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Upgrade advice, please

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January 31, 2013 8:38:02 AM

I have a 2ghz dual core-- athlon 3800+. It does everything I need it to, runs XP fast and the applications I use without much lag. I would like to bump up a little though, keeping my mainboard.

I ran windows 7 on this setup for a few months and it ran okay,

x2 3800+; 512 L2; 2ghz clock;;
2 gb ddr2-800 cheap RAM;;
old 16mb, 7200 HDD (Maxtor b300s0 i think);;
nvidia 512mb, 9800;;
m2n-mx board..

but I got tired of the slight though appreciable lag so ended up going back to XP.

Now I'm considering 2 upgrade scenarios, and would appreciate any tips from hardware people.

I would like to keep this upgrade around the 100 mark.

So I am considering either upgrading to a 100gb SSD and a gig or 2 more of RAM, to move up to Windows 7.

Otherwise... an upped CPU (I've seen athlon 64 x2 5600+ 1mb-L2 -- the best upgrade my board will support -- used, for good money), another couple gigs of RAM, and possibly a more modern or feature-rich HDD (non-ssd) -- staying with Windows XP.

Anyway. Hah-- my life story in computer parts-- thanks for reading. I'd appreciate any help or ideas at all!

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January 31, 2013 9:14:21 AM

If you insist that you don't want to upgrade your motherboard and CPU then your best bet would be:

Jump to the highest CPU and maybe a better HDD or an SSD (if you go HDD you will have much better speeds but still be in the price range and have much more disk space)
January 31, 2013 11:48:48 AM

thanks for your reply. yeah-- i was up late-- the best cpu in my range would be

Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz; 2MB

and

4GB DDR3-1066MHz -- the best the cheap board I found could handle.

that brings me to near 100; but i'd still have the same old drive-- 300gb, old technology.

a decent drive would bring me to like 130, it's a thought to consider but i have other expenses.

any thoughts? :) 
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January 31, 2013 12:33:29 PM

I'm not too sure if your motherboard will support the Athlon II X2 - as it is an AM 2 motherboard?. However you did mention a AMD 64 X2 5600+. If that is cheap I would go with that.

Windows 7 can cope with 2GB RAM, but it would be ideal to upgrade it to 4GB.

But in my opinion hard drive is much more important, it is always the bottleneck of a system, so you should definitely renew that, maybe with a cheap new 7200RPM drive.

Then when you have the funds, up your RAM aswel.
February 3, 2013 2:34:55 AM

well here is what i got so far. not sure what i want to do! lol. do you think the 36 dollars for the generation jump will be worth it? i wonder if upping to a 3ghz and double the cache "athlon I" would be compensated for what's lacking with the AM3 and ddr3 memory, with the SSD I would put in the regular athlon machine... ?

................price ........model......................description

cpu...........29...........ADX250OCK23GM....Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz; 2MB
board........35...........GA-M68MT-S2P.......AM3; ddr3-1066;
ram/mem....22...........DDR3-1066MHz.......4gb
fans..........10
hdd...........40

total 136


................price model................................description

cpu..........36.....ADO5600IAA5DO.................X2 Dual Core 5600+
ram/mem...20.....2GB..DDR2-800..................Used
hdd..........43.....SSD Kingston SSDNow V.......64GB

total 99
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February 3, 2013 10:01:12 AM

if you can up your budget to 200 you can get this
amd A6-5400k
asus A55 fm2 mobo
4gb ddr3 1600 ram
this system will be much better than anything that am2 can do and also future proof as fm2 is a new platform
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February 3, 2013 12:18:36 PM

In my opinion keep the first build but change the board to AM3+

You can still get cheap ones of those for 30-40 bucks, i think.

That way its future proof too, and when steamroller comes out you can jump straight to that if you wanted to. Apart from that it all looks good
February 7, 2013 10:57:06 AM

ok, i ordered the parts, lol.

i upped RAM to 4gb.

got a 60gb sold state drive for my applications. if i install less important ones like games etc, will communicating between the SSD w Windows files and drivers etc, and the old sata1.5 slow down those apps noticeably?

is it true the fuller your SSD, the slower it gets? by how much, do you think? mine has a sustained sequential read of like 300mb/sec.

but...

i upped to the amdxw 5600... which has only 1mb L2 cache vs the 2mb that the 5200 i was considering has... but the benchmarks say the 5600 is quicker... so I hope i made the right choice!

i'm sure no one cares, ha ha ha... but for posterity!, or just a board soul.. that's what i am working with now. thanks!
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February 7, 2013 11:55:05 AM

Good to hear you're happy with your choice
!