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Processor and Motherboard upgrade

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December 7, 2009 1:12:11 AM

Hello,

I currently have an ASUS S939 A8N-SLI motherboard with an Athlon64 3500+ processor.
My graphic card is a GeForce 9800GT.

I have troubles playing more recent games due to my older CPU, I wish to upgrade but since I am a little low on cash, I'd rather only change the processor. Does anyone have a suggestion?

I would be better off with a new motherboard, but if there is a way to avoid that for now and get a reasonable boost in performance I would go for it.

Thank you in advance.

Duaner
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December 7, 2009 1:22:33 AM

That S939 there indicates an old old old socket, you will have a hard time finding a new CPU for that motherboard as socket 939 was discontinued back in 2006, you may be able to find some on ebay or amazon but you wont find any upgrades in regular etailers.

Whats the budget for this upgrade and can you list your full system specs so that we can make sure that the new motherboard is compatible with the existing components. Also be aware that if you replace the motherboard you will have to reinstall windows so if its a prebuilt you wont be able to use your existing copy of windows which will add another $100ish onto the price of the upgrade.
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December 8, 2009 12:02:05 AM

hunter315
Yeah, this CPU is getting pretty old... It does look like I'll have to get a new motherboard, CPU and power supply.

Here are my specs:

PSU : Antec SmartPower 450w
Motherboard : ASUS S939 A8N-SLI
CPU : AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2MHz)
Video card : NVidia GeForce 9800 GT 1GHz, PCI-E
RAM : Kingston 400MHz, 2GB
HDD : Western Digital, SATA II, 250gb, 7200rpm, 8mb cache
Other : A bobblehead figurine ;) 

As for new CPU/MoBo (and probably PSU) what would you recommend? Athlon X2, Phenom?

Thanks again.

Duaner
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December 8, 2009 2:58:09 AM

Is that DDR or DDR2 ram? If its DDR2 you can save a bit by going for an AM2+ board, one of the new Athlon II x2s will perform significantly better than an Athlon X2 and run cooler, they are also rather cheap at the moment. Whats the potential budget for upgrades? if you have 200-300 to work with you could easily gut the system and just reuse the case, HDD, GPU, and ODD and end up with a far more powerful system in the end but the upgrades depend heavily on how much you are willing to spend.
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December 9, 2009 12:42:31 AM

hunter315;

It is DDR.

But, with the good news I received today at the job, around 400-500$ would now be in the budget. :) 

Would you suggest going with AMD or Intel? I have always been using AMD, I never had any problems. Some prefer Intel. For me it looks pretty much the same.
As far as stability goes, is there a difference between single-, dual and quad-core CPUs?

I'll take a stronger PSU in case I want to upgrade more.

For the components themselves, how about:

MB - AM3 GIGA GA-MA790XT-UD4P AMD790X PCIE (about 150$)
CPU - AMD PHENOM II X4 925 2.80G/3600/8M/AM3 (about 175$)
RAM - KINGSTON HYPERX 1333MHZ DDR3 2GB KIT INTEL (about 105$)
PSU - 600W ATX CM SILENT PRO M SERIES (about 110$)

Would there be a cheaper way to get an equivalent result?

I did a first check to see if the MB and PSU would physically fit in my casing, and it seems to be okay.

Thanks again for your help!

Duaner
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December 9, 2009 7:54:50 PM

Where are you buying from? If you are in the US you can do a lot better from newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That would give you better performance for $476, your selection appears to come out to around 540. If you arent in the US what country are you in so that i can price out parts from an appropriate E-tailer for you.
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December 9, 2009 8:13:06 PM

I got the prices from Microbytes, I'm from eastern Canada.
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December 9, 2009 8:37:06 PM

Alright, in that case it will cost you a little more but due to prices getting screwed up by conversion rates you can get a modular PSU for less than a non-modular
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Comes up to $530 now, the 750W PSU will give you the option of upgrading to crossfire in the future, but if you never intend to use 2 cards you can save 35 and drop down to a 785G
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
and a 550W PSU saving another $25
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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December 9, 2009 11:36:10 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Nice kit coming up.

Since I won't go with two cards for a while I'll go with the 785G (it has an integrated GPU, don't know if that will affect things). For the price difference, the 750w is a must and the CPU looks perfect for me.

For the memory, since I don't plan in changing my WinXP I'd stick to 2Gb. I guess a dual channel will provide better results (G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel).

It would come to 450$ plus 30$ shipping. I even have 20$ left to go celebrate my 20$ economy :D 

Thanks a lot hunter, great advice. I'll try NewEgg.com and see how they proceed.

I'll probably place the order before the end of the week. Maybe Santa will put everything under the tree;)

Duaner
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December 10, 2009 1:08:36 AM

You may want to check direct canada and NCIX to see how their prices compare, newegg isnt always the cheapest in canada but im more familiar with their interface, NCIX will price match so you can use that to get the best deal from multiple sites and still get everything in one box.
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December 16, 2009 8:21:19 PM

Hunter,

After checking I decided to go with Canada Direct. But before my order went through their system, the CPU and the memory suggested were out of stock. Would you suggest:

CPU : AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core Processor AM3 3.4GHZ 8MB Cache 125W 45NM
Memory :G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Core I5 1.5V

Do you see a possible compatibility issue? If not I'll simply switch. Costs more, but it will be good for a while.

Thanks!
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December 16, 2009 10:19:53 PM

I would suggest the 945 or the 955 over the 965, the 965 is just a 955 with the multiplier increased by one, so if the 965 is more than the 955 and they had the 955 in stock go for it instead.

The ram switch will work fine
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December 31, 2009 7:03:58 PM

I received everything yesterday, put it up before going to bed. I did not take into account that my WinXP is not configured for a multiple processor CPU. I should have followed my instinct and reinstalled windows at the same time (and it is due for that)

I'll work on it tonight. Thanks for the help hunter315, it helped a lot.

Happy new year to all!!!
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