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CPU upgrade (older AMD)- my best option?

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February 19, 2013 5:21:12 PM

Greetings!!
I've been lurking here for a while and this is my 1st post. I plan to build several systems later this year and been updating my knowledge which is 10 years old. I've assembled my own computers in the past- but that was 10 years ago. I recently did some upgrades to my HP - Maxed out processor to Phenom II X4 3.0 ghz 945 95 watt , maxed ram to 8gb and win7 64 with research from here. This has made my computer at least usable (non-gamer- just home/school use). Much thanks to this board.


Now for my current issue- I'm trying to upgrade a similar system for a friend. (Home use-Non Gamer- )
Current system is a Dell Inspiron 546 (MT?)

Current System:
AMD Athlon II X2 240 ( 2.8 ghz,)
4 Gb Ram,
Win 7 64bit.

(Note: I haven't looked physically inside the case yet to confirm the motherboard- but assume for now it is the one listed below)

Motherboard is (Dell) 0F896N - a faster processor can be inserted with the latest Bios noted on different forums in my research
http://www.findlaptopdriver.com/specs-f896n-dell/

I plan on adding more ram (DDR2)but having difficulty understanding my best option for the processor (95W).

I highly suspect I can add an Phenom X4 945 Deneb 3.0 Ghz (95W)- but did they stop making these?? The price is WAY to high ($249 Amazon) and hard to find. (this has 6 Mb L3 Cache- how much of a difference does L3 cache make??) This would be my 1st choice though. Someone know of a more affordable option (most places sold out)

2nd Option- Athlon II X4 640 3.0 Ghz (95W)- But no L3 cache-- how does this compare speed wise compared to option one? These are readily available for about $80-$90.

3rd Option-- Athlon II x3 460 3.4 Ghz (95W)- one less processor - but faster - is this maybe better somehow??

Thanks for any tips/ explanations

One side note question-- If I get a cheap/basic graphics card $40-$50 - will this take part of the "load" off the CPU making it more efficient / increasing overall faster response time?

Thanks again- Steve
February 19, 2013 5:45:14 PM

First off there is no "Athlon X4 945 95 watt"

There is an Athlon II x4 640, or a Phenom II x4 945 which is not 95 watt.

idk what cpu you are using, probably the 640?

I don't think it would be too cost effective to upgrade an Athlon II cpu to a Phenom II cpu as the performance difference is there, but it is not worth the cost of an entire CPU, this is why many recommended to spend the difference of an athlon to phenom when buying the cpu not to have to worry about needing more performance a little later.

If you are gaming you will see differences from having the L3 cache if you are not gaming you will likely not notice a difference.

If your board supports 125 watt cpus get this processor and overclock it and you will get probably near the best of what your board will support, weather or not its worth it or not is up to you, many would recommend saving for an ivy bridge based build but these Phenom II's can still do some work, I would know, I'm using one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you board does not support 125 watt cpus then just save up for a new build.
February 19, 2013 5:52:41 PM

My bad - I had meant Phenom X4 945 I'm Correcting / clarifying the original post . Thank you for your input. I've clarified the original post a little more.

the current CPU is Athlon II X2 240 (2.8 Ghz dualcore)

I want to upgrade to one of the quadcores above.
February 19, 2013 10:44:56 PM

Eyeballing said:
My bad - I had meant Phenom X4 945 I'm Correcting / clarifying the original post . Thank you for your input. I've clarified the original post a little more.

the current CPU is Athlon II X2 240 (2.8 Ghz dualcore)

I want to upgrade to one of the quadcores above.


I would recommend the 945 over all of those because it has l3 cache, that or save up for a new build, going from Athlon II to another Athlon II more cores or not seems wasteful.

See if you can get the 945 on ebay, you will probably find them much cheaper on there, newegg used to see it for $134 for AMD as stopped making Phenom II cpu's in favor of Bulldozer and later Piledriver based FX cpu's.

If you use applications that can benefit from 4 cores you will see a difference from going to a dual core Athlon II to a quad core Athlon II if you must to save on costs but if your applications aren't core dependent then just wait for an entire new build.
!