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!
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).
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!
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!