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Questions about reusing CPU (Athlon x2 64) & Heatsink from old Gateway

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August 18, 2009 9:54:38 PM

Hi all,

I got some good opinions from my initial post last week about the new system I'm going to be building. This will be my first build, so all help is extremely useful! My first batch of parts arrived today, they include:

Cooler Master Case
Gigabyte Mobo (GA-MA785GM-US2H)
Corsair PSU (CMPSU-400CX)
Corsair 2x2GB DDR2 PC2-800 RAM

I now have to order my HDD and OS and I want to make sure I've got as many of my bases covered as possible. Want to be able to finish up the system once my next shipment arrives!

I'm planning on ordering:
Western Digital 640GB Black Series
Vista Home Premium w/ Win7 upgrade coupon
Some type of Thermal Compound for the CPU/Heatsink

My remaining concerns are mostly with the old CPU and Heatsink that I plan to salvage from my old Gateway GT5228. This thing died on me after less than 2.5 years and I'll never buy another Gateway. I now see why it is hard to beat the cheap prices from Dell/Gateway, etc. and what you gain by building your own system with quality parts!

I plan to use the AMD Athlon x2 64 4200+ 2.2 GHz CPU from my old machine and have been planning on also reusing the original heatsink. If anyone out there can please tell me what obstacles I'm likely to encounter and what I might need to help ensure success, I'd greatly appreciate it!

I've not yet removed the CPU from the old system. (Figured it safest there for now)

The Gateway is a Micro-BTX style machine and has the CPU fan contained in a shroud that sits between the front of the case and the heatsink. This looks like something that likely won't fit my new case, so what best (and inexpensive) to do about that?

Also, should I use Arctic Silver 5 or something like it? Do I also need an adhesive to use when putting the heatsink on the CPU?

Again, any and all advise is GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks,
Rob
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a b à CPUs
August 18, 2009 11:05:33 PM

You definitely need new thermal paste. If the thing has cheap hardened paste, or worse a crappy pad, then as soon as you take off the heatsink it will be pretty useless and your CPU will not be properly cooled without some decent thermal paste. If you overclock that Athlon 4200 you should be fine until you can afford a better CPU.
August 18, 2009 11:13:52 PM

Thanks Obsidian and Shortstuff!

I know it seems stupid to use the old CPU, but I'm simply trying to get this system up and running and I really don't have the $ for what I'm already doing. Things are a bit tight right now as I'm only getting 4 days a week at work (until business picks back up).

My plan/hope is that I can get thru this by reusing the old CPU and DVD-RW drive. I wasn't originally, but am now thinking about overclocking this CPU a little bit too, maybe getting it up to 2.4 or 2.6 GHz (from the original 2.2). Then... at a later time, upgrade my CPU to a Phenom or some such and add a Blu-Ray player/burner.

I realize the $61 for a new CPU with a cooler included might be smart... and I still might take your advise and do so. It's just that the overall cost has already gotten up there by the time I buy the HDD and the OS.

(It SUCKS that I can't even use my WinXP MCE from my old Gateway, so I have to spend the $110 for a new OEM version of Vista. Gateway REALLY screwed me. I intended for that machine to last me 4-5 years minimum and would've never spent $900 on it had I known it would become a big paper weight in just over 2 years!)
August 18, 2009 11:21:53 PM

Thanks to you too Megamanx,

I hadn't seen your post when I typed the last reply.

So OCing the old Althlon might be an OK idea then, good to hear.

So does everyone agree that I CAN (maybe not the ideal solution) reuse the old CPU AND Heatsink, but that I'll definitely need some thermal PASTE... but that I will NOT need any adhesive?

Then it seems like I'll at least need a new CPU fan or something that would allow me to mount my old CPU fan in the new setup?

Am I on the right track?

Thanks!
August 19, 2009 3:06:25 PM

According to the Gateway web-site, my processor is an AM2 socket.

http://support.gateway.com/s/Processors/4506318R/450631...

I already received my Mobo, PSU, RAM and Case yesterday. Impressed by the Gigabyte Mobo, seems like everything it's advertised to be (from just physical appearance, packaging & documentation).

So even if my old CPU turned out to be 939 for some reason. I'd probably end up going with another AMD (perhaps the one shortstuff suggested) if I had to buy a new one.

Any other suggestions re: my CPU Cooler? So far Obsidian86 gave me a link to a Sunbeam Cooler that looks pretty good... but I'm a little worried about how it mounts and if it will fit on my Mobo. Any other opinions or thoughts? Any way I could use the CPU fan from my old case?

BTW, shortstuff... thanks again for the advice on the smaller HDD. I might do that... but it's a balancing act and HD space is a high priority for me... so that might be somewhere I bite the bullet and spend the extra $25. :) 
a c 77 à CPUs
August 19, 2009 3:35:02 PM

Well, the Xigmatek coolers are very popular. Of course if you went with the cheaper HD and put the money you were willing to spend on the cooler toward the CPU, then you've got the $60 for a new CPU. :) 

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.60 - $10 MIR
August 19, 2009 4:22:24 PM

So if I order the CPU, I get the Cooler and everything I need to go with it, right?

It's just that, the Athlon Processor Obsidian recommended doesn't appear to be all that much more powerful than my old one. My original thought is to get the bigger HD at a good price (cheaper per MB than the smaller one) and upgrade my CPU to a much better Phenom at a later time.

Still considering all options though.

Thanks!
a c 77 à CPUs
August 19, 2009 5:31:16 PM

Yes, the CPU's linked above all come with a cooler and thermal paste, but you would be fine to stick to your original plan. I understand the want/need for the bigger HD. My computer is also used as a HTPC and I can't ever get enough HD capacity. I think it has 5 HD's in it right now. :) 

The Xigmatek cooler above will work very well with your setup. I can't tell you if the Gateway cooler will work or not without seeing it. You could give it a try, but then you'd be out your computer for a while if it didn't work and you had to order one and wait for it to arrive.
a b à CPUs
August 19, 2009 10:37:44 PM

the newer amd am3 has bout 25% over am2 at the same clock speed
its 1 am here sorry edited
a b à CPUs
August 19, 2009 10:58:00 PM

actually the am3 has much higher efficiency per clock an better memory controllers
August 20, 2009 12:00:12 AM

Shortstuff, you have been so helpful, thank you. In my first thread about my new system build (last week), you were kind enough to offer advice there also. You recommended I get the Black Drive in a combo w/ Vista Home Premium.

I believe it is the OEM version that was recommended and is what I've been considering. But a recent review is up on NewEgg that makes me nervous. The review states that one cannot use this "OEM for System Builders" software unless one is registered and licensed by/with Microsoft. Is this true? Am I looking at the wrong product?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks Again!

PS. Thanks for the additional info Obsidian. I wasn't meaning to say that the new CPU wouldn't be better, just making the point that my old CPU might work OK for me for now... and I might be able to afford an even better processor (Phenom?) several months down the road.
a c 77 à CPUs
August 20, 2009 12:03:33 AM

You can use an OEM version of Windows without registering with Microsoft. All I ever use on any build is the OEM version. The only difference between OEM and retail is that Microsoft doesn't offer any technical assistance and the OEM version is not technically transferable to another system. The combos I linked above come with an OEM version of Windows that will work just fine.
August 20, 2009 9:16:47 PM

OK, if I have to spend $30+ on a new CPU cooler, then I'm seriously considering going with the upgraded CPU that shortstuff_mt recommended at $61 instead.

(I still don't know if I could rig up my old CPU cooler in my new setup)

IF I choose to go for it, would that CPU work on the Mobo that I already purchased?

I know my Mobo says it is AM2/AM2+/AM3, but I'm just wondering if there is anything else I would need to check or worry about.

My Mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Potential CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, regarding my earlier post about the Vista OEM software. It seems there are two versions of this on the NewEgg site, one at $99 and one at $109. The $99 one is the one the person complained about (in his review) not being able to use without being licensed by MS. Links below:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just thought I'd throw that out there in case it matters to anyone and also see if anyone knows if there really is a problem with a regular Joe using the one version.

Thanks
a c 77 à CPUs
August 20, 2009 9:27:09 PM

That CPU and motherboard will work great together. In fact, they're in a combo on Newegg right now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The reviewer who said regular users can't use OEM Vista is dead wrong. Newegg wouldn't sell it to end users if it was against Microsoft's rules. Like I said, OEM is all I use. You might as well get the $109.99 version of Vista since it includes the free upgrade coupon to Windows 7. It's also the version in the combos with the hard drives.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
August 20, 2009 10:38:59 PM

Dang, too bad I already got the Mobo and can't take advantage of the combo... but I did actually get a combo deal on the Mobo together with my Corsair RAM. Only bad thing now is that I could've went with faster speed ram had I known I'd be using the new CPU. Of course, the faster RAM was more $$$, so maybe it'll all work out well anyway.

I'm strongly considering going with the new CPU.

Thanks shortstuff_mt! You've been tremendously helpful along with everyone else here. I don't really know what it does, but I gave "thumbs up" to all of your posts in this thread.

Thanks Again and I'll try to make sure I come back with an update once I get a little further along!

-Rob
a c 77 à CPUs
August 20, 2009 10:40:48 PM

Good luck with the build! Let us know how it works out.
August 24, 2009 10:30:02 PM

Hey, I tried to post something about this last Friday from home, but the only working computer right now is a 350mHz Pentium II w/ Win98. Needless to say, it kept crashing, so I could never get my message posted!

Just wanted to make sure to say a special thanks to Obsidian86 also!

I appreciate you and shortstuff_mt both helping direct me to just get a new CPU. I did read the testing/reviews on the new AMD processors at the link you provided.

I actually did not even realize/notice at first that the CPU shortstuff recommended is an Athlon II as opposed to my old Athlon 64 x2. So again thanks!

The rest of my parts should be here tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have the time to get the system built by Wednesday. Thursday night is off limits due to preseason Dolphins/Bucs game! :) 

Best,
Rob
Lynn Haven, FL
August 31, 2009 6:35:14 AM

Sorry to take so long to follow up here, but better late than never!

I'm sitting here connected to the internet and typing this post from my the very first PC I've ever built. :)  I've worked in IT: Tech Support, System Admin, etc. for years, but I've never built an entire machine before.

I just want to say one last BIG THANKS to everyone that offered advice in this and my previous thread. Your guidance allowed me to have a very successful first build. Everything went together without a snag and I LOVE my machine! :)  SO MUCH better/faster than that damn Gateway was. Vista takes a bit of getting used to, but it I actually like looking at something different after all these years of XP.

It was very satisfying when I finally hit the power button that first time and got into the BIOS without any problems. I loaded Vista everything was perfect. I loaded Avira Anti Vir and then Comodo Firewall.

Either Comodo or a driver update (at least those are my suspects) completely hosed my network connection and left me with "little or no network connectivity", seemingly no connection to my modem/DHCP. I spent hours on the phone with AT&T with no success. Eventually, I had to reinstall Vista from scratch. Thankfully, this (together with another DSL modem reset and reboot) restored my network connection.

So anyway, I'm finally back up and running. My only problem now is that now I'm afraid to reinstall Comodo or any other 3rd party firewall for fear of having another issue!

Again, thanks shortstuff and obsidian... the new CPU is WELL worth the extra cash. Would've absolutely been a sin to "cripple" this system with my old CPU!

GREAT SYSTEM, Love every component!

I have a couple of questions that I'm gonna post in a new thread when I have a minute.

Cheers,
Rob
a c 77 à CPUs
August 31, 2009 3:42:06 PM

Glad to hear you're happy with the new system! Building your own is a good feeling, huh? I know I'll never buy a pre-built system again. :) 
a b à CPUs
August 31, 2009 4:16:09 PM

pleasure rob
!