales don't determine leadership. As for the 8x thing, being first to market a new speed does not make you the leader. Am I not the only one disappointed that it can't do 8x + and - R?

    And no, no one mentioned Pioneer in this article but neither did they mention Plextor. And you're kidding yourself if you think Plextor has the same prestiege in the DVD burner market as they did with CD burners. Plextors are good, but speed isn't what makes you the best.
    Reply
  • Tweak - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    oops, late post. Reply
  • Tweak - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    Well Mr Fink, can you answer the dual FX question for us?

    You changed the typos, but completely ignored this MUCH more important querry.

    In any case, if the 940pin Fx's are dual compatible it would be a reason for the 940 pinners to remain in existance after the release of the 939pin. The performance of the new 939's will probably destroy single chip 940's configs.




    Reply
  • TheRealMandak - Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - link

    1. The Athlon64FX IS an Opteron 148, a single server/workstation processor.
    2. The socket for the FX, vill change to 941. So you might get problems with upgrading this system or have to use Opteron's at a higher price. "hint" Change'en socket might give a small price drop to the FX, since it cannot work in servers/workstations any more. Properly depends on Prescott performance (but this is a guess).
    3. It is not recommended to use 4 DIMMS in a single Athlon64/FX processor system, it will reduce performance.
    4. The MSI K8T Master2 is NOT supporting dedicated RAM for both Processors in a dual setup. As the socket 940 designs describes. The 2.end Processor has to go through processor number 1, using Hyper Transport. Result, latency!!! And reduced performance. The MSI K8T Master2 not a great dual board. Maybe cheep but not great.
    Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #12 I said nothing negative about pioneer, and in terms of leadership do you mean sales? That pioneer may lead but I seem to recall plextor having the first 8x drive to market...that signifies leadership to me....and why would you bring up pioneer? They aren't using pioneer who makes really good burners, they're using MSI, now I'm not saying MSI is bad but you'd think for 3g's........ Reply
  • AMDjihad - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    in yomammas face intel. you suck suck suck. Iknew this is much better, over 30000 3dmarks its better than anyting intel will make in the next years from prescott to tjas. amd will be market leader soon Reply
  • mizzouXC - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    I think these benchmarks are unfair to the Barton 3200+ setup. Every other system had Raid 0. While this won't make much difference in the brute force FPS competition, it does play into the everyday use (office) benchmarks. Other than that great comparison. I'd like to see these comparisons when we actually have a 64 bit O/S and 64 bit software.... Reply
  • Doop - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    err tfranzese you feel like a fool now? Perhaps YOU should read the reviews before spouting complete bollocks about Athlon FX dual capability.

    Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Wesley, interesting. Is the second CPU showing in the system hardware section of XP's control panel? That should let you know if it's running as a dually or not. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Elite PC has provided an update on Dual Processor usage. <em>"The only AMD processors that can be run in DUAL mode are the 200 and 800 series Opteron processors. The motherboard in the Titan FX machine will run all 940 pin processors, however only the 200 and 800 series Opteron processors will run as Dual processors."</em> We have just tried to benchmark the Titan FX system with 2 FX51, and while the system worked, the boot screen only identified ONE CPU even though two were installed. Oddly, the few benchmarks we ran were higher than single CPU, but not at the levels we would expect with Dual Opteron chips. Elite PC recommends the 200 or 800 Opterons for Dual CPU operation.

    An update with this information has been added to the review.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #7 - While it is clear in the pictures in the review, I did not make specific mention that the MSI K8T Master motherboard requires a 24-pin connector (not a standard 20-pin ATX) and a 8-pin auxilliary power connector. This is the connector often used on other Dual-Processor, Workstation, and Server boards. As a result the choices for PS are more limited. In general, the 24-pin PS are higher quality. Reply
  • madgonad - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    ElitePC makes good products.

    I've bought two over the past ten years and both are still running great (although not in my house). They have excellent prices for less robust systems if your wallet isn't blessed enought for the $3k+.

    And I did enjoy reading a review exposing the prior Dell paid-advert for what it really was. Nice recovery Anandtech. Gave Dell every chance in the world and they still blew it.
    Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    I don't think AMD has confirmed it and probably will never confirm it. It is most probably going to be something you see disappear in time because the FX was seemingly launched in a hurry to drive the nail into their 'performance crown' coffin.

    I've actaully seen no tests done with the FX's in pair, only read that they can be because the HT links were never disabled.
    Reply
  • SUOrangeman - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    RE: #9 and #10

    I too was intrigued by the multi-processor A64FX remark. This was a bigger question mark before the Opteron 248 arrived. Still, has AMD confirmed that the FX line will work in MP mode ... and will they support it? It's kinda like the MP vs. XP+mod situation without some confirmation from AMD.

    -SUO
    Reply
  • Boonesmi - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    dang that is one very impressive system... for someone who doesnt want to build his/her own system, then this is about as good as it gets :) Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #14, I think the tweaking is just eliminating bottlenecks such as HDD bandwidth by using striped 10k rpm SATA drives. Just right there you are increasing access time, lowering CPU utilization, and lowering write times.

    I don't think there is very much else done in terms of tweaking that usual enthusaists such as you or I do to a system we build. Hitting nice CAS times, overclocking, etc are all tweaks that net an enthusiast machine better performance over stock, not tweaked equipment.
    Reply
  • ArvinC - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    This system's scores are really impressive. I would really love to read an article discussing the "black art" of tweeking that some of these system builders use. I bet a lot of insight could be gained if one knew the exact system settings and tweeks builders like FNW, Voodoo, AlienWare, etc. use. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #1 and #2 - The card is a 256mb Radeon XT, and the info has been corrected. Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #11, you seem very touchy. Anywho, you're pretty ignorant. Pioneer owns the DVD-R market in leadership, not Plextor - yet anyway. Also, there are few manufacturers who make their own drives and it's only foolish to pay more for the same drive just to have a certain name on it. Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    #8 i said nothing about the writers being identical or not all i said is that they were trying to save a few dollars already by using generic equivalents.....if your spending 3g's you should be buying plextor 708's anyways.... Reply
  • tfranzese - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    If you people actaully read the FX articles posted you would find that their HT links are still intact and the chip is multiple processor capable.

    Either way, if in the future it isn't, that doesn't mean that because you bought a single chip computer that because you have a dually board that you've been shafted. You're stupid if you think that. It probably saves ElitePC time and money to buy in bulk the MSI's and just use them for all their systems.
    Reply
  • Doop - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Sorry if I sound ignorant but the Athlon FX is not multiprocessor compatible? So you buy this system then when you want to add a second processor you have to buy 2 and sell the Athlon FX?

    I may be wrong about that but I'm pretty sure...
    Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    I have both the MSI and Sony DVD writers. They are identical :) (roundup coming up soon!)

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    well looks like elitepc is trying to save a few dollars already, the computer does not come with a sony dvd writer, it's msi (check their site) and on top of that it doesn't list the name brand for the power supply or the dvd-rom, also you can't even configure it with a second athlon fx although this might not be fair to fault them for since you may be able to over the phone........check reseller ratings.... Reply
  • destaccado - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Wow after looking at reseller ratings I don't see how you guys can in good faith recommend them .....a 4.67 lifetime rating? That's pathetic even if it is 20 something odd reviews, obviously their customers don't care to rate them very high, or at all, and on top of that- according to their warranty on their website they reserve the right to simply pay for shipping in leau of on-site service so I'm guessing anyone who doesn't live in Az isn't getting a tech to their home and the service is definately not overnight.....It's ok though I understand you guys can't rip their pc and you gave me a good idea of the fx performance..... Reply
  • Anubis - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    are we gonna see a test with 2 CPUs?? i like to see thoes scores

    also 300$ is a good deal because the dell XPX is that expensive and so are similar comps from Falcon NW and Voodoo PC as well as others that offer super high end gameing systems. compaired to a 6000$ FNW 3000$ is a steal
    Reply
  • Oxonium - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    That's the first thing I thought of when I saw this review. You CAN'T upgrade to dual Athlon 64 FX. The extra HT links are disabled. An upgrade to the Opteron 2xx series would be needed. I'm surprised that ElitePC went through all the trouble to use a dual board but doesn't offer an option to order dual processors on their configuration page. Strange. Reply
  • acemcmac - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    How is 3000$ a "value" with ANY loadout? A fully pimped 875 rig will only run you 1500$ tops retail, and it will prolly be useful for top of of the line games just as long too... Reply
  • Shinei - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    Yeah, it's gotta be the XT; there's no way it could be the beast that it is without it... Though even with a Pro instead of an XT that's still downright BRUTAL performance.
    What makes me curious is why they made the motherboard a dualie; AFX is basically a 14x Opteron chip, so it can't link up between processors... Unless they figured out how to re-enable those other two HT links?
    Reply
  • Booja555 - Monday, December 01, 2003 - link

    What GPU does it use? on page one you say ATIR 9800XT, on page 2 you say ATIR 9800Pro.
    Somehow I get the feeling that it's the XT, looking at all the other specs a pro would be an unecasary bottleneck.
    Reply

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