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Upgrade Advice...the joys of 939

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Last response: in Systems
February 12, 2008 5:38:56 PM

I am trying to squeeze another year or two out of my current PC:
CPU: AMD 64 3400+ 939
Motherboard: ASUS A8V Deluxe
Memory: 1 Gig Kingston Value RAM (2 x 512) DDR 400
Video Card: NVIDIA 7600 GS
PSU: Antec 450W Smart Power

So what I am trying to figure out is how to get the best bang for my buck. So far the CPU choices are:
AMD Opteron 180 - $160
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4200+ - $76-$100...whenever one gets in stock

and for RAM it seems buying old RAM is almost as expensive as new. I was thinking about going with:
2GB G-skill

I want to stick with the MB and Video Card for a bit unless I absolutely have to get new ones. I'm trying not to spend over $275 if I can help it...Any advice would be appreciated.

The computer is mostly used for WoW and general web surfing.

Thanks in advance.

More about : upgrade advice joys 939

February 12, 2008 6:15:51 PM

Excellent choices - all. If you can find the X2 4200, it's a better deal. You might not,unless you want to take your chances on ebay or something. Otherwise, even if you get the opteron you will notice a big difference. Especially by adding RAM. I have used the A8V Deluxe and it's a great board.
February 12, 2008 6:45:21 PM

The Opteron looks like a good bet. Seeing as the X2 4200 might not be in stock when you need it. The 2GB RAM is a good deal too, DDR is still pretty good, although its a little more expensive than DDR2. So, yeah Opteron and 2GB RAM would be a good update, giving you a 3GB total in RAM.
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February 12, 2008 7:07:02 PM

Look at my system spec for the 7 I have on LAN.
Get some DDR1-500 and adjust your system to run around 3-3.2Ghz on stock volts but with massive memory bandwith whil still keeping low timeings.

The Optron 146's I am useing are all OC'd 50% on stock volts but my memory scores (Read/Write/Copy) are -far- above the fastest Corsair/OCZ DDR2 that sales for about $600 a set (last years prices).

February 12, 2008 7:22:44 PM

I wouldn't try 3 gig or ram. The slow ram would hold the faster ram to its timings and running four sticks would hold you to 2T timings instead of running at 1T. Other than that, though the 4200+ is a decent cpu, they're getting harder to find and the Opteron should give better overclocking possibilities.

That said, I would suggest a different route than you're thinking at the moment. I would get the 2 gig of ram for $100, overclock your present cpu as far as possible, and than buy a Diamond HD 3850 512 mb video card for about $185 (Newegg price). That's $10 more than the $275 you want to spend, but the better video card would get you a lot more in performance that a new cpu would. Further, if time comes that you upgrade to a different cpu and mobo, the 3850 can go with it and provide a fair amount of performance.

For a guess about the video card differences, look in the graphics card charts and compare your 7600 GS to a HD 3850 under "All Games". You'll see that there is a huge difference between the two.
February 12, 2008 7:23:27 PM

ASUS M2A-VM 64.99
X2 4200+ AM2 1MB BOX 64.00
Team Elite 2GB 2x1GB DDR2 800 42.99
$ 171

total $266

With 275$ I would by that...

and you can sell 939 board with agp support and that agp 7600 GS
and buy better video card
and new hard drive like 250gb sata3 16mb

agp and specially 939 are history... sorry!!
February 12, 2008 7:24:55 PM

Or, how about this idea--


Asus AM2 Mobo
M2N32 SLI Deluxe $169.99

GSkill DDR2 800 RAM
2 GB (1x2GB) $46.99

AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+
AM2 $84.99

Sub-Total>>>>>>>>>>>> $302 plus s+h

Sell your old stuff>>> -$50.00


Total Investment >>>>> $252 plus s+h

prices obtained from
February 12, 2008 7:30:02 PM

I've also used the A8V with an X2 4200+ and it's a good upgrade from the 3400. The links showed something a little confusing in that the 4200 said it came with a fan (heatsink?) but that it was an OEM package. If you go that route, you might want to check to make sure it comes with the newer AMD heatsink since you will see temps a little higher with the dual core. Otherwise, if you can do it inexpensively, the dual core and added RAM are a significant boost. Just keep your fingers crossed and hope everything holds together for another year!
February 12, 2008 7:37:19 PM

silverfrog said:
Or, how about this idea--


Total Investment >>>>> $252 plus s+h

prices obtained from

AND Video card... :non: 

Its 23:37 time to sleep...
February 12, 2008 7:50:32 PM

Seems like the AM2 upgarde might be better in the long run...and cheaper, plus it is not as difficult trying to find AM2 that in mind how about:
Asus M2N Motherboard - $80
2 GB A-DATA RAM - $36
AMD X2 4600 - $75

Then I would just need a video card for $80 or so...7600GT might be the way to go...I have a SATA 150 drive...will it work with the new MB or do i need a 3.0?

February 12, 2008 7:59:59 PM

The drive will be fine with the new MB.
February 12, 2008 8:14:26 PM

You're absolutely right about the AM2 and PCIe route. The problem with the s939 route is that if anything breaks or burns out, you're stuck with finding/replacing components from an aging platform.
February 12, 2008 8:36:45 PM

Ok, wife ok'd a little increase in the PC budget :) 
Heres what I plan on getting:
Asus M2N Motherboard - $80
2 GB A-DATA RAM - $36
AMD X2 4600 - $75

8600GTS 256DDR3 OC

This comes up to $384.88 including shipping plus $40 in mail-in-rebates.

This look pretty good to you all? Any recommendations to save a penny or two?

Thanks again for your time.
February 12, 2008 8:49:12 PM

arnet said:
This look pretty good to you all? Any recommendations to save a penny or two?

Thanks again for your time.

Looks good overall. If the cpu comes with a heatsink and you don't overclock, you might save some money on that, or even use the heatsink from your present 3400+, again if you don't overclock.

Another possibility would be to buy a 5000+ BE for $99.99 and to use the heatsink from your 3400+, as long as you don't overclock it. Then save some money and in the future buy a good heatsink and overclock the 5000+ BE to your heart's delight.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 12, 2008 8:54:00 PM

Do this. Skip the aftermarket heatsink, then maybe grab a 3850. I mean I'm sure the 8600 gts is great on a budget, like me, I'll probably end up getting an overclocked 8600 gt myself, but from everything I've seen if you have the cash, the 3850 is good bang for the buck. And with my 5200 x2, stock heatsink and fan, my cpu stays in the high 20 degrees celcius range at idle. Now I do have 1 very large case fan in the side, about as big around as a soccer ball, and then an 80 mm to pull out the back, but still for stock, if you are getting the retail processor, do stock for now. It's easier to convince your wife that you can do an upgrade for 25 bucks than for 170. So maybe do light overclocking, 3850, and retail chip, and I think you'll be happy for a while.
February 12, 2008 11:26:11 PM

I wouldn't bother throwing any more money at a S939 system... and that's coming from a fellow S939 owner. With the money you'd have to spend on just a processor you could be well on your way to a more modern and faster system. Aside from the systems already suggested you could go with a cheap intel P35/E2160 system. It'd be more expensive than a low end AM2, but you'd be able to upgrade to a high end dual core or a good quad down the road if you were so inclined. If you wanted an upgrade path to Phenom you might be better off going with an AM2+ board... but that'll cost more too. For graphics, the 3850 is great bang for the buck, and is a great choice for someone who doesn't need the fastest card out there.

a b B Homebuilt system
February 13, 2008 2:39:04 AM

Been looking around, he can actually get an AM2+ board cheaper than the ASUS he listed.
February 13, 2008 11:43:55 AM

please check your private messages
February 13, 2008 11:54:09 AM

just get an X2 3600 socket 939. You might get all the performance boost you need without spending a bunch of money.
February 13, 2008 12:01:51 PM

The 7600 GS is a fine graphic card, i have it myself. It can run BF2 smoothly. . i would suggest you get a better CPU
February 13, 2008 12:26:11 PM

x2 4200 @ 2.6 and an 8800gt would be my choice..