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Help Upgrading my 9550

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April 4, 2012 4:51:31 PM

Hey guys new to posting, but long time reader. I have an old Alienware Aurora that was beast back in its day, but getting to the point where i start to bottleneck playing SWTOR and tabbing out to check things online or do basically anything else while its running. Im a multi-task person and running the game alone its just fine, but as soon as i tab to do anything else i freeze up for about a minute before it catches up with itself.
Im mainly thinking my problem is my 9550. Its slightly OC to 2.5, but its not helping out with my multi task problems.
My MB - Asus M3A32-MVP
Graphics - 2 Xfired HD 4850's
PSU - 700w

I know the board is an AM2+ board so i have heard that i can put a AM3 chip in it, but i kinda want a little more knowledge on this matter and some advice on which chip you think i should go with. If you need anymore specs let me know :) 

More about : upgrading 9550

April 4, 2012 4:53:57 PM

BTW sorry for the double post i was making an account and i wasnt aware it would post until i accepted the e-mail. As soon as i figure out how to delete the old one i will.
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April 4, 2012 4:58:33 PM

sounds like your system would benefit from more ram. running starwars fine but not being able to alt tab without lag is a sign of your ram being full and swapping info (from your alt tab.)

the q9550 is a fine processor, equal to anything amd currently puts out. short of upgrading to a new top grade intel processor you wouldnt see much benefit.

edit: im going to throw out the guess that you have 4gb of ram. you would benefit by 8. i can fill my 4 gigs pretty easy and only dont with brand new games if i run my system streamlined. if you dont want to upgrade, open up your task manager and make sure your ram doesnt completely fill up. kill some running programs.

also, you could get a lot more than 2.5ghz out of that processor. what sort of cooling solution do you use?
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April 4, 2012 4:59:27 PM

What is your upgrade budget?

neon neophyte said:


the q9550 is a fine processor, equal to anything amd currently puts out. short of upgrading to a new top grade intel processor you wouldnt see much benefit.


It's not a Q9550, it's a Phenom 9550.
April 4, 2012 5:01:35 PM

Sadly when i had the option years ago when i bought the PC i chose 32bit instead of 64bit so im capped at the 4 gig mark. I know its stupid, but i was also not so aware of the Ram issues at the time.
April 4, 2012 5:02:06 PM

jdw_swb said:
What is your upgrade budget?



It's not a Q9550, it's a Phenom 9550.



Correct
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April 4, 2012 5:05:03 PM

oh that explains the am2 reference.

phenom 1? upgrade time!

edit: if you can get your hands on a cheap phenom 2 thatd be perfect. i have to bow out here though, i know the 955 and 965 are fantastic quad core amd cpus, albeit a bit older but im sure other cpus of comparable quality have come out since. best leave this to the amd experts in the house.

ive been on intel for 2 generations now. my knowledge of amd cpus isnt what it used to be
April 4, 2012 5:06:03 PM

Indeed, just need to know how much he wants to spend.
April 4, 2012 5:06:18 PM

neon neophyte said:
oh that explains the am2 reference.

phenom 1? upgrade time!



Thats why im here :) 
April 4, 2012 5:08:57 PM

jdw_swb said:
Indeed, just need to know how much he wants to spend.



Well i just scored a new job ive been waiting for, and its kinda a gift to myself so as long as we are talking reasonable and not something that would cost just as much as a new computer then we dont have a problem.
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April 4, 2012 5:11:10 PM

well, you do only have 4gb of ram. have you checked to make sure it isnt completely filling up when you play sw?
April 4, 2012 5:11:13 PM

Upgrade your OS to 64 bit? What do you mean "locked" into 32 bit?
SSD for OS/some games?

April 4, 2012 5:15:55 PM

neon neophyte said:
well, you do only have 4gb of ram. have you checked to make sure it isnt completely filling up when you play sw?



Ya i dont believe its a ram issue the highest i seen it eat up was around 60% and that was with SWTOR, a couple IE windows, and Ventrilo all running at once.
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April 4, 2012 5:16:25 PM

loops said:
Upgrade your OS to 64 bit? What do you mean "locked" into 32 bit?
SSD for OS/some games?


just looked into it. your processor is 64bit
http://products.amd.com/(S(ppof2f45n1fqa4v3mf5g5li0))/pages/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=400&f1=&f2=&f3=&f4=&f5=&f6=&f7=&f8=&f9=&f10=&f11=&f12=
it can run 64bit windows, you could upgrade the ram without upgrading the processor.

even still, that processor is slow. you run 2 4850s as well, so you probably should get a better processor anyway. "top off your system." so to speak.

edit: *nod* if your ram isnt filling i wouldnt bother upgrading it
April 4, 2012 5:18:11 PM

loops said:
Upgrade your OS to 64 bit? What do you mean "locked" into 32 bit?
SSD for OS/some games?



I dont want to upgrade my operating system, ill wait for brand new setup to do that. I am very happy with the way things are set up now, just want a new CPU and i think my one problem will be solved. When i said locked i meant i was locked into already buying the 32 bit and had no way of reversing at time of purchase because it was already being shipped to me as is.
April 4, 2012 5:21:27 PM

neon neophyte said:
just looked into it. your processor is 64bit
http://products.amd.com/(S(ppof2f45n1fqa4v3mf5g5li0))/pages/DesktopCPUDetail.aspx?id=400&f1=&f2=&f3=&f4=&f5=&f6=&f7=&f8=&f9=&f10=&f11=&f12=
it can run 64bit windows, you could upgrade the ram without upgrading the processor.

even still, that processor is slow. you run 2 4850s as well, so you probably should get a better processor anyway. "top off your system." so to speak.

edit: *nod* if your ram isnt filling i wouldnt bother upgrading it



Neon i have 32 bit windows... anything more than 4gigs will not be used as far as i was taught. And even with 4 i believe the system on recognizes like 3.6 or something like that, but as i mentioned before it doesnt seem to be a RAM issue.
April 4, 2012 5:27:17 PM

I appreciate all the Replys and comments. There arent many places you can go where you get this kind of help so fast. But it seems that we are all over looking what i originally wanted in the first place. I know my processor needs to be upgraded. My MB is AM2+ and i wanted to first make sure that you can use AM3 chips with my board and then i wanted some advice on which Chip to go with.
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April 4, 2012 5:30:03 PM

yes you should be able to use a am3 processor, if your motherboard bios is up to date
April 4, 2012 5:35:07 PM

neon neophyte said:
yes you should be able to use a am3 processor, if your motherboard bios is up to date



"Should" is what i heard before and that doesnt sit very well with me lol
April 4, 2012 5:37:55 PM

Can no-one see the link i posted showing the compatible cpus for his motherboard?
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April 4, 2012 5:40:22 PM

we can see it. funny enough i didnt notice it until you pointed it out! lol
April 4, 2012 5:41:28 PM

Phew, thought I was going insane...lol.
April 4, 2012 5:45:52 PM

jdw_swb said:
Phew, thought I was going insane...lol.



Thank you very much didnt mean to seem like i wasnt viewing what you said, the thread is moving so fast that when i go and sit back down and refresh i only see the last post. Ok so we got past the first question about being able to use the AM3 chips. Any other recommendations on cards. Kinda wanted to get a few of em kinda like buying a new car i want some choices lol
April 4, 2012 5:55:04 PM

Well, you certainly have a few options open for your system, all depends on how much you want to change, spend and upgrade your system.

1) Whatever you do, I would include an upgrade to Phenom II cpu as essential. Something like an X4 970 would offer a great performance boost.

2) As mentioned by neon before, upgrading your Windows to Windows 7 64 bit, plus 4GB more Ram would be a nice addition. But, if you are happy with your OS setup, its not a big deal.

3) What resolution are you playing at? If you are playing at 1080p or above, then you might want to consider getting a VGA with 1GB VRAM.......but xfire 4850's are still decent performers.
April 4, 2012 6:00:33 PM

jdw_swb said:
Well, you certainly have a few options open for your system, all depends on how much you want to change, spend and upgrade your system.

1) Whatever you do, I would include an upgrade to Phenom II cpu as essential. Something like an X4 970 would offer a great performance boost.

2) As mentioned by neon before, upgrading your Windows to Windows 7 64 bit, plus 4GB more Ram would be a nice addition. But, if you are happy with your OS setup, its not a big deal.

3) What resolution are you playing at? If you are playing at 1080p or above, then you might want to consider getting a VGA with 1GB VRAM.......but xfire 4850's are still decent performers.




1) Ya i was looking at the card you posted and also this one.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Im pretty happy with what i have now on the OS side. I definitly know it could be better, but for now just looking for a new CPU.

3) I still beat alot of Cards benchmarks with my 2gig 4850's and play maxed out settings at 1080p without a hickup so im happy there.

EDIT** sorry card i linked above is my old card... the one i was looking at is this one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 4, 2012 6:05:52 PM

I know that the one you linked is .1 faster, but mine comes with 3 year warranty, plus fan and assembly.
April 4, 2012 6:07:53 PM

Also i have never upgraded a CPU before. I know how they fit in and everything along those lines of taking them in and out, but is there anything else i need to do for the system side. Or basically plug and play. How do i know if my bios is ready?
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April 4, 2012 6:09:27 PM

make sure u have the most recent bios

itll be on the motherboards manufacturers webpage, the one that supports your motherboard
April 4, 2012 6:12:18 PM

neon neophyte said:
make sure u have the most recent bios

itll be on the motherboards manufacturers webpage, the one that supports your motherboard



I had to recently do a bios upgrade for Xfire about 4 months ago, anyway to check which version i have now? Im pretty sure i have the newest.
April 4, 2012 6:36:16 PM

I went to the manufacture website for Bios Downloads..... http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM2Plus/M3A32MVP_D...

It seems that version 2202 is the newest version and that was from 2010. If i already have that version installed am i good to go on everything else? Basically just take old CPU out and put new one in and good to go?
April 4, 2012 6:54:53 PM

Do i need to buy that thermal paste stuff or does it come with the new CPU? Sorry for all the weird questions just wanna get this right the first time.
April 4, 2012 6:58:24 PM

Which CPU are you considering buying?

Some models have a cooler and thermal paste included....others have the chip only.

Best to decide on the model you want, then ask again.
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April 4, 2012 7:19:19 PM

i was feeling something like that for you as well

i believe the stock heatsink comes with paste already on it. if you want to overclock that cpu u will need a different cooling solution, which would require the purchase of some arctic silver or something (or if u are already using an aftermarket cooler, u will need paste to put it on this new cpu.)
April 4, 2012 7:29:05 PM

PG792 said:
I feel comfortable with something like this.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It seems to be a huge upgrade and the price is a lot less than what i was expecting. Unless someone can recommend something better.


This will have everything you need, the CPU, fan and paste.

As neon pointed out, though, if you want to overclock that CPU.....or even keep it cooler at stock, you might want to consider some higher quality heatsinks and paste.

This is a decent cooler - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
April 4, 2012 7:38:39 PM

Well i have Alienwares upgraded cooling systems that i will probably just attach to the new card. Plus the freaking like 8 fans this case came with. I think i should be good for minor OC speeds.
April 4, 2012 7:40:31 PM

All that's left to do now is order the CPU....and install.

Good luck!
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April 4, 2012 7:40:50 PM

then yes, you should get some silver paste
April 4, 2012 7:43:55 PM

so does the silver paste come in the CPU box or do i need it serperatly?
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April 4, 2012 7:45:27 PM

the paste that comes with the cpu is already on the stock heatsink

so you will need something seperate

edit: at least i think so, i did a find through the first 100 newegg comments and someone in there had mentioned it
April 5, 2012 1:30:35 AM

Thanks everyone for all the replys if anyone has any last minute input i would love to hear it. I will be making the purchase this weekend if not.
April 6, 2012 2:08:57 AM

Cool, let us know how your upgrade goes.
!