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CPU Upgrade HELP ME!!!

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  • CPUs
  • Processors
  • Product
Last response: in CPUs
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March 4, 2013 3:08:35 PM

I am quite lost. I will try to help you, help me as much as I can... I have an AMD Athlon X2 250 Processor, and I need an upgrade. I cannot accept a first person shooter that gives me 7-10 frames per second, you just die a lot. A few question that need to be answered since my knowledge is extremely limited.

1. What do I want from a CPU, GHz? More cores? what?

2. Is there anyway to know which brand/model will work for my motherboard just by knowing the one that I have right now?

3. Is there anyway to get said CPU to increase performance, while minimizing cost.

4. A tech support guy told me that I would have to upgrade my entire motherboard if I wanted to get a quad core processor. Is he trying to sell me something or would I really need to do that? And he also told me that any AMD Athlon would work, but then turned around and said that a quad core wouldn't, for the above reason.

Again... please help me.

More about : cpu upgrade

a b à CPUs
March 4, 2013 3:35:24 PM

1. 4-cores is the sweet spot right now as many games only utilize 2-4 cores, more cores are usually better. You would also want a high core clock, though the clock doesn't always mean how fast the CPU will be. The architecture means a whole lot.

Example: AMD FX 4170 with a clock of 4.2 GHz is MUCH slower than an Intel i5-3470 clocked at 3.2 GHz. Both CPUs has the same amount of cores.

2. A motherboard always give the user the name of the "socket" that is in it, same goes for the CPU. Current latest sockets by Intel and AMD is LGA 1155 and AM3+. So get a CPU with the same socket as the MOBO. ALWAYS get the latest CPUs and MOBOs.

3. Overclocking is a great way to do this. But performance won't increase that much, compared to what you pay, because mostly the stock cooler is too weak to cool the CPU, when overclocked. So you need to spend EVEN more money on a decent cooler, however there is some great value coolers that you could take a look at. MIND that only Intel CPUs with a 'K' in their name can be overclocked. All the latest AMD CPUs can be overclocked.
- As I can see you're beginner, so leave overclocking out of the picture, so you don't damage any components for now.

4. You do need a new MOBO, because the socket, as mentioned before, updates every few years. He is only trying to help you.

I hope this answered your questions and here is a little add at the end.

Upgrading the GPU of a system is ideal for increasing gaming performance.

As your system is old I can only suspect the power supply won't keep up with the latest hardware. You would want to find out if your power supply is sufficient for your upgrade.

Again, I hope this helped a little and I hope you get going soon, good luck! :) 
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a c 380 à CPUs
March 4, 2013 3:36:34 PM

1. Your cpu is relatively old and slow. Most games though can use only 2-3 cores. They benefit more from faster cores. But do not measure cpu capability by Ghz.
Newer generation cpu's have smarter architecture, and perform much better at the same clock rate(Ghz).
Intel chips are more efficient than amd chips.

2. You can find out your motherboard model by downloading and running CPU-Z.
Then go to the motherboard web site, and see what cpu's are compatible with your motherboard.
Sometimes, it only takes a bios update to support a stronger cpu.

3. You usually can improve cpu performance by overclocking. Perhaps as much as 10-20%
Google overclocking and your motherboard to see how.

4. With an older motherboard, the tech guy may well be correct. If you will consider upgrading the motherboard to get a faster cpu, you probably want to look at a Intel cpu and ram to go with it.

Frame rates are more likely to be determined more by the power of your graphics card so that is an issue too.

Some games, like BF3 multiplayer are very cpu dependent, and really need a good quad.
Single player less so.
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a b à CPUs
March 4, 2013 3:54:40 PM

Check which socket your motherboard has. If it's AM2+, you could get a Phenom-II X4 940. If it's AM3 you could get a Phenom-II X4 965 or something. But you didn't mention what was your video card, the bottleneck could come from there too. Make sure you have at least 4 GB of RAM too.
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March 4, 2013 4:24:47 PM

I have 4gb of DDR3 RAM in there right now. The video hard is an ATI Radeon HD 5450...? <-- I think I found it in Device Manager

...and a lot of these acronyms are confusing me.
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a b à CPUs
March 4, 2013 4:57:53 PM

cjmorse said:
I have 4gb of DDR3 RAM in there right now. The video hard is an ATI Radeon HD 5450...? <-- I think I found it in Device Manager

...and a lot of these acronyms are confusing me.



First things first:


Download this program:

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Run it and post back with this information:


Click on the "mainboard" tab.

We need "manufacturer", and "model".


To find your graphics card, click on the "graphics" tab, then post back GPU name.


Good luck!
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March 4, 2013 5:16:34 PM

Manufacturer: ASUSTek Computer INC.
Model: M4A77TD

Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5450
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 4, 2013 5:25:59 PM

That board would support a Phenom II X4 965. Might need a bios update.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/M4A77TD/#support_CPU

That 5450 is holding you back the most. That is an HTPC card, not a gaming card. What is your budget? Also what is the make, model, wattage of your power supply? You will have to open the case to get that info. :) 
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March 4, 2013 5:37:54 PM

Okay, what is a BIOS update, and how is it done?

Two numbers that were on the power supply. I don't see a make/model explicitly.

PX-480RPF and LA09110060

I also found two little colored stickers on the side that say

QC OK RPFXN and HI-POT ATE QC OK 3

I going to give the serial number of the whole unit to iBuyPower and see if they can tell me, since this is one of their default systems,
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 4, 2013 5:48:14 PM

That power supply will probably need to be swapped. From what I can tell, it is a Powermax brand. Not exactly great quality. You can get a 520w bronze seasonic for a decent price. If you do not have a manual to that board, I suggest downloading it and reading it. It has instructions on what you need to upgrade bios. Check your current revision first. You might not need to upgrade it at all. Did CPUz report what revision your board is?
http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/M4A77TD/#support_Downlo...
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March 4, 2013 5:53:13 PM

it says Rev X.0x
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 4, 2013 6:08:26 PM

What about bios version?
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March 4, 2013 7:53:37 PM

0502
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March 4, 2013 8:32:33 PM

Okay, that's cool.

About the graphics card, what do you think the cheapest I could go, and still increase capabilities?

and could I just upgrade the cpu and it might still help?
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a b à CPUs
March 4, 2013 9:57:26 PM

cjmorse said:
Okay, that's cool.

About the graphics card, what do you think the cheapest I could go, and still increase capabilities?

and could I just upgrade the cpu and it might still help?



Depends, what is the resolution of your monitor?
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a b à CPUs
March 4, 2013 9:57:46 PM

cjmorse said:
Okay, that's cool.

About the graphics card, what do you think the cheapest I could go, and still increase capabilities?

and could I just upgrade the cpu and it might still help?



Also it will matter whether you upgrade your power supply first.
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 4, 2013 9:57:54 PM

I don't think I would get anything over a 7750 with your system as it is. That will be a vast improvement over that 5450. CPU won't help you much, if at all with that weak graphics card. You will see much more of a performance increase in games with a new graphics card.
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March 6, 2013 6:58:09 PM

Would my motherboard be able to support that graphics card? without any major changes?
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 6, 2013 7:03:21 PM

Yes, your motherboard will work just fine with it. PCI-E 3.0 is backwards compatible with earlier revisions. For instance, my motherboard is 3.0 and my cards are 2.0. I have an HD 4870, which is a 2.0 that was running in an Abit P35 pro, which is a 1.x board.
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March 6, 2013 7:30:10 PM

any cheaper cards you think that will still be an improvement?
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 6, 2013 8:00:15 PM

How much are you willing to spend? That GPU was within a few dollars of the the phII X4 965.
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March 6, 2013 8:03:33 PM

As cheap as I can go... as of right now this is all still theoretical. Just going through my options.
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 6, 2013 8:11:52 PM

Honestly, you are already at the low end of the spectrum as it is with the 7750. Really, you don't want to go any lower than this. Keep in mind you get what you pay for.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Might want to read this.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
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March 6, 2013 8:19:41 PM

Compared to where I am now, which is the underworld of "the spectrum," I think the lower end sounds like paradise. I don't demand perfect graphics out of my system, they're really nice to have, but beggars can't be choosers. I just want things to run at a basic speed... which they are not right now.

That SAPPHIRE will be compatible with my motherboard and power supply, hopefully?
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a c 901 à CPUs
March 6, 2013 8:34:08 PM

Yes they are compatible.
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March 6, 2013 8:46:48 PM

Sweet, thanks for the advice, it was all very helpful, I appreciate you all dealing with an absolute "know-nothing" on this :) 
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March 6, 2013 8:49:02 PM

Best answer selected by cjmorse.
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