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Starting partial Upgrade to AMD x3600. Please critique

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a b B Homebuilt system
May 27, 2007 1:22:27 PM

Okay so here is the story. My current system for my son has the mobo slowly dying (2 1/2 years old). I want to upgrade his system for the least amount of $, since I don't have alot of $ right now and need to get the upgrade in about 2 weeks or so. Here is what I'm looking at:

ASUS M2V-MX Socket AM2 VIA K8M890 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131143
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
59.99

EVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814130062
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
109.99 w/$20 MIR

FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX400-PN, RoHS, 12cm FAN, version 2.2, 2 SATA, 20+ 4 pin, PCI Express, 400W Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817104953
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
43.99

Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2N5K2/2G - Retail
Item #: N82E16820134046
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
67.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ Brisbane 1.9GHz Socket AM2 Processor Model ADO3600DDBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103046
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy
69.00

I will be moving over a 80gig EIDE hard drive, DVD ROM EIDE, & case. The computer will be used for gaming (on a budget of coarse) on games like CSS, HL2, LoTR Online, WoW, and maybe some newer games in the future. I know the video card isn't the best, but for the budget I think it the best I can get right now. My budget is $200-$275 or so. I might be able to use my current PSU, which has 20A on the 12V rail, but I will have to check and see if it has a 24pin connector on it. If it does than I'll drop the FSP PSU for now, which will save me about $50. Any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help/ideas that you have.
May 27, 2007 4:34:54 PM

...aren't you supposed to upgrade from55 ancient crap when you build a new computer?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 12:24:57 AM

Quote:
...aren't you supposed to upgrade from55 ancient crap when you build a new computer?


Not sure what "from 55" means?
Related resources
May 28, 2007 12:51:52 AM

Me, I'd recommend the 3800+ or higher. Right now on newegg you can squeeze in one chip of kingston ram in a combo deal for like $8 US more off. Not sure how long that deal is going to last though.


The 3600+ you're not really gaining much from the price you're saving. The 3800+ I think rates at a better price to performance.

As far as video cards go, thats where alot of the power is going to come from this system, and I'm personally eyeing a 7950gt from bfg. You'll want a bigger power supply though.


edit: and I don't know how much building on a budget advice I'd take from somebody that has not only 1, but 2 8800gtx ultra's. lmao
May 28, 2007 1:18:20 AM

well, why don't you give us what your previous system was... so we can compare... Oh, and dude, if you are talking about a 3800+ single core.. then the 3600+ x2 is most defiantly an upgrade...
May 28, 2007 1:25:34 AM

sorry, whenever I think buying new, I don't really consider single cores, so I kind of just abrieviate the x2 out of my mind. heh
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 2:05:30 AM

Quote:
well, why don't you give us what your previous system was... so we can compare... Oh, and dude, if you are talking about a 3800+ single core.. then the 3600+ x2 is most defiantly an upgrade...


Sorry forgot that info. Here's what the system currently has:
P4 3.2ghz Prescott
1 gig DDR 3200
ATI 9800pro 128mb video
ASUS p4p800se (starting to go..)
Zalman 9700 cooler
Generic Case
450W PSU with 20A on 12V rails (yes 2 of them)
DVD ROM

I think that is about it.
I was talking about the x2 3600, but if the x3800 is only $8 dollars more, than show me the link, I might go that way.
Thanks again for the ideas/help.
May 28, 2007 2:25:59 AM

65watt 3800+ x2


There is a bundle package for kingston 1gig+ that cpu.


Not sure what compatibility issues there are between 65w proc's and am2 mobo's. I'm looking into it myself at the moment, but not much info on newegg.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 2:30:50 AM

Quote:
65watt 3800+ x2


There is a bundle package for kingston 1gig+ that cpu.


Not sure what compatibility issues there are between 65w proc's and am2 mobo's. I'm looking into it myself at the moment, but not much info on newegg.


Cool! Thanks for the link, hadn't looked at x2 3800, since it was a little more than a x2 3600. Oh and I'm going to use Windows XP Pro and not Vista for now, so 1 gig should be fine! When $ permits I'll get another gig of ram and then maybe switch over to Vista in about 1-2 years or so. Thanks for the quick reply!
May 28, 2007 3:20:25 AM

how can you tell that the mobo is starting to die?
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 3:34:25 AM

Quote:
how can you tell that the mobo is starting to die?

Okay so I've been troubleshooting the mobo for some time. All voltages are fine and temps have been steady during all testing of the mobo. I've ruled out video card, memory, psu. I had started another thread on the troubleshooting process and now have it down to the mobo, which will shut down the system randomly. I can have an external fan pointed into the case and run anything on the system without any shutdowns. As soon as I remove the fan from the system the system will shutdown within about 5-10min (I think the chipset on the mobo is getting too hot). So I'm trying to upgrade the current system so my son can continue to use his system.
May 28, 2007 3:44:57 AM

but a biger heatsink on the chipset
May 28, 2007 5:47:19 AM

Quote:
well, why don't you give us what your previous system was... so we can compare... Oh, and dude, if you are talking about a 3800+ single core.. then the 3600+ x2 is most defiantly an upgrade...


Sorry forgot that info. Here's what the system currently has:
P4 3.2ghz Prescott
1 gig DDR 3200
ATI 9800pro 128mb video
ASUS p4p800se (starting to go..)
Zalman 9700 cooler
Generic Case
450W PSU with 20A on 12V rails (yes 2 of them)
DVD ROM

I think that is about it.
I was talking about the x2 3600, but if the x3800 is only $8 dollars more, than show me the link, I might go that way.
Thanks again for the ideas/help.

So, basically anything above a 3200+ (single core) will see an improvement over your current system.. Of course, get a dual core.... The 7600GT will serve you well, and will hold you over for a while, maybe enough for DX10...

From the looks of things, it looks like you don't plan to OC at all... The mobo is quite budget (not necessarily bad) and the PSU is "only" 400 watts... I would recommend a good 500W, but 400W is fine but less future proof with less overclockability. Your ram... not so good for any OC, but also not so good for AM2 in general... I mean, its still fast and stuff, but am2 depends LARGELY on memory bandwidth, anything under DDR2-800 (6400) is restrictive... I would recommend it just cause it will help eeek out a bit more from your system.. 2GB is the route I would go ..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HEFTY instant savings... $40.. brings them to the second lowest DDR2-800 kit, good name, good memory... that would be good imo.. but it's your money, and I understand not wanting to rape your wallet.. but coming from an enthusiast its hard for me to recommend the restrictive 667..

I see you have the Brisbane 3600 x2.. It is 65nm, but they actually run slower than their Windsor counterpart.. cache latency and such, I recommend the Windsor core.. plus the 65nm core, might need a bios update, and you'd have to check with the chipset company of the mobo you get...

Most of these reccomendations will probably violate your budget, so sorry... Basically.. in order of less $$ impact and most gain...

CPU - maybe look at the windsor core or some mobo cpu deal... Windsor will run a bit faster and possibly less hassle with the bios... same $$ i believe

RAM- Up that ram to 800... the set i linked above is the cheapest nice nice 800 2gb kit, there are some cheaper 800 kits, and i would deffinatly reccomend them over the 667..

PSU - Meh.. On second thought, run what u have, if you can.. cause yeah, if ur not gonna upgrade ur vid alot, buying something more than needed now, will be less than needed if u don't upgrade "often"..

sorry if that is too long winded
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 6:31:10 AM

Nope, sounds good on the GSKILL. I've had luck with them in the past and like the heat spreaders! Yeah the upgrade is just to hold out for maybe a year or so until I can afford to upgrade the complete system. What mobo would you recommend? I don't overclock at the moment so not too concerned about it, but might consider it if isn't too expensive. Thanks for your input :lol: 
May 28, 2007 12:09:44 PM

The 55 was a typo. Get a 5200+ and 2GB of Ballistix. Tighten then timings to around 3-2-2-10 1T or 2-2-2-10 1T or if you can, 2-2-2-9 1T. That chip will FLY with synched FSB and tight timings.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 12:43:10 PM

Quote:
The 55 was a typo. Get a 5200+ and 2GB of Ballistix. Tighten then timings to around 3-2-2-10 1T or 2-2-2-10 1T or if you can, 2-2-2-9 1T. That chip will FLY with synched FSB and tight timings.


Well if I could afford it I would, but $ is really tight right now. Just bought a house a few months ago and moved, so don't have $ like I used to for now :cry: 
May 28, 2007 6:26:26 PM

Quote:
You should keep overclocking in mind when going budget cpu. Also keep in mind that the 3600+ is 65nm, the 3800+ is 90nm and wont overclock nearly as well. Just reading the reviews on newegg, 3ghz is reached fairly easy with the 3600+ where as the 3800+ doesnt have much thermal headroom. Your talking about 100mhz difference here, I would stick with the 3600+.


They now make the 3600 x2 in 90nm as well.. but is it really the case that the slower perfoming brisbane core will OC higher the 90nm Windsor core?

Id say go for the 3600x2. unless there is some fatastic combo deal. but Im not sure about weather it should be 90nm or 65nm

I think that keeping an OC in mind is a good idea... It will help you pull a bit more outta your system...


Quote:
Nope, sounds good on the GSKILL. I've had luck with them in the past and like the heat spreaders! Yeah the upgrade is just to hold out for maybe a year or so until I can afford to upgrade the complete system. What mobo would you recommend? I don't overclock at the moment so not too concerned about it, but might consider it if isn't too expensive. Thanks for your input Laughing


Sounds like a plan! So you plan to just get this system running and upgrade vital performance components later on?

If thats the case... I would just run it on the PSU that you have and buy something adequate for any upgrades that you will get later...

For mobos... Crossfire and SLI are really kind of gimmicks.. because, unless you aare going to get 2x the best card on the market, or already have one card, and just wanna get the same card for a cheap boost.. then just get one great card that will perform as good or better then two cards in SLI or Crossfire... Unless you are goin to get 2 2900xt's or 8800GTx's which is is too much for most except the craziest people.. :lol: 

But it seems that all the boards with the best features and stuff come with SLI or Crossfire... and since you are going amd and the memory controller is built onto the CPU, the mobos don't control bandwidth so there is not much true performance differences...

For Nvidia I would recommend the Gigabyte 570-S4, its a great board and I like the features.

For ATi/AMD.. The Asus 580x is great.. and also the Epox 580x.. which I think is greater.... AMD 580x = ATi xpress 3200.. they are the same.. MSI also makes one....

The ATi/AMD boards tend to be a bit cheaper for the high end... around 120-140... and they don't have that extreme fancy look to them... The Nvidias in the same price range are the 570s which are the midrange.. the 590s might be out of your range.. and are kinda over the top, and not much better than the 570s...

Sorry for being so long winded again.. :wink:
May 29, 2007 11:46:36 PM

Quote:
They now make the 3600 x2 in 90nm as well.. but is it really the case that the slower perfoming brisbane core will OC higher the 90nm Windsor core?

Id say go for the 3600x2. unless there is some fatastic combo deal. but Im not sure about weather it should be 90nm or 65nm

I think that keeping an OC in mind is a good idea... It will help you pull a bit more outta your system...


Slower performing Brisbane? :roll:
No they dont make a 90nm X2 3600+!! The 3600+ was the first 65nm X2 processor they released.

Brisbane cores are slightly slower than Windsor cores... The have a higher latency L2 cache, and that is why they are clocked different than their Windsor counterparts.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That, my friend, is a 90nm Windsor Core 3600+ x2...

The Windsor cores are slightly faster... I'm positive... As far as the OC goes.. I wouldn't be surprised if the Brisbane could pull a bit higher one... But it is AMD's first 65nm release and it is a tech not fully used to its potential.. In other words.. these Brisbane cores are lacking, they are AMD's first try and It's ok as long as they can improve their use of 65nm in the future...
!