Bare minimum upgrade - SSE2 needed but keep old RAM & AGP card

Currently I have:

Athlon XP 2800+ Barton 2.09Ghz
ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe
2x 512mb Crucial DDR 333MHz/PC2700 RAM
Sapphire Radeon X1650 PRO 256MB AGP

Yes, I know it's old as the hills but it's been fine for my usage, until recently where more and more games need SSE2 like Grid, Assassins Creed, Devil May Cry 4 etc. This is annoying as I can play Crysis, COD4, Stalker, BioShock, Oblivion etc to a level that's acceptable for me.

So basically my question is, what is the barest minimum upgrade I can perform? Obviously I need to replace my CPU and motherboard, but I want to keep my existing ram and graphics card.

Having looked through the list of CPU's that have SSE2 on Wiki, I presume an Athlon 64 or even a Sempron 64 would be ok? In which case what specific CPU would be the wisest purchase? By wisest I don't mean the fastest, but which would be the best in terms of 'bang per buck'. The same goes for motherboard.

Also what socket? 754, 939 or even AM2 (unlikely maybe)? I guess my main problem is that I'm unsure what motherboard would still be able to use my PC2700 RAM and AGP card. If I knew what would be a good/fast mobo what could still use my existing RAM & graphics card, I could probably decide what CPU to go for or at least it'd make it easier.

Clearly I'm not looking to spend a lot at all (no more than £40), so the cheaper the better and I'll most likely be buying from eBay. Performance that matches or even slightly betters my current CPU/mobo (I presume that won't be difficult) would be ideal.

Thanks for any help/info and please don't tell me to upgrade to a completely new system with a C2D processor or whatever as I do not wish to go that far.
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More about bare minimum upgrade sse2 needed card
  1. for what it's worth,,,,, you might consider looking at the local newsgroups in and around your area,,an upgrade to say a 939 chipset would be your best bet as you might still be able to use your pc2700/333 ram as the 939 will support it,,also the 939 will suppost dual cores when and if you get your paws on one and also supports pc3200/400ram as to the agp you will just have to keep your eyes open,for instance my old Asus A8N-Sli is a 939 mobo that supports dual core,and pci-e..... :>)
  2. i have a asrock 775i65g motherboard which i picked up for about £25 these take any 775 pin intel chip even quad core they also DDR1 ram wh you have and agp card. and i belive a dual core celeron (core 2 based) go for around £25.
  3. Thanks for the info dokk2 and imi2003. It looks like ASRock might be the way to go seeing as they do a few boards that bridge the gap between the old and new. The only problem is finding someone/place that sells them and pick a CPU :)
  4. I would think it best that you save your money for a new computer. Not much more performance can be attained from the upgrade and purchase of antiquated hardware such as this.

    It costs more for specialised hardware to fit the needs of older hardaware... rather spend more on new... besides your graphics card is more of the bottleneck...
  5. amdfangirl, like I said in my initial post I don't want to upgrade my entire pc as then it would be likely that I'd be spending in excess of £300-£500 which I don't have.

    th_username, unfortuantely I can't buy from newegg as I'm don't live in America.
  6. ^ Save up, its not worth it... or buy a new graphics card... (which is still not worth it...)
  7. Buying a new graphics card won't give me SSE2 and if given a choice to spend £40 or £500, I'd choose the former.

    I will buy a more up to date PC, just not now. All I want now is a CPU with SSE2.

    Hopefully I can get a CPU for £20 and a mobo for £20, but from looking around on eBay, the majority of CPU's are OEM/have no heatsink fan so it might have to be £15 for CPU, £15 for mobo and £10 for HSF.
  8. agree with fangirl

    not sure about SSE reqs - but an agp card ati 3850 would boost perf

    so much is good money after bad - I just moved up to a sys like yours from a p3.866 - it was a gift cos the 866 died - but it's just a temp celery2700

    for cheap you could do: (won't fit the budget)

    amd 4850e CPU = $90
    gigabyte 780G mobo - w onboard vid = $90
    new ram is cheap esp used $40

    Total $220 or about 100 Pounds (ish)

    LATER ADD ati4850 vidcard

    sell your old parts to cut cost to near 60 maybe :)
  9. Hi

    If you must keep running with that old gear then you need something like this:
    That bundle will probably go for around 50.00?? You would be stuck with a single-core processor and no routes for upgrading since socket 939 processors are no longer produced (and the dual-core prices just keep rising 2nd hand).

    But really you want to be saving up for is a combo like: E2180+3850+Gigabyte P35 board+2Gb Ballistix.

    Pricing that up:
    35.00 2Gb RAM
    45.00 CPU
    60.00 MB

    So amdfangirl is right... A full upgrade is going to cost around 200.00 GBP NEW and is easily your best bet!! :sol:

    An all-solid capacitor motherboard... A Core 2 CPU... Overclockable RAM. A decent entry-level GPU.

  10. Very Cheap SSE2 build (I stress very cheap)

    ($42, mATX case)
    ($45)(has onboard GFX, but has a PCI-X 16 slot for a newer vid card later)
    ($40, 2GB)

    Total: $362 + S&H (This is with an OS) $252 without OS. Spend a little more, and get a good PSU, and Vid card.
  11. unless you can find something used on ebay or somewhere I'd go an amd X2 and 780g motherboard (basically same graphics performance as what you have). With ddr2 memory being so cheap you should be able to go to 2 gig relativity cheap.
  12. NEW AMD ATHLON 64 3200+ 2.2GHz 512KB 59W E6 SOCKET 754: £18.00 shipped

    New BIOSTAR NF325-A7 SOCKET 754 M/B RETAIL FULL RETAIL: £22.50 shipped

    It's a nice looking mobo but it only has 2 dimm slots. Sorry I busted your £40 budget by .50 :)

    Now as you noted there is no HSF with the OEM cpu but I'll betcha your existing HSF will fit (if you rotate it 90 degrees). The %^@! bracket won't fit so it's up to you to engineer a solution.

    I've been in a similar situation and this is what I did. I smeared dielectric silicone paste around the remaining thermal grease on the bottom of the HSF and set it in place with a small book on top of it - and it set up like a champ and worked like a charmp. The temps looked great and I had no problems for six months when I finally broke down (from fear, mostly-lol) and purchased another HSF. With a little twist and a pull it popped right off - and left the microprocessor in the board :)

    I had some laying around but you should be able to buy some for £2-£3.

    Kinda makes that HSF from Hong Kong look like a good deal, doesn't it? lol
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