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Help upgrading my old Phenom System

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September 8, 2009 1:34:16 AM

Here's my current system I had since 12/12/2007:

Phenom 9500 w/ MaxOrb Cooler, MSI K9A2 Platinum 790FX MB, Corsair 4 x 1GB PC8500 Dominators, 2 x Sapphire 3870's Crossfired, 1TB HDD(WD500GB x 2), Toughpower 850W PSU, Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series, Apevia Jupiter G Full Tower.
Bios is still original 1.1 and 3870's running on Driver Packaging Version 8.43-071016a-050244C-ATI
Provider ATI Technologies Inc.
2D Driver Version 6.14.10.6734
2D Driver File Path System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Video/{F66E37FC-D775-438D-9735-E9E1B40346B3}/0000
Direct3D Version 6.14.10.0540
OpenGL Version 6.14.10.7055
Catalyst® Control Center Version 2007.1016.2138.36845
AIW/VIVO WDM Driver Version 6.14.10.6238
AIW/VIVO WDM SP Driver Version 6.14.10.6238
Overclocked thru Bios FSB 232 (DDR2=928mhz) Posted all ok @ 2.552Ghz. Phenom 9500 @ 2.552 3870CF 860/1251 CatAI Advanced Dominator 4x1GB @ 5.5.5.15.20.2T. 3DMark06 = 13,700. :sleep: 


OKAY... I don't have $2,000 every two years for a new build so I need help... really bad.
I never updated BIOS and Video cards ever... always afraid of trying to fix what is not broken.

I'm thinking about getting an AMD Phenom II 955 or 965 BE and possibly getting a 4890 crossfired down the line. I need someone to walk me thru it all since it has been sooooo long since I did any major pc work...
QUESTIONS:
1. Do I need to reset all default settings in my BIOS to factory specs to delete all of my OCing settings before dropping in the new CPU?
2. Must I update the BIOS to the newest for my MB first??? How do I do it???
3. If I decide to keep my 3870's, should I reset all settings to default first?
4. Should I update the drivers on the cards? and how so?
5. Should I CF or just get a new single powerhouse card? If so, what kind?

Please add more instruction if you have any. I haven't done any OCing since March of 2008 since none of the games really needed it but now am feeling like my system is falling behind on what's out there.

Thanks in advanced!!! :sol: 
September 8, 2009 3:32:38 AM

One issue, the cpu you want is a AM3. You have an AM2 mobo. Not sure if it will work. And yes you need to reset everything you have oc'd. Also New vid cards will be out this month so wait and see what comes out and what you can afford. You should always keep your vid card drivers updated. Just goto ati.com and download latest catalyst drivers.
September 8, 2009 3:45:20 AM

hey, ur setup is just like mine. replaced my phenom 9500 with the 955 a month ago. you will need to update bios. easiest thing to do with msi live bios update.

1. i didn't reset any setting. the mobo will recognize the new cpu and default.
2.yes do update the bios
3. do not reset the gpu. there is no point for that.
4. always update the graphics drivers.
5. i'd wait for the hd 5850 or 5870

btw i used to oc my phenom to 2.6-2.7ghz range . now it's 3.8-4.0ghz range
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September 8, 2009 4:45:13 AM

Thanks so much kdev & godless! Trying to squeeze as much out of this and I will wait for the new cards! Update bios with the 9500 then drop in the new 955 or 965, right. I did some reading, my MB is supposed to be a AM2+ and others were able to get the 955 to work... like godless stated. Thanks for the info!
a b à CPUs
September 8, 2009 1:57:10 PM

An AM3 CPU will work on an AM2+ board.
An AM2+ CPU will not work on an AM3 board.
Yes, definetly wait for the new GPU's, even a single one of the 5800's coming out will spank your Crossfired 3870's.
a c 117 à CPUs
September 8, 2009 2:56:26 PM

The K9A2 Platinum is the greatest motherboard evah! :D 

The 965 will probably work but not be recognized. You don't need it, anyway.

Snag a 95w Phenom II X4 945. At stock volts with your clock at 230MHz you'll be running 3.4GHz+ with the IMC/NB at 2300MHz.

Make sure you install the latest BIOS ---- HOWEVER, if you are running v1.5 you might lose NB VID adjustment when you update to v1.7. That might hold back your IMC/NB a bit, but even if you have to drop to 240x9 you should be okay.

I've got a 2400MHz IMC/NB and 3.4GHz at 1.33v (940BE) --- I'm thinkin' you could go 3.6GHz/2400MHz with a bit of extra volts to the 945.
September 9, 2009 5:20:50 AM

Glad I posted this thread, getting lots of good info
November 27, 2009 7:15:52 PM

godless said:
hey, ur setup is just like mine. replaced my phenom 9500 with the 955 a month ago. you will need to update bios. easiest thing to do with msi live bios update.

1. i didn't reset any setting. the mobo will recognize the new cpu and default.
2.yes do update the bios
3. do not reset the gpu. there is no point for that.
4. always update the graphics drivers.
5. i'd wait for the hd 5850 or 5870

btw i used to oc my phenom to 2.6-2.7ghz range . now it's 3.8-4.0ghz range



Hey Godless... still hesitating on upgrading to a 940, 945 or 955. I have so many concerns about all the nightmare stories from bios updates. Do I have to reload Windows XP before or after? Does the live updater online work? I need detailed instructions from start to finish and since you have a system very similar to mine, I need to refer to you.
[E-mail removed] I appreciate your time.
a c 899 à CPUs
November 27, 2009 8:01:40 PM

You should be fine with your windows install since you are using the same motherboard.
December 27, 2009 3:06:45 PM

Well, made my upgrades on 12/15/09 (CPU & GPU):
The Krazy Squirrel Project:
CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE C3 Stepping 125W @ 4.0Ghz 1.4v
HSF: MaxOrb Cooler @ 35C Idle, 51C Load
GPU: Diamond ATI 58701GB GDDR5 @ 850/1200 stock
RAM: Corsair Dominator 4x1GB/1066 @ 5.5.5.18.22.2T.
Mobo: MSI K9A2 Platinum 790FX MB Ver. 1 Bios V1.9
HDD: 1TB HDD(WD500GB x 2)
PSU: Toughpower 850W PSU
SC: Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro
CASE: Apevia Jupiter G Full Tower Aluminum
Headset: Logitech G35 Headset 7.1 Surround
LCD1: Samsung 2333SW Ver.2 @ 1920x1080
LCD2: Samsung 206BW @ 1680 x 1050
OS: WinXP Pro SP3 Direct X 9.0c - 32 bit

Here's my build log - http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/showthread.php?t=...
!