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.
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?
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 $200US for the upgrade I've mentioned, which would include a much better integrated graphics solution.
Here's an example of the motherboard I'm referring to:
Looking at the supported CPU list, looks like the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ model is the best you could drop in there. It would be an improvement, but your integrated graphics are holding you back from full enj0oyment of WIN7.
I second megamanx00. The 640 is great. But IMHO, the things you say you do on your computer should be easily doable on the athlon ii. I suggest, you get a cheap 30-40$ graphic card instead. Will do you a world of good.
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.