Is an AMD FX-51 still a viable processor?

I am considering upgrading my computer with a new graphics card my current build is:

Processor: AMD Athlon FX-51 2.2 Ghz
Mobo: Asus SK8N
RAM: CORSAIR TWINX1024-3200C2 512MB x 4
GFX: Radeon 9800 XT 256 mb

I am thinking of getting a new 1950XT graphics card, but read somewhere about some new games with high processor requirements (someone mentioned in one thread on the 1950XT about a game that had a minimum requirement of a 2.8ghz P4).

I don't want to upgrade to another AGP card just to keep my motherboard and processor if they are already (or will soon be) obsolete.

So if I upgrade my graphics card, is my processor still going to be a big bottleneck.
22 answers Last reply
More about viable processor
  1. no! for gaming
    yes! for typing!
  2. Really, that is a big dissapointment. So it won't run anything new well at all then even with the new graphics card?

    :( My $100 upgrade just turned into $1000
  3. Nope. Thank you! Drive through.
  4. Is it really that bad, in my thread on the graphics card forum no one mentioned that.

    A couple people said they had similiar processors and were running new games fine with the 1950.

    I plan to do a full upgrade within a year, but if I could I wouldn't mind waiting on that until later in the year (after I can recover from the holidays).

    I was hoping upgrading my graphics card would let me do that, but you are saying that it won't make much of a difference due to my processer being outdated?

    EDIT: Ahh okay thanks for the clarification, I guess I should look up some benchmarks using a similiar processor to mine with these games before buying anything (anyone have a link to anything like that?)
  5. dude, thats like buying a 20yr old car
  6. WillFarnaby said:
    Is it really that bad, in my thread on the graphics card forum no one mentioned that.

    A couple people said they had similiar processors and were running new games fine with the 1950.

    I plan to do a full upgrade within a year, but if I could I wouldn't mind waiting on that until later in the year (after I can recover from the holidays).

    I was hoping upgrading my graphics card would let me do that, but you are saying that it won't make much of a difference due to my processer being outdated?


    :pfff:

    Upgrade your GPU and leave your CPU alone. Odds are the GPU is holding you back more than the CPU. Also ATI doesn't make 1900 XTs anymore. The new line is the HD3870s. You can still get 1950 Pros and GTs.. that's about it. 3870 is your best bet. Ride that CPU out a bit longer. I know guys who still game on P4s and do fine with a decent graphics card.
  7. Get new graphics card
  8. Thanks, I found a 1950xt for only like 125 bucks is why I was going to go with it. But I will look into the HD3870.

    Also good to know that my computer now matches my car.

    (which is also part of the reason I am waiting to fully upgrade the whole system)
  9. Those who say no are idiots. An FX51 is perfectly fine for gaming. You won't get the benefet of dual cores in newer games but every dollar you'd spend on upgrading your CPU would be much more valuable if spent on a graphics card. I upgraded both my CPU and GPU last Dec from dual 7900GT SLI and a AMD3700+ to a 8800GTS and FX60. You'd think that jump in CPUs(1 core @ 2.2ghz vs 2 cores @2.6) would be a lot more then the jump from 2 7900GTs in SLI to a single 8800GTS. And it is in most applications, but not gaming. The video card made the larger difference(after spending almost $1000 in upgrades I did extensive benchmarking to see what I was getting). Anyways heres a suggestion; Buy as good a PCIE card as you can afford along with a cheap 939 PCIE motherboard ($50?). This way you'll get the most bang for you buck for gaming and have the option to either upgrade to another 939 CPU later or completely rebuild and still keep your video card.
  10. Quote:
    Quote:
    I am thinking of getting a new 1950XT graphics card, but read somewhere about some new games with high processor requirements (someone mentioned in one thread on the 1950XT about a game that had a minimum requirement of a 2.8ghz P4).


    I would consider the FX-51 as fast as a 2.8 or 3ghz P4.
    The FX-51 is a great gaming cpu, if you play single threaded games. However most of the new games are multi-threaded meaning they can use 2 or 4 processor cores. Your performance would be seriously lacking playing those games with just 1 core.


    My OC'ed Celeron D (look at my signature) comes close to the FX-51 performance, but not the price ($25
    on ebay) :lol:
  11. :lol:^Look at what performance you can get with a volt and a pin mod^

    @OP. Your CPU is fine, but looks like it is time to upgrade, imo. A new solid Intel C2D system could be built for less than $620 or cheaper.
  12. Shadow703793 said:
    :lol:^Look at what performance you can get with a volt and a pin mod^

    @OP. Your CPU is fine, but looks like it is time to upgrade, imo. A new solid Intel C2D system could be built for less than $620 or cheaper.


    This is a very good point. The only counter-point I can think of is that this is a "band-aid" upgrade to last him ~1 year until he is able to build another system.

    In one year he'll (possibly) be able to get his hands on a Nehalem (depending on how that tapes out) or a second/third revision of Penryn. As good as these retails are.. imagine the subsequent revisions.. This was Intels FIRST try at 45nm... :kaola:
  13. I think I will stick with AGP, if I went with PCI express and a new motherboard who knows where I would stop and I think I should wait before blowing all my money on a "band aid" to hold me over until next year.

    Plus my computer runs, but is not in that great of shape (live in hot weather, moved around, girlfriend's cat apparently exploded inside of my tower, etc.) So the less I invest/tinker with it probably the better.
  14. cnumartyr said:
    This is a very good point. The only counter-point I can think of is that this is a "band-aid" upgrade to last him ~1 year until he is able to build another system.

    In one year he'll (possibly) be able to get his hands on a Nehalem (depending on how that tapes out) or a second/third revision of Penryn. As good as these retails are.. imagine the subsequent revisions.. This was Intels FIRST try at 45nm... :kaola:


    Good point. But why wait with all these great prices? :D
    AMD better have a good CPU or im personely going to make them go bankrupt....... might not be a good idea on the long run. :lol:
  15. WillFarnaby said:
    I think I will stick with AGP, if I went with PCI express and a new motherboard who knows where I would stop and I think I should wait before blowing all my money on a "band aid" to hold me over until next year.

    Plus my computer runs, but is not in that great of shape (live in hot weather, moved around, girlfriend's cat apparently exploded inside of my tower, etc.) So the less I invest/tinker with it probably the better.


    Going with a PCIe motherboard( probably DDR2?) MIGHT be cheaper than getting an AGP graphics card.
  16. Quote:
    Quote:
    I am thinking of getting a new 1950XT graphics card, but read somewhere about some new games with high processor requirements (someone mentioned in one thread on the 1950XT about a game that had a minimum requirement of a 2.8ghz P4).


    I would consider the FX-51 as fast as a 2.8 or 3ghz P4.
    The FX-51 is a great gaming cpu, if you play single threaded games. However most of the new games are multi-threaded meaning they can use 2 or 4 processor cores. Your performance would be seriously lacking playing those games with just 1 core.



    I agree with this, especially if you overclock the FX51. Older games will still work well with this chip. Even some of the newer ones will work, though you have to examine the requirements carefully.

    However, the glory days of the FX51, and even the FX55 for that matter, are in the past. Rather than to prop up your machine with a new video card, I'd save up money and make an all new build. If you get a new case as well, you might even keep the FX51 machine around for more mundane tasks and use the new build for gaming only. That is what I do. My old gaming machines become office machines. That way I get the longest useful life out of them.
  17. it is still a good processor for single threaded applications like most games (except a few new titles). It is equal to A64 3700+ but with an unlocked multiplier which makes for a easy overclock. it actually compeers to a p4 3.7ghz based on amd naming.
  18. Hey, willfarnaby,

    YOUR processor is fine.

    YOUR Asus SK8N is only AGP, thus the HD3870 would not work.

    Get, the 1950XT, and play the new games at a lower resolution if needed, and you'll be happy for little quid.

    Upgrade at the last minute, when you're really not happy.

    ;)
  19. Shadow703793 said:
    Going with a PCIe motherboard( probably DDR2?) MIGHT be cheaper than getting an AGP graphics card.


    He found an AGP 1900XT for $125. That'll hold him over til next year when he has the cash to do a "proper" build. It's tough to do a full build around the holidays... atleast for me it is. Working on modding out my CM690.

    Edit: Also I didnt' read earlier that you had an AGP and didn't think. I have an old AGP myself along with a P4 Cedar Mill.. lol.
  20. As as stopgap a 1950xt or pro would be a huge improvement and would get you by for awhile as long as you don't expect to play some of the latest titles on high settings.
  21. Shadow703793 said:
    Going with a PCIe motherboard( probably DDR2?) MIGHT be cheaper than getting an AGP graphics card.



    Well, the FX51 is a Socket 940 processor so his choices would be very limited and expensive, and also unable to use DDR2, that chip only supports DDR.
  22. i think u need a dual core and a new graphix card if u plan on playing any new games. since your running a socket 940 i would consider opteron dual core like this one a 2.4 ghz for a couple hundred bucks...you can get them as high as 2.8 but your gonna pay through the nose for those speeds.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103573

    get that and a new graphix card and your certainly good tell next year as long as your gaming at a res 1620x1050 and below you should be able to turn on all/most of the visual goodies.
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