Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
on May 22, 2007
I love this processor, 4 cores really does make a difference. Yes, newer chips are already on the horizon, and you might be able to wait until this chip is much cheaper, but for the moment, even at the price its at.. this chip is well worth the money.
One of the reasons is that its an unlocked chip. You can overclock this to whatever specs you want, and it will not complain. Of course, the trick is to get the overclock USABLE and STABLE. That requires some thought and knowledge.. or a motherboard that has built in overclock profiles like the Asus Workstation Pro series of motherboards. Plus, it requires a GOOD COOLER.
This chip runs HOT. Its "failure temperature" is reported to be 212F / 100C, but I would be more conservative and say that if you start hitting 70C on this chip you need to re-evaluate your cooling. Another thing to note - the cooler that comes with the chip? TRASH. Well, let me qualify that statement a bit. The stock cooler *WILL* cool this chip to usable temperatures, if a) you do not overclock it at all b) have a very good airflow system and c) do not intend to do anything really heavy.
The last part there - "do not intend on doing anything really heavy" rather defeats the purpose of having a quadcore. You can surf and write documents on a Pentium M chip if that's all you need to do. This chip is meant to WORK, and WORK HARD. So, with that in mind, the stock cooler is not to be considered when you buy this chip. You HAVE to buy a better cooler and I would say it is also important (if not essential) to buy an aftermarket thermal paste like an Artic Silver or Arctic Cooling MX-1. Do not skimp on this, and it will reward you well.
For overlocking into 3.8ghz and upwards to 4GHZ you will need a very good water cooler. For overclocks to 3.4ghz, air cooling will do, as long as you buy one of the serious coolers such as the Zalman, Scythe, Tuniq, Vigor or Ultra. I myself use the Ultra Chilltec and it works marvelously - I would recommend the use of a TEC cooler if possible, though from what I have read the Tuniq Tower 120 stacks up well for half the price of a TEC (a TEC is a Thermoelectric cooler that uses the Peltier effect to draw heat out from a surface. Its use in a CPU cooler requires a modulator unit, which all the TEC coolers on the market now have. While not as efficient as water cooling, TEC units give an air cooler that extra push that enables stable overclocks to 3.4ghz to even 3.8ghz).
As other reviews have said - the X6800 is a faster chip for games. If all you wanna do is play games, save yourself money.. and get yourself a better value for money for gaming.
If you do any rendering, however (video, 3D, folding@home, etc) then this chip (especially overclocked, this chip begs to be overclocked) will smoke the X6800. Perhaps not a good example, because its not the same chip, but an example.. I had an AMD 4200+ dualcore and renders in Lightwave for one scene I had were like 15 MINUTES a frame. With this chip, overclocked to 3.2ghz, and 16 threads active, my times dropped to 2 (count 'em, TWO) Minutes a frame!