Input on upgrading CPU!

I've had the same computer for a number of years, 3 or so years I would say I've upgraded alot of the components except for my processor/motherboard. The motherboard is the same from when I first bought the computer, I'm searching for a new processor to upgrade my computer, I do some light gaming and think my card may be getting bottle necked. Regardless, my processor is old and a pos anyways. I'm not very knowledgeable in terms of whats compatible and what's good in general, so I'm looking for some help in my search.

My Motherboard:
eMachines model MCP61PM-GM
chipset: nvidia MCP61

Bios: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
Version 6.00 PG

Just providing whatever info I can. Right now I have a AMD Anthold 4050e Dual Core processor, I'm hoping I can upgrade to an i5 of some sort, intel or AMD. Is this possible with my current Mobo? Or would I need to upgrade my mobo in order to upgrade my processor?

Any help greatly appreciated!
23 answers Last reply
More about input upgrading
  1. Looks like you have an oem board for a dell or hp. If so, check your ram using cpuz, a small file. If it's ddr2 you might be able to run up to a 5600 am2; if it's ddr3 maybe a regor 260 or even quad core phenom or 95w phenom II. Many am2 boards that use ddr2 won't run with am3. It all depends on when your board was made. Bios flashes don't help much. I don't recommend it; sometimes they fail and you can end up with a dead motherboard.
  2. My ram is ddr2
  3. I'll bet your board has a limit of 89 watts. Do a google search and get to the manufacturer's webpage. You can try an am3, but if it doesn't work, you'll have to return it or change boards.
  4. Yea it says it operates under 89 watts. Any idea on the best type of processor that can run on am2?
  5. I generally suggest upgrading the core all at once.

    That includes the:
    1) Motherboard
    2) Processor
    3) Ram

    Those things should generally be considered "one piece".

    If you intend to upgrade one of them, I would go for all of them at once. If you upgrade just one of them you will likely be bottlenecked on one of the other two anyway and you won't see much of the value of the upgrade, making it kinda pointless.

    A cheap core you can get right now for about $120 is
    AMD Phenom 2 x4 840 (Propus)
    Asus M4N68T-M v2
    2x 2GB DDR3

    That is what I am running and it is extremely good as a value setup. If that is your budget range, you will find it very hard to do much better without a shell shocker deal or something from TigerDirect or Newegg.

    If you have Windows 7, you can get 4 more GB of RAM for like $20 more (2x 4GB sticks), but if you just have XP then windows wont use the extra 4 anyway.

    If you get this core, the board and processor will be at 95w.

    If your budget is larger, the sky is the limit (or more likely an x6 1100T).

    The board has overclocking possibilities too if that is your thing. It will help keep this core going longer into the future.

    I would recommend going this route as the next step up if you are on a budget.
  6. Thanks for the very helpful info. That seems like a solid route to go down, and it's within my budget. Quick question, where did you buy your hardware at? Newegg, tigerdirect, or somewhere else?
  7. I do not know where Raiddinn bought his parts, but newegg is vendor of choice for most of us regulars here that live in the US.
  8. I didn't upgrade willingly, my old PSU (which sucked, but I didn't know it at the time) a few years ago took down my motherboard with it and I didn't want to wait for parts to be shipped to me regularly from an internet site like Newegg/Tigerdirect.

    I ended up getting the same parts from a local store. Luckily for me, they gave me the motherboard for free which meant that I paid the same price for the deal as I would have if I bought online.

    I kinda lucked out that the deal was available right when I needed it.
  9. This is what I've stumbled across browsing newegg:

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131669R

    Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103993

    Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139040

    Does this look good? Sorry, I'm not incredibly knowledgeable, just triple checking to make sure all this hardware looks good/is compatible.
  10. The 830 is actually quite a big step down from the 840. I would try to get an 840 from Tigerdirect or somewhere else instead of the 830.

    The naming system for these processors is actually wrong, it should be called an Athalon 2 x4 840, but since it performs like a Phenom they called it a Phenom instead of an Athalon.

    So basically, AMD made the Phenom 2 500s then 600s and 800s and 900s and then they started focusing on low end athalon 2s in the 400s to 600s range and they managed to make an Athalon that performs better than the Phenom 2 x4 830 so they mislabeled it as a Phenom so people wouldn't be confused about its performance level and instead just be confused about the processor's actual architecture (Propus instead of Deneb).

    The word "server" on that ram kinda throws me off, but RAM should be RAM for the most part.

    I don't know why the 840s are so hard to find online, it seems that both Tigerdirect and Newegg don't have any.

    Amazon has them for $110, but they should be available cheaper than this elsewhere

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004LRO9B4/hong-16-20
  11. Remove the power suooly cord and slide a new system under it? A pig is a pig. Don't throw good money after bad, yada, yada, yada,. If you spend $$ on that system. they are lost.
  12. ND505 said:
    This is what I've stumbled across browsing newegg:

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131669R

    Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103993

    Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139040

    Does this look good? Sorry, I'm not incredibly knowledgeable, just triple checking to make sure all this hardware looks good/is compatible.



    Hi everything but the ram looks good, I don't think you want ECC ram. Maybe go for http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178265

    And remember to pick up a heat sink as your CPU doesn't come with one. I like the Hyper 212 + http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Have FUN
  13. Right on both counts. I knew that word "server" was nagging at me for a reason. I just had time to quickly glance over it, but ECC RAM is much slower than regular RAM and only necessary when RAM contents need to be accurate 100% of the time instead of accurate 99.9999999999999% of the time.

    Much slower RAM is the price you pay for that extra 0.000000000001% accuracy.

    If you get the 830 you linked, he is also right that you will need a heat sink because it doesn't come with one.

    I would still suggest you just skip that 830, though, and try to find an 840 with a heat sink included instead.
  14. I'd be careful spending money trying to upgrade an OEM system from one of the big names. They usually use proprietary motherboards and as such they usually don't conform to ATX guidelines which means your new motherboard may or may not actually fit.

    I went through this with a five year old Dell. I thought I was doing the right thing, but in the end I was out $200 and still stuck with an old system. My advice, spend a bit more and do it right. If your comfortable with putting together a PC then you can get an amazing machine these days for $500-1000 (which would cost double that if purchased from one of the big guys).
  15. I would check for a newegg shellshocker special on a daily basis until you see something you like. They always have 1-3 combos a week that include almost everything but software.
  16. Raiddinn said:
    The 830 is actually quite a big step down from the 840. I would try to get an 840 from Tigerdirect or somewhere else instead of the 830.

    The naming system for these processors is actually wrong, it should be called an Athalon 2 x4 840, but since it performs like a Phenom they called it a Phenom instead of an Athalon.

    So basically, AMD made the Phenom 2 500s then 600s and 800s and 900s and then they started focusing on low end athalon 2s in the 400s to 600s range and they managed to make an Athalon that performs better than the Phenom 2 x4 830 so they mislabeled it as a Phenom so people wouldn't be confused about its performance level and instead just be confused about the processor's actual architecture (Propus instead of Deneb).

    The word "server" on that ram kinda throws me off, but RAM should be RAM for the most part.

    I don't know why the 840s are so hard to find online, it seems that both Tigerdirect and Newegg don't have any.

    Amazon has them for $110, but they should be available cheaper than this elsewhere

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B004LRO9B4/hong-16-20



    Im sorry but where are you getting this? I thought the only real difference between the two processors was that the 830 has 6mb of L3, while the 840 has no L3 cache. On top of that, the 830 is actually just a rebranded OEM version of the phenom 925 from what I have read...
    http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2010/2010102601_Obscure_CPUs_AMD_Phenom_II_X4_830.html
    So i am just wondering how it would be a huge step down...
  17. 87ninefiveone said:
    If your comfortable with putting together a PC then you can get an amazing machine these days for $500-1000 (which would cost double that if purchased from one of the big guys).



    I am interested in putting that last statement to a quick test. I am not going to look through every computer DELL, HP, and other OEM makers have for the best bang for the buck, I will just pick one.

    The one I happened to pick was a DELL Insiprion 620 with the following specs

    Core i5 2320 3.0ghz
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
    6 GB DDR3
    500GB SATA
    16x DVD+/-RW
    10/100/1000 Network Card
    Wireless N Network Card
    Mini Tower Case
    300w PSU
    DELL 23 Inch Monitor
    USB Keyboard
    USB Mouse
    Free Shipping on everything

    The graphics chip is just a regular integrated graphics card on the motherboard which people would upgrade anyway if they cared about gaming and we will assume whatever graphics card is used it is purchased in addition to all of this and for the Newegg built system the same card would be bought for the pieced together system as well. That means the prices of both computers will be without network cards.

    All of that stuff from DELL is $610.

    Now I am just going to start subtracting some things off going down the list starting from that $610 and seeing where we end up

    Core i5 2320 3.0ghz = $190 ($610 - 190) = $420

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit = $63 (Amazon, 420 - 63) = $357
    6 GB DDR3 = $50 (Newegg, Corsair Vengance, 357 - 50) = $307
    500GB SATA 7200 RPM = 156 w/s&h (WD Caviar Blue, newegg, 307 - 156) = $151
    16x DVD+/-RW = $19 (Lite ON 24x DVD, cheaper than 16x's, 151 - 19) = $132
    10/100/1000 Network Card = skip
    Wireless N Network Card = $19 (cheapest, TP-Link, 132 - 19) = $113
    Mini Tower Case = $30 after MIR (cheapest, HEC 6T, 113 - 30) = $83
    300w PSU = $43 w/S&H (cheapest, Amazon, 83 - 43) = $40
    DELL 23 Inch Monitor = $140 (Acer, 40 - 140) = -$100

    OVER

    USB Keyboard
    USB Mouse

    That is $100 over DELL's cost without factoring in the keyboard, mouse, and all those DELL freebies like 2 year send a guy to your house to fix your stuff thing, and all that drivel that some people may actually care about.

    Luckily for them, they have economies of scale that us individuals can't really match.

    That being said, don't take this as a suggestion that I mean people should buy this.

    It will be hard to upgrade later. You could get a 6670 in it with the same PSU, but there is no way a GTX 580 or anything is going in it without a PSU upgrade as well.

    It isn't a system built for hardcore gaming, but it is a reasonably useful work computer and it is cost-effective for that purpose.

    The part where they really screw you is when you want to upgrade stuff later. They tell you that you should get your future upgrade parts from DELL and those are the killers.

    I had to research some upgrades a few years back for someone with a DELL PC and they wanted extra RAM. The DELL site listed it at $130 for 2x 2GB sticks whereas the same thing was offered by PQI for about $60. The person went with the PQI and never had any problems, saving $70 in the process (60% off of the DELL cost). I don't know if DELL is still ripping people off for upgrades like this in the DELL store now, but they may not be.

    I looked it up and DELL has 2x 2gb Corsair sticks for $40. On Newegg you can get 1x 4GB for $20 so the DELL option leaves something to be desired, but not like before.

    In any event, unlike most people here I don't suggest shying away from a company like DELL as a rule. They can have pretty decent deals if you really need 100% of a new computer.

    Obviously, if the OP this would be way past the $120 or so the OP would have to pay (ideally) for just a Motherboard, processor, and RAM. It doesn't pay to buy a whole PC when you just need a new core.

    In any event, I say do what makes sense. I have known plenty of non-gamers to be happy with buying a whole new DELL every 5 years or so and replacement PSUs as necessary along the way.

    Gamers would obviously be directed to DELL's Alienware section where they could expect to pay way too much for everything I would guess.

    Anonymous said:
    So i am just wondering how it would be a huge step down...



    Anecdotally, I just did a quick search for Phenom 2 x4 830 vs 840 and the first page I clicked on contained someone saying this

    Passmark score for 830 is 3,474 and the 840 is 3,754

    I would consider that to be a big step down.

    I don't want to spend all night looking up every instance of someone benchmark comparing these two things, but iirc the other stuff I read about 830 vs 840 is the same as this.

    - Edit - In case it isn't clear from what I said earlier, a Phenom 2 x4 830/925 isn't architecturally close to the same thing as a Phenom 2 x4 840 (rebanded Athalon 2 Propus)
  18. Okay fine, I should have specified the following. For high end rigs, you can often build it for half the price. Your absolutely right when it comes to low end basic systems, the OEM's own the market and can sell their PC's for less than you can build them. Where they really make money is when you upgrade that Core i3 to an i5 or i7. Or your integrated graphics to a measly Geforce 520 for an extra $200.

    Also, your analysis is sound when you consider the new PC, however, a couple of years down the road your stuck with something that you can't easily upgrade. You want to add a nice GPU to your Dell/HP? Tough...they don't use standard PSU's so you have to buy one from them or perhaps even a new system because they don't sell one that will be adaquate. New CPU on that proprietary motherboard. Not likely, you'll be limited to whatever few CPU's were offered as upgrade options with your machine (not that this is really a problem anymore since Intel changes their sockets so often).

    Anyways, you get my point.
  19. Like I said, I wouldn't suggest people buy them who intend to upgrade things after the buy it.

    Some things like video cards can be more easy to put in and some like low end video cards and some will take case modification to put in (non OEM PSUs).

    If you are the type to buy low end computers and just replace the whole thing in one block every 4 or 5 years it can make sense to buy computers from companies like DELL.

    Computers like DELLs are just tools. Use them when they make sense and not when they don't.
  20. Raiddinn said:
    Passmark score for 830 is 3,474 and the 840 is 3,754

    I would consider that to be a big step down.


    I would consider the only difference between the two is the core clock. One is clocked higher, thus, the insignificant higher passmark score (I really hope you dont base everything off of passmark). Basically, the 830 is cheaper, has L3 cache (which doesnt improve performance significantly, but it does somewhat) but is just clocked lower. Like you said, the 840 is priced higher, might as well go for the one that is cheaper, and performs the same, if not better. Just my opinion, just hate when people over exaggerate grrrr lol
  21. If you do buy a motherboard and find that it does not fit your case, it only takes a few minutes with a pen to mark the proper holes and drill them out. I have to do this often due to the crazy shipping prices to our isolated town. Just screw the stndoffs right into the hole, they thread themselves...

    Just in case that is concerning you, ;)
  22. So it appears I'll have a bit more to spend on my upgrade, the total for the above hardware comes to around 200~. I should be able to put in about 300, any ideas what I should upgrade? I'm guessing the processor, what should I upgrade it to? Or maybe upgrade my GPU? I'm currently running a HD 5670.
  23. I don't see an i5 2500k in your future with a $200 - 300 budget.

    Get a core like mine and it will come in well under that maximum.

    Phenom 2 x4 830/840/850

    Asus M4N68T LE V2

    2x 2GB 1333 (Win XP) or 2x 4GB 1333 (Win 7)

    If you want a video card, the most effective card you are likely to get for ~100 is going to be the 5830 which is about twice as powerful as the 5670.
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