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Need help for an upgrade of AM2 rig

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January 19, 2008 6:14:53 PM

Hi all

I'm currently preparing to make an upgrade to my PC and would like your advine. Please keep in mind that all price are in $cad.

Reference ID:1013531037


AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Dual Core Processor Socket AM2 2.6GHZ Retail Black Box No HSF Unlocked

In Stock 25878 $109.98 $109.98
Valve Black Box Coupon - *AMD Promo Only Not for Resale*
In Stock 27018 $0.00 $0.00
Corsair TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan

In Stock 26415 $144.99 $144.99
Zalman CNPS9700 LED Copper CPU Heatsink 110MM Fan LGA775 AM2 S939 1250-2800RPM 19.5-35DBA Blue LED

In Stock 21340 $61.99 $61.99

As you probably understand, I already own an AM2 mobo so switching to intel would not really be apreciated. This upgrade is for 2 main reason. !st, it seem my current CPU (X2 3800+) is giving me some huge slowdown in source game (CS:s and HL2) and it get really irritating. Second it that I think my current PSU is having a hard time getting all the power the rig need because sometime, it will freeze while booting XP. The bizzar thing is that ot never seem to freeze/reboot during a game so i'm not sure.

Current Spec:

CPU: AMD X2 3800+
GPU: Saphire Radeon X1950 XTX
HDD: 2 seagate barracude (7200.10 250GB and 7200.7 160GB)
PSU: Thermaltake Butterfly 550Watt peak +5V 40A +3.3V 30A +12V 18A
Sound card: Audidgy 2 ZS platinium
RAM: OCZ 2GB 2x1 GB 5-5-5-15 (if I remember)

My question are then.

1- Will I notice a good improvement with this upgrade in some game?

2- Is it worth the money?

3- Will the PSU be enough?

4- Any suggestion? (keep in mind I live in Canada so I can"t buy from the Egg. And checking around made my see that NCIX seem to have the best price)

Thx to all

More about : upgrade am2 rig

January 19, 2008 6:38:33 PM

Take X2 5000+ Black Edition, and 2 more gigs of RAM. Cheap, and worth.
January 19, 2008 6:42:58 PM

Well, honestly, if gaming is your concern, you will probably see a much bigger improvement going with an Nvidia 8800 GTS or ATI HD3870 rather than upgrading from a X23800.

For the amount your looking to spend, Id go with a X2 4400 and the ATI or Nvidia cards.

Now if you want to encode rip or archive, then 5000 should give you a decent boost, especially if you OC.
Related resources
January 19, 2008 6:50:30 PM

are you planning to OC? (i'd assume you are, otherwise the BE becomes worthless)
January 19, 2008 6:55:39 PM

Yes I plan to OC it. (and free agme with the CPU is always fun to get.)

I currently play All the gamne I have near max settings and don't get slowdow excep in CS sources so It seem much more that my CPU is holding it down. (I reckon the Source engine is a heavy CPU hog)

And what about the PSU?? nobody said a thing.

Thx for all unput
January 19, 2008 7:04:37 PM

I'd recommend the Corsair 620HX with the modular support. I got mine a few days ago, pretty happy with it. :D 
January 19, 2008 7:24:10 PM

Well it's only 10$ more for the TX750 right now and might get even if corsair send back mail in rebate (does this work usually?)

Plus I would be on the safe side if I decide to upgrade my GFX later for something even more powerhungry than the current one.
January 19, 2008 11:59:38 PM

I agree with getting the 5000+ BE if you're going to OC.

One advice would be stay away from the Phenom, if your mobo supports it or not.
January 20, 2008 8:32:34 PM

Another question.

Is there any way to make sure the Zalman will fit on My mobo

MSI K9N Platinum. I don't whant to be stuck with a unusable heatsinc.
January 20, 2008 8:44:03 PM

Your CPU is fine for what you're doing ... I used to play @ 1680x1050 with a 1900xtx and an overclocked 3700+ (single core @ 2.86GHz) without any performance problems.

What is your problem is your power supply. The 1950xtx requires a very hefty 12volt rail ... and you only have 18Amps on it at peak... Basically, you're starving your GFX card.
January 20, 2008 8:55:19 PM

Ok but why does most game seem to run fine except that damm CPU intensive game??? The only other game where it get bad is C&C generals and most RTS are more CPU bound right?

I can roam around in CS:S even at 1920x1080 (native screen res) with no slowdown. It just get slow when a god damm firefight happen but it slowdown even if i'm not seeing it so thats why I was thinking it was the CPU.

Keep in mind I could be wrong anyway. I updated my bios to make sure the new CPU would work and the bord does not support Phenom (well last bios fix didn't) but I didn't play to get one.
January 20, 2008 9:10:05 PM

All I can say is, from experience, your CPU shouldn't be causing the slowdown - and that your power supply definately isn't big enough for your graphics card (which on it's own will consume 125w at load).

A suggestion which might help diagnose it ... try playing CS:S at a small res like 1024*768 ... that should be low enough so the game will be CPU limited instead of GPU limited. When that happens, the GFX card won't be drawing near as much power ... If the problem's still there then you're right about wanting a bigger CPU as well.

If the problem's gone ... it's just your PSU starving your system of power.

Either way you *need* a bigger PSU. Make sure you get one with either 1 really fat 12v rail (30A or more) or has multiple 12v rails at 18A or more on each.

One word of advice ... you've got the K9N Platinum? Don't get the scythe infinity heatsink for better cooling ... my housemate has that board and that cooler and we ended up having to mount it at 90degrees using the 775 mounting system & zip ties because otherwise it makes contact with the VRMs on the motherboard.
January 20, 2008 9:12:29 PM

Get the unlocked BE CPU (Tiger has them for $99 USD)
Get a PC Power & Cooling 610 for $119 USD or the next size up for a bit more...it will put out a -constant- 48 Amps on the large-well filtered 12 volt rail,all of it 100% usable.

The BE will do 3-3.2Ghz on stock volts and some people run it at 3.5Ghz...a -real- PSU can make the diff from stock-to-overvolt when OC'ing.
See my profile for my system(s)...7 on LAN...50% OC on stock volts with PC P&C PSU's.

Wait untill the end of March to upgrade your GFX if you want...expect a price drop/sale.
January 20, 2008 9:44:18 PM

Just tested it on a lower resolution ant it dropped under 10 during gameplay.

Video stress test give avg of over 150 but there is just nothing ahppening in the video so CPU load is probably near 0.

With all the setting to max I got 143 avg on the stress test (wtf is that test god dammit!!!!!!)

Ill try to test on another game now.

*EDIT* The card fan accelerated in the full res test so I guess it's getting so juce to heat up but the PSU will get changed anyway.
January 20, 2008 10:05:38 PM

World in conflict at 800x600 all at lowest except destruction FX and physic quality (those should tax CPU right??)

avg 37 but the lowest was 10 during the nuke..

All max settings with 1920x1080 got AVG of 14 (nuke and carpet bombing droping to 7)
January 20, 2008 10:27:06 PM

That's normal for WIC - It's quite bizarre as far as RTS goes as it's actually more GPU dependent than most.

My bet is still that it's just the power supply - but replacing the CPU isn't going to harm anything other than your bank balance.
January 20, 2008 10:41:12 PM

Yeah and with some free games, the CPU seem worth it even more

3D mark test at default settings : 5759

SM2: 2412
SM3: 2728
CPU: 1451

And I scored top for similar configuration.

I will probably order it all but the PSU is really the mostly needed.
January 21, 2008 12:41:41 AM

As an ex CS:S player (retired now, playing other games :p ) I understand what you are talking about.

For those who haven't played CS:S - it's actually pretty CPU dependant, especially during firefights, which is when you need a high framerate the most.

frostys, why don't you overclock your current CPU instead? Most X2 3800+ can do about 2.8GHz, which should alleviate your CPU bottleneck. You still won't get 60fps+ constant but at least it won't be as choppy during firefights.
January 21, 2008 12:42:24 AM

epsilon84 said:
As an ex CS:S player (retired now, playing other games :p ) I understand what you are talking about.

For those who haven't played CS:S - it's actually pretty CPU dependant, especially during firefights, which is when you need a high framerate the most.

frostys, why don't you overclock your current CPU instead? Most X2 3800+ can do about 2.8GHz, which should alleviate your CPU bottleneck. You still won't get 60fps+ constant but at least it won't be as choppy during firefights.


It's the source engine, HL2 Ep2 does it as well.
January 21, 2008 12:55:58 AM

cnumartyr said:
It's the source engine, HL2 Ep2 does it as well.


Yah, tell me about it. I'm not sure what's so CPU intensive about it, must be either the physics or hitbox / netcode calculations.
January 21, 2008 12:57:17 AM

epsilon84 said:
Yah, tell me about it. I'm not sure what's so CPU intensive about it, must be either the physics or hitbox / netcode calculations.


I'd say so.. Havok did the physics didn't they? And Intel owns them now... lol.
January 21, 2008 10:42:39 AM

cnumartyr said:
I'd say so.. Havok did the physics didn't they? And Intel owns them now... lol.


So true LOL

I find it so bad that new game will now probably use the crytek engine since sources seem to have soo many feature to use. It just look so great to me. I guess DX10 will really be worth it later because DX9 un sources engine is definately a kick.

@ Epsilon84 : I tried to OC this CPU but it seem I really got a low binned CPU from speed lol. Refused to boot at whatever over 2.1 GHz. And oc'ing would really another bad hit to the PSU wich definately need some help, not more work to do lol. Could have been power too tho...

I made the order last night and will post results when everything get delivered.

Anyone know a good guide to cable management because I REALLY suck at it and the new PSU seem to have once again MANY more wire....

THx for all the help.

January 21, 2008 11:33:30 AM

My only advice when it comes to cable management is to use as many zip-ties as possible :) 
a b à CPUs
January 21, 2008 11:39:05 AM

Interesting thread and suggestions, some chances here to find out what the old 3800+ X2 can really do by comparison, and whether the bigger PSU really makes a difference.

Hey frostys, try rerunning the tests again by only replacing the PSU first, then replace the CPU and run them all again. Let us know what the outcome is, this could be very interesting.
January 21, 2008 9:13:16 PM

Ill keep it posted for sure since I'm interested in the results too.

For cable management, I hope ill do it better this time because a 100% plaxiglass case really make for a bad look with all those wire. Sometime i just curse myself for purchasiong this...
February 1, 2008 2:24:00 PM

Could not do many testing as I am getting many error

My stupid BIOS will never let me flash for some unknown reason

It always yield me a checksum bad error and the bios stay the same version. And to add to the insult, I don't have the submenu in the BIOS for manual overclocking.

any help on this please
February 1, 2008 11:40:22 PM

Additionnal info gathered with multiple try

The bios seem to be flashing after all. I tryed an older version and it would no longer boot. Then I was like OKG I killed it.... Turn out the mobo was unhable tu run the new CPU so I put back in the 3800+ and guess what, it boot and the bios now show me the overclocking option. So i'm like well maybe the flash had gone wrong on some part so ill try again. New flash to latest version and again checksum error. At this point I'm really getting pissed off.

But going in the BIOS and saving make the computer boot correctly. I go back in the BIOS and what I see??? Overclocking option appearing so I can select the multiplier on the 3800+ (choice from 5 to 10). So I'm all like "Yeah it worked this time..."

Put back the BE in the socket and no more overclocking option...

WTF is wrong with that? Is it me???

I really need help now
a c 127 à CPUs
February 2, 2008 12:06:58 AM

cnumartyr said:
I'd say so.. Havok did the physics didn't they? And Intel owns them now... lol.


Yup. And Intel and Valve worked closely to get the physics to work from the CPU so thats why a single core CPU wont perform half as well as a dual and a dual as a quad since physics are fully calculated on the other cores. Great game though.

I suggest a new GPU, more ram and that PSU sounds great. Modualr is only for those who want a ultra tidy case. CPU wise if you do OC the X2 5000+ BE is the best one.
February 2, 2008 12:11:57 AM

from all review I read, it's definately a good overclocker but god I need the option to do so....

stupid mobo or stupid user???
February 2, 2008 12:39:38 AM

frostys said:
Additionnal info gathered with multiple try

The bios seem to be flashing after all. I tryed an older version and it would no longer boot. Then I was like OKG I killed it.... Turn out the mobo was unhable tu run the new CPU so I put back in the 3800+ and guess what, it boot and the bios now show me the overclocking option. So i'm like well maybe the flash had gone wrong on some part so ill try again. New flash to latest version and again checksum error. At this point I'm really getting pissed off.

But going in the BIOS and saving make the computer boot correctly. I go back in the BIOS and what I see??? Overclocking option appearing so I can select the multiplier on the 3800+ (choice from 5 to 10). So I'm all like "Yeah it worked this time..."

Put back the BE in the socket and no more overclocking option...

WTF is wrong with that? Is it me???

I really need help now


Are you resetting the BIOS after you flash it?
February 2, 2008 12:43:45 AM

well no

ut then it ask me to got into it and save changes or auto load default.

But I am now sure it flashed. Stupid MSI bios file saying 1.A0 and BIOS say 1.10. But now it say 1.10 after flashing with 1.A0 file and coming from the 1.9 version.

Now it give no error but no OC tool too.

I hope I won't need a new modo
February 2, 2008 12:54:43 AM

Exactly what CPU do you have?

That sounds strange. That is why I don't like flashing any BIOS.

I mean did you use the reset jumper on the board to reset it. That is what I had to do but we have different boards though. :( 
February 2, 2008 12:58:33 AM

X2 5000+ BE now installed

to reset it, I had to re-run a flash on it and it god damm scared me at the end. The computer would not boot at all. (stepping of the BE not supported probably)

There is no jumper on it but a small button.

Why in god hell is a CPU that is meant to have it's multiplier changed removing the option to do so? Thats the question.

God probably know why and he's laughning at em now...
February 2, 2008 1:07:54 AM

... Ugh, on your motherboard product page it clearly states that your BIOS was compatible with the 5000+ X2 BE since 1.A (first version). So my question is, why exactly did you flash the BIOS again?

EDIT: nvm, I see why now.

I don't know how you flashed your BIOS, but if you downloaded the zip file and did it yourself, try using the Liveupdate feature instead. Other than that im out of ideas. Sorry.
February 2, 2008 1:23:29 AM

already tryed and it give the exact same result.

And 1.a isn't the first version if i didn't read the site upside down...

I guess God needed a laugh...
February 2, 2008 1:32:41 AM

I just bought a older 90nm AMD AM2 6000+ (dual core/1MB L2 per core 3Ghz stock) for $111 USD at Fry's this week.

Nice "hold over" untill Q2 and AMD quads in 45nm as was reported in the news today.
By this time -next year- I may upgrade....or wait untill the MB dies in 3-4 years.

As far as air cooling either get a Thermalright Extream -or- a Zerotherm Nirvana NV120 Premium. Got one (Zerotherm) from Newegg this week for $39 USD after rebate and the 6000+ runs @40C....not as good as a Thermalright (runs 2-3C over room temps) but half the price.
February 2, 2008 1:39:55 AM

thanks for suggestion but I already got a Zalman 9700 LED

next suggestion I will need will probably be for a motherboard.

Anyone have more idea???
February 2, 2008 2:11:20 AM

Found online a new BIOS (beta) and the option seem to be working

look at CPU-z...

show multiplier at 15x and CPU at 3000 Mhz guess it worked.

Oh and no hard feelings god I know threating you never solve anything anyway..

Double click on prime 95 icon

Lets make this funny guy work now...

Oh and thanks for all the help
February 2, 2008 2:42:29 AM

Ya i seen that after I posted, 1.A isnt the first version. Hopefully it all works out for ya, Good Luck!
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