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Is it worth to upgrade Socket 939 CPU? Help!

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January 16, 2007 5:32:34 PM

I could really use some help here. I am debating small upgrade to my current computer. I am not a huge gamer, but I like to get 3-4 new games every year. Otherwise I watch TV, download stuff, browse Internet and listen to the music on my PC.

After reading several articles on Tom’s Hardware site, I believe I still can get something out of my PC by making few upgrades. My biggest concern is whether it is worth the money or should a year or two and then build something new?

Currently, I have small factor Shuttle (SN95G5 v 2.0) that I have put together couple years ago. I got:

AMD Athlon 3500+ socket 939
1 GB RAM (2 x 512)
300 GB SATA HD
All-in-Wonder X800 256MB AGP

I am thinking of upgrading from single to dual core processor (AMD Athlon X2 4800+ Socket 939 2.4 GHz 2MB L2 cache) Based on Tom’s interactive CPU charts the processor upgrade would definitely help with over all performance. Cost is $317 CAD.

Recent articles on AGP video cards (X1900 or 1950 which ever one is AGP) show that it is still possible to utilize the AGP port for next year or two if I am really pushing it.

What do you think? Should I wait or should I upgrade?

More about : worth upgrade socket 939 cpu

January 16, 2007 5:37:07 PM

your x800 aiw is good nuff till you go to pci express, so no its a waste of money. you won't get any gaming increases as of yet. encoding will see benefits from it. imho save up until you can build an entirely new pc. also are you truely unhappy with you computer's performance? if you are TRULY unhappy and need multitasking then go for it.
January 16, 2007 5:58:53 PM

buy another 512mb stick of ddr ram.

Then save up for a new computer, I would have said get a asrock socket 775 motherboard and e6300 so you can use your DDR, meaning you wouldn't have to buy DDR2 ram.

The E4300 is supposed to be the pentium d 805 of the core 2 family, maybe you could save up for a system based around that in a couple of months. Maybe.. :) 

If you can wait, wait, see what other people say.
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January 16, 2007 6:37:40 PM

I think it all depends on whether or not your system can still do the things you want it to do, and if it does it well enough for your you.

A video upgrade is a good start, but with an AGP, you're going to limit yourself the use of that video card when you do a total upgrade later, since most motherboards have started using the PCI-x slot, and not so much the AGP anymore.

The 939 CPU is another thing. With AMD discontinuing the 939 CPUs, this will be money spent for a one-time bang, in my opinion. You will spend $317CND for a little boost.

Memory can also be upgraded, but again, if you decide to upgrade to a new system in a few months, you cannot readily transfer your memory to the new system, unless it uses DDR, since most boards for AMD and Intel are using DDR2, and who knows, in a few more months, it could be transitioning to DDR3.

Again, it's up to you. If your system can perform the tasks you need it to, then an upgrade isn't really worthwhile. If you feel as though it's just not running up to your standards, I would save up for a new AMD or Intel system, rather than spend money on one-time, and probably minimal system boosts.
January 16, 2007 6:42:52 PM

I've just done exactly what you are considering i.e upgrade socket 939 amd 3500+ to a dual-core 4800 (socket 939). However I haven't got it back from the computer place yet (collecting it tomorrow, currently writing this on a 6-year old p3-800 lol). The reason I chose to upgrade socket 939 processor to dual-core is because when I bought new computer 1 year ago, I bought with 2gb of ram, so slightly different to you and I didn't want to splash out on another 2gb of ram (through switching to Intel C2D). I am hoping the 4800+ dual-core and 2gb of ram will last me 3 or 4 years and be good for vista. I also have a 7800gt running screen resolution of 1600x1200. I plan on upgrading the graphics card and operating system to a dx10 card and vista in 14-16 months, or even later if no dx10 games are released that I fancy.

In your position I would say it (your decision) depends - certainly you could upgrade to socket 939 4800+ dual-core and that would last you a good while. However, if you also get a faster agp graphics card now that would do you as far as current and past games are concerned, but if you went for that upgrade path you may lose out on any dx10 games that might come along in the next year or 2, since i'm not sure if there will be any agp versions of dx10 graphics cards released?

If I was in your position I would hold out for just a few more months. There are new cheaper dual-core processors from Intel coming out and also cheap dx10 graphics cards (and vista will also be out then). However, that depends if by then you are able to scrape together just enough cash to be able to afford a cheap new system. I would wait and save up, the longer you wait the better positioned you will be.
January 16, 2007 7:18:17 PM

Your socket 939 AGP setup is ultimately a dead end but would be far more future proof with the dual core upgrade. If you wait too long socket 939 cpu's may be harder to find. When you finally do move on it would make an excellent second computer or HTPC (keep the AIW card).

Considering the cpu, memory, agp card and motherboard can't follow you to a new system it is worth keeping it.
January 16, 2007 8:57:09 PM

The overall question would be yes; I upgraded to a X2 4200+ from a 3000+ and it's a world apart, however I just needed a powerful CPU for rendering and light multitasking and nothing fancy for gaming while there are some details in your upgrade path that don't match your needs;
1-You have an aging AGP card and games usually hit the ceiling of your videocard long before they hit that of your CPU. (you'd need to change motherboard for PCI-E x16)
2-A small factor case with it's crippled airflow is not the most suitable for a dualcore and good videocard. (new case)
3-Your RAM is stil a bit small for good gamig (you should get another 512M DDR stick but also get 2x512MB of DDR2 if you changed your system)
The only thing to keep would be your 300GB HDD

You have to overcome these obstacles for a gaming proof machine and upgrading just isn't the best way in these cases.
January 16, 2007 9:29:30 PM

Yeh Mike, it is worth the upgrade. Your games will run better and with the good examples of what you use your computer for, $317 is a fair investment if you think it is. Ignore the fanboys who would have you buy a new system every 6 months just to keep up with the Jones'.
January 16, 2007 9:45:01 PM

Quote:
Ignore the fanboys who would have you buy a new system every 6 months just to keep up with the Jones'.


It's not about that, it's about putting money into a system that can't be stretched much farther. If he buys a decent Core 2 Setup today it'll probably last for 2 years or longer with only a new video card, if he tries to rebuild his current box he will spend the same amount of money and get very little in return.

Unless he is doing heavy multi-threading work right now then the jump from a MUCH more expensive processor will be minor, for instance if he puts in $600 instead of $320 he can get a Core 2 with a better video card that will be expandable for the next couple years with PCI-e and a Socket 775 platform that will take at least a Quad-core (not that he will likely need one). If he puts in the $320 processor now, in 6 months to a year he will be jonesing for another speed boost but will have nowhere to go, which is better?

My suggestion is to stick with his current setup and save another 200-300 dollars and rebuild with a modern setup.
January 16, 2007 10:02:02 PM

yes if you can find an x2 or opty for 200$ cad. or a little more.
January 16, 2007 10:03:51 PM

Quote:
Yeh Mike, it is worth the upgrade. Your games will run better and with the good examples of what you use your computer for, $317 is a fair investment if you think it is. Ignore the fanboys who would have you buy a new system every 6 months just to keep up with the Jones'.

how old are you, 10?

who said anything about 'buying a new system every 6 months just to keep up with the Jones'?

Please don't post such ignorant posts on here in future.
January 16, 2007 10:10:11 PM

Unless you are going to build a new system I would tough it out another year with your current system.
January 16, 2007 10:26:26 PM

Assuming I get AMD X2 64 4800+ CPU and 1950 Pro AGP video card, how long could I keep up with the newest games?
January 16, 2007 10:31:02 PM

Quote:
Assuming I get AMD X2 64 4800+ CPU and 1950 Pro AGP video card, how long could I keep up with the newest games?


Right up until you start seeing on the game box 'requires DirectX10', since in order to play Dx10 games you will require a Dx10 graphics card (and everything else that that encompasses).
January 16, 2007 10:32:28 PM

Quote:
I could really use some help here. I am debating small upgrade to my current computer. I am not a huge gamer, but I like to get 3-4 new games every year. Otherwise I watch TV, download stuff, browse Internet and listen to the music on my PC.

After reading several articles on Tom’s Hardware site, I believe I still can get something out of my PC by making few upgrades. My biggest concern is whether it is worth the money or should a year or two and then build something new?

Currently, I have small factor Shuttle (SN95G5 v 2.0) that I have put together couple years ago. I got:

AMD Athlon 3500+ socket 939
1 GB RAM (2 x 512)
300 GB SATA HD
All-in-Wonder X800 256MB AGP

I am thinking of upgrading from single to dual core processor (AMD Athlon X2 4800+ Socket 939 2.4 GHz 2MB L2 cache) Based on Tom’s interactive CPU charts the processor upgrade would definitely help with over all performance. Cost is $317 CAD.

Recent articles on AGP video cards (X1900 or 1950 which ever one is AGP) show that it is still possible to utilize the AGP port for next year or two if I am really pushing it.

What do you think? Should I wait or should I upgrade?


It really depends on your budget. Your mobo SHOULD support dual core with the latest BIOS and ATi did release a really good AGP card for gaming, though you may have to get a standalone TV tuner.
January 16, 2007 10:37:26 PM

I would personally leave that computer just as it is, dont put a penny into it, then you can save it all up for a new rig.
January 16, 2007 10:37:54 PM

Quote:
Assuming I get AMD X2 64 4800+ CPU and 1950 Pro AGP video card, how long could I keep up with the newest games?


http://www.shacknews.com/extras/2007/011607_crysis_1.x

try this.
the last paragraph were jack mamais is talking about hardware
and video cards needed to run crysis.
January 16, 2007 11:50:08 PM

Quote:
I would personally leave that computer just as it is, dont put a penny into it, then you can save it all up for a new rig.

Yes, that would be the best thing to do; CPU, videocard and RAM are too many things to invest on and video card and RAM upgrades are almost a must (for really nice gaming on this system) , better spare the money for a whole new system.
January 17, 2007 12:16:46 AM

If you can find a 939 X2 for cheap do it!

You may find that an Asrock Dual VSTA + A E4300 / E6300 is a much better way to spend your money though. It's a case of weighing up the price and seeing what's best at the time.

I wouldn't go spending too much money on a 939 cpu now. Back in July I nearly did along with a cheap mobo. I'm glad i went down the Asrock / Intel combo path now though. Infact C2D came out just in time for me.
January 17, 2007 12:41:23 AM

Quote:
Assuming I get AMD X2 64 4800+ CPU and 1950 Pro AGP video card, how long could I keep up with the newest games?


I'm sure you'll be able to play dx10 games with that hardware. You may have to dial things down a bit, but these newest games aren't going to require an 8800 to play, that wouldn't be good for business. I just did the same upgrade you're considering. I went to a 939 x2 4600 (a bit cheaper than the 4800 but still great) and I upgraded to a 7950gt. It was well worth it for me. I can now hold out longer for the better hardware and see what ATI and AMD comes out with to compete with C2D and 8800. I recommend upgrading, but don't wait, like others said 939 processors won't be around long.
January 17, 2007 1:13:33 AM

Dude what games will you be playing? Just keep your system. Buy the games and play them at lower resolutions. Then when you get your new rig in a year crank it up and enjoy those games all over again! :wink:

I have an old home built machine sitting in my garage I take to LAN parties. It has an athlon 1700+ running at 1.8 ghz with 1 gig memory and a X800GTO. I run the resolution at 1280X1024 on low settings and it looks fine and is adequate for a LAN party.

I know people who run Oblivion on older machines. Just because your system is starting to show its age does not mean you have to put it out to pasture so soon.
January 18, 2007 5:48:48 AM

Quote:
Assuming I get AMD X2 64 4800+ CPU and 1950 Pro AGP video card, how long could I keep up with the newest games?


Right up until you start seeing on the game box 'requires DirectX10', since in order to play Dx10 games you will require a Dx10 graphics card (and everything else that that encompasses).

LMAO, see Mike.
!