AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core Processor Upgrade -- Thank You Santa!

I've been in the market for a dual core processor for a while now, but have been waiting for some of the prices to fall as well as just letting the dust settle over at AMD to see what panned out for their socket 939 architecture.  Santa was kind enough to bring me an AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core this year for Christmas (each core running at 2.4ghz).  The upgrade itself was a little bumpy; initially my motherboard didn't recognize the processor as anything other than a generic AMD dual core CPU...turned out my Abit AN8 needed a BIOS upgrade in order to properly configure itself to get the most out of the new processor.  Initially it was running at ~140 degrees F and was randomly locking up, and I noticed no real perceived performance gains...after reflashing the BIOS idle temperature dropped to 90F (decrease in voltage), and my machine really started to scream, not to mention my Vista CPU rating went up a full point from 4.0 to 5.0.  Long story short, check for BIOS upgrades if you're dropping a new CPU in your motherboard, especially if moving from single to dual core.

Seeing as this model is really nothing more than an underclocked AMD FX-60 I should be able to squeeze out even more performance once I get around to overclocking it (which is usually a practice I shy away from, but I've seen reports of this particular chip being pushed to 3.0ghz so long as it's actively cooled...seeing as my case is a virtual wind tunnel I should realistically be able to push it to at least 2.8 if not the full 3.0).  That's a substantial increase in clock cycles, and is well worth the price tag.  Also (unlike other Opterons) this chip doesn't require registered memory, but this is probably as fast as I'll be able to push this motherboard before my next major overhaul...sometime within the next 18 months or so.

I won't get into specifics as to exactly how this machine feels faster (it's well documented all over the web) other than to say...well, it just feels a whole lot faster during normal day to day operation, i.e. heavy multitasking.  Gaming benchmarks so no increase in performance, but this wasn't a gaming upgrade.  Any dual core tweaks are welcome.

Thanks Santa!

Comments

# Logan Greenlee said:

Hey Jayson,

Interesting blog you have here. I'm glad to see that you are not only a C# programmer (I am as well) but you are also an AMD fan. I just put together a new 4x4 system. Check it out if you have a chance. I've also been using/developing on XP64 for ~ the last 2 years.

Thursday, January 11, 2007 3:06 PM
# protected virtual void jaysonBlog { said:

My main workstation is getting on up there in age...it's about 27 months old, though the video card

Saturday, September 8, 2007 12:32 PM
# protected virtual void jaysonBlog said:

My main workstation is getting on up there in age...it's about 27 months old, though the video card

Saturday, April 19, 2008 4:22 PM