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Upgrade Indecision

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October 25, 2004 10:23:19 AM

I want to upgrade my donkey Celeron 2ghz to a P4 but I'm in a real dilemma about which CPU to get. I have a MSI 648 motherboard and was originally thinking of getting a northwood 3.06ghz with 533fsb but these CPUs have all suddenly disappeared from every shop in town!

Another problem is that the motherboard doesn't support 800ghz fsb so if I upgrade, I'll have to get a new board too. This leaves me with the question of whether I choose another 478 or 775 socket. If i have to upgrade both board and CPU i am also considering an Athlon.

I mainly use my system for games and am convinced the bad fps i was getting for CS:S is due to the donkey Celeron as I have a 9800pro and 512mb Ram. Also use the pc for some video and sound editing.

My budget is about 30,000yen (live in Japan) which is roughly 280US. SOme advice would really help in choosing whether to get a 775 core and splash out a bit more leaving room for further upgrades or sticking to a 478, leaving no options for the future.

Would an Athlon be a better bet?

More about : upgrade indecision

October 25, 2004 12:30:33 PM

Get Athlon64, it's a better CPU for gaming and decent performer in audio/video apps.

If you're looking to spend $280 for CPU + mobo, then buy Athlon64 3000+ (2.0 GHz) or 3200+ (2.2 GHz) and spend the rest for mobo. If you can spend $280 only for CPU, then you can get A64 3400+ (2.4 GHz) for less than $280.


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October 25, 2004 3:44:16 PM

I can probably stretch to the Athlon 64 3200. Could you recommend a good motherboard? Just get lost in the hundreds of reviews which all seem to be written at different times.

What would be the equivalent P4 to the Athlon64 3200? I could still get a Northwood 2.8ghz P4 with a 533fsb for my current motherboard which cost just over 200US. Will it be worthwhile to upgrade to the athlon64 if i can just get the P4?

I checked the CPU guide on this site and there seems to be very little between the two CPUs.

Also, my motherboard has the sis648 chipset so i wonder if that will prove another hindrance for when Half life 2 eventually comes out. Hence another possible reason to upgrade the board.

Still in a dilemma.
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October 25, 2004 4:11:51 PM

Athlon64 3200+ (2.2 GHz) will perform as good as P4 3.4C GHz (or slightly better) in games. In audio/video encoding apps, A64 3200+ (2.2 GHz) performs on par with P4 3.0C GHz-3.2C GHz.

MSI K8N Neo Platinum is preffered by many people and got many good reviews. If you're looking for a cheaper mobo, then Chaintech VNF3-250 is a good choice. If you want to buy something else, make sure that you're buying a nForce3 250 chipset based mobo.


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October 25, 2004 4:18:26 PM

If I were you, I would just upgrade to the 2.8 P4 because it's going to be a big step for you to do a complete upgrade, and it would be a big project to do that. Of course, it's totally up to you, and if I were in your shoes I would actually just get a A64 setup considering they blow away P4s right now. As far as the P4 equiv to the A64 3200+...in gaming the best P4 has a hard time keeping up...so there's your answer. And I mean the P4 Extreme Editions. Anyway, if you do go A64 you have 2 choices....754 and 939, most ppl here like me will point you to 939 because the price isn't much more and your upgradability is much greater than 754. But if you are on a really tight budget, go 754. For 754 there are a couple of good motherboards you can check out, but as far as bang for the buck I would say the Chaintech motherboard. If you want more fancy-ness, go for an Asus or MSI nVidia chipset based board, such as the MSI Neo Platinum. Epox also makes a good board, and the DFI Lanparty board is great for overclocking. For s939, the MSI Neo2 Platinum is the best choice still at this point, but many boards are about to hit with the brand new nForce4 chipset, so the race for the best 939 mobo has just begun.

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AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (stock)//1GB Corsair 3200XL//ATI Radeon 9700Pro (360/335)//WD Raptor 74GB/Antec Neopower 480W//Lian Li PC-61 Custom
October 25, 2004 5:23:03 PM

For your price range. P4 buy 2.4c or 2.8c with Abit IS7 Mobo. You can OC the 2.4 to 3.0. I've been running that OC since July 03. Plus I have that mobo. Best mobo for the money.
October 26, 2004 2:56:48 PM

Thanks for all the advice. I'm really tempted to go for the Athlon setup but after checking prices today in various different stores I could only really do it if i get a second hand motherboard. Actually surprised at the lack of availability of athlon cpus and boards. The LAnparty board is impossible to find. Not sure which version of the MSI Neo board to go for either.

Still pondering over it but might opt for a P4 2.8ghz C and maybe upgrade the motherboard later as i can find much cheaper motherboards for the P4 than for the Athlon which I found rather surprising.

Probably gonna wait a bit longer though and try doing a bit more research before finally spending the cash.

The thing that's really irritating is the fact I can't tell all the boards apart cos everything's in Japanese and the information on the boxes doesn't really give you the full specs of the boards anyway, only the special features which all seem the same too.
October 27, 2004 1:33:39 AM

Stay on the hunt for your 3.06ghz. If you find one, it's really a hell of a good CPU.

Abit IS7 - 3.0C @ 3.6ghz - Mushkin PC4000 (2 X 512) - Sapphire 9800Pro - TT 420 watt Pure Power
Samsung 120gb ATA-100 - Maxtor 40gb ATA - 100
Sony DRU-510A - Yellowtail Merlot
October 27, 2004 2:46:04 AM

I'm with you. If he cant find one now, it's probably because of demand.
The 3.06 will keep you in the game for the next couple of years. If you change platforms, you will probably also have to change ram, unless you already have pc3200.
October 27, 2004 4:12:09 AM

Yeah...the ram thing was also bothering me a bit when looking for motherboards that support 2700 as that's what i've got.

Considering I've bought a new power supply, dvd writer, graphics card and more ram in the past 8 months, I want to keep my costs down as much as possible.

Is the 3.06ghz still being manufactured? If not then I think I'll have to go with the 2.8ghz before they all disappear too.
October 27, 2004 4:16:55 AM

The 3.06 is the fastest of the 533 chips. Intel usually keeps the last chip around for a very long time. It is still available in North America, and I suspect that new shipments should reach Japan soon.
October 27, 2004 4:17:01 AM

If I were you, I would seriously consider AMD, ooorrrr, Intel.

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October 27, 2004 9:33:53 AM

Yeah, I kinda feel the same way about Intel too but beggars can't be choosers right? If i do get the AMD setup it'll set me back a hell of a lot more in the short term and I'll have to do it all in one go.

If I stick with Intel then I can make the upgrades over a few months...CPU then motherboard then ram.

Just hope a new shipment of those 3.06 chips come in soon...but if I can find a decent second hand AMD board that'll support pc2700 and have Nforce3 250 then I'll probably go for that instead but at the moment it's looking like I'm gonna stick with Intel.

Would it be wise to get a second hand board? I think it might be a bit risky but nowhere near as risky as getting a second hand cpu...

Read a few reviews fo the Abit board and liked what I saw so might go for that option and overclock when perofrmance needs tweaking. Never tried overclocking before except for my 9800 and i imagine it would be very different to that.
October 27, 2004 5:42:29 PM

You decide to OC the 2.8C with Abit IS7. Send me a PM an I'll show you what I did for my OC.
October 27, 2004 7:18:10 PM

I'm gonna buy AMD this or next weekend. Performance of AMD just seems to be better.

If you do choose AMD you HAVE to go for S939 because, the highest speedgrade that will be released in S745 will be 3700+ so that means not much of an upgrade path. A 3000+ will do it can be overclocked (look at reviews) to 2.2 ghz (conservative) costs 215$ at newegg. A s939 mobo will cost 100-120$ MSI K8N NEO2 platinum being the best choice imo at the moment at 130$. Thats 345$ but I think it might be cheaper in Japan but im not sure.

ASUS P4P800S-X
P IV 2,4 @ nothing caus this board doesn't OC for [-peep-]
2x512MB Corsair pc4000
120 maxtor SATA
Sapphire Radeon 9800pro 128mb
Watercooled
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