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Amd single core to dual core upgrade, do I need to reinstall

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April 13, 2007 4:08:47 AM

I have a 939 Gigabyte MB and have just bought a AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Toledo. I currently have a AMD Athlon 64 3200+.

I read somewhere that I would have to do a reinstall of XP Pro to take advantage of the second core since I originally installed XP with a single core.

Is this true?

Please help if you know the answer.

Thanks
April 13, 2007 4:24:14 AM

Quote:
I have a 939 Gigabyte MB and have just bought a AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Toledo. I currently have a AMD Athlon 64 3200+.

I read somewhere that I would have to do a reinstall of XP Pro to take advantage of the second core since I originally installed XP with a single core.

Is this true?

Please help if you know the answer.

Thanks


Once you install the new CPU, go into the task manager and see if it shows two graphs with usage percentages changing. If so, you're fine. If not, you'll need to reinstall.
April 13, 2007 5:01:00 AM

I went from a 3700+ to an opty 175... XP sp2 and Vista 32 took one look, did a bit of drive loading... No restart required, no problems, two cores...
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April 13, 2007 6:13:15 AM

If Windows XP does not detect dual or multi-core processor automatically, try changing the Computer's device driver first.

Just go to Device Manger and change the driver for Computer from "Uniprocessor" to "Multiprocessor". Most likely "ACPI Multiprocessor PC".

If that still does not work, then you will need to re-install the OS.
April 13, 2007 6:56:40 AM

You may need to update the bios on the MB depending on what giga-byte board you have.And although I've heard of several people who simply replaced their single core with a dual core cpu and did not re-install.I do however recommend that you do a fresh install afterwards in order to prevent any complications.I know that when I originally replaced my 3500 with my 4400 X2,and although I had updated the bios so it could support dual core processors,my os did not recognize my X2 as a dual core initially and I was forced to re-install my os.I always do a fresh install when replacing key pieces of hardware,just to avoid any possible complcations.Goodluck.

Dahak

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April 13, 2007 7:41:08 AM

Windows provides several versions of its kernel - it can be found in Control Panel > System > Device manager > Computer.
If you try to update the driver, you'll get a choice of:

Standard PC
SMP Processor ACPI
Single Processor ACPI

or something; you'll need the SMP Processor ACPI one, then reboot.
If you can't make Windows give you a list, you can try selecting the driver yourself in the driver detection dialogue.
April 13, 2007 8:13:22 AM

Unless you are using xp with no sp, (possibly sp1 as well) and a MB that's two years old, that's never had a bios refresh, it should be a drop-in replacement.
April 13, 2007 8:16:13 AM

Actually, that worked even with older Windows 2000 versions.
April 14, 2007 2:38:49 AM

I'm glad to hear that it should be a drop in replacement. I always keep the BIOS up to date and I have SP2 installed.

I have read where other people are having gaming problems. That is what I mainly use the PC for and why I'm upgrading.

I found the AMD page with the AMD Dual-Core Optimizer so I wonder if I will need to install that?
April 14, 2007 7:45:05 AM

It is a good idea.
The troubles usually come from the way AMD cores synchronize themselves; some monothreaded games (mainly Unreal 3 engine based ones) get timing issues on those machines, making them lag, run some sequences too fast or just plain crash.
One way to solve this problem 'for good' is to set their affinity to a single core in Task Manager once they've started running. Some command-line softwares can do so in your stead if you don't want to do it manually every time the game loads.
The AMD optimizer can help in several cases too, so you should install it (it prevents games reading the CPU clock directly for timing for doing so, and gives them a 'bogus', well-sync'ed timer in return)
Lastly, many games must now have a patch fixing the problem.

However, I know that Painkiller (with all tatest patches installed) still requires its affinity to be set to a single core. I downloaded a little command-line utility, put it in the game's directory, and wrote a little batch (.bat) script that would launch the affinity setter with the game. Since then, good'n'smooth gameplay.

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April 14, 2007 9:36:15 AM

95% of the time, unless your board is more than 2 years old, it is just a drop in replacement if you are running XP. Windows should do a "new hardware found" type of thing, you reboot, install the AMD optimizer, and you are good to go. Check under hardware in your device manager, it will show 2 cpus. Check your task manager, you will have 2 cpu usage graphs.
April 18, 2007 1:43:51 AM

Thanks for the great help! You guys are really great for taking the time and helping me.

But I am not nearly the PC guru that you guys are so if you can point me in the right direction for the next two questions, thanks.

But two final questions, where would I find the "affinity" setting AND where is the Task Manager?


I searched for both but couldn't find them.

It seems like it would have been a better choice to buy a faster Single Core than this Dual Core.

I made more trouble for myself.

Should I return it to Newegg and get a single core?
April 18, 2007 2:04:39 AM

Normally, you do not have to toggle the affinity of a CPU, the OS does this transparently...
But it can be done manually thru Task Manager... "CTL ALT DEL" brings it up...
April 18, 2007 9:30:20 AM

The OS gives affinity to any process that asks for power. However, in some games' cases, they ask for CPU power without knowing how to deal with asynchronous threads - leading to problems when said affinity is on several cores. Setting affinity to a single core makes the game behave as if it were on a single core CPU.
The Task Manager can also be called using the 'taskmgr' command in 'Run command' (or whatever - I don't have a US version of XP) in the Start menu.
Anonymous
April 18, 2007 9:39:12 AM

Where you read this from is completely untrue. The OS has no influence on processing, it is simply a piece of software on your hard drive. You will, however, probably need to install a BIOS update and will need to install AMD's Dual Core Optimizer to get best performance and stability.
April 18, 2007 9:58:57 AM

geez pal, in fact the BIOS has little to do with dual core processors. However, how the OS allocates CPU time is of the utmost importance: the OS has the scheduler, and said scheduler needs to be aware of all cores - if only to see what processes are run on what core, thus what memory space a core has access to.
It's true for all NT windows systems (win9x were single-core only), Linux/BSD systems, MacOS systems...
Wherever you have YOUR sources needs to be re-evaluated.
May 6, 2007 10:21:49 PM

Quote:
The OS gives affinity to any process that asks for power. However, in some games' cases, they ask for CPU power without knowing how to deal with asynchronous threads - leading to problems when said affinity is on several cores. Setting affinity to a single core makes the game behave as if it were on a single core CPU.
The Task Manager can also be called using the 'taskmgr' command in 'Run command' (or whatever - I don't have a US version of XP) in the Start menu.

The timing issue you're referring to doesn't involve synchronization or concurrent thread execution. You don't even need multiple threads to encounter it. In any event it should be fixed by the MS hotfix.
May 7, 2007 7:33:04 AM

the MS hotfix has no incidence on multithreaded apps that are not threadsafe. Several games fall into that category.
May 7, 2007 5:26:01 PM

Quote:
the MS hotfix has no incidence on multithreaded apps that are not threadsafe. Several games fall into that category.

Sure. I just wanted to point out that you're talking about two different things here:
Quote:
The troubles usually come from the way AMD cores synchronize themselves; some monothreaded games (mainly Unreal 3 engine based ones) get timing issues on those machines, making them lag, run some sequences too fast or just plain crash.

Quote:
However, in some games' cases, they ask for CPU power without knowing how to deal with asynchronous threads - leading to problems when said affinity is on several cores.

I know you already made the monothread/multithread distinction but I didn't want people to get the impression that running Intel multicore is going to solve synchronization issues in their games.
August 19, 2007 1:22:38 PM

I am using Windows XP Pro without service packs... Is it highly recommended to upgrade to SP2 for best performance? It currently detects both cores in task manager. I am thinking it is recommended, but was wondering if it helps performance? And how much better will it run if so...

Also, I installed that AMD Dual Core Optimizer program... I was wondering how do you know if its working or not? I read the Readme file and it said something about a tray icon that allows you to switch Gaming Mode off and on. I currently don't have no tray icon for this program. And there isn't any processes that have anything to do with the Optimizer. Does this mean that it only works with SP1/SP2? Either way, I will be upgrading soon as I get my Windows XP SP2 cd.
August 19, 2007 3:10:54 PM

I went from a 3200+ to an Opty 175 on a 939 system. It was a drop in replacement. Although I did do a reinstall shortly after just because it was a good opportunity to do so.
December 28, 2007 6:13:26 PM

None of the things suggested by you all worked.

I recently upgraded my processor from a socket 939 Athlon 64 3000+ to the Athlon 64 X2 4200+.
Windows XP Pro with SP2 did not recognize the second core.
I did the following to no avail:
- Installed the latest dual core driver and dual core optimizer from the AMD website
- Flashed my bios to the latest version (MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum)
- Revised window's configurations in boot.ini and in the registry to optimize multicore processing.
- Installed 2 hot fixes from Microsoft.

The problem lies in XP, not in the hardware or non-OS drivers/softwares. When XP was installed fresh on a clean hard drive, it recognized both cores.

Any other ideas?
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December 28, 2007 7:03:44 PM

I have in my home two computers with MSI 939 boards one got upgraded to opty 170 from 3000+ it is a nforce4 ultra Fujitsu oem running XP pro the other one is a SLI F it got upgraded to 4200+ from 3200+ and is running XP home. Both OS have SP2 installed and neither system had any issues, plain and simple drop in upgrade.
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