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Some hardware questions for all you buffs

Hello, studs of the electronic world;

I have some questions for you. To some, they might seem to be pretty noobish, but I just don't have time anymore (with 2 jobs, and being a fulltime student) to do as much research as I'd like, so I'm just going to throw out some questiosn that have been on my mind.

What is the quality and advantage of having a DVI video card and monitor? Higher resolution? Better quality? Is it worth it? Personal experiences?

PCI-X Video cards are here. My question is, do they take advantage of the full bandwidth capability offered by that architecture? And also, their AGP 8X counterparts, are those just as powerful?

DDR3 video card RAM. What advantage does it have over previous generations? How much faster is it than DDR2 and DDR 'classic'?

DDR2 system RAM. I have been reading some controversy on this, and wanted to try and clear it up for my own sake: Is it worth the extra money to buy a DDR2 capable motherboard and DDR2 ram? How much faster is it than DDR 'classic'? Do you have any links to benchmark testing showing the comparisons?

Clear this up for me, this is my current beleif, but I'm not sure how accurate it is: Athlon 64bit systems are twice as fast in 64bit apps as they are their 32bit counter-parts, and the same speed in 32bit apps. This is correct? Would you not need a 64Bit OS to run 64bit apps? Is the 64bit X2 FOUR times as fast in 64 bit apps, and twice as fast in 32bit apps?

What is an AMD Semperon in relation to an AMD XP?

Thanks to everyone who answers some or all of my questions. LordofLA, I know you'll be reading - just wanted ot let you know, that if you want to come to the states, I know of a place desperately seeking a good UNIX System Admin. I think it pays around 35K USD / year, but could be more. Let me know!
Firstly: The key advantage to DVI is that there is no digital to analogue conversion and then back again. The signal is straight digital all hte way to the screen. Digital signals are mucu more resistant to interferance than analogue and can travel further before degrading.

Yes its worth it.

Secondly: PCI-X is underutliised at the moment, but has significant room to grow into. The bottlenecks now are system ram speed and hdd data retrieval.

Currently the AGP cards are just as fast as their PCI-X counterparts, however AGP has little room left to grow.

Thirdly: I dont have a clue :D

Fourthly: AMD dont use DDR2...Nuff said.

Fifthly: AMd 64 bit processors are faster period. Give them a native 64bit OS and native 64bit apps and they scream along, give them a 32bit app and they scream along. Give an intel 64bit cpu a native 64bit os and a native 64bit os and it goes to sleep...

Last: A Sempron is a rebadged Barton or Thoroughbred athlon xp core - which you get is pot luck.

Find me on irc and we can talk about that job :D


The One and Only
LA's pretty much correct there. About the GDDR3 question.... i think the main difference between GDDR, GDDR2, and GDDR3, is probably the RAM timings. Think all they're doing is taking the latest version of GDDR that's out at the time, retweaking it to try to squeeze out as much speed as possible, and then giving it a new name.

LA, for the second one... wouldn't it be more along the lines of the major bottleneck being the FSB alltogether? And SATA2 is somewhat out now, so that'll help minimize it's bottleneck a bit.

Howling Wolf

We did not deserve this !
LordOfLA said:
Last: A Sempron is a rebadged Barton or Thoroughbred athlon xp core - which you get is pot luck.
I disagree on that last one, AFAIK Sempron are Athlon XP "LIGHT" (half L2 memory and so on...), the Intel Celeron counterpart...

Am I wrong ? ;)
Elemental: FSB is only an issue between intel CPU's, athlon XP's and ram. SATA2 wont make any difference unless the drive manufacturers actually increase data delivery rates. The protocol may allow for nice high speeds, but the hardware itself s still stuck around the 40MB/Sec sustained delivery speeds.

Howling Wolf: Sempron are as I said either a barton core *or* a Thoroughbred core. the barton core semprons come with 640kb total cache, the thoroughbred cores come with 384kb total cache. thats the only difference. We have a mix of both on our sempron servers here at coreix.
Cool. Thanks for all the knowledgeable posts. Really helps out a lot.
Lord, you're no where to be found on IRC, so in effect I cannot see you in IRC on that matter!

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