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  • Upgrade CPU?

    I'm contemplating a CPU upgrade to accompany my upcoming GPU upgrade (7800GT to 8800GT). I've been using an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ for two years on an Asus A8N-SLI Premium and am contemplating making a change. Since I don't really have the cash for a total upgrade (add mobo, RAM, PSU) I've been looking at what is still available for the Socket 939...not much. Looking at Newegg there are only a few choices, which are best summarized as:

    1. X2 4200+ ($66) which at 2.2GHz isn't much of a step up from a 2.0GHz and has the same 1GB L2 cache.

    2. An Opteron 180 ($170), which is dual core and runs at 2.4GHz and has 2MB of L2 cache. The Opteron 185 runs at 2.6GHz, but costs $60 more.

    Unfortunately, since Socket 939 CPUs aren't made any longer the prices are higher than for a comparable AM2 CPU.

    Is it worth it to upgrade or should I not bother until I can do the whole system?
    |TG|Melee
    Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

  • #2
    Re: Upgrade CPU?

    It would be nice to get a CPU upgrade too but it's probably better if you could move to a better AM2 or a Core 2. It seems crappy to pour money into a dead socket.

    - It's who you game with.

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    • #3
      Re: Upgrade CPU?

      Don't bother with the upgrade. You should be able to get 2.4 GhZ+ out of that 3800+ for free. It will bottleneck the new video card a little bit (my Opty [email protected] 2.4 GhZ slows down my 2900XT a bit) but it should be fine. Neither of those upgrades would be worth the money.
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      • #4
        Re: Upgrade CPU?

        the opteron 185 overclocks very nicely since it is for server applications... which has a higher heat tollerance and all that.. you can easily get the 185 up to 3.0 with just an aftermarket heatsink/fan... you are using the same mobo i currently have, i have a 4400 and i have no problems for most any game out (crysis was a bit of a prob.. my gpu was getting above 105.. but i applied new thermal grese and cleaned out the fins better and now im at 66 with a 1950pro at a whopping 25 FPS
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        . . . .

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        • #5
          Re: Upgrade CPU?

          I would have to agree with the other that upgrading within the 939 socket is a waste of money.

          Check out www.extremeoverclocking.com it has a wealth of knowledge for overclocking. I would strongly suggest educating yourself and learning to overclock what you have. This will give you a bit more life while you save up. If heat becomes your limiting factor (not allowing you to up the voltage to your cpu) I would look into a quality cpu cooler that mounts to multiple socket types so that you can use it now and in the near future.

          The 8800GT is going to give you a nice jump in performance, the cpu is less important in most games (note it will give you a boost but usually not as much as the video card). I currently run a AMD 64 3700 @2.9GHz with a 8800GTS 640mb, this is strong enough to let me play most games with a mix of eye candy on at 1680x1050. In some cases I can turn a few settings or resolution and play fine, I still get to enjoy new games while saving for the next build.

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          • #6
            Re: Upgrade CPU?

            I am in kindof the same situation except that I upgraded to the Opteron 170 about a year ago. The 170 runs at 2.0GHz and I overclock it to 2.35 GHz without changing the memory divider (the memory overclocks only to 235 MHz and is the limiting factor, since you always overclock both).
            I hear you can take the 170 to 2.7 GHz, but I am not certain if the performance improves very much in step. It takes a long time to figure out the right mix of all the settings...


            I also have the 8800GTS 640MB and together they play BF2 and TF2 very nice. Crysis is a problem. I have thought about getting a faster socket 939 CPU but the options are expensive and very limited. I think at the moment going for an Intel CPU, like the 6750 seems to a much better price/performance mix than anything AMD has.

            OTH, If you don't have the $800 for a new mobo, RAM, PSU, you could get an ebay used Opteron and overclock the heck out of it. The 180s seem to go for $150 or so.

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            • #7
              Re: Upgrade CPU?

              Just a bit of info Marstein the AMD 64/Opterons run there memory in a divider at all times, even when at 1:1. I don't remember all the details but it has to do with the on board memory controller. Basically the Intel/Pentium rules about memory running at 1:1 as optimal don't really apply here. For AMD its best to max out the cpu and run the memory in a divider that is as close to its max as possible.

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