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Upgrading a Socket A system, is it worth the money?

Last response: in CPUs
December 27, 2005 1:14:00 PM

I am currently running an Athlon XP 2000+ on an Asus A7V8X motherboard and am considering a processor upgrade. However, I am not sure whether it is really worth the cost of the new processor to upgrade this system. I use the system primarily for gaming, so that is my focus.

One of the few Socket A processors I can still find available is the Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton). Reviews of this processor do not speak kindly of it, and it is not all that cheap at $130 (without a cooling fan).

The board will also support up to a Sempron 3000+ processor, which is marginally cheaper than the XP3000+.

If I do go to either of these, I would be looking at a memory upgrade as well if I want to take full advantage of the 333 MHZ FSB. Current memory is DDR200 PC2100.

Total investment would be in the neighborhood of $250 when all is said and done. My question is whether I am going to get much of a performance increase and longevity out of this upgrade, or whether it is not really going to be worth spending the money here and putting it towards a new mobo and better CPU (like an AMD 64 series). Thanks!
December 27, 2005 1:24:28 PM

I don't think you'd see much improvement. (extra RAM may help, but the increase of RAM speed won't do much)

If you really need to upgrade the CPU, try to get a Mobile XP 2500+ or similar. Those are unlocked so you'd probably be able to get it running at 3200+ speeds or better, even if your FSB is limited by RAM or the mobo.

Personally I'd save the cash for an A64 System.

You could even afford a A64 3200+ and an nforce3 250 board now, so you could re-use your current AGP card and RAM (Although you'd have to run the ram a bit slow until you could get some DDR400 (PC3200) or better in there).
December 27, 2005 1:52:21 PM

If you are looking at spending 250 bucks than you can most certainly get into the athlon 64. You can buy an A64 3000 for 130-150 and there are many AGP based 939 boards for around 50 bucks. If you even want to be more of a tightwad, then get a sempron 64 3000 for 82 bucks and an el cheapo socket 754 board for around 50 bucks. Be careful though, some S754 boards have problems with 2 sticks of RAM. Dont even think of getting that barton 3000. Its a dead end brother!
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December 27, 2005 2:12:36 PM

Thanks for the thoughts!

I think I'll start researching the A64's and forget upgrading my current Socket A board. I don't mind spending over the $250, I just mentioned that price as a way to compare costs to expected system improvements. It sounds like I could spend that money far more wisely than on the XP3000 and memory I suggested!
December 27, 2005 3:44:19 PM


You can get an A8N5X for about $85-95, 6600 GT PCI-E, and A64 3000+/ 3200+. This way you can future proof or upgrade later as all the new cards are for PCI-E.
December 27, 2005 4:52:56 PM

actuallly the thing about 'futureproof' isnt really worth talking about for usually when something spoils or when 'u feel like upgrading' its always time to purchase something entirely new lol