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Should I upgrade? (Socket 939)

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June 26, 2007 10:52:43 PM

I have an Athlon 64 3200+ (Venice Socket 939) in a system I built in December, and I've noticed that CPUs are becoming increasingly harder to find for this socket, so I decided now would be the best time to upgrade if ever. I regret not paying the extra $20 for AM2. :( 

My CPU is 2.0ghz (o/c'ed to 2.4ghz), and the only Athlon 64 X2 processor I can find on Newegg is a 3800+ @ 2.0ghz for $79.99. Would it really be worth $80 to get dual core? Will I really notice a difference? Or should I save my money for a new system later on?

I do some gaming, so will I notice a difference in some games? Even on a Geforce 7600GS?

Oh, and I assume the CPU cooler that came with my 3200+ is the same thing that would come with an X2 correct?

More about : upgrade socket 939

June 26, 2007 11:09:41 PM

Save your money for later on, unless you can find a really good deal. Not very likely with 939, unless you want to risk buying used on Ebay

Right now, newegg has 939 single core 4000s for $59 US

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

and Opty 165 duals for $99 - should be good for OCing if your mobo will take it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Spartan (Ive used them a few times before has 1 939 X2 4400 left, but for what it costs, you could buy a new AM2 X2 4600, mobo, 2gig of 800mhz ram and a cheap video card

http://www.spartantech.com/product.asp?PID=AMDA64X2-440...
June 26, 2007 11:18:56 PM

Thank you Turpit.

That Athlon 4000+ is looking attractive for $59. The problem being that its only a single core.

As for the Opteron 165, my motherboard can take some overclocking, but I really cheaped out on the memory, and I had to downclock it just to get my 3200+ to 2.4ghz. I can't believe I spent $93 on that 1gb stick of RAM in December. :( 
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June 26, 2007 11:40:49 PM

I agree with turpit. try and go for a dualcore s939 or the 4000 single core.

The sandy core amds are among the fastest single cores out there.
June 27, 2007 1:05:25 AM

If it's a Via chipset MB forget it. If it's a NF-4 then maybe. This is not really a platform to expand on. It's time has come and gone! :( 
a c 96 à CPUs
June 27, 2007 2:08:52 AM

You would have to have really bad Kharma, a pos mobo and dog shat RAM to not get a decent OC from a 939 Opty . . .

And you didn't miss a whole lot with AM2 . . .
a b à CPUs
June 27, 2007 2:33:52 AM

In addition to the Opteron 165, newegg has the 170, 175, and 180. I think you should consider them as well and pick the performance that fist your budget.
Since you just purchsed your pc in December, I assume you wish to keep it for awhile so I would try to invest in as fast a processor as you can afford - I am guessing you might be using it for several years.
June 27, 2007 2:46:19 AM

Cybercraig- I have Nforce 4. :p 

Wise Cracker- I have extremely bad RAM, to get my 3200+ to 2.4ghz, I had to down clock the RAM to keep my system stable.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 27, 2007 2:54:17 AM

Quote:
Cybercraig- I have Nforce 4. :p 

Wise Cracker- I have extremely bad RAM, to get my 3200+ to 2.4ghz, I had to down clock the RAM to keep my system stable.


As long as the RAM freq does not exceed 200(x2)mhz - you'll be good to go. Loosen up those timings. Dialing back the ram is common practice when you raise the cpu freq and clock to the moon.

I'm thinkin' 2.8ghz with a $115 Opty 170 . . . :D 
June 27, 2007 2:54:32 AM

Quote:
In addition to the Opteron 165, newegg has the 170, 175, and 180. I think you should consider them as well and pick the performance that fist your budget.
Since you just purchsed your pc in December, I assume you wish to keep it for awhile so I would try to invest in as fast a processor as you can afford - I am guessing you might be using it for several years.
I'm interested in an Opteron now. :D 

I assume they work just fine for gaming? I'm sure a server class processor would play games just fine, and being dual core, even better than what I have now.
June 27, 2007 3:02:14 AM

Quote:

And you didn't miss a whole lot with AM2 . . .
I know I didn't miss a lot, but it would be much nicer being able to find a processor I could upgrade to. Their X2 selection is much larger than that of Socket 939. I think it was kinda lame of AMD to make a whole new socket just for DDR2 support, and abandon 939.
June 27, 2007 3:06:49 AM

Quote:
Cybercraig- I have Nforce 4. :p 

Wise Cracker- I have extremely bad RAM, to get my 3200+ to 2.4ghz, I had to down clock the RAM to keep my system stable.


As long as the RAM freq does not exceed 200(x2)mhz - you'll be good to go. Loosen up those timings. Dialing back the ram is common practice when you raise the cpu freq and clock to the moon.

I'm thinkin' 2.8ghz with a $115 Opty 170 . . . :D 

Except low priced high end X2s
a c 96 à CPUs
June 27, 2007 3:07:32 AM

Make sure you drop the PCIe freq back to 100 as you crank up the cpu freq.

When you are comfortable with your 50% overclock you can always tighten things up a bit.

The stock Opty HSF is pretty cool - copper base with aluminum fins, and copper heat pipes thru it . . .
June 27, 2007 3:12:56 AM

I didn't know they came with different Heatsinks than Athlons! :o 
Good thing Newegg only sells the 'Processor in a Box' for Opterons because I never would have known.

For the Memory timings, higher numbers will make it more stable correct?
June 27, 2007 6:03:57 AM

If you have the money, try going for a AM2 based rig. DDR memory is actually becoming more expensive than DDR2 memory. Also added in the AM2 based rigs will possibly give you an even better price versus the Socket 939. The price premium for trying to opt for the best X2 on the 939 system is not worth the trouble. But if you can save your money, try going for a Core 2 system.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 27, 2007 11:34:29 AM

Quote:
I didn't know they came with different Heatsinks than Athlons! :o 
Good thing Newegg only sells the 'Processor in a Box' for Opterons because I never would have known.

For the Memory timings, higher numbers will make it more stable correct?


Download CPUz to monitor, evaluate and validate your system settings. Some folks like to use Speedfan to monitor system temps and also install and run Stability / Burn-in programs.

Open your favorite spreadsheet program and start doing a little math. Let's say you decide to purchase an Opty 170 and your ultimate goal is to do a 50% overclock to 3 ghz.

Make columns on your spreadsheet reflecting the BIOS settings of your mainboard that you will need to massage. CPU freq, multiplier, HT setting, PCIe freq, RAM freq, timings . . .

With a 10x multiplier you would need a 300 fsb (50% increase). The same increase applies to your RAM freq. A 50% increase on 133 would be 200 . . .

Using CPUz I like to check the spd settings of the RAM and loosen the timings one notch above them. You can tighten them up after you reach your OC goal.

The reason I suggest the spreadsheet is that I'm a slow OC'er. I list a roadmap of steps to reach my OC goal. I like to OC in 10-15% incremental steps and like to **burn-in** the system at that rate before proceeding to the next level. I feel like this leads to better stability, overall higher OC's and system longevity. I'm certain others will disagree . . .

The most important thing is to be patient.
June 27, 2007 12:51:44 PM

Opteron 165 / 170 all the way.

I would advise spending a few extra quid on the 170 as you will be relying on the capabilities of your board less to overlock it (it has a lower multiplier).
June 27, 2007 1:04:38 PM

Quote:
I assume they work just fine for gaming? I'm sure a server class processor would play games just fine, and being dual core, even better than what I have now.


i dont mean to hijack, but can someone confirm this? that opty's run games just as good. i am in a similar situation (with a 3800+, 6600 256MB, on 939 nforce 4 board). and if i can get this cpu and save money instead of a full upgrade that would be fantastic.
a b à CPUs
June 27, 2007 1:53:53 PM

The only difference in the Opterons and the X2's is the Opertons are binned higher, in other words the chips that test the very highest from a lot are sold as Opterons, the rest are sold as X2's.
a b à CPUs
June 27, 2007 2:02:52 PM

The heatsink and fan that comes with the X2 processor is significantly more substantial (larger) than the heatsink on your 3200+.
June 27, 2007 2:19:18 PM

Get the lowest cost 939 you can find and overclock it for now. Upgrade to a newer platform later when you can. Your GPU will better determine your gaming experience. Your present one is the weakest part of your system.
X2 that is!
June 27, 2007 2:19:30 PM

The opteron chips are slightly higher quality for commercial use. The can usually get higher overclocks with less voltage. It is the way to go especially if you want to overclock. They are a plug in upgrade for any 939 socket NF4 system.
June 27, 2007 2:35:55 PM

Actually had a AMD64 3000+ Winchester core on a computer that I built over 2 years ago. Went with an Opteron 180 s939, which runs at a nice 2.4Ghz stock. I'll tell ya' that it was definately worth the upgrade as I can see this lasting me another year or two!

My only delima now is, while playing some games, I actually reached 800mb RAM and watched the pagefile get kicked in! So I'm debating on getting 2 gigs of RAM, but like others said DDR400 is actually getting more expensive - its still within reason. Might look at DDR500 for some overclocking potential.

Saw some G.Skill 2gig 1024x2 sticks of DDR400 for $115 off NewEgg...

And the difference? I heard that the X2 actually has 1 HTT, while the Opteron contains 3 HTTs along with two additional pipeline stages to increase the throughput and frequency scalability (overclock)
June 27, 2007 3:04:26 PM

Another difference... The opteron cores have 1mb cache per core, instead of the 512kb you find on the x2 cores.

I upgraded from a 3500+ to an opteron 165, and overclocked it to 2.7ghz quite easily (50% overclock). I can attest to the fact that it made a quick system even faster, nothing seems to bog it down. I have 2 gigs of DDR500 and a Raptor hard drive, so that helps too. Even so, I'm glad I paid the $155 I paid for the opty 165. Yes it also has a pretty nice heatsink, for an OEM anyways. I didn't use it since I already have a copper zalman but it was the nicest OEM heatsink I've ever seen, heatpipes and all.

If you spend a couple minutes with a calculator, you can figure out what ratio you need your RAM at to keep it running full speed while getting a good overclock. If you lower your RAM speed, but raise your FSB, you're actually raising your RAM up again also. With a little tuning you can overclock your cpu substantially while keeping your RAM at or around stock clocks. You don't even need overclocking RAM, I just got it for the psychological overclock it has on my brain :D  . Plus it works nicely with the 50% overclock I had planned for my opty.
June 28, 2007 7:10:07 AM

Quote:

And you didn't miss a whole lot with AM2 . . .
I know I didn't miss a lot, but it would be much nicer being able to find a processor I could upgrade to. Their X2 selection is much larger than that of Socket 939. I think it was kinda lame of AMD to make a whole new socket just for DDR2 support, and abandon 939.

It was lame. The odd thing about it was the timing. My memory is a little hazy, but didn't support for 939 drop right around the time C2D came out? It was almost like AMD helped Intel out by pulling the rug out from its own platform base. I think that made the transition to LGA 775 a lot easier for some people (I know it did for me).
June 28, 2007 8:24:37 AM

I'd say go for dual core on 939 if you can find it cheap, upgrading to a single core cpu would be a waste of time.

While we're on a 939 thread, can someone recommend me a good (oclockable and cheap!) replacement 939 mobo? I have a sh1tty msi one with no options for overclock and ati chipset (bad as a pc, great as a room heater).

Ps I don't want to spend more than £40 :D 
June 28, 2007 9:57:52 AM

Hey why not overclock even more you could get it to 2.8ghz and wait till the end of the year when intel release penryn and amd starts to release phenom to get an idea of what to upgrade to.
ALSO seeing an intel ad on sharikou's blog = priceless
http://img221.imageshack.us/img221/5490/intel2vu9.jpg
:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
June 28, 2007 9:59:39 AM

Quote:

And you didn't miss a whole lot with AM2 . . .
I know I didn't miss a lot, but it would be much nicer being able to find a processor I could upgrade to. Their X2 selection is much larger than that of Socket 939. I think it was kinda lame of AMD to make a whole new socket just for DDR2 support, and abandon 939.

It was lame. The odd thing about it was the timing. My memory is a little hazy, but didn't support for 939 drop right around the time C2D came out? It was almost like AMD helped Intel out by pulling the rug out from its own platform base. I think that made the transition to LGA 775 a lot easier for some people (I know it did for me).

Production lasted a little while after C2D, but as AMD (and everyone else) came to realize that C2D wasnt another overhyped piece of crap like netburst. AMD was forced to accelerate their schedule and pull in their roadmap a bit, resulting in a premature death for 939.
a c 96 à CPUs
June 28, 2007 11:45:39 AM

Quote:
While we're on a 939 thread, can someone recommend me a good (oclockable and cheap!) replacement 939 mobo? I have a sh1tty msi one with no options for overclock and ati chipset (bad as a pc, great as a room heater).

Ps I don't want to spend more than £40 :D 


Good luck with that. Decent s939 mobo's are drying up. I just built a rig with an opty 165 OC'ed 50% on a K8N Neo4-F (PCB 3.0).

Once you get past the wacky RAM rules it's pretty sweet . . . .
June 28, 2007 3:07:18 PM

If you go with a single core processor, you should purchase the fastest one available - 4000+. However, You'd be selling yourself short. You might get a few more frames per second in certain games, but it's not going to give you the kick like a fast dual core chip. My suggestion is to choose between the Opteron 170 and 185 chips on Newegg.com (including all those in between) for your system. The 170 seems to be 2x what you have now. There won't be much difference in single threaded apps, but you'll be able to do several things at one time - if that's what you do. And your multi-threaded apps should run 50 to 60% faster. Your multi-threaded games should run much better as well (unless you system is GPU bound - slow video card). If you want real pop - go with the 185. More speed, and at this point the only way to make a 939 system last a few more years well. Put another Gig of RAM in there and try to be satified for a while. Otherwise, Upgrade to an AM2 or Core 2 Duo system. Remember that you'll have to purchase Mainboard, RAM, and CPU. I'd stick with what you have right now and really trick it out. It's not that old - it should have a PCI-e slot and SATA ports, right? The other stuff just doesn't offer a great big advantage over what you have. All these benchmarks from the tech sites tend to drive me crazy. As if I need to benchmark my machine against them.
June 28, 2007 10:20:02 PM

I also have a single core 3200+ s939 (bought in spring 2006, not knowing about the premature s939 demise) and was wondering if i should jump on the first opteron 170 (or higher) i found. But I do not want to do any overclock... In that case, would it be a good idea to buy an Opteron, or should I lay back, enjoy my system, and do a major upgrade next year ?

PS : I must admit that i am very frustrated that the s939 processor disappeared so fast... When I bought my system, I did a lot of reading on the net, etc., and I was sure to have a good upgrade path (i was planning to go x2 in december 2007...). Sure the AM2 was showing its ugly head, but as it was a new technology compare to the s939 (a good reliable one), i was confident about the future... How naive !!!
June 28, 2007 10:40:09 PM

Quote:
I also have a single core 3200+ s939 (bought in spring 2006, not knowing about the premature s939 demise) and was wondering if i should jump on the first opteron 170 (or higher) i found. But I do not want to do any overclock... In that case, would it be a good idea to buy an Opteron, or should I lay back, enjoy my system, and do a major upgrade next year ?

PS : I must admit that i am very frustrated that the s939 processor disappeared so fast... When I bought my system, I did a lot of reading on the net, etc., and I was sure to have a good upgrade path (i was planning to go x2 in december 2007...). Sure the AM2 was showing its ugly head, but as it was a new technology compare to the s939 (a good reliable one), i was confident about the future... How naive !!!


I wouldnt spend a lot of money upgrading a 939. The 170s arent too expensive right now, but a small bit of a waste unless you are going to overclock, which you said your not going to do. If you absolutely, positvely arent going to OC, but still want some more processor speed, the singlecore 4000s are a cheap solution. If youre gaming only, then look at spending money on a new videocard to boost performance, unless you have an AGP board...AGP is also slowly going the way of the dinosaurs, in fact, I havent seen a new mobo with AGP in quite some time.
June 28, 2007 10:41:33 PM

I still say get the lowest cost s939 dual core you can find and also reconsider some OCing. But if you insist on not OCing or can't with your board then the fastest dual core you can afford would be the best bet to give you a decent improvement over your present CPU and extend your 939's useful life.
June 28, 2007 11:09:40 PM

Save your money for now.If all you do is game and surf the net,there is no reason to upgrade to a dual core processor.Upgrade the whole system in a couple months and go with the AM2 socket.The price of higher end dual core athlons for AM2 are very low right now and it will be worth getting it all together.Even DDR2 memory is cheap at the moment.I would not wait till x-mas to build as that is one of the times in a year when the price of stuff is very high.It's a supply and demand thing.Anyways,goodluck on your next build ok.

Dahak

AMD X2 5600+ @ 2.8ghz(stock)
M2N32-SLI DELUXE MB
2 GIGS DDR2 800 RAM
THERMALTAKE 850WATT PSU
7950 GX2 560/1450
ACER 22IN. LCD
SMILIDON RAIDMAX GAMING CASE
80GIG/250gig SATA2 HD's
XP MCE
3DMARK05 14644
June 29, 2007 5:59:31 AM

Good timing for you, Tiger Direct has a 939 X2 3800+ available for only $69.99. I bought this last week as a cheap final upgrade for my 939 system and it has been terrific.

I see lots of Opteron recommendations here, but I am a cheapo and don't regret going this route.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
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