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Building an upgrade, please comment

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June 11, 2006 8:40:32 PM

Ok so currently, and for the past 4 years I've been using this setup:
AMD Athlon XP 1700+
1GB Generic pc2100 RAM
ECS K7S5A Mobo
GeForce FX 5200 128MB gpu

Now, with games in mind, I'm desperate to build a new PC. If it helps, I want to run Everquest 2 with good graphics and performance balanced. Here's what I've picked out so far (keep in mind, I know about all the new chips coming out soon).

AMD Athlon X2 3800+
Asus A8N-SLI ATX mobo (Not deluxe or premium..)
1Gb Corsair XMS Pc3200 RAM
eVGA Geforce 7900Gt 256MB GPU

Also, I'd like to add that I came across a concept of building using Intel D 805 2.66 Ghz CPU w/ a compatible mobo and Corsiar 1Gb Value Select Ram, and same graphics card for about at least $100 less. I would like to know if this would be a better bang for my buck route, or would AMD be better for gaming or perhaps increase the longevity of the system. I know S939 is beng pushed away by AM2, but currently no AM2 CPU's exists that fall in my price range..

Thanks for any comments/suggestions.
June 11, 2006 8:55:39 PM

Try to avoid 939 now that AM2 is out. If you plan to have an upgrade path without having to buy a new motherboard, then go with AMD's newest socket platform. A few months ago, I would have said 939, but I've been impressed with AM2, so I think you should go with that.

This means that DDR2-800 RAM will fit the bill, and you can get an Athlon 64 X2 for the AM2 socket for under $400. Your video card is excellent, so stay with that.
June 11, 2006 8:57:14 PM

Definately go AM2. The prices are relatively the same and if you get good DDR2-800 or better you will be all set for the next generation of X2's when they arrive. How bout getting this, It will rock your world in gaming and you can get the new 65nm X2 later when the prices come down.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103631
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June 11, 2006 9:01:12 PM

I would go with the S939 AMD X2 3800+ setup. Sure you can OC the D 805, but if you are thinking about pushing it beyond 3.5GHz, then you will probably need to use watercooling at that point. AMD is still better than the Pentium D in terms of gaming. If you intend on upgrading the CPU in 2 years or less then I recommend building your PC around socket AM2 instead of S939. If you are thinking that the CPU will last you at least 3 years then stick with S939 since by the time you want to upgrade your PC, you will want to rebuild.

If you can wait for Conroe to come out then you may want to consider that Intel CPU. The previews that have recently came out indicates that Conroe will perform better. Conroe PCs will be released on July 23rd by system builders like Dell, but the Conroe CPU may not be available until some time in August for consumers to buy.

Otherwise simply get the S939 A64 X2 3800+. That will represent a huge performance boost over your XP 1700+. And you can OC it to get even more performance.
June 11, 2006 9:30:10 PM

Actually, I did not notice that the socket AM2 X2 CPU are out. While the AM2 X2 3800+ is not available yet, the AM2 X2 4200+ is available for sale and is only $77 more than the S939 X2 3800+ (that includes shipping too). Therefore, if you can swing $77 more then you'll have a more powerful PC.

Note: The AM2 X2 4200+ is only $17 more than the S939 X2 4200+ (shipping included).

But that also means you will need to get DDR2 RAM not DDR RAM that the older S939 Athlon uses. 1GB of DDR2 RAM cost around $40+ more than DDR RAM depending on which brand you are comparing. However, there is not much performance difference between a PC built around a S939 X2 4200+ or the AM2 X2 4200+. Depending on the benchmarks used that means anywhere from 0% to 4% improvement, which does not always translates into real performance increase.

As I stated before, if you have no intention on upgrading your CPU in the next 3 years, then stick with S939. AM2 really only shine if you want faster Athlon 64 CPUs because no new S939 CPUs will be made. That means the X2 4800+ / FX-60 is the end of the line for S939. Faster CPUs like the X2 5000+ / FX-62 will only be released for socket AM2. Faster RAM like DDR 1000 will probably also help increase performance.

But, as I said, if you can wait to August then you can you can build a PC around the Conroe CPU, if you think that it gives better performance. Forget the slug fest that going on here in the forums. Look at some of the previews that are out:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=277...

http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=5692

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/06/05/first_benchmarks...

Note that is preview/reviews are recent, not like the ones released back in Match 2006 where Intel basically controlled the tests. But these are still a little preliminary, more reviews should come out as we get closer to the launch date of Conroe.
June 12, 2006 1:16:11 AM

I really appreciate the help so far. While it does look like I could get the 939 and not upgrade, I think I will get the AM2 3800+ CPU with a compatible Mobo and DDR2 RAM, so that way in 6 months or so I can pick up a socket AM2 Dual-core. To me, the ability to upgrade to newer and faster parts is more appealing than buying an obselete (or, soon to be) CPU without that chance to spend more cash later on for faster things, which in this case will be socket Am2.

Edit:I found this motherboard over @ Newegg. How would it suit me? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
June 12, 2006 2:08:28 AM

Quote:
I really appreciate the help so far. While it does look like I could get the 939 and not upgrade, I think I will get the AM2 3800+ CPU with a compatible Mobo and DDR2 RAM, so that way in 6 months or so I can pick up a socket AM2 Dual-core. To me, the ability to upgrade to newer and faster parts is more appealing than buying an obselete (or, soon to be) CPU without that chance to spend more cash later on for faster things, which in this case will be socket Am2.

Edit:I found this motherboard over @ Newegg. How would it suit me? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


The motherboard looks good. Asus usually makes good products. As with any new motherboard there may be stability issue that you will need to deal with. That's the price you pay when you are an early adoptor of any new product/technology whether it's AMD or Intel related. Sometimes it can be taken care of by BIOS updates, but other times the manuufacturer updates the hardware a little to correct any instability issues.

Also, do you plan on going with a SLI setup? If not, then you can go for a motherboard with only one PCI-e which will be cheaper. SLI is really only worth it if you are taking about really fast GPUs like the 7900GT or the 7900GTX. If you are thinking about using a 7600GT SLI setup, then that is not really worth it.

Regarding the AM2 3800+. I would simply jump straight to the AM2 X2 3800+ (when it is available for sale). The price difference will only be about $150. I don't think the X2 3800+ will drop a lot, but then again AMD is trying to make their CPUs more attractive by dropping their prices. Maybe the AM2 X2 series will drop right before Conroe comes out in late July.

When are you looking to build your system?
June 12, 2006 2:45:54 AM

i like all your recommendations so far, but i would definitely just get the 3800+, then save and wait to get a dual core later on, your throwing around $150 like its nothing, i mean its already going to spend more on the mobo and ram just to get am2 so just stick with the 3800 then upgrade later to dual core
June 12, 2006 3:30:32 AM

Quote:
i like all your recommendations so far, but i would definitely just get the 3800+, then save and wait to get a dual core later on, your throwing around $150 like its nothing, i mean its already going to spend more on the mobo and ram just to get am2 so just stick with the 3800 then upgrade later to dual core


The OP was already considering the X2 3800+ before he decided to downgrade to the 3800+. I am simply arguing that to get the single core 3800+ first and then upgrade to the X2 3800+ can cost him more in the end depending on when he decided to upgrade to a X2 3800+. Of course if the OP doesn't have the cash right now then okay I can understand the reason for the single core 3800+.
June 12, 2006 3:37:05 AM

take that 100$ from 939 and buy extra ram for ur 805

that would make ur thing run a lot better!
June 12, 2006 3:42:31 AM

thanks...but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna skip the P805 idea altogether.

And to Jaguarskx: For now and for me, getting the single core 3800 would be better as I know I'll be able to buy the Dual Core whenever it comes out. I think the single will be just fine for me for the time being anyway. I really just wanna start playing my games (if any of you play or have played online RPGs I think you would understand 8) )
June 12, 2006 5:54:53 PM

Quote:
Just a bit of an update, since both the RAM and Mobo aren't stocked @ Newegg right now, I'm thinking about getting this MSI K9N Platininum mobo found here:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

and for RAM, OCZ 2x512MB Modules here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Same exact stuff, but in stock...

Motherboard is fine, OCZ makes good RAM. However, if you can afford it get 2GB of RAM. It would add about $100 to the cost ,and its not on stock however. Oh well.
!