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Possible CPU Upgrade?

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July 10, 2014 1:07:27 PM

So I have this ancient PC and yes I know it sounds stupid to have an idea of upgrading it when I should build a new PC but I just want to give it a shot.

I have a Acer Aspire T180 that surprisingly still works after 8 years of use. So I decided I should upgrade my CPU to a dual core which was the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+. My motherboard is this Foxconn MCP61SM-AM. Now the CPU upgrade that I did 5 months back worked successfully. I bought a 750 watt PSU (which was a waste of money I know...), to be sure that it could feed my hungry CPU. Now I flashed my bios so that the bios is in the latest version (which was the R01-C0.) Now I'm just wondering that is it possible to put in a AM3 CPU onto my motherboard? I know AM3 CPU's are backwards compatible with AM2 sockets but will it actually work with my motherboard specifically??

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July 10, 2014 1:15:39 PM

It depends on the exact CPU that you would like to use. Is the board that you have?

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/ProductDetail.aspx?T=moth...

On the bottom of the support page, there is a CPU support tab that you can browse to locate the exact processor that you may want to use to see if it is supported. If this is the motherboard that you have of course.

It appears that it only supports AM2 CPUs.
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July 10, 2014 1:24:13 PM

kira70591 said:
It depends on the exact CPU that you would like to use. Is the board that you have?

http://www.foxconnchannel.com/ProductDetail.aspx?T=moth...

On the bottom of the support page, there is a CPU support tab that you can browse to locate the exact processor that you may want to use to see if it is supported. If this is the motherboard that you have of course.

It appears that it only supports AM2 CPUs.


But is it possible for my motherboard to support AM3 processors? I heard AM3 CPU's are backward compatible with AM2 sockets as stated from Wikipedia. http://prntscr.com/41d6qj
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July 10, 2014 1:25:36 PM

AM3 is compatible with socket AM2 but only if the motherboard vendor provides a bios update to support the new CPUs

Physical support =/= firmware/software support

foxconn has no incentive really to push out bios updates since they would rather you buy a new board
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July 10, 2014 1:25:46 PM

The socket may support it; however, the motherboard itself must have the BIOS to be able to recognize the chip. Your motherboard does not have BIOS that would be able to recognize an AM3 CPU.

Also, when you stated earlier that you a 750w PSU is overkill... A good investment in a quality PSU is never overkill. A PSU is one piece of equipment that can survive an upgrade cycle. In many cases the PSU will perform more efficiently if it is using a larger portion of its power so it is advised to get a PSU that is not astronomically above your wattage requirements. PSUs are great at delivering large amounts of power but start to have issues when trickle power is required. This is why you see many PSUs being labelled as "Haswell" compatible or certified. These PSUs are able to deliver the tiny amount of power to be able to take advantage of Haswellls new power saving steps.
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July 10, 2014 1:29:02 PM

If I need a new motherboard, I need a motherboard that can support DDR2 memory. I really don't feel like buying DDR3 ram since I'm under a tough spot with spending stuff at the moment.

Do you guys know any motherboard that is capable of having a AM3 socket with the support of DDR2 memory?
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July 10, 2014 1:33:35 PM

I believe that AM3 motherboards utilize DDR3 memory. You would want to get an AM2+ motherboard that will have BIOS support for the AM3 CPU that you wish to use. You could try using Ebay or some site but at this point it will probably cost as much to purchase one of those boards as it would cost to purchase a new one. Old technology starts to rise in price again as it becomes less common and harder to find.
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July 10, 2014 1:35:00 PM

there are a few AM2+ out there but you would likely have to find them on random sites or used as most of the bigger places don't have them any more

AM3 is all DDR3

why are you upgrading may I ask? if it is feeling slow overall, a SSD may be better choice.

I have a Pentium Duall Core e5200 with a 7750 and 4gb of DDR2 and it games decently

and I have a Phenom x3 with 2gb of ram and a SSD and it is plenty fast for web browsing and video

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July 10, 2014 1:38:38 PM

kira70591 said:
I believe that AM3 motherboards utilize DDR3 memory. You would want to get an AM2+ motherboard that will have BIOS support for the AM3 CPU that you wish to use.


I think I should just continue with buying parts for a new PC I'm planning on building, (which is a thousand times faster than this ancient piece of crap.)

The reason why I wanted to ask if it's possible to upgrade my CPU on this desktop so that I can have a CPU that wouldn't bottleneck the GPU and everything else that I'm going to be adding in. Would you guys think adding in an SSD would be a huge performance increase especially on a ancient PC like this?
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July 10, 2014 1:43:16 PM

You would be fine on your dual core for any gpu up to a 7750

SSD is transferable and enhances the overall epxereince
boot faster, everything on it loads faster, it leads to a more responsive system even if swapfile is not on it
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July 10, 2014 1:44:52 PM

You would definitely see a performance increase with regards to booting Windows and opening applications. The motherboard appears to have SATA 2 which is old but still fast enough to get some decent performance out of a SSD. You can always use the new SSD in a later build as well so it is not like you are completely sinking parts that are not reusable into an obsolete machine. I would suggest a drive such as any of the Intel series or something such as the Samsung Evo 840.
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July 10, 2014 1:46:47 PM

stickmansam said:
You would be fine on your dual core for any gpu up to a 7750

SSD is transferable and enhances the overall epxereince
boot faster, everything on it loads faster, it leads to a more responsive system even if swapfile is not on it


I'll consider in buying a SSD as well as a GPU then. What other GPU should I buy that would really work well with my desktop?
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July 10, 2014 1:52:15 PM

I would look at a card such as the Nvidia 750 ti. This card gives great performance for the price and you could always transfer it to a new build if you wish. Most version of this card do not even require a secondary power pin from the PSU as it draws power through the PCIe slot.
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July 10, 2014 1:55:03 PM

depends how soon you'll have the rest of your build and what that will look like

if you next build has a budget total of $1k and you'll be done within the year, I suggest something like a r9 280x or even r9 290

if you're planning to keep this PC for a while and no resue the GPU in another rig, I agree a 750ti or r7 265 would be the upper limit
in fact, if you want to save, the r7 260x would make a good choice as well since your main bottleneck is the CPU

I have a E5200 (2.5ghz intel dual core) and paired with a 7750, it does okay together. I tried the CPU with a 7850 (pretty much a r7 265) and while I could up resolution and settings a bit, fps stayed about the same since the CPU was the limit already
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July 10, 2014 1:58:56 PM

kira70591 said:
You would definitely see a performance increase with regards to booting Windows and opening applications. The motherboard appears to have SATA 2 which is old but still fast enough to get some decent performance out of a SSD. You can always use the new SSD in a later build as well so it is not like you are completely sinking parts that are not reusable into an obsolete machine. I would suggest a drive such as any of the Intel series or something such as the Samsung Evo 840.


kira70591 said:
I would look at a card such as the Nvidia 750 ti. This card gives great performance for the price and you could always transfer it to a new build if you wish. Most version of this card do not even require a secondary power pin from the PSU as it draws power through the PCIe slot.


Awesome thanks! Also I think my ram needs some upgrading since I have only 2GB of ram and considering that it's clocked at 667mhz.

Do you think this would be the perfect option for upgrading my ram? http://www.amazon.com/G-skill-ddr2-1066-2x2gb-5-5-5-15/...
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July 10, 2014 2:09:00 PM

for that price you can get 8gb of DDR3 866mhz ram

and with $50 motherbaords about and 4gb of DDR3 @ $35, I would rather do a new build

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $174.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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July 10, 2014 2:13:15 PM

stickmansam said:
for that price you can get 8gb of DDR3 866mhz ram

and with $50 motherbaords about and 4gb of DDR3 @ $35, I would rather do a new build


Already doing a new build right now lol. With the new build, I went with the new Z97 motherboard and the new Intel Core i7 4790K and the GTX 780ti.

Anyways thank you guys for the help! I really appreciate it!!! :) 
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July 10, 2014 2:26:13 PM

good luck with you new build then :) 
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