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Want to upgrade my processor

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June 16, 2011 5:28:36 PM

I have a self built computer with a GA-MA69VM-S2 motherboard. Cash was limited so I chose a 2.30 gigaherz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor. I now want to upgrade but don't want to buy something that is incompatible with a discontinued motherboard! Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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June 16, 2011 6:35:50 PM

Not much gets better than that on AM2, I think. What's your budget, and what is the computer used for? If the answer is gaming and your GPU isn't very good, upgrading the CPU won't help.
Specs?
June 16, 2011 10:27:28 PM

Thanks for your advice, kajabla. Main circuit board is as specified above and has a bus clock of 200 megaherz. The cpu is as above - has a 256 primary memory cache and a 512 secondary memory cache . I have 6 GB DDR2 RAM and two Western Digital terrabyte HDDs. The onboard graphics is not good - ATI Radeon X1200 but it works well with my new HP S2031 monitor. I am running Windows 7 Ultimate x64.

Purpose? Mainly on internet forums and research. It was a Microsoft Engineer who said that my processor was the weak point in the system and since then I have noticed that the processor occasionally runs at 100% when I am starting up non demanding games such as bejewelled, chuzzle and such sundry time-wasting programmes. I have no problem with some photo manipulation and making movies. Budget? If possible under a £100 bearing in mind that I might decide later to install a graphics card. Maybe I should give it a year or two and then buy a new motherboard, processor and new RAM. That way I would get USB3. Where does it all end! :)  Any gut reaction?
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June 16, 2011 10:51:16 PM

My gut says you're due for an upgrade. Unfortunately, running WIN7 ultimate is probably seriously taxing the onboard graphics. For surfing and research however the hardware isn't that bad.

Here's a recommendation, you really can't upgrade the CPU on that old motherboard. You could get a new AM3+ mobo that would work with the processors coming out the next several years. You could drop in a triple core CPU for around $70US. Then of course you'd need to get some new ram, $40 for 4gigs. So around $200US for the upgrade I've mentioned, which would include a much better integrated graphics solution.

Here's an example of the motherboard I'm referring to:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 16, 2011 10:55:19 PM

Looking at the supported CPU list, looks like the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ model is the best you could drop in there. It would be an improvement, but your integrated graphics are holding you back from full enj0oyment of WIN7.
June 17, 2011 2:25:04 AM

if your gonna upgrade your cpu your better off just upgrading your system...motherboard, cpu, ram, etc....
June 17, 2011 5:01:18 AM

I second megamanx00. The 640 is great. But IMHO, the things you say you do on your computer should be easily doable on the athlon ii. I suggest, you get a cheap 30-40$ graphic card instead. Will do you a world of good.
June 17, 2011 8:52:32 AM

Thanks so much you guys! You have helped my decision making such a lot.

My plan of immediate action is to put in the gpu recommended by buzznut. I can purchase one from a company I often use for the sum of £59.33 with free delivery. Until thrown of track by the MS Engineer, I thought the problem lay with the on-board graphics, but then I did buy a cheap mobo in the first place. Whilst people rubbish the Windows Experience ratings, it does show the graphics problem:

Processor: Calculations per second 5.1
RAM: Memory operations per second 6.2
Graphics: Desktop performance with Windows Aero 3.6
Gaming Graphics: 3D business and gaming 3.4
Primary Hard Disk: Disk data transfer rate 5.9

When finances are somewhat better, I shall do a full upgrade as suggested, but in the meantime the new gpu will improve things for me and the best of it is that it will be transferable - if not into my upgraded computer then into someone else's. My hobby is computing and I help friends and neighbours to use and enjoy their computers. All free of charge, of course. All I ask is that when they move on to something better they donate their unwanted computer hardware to me so that I can utilise it for the benefit of others.

Once again, thanks for all your advice and taking the time to respond. :) 
!