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AMD AM2+ VS AM3+ question

Last response: in Motherboards
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February 6, 2014 1:32:40 PM

I am currently using a Dell Inspiron 546 PC that has an AM2+ motherboard. I have done everything I can to upgrade this PC as best I can.
It now has a 550w power supply, Radeon 5670, Phenom II X4 945 (Deneb), 8g DDR2 800 ram.
Even with those upgrades this PC has always been a bit sluggish.

My question is would I notice an improvement upgrading to an AM3+ motherboard and DDR3 ram keeping the same power supply, CPU and video card?

If not I might as well just forget that idea and build a totally new PC.

More about : amd am2 am3 question

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a c 124 ) Power supply
a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
a c 136 à CPUs
a c 147 V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 1:40:38 PM

You might notice a small improvement, but not one worthy of the expense. A new motherboard also typically requires a new Windows license as well.
Since it is something you could use in your new build, an upgraded video card might give you the performance you need now, and not be a waste. Something like a R7 260X (<$150) should be a big improvement in games, and should run on your PSU assuming it's not actually a PSU-shaped object such as Sunbeam or Diablotek.
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a b ) Power supply
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 1:41:15 PM

No, you wont be able to keep the same CPU because it can ONLY fit an AM2+. Hence, if you upgrade you will need a new cpu as well. I wouldn't recommend upgrading that.
Instead, you will see a far more noticeable difference in your computers speed if you upgrade to an SSD (not sure if you already have done so). An SSD around 120gb or even 240gb is perfect and prices are lower than ever. It will speed up almost every aspect of your Pc, mainly the boot time and program opening times though, will be much much faster.

Hope this helps!!
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February 6, 2014 1:50:49 PM

CPU world has this listed as a:

Sockets Socket AM2+
Socket AM3

So I assume it would work on an AM3+ motherboard however it sounds like the cost wouldn't be worth the upgrade to me.

Another issue with that PC is the lack of ventilation. There is only 1 90mm (I think) exhaust fan and the CPU, video card and HDD can get a bit toasty. That's another reason I was considering the upgrade.

All in all it sounds like it's time to retire this one and start from scratch.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
a c 113 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 1:56:41 PM


A fresh OS install cures many ills ... and wipes out OEM bloatware.

A fresh OS install on an SSD, and you will think you have died and gone to Heaven :) 

What kind of HDD do you have, and what is it's used capacity? When is the last time you did a disk clean-up? Did you clear all restore points and shadow copies?

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February 6, 2014 2:07:47 PM

I run a WD VelociRaptor 600gb SATA 6g drive as main and has 200gb used. Also a 1TB Samsung for storage. I defrag the drives once a week but haven't messed with restore points or shadow copies on it.

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
a c 113 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 2:33:47 PM


You would be surprised how much drive space is consumed by the old system *stuff* -- especially if you have had the rig/HDD a number of years ...



I'll wager you knock at least 1/3 of the used space off that drive :D 

Have you run an HDD test? From Tom's ...


Read rates are roughly similar ... and as you noted, your PhII 945 will move to a new AM3+ motherboard (and likely clock to 3.5GHz or so -- unless you got a dud)



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a b ) Power supply
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 2:53:18 PM

Too bad you do not have Phenom II x4 965 BE, this could be overclocked to give extra push (any Black Edition for that matter).
SSD will make a difference as well.

Just another 2 cents.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
a c 113 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 3:13:33 PM


It's an OEM Dell with an AMD 780-chipset AM2+ motherboard -- No Joy for an OC.

The chipset was around several years before the PhIIs even existed :ouch: 

(though my old Gigabyte 780-chipset would OC -and over-volt!- a PhII like a sum beech ...)

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a b ) Power supply
a b à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
February 6, 2014 3:21:04 PM

I am talking about software overclock, can increase voltage as well, but only with Black Edition. Dell BIOS is locked.
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