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Single-Core Athlon still have life in '09?

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October 22, 2009 11:50:15 PM

Hey THF,

The first PC I ever built is aging in a corner and I was wondering if I could breath any new life into it. The motherboard fried (R.I.P nForce 4), the graphics card is eh (geforce 6800), and I've moved the hdd's into a newer system. Really the only things left that work are the DVD burner, RAM (ddr 400), and processor (Athlon 64 4000+).

The reason I ask is because I saw that ASRock is putting out a NEW socket 939 micro-atx board

It looks pretty nice. Question I have is could I turn that board; my old processor, RAM, and DVD burner, into a decent media machine (other than just something to surf the web, office apps, and play around linux with)?

The common consensus is that dual core is bare minimum for high def anything. I can find a dual core 939 processor on ebay no problem, but I was wondering if I could save the cash.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks :) 
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 12:02:56 AM

it is a great proc but yeah u will need a dual core

sorry
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 12:54:11 AM

The 4000 is a San Diego core, which was the best single core processor AMD ever produced! :D  The Toledo core was the dual core version, which made the famed Opteron 165's such excellent overclockers. I had an Opty 170 @ 3.0 Ghz. :love:  It would be a shame to permanently retire your 4000. Unfortunately, a single core is not well suited for your expectations.
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a c 96 à CPUs
October 23, 2009 1:52:41 AM

I don't think you will have any problems with that motherboard and the Athlon 64 4000+. That's one fine looking motherboard.

The Radeon HD 4200 IGP graphics will off-load substantial h264/BluRay processing from the CPU. I use a a Sempy 140 unlocked to an AthlonII x2 4400e (on the Gigabyte 785g AM2+) -----

With Cool & Quiet enabled and the CPU dialed-back (to a screaming 960MHz and 0.976v) I can play and record an OTA HD stream at 4 Mb/s and total CPU utilization of 30% without a sweat:



The only question is whether it will make it to America --- the specs say ""EuP Ready (EuP ready power supply is required)"" but also lists a "FCC, CE, WHQL" certification.

It might be a stretch for BluRay - you would definitely need something like PowerDVD (or comparable) for the codecs for BR, an HDCP monitor and Vista^ for the 'protected media pathway'.

btw - I use a Fusion HDTV tuner card in my box ....
October 23, 2009 4:53:11 PM

I've been looking on Ebay, and I've found some opteron's for sale. 165 for $120, 170 for $80! (that looks the best), 175 for $180 (retail + 3 yr warrenty), 180 for 210 rougly (retail box), and 185 for $200.

Any of those worth buying?

I don't think the x2's are worth it if I can get a higher quality cpu (server proc's are usually made with better silicon which = better OC's).

Would anyone agree? Or should I just stick to the old 4000+ ?
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 6:53:27 PM

those opterons were very succesful for AMD

yea bo with those opterons, i cvan't say which one cuz i don't know alot about opterons
October 23, 2009 7:00:13 PM

My employer still has a ton of single core PCs and they choke massively for about 3 minutes as their AV software updates. The system is virtually useless. When I saw how bad they struggled under that load, I knew that the days of single core systems were long gone. Even the lowly Atom comes in a dual-core flavor now.
October 23, 2009 7:05:12 PM

I think there's life for single core Athlon, because I'm using Intel Celeron, single core and is socket 478 too.
October 23, 2009 7:08:13 PM

Yeah, my backup computer is a pentium 4, 3.4ghz, and it is still VERY useful. It depends of course on what your intent is. For what you described as a "media machine", i would say it is just fine. Maybeeeeeeeee blueray would be out of question, but that's about it.
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 7:29:43 PM

Hah, that's pretty awesome that they are making a new 939 board. I mean a 785G with a939 CPU. Of course, alot of nForce 4 boards had a short life. Anyway as a media machine it should be all right. It should be fine for watching stuff online too, but depending on the compression used that poor single core may stutter a bit if you try to play hi-def content. If all you need is the motherboard then I say go for it.
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 7:34:21 PM

Stavo said:
I've been looking on Ebay, and I've found some opteron's for sale. 165 for $120, 170 for $80! (that looks the best), 175 for $180 (retail + 3 yr warrenty), 180 for 210 rougly (retail box), and 185 for $200.

Any of those worth buying?

I don't think the x2's are worth it if I can get a higher quality cpu (server proc's are usually made with better silicon which = better OC's).

Would anyone agree? Or should I just stick to the old 4000+ ?


Since you are already buying the mobo, spending another $80~$200 might get you thinking for a newer mobo and processor. I'd say stick with the old 4000+ unless you can get a cheaper dual-core.

The 6800 isn't a powerful card anyway (well in today's games and 1020p content). It could probably better serve as a backup server/torrent box, etc.
a b à CPUs
October 23, 2009 7:34:54 PM

Well, if you are going with that motherboard with your current processor that sounds like a nice repurposing project. Not sure of hi def capabilities though as others have mentioned.
If you are looking to drop more money on a new (old) processor, I'd say you might be better off with a new board such as 780G for about $50 and an athlon2 for $60. Of course you'd need new ram...

I say get the mobo and give it a try. If you find you can't do bluray at a level you're pleased with, then you could always repurpose again a make a file server. Or a xmas gift for someone who doesn't have a pc.
!