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Upgrading AMD CPU for Gaming w/ old mobo

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Last response: in CPUs
October 26, 2010 11:52:29 PM

Hello everyone!
Well as the title says I'm in the market to upgrade my AMD CPU.
This is primarily for gaming with the odd productivity, web browsing, e-mail use thrown in.
I game quite a variety: FPS (COD: MW 2, Crysis, Far Cry 2); Action (Batman: AA, AC 1&2); RPG (Dragon Age, Fallout 3 GOTY/New Vegas, ME 1&2); RTS (C&C4, SoSE, World in Conflict, Civ 5); Sims/Racing(Flatout, Dirt 2, NS, FM2010/11)
I use the occasional Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, Word, and Quicken for productivity and e-mail.

System specs so far are:
Mobo: Asus M2N32SLI Deluxe (old Nvidia 590 chipset)
CPU: AMD 64 X2 4600+
GPU: Powercolor Radeon HD 5850 OC
Mem: Cosair DDR2 800 (4 x 1G)
GPU: Antec TruePower 2.0 550W
OS: Vista Home x64

I'm not looking to replace the mobo just yet as I'm not that cash rich to build completely new. I'd like to stay south of $100 w/o shipping/taxes.
Besides ASUS has been kind enough to give it a new lease on life with BIOS update 5002 that expands into the AM3 somewhat, provided max 95W.
So what CPU will help the performance/FPS in most of these games for the next couple of years?
TIA!

More about : upgrading amd cpu gaming mobo

October 27, 2010 12:08:29 AM

+1^
or a cheaper option would be an Athlon x4 , (say the 630)virtually the same performance
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October 27, 2010 12:34:14 AM

festerovic said:
Under a c-note:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

not 100% if it works with yer mobo but if it does its a good chip.


Unfortunately, it won't work with the mobo... I'm limited to 95W, and that one is 125W...
Funny enough though, a 945 does work, but is out of stock and over my limit ATM...

Any other suggestions? Is the X4 Core the way to go for what I'm playing/longevity I'm hoping to get?
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October 27, 2010 12:44:02 AM

pete3867 said:
+1^
or a cheaper option would be an Athlon x4 , (say the 630)virtually the same performance


Weird how this works with prices, but that CPU is on the penny of my limit ($99.99 and actually more expensive than fester's suggestion!)...
It'll work with my mobo, but what's this about no L3 cache? Does that make any difference?
I'm not going to be able to unlock a core with this mobo and I have limited OC ability/knowledge, just as FYI...
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October 27, 2010 4:07:48 AM

no L3 cache will just make it slower per clock in some situations.
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October 27, 2010 4:24:04 AM

If you are real tight on the budget and gaming is your primary concern, then you can opt for this -

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

L3 cache has very little significance so you need not worry a great deal over it.. Architecture and Clock speeds play a more important role when it comes to gaming..
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October 27, 2010 7:44:42 AM

Athlon X4 is the way to go. They are all 95W and should work after the BIOS update. I'm considering a similar upgrade for my old X2 5600+.
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October 27, 2010 7:55:43 AM

Most games don't utilize all 4 cores that well, the tripple core Emperus linked is a better choice.
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October 27, 2010 8:53:56 AM

Simple11 said:
Most games don't utilize all 4 cores that well, the tripple core Emperus linked is a better choice.


I agree in principle, but multi-core support will only improve going forward. Besides, an extra core will improve the all-round system performance even if it doesn't affect gaming as much.
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October 27, 2010 11:39:53 AM

Ok guys,

I'm slowly getting there... thanks for the suggestions as well!
So far I think I've narrowed the field down to the following:
The 445
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103872&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=
The 640
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103871
The 740
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103699

All are supported by my latest BIOS and within my price range (640 marginally so), now just a question of whether the L3 cache of the 740 or the 4 cores will extend my time with my current setup or if none of things are going to make a difference and the 445 is the best way to go.
Up until now I've been doing pretty good with the old 64 X2 4600+, it's just recently become my bottleneck in games.

Last question of the three which best/most stable OC'er? Whichever I get I'll be attempting to OC it somewhat to give the 5850 some breathing room if possible.
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October 27, 2010 12:25:34 PM

I'm guessing the mobo will be your limiting factor if you try and OC. The Athlon's don't have unlocked multipliers so you'll have to raise the base clock. Older Asus boards tend not to like that; at least, mine doesn't. If the X3 740 is the Black edition with unlocked multiplier, that would be your best bet.
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October 27, 2010 1:37:46 PM

All of them would overclock similarly.. The 740, being a black edition, is just easier to overclock.. Further, the extent to overclocking depends on the other system components also, namely the motherboard, ram and PSU..
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October 28, 2010 1:15:01 AM

Herr_Koos said:
I'm guessing the mobo will be your limiting factor if you try and OC. The Athlon's don't have unlocked multipliers so you'll have to raise the base clock. Older Asus boards tend not to like that; at least, mine doesn't. If the X3 740 is the Black edition with unlocked multiplier, that would be your best bet.


Yes, the X3 740 is the BE version with unlocked multiplier, of course to make it that cheap it is OEM so sans fan, thermal paste, and retail warranty... not that that bothers me too much.
The ASUS board I have was the most OC friendly during it's time... I'm not an expert in any way, but I've been reading as much as I can find about it.
Seems there is a following on the OC forums for the mobo, though they are mostly using Phenonm II X4's which aren't on the approved list, which is beyond my price range at the very least.
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October 28, 2010 1:19:40 AM

Emperus said:
All of them would overclock similarly.. The 740, being a black edition, is just easier to overclock.. Further, the extent to overclocking depends on the other system components also, namely the motherboard, ram and PSU..


How easy is easy? :)  I'm seeing a lot of upsides to the 740 for what I'm trying modestly accomplish, don't you agree?
I believe my components that I've mentioned at the beginning of this post should be able to handle the rigors of overclocking pretty well, or so I believe. Correct me if I'm assuming to much here.
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October 28, 2010 4:03:56 AM

motherboard matters not sop much with the black edition as they have an unlocked multiplier meaning you dont have to stress out the motherboard fsb so much. Your board should have vcore voltage adjustments so id say youll be fine.
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