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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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..... :>)
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.
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
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.
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.
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