Currently, the setup I have is as follows:
1. AMD Athlon64 3500+ 2.2 Ghz (OC'd to 2.42 Ghz)
2. Asus M2N-E motherboard
3. Inno3D GeForce 9600GT 512 mb GDDR3 256-bit VGA Card
4. 2 GB (2X1GB) Corsair XMS2 DHX 800 Bus Ram
5. Cooler Master 500 Watt Extreme Power PSU
6. 320 GB Western Digital 16 mb cache 7200 rpm HDD
My BASIC need on this machine is a new processor, as everything in my opinion is fine, since I just changed the video card etc.
Based on this information, I have two simple questions.
1. If I am JUST changing the processor, what is the highest I can go without having to change the motherboard? I was thinking of going till the AMD Athlong64 X2 6000+ as my next jump would be to the Phenom II when I have more money in my pockets to change the motherboard :-P But can I go uptil Phenom on this motherboard without any loss of performance due to mobo limitations? I was thinking of the Phenom 9950 2.6 Ghz Black edition, but apparently it's power requirement is 140W and I am not sure if my mobo is capable of it. However, my first choice is a phenom processor.
2. If I do decide to go for X2 6000+, there are two kinds, one's clock speed is 3.0 Ghz and the other is 3.1 Ghz. I think it has to do with the architecture. The former being built on the Windsor and the latter on Brisbane. The variables between the two can be further broken down as follows:
i. 3.0 uses 125W, L2 cache is 1024kb and CMOS 90nm SOI.
ii. 3.1 uses 89W, L2 cache is 512kb and CMOS is 65nm SOI.
(There is also a difference of REVISION but I am not sure what it means. 3.0 is F3 while 3.1 is G2). Based on this, which one is better? Which one should I go for? There is no price difference.
I thank you all in advance for the help. This has been driving me MAD! Also, any recommendations to improve my setup in an extremely tight budget would be appreciated!
The difference between the two is the die size the older one runs at 3.0GHz with 2mb of cach (Windsor core 90nm). Whiles the newer one (Brisbane 65nm) has half the cach but is manufactured using the 65nm technology hence it runs cooler .etc
I personally would go for the Brisbane if your planing on overclocking and such as it runs cooler hence can be pushed further and harder than the out dated Windsor.
Thank you. I highly appreciate the input but I did have one thing that kinda confused me. Isn't a bigger L2 cache a good thing? I knew that brisbane is newer and better, but wouldnt the bigger L2 cache mean better out of the box performance? And yes, I would be overclocking, but isnt a processor which is faster out of the box going to be faster even after being overclocked in comparison to a processor which was not as fast out of the box to begin with?
Also, there are two 9950 procs available. One is in 140W and one is 125W. Can I go with the 125W without any problems? What else do you think would require changing with the processor after the upgrade? Would I need to change the ram to 1066 or higher as well? What if I dont want to change the ram to 1066. am I still better off with phenom or will I get better performance out of X2 6000+ brisbane/windsor?
I am running the AMD 64 X2 6000 on that board. It is the older cpu and I have it OC to 3200 mhz. It works just fine. The cache size is important as my chip with 2 x 1mbit will be faster than the new one. Personally I don't like this motherboard and given the choice I would just wait and go for the new cpu with the Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-UD4H (rev. 1.0). You could go for the board first and cpu later if you wish.
Heat with the stock fan on my present rig doesn't seem to be a problem however I am using an Antec P180 case which has a lot of cooling.
As you can see, I got a lot of feedback to my intial question, which was appreciated. However, the upgrade to a better CPU did not happen.
In this one year, a lot has changed, and as per the ASUS website, my motherboard, the M2N-e is now capable of supporting Phenom II X4 procs as well.
I am going to be purchasing a AMD Phenom II X4 945 Proc, rev C3, 95W as indicated on the ASUS website as being supported by the M2N-e.
It does indicate that my motherboard will require a bios update to ver 3001. Can anyone please be kind enough to guide me into how I can do that? I am looking for a step by step procedure as I cant find it anywhere online. And I am too scared to do it without knowing what I am doing. I know ASUS recommends NOT to use ezflash for bios updates.
Also, would I have to change all the OC settings BEFORE I change the processor? I am thinking I would need to reset everything...
Also, will my motherboard will support DDR2-1033 RAM?
Any help will be highly appreciated. Thank you all in advance....
When you flash the bios it resets everything just follow what ever directions are in your manual its fairly simple and the manual will tell you how if you lost yours you can just download it from ASUS.
DDR2 1066 RAM should run but it might set it to 800mhz default and you will have to manually OC it to 1066.
One more quick question: I am unable to find an AMD Phenom II X4 945 with the C3 revision, I am only getting C2 revision. On the asus website, it says it will support the 945 with the C3 setting. Is it okay if I buy the C2 revision and run with it? Or will it not work at all? As per other forums, the difference is in overclocking, but if I don't overclock, will it still work or no?