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Upgrading to an Athlon 64 from an old P4

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October 10, 2006 5:40:03 AM

Hello all,

I have a friend who has spent a considerable amount of money upgrading his old computer. He bought severeral components that include 2gb DDR PC 3200 OCZ memory, Geforce 7800GS AGP video card, 660W PSU, etc. He bought these components earlier this year without knowing the consequences of buying old technology :? . He is still sporting an old P4 2.8 Ghz from 3 years ago. He asked me to find him a cpu/motherboard combination that can accomodate to his old components and at the same time give him a performance boost. He said he is on a budget is willing to spend $150-$200 dollars. I have searched online and these were the products I came up with.


EPoX EP-9NDA3I Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce3 250 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
$59.99
AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 2.2GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket 939 Processor - Retail
$97.00

How much of a performance boost would he get with this combination? Any suggestions will be appreciated..

More about : upgrading athlon

October 10, 2006 6:17:35 AM

IMO, he should sell the 7800GS, since it in itself is holding his build back... the performance of the 7800GS isnt low by any means, but by keeping it, hes having to make a compromise all the way around with his upgrade, simply by sticking with AGP

you could sell the 7800GS for a decent price im sure, and upgrade to a noticably cheaper, yet similarly performing PCIe gpu

by doing that you have money to spare on a better motherboard and cpu combo... possibly an nforce4 motherboard for ~$60 or so (possibly with an integrated gpu for temporary/additional usage if anything), and an X2 3800+ (dual core) for ~$150 (prices are at www.outpost.com)

and the X2 3800+ can be OCd anyhow, if he wanted to, which would save him money even more... it typically OCs to 2.4GHz without even needing a voltage change, putting it on par right away with an x2 4600+

a 3rd party HS+F is optional though (would just allow even higher OCing because the cpu would run cooler on average, and it would be quieter than stock cooling), but if he has the money left over, he could invest in a fairly inexpensive one

he could definetly manage that if he were to sell the 7800GS though, which would free up his options some

and that will allow his build to last that much longer than what he would be upgrading to... since he already has the memory needed.
October 10, 2006 6:41:28 AM

I forgot to mention that he will ditch his current rig in about 1~2 years and build a multi-core setup from the ground up.
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October 10, 2006 6:43:18 AM

lol, well in that case... the parts you chose seem fine, since hes not concerned with longevity of the build, just more of a temporary solution

you can go to THG cpu charts and compare the 2 cpus, to see the difference

edit: ...hm... honestly... it doesnt seem theres a huge difference between the 2 cpus... its probably not worth it for him to pay $100+ for a nominal increase in performance...

his build can probably last him awhile longer... since hes not really looking to overhaul things, and is just going to replace them all soon anyways... it would seem more of a waste for him to do

he should honestly save the money, for a more substantial upgrade, i would think... or even OC his existing P4, which will cost him nothing, and bring an immediate performance boost comparable to what he would be upgrading to

why is he looking to upgrade anyhow?... he has a P4 2.8, yes... but maybe his HDDs are slow... or some other part even...

(just trying to save him money, because it almost seems a waste for him to do, considering his intentions)

those are just my recommendations though... but if hes still intent on upgrading... then, what you chose should work for what hes looking for :) 
October 10, 2006 8:25:38 AM

i agree with choirbass on this one just save up for a new rig in 1-2 years, but if your friend is dead set on a upgrade then i would get the following:

939Dual-SATA2 mobo:great overclocking mobo and cheap
and then just get the Athlon 64 3200 and save even more cash.the 3200 is only clocked 200 mhz slower than the 3700 so minor overclock will bring its speed up.

also with this mobo there is AGP and PCI-E so he could use his 7800GS and say he gets bored with the performance could upgrade to a new PCI-E card which could also be taken over to his new rig.

hope this helps
October 13, 2006 10:21:12 PM

The 3500+ actually holds the most $/performance ratio.
The mobo with both AGP and PCIe seems like a really good idea.
!