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Processor upgrade

willow147
Grafter
Posts: 97
Registered: 12-08-2007

Processor upgrade

I currently have an Athlon 1400+ (thoroughbred) and an Epox 8K7A+ motherboard. I have 512 of PC2100 memory and a GeForce 4 Ti4600 128Mb graphics card.

I would like now to upgrade my kit. My graphics card is sufficient for my current needs (mainly gaming) but feel the CPU lets it all down.

The motherboard will take up to an Athlon XP 2200.

Question.

Is it worth me getting to the Athlon XP 2200 or should I just bite the bullet and go for a new Athlon 64 3000 (with new motherboard).

Do people feel that the 3000 is worth getting, the 3200 is quite a bit more expensive.

At least going 64 bit will provide me with a little bit of future proofing whereas buying an Xp 2200 will offer a much smaller power increase.

Your thoughts much appreciated
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Processor upgrade

Unless you intend to run 64bit software/OS (i.e. Linux) there is currently little point and a hugh price premium in using the AMD64. It currently performs no better than the current top of the range Barton XP3000+/XP3200+ in 32bit mode so if you really want to boost your processor go for a new mobo combo containing a barton - it will still have many years of good use.

With the AMD64, not only do you have to buy a new mobo and new processor (both at premium prices) , you also need new and expensive registered ram.

The hype about 64bit AMD chips is just that , hype to persuade you to use a new technology that you cannot actually use to it's maximum. By the time 64bit computing becomes mainstream (in a few years or longer), you would want to upgrade your PC again anyway.

So a quick and cheap fix is upgrade to XP2200+ (and invest in a new heatsink/fan at the same time - they run HOT) or buy a barton XP3200+ mobo deal. AMD64 is not worth it (yet) for mainstream / personal use.

Also don't discount a P4 based mobo combo, while a little pricier than an AMD package it still packs a good punch.

Cheers

Peter Cool
silvagod
Grafter
Posts: 31
Registered: 04-10-2007

Processor upgrade

You could always get an AMD 'barton' XP2500 and overclock it to XP3200 speeds Wink

Seriously though, I agree with Peter, the 64bit will not be of much use until there is a LOT of 64bit software to run on it. There is a beta version of the 64bit windows available and I have seen messages from people that run it.

The BIGGEST problem they have had is that you will need a full quota of 64bit drivers for all your hardware (if running the 64 bit windows) and a lot of these are as yet unavailable.

BTW, the first sentence IS serious Cool
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Processor upgrade

A XP2200 will run almost anything you want to throw at it and is realtively cheap. That's the route I would take in the short term.
Forget 64 bit CPU's, they're just "keep up with the Jones's" stuff at the moment.
willow147
Grafter
Posts: 97
Registered: 12-08-2007

Processor upgrade

Thanks for the replies, pretty unanimous in favour of the 32 bit route.

It looks as though I'll stick with the 32 bit for the moment, I 'm not sure what variant of such as this point but it probably will be a new motherboard and CPU as I can use my m/b and cpu in a spare machine that I can play with (in particular I want to play with Linux).

I'd like to get a fast(ish) cpu as I have lots of video processing that I need to do so may well aim for about the XP 3000 mark.
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Processor upgrade

Re: petervaughan: "With the AMD64, not only do you have to buy a new mobo and new processor (both at premium prices) , you also need new and expensive registered ram."

Only true if the CPU is Athlon 64 FX, rather than Athlon 64 see below for info:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/Athlon_64_FX_Registered_DIMM_AVL.pdf

and

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/DownloadableAssets/Validated_DIMMs_AMD_Athlon_64_Proces...
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Processor upgrade

@penalt, I hoped no-one would spot that mistake Wink I was replying to a similar Q on another board but they were talking about the FX-51 & FX-53 then I posted here.

@wagle, You may find the XP2400+ or if you can find one a 266FSB XP2600+ (they are mostly 333FSB XP2600+ now) may also work in your mobo.
willow147
Grafter
Posts: 97
Registered: 12-08-2007

Processor upgrade

According to the Epox website (last time I looked) my current m/b will only take up to a 2200.

I'm also sold on the idea of a new m/b so that I can use my current one to upgrade an old pc.

Also my current m/b only has 2 Dimm slots and I currently have 4 dimms (of same spec) with 2 sitting on a shelf, so I would be able to add more memory for no further expense (as far as memory is concerned).

I'm now looking at the Asus A7N8X deluxe m/b with choice of cpu to be decided (but probably a 2800 or faster).

Does a 400 fsb offer a big improvement over a 333 fsb?
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Processor upgrade

333->400 does give a small improvement but it can depend on the quality and thus speed of the ram used. You can get very fast response time (CL2) 333MHZ DDR ram and slow response time (CL3) 400MHz DDR ram where the 333MHz would actually perform faster. In practive you will probably not see a great improvement but you may need to go 400FSB to use the faster processors.

As for your existing unused DDR ram, they are probably only rated for PC2100 (266FSB) and a 333 or 400 FSB mobo cannot use them. 333FSB needs PC2700 and 400FSB needs PC3200.

The A7N8X is a good mobo with NFORCE chipset which is also a very good and fast chipset. As for the processor, make sure it matches the FSB of the mobo as there are several XP2800+ models at different FSB speeds.. If you can strech to a barton core go with that one. Also your current CPU heatsink will not do either (if it's a standard one that came with the PC) so add in a good heatsink/fan.

One thing you must not forget is to replace the PSU. Your current one is probably too low a power rating for the new board. I would put a 400W premuim PSU (Antec or Enermax) or at least a 450W OEM unit. So factor that cost into the total with mobo, CPU and ram - Starting to get expensive now :roll:
willow147
Grafter
Posts: 97
Registered: 12-08-2007

Processor upgrade

When you put it like that it does sound a bit pricey.

BUT

I already have a 450W power supply (Enermax I think) and reading on the Asus website it says that the memory bus is '400/333/266/200'. I don't know too much about the different memory type but I guess that my PC2100 (266FSB) should work in this (I appreciate that it's not the best type for the board but it'll do for the moment).

I was looking to get a Barton with hs/fan included.

I did have a highly rated hs/fan on my current XP1400 (cost an arm and a leg when I bought it) but I guess it's probably not advisable to use this on the new cpu.

So (If I am right) I would need just the mobo (about £75) and my choice of Barton cpu (Xp 2800 333fsb for about £115)

Thanks again for everyone help on this
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Processor upgrade

Go for the OEM CPU & fan route, slightly more expensive I know. You only then have to worry about fitting the h/s without damaging the CPU. The CPU and fan combination will be covered by warrantee. AMD will not warrantee a CPU if the h/s is not on thier approved list.
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Processor upgrade

cqg4uzg said "Go for the OEM CPU & fan route, slightly more expensive I know."

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) CPUs are not supplied with Heatsink/Fans and their warranty is minimal.

Retail pack CPUs are supplied with approved Heatsink/Fans and carry a limited manufacturer's warranty of (usually) three years.
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Processor upgrade

The Retail units are from AMD, hence they are the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
For example
http://web6.scan.co.uk/Products/Info.asp?WPID=57349
which has 3 yr AMD warrantee of CPU and fan.
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Processor upgrade

"The Retail units are from AMD, hence they are the Original Equipment Manufacturer."

ROTFLMAO

Incorrect, I'm afraid - you are obviously not in the in the trade. All AMD CPUs are from AMD, as are all Intel CPUs from Intel!

OEM means that the component(s) is/are intended for sale to system builders (OEMs) who purchase those components at the cheapest possible price in order to keep their profit margins as high as possible, see: http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=5...

Retail pack components are intended for end users, who are more likely to require the warranty, etc., hence the higher price see:
http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=4...
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Processor upgrade

OK, I stand corrected on the OEM/Retail issue when it's looked at in that way (unpackaged bulk product for the trade).
Similarly, it's not an AMD CPU copy made by Fred Bloggs & Co, that's what I mean by original manufacturer.

However, surely, with retails pack of CPU and h/s the package would be warranteed. Where as buying individual components would be individual warrantees.
What happens if the h/s fan packs up and the CPU goes pop?? Will you get a new CPU off an independant h/s manufacturer under warrantee?? Almost certainly not. At least with the retail pack, there is a chance.