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Looking for CPU or Motherboard Advice

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Ropher, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Ropher New Member

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    I'm looking to upgrade my current system to get more processing performance, hopefully with little more effort and cost than upgrading the processor. Upgrading the motherboard is an option but not a preferable one.

    I currently have:
    HP Pavilion a1540n Desktop PC - Product number Ex276AA
    Athlon 64 X2(W) 4200+ 2.0 GHz 2000 MT/s Socket 939
    GeForce 6150 (But am using separate GeForce 7600 GS that's adequate for my graphics needs.
    Asus Motherboard A8M2N-LA (HP NodusM-GL8E)
    4 GB Ram (of which Win XP can only use 3.5 GB) 240 pin DDR2 SDRAM
    250 GB SATA @ 7200 RPM

    So.....
    Is there a better processor I can swap in for a significant bigger bang with a few bucks?
    Is there an opportunity to get a vastly greater boost with a motherboard swap? How vast?
    Is there reason to get over my overclocking shyness and consider that route?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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  3. n-ster

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    yes you could overclock... what screen do you have? resolution? any screen upgrade soon? Budget? I would go 720BE with a Biostar mobo and a 4870 1gb with a sub 200$ 22" 1080p screen... gtg but probably will be more specific later on... maybe stay am2+ so you can reuse the RAM and stay with windows you have
     
    Ropher says thanks.
  4. Ropher New Member

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    Question is if I overclock, what's the performance gained compared with putting in a better processor or motherboard. The key improvement I"m looking for is a VERY significant improvement in processor performance.

    Screens are typically 22" ViewSonic monitors that I tend to run at much lower resolution than the 1600x1200 they are capable of.... But again, for my current need the graphics performance is just not a bottleneck. Eventually I'll probably just upgrade the graphics board to something better than the Nvidia 7600, but the graphics performance is fine for my needs right now.

    It take a look at the components you mentioned. That's the type of advice I was looking for so I can become more informed on the topic and my options.

    Thanks!

    Ideally I'd like to use the RAM, Peripherals, Power supply, NVidia video board, and -- unless there is a tremendous gain to be had by changing -- the motherboard as well.

    The budget is flexible so long as I can attain a significantly notable improvement in processing performance for what is single-processor-bound activity. Under $100 would be outstanding. Under $200 would be great. Under $400 is likely more expensive than I had considered and at $800 I'm asking myself, "So why am I not just buying a whole new machine?"
     
  5. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    Cheap upgrade? Sorry, nope. Good DDR1 and Opterons are a thing of the past and sellers demand more than the switch to AM2 or AM2+. Leave your 939 rig as it is until you can save enough loot to make the full transition.

    Also thats an HP OS. most likely will give you issues when you try to swap components, may want to think the price of an OS in there too.
     
  6. Ropher New Member

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    Cheap isn't the primary goal, performance is. The question isn't "how cheap can I do something?"; rather its "what's the price for doing the appropriate thing to gain a significant increase in processing performance.?" And it's really more a question of "whats the appropriate thing?" than "what's the price?".

    I've got a legit Win Home XP CD and License, so that's not a problem.
     
  7. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    well realistically when I do see opteron dual cores they run in the $100 range, same with a good kit of 2X1GB of ram. Both really need a good motherboard so you can overclock to really justify the price even the slightest bit. At stock the only thing you may gain is cache in the proc, and a lighter wallet.

    Go for something AM2/AM2+, or even cheaper Intel 775 parts, you will see the gains even at stock. Going from a 939 Opty I kept at 3.0GHz when compared to my E6400 at stock, the Intel broke away in testing, leaving the Opty in its wake.

    I think in the end if you want to upgrade you need to ponder a full socket switch either way.
     
  8. lilkiduno

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  9. Ropher New Member

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    Ah, this looks exactly along the lines of what I was hoping for. The motherboard and processor for sure. The graphics card would be a nice addition as well either now or later, but if I can still run the 7600 for now I simply don't have a need for better graphics performance at the moment. Probably better to wait and ride the price performance curve a while longer until I do.

    Questions I do have are:

    How do I know if this board will fit in my current chasis and have sufficient power?
     
  10. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    Might have some trouble with the PSU. HP packs in 300w's with an 18a +12v usually. I'd get an HD 4670 now that I think about it.
     
  11. Ropher New Member

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    You'd get an HD 4670 to avoid power supply problems? The other alternative is of course to replace the power supply... but then how do I know if I have enough fan flow?

    How about eventually using a GeForce 9600 GSO or 9600 GT instead of the Redeon HD 4670, and for now just holding on to the the NVidia 7600 since I don't need the graphics performance yet?
     
  12. Ropher New Member

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    Good news ... I think. It looks like when they added an extra drive or two to the HP they also upgraded the power supply. The service order invoice has a cryptic line showing:

    ULTRA 600W ATX2.2 SLI-READY PSU

    That change things?
     
  13. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    could very well change things, but be sure to open the case and look, the PSU should have a visible sticker on it. Check that to be positive. Ultra PSU's are not the best brand, but should fully hold a basic system together with very little issue.
     
  14. n-ster

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    I would, if I were you, get a 4850 512mb, this Biostar mobo, and the 720BE obviously...

    120$ + 105$ + 140$ + free ship = 365$ - 30$ mail in rebate = 335$

    I think that with this and a moderate overclock (and possibility of getting a 4th core from your processor) your good for MANY years... all you'll ever have to change would be the PSU I guess... Also, a positive thing about the 720BE is it runs VERY cool, therefore a very long life even with a good overclock... I'm guessing your scared of Overclocking, so a little 400mhz overclock will do you good and is easy as hell to do...

    this may be a bit more on the expensive side, but remember, it'll blow your mind away! your be able to game at your 16xx x xxxx resolution on max settings and you'll have a VERY good CPU...

    I can't stress how much I recommend my recommendation :)

    P.S: If you're asking yourself wth is enabling a 4th core, it's that the PII 720BE are really quad cores with one core disabled, either because the 4th core is "bad" (bad for them may be extremely good for you...) or that the demand for those tri-cores are really high, and not so much for the quad-cores, so they disable a very normal 4th core to sell it as a tri-core ( and they still make profit, since they gained a sale rather than losing one)
     
  15. ShadowFold

    ShadowFold New Member

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    You'd be fine with a 4830/4850 then. Ultra PSU's are good enough for a basic system like you're gonna be using like sneeky said.
     
  16. n-ster

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    agreed... so who agrees with my build? :)
     
  17. lilkiduno

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    Instead of the 4830, why not in that get the 3850? The 3850 would be a great upgrade from the GPU he currently has. The visiontek has a 3850 on newegg for $65.00
     
  18. Ropher New Member

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    Ooooh, a tendency toward consensus. That's ominous indeed. This happen all the time on these forums or are planets just aligned in my favor tonight?

    Dare I ask, "What if I wanted to go an intel route rather than AMD"? My guess is its going to be more expensive. Any other pros or cons however?
     
  19. Ropher New Member

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    Oh yeah, one other detail. I want to be able to boot whatever system I build from an external (presumably USB) drive if desired. Will all of these options support that?
     
  20. unibrow1990

    unibrow1990 New Member

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    A 4830 is only a little more and packs alot more power than a 3850 I think.

    Virtually any motherboard on the market will boot from USB so that shouldn't be an issue.
     
  21. n-ster

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    Your question seems weird to me... If your not a fanboy, you should concentrate on performance for your budget and fudge it wtv brands the best will be your buy... but yes you could go Dual Core, but it would be $$ for less...

    why even the 4830? who wants the missing shaders? I DO :D
     
  22. lilkiduno

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    yeah, i know there is a shader difference. but the 3850, would be a hell of a upgrrade form the card he has now.
     
  23. n-ster

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    I think that if he has 350$, why not go with 4850 :)
     

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