Hi all

I am just about to embark on that wonderful adventure of scratch building my next PC. I want to build something that is gonna run the current PF at max res. on perfect settings without even thinking about it, and will with any luck still have the balls to play BOB when it is released, without to many upgrade worries.

I thought i would ask you all because i have respect for the computer whiz kids we have amongst our ranks and i value your opinions on current hardware. Also i am totoally out of touch with all recent hardware developments so need some things clarifying.

  1. Do i go super fast (3.0ghz+) Pentium or go for the AMD 64 bit processors?

  2. Is 64 bit the future?

  3. Will i have any problems with main stream software such as Win XP trying to run it on a 64 bit machine?

  4. PCI-Express are they faster than or better than AGP cards?

  5. Back to the CPU issue, what is best as far as processors are concerned

    Pentium 4 LGA775
    Pentium 4 Socket 478

    or the AMD processors

    AMD 64 bit socket 939
    AMD 64 bit socket 754

Thankyou for taking the time to complete this survey.

Any opinions you give here will not result in a whole bunch of “you told me to buy this sh*t” threads in a few months time. I am looking for your opinions chaps as a fellow flight sim and frame rate enthusiasts. I am big and some would say ugly enough to make my own decisions based on my own research, this thread is just part of that research so feel free to contribute and help me create an IL2 munching machine. :slight_smile:


IMO go AMD Socket 939 no question :slight_smile:
The 64 bit is irrelevant … by the time a decent 64 bit OS is in place current CPUs will be bettered by faster models.
There are free betas of XP 64 bit mode, but TBH unlees you are a fiddler and like a challenge, avoid :wink:
But the beauty of it is its bloody fast even in 32 bit :wink:
And no, you won’t get problems with 64 bit cpus and 32 bit software.

S939 is what AMD have roadmapped as their socket of choice for the future (but we know how often these things change), so is a better long term option than S754.
I went from P4 3.0 to A64 3500 (runs at 2.2ghz stock) and noticed a difference in IL2/PF at stock … (even bigger once I clocked it up to 2.5ghz something around the performance of A64 4000).

If you can afford it, go for the A64 4000, it has 1024mb L2 cache, as oppossed to the lower models 512mb. FX55 is the current flagship, its main benefit over the 4000 being unlocked multis, but its a chunk more cash, and that money could be spent on faster ram for better overall results, if you were into overclocking that is …

Hi Classic,

Pretty much what Majik says. S939 and A64 is the way to go at the moment imho.


Could you let me know how you went about overclocking your 3500? You’ve got an MSI Neo2 mobo as well havent you? I’ve overclocked quite a bit in the past but not had chance to look into ocing the 3500/MSI mobo combo yet.



Thanks chaps, keep 'em coming :slight_smile:

What Majik said.


  1. A64, even when looking at non-gaming applications I much prefer my private A64 3400+ (socket 754) to the P4 3.0 I have at work, for some reason it feels smoother and more responsive when working with it. Then again, neither should be especially bad.

  2. yes (and still IN the future ;))

  3. No, only problem I have had that might be related is my problem with Punkbuster in CoD.

  4. Doesn’t seem that much better at the moment, but for the future, go with PCI-E

  5. A64 on socket 939, make sure the PCI/AGP/whatever frequency is lockable, not tied to FSB freq. Makes overclocking that much simpler. And get good memory.

Yep … drop the HT down to 4x so you dont take it past its spec of 1000 (200x5) then play with the HTT (system bus) default is 200, I have mine running 250, which gives me an HT of 1000 (250x4) with a 10x multi on the CPU (they are locked upwards, but you can select lower multis).
Of course you will need to use the ram divider if your memory isn’t capable of the speeds you want to achieve.

Yep … drop the HT down to 4x so you dont take it past its spec of 1000 (200x5) then play with the HTT (system bus) default is 200, I have mine running 250, which gives me an HT of 1000 (250x4) with a 10x multi on the CPU (they are locked upwards, but you can select lower multis).

aaarrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhh gobble-di-gook overload :slight_smile:

Totoally lost me there, i probably wont be trying to overclock anything, i’m just not experienced enough with tweaking hardware, i’ll end up melting something :slight_smile:

That was intended for Mr Whiskey, Classic :wink:
just to clarify … ringed values are the ones I was talking about:

Now on the memory,speed, were it says 200 ?, thats MSI being silly … the setting of 200 actually means 1:1 with CPU FSB (yes I know there is no actual FSB as such, but for clarity’s sake ;))
so 166 would be 5/6 divider, 133 3/4 etc.

Slight snag Majik. What Bios Ver are you using? My 1.4 looks like its got a bug - whenever I select the HT menu it results in a solid lock requiring a reboot. I’ll try going back to 1.3.

Can you just confirm that if I change the 3 items you marked in your screenshots thats all I need to do? I’ve got PC3200 Ram so running at 200Mhz shouldn’t be a problem.


Nice one thanks

Perhaps i shall give OC’ing a go sometime.

Another quick question.

Whats all this SLI enabled mobo’s and PSU’s about?

Only thing i ever had that was anything like that was a Vauxhall Astra SRi :stuck_out_tongue:

SLI means running 2 Gfx cards together to give twice the performance. Like everything else twice the performance is a bit unrealistic but current benchmarks show that SLI does offer a significant improvement. The downside is you need 2 gfx cards (obviously) and they take up 2 slots - PCI Express needed.

Personally, I think we’ll see SLI come and go like it did a few years back. There are already cards with 2xGPUs onboard. But its like everything else in IT these days - you pays your money and takes your chances.

My view is that I won’t be able to buy the hardware to run Olegs BoB at its best until around 2 years after he’s released it!


Its a known issue with 1.3 and maybe 1.4 bios … and I think thats what I am running … you can change the value using your + & - keys without causing the freeze.

No … for goodness sake don’t copy my settings exactly, thats a just a guide to show what you can play with … my memory is running 250, something I suspect yours can’t :wink:

You will need to select a divider (try 100 just to keep memory totally out of the equation) for memory to see what your cpu can do first, then find what your max memory is afterward.

Set HT to 4 and Memory speed to 100 (which is 1/2 the “fsb”) and slowly wind up the “fsb”
I use the latest version of Prime95 for cpu stability testing, (free download)
and find generally if its got 2 hours running maximum heat/stress test in that without errors its ok, but many people run it for a lot longer. I have always found if it will do 2 hours solid fine its never a problem for me, and my PC is on 14 hours a day 7 days a week.

Yep … Ming has an SLI setup … the blackdeath track benchmark in PF gives his setup something around a 25-30 % performance increase in PF over my X800XTPE set-up (or 45-50% over a single 6800 Ultra card) … but at a 100% price increase.

OK Majik, now I’m confused! What exactly does the HT do then.

As I understand it my 3500 runs at 2.2Ghz which is 11x200Mhz. This is set by the CPU Ratio(11) and the CPU FSB Frequency (200). What does the HT setting have to do with it - I’ve read the manual and am still none the wiser (wtf is the link’s transmitter clock? lol)

What are the settings required to run at A644000 settings - just for a laugh?


HT is something to do with fast conectivity between various chips, I dont understand it much at all TBH, but I know that you can’t push it much over 1000, and its done on a multiplier of your “fsb”, hence if you push this over 200, then you need to drop it down to 4x, or 3x if you go over 250 “fsb”.

Yes you are correct about the cpu speed, but HT needs to be dropped to 4x or that will fall over before you can determin how well the CPU clocks…

You can’t run exactly A64-4000 settings, cos they have twice the L2 Cache our chips do … but IIRC they are clocked at 2.4 ghz, 200x12.
Now you cant select higher than 11 multi, as AMD have locked it above its default :frowning: but mine is running 250x10, which is 2.5 ghz.

Ah Ok, thanks M8, understood. I’m now running at 11x220=2.42 and all is well so far touch wood. I’m going to leave the BD track running for a while to see what happens.


What memory have you got, Whiskey ?

2x512MB Corsair XMS3200


Should be able to get that to 220 fsb … no o/c is grntd, but XMS is normally pretty good.