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Old 01-23-2005, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cache, how important is it ?

I've been doing some research and found out that the Anthlon 3500 has a 512 Mb cache and the Anthlon 3400 has a 1 MB. How important is cache, I need a good PC for gaming primarily. What is cahce?

Which is the better bet then the 3400 or 3500 ? Wow .. I'm so lost !
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cache is the Memory built in your CPU. The more the better, but the more the expensive. The Athlon 3500 has a total of 640mb L2 cache. That 1mb 3400 is socket 754.

I would get either the 3400 socket 939 or the 3500 socket 939. Both are great processors.
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Old 01-23-2005, 03:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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cache gives the CPU the ability to process information while it cannot retrieve data from RAM, usually when the RAM is in a refresh cycle
the more cache it has, the more instructions it can process before it has access to the RAM again

RAM needs to refresh every while so that it can retain its data, since the tiny capacitors do not store their charge for long.
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Old 01-23-2005, 04:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It speeds things along when retreiving data. Basically the CPU goes in this order:

It looks to see what information is available in the L1 cache which since it's in the chip, whatever info is there is retrieved quickly offering more performance. If it's not in the L1 it searches the L2 cache which again is on the chip which means it can access that information more quickly.

If the info isn't in the L2 cache or is simply too large, it then turns to the RAM which compared to accessing the L1 or L2 cache data is really slow. If it still can't find the data in the RAM, it then looks on the harddrive which is of course the slowest part of the whole data retrieval process.
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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l2 cache is very important.

I just worked on a computer without l2 cache, and it was painfully slow.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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very important, IE: P4EE are only that fast because of the wicked amount of L2 and L3 cache.
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh so in that case can more Ram somewhat make up for the low L2 cache ?
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Old 01-23-2005, 11:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Codeine
Cache is the Memory built in your CPU. The more the better, but the more the expensive. The Athlon 3500 has a total of 640mb L2 cache. That 1mb 3400 is socket 754.

I would get either the 3400 socket 939 or the 3500 socket 939. Both are great processors.
640KB

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Old 01-23-2005, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by faerghail
Oh so in that case can more Ram somewhat make up for the low L2 cache ?
In a sense, yeah, but not quite. Systems with 512MB or more of RAM will be able to handle anything general thrown at them. To compensate for the lack of L1, L2 and/or L3 cache sizes, I'd say that if you've got 512MB or more of RAM, then you should concentrate on the speed of your RAM rather than the size. The faster, the better. Also, consider dual channel RAM if your motherboard will support it.

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Old 01-23-2005, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by faerghail
Oh so in that case can more Ram somewhat make up for the low L2 cache ?
not really, the cache is usually enough to hold the instructions that are being processed, and if it overflows it will not take up all that much space in RAM. it is better off if your RAM is faster
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