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939 or AM2?

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August 23, 2006 6:19:13 PM

I'm in a bind. I hope you can offer me some advice. My current setup is a socket A (Athlon XP 3000+?), pc3200 can. I have the hankering that either my mobo or cpu is failing, so hey...upgrade time! But, money is an object, which is how I got into the socket A. But, now it's dead and I can't find anything for a replacement. I got it in November. So, now, I'd like to just ditch the A and go with something newer. 939 has some good prices on it right now, but will I be in the same boat that I am now in a year? AM2 is current, so I'd have the support and a few years, but I'd have to step up to DDR2 and pay more for the pieces...Remember that money is an object.

What do you think?

939 is mature and discounted, AM2 is young, fun but expensive.

I'd really appreciate your input!

More about : 939 am2

August 23, 2006 6:44:36 PM

939? AM2?
Why not have both?

http://www.asrock.com/product/939Dual-VSTA.htm
http://www.asrock.com/product/939Dual-SATA2.htm

These ASRock boards use 939 and support DDR, allowing you to get a cheap CPU and reuse your RAM. The yellow slot is a special slot. You buy a special expansion card that has the AM2 socket and DDR2 slots on it, so you can upgrade to AM2 at will.

The add-on card looks like this:


These boards (As far as I know) are terrible overclockers, so if that matters, then stay away. They also have AGP slots, so you can resue your AGP card if you have one. Also, I doubt its AM2 performance is as good as a true AM2 board, but you're in a bind, and this is a budget alternative.
August 23, 2006 6:47:40 PM

Well the cheapest way to go is with the 939 socket, but one day 939 will go the way of the socket A too. I still have my 939 and dont plan on moving until they stop making 939 products. It is my opinion that the AM2 have to little products out to get a good selection. To make the jump to AM2 is a bit more money and you are correct about your memory, as AM2 uses DDR2 240 pin.

It boils down to money mostly. 939 is cheaper, and AM2 is slightly more $. I dont know when they will stop the 939 series. I dont know if this helps you or makes it worse?? I personally would say go with the 939 is cash is an issue.
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August 23, 2006 7:02:16 PM

Quote:
I'm in a bind. I hope you can offer me some advice. My current setup is a socket A (Athlon XP 3000+?), pc3200 can. I have the hankering that either my mobo or cpu is failing, so hey...upgrade time! But, money is an object, which is how I got into the socket A. But, now it's dead and I can't find anything for a replacement. I got it in November. So, now, I'd like to just ditch the A and go with something newer. 939 has some good prices on it right now, but will I be in the same boat that I am now in a year? AM2 is current, so I'd have the support and a few years, but I'd have to step up to DDR2 and pay more for the pieces...Remember that money is an object.

What do you think?

939 is mature and discounted, AM2 is young, fun but expensive.

I'd really appreciate your input!
How much are you willing to spend? Without a ballpark figure, we're all wasting our time.
August 23, 2006 7:50:50 PM

Good point...

I looked at some 939 stuff at newegg and I could do something for around $200-$250. Which sounds nice. I guess if it were more, it would need to be justified. I'm too chicken to overclock and most of what I do would be website maintenance, Photoshop stuff and the occasional Call of Duty session. If I could find AM2 stuff for $250, I'd still need to go the the DDR2, which would add more, but, in the long run, there would be support. Then again, how long until AM2 goes by the wayside?
August 23, 2006 7:57:14 PM

That looks pretty cool. Little iffy though, just because of the rest of the board. Would a conversion like that matter to the other components?
August 23, 2006 8:04:01 PM

Quote:
I'm in a bind. I hope you can offer me some advice. My current setup is a socket A (Athlon XP 3000+?), pc3200 can. I have the hankering that either my mobo or cpu is failing, so hey...upgrade time! But, money is an object, which is how I got into the socket A. But, now it's dead and I can't find anything for a replacement. I got it in November. So, now, I'd like to just ditch the A and go with something newer. 939 has some good prices on it right now, but will I be in the same boat that I am now in a year? AM2 is current, so I'd have the support and a few years, but I'd have to step up to DDR2 and pay more for the pieces...Remember that money is an object.

What do you think?

939 is mature and discounted, AM2 is young, fun but expensive.

I'd really appreciate your input!



939 All the Way. I have a 4400+ and I never wait for anything. Your best upgrade after that will be a video card. teh 3800+ will be a real step up and the 4200+ will be amazingly faster.
August 23, 2006 8:04:53 PM

Are you the type that typically upgrades a processor, or the type that uses his computer as it is for as long as he can? If you're not worried about upgrading the processor, go 939 as overall, the boards are cheaper and more mature, as was mentioned. If you think you might want to upgrade your processor, then AM2 does offer a longer upgrade life.
August 23, 2006 8:06:35 PM

All the issues I can think of when I look at it:
Space Conflict - What I think you hit upon, that the CPU cooler, if large enough, would impact something else. Also, it would be upside-down inside the case, which could be an issue if the cooler is heavy.
Windows - You usually have to reinstall Windows (If that's what you use) when you swap out the CPU or motherboard.I'll try and list anything else I can think of.

To answer your other question, AM2 is being dumped within I'd say about 18 months in favor of AM3, which will probably be launched alongside K8L (AMD next-gen CPUs). AMD has supposedly promised that AM3 CPUs will work in AM2 motherboards, but I won't believe that until I see it.
August 23, 2006 8:31:15 PM

Very good point! I'm somewhat in the middle, but I'd like to hang on to it if I could. That was the plan with the A socket. I just upgraded my video card to an x700 Pro a while ago too, so that would be another expense if I went with AM2, right? I don't think I've seen AGP on AM2 boards.
August 23, 2006 8:53:35 PM

Quote:
Good point...

I looked at some 939 stuff at newegg and I could do something for around $200-$250. Which sounds nice. I guess if it were more, it would need to be justified. I'm too chicken to overclock and most of what I do would be website maintenance, Photoshop stuff and the occasional Call of Duty session. If I could find AM2 stuff for $250, I'd still need to go the the DDR2, which would add more, but, in the long run, there would be support. Then again, how long until AM2 goes by the wayside?
For sure, with your existing hardware, and your budgetary constraints, this would be your best route to take:

ASRock 939Dual-SATA2:$64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Athlon 64 X2 3800+:$152.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $216.99 + $6.13(mobo S/H) + tax(if applicable).

If you consider this, read through some of the motherboard reviews on Newegg, as there are a lot of good reviews, as well as quite a few with apparent AGP troubles. GL :) 
August 24, 2006 5:58:38 PM

Thanks all for your input. I think that's what I'll do...939. Now...How about this, which is hopefully simple:

X2 or FX? Will I notice a big increase with the X2? Or is the price difference so minimal that it won't matter?
August 25, 2006 8:00:26 PM

Will that motherboard support the X2? On newegg is only shows support 64 and FX.
August 25, 2006 9:01:01 PM

Quote:
Like you said, go 939 and your in the same boat in a few months, no upgradability.
If you go AM2 you will be set for a while considering the native quad core will be supported by AM2 boards.


Yeah, but if I play the waiting game, won't I always be waiting? Plus, if I get a dependable board, it should last a few years, which would probably be a better upgrade time...Maybe.
August 25, 2006 9:14:45 PM

If moneys tight, go with the ASROCK and an X2 (+3800's are only $150), 939 is on its way out but that setup will last a few years and when you find your system lagging you can upgrade to a nicer PCIe graphics card on that MB board. A good video card is as important as the CPU, if not more so.
August 25, 2006 9:24:54 PM

That was another thing I liked, since I'm still rolling AGP style.

AGP
DDR-no-2

I'm ancient.
August 25, 2006 9:52:11 PM

I will say this in a few words:

If you have 939 dont upgrade to am2 if you dont have 939 and you are planning to upgrade your processor then buy am2.

there are new, fast, and cheap you can get a 3800 x2 for 160 bucks.

yeah you have to update your ram and mobo but you are investing in new tech that will be for at least a year.

939 will disappear in less than a year.
August 25, 2006 9:56:32 PM

He would also need to upgrade his AGP Graphics card, and that’s an additional +$100.
So it’s really a matter of money.
August 25, 2006 10:40:17 PM

I am going to start by stating the obvious: your in a corner with a knife and 300 Marines have you in their sniper sights.

Point is your at an impass in the technology realm, your going to need to upgrade everything almost. It sucks, I had to do it back in December.

Everybody has gone PCI express for graphics cards (you can still buy AGP but why would you if your getting a new system?)

Even AMD has moved to DDR2 and Intel wants to move to DDR3 next year so your DDR ram is pretty much dead.

Socket A is dead and 939 is going to make its exit probably within 6-8 months max.

So it comes down to money and logic. If you go AM2 you will be gaurenteed to have new parts available for probably 2 years (give or take) and your memory and GPU will take you that far as well. If you go 939, which is what I am on because I bought it 9 months ago, you will postpone the inevitable switch to DDR 2/3 as well as upgrading you GPU, both of which you will eventually have to do. Would you rather wait a month and save the extra $100 (if you can, I don't know you financial situation, I am just trying to help you understand your choices), or do you want to by the cheaper socket, like you did last time, and risk running into the exact same problem again and having to purchase another new mobo, proc, memory, and GPU.

The switch to AM2 may dent your wallet but it will be better for you in the long run to have the option of replacing a single component, in general.
August 25, 2006 11:07:54 PM

939 -mature and discounted
AM2 young fun and expensive...hmmm

Someones mom - mature and discounted
That mom's daughter - young fun and expensive

Which one would you rather have??

Go with the AM2
August 25, 2006 11:42:05 PM

am2 has the much better upgrade path, u dont wana get stuck with not being able to upgrade in the future
August 26, 2006 6:55:37 AM

as others have said, AM2, as there is a much better upgrade path.
August 26, 2006 11:19:21 AM

You said you Do some website maintenance... and alittle photoshop? i think some of these people are insane with some of there responses.


I've been running this setup for 5 yrs now.

asus a7n8x del (SOCKET A)

xp2800+

1 GB pc3200 corsair xms

and just recently went from a ti4200 to a 6600GT gfx card.

I'm currently using this same machine to type here. I've been able to play whatever games are out, photoshop, website stuff, chating, ect.

If you build a nice rig from 939.... it should last you atleast 3-4 yrs.

I don't see why you would need to upgrade within a YEAR.

the specs im running now are "so out of date" but yet they run anything i throw at it.

ANything in the x2, FX area according to PAPER results should DESTROY my system now. So going with a FX 60... and a 939 ASUS A8N sli this setup should perform excellent and last like i said around 3-4 yrs.

My next system i plan on going with is the

FX 60
that ASUS BOARD A8N sli..... it's 4 stars out of 1091 reviews.. for only 136$
2GB of memory

this config right there should be killer.
i don't see why that system can't last you atleast 3 yrs MINIMUM.


id go 939 and save the extra cash.

that's what im doing..... 939 is cheaper and its mature and the software bugs/drivers have been all worked out already... it should be a smooth build.

anyway that's my opinion.

ROB.
August 26, 2006 12:16:04 PM

i have 2 939 dual systems, never had a problem with either.
August 26, 2006 5:26:19 PM

Quote:
Good point...

I looked at some 939 stuff at newegg and I could do something for around $200-$250. Which sounds nice. I guess if it were more, it would need to be justified. I'm too chicken to overclock and most of what I do would be website maintenance, Photoshop stuff and the occasional Call of Duty session. If I could find AM2 stuff for $250, I'd still need to go the the DDR2, which would add more, but, in the long run, there would be support. Then again, how long until AM2 goes by the wayside?
For sure, with your existing hardware, and your budgetary constraints, this would be your best route to take:

ASRock 939Dual-SATA2:$64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Athlon 64 X2 3800+:$152.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $216.99 + $6.13(mobo S/H) + tax(if applicable).

If you consider this, read through some of the motherboard reviews on Newegg, as there are a lot of good reviews, as well as quite a few with apparent AGP troubles. GL :) 

This is good advice, at a limited threshold on budget, the 3800+ is a great alternative. Spot on performance for the money.

Jack

Alternatively, he may want to opt for an Asrock 775Dual-VSTA (56$) paired up with an E6300 (193$).

While it ends up being a bit more expensive than the system detailed above, you have to consider that he won't have to purchase an AM2 riser at the same time as an AM2 CPU and DDR2, the 775Dual-VSTA has a much more seemless upgrade path as you can mix and match DDR/DDR2 and AGP/PCIe.
August 26, 2006 6:02:22 PM

The Diffrence in AM2 and 939 right now is nothing. 939 will still be a very good platform for the next comming 1-2 years maybe longer... depends on how big of a leap in performance CPUs/Motherboards take in that time.

So do not be afraid of a 939 investment right now. AM2 will be out of date the same time 939 goes out.

Not to mention if you want to have performance levels with 939 vs AM2 you will need to buy that 250$ 2 gigs of ram for your new AM2 platform. You can not settle for the cheap stuff when it comes to ddr2, you take a performance hit.
August 26, 2006 8:16:29 PM

I'm guessing you are still using all ata drives.

Looking at what you already have I would go for 939 and go cheap on it. In a years time the current FX and X2 proc will be selling dirt cheap if you want a performance bost at that time.

The other requirements I would look for in a board are enough EIDE port to handle your ATA drives and some SATA ports so any new drives you might by in the future will continue to be future proof for some time.

As for the GPU slot definatly go for a AGP so you can continue to use your curent board. I wouldn't think about upgrading my GPU until DX10 comes out.

I would only spend the minum I could get away with for now. Your next upgrade you will need new ram, board, cpu, and gpu so expect it to cost a lot and start saving. About the only thing you will be able to salvage will be your drives, but even with those it looks like IDE is out very soon and SATA is the only thing I would invest in for anything new.

If you can buy a year for under $200 you will have a better prospect of what is to come. Like some other have suggested I belive the AM2 is going to be diched sooner then most think. If intel does go to DDR3 soon and it makes a useable difference (unlike DDR2) it may force AMD to follow suit.
August 28, 2006 1:05:20 PM

I am still trying to decide if I should go 939 fx2 3800 or spend more for the 775 6300. I am thinking AMD because of the price vs performance issue and I will more than likely not move the ASRock board to my new system build up. I want to get the best out of the componets I have now. agp card and ddr memory. I am planning to do a complete build up with in 8 months or so but I can't see bailing on what I have now and just have it sit in a closet. Will the 775 run on ddr memory? I am sure what ever I choose will be better than my athlon 2500 barton, I do love the cpu though.
August 28, 2006 2:00:43 PM

Quote:
939 -mature and discounted
AM2 young fun and expensive...hmmm

Someones mom - mature and discounted
That mom's daughter - young fun and expensive

Which one would you rather have??

Go with the AM2


Ha! I like your way of thinking!

Say I wait a month...Do you all think prices will plummet? My financial situation ain't that bad; I just don't want to make a huge investment after building this one. I think it was done in November.
August 28, 2006 2:15:52 PM

The Asrock 775Dual-VSTA will work with either DDR or DDR2 memory, same goes for video cards, you can use your current AGP card and still have the option to seemlessly upgrade to a PCIe card down the road if you decide to do so.

I ran into a bunch of interesting AnandTech article that deal with the Asrock 775Dual-VSTA, the First One deal with DDR vs DDR2 memory (the difference between PC-2700, PC-3200, PC2-4200 & PC2-5400 is insignificant), the Second One compare a variety of C2D ready motherboards (no surprise here, the difference once again is insignificant) and the Third One deal with AGP vs PCIe (guess what, no difference).
August 29, 2006 12:09:47 AM

If you want to jump into a C2D go for it, but you might have a hard time finding a board that supports the lower voltage of C2Ds, AGP, and DDR. Also, don't forget your EIDE drives.

I would guess this would put you closer to $1k for middle level system. With how AMD chips are droping like mad you could do a 939 system for with +70% the performance at 25% of the cost.

Coming from a athlon XP you should see a big difference with what ever you pick.
August 29, 2006 2:24:31 AM

Quote:
If you want to jump into a C2D go for it, but you might have a hard time finding a board that supports the lower voltage of C2Ds, AGP, and DDR. Also, don't forget your EIDE drives.

I would guess this would put you closer to $1k for middle level system. With how AMD chips are droping like mad you could do a 939 system for with +70% the performance at 25% of the cost.

Coming from a athlon XP you should see a big difference with what ever you pick.


Hmm, seems like you replied to my last post without even reading it...
August 29, 2006 7:21:07 PM

For some reason I missed the board suggestion. It looks like the Asrock 775Dual-VSTA with the e6400 would be a good choice for around $300. PCIe GFX compatablity seems a little restrictive, but other wise looks to be a good transition board.
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