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System Rebuild Advice Required

Last response: in Systems
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December 22, 2009 4:30:36 PM

Hi all, I have been away from the PC meddling fold for a few years due to work commitments and as such came to the view point that "if it aint broke dont try and fix it".........

Well anyway its broke now so I am back !!! Built these two back in 2006

PC running XP - Medium use and low spec gaming ie CnC (Xbox available for higher spec gaming)
Asus A8n-SLI Premium (socket 939, 4xDIMM DDR 4GB max)
Radeon X800 GTO (256MB DDR3)
Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+
Scythe SCNJ-1000 Ninja heatsink
1GB Ram corsair xms (2x512)
P180 with Seasonic ss-600HT (S12)
Netgear wg311t wireless adaptor
80 GB sata windows/program drive
200GB sata page file and data HD


Media Centre running XP MCE edition - TV recording and DVD playing
Asus M2NPV-VM (onboard Geforce 6150) (socket AM2, DDR2 8GB max)
AMD 64 X2 Dual Core 3800+
2014 Ram (4 x 512 corsair)
Hauppage Nova-DT Dual DVB-T
Antec NSK2480 with a seasonic aswell I think
Samsung 80 GB sata program drive
Maxtor diamond max9 250gb sata data drive

Both are at the point where they need a OS reinstall at least. I have lost touch with the latest developments and specs so just want some input to see if you guys can recommend any worthwhile upgrades while I am in upgrade mode. MCE machine has been blue screening recently and stalling when media centre is opened. Not sure what the issue is but reinstall definitely needed and a bigger data drive. Not really wanting to spend a lot of money but if it keeps them going for another couple of years dont mind spending it.

wrt MCE machine, do I want to get a faster processor while AM2 is still available and or ram? Saw a AM2 X2 6000+ for £52 which is not bad and looks a decent enough upgrade.

wrt PC, the 939 socket seems to be an issue with all CPUs getting rare and pretty expensive. Original intention for build spec in 2006 was to overclock. Is this the only way to go now with my X2 3800+? If so how much and what spec ram should I be looking to get? Or should I just invest in a new motherboard?

Have avoided Vista thus far and am still quite happy running XP and XP MCE. Am I out of date yet ???

Cheers for any advice
a b B Homebuilt system
December 22, 2009 5:13:45 PM

Yes, you are out of date yet. ;) 

Reinstall the OS. When they break, replace them. There arent any substantial upgrades that make more sense than a complete replacement.
December 22, 2009 6:35:45 PM

For your socket 939 there is not much you could do. Maybe some more RAM and a slightly better video card. You should be able to pick up a budget video card for about $50-75 and it would be an improvement. Click here for a list I pulled up for you. As for the CPU the only ones out there that you could use are quite expensive because of how rare they are. But you could, since it is so old and out of warranty anyway, do a slight overclock to get a bit more out of it. If you have a stock heat sink I would suggest upgrading first. Something like the Cooler Master Vortex 752 or if your case is wide enough a Rocketfish™ - Universal CPU Cooler. Both are cheep and would be much better then stock.

As for the socket AM2 you could do a decent CPU upgrade to a Athlon 64 x2 5000+. Found one on PriceGrabber for only $80 bucks. Just remember to always check the vendor CPU support list before you buy a new CPU. Once again you should get away from the stock heat sink, you could do the two I suggested for your socket 939 as both are better then stock but the best bet would be a Cooler Master GeminII S. I have been looking at heat sinks and it is a very good one that punches way above it's weight class. Got mine at Newegg along with some Arctic Silver ceramic based thermal compound. I also don't see you list a video card on it. I would suggest you at least transfer over the Radeon X800 because integrated video "shares" system ram and CPU cycles. Also, once again, a RAM upgrade would not hurt performance.
!