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Buld new AM3 or upgrade my AM2?

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March 20, 2010 10:03:44 PM

Let me start off my telling you what my current system is. It is a Gigabyte AMD AM2 MoBo (GA-M57SLI-S4) with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3.02GHZ 6000+, Corsair XMS2-6400 DDR2 800mhz (4 Gigs) Memory, GeForce 7900GTX 512MB DDR3 Video Card, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply with Win XP Home Edition.

We hook this up to our 42" Plasma TV by DVI to HDMI cable (card doesn't have HDMI). Lately we have had flickering problems with our tv and when we turn our tv on or off our monitor flickers. So I don't know if the video card is going out or what. It is almost 4 years old. Also we are getting blue screens periodically on my computer sometimes a reboot corrects it sometimes several reboots.

So I bought a Gigabyte MA78GM-US2H AM2/AM2+/AM3 MoBo so I could use my AM2 chip and current memory but still update later to a AM3 but it would still be DDR2 memory, so I could only update the chip. So not much of an upgrade. I also bought an extra 2 gig stick of DDR2-800mhz so I would have a total of 6 gigs. I also bought a new video card EVGA Geforce 9500GT 1GB card ($80). All new components were approximately $200. So I was thinking this may not be my best option, economically. And I'm not sure it would speed up the computer any. Which we don't need speed increase but a little increase would be nice.

I could add the 2 gig stick ($40) to my current setup and buy a much nicer video card to use with my plasma tv and return the Gigabyte MoBo ($65). This would be a cheaper option and then in 1-2 years I could just totally update the system and use whatever video card I buy now. Would adding 2 gigs and a better video card speed the system up some?

About the only thing we do with this system is play the games on facebook, surf the internet and use our plasma for streaming videos/tv from the computer. We don't really game much on this and what we do play is like Command and Conquer so don't need an expensive gaming machine.

What do you think would be my best option? I'm trying to stay around $150 - 200 max, the cheaper the better. I'm thinking add my 2 gig stick for a total of 6 gigs and buy new video card. If you agree, any suggestions on video cards?

Thanks for your help in this matter.

Nancy

More about : buld am3 upgrade am2

a c 136 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2010 12:27:14 AM

If it works as it is is an upgrade needed at all ?

You could upgrade to one of the am3 propus quadcores for $100 if multitasking is important .

adding a single ram stick will give you more memory but it would mean it couldnt run in dual channel mode . You will get no benefit from more than 4 gig of RAM if you are using a 32 bit version of windows . Windows cant see it so it can never use it no matter how much you install .

The GTX was a great card but today you can spend $100 and get way more . A Radeon 4770 or 4850 would fit your budget , but you can proabably drop down even further , save money and use less power , so a 4670 maybe
March 21, 2010 7:38:00 AM

Thanks for your time in answering my question but I think with the way I worded the whole question probably was confusing. Sorry about that.
I went to a local computer store figure out what I needed to do. I will simply say, I know how to build a computer but do to a medical condition my memory is not good and I can't remember what I research before I buy and it changes constantly. So I asked for help. The guy said my best bang for the buck was to buy a new graphic card, 2 more gigs of memory and the new AM2/AM2+/AM3 board (just under $200 for all) and use my current AM2 & DDR2 800 memory and I could update to an AM3 later. I should have known that wasn't good advice as I can only use DDR2 800 memory with this new board so even if I upgrade to a AM3 cpu later it wouldn't be much of an upgrade. I would have to buy all new again anyway to get AM3 with DDR3 memory to see any real improvement.

As far as your comment about memory, you are spot on but I didn't realize until tonight that I was running a 32 bit version of xp on that computer. I must be running the pro version on my other home built computer and it doesn't have a 64 bit chip. So I need to reformat both and switch the os's out. But then would adding the extra 2 gigs make a difference if I'm running a 64 bit version of XP?

After reading the post "Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart", (which is very good info) it seems I bought basically the same card as far as performance.

So I think I will return memory, mobo and video card and buy the video card you mentioned. That and switch to the 64 version I have of XP. That should help for now and then when I have more money, I can change out mobo, cpu, memory, etc then.

Thanks so much for your time. You have been a big help.

Oh and as far as your question "If it works as it is is an upgrade needed at all?" What started me on all this is my husband gets so aggravated at the computer locking up on him. I've only had it happen a couple of times but fixed it with a total reformat. So far no lock ups but we still get the "blue screen of death" when we reboot most times. Which leaves me to believe possibly memory or even mobo is the problem.
Thanks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
March 21, 2010 4:37:46 PM

Well, to me it sounds like you might have a failing video card. The easiest option there would be to drop in an HD 4850 and keep going until a more opportune time to upgrade. But I can't guarantee that is the problem.

Did you try to install the 9500GT to see if that would correct the BSOD and hanging issues? I would try that first. Run some tests with it installed and some gaming. If you're careful with the packaging you should have no problem returning it, depending on your store's policy.

I want to warn you about XP64, it isn't very well supported and it never really has been. If you enjoy using peripherals like printers, scanners and such it will cause all kinds of headaches. I struggled with XP64 for a year before I moved to WIN7 x64. I am much happier now, and if I want to run my old apps I have XP mode. Please note that XP mode is only available in WIN7 pro and ultimate.

Here's what I recommend: Take the stuff back to the store after checking to see how the 9500GT works for you. Use the hierarchy chart to pick a better card, like the HD4850.
Plan an upgrade involving a new mobo, ram, and such. I like the new 890GX boards, but there are some motherboards with older chipsets that are now including SATA 3 and USB 3.0. An 890GX board runs about 125-140 US., a 6150 chipset will run about 60-80 US. The 780G's will run about $100 with the new interfaces, maybe a little more.

When you have saved for your upgrade, include a copy of WIN7 in your budget. This will keep you up to speed on the latest drivers for your video card and such, WIN XP as at end of life and will probably not be supported indefinitely.

Take the time to do a bit of research on important items like the mobo and video card. And have fun, it should be an enjoyable learning experience.
March 22, 2010 11:15:52 AM

I bought a new Toshiba Qosmio X505-870 with Win 7 & and love it. I tried to explain to my husband that he needs to let me upgrade to Win 7 on this computer I asking about but he insists that he doesn't want to do that. I may go ahead and do that any way and take the heat until he realizes it is a much better OS. But that is why I didn't mention upgrading OS's in this thread.
Thanks so much for your help I really do appreciate it. And once my husband is back to work then we can afford to upgrade the system but until then we just have to fix the problem and do it as economically as possible.
Thanks.
August 23, 2010 1:46:46 AM

Outlander_04 said:
If it works as it is is an upgrade needed at all ?

You could upgrade to one of the am3 propus quadcores for $100 if multitasking is important .

adding a single ram stick will give you more memory but it would mean it couldnt run in dual channel mode . You will get no benefit from more than 4 gig of RAM if you are using a 32 bit version of windows . Windows cant see it so it can never use it no matter how much you install .

The GTX was a great card but today you can spend $100 and get way more . A Radeon 4770 or 4850 would fit your budget , but you can proabably drop down even further , save money and use less power , so a 4670 maybe

!