Task manager will display the workload of 2 cores on the performance tab. Also, go to system properties>hardware>device manager and click on CPU. It should display as CPU 0 and CPU 1 with the model of your processor. After you upgrade, stop by the AMD website and download the "dual-core optimizer".
your bios is what will determine if you have problems swapping out the proc but i doubt it will, all socket 939 mobo's these days are made alike and with the x2's having been out for a number of years now, i can't imagine there is a bios version out there sold recently that wouldnt support it.
to make sure both cores are being used you can do a number of different things, it just depends on what you like to do. easiest way is just open up task manager and look at the performance graphs. unless you physically assign certain programs to one cpu or another (called affinity) then you will only use one core for most things because the vast majority of programs these days are not multi-threaded. even if you have a CPU intensive program running, you will probably only see 50% performance and if you look at the graph, you will see one core pegged and one core doing very little...nothing you can do, the prog is just not multi-threaded.
if you want to test both cores, download prime95, read the instructions and set up multiple instances of it running and set the affinity to the different cores.
I have put up several questions in several sections and everyone has been very helpful.
From MB's to Cards, to CPU's on several upgrades which I hope will last for about 15-18 months more.....
Then- Watch out! Marc, with a bit of help on the first one, will be building his own machine with the exact components he likes. From Case to card.
You don't have to be 19 to be into it (I'm 3x that)
May even try and get rid of frigging Microsoft by then. Go Linux!
Why can't they build a Windows 'Carrera Light' stripped down racing edition instead of reverse engineereing a Wallowing cumbersome monster and trying to make everyone else obsolete?
How about just a more compatible/pluggable superfast NT with a card reader Thats all I need. I can do my own security and searches and 1001 other things.
(crazy I know, but even W-ME was slow and stupid)
Everything will be OK, nothing to change at all, not even the CPU drivers. The only 'problem' I see with you is that with the current prices and available chips, you could have gotten something more beefy to push your system. An opteron 170 or 175 gives you headroom for a 2.7-2.8 overclock on stock voltage and make your 939 vibrate for a lot longer.
@m25 According to the question he asked, I don't believe that he is going to OC his CPU.
Me too, but that doesn't mean he will not learn how to do it in a couple of months or even days if he is willing because with today's process stability and stock voltage overclocks, that is almost as easy as adjusting your speakers' volume .