Upgrading - AM2 vs Better 939 hardware PLEASE ADVISE

I'm going to upgrade my computer in about 3-4 months once I get my birthday money and my 8800GTS. I was wondering if it would be worth it to go to AM2 or just upgrade my hardware on my 939 system.

If I was to go with AM2 I would get an ASUS Crosshair, 2 gigs of CAS 4 DDR2 800 or 2 gigs DDR2 1000, and an Opteron 1210 or 1212 w/a Zalman CNPS 9500 AM2 or CNPS9700. so I can O/C the CPU to 2.4-2.7GHz. I would also sell the 939 stuff to make the price a little easier to accept.


If I was going to upgrade the hardware on my current system I would get an ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe mobo, either 2 gigs DDR 500, DDR 550, or myabe even 2 gigs of Geil's CAS 1.5 DDR 400 which I hear can Overclock up to DDR 650, and a Zalman CNPS9500 or CNPS 9700 HSF for my Opteron 165 which will be overclocked to at LEAST 2.2-2.4 GHz hoping to try for stable @ 2.7.

Here are my current specs:
Opteron 165 @ 1.8GHz w/ CNPS7000b-Cu LED (OC later @ xmas)
2GB Corsair XMS TWINX2048-3200C2PT w/stock timings
eVGA 7800GT CO @ 490/1140 (auto detect)
Aspire X-Discovery w/rear 120mm, 2 front 80mm and 1 side 80mm fans (have Antec P180B that I'll use by mid december)
CM 550W PSU w/ dual 12V rails and active PFC

PS: are my PSU and Antec P180B enough for the 8800GTS? And is the PSU good enough for the 8800GTS w/ those setups overclocked to the mentioned speeds?

Thank you for any help.


12 answers Last reply
More about upgrading hardware advise
  1. If you're gonna build an AM2 system, u might as well go C2D, it's a better way to go. But, you'll have to get new mobo, cpu, memory, and probably a new ps.

    I think you should keep what u have for backup and build fresh, if you can. :roll:
  2. Go for C2D.
  3. This is the PSU I have:
    Is this sufficient for a setup with a 8800GTS?

    Also, I guess I should ask if it is worth it to upgrade my current 939 system and save money that way OR maybe go with C2D or AM2. I say or because this upgrade isn't going to happen for another 3+ months which is only a few months from AMD's new 65nm processes which could allow more OC potential. It's all about Price vs Performance and how much I can get out of it without spending more money.

    I still need some deeper insight and advice please.


  4. Quote:
    Ok that PSU can provide a total of about 30A on the +12v rails. The average system running an 8800 needs no less the 30A. So i wouldn't recomend this unit. You want to leave some head room. Running the PSU at such a heavy load will wear it out and you would be lucky to get a couple of moths out of the unit. Besides there are much better brands you should be looking at. Check the link at the bottom of my sig. Choose a PSU from the top three tiers in that link and you will have a good quality unit that will last. The PSU should provide no less then 32A on the combined +12v rails. If you plan to do any ocing, run a raid configuration, or Water cooling then you need to find a PSU that offers about 36A or better.

    I'm looking at specs of the PSU decripple linked to



    Isn't that 48A on the +12v rails?
  5. Quote:

    I'm looking at specs of the PSU decripple linked to



    Isn't that 48A on the +12v rails?

    Unfortunately, you cannot simply add all the amps together for most power supplies. If you do the math then this 550w PSU would be delivering 576w on the 12v rail alone. That's 48 amps x 12 volts.

    Each amp represent the maximum that can be delivered on a single rail.

    The following is the sticker to the Cooler Master RS-550-ACLY PSU:

    You can check it out at Cooler Master's site:


    If you look, it says the 12v rails can provide up to 360w of power, or 30 amps.

    nVidia recommends at least a 450w PSU for the 8800GTS. In general, the average 450w PSU should deliver about 26 amps - 28 amps on the 12v rail . Therefore the Cooler Master 550w PSU you selected should be sufficient. However, you also need to consider the other components you will be dropping into your new PC that draws power from the 12v rail. Which are the CPU, hard drives, DVD/CD drives, and fans.

    The 8800GTX has been measured to draw 145.5w of power from the 12v rails:


    But that's the 8800GTX, not the 8800GTS. I would guess that the slower 8800GTS consumes about 130w of power or about 11 amps (130w / 12v). That leaves you about 19 amps, but give yourself a buffer of about 4 amps since running a power supply at full load continously is not good for longevity. That means you have 15 amps for the CPU, hard drives, DVD/CD drives and fans.
  6. Also, like everyone else has stated go for a Core 2 Duo CPU if you will be upgrading. It seriously outperforms the Athlon X2 64 AM2 CPUs.

    Not only does the C2D outperforms the AM2, but it also consumes less power:

  7. Quote:

    Unfortunately, you cannot simply add all the amps together for most power supplies.

    Huh, didn't realize that. Thanks for the info.

    Edit: Just checked out the PSU sticky. Interesting stuff.
  8. Ok, here's the thing.

    I would really see how your computer performs with the 8800GTS before making any other decisions. Most games are gpu limited and yes you will see an increase in performance with a C2D but is it worth the extra $800 to upgrade cpu, motherboard and ram? I personally don't think so. IF this was a new build then by all means go C2D but don't jump on that band wagon just because some of the people here tell you to.

    In the end if you're going to upgrade then go C2D but I really don't think you'll need to. I think you'll be happy with the performance boost you'll get from just the 8800GTS.
  9. Exactly what I was thinking except I'm planning on upgrading everything so I don't haev to upgrade my hardware for at the very least one full year. I know I will get a big performance boost just from the 8800GTS, but I want my other hardware ready to take on DX10 games as well. This is one of those upgrades that one would use to ensure performance for the future. What I think will happen is that I will start out overclocking my Opteron 165 from the stock 1.8GHz up to at least 2.4GHz trying to minimize voltage increases. Then once the price of DDR2 800+ RAM drops along with that of AM2s and C2Ds, I will decide which to use. For now, I'm thinking C2D and a high end SLI mobo from ASUS or Gigabyte and some G.Skill DDR2 800 (BHZ chips) or some Crucial Ballistix DDR2 1000 since it's about the same price.

    Also, the prices will drop and I will sell my CPU, mobo, RAM, and my two other computers for a total of about 800-1000 so I may be able to get like a C2D E6600 instead of a E6300/6400 so I might avoid overclocking for a while. That will also compensate for buying a new PSU that will support the overclocking and the potential for a 150GB Raptor.

    How mich power would a overclocked Opty 165 consume? This is an important question since I will overclock it in the future, but I'll need to know if my current CM 550W will be enough even after the OC because I'll need to know when I have to upgrade my PSU.

    Thanks for the help

  10. Dude, are you crazy?

    Do you realize your Opteron overclocked at 2.4+ will be fairly equal to a E6300?

    Going to AM2 would be pointless as it would require new everything and performance would be the same as your Opteron.

    I could see if you were running a single core Athlon 64...but you already have 2gb of quality RAM, a good CPU and hard drives. If you're just gaming get the fastest video card you can afford.
  11. Good points Waylander and Noya.

    The CPU and system, with a new 8880GTS will definitely be good enough for quite some time. And since most games are GPU-limited, with the GTS you'll be kickin A$$.

    So here's the best logic:

    -get the 800GTS, and keep what you have. Save your money, and in a year or so, then upgrade the whole system and sell what you have now. Kick in that money and go upgrade. By then, Service Pack 1 for Vista should be out, next gen DX10 cards will be out, then make a BIG jump upwards.

    Doing a half-arsed upgrade now on your core components is a waste of money. Truly. Your rig is fine. Just get a new vid card and you're laughing. Save your money and upgrade later.

    Ride the upgrade wave when you need it, and get more bang for your buck. Upgrading now would be such a waste for what you need (or mor precisely, what you don't need)
  12. My 2 cents worth, personal opinion, or whatever. Add a couple bucks to that and you might buy a cup of coffee.

    Forget the AM2. It costs too much for too little gain, unless you like change for the sake of change. If you want to upgrade your 939 system, get a higher end Opteron or, if you can find one at a decent price, a FX60.

    I'm not sure that a change from your present motherboard to the A8N32-Deluxe would be worthwhile. I have the A8N32-Deluxe and I can't say that its really any better, but again, that's my opinion.

    If I was building a machine right now, I'd buy a C2D. I've used AMDs for the most part for the past few years, but AMD hasn't done anything good for awhile and their immediate future looks bleak. I don't like to be standing on a sinking ship.

    I think you will need a bigger psu no matter what way you go.

    The above is all personal opinion and you can treat it as seriously as you want. or dump it in the trash if you want.
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