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Looking to upgrade a AMD 939

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November 28, 2007 2:57:33 PM

Ok so I have a 2.2Ghz single core AMD based pc now. Its running 1Gb of ram and an ATI x700 pro 256mb vid card. Ive been thinking about upgrading and Ive been trying to decide if its worth it to upgrade or just wait and build a whole new pc. Here are the ideas ive been tossing around in my head.

I have a mobo that has 2 pic express video card slots in it so I can do sli if i want but, I think sli would just be wasting money. So I think my best video card upgrade path would be the 8800gt, $300.

Next up would be adding 2 more 512mb sticks of ram to give my system 2gb of ram, thats $70

Last would be the processor and this is where i get into a debate with myself as to if this is worth it or not. I can get an AMD 4200+ that is more the less a duel core version of what I have now. It seems to be the best cpu I can get for the old 939 board barring me finding an FX cpu on ebay or something. Its only $70 and it would be a great improvement to what i have now but this upgrade would keep me tied to this pc for at least year.

My whole problem is this, will that cpu be able to cut it for at least another year to year and a half? The only cpu strenuous thing I do is play games, occasionally do some video stuff but not enough that I care if a quad core Intel gets it done a few minutes faster. So what I need to know is if I drop the cash for this 8800gt will the 4200 be a bottleneck and be holding it back?

I don't have a whole lot of extra cash as Im sure most of us don't so I am trying to figure out where my money would be best spent. I spent about 1200 bucks for my pc about 3 years ago(that was everything too case mouse keyboard I had no old system to scrap parts from) so thats about a cost of 400 bucks a year for a pc. This upgrade will be around 420 so I'd need to hold on to this thing for at least a year to make it worth the money.

If I don't upgrade Ill probably wait for the new Intel 45nm to come out and become the norm before I build a new pc. It looks very prommising in its abilities. Now until then Id just have to tough it out with what I got.

Im considering this upgrade for 2 reasons, one its cheaper than a new system and thats a big plus for it. Two seeing how I dont do CPU strenuous things besides gaming I think the duel core 4200 should do the job, but that is my main question here; will it do the job for gaming?

And as for an OS Ill be sticking with xp until vista gets the kinks worked out, even if i have a dx10 card so no OS cost here. When i do go to vista I can get it for like 80 bucks from my college and it will be something I can "scrap" if i build a new pc later on down the road.

If someone has a system somewhat like what Im wanting to upgrade to Id love to hear from you, tell me what it games like.

More about : upgrade amd 939

November 28, 2007 3:12:04 PM

I'm not sure what brand your motherboard is, but I would go for an Opteron 170 or 165.
November 28, 2007 3:16:51 PM

I have thought about that too because my mobo would oc well its just that they are around 160 bucks for a opty. Too much in my opinion for how old they are.
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November 28, 2007 3:21:16 PM

I expect upgrading to the dual core would be well worth it. At $70, it seems like a steal. The video card upgrade will certainly do more for your gaming performance, though.

Not too long ago, Tom's was saying that all but the fastest intel processors bottlenecked the 8800GTX, and the 8800GT is nearly as fast. Of course, you'd still get more performance.

The question might be whether or not upgrading to
1) 2.2GHz A64 + 8800GT or
2) 2.2GHz A64 X2 + 3870
would give more performance.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
November 28, 2007 3:43:37 PM

I would say upgrade. Going to a dual-core processor for $70 is a no-brainer to me. The difference in STEADY performance from offloading background tasks is definitely worth it.
Adding another 1GB of RAM seems worthwhile, but if money is tight, you could get by with 1GB.
Think of the video card, whether HD38XX or 8800GT, not so much as an upgrade but the beginning of your next PC; as such this money is not going to "waste" since the card can be moved when you build a new rig.
You'll also need to consider whether your PSU can run one of these video cards. What brand/model is it? How many amps on the 12v+ rails?
If it's enough, I'd say go for it. If not, you'll probably need to add $80-$100 or so for a quality PSU, at which point it might be time to consider building new.
November 28, 2007 3:56:20 PM

My psu situation is sort of odd. I have a 620w psu that works but it doesnt. (long story i need to send it back if i still can but nothings wrong with it that i can tell except it doesnt work when i plug it into my mobo. Short the green wire and it works fine just not on my mobo.) thats the other problem I have right now. And if i do upgrade to a 8800gt or the hd38xx i dont know if it will go into a new pc build later on down the road. I may keep this "upgraded" pc for more than a year. In that time who knows what vid cards will be like i may not want to.

Thanks for the thoughts though
November 28, 2007 5:06:51 PM

I agree with Jtt283. For a simple, cheap upgrade, going to the X2 4200+ will make a good step up, and a good video card can be carried over to a new machine later.

As to your psu problem, that sounds like there's a bad resistor in it. Without a load, as when you short it with the green wire, it might perform, but once loaded, it fails. Something is wrong that's well hidden. If you can, send it back. You don't mention the brand or model of the psu. Some are notorious for their problems. I have an Aspire 680wt, for instance, that's rated far higher than it really is. Aspire used a peak rating for its label, rather than a constant power which is closer to 380wt. Its still useable, but only in an older computer that doesn't take much power.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
November 28, 2007 10:03:15 PM

I thought perhaps his mobo is unable to turn the PSU on, but once he shorts it, it works. Not sure, but that might be a mobo or power switch problem.
November 28, 2007 10:28:21 PM

Good points. If the power button on the case is bad or there is some other problem, wiring around the mobo or whatever, it might not be the psu. Whatever the case, some checking should find out what it isn't, and if a different psu can be tried and it works, then than would eliminate the case, mobo, or other wiring.
November 28, 2007 11:18:26 PM

I upgraded from a 3000(1.8) to a 4400(2.2) and was really happy with the results. The video card would be a worthy upgrade if you can power it. The only thing I would recommend is to get 2x1g sticks of memory instead of two more 512's. If you run 4 sticks of DDR400 on a 939 platform it slows the memory down to DDR333. I think your memory should be at the bottom of the list (well, at least under CPU and GPU) of things to upgrade anyway as long as you're not running Vista. I still run 1g and XP and the only time I ever really need more is when I play FSX. Hope this helps.
November 28, 2007 11:53:51 PM

ummm actually you can run four sticks on a 939 just fine...in fact i do just that and even have them over clocked to 452 ddr when i need it for games...the rest of the time i run at 400ddr...if ur having/ had such a problem i bets its either the mobo needed a bios upgrade or was fataly flawed in some other way.
November 29, 2007 12:55:00 AM

There's no flaws with my mobo and the bios is updated. I've heard several other people with the same problem on 939's and even witnessed it myself on at least 4 other machines. None were high end boards though and neither is mine (but it is a Gigabyte with an nF4 chip), so that might have something to do with it. I don't know what kind of mobo you're running since it doesn't say in your config, but judging by the rest of the parts I'd guess you have a higher end one. So maybe it's just that you have a badass board, I don't know, but I do know this is not a problem just with my system.
November 29, 2007 1:16:31 AM

a8n-premuim nforce 4 sli...huge bummer though i am sorry to hear it. heard that there will be similar trouble with the dual phenoms fx ststems yet to be released....if u have 4 gig or less you can get 1066ddr but if u run more you drop to 800ddr2 speeds...seems so unfair for those trying to be forward sighted in their builds.
November 29, 2007 3:19:50 AM

atomicWAR said:
a8n-premuim nforce 4 sli...huge bummer though i am sorry to hear it. heard that there will be similar trouble with the dual phenoms fx ststems yet to be released....if u have 4 gig or less you can get 1066ddr but if u run more you drop to 800ddr2 speeds...seems so unfair for those trying to be forward sighted in their builds.


That will be the pits if the rams speeds drop like that on the coming motherboards. I mean like, why bother with the 1066 at all if the board can't fully support it? And to top it off, I keep reading how Intel's new boards with DDR3 are heading past 1800 speeds, soon to be into the 2000s. Nothing like adding insult to injury.

To FSXfan; with my ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe board, I get no drop off in ram speed when filling all four slots. Just the usual change from 1T timing to 2T. So it must be your board. I run 3 gig of ram without problem, using a 2x1 gb and 2x512 mb stick arrangement.
November 29, 2007 6:03:52 AM

again word is thats only with the dual socket phenoms....i think the single socket, which most people will get, don't have the same issuse...but again this is rumor mill as we have yet to see any "offical" specs on either nvidia's next quad father or the possibly ill fated AMD/ATI fasn8 platforms. i am guessing with skull trail on the horizon it won't be long though, january/febuarish???....that we hhear more from both camps.

oh and on the opty note...while i run a fx-60 i overclocked it and can beat a core 2 duo up to 2.66 in sandra sisoft and get pretty good 3dmark perfomance...that said i think if u got a 2.6 opty equavilant on newegg, i see they have them instock, you prolly would be good for a year if you over clock it and it won't bottle neck your 8800 nearly as much...kinda just went through the do i upgrade mode myself or get another 8800 gtx...(gaming at 1080p). or if you can hunt down a fx 60 even better...good luck though on that one!
November 29, 2007 8:38:44 PM

Thanks for your thoughts on this, and as of today I found out that I still can send my 620w psu back under warranty to get it replaced. So no problems powering a big vid card.

As for those that thought my mobo or power button might be the problem, they are not as I am currently running the pc on the psu that came with the case no problems.(I just dont like the cheap psu too much so Im getting that fixed asap) It should just be a psu problem that will be getting replaced soon.

With the memory I did consider it last on the list mostly for when I do go to vista. I would like to have 2x1gb sticks but as of now Im looking for the cheapest possible upgrade and that is 2x512mb. Anyway that will be later down the road and maybe then I could get 2x1gb sticks.
November 29, 2007 9:27:43 PM

samir_naya najaad! Your avatar looks VERY familiar... is that who I think it is?
December 3, 2007 1:06:25 PM

yeah i cant remember the name chairman something or other and my my name shouldn't have that space in it type-o i guess.

BTW everyone i got the cpu and an evga superclocked 8800gt (oc'ed by 50mhz on the core clock and about the same on the memory) surprisingly i got it from new egg I just had to go through pricewatch.com so i could order one that was in stock.

Have yet to hear anything about my psu but it should be arriving this Thursday and they should ship me a new psu as soon as they get mine.
December 3, 2007 1:32:31 PM

Hope you are happy with your new hardware.
December 3, 2007 2:08:14 PM

I just did a similar upgrade last week to the same X2 4200 you bought. I went from an FX55 at 2.6 Ghz and lost a bit of performance on a few games (2142, barely), but overall got a boost in stability. Even with an old (Radeon 850 PE), Crysis demo is playable.

One thing to note is that the newer chip uses much less power. My little Shuttle case now runs at room temperature. This allowed me some more options in terms of the ability to OC my videocard. On that note, I was able to OC the GPU to 2.4 GHz easily. Probably could go a bit further, but probably not worth the time.

I think you will be happy with the upgrade, but hopefully you won't have the same software/installation issues I had (getting the machine to recognize the dual cores). Let me know if you do, and hopefully I can save you some grief...

Curious to hear how the videocard works out--I am hopefully right behind you with an upgrade on that.

Good luck!
December 3, 2007 2:44:43 PM

I upgraded from an Opty 146 @ 2.5 to the x2 4200 @ 2.2 (Manchester Core) and I noticed that my games run smoother now. Before I used to have to run msconfig and shut down all sorts of background apps to run my games and they still would stutter at times. Now, I just make sure my anti-virus isn't in the middle of an update and I can run my games at higher settings than I could before. I'm currently using the HSF that came with my opty to cool the x2, but when the prices come down on the 8800gt, I'm also going to get a new HSF to do a little overclocking. I know my chip will run at 2.6 easy because I forgot to change the settings in the BIOS when I swapped the chips and it booted up fine at 250x11 (2.75GHz!!!) @ 1.40v. I was checking the temps since I was using the opty's HSF and wanted to make sure it would keep the proc cool. Talk about an "Oh-Poop!" moment. But lo and behold, the temps were only at 43C at Idle (This was before the AS5 had even had time to settle in)!!! Currently it idles nicely at 33C at stock speeds and 1.35v. Long story short, after debating this exact same issue for months, I'm very glad I finally pulled the trigger.
December 3, 2007 3:24:27 PM

samir_nayanajaad said:

Next up would be adding 2 more 512mb sticks of ram to give my system 2gb of ram, thats $70


Dear God, don't get 512 sticks. just get a gig stick. Hell, get TWO gig sticks and replace the 512s you have now, if that's what you have.

samir_nayanajaad said:

I don't have a whole lot of extra cash as Im sure most of us don't so I am trying to figure out where my money would be best spent. I spent about 1200 bucks for my pc about 3 years ago(that was everything too case mouse keyboard I had no old system to scrap parts from) so thats about a cost of 400 bucks a year for a pc. This upgrade will be around 420 so I'd need to hold on to this thing for at least a year to make it worth the money.


Despite the constant analogies, computers are not cars. Judging by the terrible grammar/spelling in your post, and by the fact that gaming is a priority to you, you're probably going to want to upgrade in more than a year, and it might cost you more than $500. Some new game always comes out that requires 18 TB Ram and Sixteen cards in SLI/Crossfire with a 24 core processor, and you'll be stumbling over yourself to upgrade and play it. Patience is a virtue. I'm running a very similar setup at home right now (except I have an X1300, woohoo!) and it does fine for the games I want to play. No, it won't run Crysis, correct. But the computer I'm going to build over the summer will smoke Crysis. Can I wait? You're damn right I can, and you can too.

samir_nayanajaad said:

If I don't upgrade Ill probably wait for the new Intel 45nm to come out and become the norm before I build a new pc. It looks very prommising in its abilities. Now until then Id just have to tough it out with what I got.


Didn't you JUST say you didn't have a lot of money? Those things are going to be $1400, which by your calculations should last you 4.5 years. Also, as I said, I have a very similar system, and I'd hardly calling it "toughing it out". My mom's P4 1.6 is "toughing it out", the 2.2 isn't bad.

samir_nayanajaad said:

Im considering this upgrade for 2 reasons, one its cheaper than a new system and thats a big plus for it. Two seeing how I dont do CPU strenuous things besides gaming I think the duel core 4200 should do the job, but that is my main question here; will it do the job for gaming?


Hate to break it to you, but gaming isn't exactly a huge leap in processor stress. Yes, it is pretty intensive, but anything dual core can handle any game well enough. What you want to look forward to in a processor is being able to play your games, while running your torrents, while rendering a video, etc. which isn't something the cheaper processors can do anyway, so to answer your question: Yes.

samir_nayanajaad said:

And as for an OS Ill be sticking with xp until vista gets the kinks worked out, even if i have a dx10 card so no OS cost here. When i do go to vista I can get it for like 80 bucks from my college and it will be something I can "scrap" if i build a new pc later on down the road.


Once again, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Vista kicks ass. The service pack's already in Beta testing, and all the "flaws" reported in the first 2 weeks were fixed pretty quickly. It may be trendy to bash Vista, but it sure as hell isn't accurate.
December 3, 2007 3:26:48 PM

I think this set up will last me a good long while. Husky I'll give you an update on how this works when I get it all in. The only benchmark I can give you though is on Fear, I dont obsess about benchmark scores I just see what real world performance is with the games I play. I also may do one for Oblivion too but other than that, I wont have any other numbers to give you.

Hopefully I wont have any problems with the 2 cores, just flashed my bios. Said the update was to fix CPU identification problems. Now during boot is shows amd 3500 1 cpu not just the 3500 so I think the bios was made specifically for 2 core computability.

Right now my PSU should be getting to the company on Thursday and they are supposed to send me a new one asap. I had ordered the CPU and video card on friday but due to a type-o on my information they haven't processed it yet. Called today and got that fixed so hopefully I shouldn't have to wait too long for my new PSU to get to me so I wont be sitting with my new stuff but cant put it in because I cant power it.
December 3, 2007 3:50:44 PM

Ironsoap said:
Dear God, don't get 512 sticks. just get a gig stick. Hell, get TWO gig sticks and replace the 512s you have now, if that's what you have.



Despite the constant analogies, computers are not cars. Judging by the terrible grammar/spelling in your post, and by the fact that gaming is a priority to you, you're probably going to want to upgrade in more than a year, and it might cost you more than $500. Some new game always comes out that requires 18 TB Ram and Sixteen cards in SLI/Crossfire with a 24 core processor, and you'll be stumbling over yourself to upgrade and play it. Patience is a virtue. I'm running a very similar setup at home right now (except I have an X1300, woohoo!) and it does fine for the games I want to play. No, it won't run Crysis, correct. But the computer I'm going to build over the summer will smoke Crysis. Can I wait? You're damn right I can, and you can too.



Didn't you JUST say you didn't have a lot of money? Those things are going to be $1400, which by your calculations should last you 4.5 years. Also, as I said, I have a very similar system, and I'd hardly calling it "toughing it out". My mom's P4 1.6 is "toughing it out", the 2.2 isn't bad.



Hate to break it to you, but gaming isn't exactly a huge leap in processor stress. Yes, it is pretty intensive, but anything dual core can handle any game well enough. What you want to look forward to in a processor is being able to play your games, while running your torrents, while rendering a video, etc. which isn't something the cheaper processors can do anyway, so to answer your question: Yes.



Once again, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Vista kicks ass. The service pack's already in Beta testing, and all the "flaws" reported in the first 2 weeks were fixed pretty quickly. It may be trendy to bash Vista, but it sure as hell isn't accurate.



Ok First off on the memory, I was only going to get it when I get Vista, but I wanted to throw the idea of a ram upgrade out there so I could get opinions on it see if it was worth it thats all.

Second, about the 45nm thing. I said I would wait for it to become the norm. Meaning like what a Core 2 is now, mainstream and not 1400 bucks. If I wait that long my current PC would be in the same boat as your moms 1.6 P4 is in right now thats what I was getting at.

Third I don't upgrade my PC very much I got a PSU but that can be taken to a new build if I want. I'm not going to be upgrading again for at least a year or more. I don't constantly have to have the newest best stuff otherwise I would already have a quad core Intel.

Fourth, the one helpful thing you said is that gaming isn't a huge stress on cpu's. That was my assumption but I wanted to make sure.

Fifth, I will be going to vista sooner or later, I wasn't bashing it I'm just saying I don't need it now. So people wouldn't be thinking, "Oh he will have a DX10 card he needs vista." and end up wasting time and effort that didn't need to be spent telling me Ill need to figure in the cost of a new os.

And for last about my grammar. Seeing how this is going to be buried never to see the light of day in a matter of a few weeks never to bee seen or read again, I didn't think it necessary to take the time to proof read it, send it to my English professor, then give it one more read through just to be sure. But just for you I am sorry you had to read through my horrible grammar and type-o's that I don't give a flying fuc* about.
December 3, 2007 6:48:18 PM

samir_nayanajaad said:

Ok First off on the memory, I was only going to get it when I get Vista, but I wanted to throw the idea of a ram upgrade out there so I could get opinions on it see if it was worth it thats all.


That's fine, but 512 sticks aren't worth it.

samir_nayanajaad said:

Second, about the 45nm thing. I said I would wait for it to become the norm. Meaning like what a Core 2 is now, mainstream and not 1400 bucks. If I wait that long my current PC would be in the same boat as your moms 1.6 P4 is in right now thats what I was getting at.


I guess I didn't read about the "become the norm" thing, so I apologize for that, but you're right about waiting that long.

samir_nayanajaad said:

Third I don't upgrade my PC very much I got a PSU but that can be taken to a new build if I want. I'm not going to be upgrading again for at least a year or more. I don't constantly have to have the newest best stuff otherwise I would already have a quad core Intel.


That's pretty clear, but at the rate game requirements are going nowadays, you're going to end up upgrading parts every 6 months, then 3, etc.

samir_nayanajaad said:

Fourth, the one helpful thing you said is that gaming isn't a huge stress on cpu's. That was my assumption but I wanted to make sure.


Now, don't misinterpret me, gaming is a pretty stressful thing, but it's not a problem for any dual core CPU, especially if you're not doing any serious multitasking.

samir_nayanajaad said:

Fifth, I will be going to vista sooner or later, I wasn't bashing it I'm just saying I don't need it now. So people wouldn't be thinking, "Oh he will have a DX10 card he needs vista." and end up wasting time and effort that didn't need to be spent telling me Ill need to figure in the cost of a new os.


No, you said it had kinks. Which kinks? The ones all the 13 year olds on Hard Forum talk about? The 6 year old knock off scanners not having driver support?

samir_nayanajaad said:

And for last about my grammar. Seeing how this is going to be buried never to see the light of day in a matter of a few weeks never to bee seen or read again, I didn't think it necessary to take the time to proof read it, send it to my English professor, then give it one more read through just to be sure. But just for you I am sorry you had to read through my horrible grammar and type-o's that I don't give a flying fuc* about.


It's really not a hard process. Firefox has a built in spell checker for all text fields, and you can clearly pay enough attention to cuss with the exception of an asterisk. Would it be that hard to pay a little attention to your typos?
December 4, 2007 4:59:58 PM

The biggest kink, as I called it, I have with Vista is it's just not fully optimized yet. That is to be expected, a little roughness around the edges so to speak. I know it will get there soon.

Also, as of now games are still DX9/DX10 not just fully DX10 so from a practical stand point Vista doesn't offer me much. Yes I know there are many improvements over XP, but only a scares few that I will notice and or care about in everyday use. DX10 being the exception to that. So why should I spend money on something I don't feel a need for yet?

As for type-o's or typos it is my belief that the correct spelling should be type-o. English is full of odd rules and such, but I use x-ray as my defense as to why it should be spelled type-o. And yes it would be that hard to pay a little attention to them simply because I don't care about them, reasons for stated in previous post.

Lastly if it makes you feel any better, you have been the only person on this forum to complain about my lacking grammar skills. If I may be so bold as to offer you my two cents, you should relax a little. Chose your battles better. What is the point in arguing over something so small and pointless? Yes communication is important, but in such an informal setting over matters so insignificant? I don't see why people on this forum get so heated over who has the better CUP at the moment, it doesn't matter.

Yes I needed to communicate my needs and ideas to the people so they can give me the information I am looking for, and with the exception of you, I did a good enough job for that. I didn't waste time on lesser things when I have more important things to do.(yet for some odd reason I'm telling you all this)

p.s if you haven't noticed I still have yet to care about grammar for typing this.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b À AMD
December 4, 2007 5:44:38 PM

I agree with Samir on the grammar / spelling. It's one thing when some pre-pubescent monkey is typing gibberish, but something else entirely when someone whose native language is not English is doing a pretty good job of explaining himself.
I like Sacred (rpg). This game is one of a number of Windows programs that won't run under Vista. So, Vista still has some problems; or Sacred does, but one of them needs to be fixed before I get Vista. For others who are considering Vista, here's a compatibility list: http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_Sof...
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