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Need some help on an update

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December 31, 2008 5:09:50 PM

As stated above, I'm in the process of pooling my funds, as it were, to purchase a much needed upgrade to my computer.

Currently, I have an AMD 3500+ processor and am looking for a dual core to upgrade to - preferably something that can handle large gaming stresses... The processor I'm looking at right now is the AMD 5000+, as I need a dual-core. But, can I upgrade to this processor without purchasing a new motherboard?

The pins, sockets and the like are completely alien to me... I just need a bit of advice - A better upgrade and processor, without having to purchase/overhaul my entire computer/motherboard. However, stated processor must be dual-core and above an AMD 4400+.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated... I study philosophy - computer hardware is waaay out of my element, so explanations should be simplified :) 

Thanks to all who attempt!

More about : update

December 31, 2008 5:33:06 PM

we need the full specs of your current setup (particularly motherboard, ram, and PSU) before we can effectively recommend parts for you

also, what is your budget for this upgrade and what exactly are you doing with this comp? (what apps, games etc and what size/resolution monitor are you running?)
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December 31, 2008 6:17:20 PM

Right then! Thanks for the speedy reply!

Here's what I could get... anything else is readily available upon request!

Computer:
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name DOC
User Name John Holliday

Motherboard:
CPU Type AMD Athlon 64, 2200 MHz (11 x 200) 3500+
Motherboard Name Asus A8V Deluxe (5 PCI, 1 AGP, 4 DDR DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)
Motherboard Chipset VIA K8T800Pro, AMD Hammer
System Memory 1024 MB (PC3200 DDR SDRAM)
BIOS Type AMI (06/17/04)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM2)
Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

Display:
Video Adapter RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition Secondary (256 MB)
Video Adapter RADEON X800 XT Platinum Edition (256 MB)
3D Accelerator ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum (R420)
Monitor Sony SDM-S74 DVI-D [17" LCD] (3671394)

Multimedia:
Audio Adapter Creative SB0350 Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card

Storage:
IDE Controller VIA Bus Master IDE Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller VIA Serial ATA RAID Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller WinXP Promise FastTrak 378 (tm) Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller WinXP Promise RAID Console SCSI Processor Device
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive ST316002 3AS SCSI Disk Device (160 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA)
Optical Drive JLMS XJ-HD166S (16x/48x DVD-ROM)
Optical Drive PLEXTOR DVDR PX-712A (DVD+RW:12x/4x, DVD-RW:8x/4x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:48x/24x/48x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions:
C: (NTFS) 152625 MB

Input:
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse HID-compliant mouse

Network:
Network Adapter Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller (38.100.218.149)
Modem U.S. Robotics 56K Fax PCI

Peripherals:
Printer Canon S330
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB2 Controller VIA USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
__________________

I've already purchased the video card upgrade: times 2 of XFX GeForce 8600 GT Video Card, ready for SLi...

The games I'm wanting to play are Bioshock, Farcry 2 and Assassins Creed... the game that prompted my attempt to update was Empire: Total War.... I'm by default a huge history geek and own all total war games and will be damned if I cannot enjoy their latest edition to a fine legacy.

It's an Alienware PC, purchased before I entered Graduate School and had cash... my expendable funds are between $100 to $200 (USD) and am willing to spend more for a "comfort" buy - or something that will be 'up-to-date' for a while. It's been only in recent months that my system has become obviously obsolete... it's tragic, really...
December 31, 2008 6:21:25 PM

jj463rd said:
If your system is a older Socket 939 motherboard you're most likely out of luck.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_939
However if your motherboard is a newer AM2 based motherboard then indeed you can upgrade with a faster Athlon X2 64 CPU.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socket_AM2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_Athlon_64_micr...



Oh, dear... I fear I may have the 939...

So, a full-on motherboard upgrade may be inevitable... Ah, I figured this day would come. :( 
a b à CPUs
December 31, 2008 6:31:37 PM

Yes I did notice that it was a socket 939 so you will have to replace the motherboard ( and other parts RAM etc)
http://www.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=15&l3=68

There were Athlon 64 X2's made for Socket 939 but these are not available anymore.
December 31, 2008 6:34:37 PM

Bugger...

Any recommendations for this step, then?

I apologize for such ignorance...
December 31, 2008 6:48:02 PM

Er... can you return those 2x XFX 8600GT video cards? That money can be spent on a single video card that will hand 2x 8600GTs their collective asses.

Also, AMD is on the verge of releasing the Phenom II, so we'll hopefully see a new CPU pricing structure after they are released (mid Jan). End of Jan. might be a great time for a rebuild of your system.
a b à CPUs
December 31, 2008 6:49:10 PM

Well it depends on how much money that you are willing to spend.
DDR2 memory right now is dirt cheap.Do you want to stick with AMD or do you want to build a more powerful Intel system.Right now Intel has the faster and more powerful dual core CPU's but a good number of people are switching over to Quad Core CPU's.Intel has the faster and more powerful Quad's right now but AMD has some inexpensive ones and also has a tri -core CPU.
What is you budget for a new build?
December 31, 2008 6:58:00 PM

mtyermom said:
Er... can you return those 2x XFX 8600GT video cards? That money can be spent on a single video card that will hand 2x 8600GTs their collective asses.

Also, AMD is on the verge of releasing the Phenom II, so we'll hopefully see a new CPU pricing structure after they are released (mid Jan). End of Jan. might be a great time for a rebuild of your system.


Well, I can't return them... but I purchased these after seeing another rig's performance... They were actually fairly well priced at just over $90.... bumping over $100 with shipping and the like.

I should like to see the structure change... I was just hoping there'd be a quick fix, but of course, there isn't.

"Well it depends on how much money that you are willing to spend.
DDR2 memory right now is dirt cheap.Do you want to stick with AMD or do you want to build a more powerful Intel system.Right now Intel has the faster and more powerful dual core CPU's but a good number of people are switching over to Quad Core CPU's.Intel has the faster and more powerful Quad's right now but AMD has some inexpensive ones and also has a tri -core CPU.
What is you budget for a new build?"

Well, if indeed I can be comfortable for the next few years, I'm willing to add another hundred to my budget and go up to $350... I know this isn't much, but it also depends on how much a motherboard would cost...
December 31, 2008 6:59:35 PM

I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the advice! I knew I'd get some help on this site, but I never thought I'd get so much support...
a b à CPUs
December 31, 2008 7:17:03 PM

Well for building an AMD system you could go for this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or perhaps a cheaper one like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and perhaps this CPU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you need RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could use the integrated graphics until you got a newer discrete graphics card that uses PCI Express 2.0 16X.
However you might have to get a new power supply and you will need a new version of Microsoft Windows which will add another $150 or so.Plus you will need a new SATA 2 hard drive too (they are inexpensive now).
December 31, 2008 9:53:22 PM

oneiros said:
Well, I can't return them... but I purchased these after seeing another rig's performance... They were actually fairly well priced at just over $90.... bumping over $100 with shipping and the like.


Did you pay ~$100 per card, bringing your total for video cards to ~$200; or did you pay ~$100 for the pair? Either way, it's not worth it, especially with being locked into an SLI motherboard.
I want you to take a look at this performance chart (you'll have to copy and paste):

  1. http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-q3-2008/compare,795.html?prod[2067]=on&prod[2254]=on&prod[2085]=on


It compares an 8600GT SLI setup against single card setups with an nvidia 9600GT and an ATI 4670, both of which can be purchased for less than $100 shipped and both of which blow the 8600GT SLI out of the water.
December 31, 2008 10:45:21 PM

Ok, since you already have the cards and are determined to go SLI, here is what i have come up with.

This is the bare minimum of parts that you will need to upgrade:

ASUS M3N72-D AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $130.99 plus shipping
This is the least expensive motherboard with AM2 and SLI that I could find on newegg.

A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $41.99 w/ free shipping

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $49.50 w/ free shipping

This comes to a total of $222.48 + $9.39 shipping (for the motherboard) = $231.87

As old as your current system is, I also worry about the power supply. I suggest you consider this case/psu combo:

Antec Sonata III w/ 500w EarthWatts PSU $99.99 w/ free shipping



December 31, 2008 11:53:53 PM

Masterful!

I cannot thank you enough!

I'll be sure to work out the budget, but it would seem as though the purchases are possible... next, I suppose, will be the problem of installing the bloody things, but that's another thread entirely :) 

I can infer that there's a consensus among the knowledgeable about these suggestions, and therefore, I'll try to make it happen.

Thank you all again!
!