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Does it make sense for me to upgrade at this point? Old PC + New CPU?

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November 12, 2010 4:08:20 PM

Hey everyone,

I have a few (hopefully) quick questions re: upgrading my PC. My desktop rig is 4+ years old, and wondering if it makes any sense to upgrade at this point. My rig is currently:

- AMD X2 4400+ (dual-core, 2.2 Ghz)
- 2 GB DDR RAM (I have to find the speed of this again)
- 535W Enermax All-In-One PSU (http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/enermax535/index....)
- Geforce 260 GTX SSC Edition (896 MB VRAM)

I want a CPU+MB combo that updates this to somewhat-current that can run things like Black Ops quick (I mean like full resolution, all details, AF/AA maxed) and is somewhat future-proofed for games like Guild Wars 2. I pretty well want to keep this thing on life-support, spending the least amount of money for the most amount of benefit. High cost-to-benefit ratio = good!

I literally know nothing about computers anymore (my theory is you become a lot more knowledgeable when you care, ie. when buying new parts, and when you're not, you stop caring). So questions!

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  • 1) This looks OK for the cost (I am Canadian), but really, I just slapped a CPU+MB combo that seemed to fit and is cheap.

    MB: Asus M4A78L-M w/ DualDDR2 1066, 7.1 Audio, Radeon HD 3000, Gigabit Lan, Hybrid CrossFireX // http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX28517(ME).aspx

    CPU: AMD Phenom™ II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz w/ 8MB Cache (Retail Box, Socket AM3) // http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX26993(ME).aspx

    Does this work/make sense? The MB says it is AM3 compatible. That's good, right?

    Thanks guys.
    a c 159 à CPUs
    November 12, 2010 5:56:51 PM

    I would sell your old board/cpu/ram on craigslist or anandtech's for sale forum first. Then order what you want. If the ram sells, switch to ddr3. Newegg has some adata 1333 2x2gb for only $45 after rebate, or 1600 adata for $60 with no rebate.
    November 12, 2010 11:44:31 PM

    For my situation, would is the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz a good choice? Or should I go w/ Intel? I'll do the RAM thing like you said.

    And that should pair up nicely w/ my GTX 260 yes? Wouldn't bottleneck it so much?
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    a c 159 à CPUs
    November 13, 2010 12:06:26 PM

    Depends on your budget and Intel pricing at your vender. The i5 750 is slightly more than the 955. Your power supply should be enough for a modest overclock of either cpu. I ran my i3 with a 25% overclock and the temps only rose about 5c. I used a low end biostar TH55B HD motherboard and it was very stable.

    Best solution

    a c 96 à CPUs
    November 13, 2010 8:29:10 PM
    Share

    Aspyred said:
    Hey everyone,

    I have a few (hopefully) quick questions re: upgrading my PC. My desktop rig is 4+ years old, and wondering if it makes any sense to upgrade at this point. My rig is currently:

    - AMD X2 4400+ (dual-core, 2.2 Ghz)
    - 2 GB DDR RAM (I have to find the speed of this again)
    - 535W Enermax All-In-One PSU (http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/enermax535/index....)
    - Geforce 260 GTX SSC Edition (896 MB VRAM)

    I want a CPU+MB combo that updates this to somewhat-current that can run things like Black Ops quick (I mean like full resolution, all details, AF/AA maxed) and is somewhat future-proofed for games like Guild Wars 2. I pretty well want to keep this thing on life-support, spending the least amount of money for the most amount of benefit. High cost-to-benefit ratio = good!

    I literally know nothing about computers anymore (my theory is you become a lot more knowledgeable when you care, ie. when buying new parts, and when you're not, you stop caring). So questions!


    If I were you, I'd replace the motherboard, RAM, and CPU. You can't do much for meaningful upgrades to that system since the X2 4400+ is one of the fastest CPUs that will fit in an old DDR-using Socket 939 motherboard. You are much better off getting an inexpensive new Socket AM3 board, an Athlon II or Phenom II, and some DDR3 memory. However, your GPU and PSU are certainly usable in a new system and I'd carry them over.

    By the way, the DDR RAM probably is most likely DDR-400 since DDR-400 was the fastest commonly-used RAM speed at the time the Socket 939 Athlon 64 X2s were out. It might be a little faster, such as DDR-500, if whoever put the RAM in was an overclocker.

    Quote:
  • 1) This looks OK for the cost (I am Canadian), but really, I just slapped a CPU+MB combo that seemed to fit and is cheap.

    MB: Asus M4A78L-M w/ DualDDR2 1066, 7.1 Audio, Radeon HD 3000, Gigabit Lan, Hybrid CrossFireX // http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX28517(ME).aspx

    CPU: AMD Phenom™ II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz w/ 8MB Cache (Retail Box, Socket AM3) // http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/PID-MX26993(ME).aspx

    Does this work/make sense? The MB says it is AM3 compatible. That's good, right?

    Thanks guys.


  • The board saying it is "AM3 compatible" means it is an AM2+ board with BIOS updates to take AM3 CPUs. You'd really only want such a board over an actual AM3 board if you have a bunch of DDR2 RAM sitting around. You have original DDR, so you will have to buy all new RAM no matter what you do. I'd go for an actual AM3 board as DDR3-1333 gives a bit of a boost to Socket AM3 processors over the DDR2-1066 that the ASUS board uses.
    November 30, 2010 2:51:07 AM

    Best answer selected by Aspyred.
    November 30, 2010 2:57:04 AM

    MU_Engineer, and everyone as well, thank-you for the replies. Upgraded to the AMD Phenom 3.4 Ghz Quad Core + MB + 4 GB DDR3 and it's worked beautifully.

    Games run a LOT quicker, I was definitely very CPU bottlenecked. We're talking like 2-300% improvements here, and loading times are 2-3x faster.

    It's pretty ridiculous. Thank-you guys.
    !