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$100 Upgrade for an AMD 64 X2 System

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September 8, 2008 9:58:12 PM

Looking for an inexpensive upgrade to tide me over until the next generation Phenoms hit the market. I have an Asus M2N4-SLI motherboard with a Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2GHz, 128KBx2 L1, 512KBx2 L2), 2 gigs of Super Talent DDR2-800 dual channel memory, and a 74GB WD Raptor hard disk. My video card is an off brand 7600GS with 256MB.

The 64 X2 6000+ is available locally for $99, or $94 on Newegg. I wonder if this would be a worthy upgrade. The benchmarks here place it in the same league as the E6600. Of course the Conroe chips are obsolete now, but people are still buying budget systems built around them. I suppose that I could buy a socket 775 mobo and throw in a cheap Exxxx chip for even better performance than the 6000+ would give me, and then upgrade the chip again sometime next year, but then I'm looking at spending somewhere around 250 for a decent board and low end Core2.
I'd rather stick with my current platform and then upgrade to a Phenom board and chip in maybe six months.

The system is used mostly for running stuff like Office, Excel, Access and Photoshop under XP Professional. Gaming is limited to some WWII games and WoW.

Would another 2GB of memory make any real difference? Should I spring for the 6000+? I would consider a black edition 5600+, but this motherboard is a poor overclocker and then I'm back to the dilemma of buying a "new" motherboard for an obsolete platform.

TIA...

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September 8, 2008 10:02:17 PM

Unless you have xp 64 bit then more memory will do nothing. The 6000+ is a fantastic chip for under 100 dollars. I'd say go for that to hold you over.
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September 8, 2008 10:06:05 PM

I believe your best upgrade, if any, is the GPU. If your wanting better gaming performance you'd be better off with a 3850 or better. I'm assuming that your PSU is decent, reliable, and has a 6 pin PCI-e power connector. I think your current 2 gb's of DDR2 is plenty for your needs. Upgrading the CPU will help some things, but not sure it'll make that much of a difference for what you stated you use it for.
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September 8, 2008 10:08:29 PM

lunyone said:
I believe your best upgrade, if any, is the GPU. If your wanting better gaming performance you'd be better off with a 3850 or better. I'm assuming that your PSU is decent, reliable, and has a 6 pin PCI-e power connector. I think your current 2 gb's of DDR2 is plenty for your needs. Upgrading the CPU will help some things, but not sure it'll make that much of a difference for what you stated you use it for.

He listed games as the last on his list, and his system can already play wow at pretty much max. A new GPU won't really do anything for him.
September 8, 2008 10:10:23 PM

nerdnic said:
Unless you have xp 64 bit then more memory will do nothing. The 6000+ is a fantastic chip for under 100 dollars. I'd say go for that to hold you over.


I second that. I picked up my 6000+ over a year ago for $170.00 and it has been more than sufficient for me. I Just added a 4850 to my system and I figure I am good to go for probably another year.

By then I will pick up an Octo core for about 100 bucks :D 

Yes you will need to upgrade that GPU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you can only do one I would just pick up a new GPU like a 9600GT.
September 8, 2008 10:10:49 PM

My question, i guess, is what problem do you have with that current build? The only weakness i see is probably the videocard, but if you hardly game that won't show much of any improvement. Honestly, no other upgrade will really do much for you. Is nobody EVER happy with what they have? sounds like a women to me..... ;P~~~

If anything a couple more gigs of RAM would be the cheapest route, and wouldnt hurt, even with a 32bit OS
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September 8, 2008 10:30:48 PM

Windows XP won't recognize anything over 2GB so getting more RAM without updating your OS wouldn't do you any good whatsoever. Have you checked the Asus website to make sure your board can run a 6000+ or Phenom CPU!!?? If you're going to upgrade something because you want to play games then upgrade your GPU to at least a Radeon 3850 with 512 of GDDR3. Upgrading your CPU won't make much of a difference in games with that 7600GS. Since you want to upgrade to a phenom latter anyway it seems a waste to spend $100 on a CPU you are going to upgrade in 3 or 4 months when the new phenoms come out. If it's your office productivity then you may want to invest in a bigger secondary hard drive since 74GB is a bit small and a Raptor will perform better when it's defragmented and not 98% full.
September 8, 2008 10:33:21 PM

32bit OS will use around 3gb of RAM if i'm correct. Again i say, the cheapest upgrade with 'noticeable' results... just match your current sticks.
September 8, 2008 10:39:35 PM

i would say get a new video card. you can find some radeon 3850's on ebay for $100.
September 8, 2008 10:54:25 PM

I guess the answer depends on your primary usuage & what is currently underperforming. Is it that you feel the FPS and/or detail settings in gaming are not coming through as you would like them, or is it that you are applying multiple complex filters in Photoshop? In the first case a video card would be the best upgrade, in the second RAM and CPU would be the best bet (CPU first).

If it is overall performance (i.e. office is slow) I would seriously consider reformating and reinstalling. Its a bit of a pain, but it tends to have the most impact after a certain point. Best of all its free.... You may also want to check the system logs for any type of error that may be effecting you (I tend to see disk errors sometimes when a drive is going bad and slowing the system down).

@Megamanx00: XP will reocgnize and use up to about 3.0-3.5 GB or so of memory, individual applications are capped at 2 GB unless you use the /3GB switch in which case they are capped at 3 GB.


September 8, 2008 11:09:37 PM

Learn to read those of you telling him to upgrade GPU, he doesnt game (much)

I say get the RAM, may be worth springing for DDR-1066 which could be carried over to the Phenom build. XP-32 can address up to 4GB of RAM which includes the RAM on your video card and any motherboard resources that require a memory address. Therefore most people will see between 3.2 and 3.5GB when they have 4GB installed.
September 9, 2008 12:18:18 AM

Get an Opteron 1210/1212:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819105220
68.00 USD (OEM)
74.00 USD (Retail w/heatsink)

These CPUs will easily overclock to 3.0Ghz, has the 2Mb cache, is server grade and saves you money!! Just read the review for the Retail 1212 / google on the models.

The 6000+ is overpriced when the C2D can wipe the floor with it...

Bob
!