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Looking for Processor Advice

Last response: in CPUs
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October 9, 2008 4:35:42 PM

Hello everyone - I was hoping to tap some community knowledge as I'm looking at upgrading my current system.

Right now I've got:
AMD X2 4600+
8800GT 512mb GeForce4
4gb 800 DDR2 Ram

I'm sort of at a cross roads. I can either upgrade my AMD processor to one of the newer models and squeeze a little more performance out of my current setup (which is obviously the budget choice), or I can go to an Intel, which if I did it would be the e8400.

First off, the AMD processors. I'm kind of wondering what's going on with both the Winsor vs. the new .65 nm processors that appear to be based off the Brisbane core.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

vs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems like the major differences is that the Winsor is sporting another 1mb more of L2 cache, but the newer processor is at .65nm (which as I understand it allows for a better overclock capacity among other things?)

Does anyone have a solid answer on which processor would be the better buy?

And finally, if I did go with intel, I'd be going with the 3.0ghz e8400. The major drawback to that is I'm pretty much overhauling my whole system for $200 more than I'd be spending on just getting a new AMD processor.

Would going intel justify the cost? Or would it be better to just spend a little money now, and then at some point do a massive upgrade on the intel side?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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October 9, 2008 5:00:00 PM

Judging from the 8800gt you have, I'm guessing games are a priority. These charts might help.
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=770&p=8
My feeling is that upgrading the CPU you have now to X2 6000+ or to E8400 won't do much for you in games. Definitely not enough to be worth $100 (x2 6000+) or $300 (E8400+cheap p45 mb).

Do your MB and PSU support adding a second 8800GT? If yes, that would help a lot more than a CPU upgrade.
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October 9, 2008 5:10:00 PM

You can try some overclocking first; I'm waiting for the black friday sales to get some more computer stuff.
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October 9, 2008 5:17:53 PM

I don't know what mobo you have but here is my thinking ....

You want a transition. Before you do it's a great time to take what you have to the max and see what it can really do. Buy a nice HSF (that you can move over in the future to your new rig) and crank that AMD X2 4600+.

Depending upon your mobo, the 4600+ has been good to some folks. Upping the clock to 241MHz (in incremental steps), dropping the HT to x4, decreasing the memory ratio from 400 --> 333 should get you to nearly 2.9GHz with your RAMs running 802MHz. It will take a little voltage tweaking but nothing to the extreme to run stable.

There might be a little life left in the X2 4600+ :) 

edit: And your cash might be best spent on a video upgrade as noted ...
October 9, 2008 5:46:12 PM

Yeah, if cash is tight, try overclocking your current chip first.

I'd favour the Brisbane X2 6000+ just because it runs cooler than the Windsor core. Overclocking would be similar between the two, the Windsor would probably have a slight edge in overall performance due to the bigger cache but I just can't stomach a dual core CPU eating up close to 125W under load...

As far as upgrading to Intel, given your budget concerns, have you given any consideration to the cheaper E5200 or E7200 chips? They both overclock like mad (around 1 - 1.5GHz over stock) and are a fair bit cheaper than the E8400, especially the E5200.
October 9, 2008 5:53:21 PM

If your saying your on a tight budget then i agree with the overclocking option or a new AMD CPU supported by your mobo. Depending on how tight your budget is an upgrade to an Intel CPU might go over your budget sense you will have to get a new mobo with it. yu could try for a CPU/mobo combo deal but the mobos in those combo's usually aer not the best
!