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Thread: Which upgrade path should I take?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Portland, Oregon, USA

    Default Which upgrade path should I take?

    Three years ago I upgraded my computer to its configuration:

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (1.8GHz)
    2x512 MB memory in dual channel
    Gigabyte GA-K8nxp-SLI motherboard
    MSI GeForce 6600GT GPU

    I'm thinking that it's time for another upgrade, but I cannot spend a whole lot of money so I have narrowed it down to two paths:

    1) Keep my motherboard, replace the processor with a AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ or 4400+, and replace the memory with 2x1GB DDR 400. Prices for this upgrade would be around $100 plus or minus depending on which processor. For just a wee bit more, I could probably find a second matching video card for SLI;

    2) Replace the motherboard with one that supports Socket AM2/AM2+ (probably the new Gigabyte or MSI board with the 780G chipset), new memory DDR2, and new processor (probably Athlon 64 X2 5000+). This would cost about $200-225. For about $50 more, I could buy a Radeon HD3450 video card and run it CrossFire with the IGP.

    3) Same as above except grab a Athlon Phenom. Total cost would be about $400.

    In reality, only options 1 and 2 are realistic for me at this time, so my question is: Would I experience a noticeable performance gain going from my current system to option 1 or is there a bigger gain going from option 1 to option 2?

    I rarely play games but I did just buy Supreme Commander and though it plays on my machine, it does get choppy when there is a lot of action happening. Also, C&C 3 looks really good and Company of Heroes. I don't play FPS games.

    I am also looking at upgrading my 19" CRT monitor to a 22" widescreen LCD (Acer AL2216WBD for $230).

    Overall, I'm just trying to get the most bang-for-the-buck. Thanks.
    Last edited by jlasich; 04-27-2008 at 08:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Which upgrade path should I take?

    Option 2 would be a more worthwhile upgrade since when you start looking for DDR and a socker 939 CPU and realize you can only find them used it becomes alot easier to buy current stuff new. I'd skip the Quad core since almost nothing a normal user would take advantage of 4 cores.

    Option 2 makes the most possible sense.
    GIgabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
    AMD FX8120 @ 4GHz
    Patriot 1866MHz EL series 2X4GB DDR3
    Powercolour HD 6970 2GB w/XFX 8800GT 512MB Hybrid PhysX
    Creative X-FI titanium HD w/Technics class A 300W amp and tower speakers
    PC P&C 500W PSU
    2TB Seagate
    Coolermaster 690II w/Corsair H100 tucked under the hood

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Portland, Oregon, USA

    Default Re: Which upgrade path should I take?

    Thanks for the reply casecutter. Like you said, I could only find used socket 939 cpu's (ebay) and they may cost me more in the long run. I was able to find a new 4200+ but it was almost the same price as one for a socket AM2.

    Anyone else agree, disagree, or have other ideas?

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