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Upgrade oldish AM2

Last response: in Systems
May 29, 2009 1:08:07 PM


I would like to do some upgrading - CPU and GPU.

Motherboard: ASUS M2N32-SLI Deluxe
CPU: Athlon 64 X2 5200+
GPU: 8800 GTS 320 MB

I was thinking about 9800GT 1GB they seem fairly cheap.

For the CPU I wanted to go with a Phenom X4 9950, however it seems like the motherboard do not support higher AM2+ then Phenom X4 9850 (which I even found to be more pricey:( 

So I can't really figure what might be a good CPU upgrade.
I am really just looking for a cheap upgrade that still will make enough of a difference to pay off.
Bang, bang. And I was thinking that going Quad Core would be the best option.

Lastly could you recommend a heatsink to go with a eventual new CPU, as silent as possible of course.

Thank you.

More about : upgrade oldish am2

May 29, 2009 8:11:27 PM

What do you want to use the computer for? If its gaming what resolutions will you be playing at and what kind of games do you want to play? What kind of money do you plan on spending on those two peices all together. Also how long do you plan on keeping this build before another upgrade?

I would highly highly recommend spending the extra 30 dollars and getting a PII940 (right now the 940 is the same price as the 920 on sale with free shipping, so it would probably be only 20 dollars more then the 9850 with shipping, if you use NewEgg). The first generation ones are horrible and the PII will last you much longer, will be easier to overclock (if you plan to do so), will be more reliable, and will give you much better performance.
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May 29, 2009 8:21:36 PM

Don't even go for the first gen Phenoms, they're hot and the caches are small (i know this from experience).

Asus have made it really wierd with the m2n32-sli deluxe (as a previous owner of one) because they say some cpus aren't compatable but blatantly more powerful ones are.

After some research, AM2+ Phenom II's work just fine apparently (check out Asus' website for a full compatability list).

But if you're after cheap then i honestly don't know what to suggest. If you can still find anything lower than a 9850 on the web then try going for them. Remember to look for the 50 on the end of the number, as these are the refined chips that don't have the cursed TLB erratum bug that plagued the very first phenoms.

The 9800GT is a good choice, they statistically offer the best bang-for-buck performance and don't suck too much from the wall either. Either that or try going for a cheap & cheerful XFX GTS 250. On paper they wont be as good as the better 9800 GT's but they run on the GT200 chipset which has more efficient architecture for graphical processing.

And of course, the ONLY heatsink anyone should ever use on AM2/AM2+ is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 PRO V2. Scan International retails them for about £17 - The Freezer is cheap but extremely effective.

Remember to flash your BIOS to the latest version before even thinking of sticking a phenom in there too or you wont make it to windows.
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May 29, 2009 8:59:54 PM

i would say grab a motherboard that supports the Phenom II cpu's. they're much better than the original ones. you don't even have to spend a ton of money on a fancy AM3 board. you could even just get an AM2+ board that supports the chips and reuse your ram.
May 30, 2009 12:40:57 AM

Thank you for the great replies.

I am still somewhat confused though about the CPU but that has to do with the compatibility list

But let me first try to answer a few of you're questions, there's really two reasons for me thinking about upgrading a bit.

The first is of course games, my current specs can really do anything else be it video editing, adobe stuff or just general multitasking for my needs anyway.
I am not a big gamer so it don't have to be perfect but I do know there will come a couple of games in the next year or so that I suspect at least my current GPU wont be to crazy about.
Mass Effect 2, new COD something (skipped the last one) etc.

The second reason is that I felt I might be able to get some good bang for the buck right now plus put of a new build lets say ~+2 years off and be a happy camper in the mean time.

As for money as long as it would be good bang!
I was thinking ~380 US$ however in Denmark hardware prices are a bit more pricey then newegg, if I am naughty and buy in Sweden you can compare prices to the US better.

ATM I do 1280x1024 but I am seriously looking in to buying a new screen so I don't think that have to effect the decision too much.

As for RAM I pt got CORSAIR 6400, v5.1, 5-5-5-12, 800 MHz.
I really don't know to much about bottlenecks so I am unsure if it is something I should be worried about?

On PSU I am good with a CORSAIR I upgraded last year and put the old PSU in a semi retired computer.

I had one more look at the compatibility list.
It seems like the Phenom X4 9850 is the last of the X4 series to be supported.
The PII940 looks really nice but I am unclear to whether it's compatible or not?

Then I had I look at the Phenom II x720 which is not listed either but according to people here -
it works even though it's not on ASUS compatibility chart, yet?
As in the compatibility chart is not up to date with the BIOS revision? Or like future BIOS updates will have better X4 and X3, AM3 support?

The Phenom II x720 seems to be a really good buy at least here what would you say?

The XFX GTS 250 looks like a sweet deal too I think I would go with that. Half the price of my 8800 GTS, bad buy timing BTW.
Cheers for the heatsink as well (:

To sum it all up this is the route I would like to go and fits the budget very well.

Phenom II x720 (if you think it would be a good buy and if it actually fits!)

If the Phenom X4 9850 is the best supported in the line then maybe I should put it off for a while and then when I really need it go with the whole package motherboard, RAM etc.

I just found the receipt date for this build 1/5/07 (I know, old in computer years...) but still I would really like to get ~2 more years out of some of the pieces, then I think I would be ready to do a fresh (:

I am not in a rush at all so please keep the suggestions and advice coming.

Long post there, maybe I should start to twitter? Hope the grammar ain't too bad (:
May 30, 2009 1:13:00 PM

Another day another look, so I was looking the other way to get some really cheap bang I suppose like the Black Edition AMD Athlon X2 7850 (really cheap), but no, it's not supported by my mobo, so it's official my mobo sucks?
I really can't see a good CPU upgrade that's seems worth the money for this mobo or am I missing something?

Bottom line, if I am willing to fork out for a CPU that is compatible with my mobo and would make a difference from my current CPU I might as well get a new mobo that supports Phenom II.
The price difference would be minimal if I went for X3 which would suit my needs perfectly.

So for now I really think I will just go for a new GPU that is what I really need anyway.