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Upgrading to a Phenom II X4 940, worth it?

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May 13, 2011 8:20:35 AM



Hi all,

I'm looking to add a little extra juice to my gaming rig without spending a lot of money. Currently it has

-AMD Phenom X4 9550; http://shop.amd.com/US/_layouts/shop/ProductDetails.asp...

-Geforce GTX 460

-8 Gb of DDR2 ram

I've been thinking of upgrading the processor (socket is a AM2+), however with the older socket type on my motherboard there doesn't seem to be very many drastic upgrades I can do without getting a new motherboard (something I don't really want to do at this point). I've been looking at the Phenom II X4 940 for 120$

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item...

Is it worth upgrading to this processor? Does anyone have a better suggestion for a AM2+ processor? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
a b à CPUs
May 13, 2011 8:36:47 AM

To be honest, i wouldn't go for upgrading this anymore at all.
Bulldozer is around the corner.
I would save my money a little longer and get way better equipment in a few month's
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a c 103 à CPUs
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May 13, 2011 9:36:32 AM

If thats all you want to spend in the next year or so then its a good value upgrade, only a waste if you may upgrade your board or system in the next year. What board do you have to see what CPUs it supports?
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a c 116 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
May 13, 2011 9:39:15 AM

the performance gain you would get isnt really worth the outlay for the new chip...
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a c 103 à CPUs
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May 13, 2011 9:44:08 AM

Theres a 20-35% improvement in speed of tasks and FPS in games people spend alot more on upgrades for alot less.
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a c 103 à CPUs
a c 86 V Motherboard
May 13, 2011 1:39:39 PM

For such a small performance upgrade, a quick and dirty o/c to 2.6Ghz with a little extra volts and non-stock cooling would be better.
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May 13, 2011 3:11:52 PM

I really probably won't be upgrading the board in the near future unless it dies, I'm hoping to get a few more years (3 years hopefully based on how slow min specs for games are increasing) then I'll start over with a new rig and hand this one down.

The motherboard is as follows
Motherboard
Manufacturer: Pegatron
Motherboard Name: M2N78-LA
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Violet-GL8E

I've heard some AM2+ boards can support AM3 chips but it can be dicey.
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a b à CPUs
May 13, 2011 3:22:11 PM

However i think you should wait and buy a new rig.
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May 13, 2011 3:36:37 PM

the inability to overclock your current board/cpu limits the effectiveness of buying a BE processor. I wouldn't waste the time or money on it. If the computer is a HP the stock PSU is a limiting factor for future upgrades as well. but... your performance expectations are what is important. If you find that you need more out of your system then the only RIGHT thing to do is a full upgrade to a different platform now or wait until BD drops. Intel is a viable option too. The price drop in DDR3 coupled with the relatively cheap motherboard/processors available now allow for a $400 dollar minimum to upgrade. If you want any help with the configuration just message me. I would be happy to help.
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May 13, 2011 4:04:11 PM

Sorry should have mentioned I have upgraded the PSU, as the stock one wasn't cutting it, to a 500W corsair http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Honestly I'm trying to put off upgrading the whole rig as long as possible and get the best processor it can use on its current board, so that extends the life of the rig as long as possible. Mostly because I don't foresee myself coming into the kind of money required for a full respec any time soon. The other factor is I'm worried that if I don't get a AM2+ processor now they may not be available to buy very soon.

That being said if there really won't be any gains from upgrading my current processor as most people have suggested, I'll hold off for a couple years and do the full upgrade in a couple years time.
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a b à CPUs
May 13, 2011 4:07:10 PM

jmic75 said:
Sorry should have mentioned I have upgraded the PSU, as the stock one wasn't cutting it, to a 500W corsair http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Honestly I'm trying to put off upgrading the whole rig as long as possible and get the best processor it can use on its current board, so that extends the life of the rig as long as possible. Mostly because I don't foresee myself coming into the kind of money required for a full respec any time soon. The other factor is I'm worried that if I don't get a AM2+ processor now they may not be available to buy very soon.

That being said if there really won't be any gains from upgrading my current processor as most people have suggested, I'll hold off for a couple years and do the full upgrade in a couple years time.

So you really cant save money and just overhaul the old rig and buy a new rig?Its better in the long run..
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May 13, 2011 4:10:58 PM

Yeah I probably could but only in about two years when I get out of grad school and into the real world :p 
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a b à CPUs
May 13, 2011 4:12:50 PM

jmic75 said:
Yeah I probably could but only in about two years when I get out of grad school and into the real world :p 

didnt know you were a student.
Sorry.
But for a student this pc should be yours alone to use yes?
In that case requirements shouldnt be that high..
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May 13, 2011 4:24:10 PM

I mean the computer doesn't need the upgrades for word processing, Uni work or anything for school. I use it as my gaming platform instead of owning a console and so far it hasn't been too expensive, I've gotten good deals on the original pc as well as the upgrades and has only cots me about 500-600$ total over 3 years.

The processor would really be to ensure that I can run new releases for the next 2-3 years before I can fully upgrade and try and build a from scratch pc.
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a c 111 à CPUs
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May 13, 2011 7:10:34 PM

Instead of the 125w 940 I would suggest a 95w processor.

If you snoop around the HP site, models with the Pegatron M2N78-LA Violet GL8E support ...

v7860jp Desktop
Phenom II X4-810 (D) (2.6GHz / 4000MHz HyperTransport 3.0) AM3 (95W); 2 MB L2 + 6 MB L3 cache

Phenom II X4-925 (D) (2.8GHz / 4000MHz HyperTransport 3.0) AM3 (95W); 2 MB L2 + 4 MB L3 cache

e9105z Desktop
Phenom II X2-545 (C) (3.0GHz / 4000 MHz HT3) AM3; 1 MB L2 + 6 MB shared L3 cache (80W)

Phenom II X3-720 (H) (2.8GHz / 4000 MHz HT3) AM3; 1.5 MB L2 + 6 MB shared L3 cache (95W)

Phenom II X4-910 (D) (2.6GHz / 4000 MHz HT3) AM3; 2 MB L2 + 6 MB shared L3 cache (95W)

Phenom II X4-925 (D) (2.8GHz / 4000 MHz HT3) AM3; 2 MB L2 + 6 MB shared L3 cache (95W)

Phenom II X4-945 (D) (3.0GHz / 3600 MHz HT3) AM3; 2 MB L2 + 6 MB shared L3 cache (95W)


With any of these processors you would see a dang good improvement over the 2.2GHz 9550; and an AM3 processor will move forward when you are ready for a new motherboard and DDR3 upgrade - no such bargain with the 940.

And if you are the *hands-on* type I would recommend consideration be given toward a pre-programmed BIOS replacement chip for around $25. It costs you nothing to contact them and inquire as to your CPU options with a new chip (and what potential over-clocking potential may exist).




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May 13, 2011 11:37:26 PM

If I could install a AM3 processor that I could carry over that would be great, the best of both worlds. Though I am confused by HPs conflicting information about the socket type on my motherboard.

on the site for the PC

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...

and in CPU-Z it says its a AM2+, but on the motherboard site it says its a AM3

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

it also says that it can be upgraded to
AMD Phenom Quad-Core 9xxx series (AM2+) up to 9850 (Agena)

Based on that info wouldn't that mean I couldn't even upgrade to 940 as Phenom II's aren't supported?

I think installing a BIOS replacement chip might be a bit above my abilities :S, would doing so get around some of the mobo restrictions?

(sorry about being so clueless)
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October 1, 2011 3:22:09 AM

I am in the same boat as u are. When installing AMD 955 on a Pegatron M2N78-LA, Got no computability message and PC shuts down. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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October 1, 2011 3:46:41 AM

OEM PC's have what I call a locked bios very basic function with no overclocking allowed.
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