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Upgrading CPU to last for awhile..

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December 21, 2005 7:57:19 AM

It's upgrade time again and I've been researching the new dual core CPU's that have surfaced since I've last looked into upgrading.

I currently have a P4 2.8 Prescott coupled with an Albatron PX915P4 Pro. Other components include 2GB Corsair XMS3200C2, 2x74GB Raptors,
X-Connect 500w PSU, SB X-Fi and an Ati x800xl card. I'm only planning on upgrading CPU, mobo and vid card.

For CPU I've been looking at the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+. It's in my maximum price range for a CPU and since I'd like the upgrade for the future features to come, I thought dual core and 64 bit architecture are an added bonus. I've read the reviews and I know it's pretty much on the low-end of performance with AMD chips and narrowly eclipses most of Intel's offerings,but will the gain be noticeable from my current 2.8 Prescott?

I have no clue on which motherboard to get for AMD but my budget is in the $115-130 range. I don't really need anything besides a PCI express slot, onboard LAN and support for 4 sticks of RAM. So any suggestions on that would be appreciated.

Vid card I'm looking at the 7800GT PCIe. After buying the 5800-5900FX series cards I've been reluctant on giving them a third chance but it seems they've come a long way since then.

Now back to researching..

More about : upgrading cpu awhile

December 21, 2005 12:12:11 PM

If you are looking for a 939 dual core check this out Note the OEM operton 165 (with twice the cache) for $22 less than the 3800+ X2, minus a HSF. They are very good OCer's as well. Good luck on the MoBo search.
December 21, 2005 1:53:20 PM

I would recommend against upgrading unless you just want to burn money. What you have is sufficient for the majority of the programs out there. What you currently have is pretty awsome.

Is there a reason for the upgrade? Something running slow?

Sometimes doing a fresh reinstall of windows will clear up a lot of junk that makes your system run slow. Which by the way you will have to do anyway if you got a new motherboard.

Quote:
It's upgrade time again and I've been researching the new dual core CPU's that have surfaced since I've last looked into upgrading.

I currently have a P4 2.8 Prescott coupled with an Albatron PX915P4 Pro. Other components include 2GB Corsair XMS3200C2, 2x74GB Raptors,
X-Connect 500w PSU, SB X-Fi and an Ati x800xl card. I'm only planning on upgrading CPU, mobo and vid card.

For CPU I've been looking at the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+. It's in my maximum price range for a CPU and since I'd like the upgrade for the future features to come, I thought dual core and 64 bit architecture are an added bonus. I've read the reviews and I know it's pretty much on the low-end of performance with AMD chips and narrowly eclipses most of Intel's offerings,but will the gain be noticeable from my current 2.8 Prescott?

I have no clue on which motherboard to get for AMD but my budget is in the $115-130 range. I don't really need anything besides a PCI express slot, onboard LAN and support for 4 sticks of RAM. So any suggestions on that would be appreciated.

Vid card I'm looking at the 7800GT PCIe. After buying the 5800-5900FX series cards I've been reluctant on giving them a third chance but it seems they've come a long way since then.

Now back to researching..
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December 21, 2005 2:02:14 PM

Going from a P4D 2.8ghz to a 2.0ghz A64 isn't a LOT of difference, but it is noticeable in gaming (a 2.0g A64 in games performs about like a 3.2-3.4g Intel - like a 3.0 Intel for most other tasks), and dual core should make the system seem smoother and more responsive, so I'd say its not a massive update, but there are improvements.

I agree with Cunninglinguist - if you can find a 165 for less than an X2-3800, get it. If you want to OC, get a 165, or a 170 if the 165 isn't available as Opterons overclock like crazy. 3800 OCs too, but the Opterons seem to OC further.

Now, Motherboard: ATI chipset boards are the newest and they come with a lot of good reviews. But they're new and I haven't seen enough myself to make recommendations (but I won't say don't buy one - they're supposed to be on par with nForce for quality & speed - I just don't order anything until the 1st or 2nd round of revisions are out.). Outside of them I'd suggest almost anything with an nForce4 chipset - DFI NF4 if you're an experienced OCer, Epox 9npa series, ABit AN8 series or the Chaintech VNF4 if you want to OC but dont' have the experience, Any of the above plus Asus, Gigabyte, etc. for a good system at stock speeds (many of them can OC some as well). I would look at a bunch and pick the one with the features you need at the price you like. No need to get an SLI board unless you're getting 2 video cards now - you usually wont' end up using it later either.

Mike.
December 21, 2005 5:51:45 PM

Thanks for the replies, I wasn't aware of the Opteron line. I'll be sure to check those out.

Quote:
Is there a reason for the upgrade? Something running slow?

Not really. I just usually upgrade every 7-8 months and have small annoyances with my current setup. My mobo especially. For example, after flashing my BIOS a few months back it's been acting strange with my Sony DRU-800a . It's a really odd problem. After the initial BIOS settings are configured the drive will disappear if I go back in again. I'm not an avid OCer and generally don't tinker with anything in there, but it's annoying nonetheless. I have to clear cmos everytime I want to make changes and reflashing to the original didn't seem to do anything. :x

Besides the amount of resources Creative uses for the soundcard and maybe boot time, I have no complaints on how Windows is running. I have an external 160GB that I store most of my data on and use the others for games. I usually do a fresh install every month or so, but I'm waiting for Microsoft to cut me off on activation codes(Bought OEM XP and have called in ~5 times now 8O )

Other than that I guess my main reason for wanting to upgrade is for games. The x800 runs everything decent, but I'd like something faster that's not in the $500 region. I ordered the 460/1100 eVGA 7800GT for $300 and from what I've read I think that will be my most noticeable upgrade. I'm gonna wait until my card gets here tomorrow to see how everythings running before I decide to upgrade the rest.

I am curious with AMD though. I've never had anything but Pentium, so I'd like to see what the difference really is. Plus I can grab the X2 3800+
for $281.02 at the moment :) 
December 22, 2005 9:40:30 AM

If you game, why not OC? It is "free" performance, and with your upgrade timeframes, you'll never notice the supposed shortened lifespan of the conponents. Depending on the games you play you will see a moderate to large performance increase in frame rates. Especially with a card like the 7800GT, the CPU could become the bottleneck.

Plus it's fun to tinker.

Do this:
Buy the opty.
Get a board that will OC (just in case)
Try it out, and if you don't like it, just run your proc at default speeds.

I use a program called crystalcpuid that enables multiplier management. It's like AMD's cool n quiet. Oc your "fsb" and let the program change your multiplier and voltage as necessary. idle my 3000+ runs at 1.2 @1.1 volts WAY underclocked. Durring games, or while folding@home, it runs at full tilt.
It's perfect for me.
a b à CPUs
December 22, 2005 12:56:29 PM

Ease into OCing by getting the Abit AN8 Ultra. It has a great OC utility called uGuru. You won't see a huge performance increase with the X23800+, but it will definitely outperform the 2.8 prescott. If you primarily use this for gaming you would probably be better served by getting a single core - a 3700+ or 4000+.

I agree with sk8er - no real reason to upgrade with your current rig unless you're really just dissatisfied with current mobo and want to try something new...
December 22, 2005 4:33:32 PM

nothing to say here.. just wanted to see if Rugger had another messy linky to fix ... :twisted:
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