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Socket A to Socket 939 - Upgrade worth the money?

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June 14, 2007 3:47:52 PM

This summer I have been thinking of giving my system an overhaul by giving it a new Raptor 150GB hard drive to reinstall Windows MCE 2005 on, and I was also thinking of getting a Radeon X1950 PRO AGP card to improve the graphics of the system and prepare it for vista.

However I was toying with the idea of getting a Socket 939 board and an Athlon 64 or X2 processor, whichever one I could find. I am specifically chosing 939 as the chipsets on AM2 would force me to purchase new RAM which I don't wish to as it's simply more expense.

On the other hand, my current Asus motherboard is a top of the line Socket A board with some rare unique features like Dual LAN, 2 SATA Ports, 6 USB 2.0 Ports, 5 PCI Slots and an nForce 2 Ultra 400 chipset which is probably the most powerful chipset for Socket A motherboards.

Now, is it worth me changing my motherboard to a socket 939 board with features that my A7N8X-E Deluxe contain, and which 939 processor should I get? Also, is it worth getting a board with PCI Express, and how much of a performance increase will I experience by getting my Radeon X1950 PRO in PCI-e rather than AGP?
June 14, 2007 8:01:38 PM

I would say just go for the AM2 board. AM2 cpu's are cheaper than socket 939 cpu's right now. That $$ you save can go for new memory, DDR2 is also the cheapest at the moment. That would probably force you to move to pci-e also, but should give you room for future graphics anyway.
June 14, 2007 8:29:36 PM

So how much money will I save by going for AM2 over 939 :? I was hoping to avoid replacing my RAM which is why I stayed with 939. How much cheaper are AM2 processors than 939 processors.

Also, which Asus Socket AM2 board is the equivalent to my A7N8X-E Deluxe board (i.e. dual LAN, 4 USB ports, SATA and ATA, Wifi card etc.)

One snag - I need at least 4 PCI slots for my 56k modem to send receive faxes, TV Card, Audigy 2 ZS card and USB Controller card. Seems most top end boards have the features of A7N8X-E Deluxe but they only have 3 PCI slots because they also have that SLi shizzle which I don't give two fucks about because I'm using just one Radeon X1950 PRO card!!
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June 14, 2007 9:07:56 PM

Quote:
So how much money will I save by going for AM2 over 939 :? I was hoping to avoid replacing my RAM which is why I stayed with 939. How much cheaper are AM2 processors than 939 processors.


A 4600 AM2 running at 2.4Ghz is $100 from newegg.com a 4400 939 running at 2.2Ghz is $140.

That $40 will get you 1GB of cheap DDR2, for another $50 you can get 2GB of decent DDR2 800. Plus the prices of DDR2 will be lower than DDR from here out, so it'll be cheaper to upgarde to more RAM later if you wan to.
June 14, 2007 9:15:15 PM

Wow you put up a tall order. I don't even know if they make a board with those exact specs in 939 or AM2. There's the ASUS M2N-32sli wireless edition, but it has SLI and is a pretty expensive board at $170us. There is hope on the dark side though. Some of the Asus boards for Intel have most of what you're looking for, but at a price. The Asus P5K-Deluxe is based on the new P35 chipset, its pricey at $225us though. There's the P5B based on P965 for $195us but lacks 2 usb ports that the P5K has. Your old board is a deluxe model, so you'd be looking pretty high up for a modern replacement. Intel just released the e2xxx series which are less than $90us. If you go the AM2 route, you can get the 3600 brisbane for $60us. DDR2 memory is as cheap as its going to get right now. 2Gb will run around $80us for performance memory compared to the $120us i paid for DDR400 last week.
So...going AM2 would be around $300us or more.
Intel will get pricey at $400us.
Your old board is pretty interesting. Lots of features for sure. If it had new cpu support and a pcix16 slot, that'd be a great board even today.
June 14, 2007 9:24:12 PM

and amd 64 4000+ san diego (single core) at 2.4ghz stock is only $60 from newegg. i just got one plus a $60 mAtx board and using my old ddr got it up to 2.7ghz by simply upping the fsb to 225. it's rock stable (my old ram is really ddr500 so i can theoretically go to 250 fsb to run it at intended speed) and haven't tried higher yet. that would be a huge increase over your socketA system. a $120 upgrade plus price of new pci-e video card and you're good to go. pci-e video cards are much cheaper than agp versions. however, you would be upgrading to dead tech. your next upgrade (beyond 939) would involve new mobo, cpu, ram and probably new video card and psu by then. you can either delay now or later. even am2 is not great idea since clock for clock c2d kicks it's butt. bottom of the barrel c2d can be had for $140 i thought.

on another note, can your psu even handle a 1950pro agp? 30a on 12v rail?
June 14, 2007 9:31:04 PM

Quote:
bottom of the barrel c2d can be had for $140 i thought.


4300 is just under $120
June 14, 2007 9:55:08 PM

Quote:
bottom of the barrel c2d can be had for $140 i thought.


4300 is just under $120
e2160 is around $90us

Also, to my understanding, marshahu is looking for a specific replacement board. Not many boards have alot of the requested features. Sure, any board can be picked off the self; but where does that leave the op?
June 14, 2007 9:56:12 PM

Rule of Thumb: If the computer does what you want, then no upgrade needed.

If you violate this rule, you end up upgrading every 3/6 months to get 400 more points in 3DMark, and thats it.


SocketA is out dated, and if you need more speed, wait until the Core 2 Duo chips are discounted further. But beware, this means upgrading your Mobo, Memory, Graphics. If the cost of doing that is worth while, then go for it.



Just remember, there will always be cheaper, newer, better parts next month.
June 14, 2007 9:58:30 PM

Definitely go for an AM2 or C2D system for al the reasons previously stated. Plus you could sell your DDR 400 RAM, 3200+, and GPU on eBay and make a lot of your money back. For some reason, people seem to be willing to pay a lot of $$$ for a top of the line Barton cpu.
June 14, 2007 10:01:22 PM

Just out of interest - why do you need a USB controller card? If you could do without that you might find it easier to get a board that meets your requirements.

You can also buy very cheap USB 56K modems, so there's another way to reduce your PCI dependency.
June 14, 2007 10:11:49 PM

I sold an old system that has socket A with dual channel memory and a 400FSB just like you. I still get to use it once in a while though. Trust me, if you got an X2 you'd see a HUGE performance increase over ANY socket A system. We're talkin 4x the performance at the same speed.

Here's how you can save by going with AM2:

1. The AM2 CPUs are cheaper, as a previous poster said. Look to save around $40.
2. PCIE video cards are cheaper than AGP. Look to save another $40 here.
3. DDR2 is cheaper than DDR. You probably have 1 gig and now is a good time to get 2!
5. Finally, AM2 motherboards are cheap. As for the dual ethernet... I'm sure you could come up with an alternative!
June 14, 2007 10:38:24 PM

You can always try getting that Asrock board, the DUALVSTA I think it is, or something like that. It has DDR2 and DDR support (not at the same time), AGP and PCI-E (not as SLI, but I believe you can still do dual videocards, dont quote me on that though). Its LGA775 so you can go with a cheaper/higher performance C2D chip. I've seen the 2100 series going as low as 105 CDN. If you need dual ethernet... well, ethernet cards are very cheap, 20$ maybe.

Be warned that this board, PCI-E only runs at 4x, not 16. There should be some review sites around, possibly even on Tom's, about 4x PCI-E vs 8 and 16. 4 can bottle neck high performance cards for sure, but I think it was very minute for the mid range cards like a 1950 pro. I would do some research about this.

I have no idea how many PCI slots it has.
June 14, 2007 10:39:38 PM

haha. Another person in the situation i was in.

Quote:
AMD Athlon XP 3200+
Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe
2GB DDR RAM PC3200
Radeon X1600 PRO 512MB


Get a new board which supports old ram and graphics. There is no point buying a 939 cpu. Your ram will need upgrading eventually.

I've seen the 939 CPU's about £40-50 more than AM2 models. You can nearly buy 2GB DDR2 for that.
There are a lot of things you can do, feel free to suggest any ideas you have.

If you want my opinion do this...

Get an asrock dual mobo. Something like I have, or the 4CoreDual-VSTA. They support DDR RAM and AGP graphics.
Get a E2140 or E4300.

Or if you like you can probably do the same on the AMD route. I'm not up to scratch on AMD mobo's but they probably do and AM2 board where you can keep AGP and DDR


edit for those people who post newegg prices...

Quote:
Location: Middlesex, London
June 14, 2007 10:47:54 PM

If you were asking this question 12 months ago then it would be a viable option, but because amd aren't making any more socket 939 chips then you'll end up spending more now and then have to upgrade again when you want a pci-express card. Financially speaking the best choice is to get an AM2 or a 775. And of the two the AM2 is cheaper. I made the mistake of upgrading to 939 last summer and it's really annoying as I can't get a faster chip now without either overclocking or spending like 3 times the price of an AM2 6000 on an fx-60 which will not beat the 6000. Trust everyone, 939 is an expensive and foolish choice.
June 14, 2007 10:47:59 PM

ok here you go :) 

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

4 pci slots although im sure you can not bother with that usb card.

E2140
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

E2160
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

E4300
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProdu...

All have good multipliers if you want to overclock. It's worth spending the £4 more from the 2140 > 2160. The E4300 has more cache which most people with agree is worth that little bit more but don't worry if you don't want it.

A tiny over clock will hit 2.4ghz on any of these chips and you'll have a real fast system.
June 14, 2007 10:55:03 PM

Quote:
If you were asking this question 12 months ago then it would be a viable option, but because amd aren't making any more socket 939 chips then you'll end up spending more now and then have to upgrade again when you want a pci-express card. Financially speaking the best choice is to get an AM2 or a 775. And of the two the AM2 is cheaper. I made the mistake of upgrading to 939 last summer and it's really annoying as I can't get a faster chip now without either overclocking or spending like 3 times the price of an AM2 6000 on an fx-60 which will not beat the 6000. Trust everyone, 939 is an expensive and foolish choice.


I agree with your first sentence. I was about to buy 939 then c2d came out :D 

To question you and contradict myself slightly 775 is cheaper than AM2. I don't think DDR boards with AM2 exist. With the asrock board you can keep AGP + DDR and use a new cpu. Thats a huge saving, trust me. I don't want to rule AMD out else i'll be "biased" but I don't know of DDR + AGP on AM2
a c 152 V Motherboard
June 14, 2007 10:55:38 PM

Biostar TForce 550 Socket AM2 - $79.99

This is the best I could find:

Socket AM2
6 USB ports
4 PCI Slots
1 PCI-Ex16 slot
4 SATA 3.0 ports

The only thing missing is the Dual-LAN.

Add with that, the X2 AM2 processor of your choice, some DDR2 RAM and your PCI-E version X1950 and you'll wonder why you waited so long!

-Wolf sends
June 14, 2007 10:56:57 PM

Quote:
Biostar TForce 550 Socket AM2 - $79.99

This is the best I could find:

Socket AM2
6 USB ports
4 PCI Slots
1 PCI-Ex16 slot
4 SATA 3.0 ports

The only thing missing is the Dual-LAN.

Add with that, the X2 AM2 processor of your choice, some DDR2 RAM and your PCI-E version X1950 and you'll wonder why you waited so long!

-Wolf sends


Missed the part where he doesnt want to change ram then.

Quote:
and I was also thinking of getting a Radeon X1950 PRO AGP

Probably a bad choice, but asrock as i said supports PCI-E too ;) 
a c 152 V Motherboard
June 14, 2007 11:06:30 PM

No, I didn't miss that part. I agree with the previous poster who states the savings gained by getting the AM2 CPU will offset the cost of DDR2 RAM. What I did miss was the Middlesex, London location. :oops: 

Sorry about that.

-Wolf sends
June 14, 2007 11:15:32 PM

dj_taboo, now you know the reason why I am procrastinating over changing my board. It took me yonks and weeks of searching on ebay to track this baby down simply because I wanted to squeeze the most out of my Socket A processor. The extra features were the reason I wanted the Deluxe version.

My current rig isn't slow for me at all. I get decent framerates from my PC considering the medium end card I am using, and this will improve dramatically once I get X1950 PRO card. I just feel that my current rig could go faster by removing some bottlenecks (i.e. adding a 10,000rpm hard disk and a top line AGP card) Of course loading times will also improve further once I use the Rapto 150GB as my main hard disk. The only reason my current rig is bottleneck is because I have badly treated the setup and havent maintained it well so its due for a good reinstall. The main purpose of this rig is to be a Fully Vista capable machine for Media Center purposes and the odd game at HD resolutions.

I was only thinking that if I am getting a new graphics card shall I move onto the new PCI-e standard if I can get a board with my features and which board and socket will let me enjoy all the features I can enjoy now and still use my current memory. I wasnt looking to replace the whole set yet as I think Socket A AXP 3200+ with 2GB of RAM has plenty of years to go before its considered to be "slow".

I have seen one board from DFI which had dual LAN but its lack of PCI slots put me off, as did the price. And whether DFI Lan party is superior to Asus in terms of quality and performance is something I have yet to discover.

The reason I prefer PCI modems is because they take up less resources than USB.

As for Asrock boards - nice idea to tide me over but aren't they an inferior version of the Asus monsters?? And djgandy thank you for pointing out that I am from London and thus, any newegg or US websites are no good to me. However the following are:

www.ebuyer.com
www.komplett.co.uk
www.scan.co.uk
www.dabs.com
www.misco.com

and many more lol.
June 14, 2007 11:16:38 PM

Quote:
What I did miss was the Middlesex, London location. :oops: 

Yeah i tried to keep noting my finds were $US. That AsRock mobo might work. If the op really wants to keep the integrated wifi, perhaps the pcix1 slot could be used for it? Just gotta stay away from the dual slot gfx cards.
June 14, 2007 11:25:32 PM

You can get a wifi card for around £15. Less than that i think. I Wouldn't worry about onboard :p 

My PCI slots have

TV tuner
BT wireless
M-Audio sound

Add your modem to that and thats 4.

You shouldn't need the USB Card. You'll struggle to find any other way to hand onto AGP and DDR without going Intel. Out of all those components graphics and memory are going to cost you the most.
June 14, 2007 11:38:16 PM

Excuse me if I missed some thing but how much money do you have in your budget for a new system?
June 14, 2007 11:44:10 PM

Tell you what you can buy my old system

Opteron 170 (dual core) 2ghz overclocked to 2.6ghz (Sandra benchmarks it slightly faster than an FX60)
2x1gb OCZ Gold (DDR400) memory. (currently running at 225mhz)
2x80gb seagate 7200rpm SATA2 harddrives in Raid 0 (just shy of 100mbs per second)
Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra-9 socket 939 motherboard.
Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI X1800XT 256mb 256bit PCI Express X16
450watt p-supply

$300.00 + shipping.

System is memtest passed and Dual Prime95 10+ hours stable. Actually I ran the system this way for about 3 months until I upgraded and never had an issue.

Its in an Enlight case thats old but for now is just holding everything so I can sell it. Just has a standard cd-rom at the moment.
June 14, 2007 11:54:02 PM

I'd just like to say, going from the highest Socket A processor to even the lowest Athlon 64 (any socket) is a huge jump performance wise. that is all. :D 
June 15, 2007 12:17:59 AM

Remember that he's in England so shipping for a pc would cost a ton. Asrock aren't bad, they tend to make crossover boards to ease transitions to new ram and gpu sockets.

Don't get me wrong my 939 rig is still fast but it's just limited in its upgrade path. If you really want to go with a 939 board, agp and ddr1 ram this might be an option for you, just upgraded a machine with it, not too bad:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/100512 - about 25 quid, plus a

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/125398/rb/0 - 41 odd quid with the option to pop in a dual core later or now as you can get a 4200 for 90

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/112960

the board has 5 pci slots, 4 usb +2 at the front of the case if you have a case with them, 1 agp, 4 ddr1 support.
a b V Motherboard
June 15, 2007 12:27:35 AM

Quote:
Just out of interest - why do you need a USB controller card? If you could do without that you might find it easier to get a board that meets your requirements.

You can also buy very cheap USB 56K modems, so there's another way to reduce your PCI dependency.


There are also USB tuners (Hauppauge makes a nice model, for example).
June 15, 2007 3:22:47 AM

Quote:
Tell you what you can buy my old system

Opteron 170 (dual core) 2ghz overclocked to 2.6ghz (Sandra benchmarks it slightly faster than an FX60)
2x1gb OCZ Gold (DDR400) memory. (currently running at 225mhz)
2x80gb seagate 7200rpm SATA2 harddrives in Raid 0 (just shy of 100mbs per second)
Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra-9 socket 939 motherboard.
Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI X1800XT 256mb 256bit PCI Express X16
450watt p-supply

$300.00 + shipping.

System is memtest passed and Dual Prime95 10+ hours stable. Actually I ran the system this way for about 3 months until I upgraded and never had an issue.

Its in an Enlight case thats old but for now is just holding everything so I can sell it. Just has a standard cd-rom at the moment.


+1 for this post.
Well worth it for the cost of $300. It may not be new, but the price is good.
June 15, 2007 5:34:08 PM

Quote:
Tell you what you can buy my old system

Opteron 170 (dual core) 2ghz overclocked to 2.6ghz (Sandra benchmarks it slightly faster than an FX60)
2x1gb OCZ Gold (DDR400) memory. (currently running at 225mhz)
2x80gb seagate 7200rpm SATA2 harddrives in Raid 0 (just shy of 100mbs per second)
Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra-9 socket 939 motherboard.
Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI X1800XT 256mb 256bit PCI Express X16
450watt p-supply

$300.00 + shipping.

System is memtest passed and Dual Prime95 10+ hours stable. Actually I ran the system this way for about 3 months until I upgraded and never had an issue.

Its in an Enlight case thats old but for now is just holding everything so I can sell it. Just has a standard cd-rom at the moment.


+1 for this post.
Well worth it for the cost of $300. It may not be new, but the price is good.

Good? are you F****** kidding? That price is GREAT!
a b V Motherboard
June 15, 2007 5:57:56 PM

Neither. I would wait until this fall or the end of summer when AMD comes out with their new ATI chip set that offers PCI Express 2.0. Then follow that up with one of their phenom processors.

Spend your time outdoors and enjoy the weather. Then spend your winter with a totally awesome rig.
June 15, 2007 6:05:33 PM

Quote:
Tell you what you can buy my old system

Opteron 170 (dual core) 2ghz overclocked to 2.6ghz (Sandra benchmarks it slightly faster than an FX60)
2x1gb OCZ Gold (DDR400) memory. (currently running at 225mhz)
2x80gb seagate 7200rpm SATA2 harddrives in Raid 0 (just shy of 100mbs per second)
Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra-9 socket 939 motherboard.
Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI X1800XT 256mb 256bit PCI Express X16
450watt p-supply

$300.00 + shipping.

System is memtest passed and Dual Prime95 10+ hours stable. Actually I ran the system this way for about 3 months until I upgraded and never had an issue.

Its in an Enlight case thats old but for now is just holding everything so I can sell it. Just has a standard cd-rom at the moment.


WOW! THAT'S AN AWESOME DEAL!
holy crap, that'd be MUCH better for my parents than my dimension 4550!..If you're serious about selling it, I might be your buyer...
You in the US? I am.
June 15, 2007 8:14:05 PM

As little as possible!! I'm not really looking for a new PC I'm merely looking for opportunities to remove bottlenecks in my current PC. I am trying to reduce the amount of changes I make otherwise I'll only keep upgrading and will spend more time adding to the PC than bloody using it. :lol: 

Also I dont want to go too mad on this rig - this is for the family to use including me - otherwise I wont have enough left for my Shuttle C2D build later on this summer.

I originally intended on spending £400 on adding the raptor hard disk and perhaps a modular power supply to accomodate the new graphics card (I was thinking of a Seasonic Modulous Power Supply.

By the way, I heard that C2D including the Quad versions are undergoing a huge price drop - when is this scheduled to occur??
June 15, 2007 8:47:34 PM

Quote:
Tell you what you can buy my old system

Opteron 170 (dual core) 2ghz overclocked to 2.6ghz (Sandra benchmarks it slightly faster than an FX60)
2x1gb OCZ Gold (DDR400) memory. (currently running at 225mhz)
2x80gb seagate 7200rpm SATA2 harddrives in Raid 0 (just shy of 100mbs per second)
Gigabyte GA-K8n Ultra-9 socket 939 motherboard.
Sound Blaster Audigy
ATI X1800XT 256mb 256bit PCI Express X16
450watt p-supply

$300.00 + shipping.


That's an amazing deal. I'm interested... :twisted:
!