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348 posts

Ultimate Geek


#115882 10-Apr-2013 16:30
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Hey all - some advice please.

I have a (relatively) ancient Asus M2A-VM mobo, currently running an AMD Athlon X2 4200+ CPU.

Also running on 4GB DDR2800 RAM, a HD5670 video card and 500GB Seagate HDD.

I want to upgrade, but really only in a minor way, due to distinct lack of funding. Reason being, I play World of Tanks reasonably frequently, which chugs away at around 30-40fps. 

According to the Windows "score" (as an aside, is this in any way an accurate guide?) my lowest performing component is the CPU (5.1). The highest is my graphics card (7.1 rating)

I have tried to o/c, but after much fiddling around in the bios with voltages/frequency settings etc the best I have managed is an increase to 215MHZ. I haven't really been able to go higher because the voltage seems temperamental, so don't really want to fiddle aruond with that, and anything higher than 215 causes hangs and blue screen.

Anyhoo - I was thinking of upgrading the CPU to something like a AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHZ.

So my question is - is this a good option, am I barking up completely the wrong tree, or should I just stick to what I have in the meantime until I can get my kids old enough to work in the mines to bring in more income, and try to o/c what I have already have even more (and if so, any guides please - Googling has thrown up a couple of options, none of which really work).














Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries


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3019 posts

Uber Geek


  #797240 10-Apr-2013 16:44
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IMHO the most cost effective way of improving performance is by upgrading your HDD to a SSD.
Solid state drives drastically improve transfer speeds (both writing and reading) which will improve everything over all.

Upgrading the CPU will also improve performance too, I've not looked at desktop SSDs, but I got a 120GB OZK or OKZ (cant remember now) and it only cost me around $130 including GST from PBTech. They would have come down a bit since then though.

I recommend everyone looking for a quick easy cheap upgrade to swap their HDD for SSD. Sure you lose a bit of space, but you could just put your old HDD into an external enclosure or keep it inside if its a desktop, but run the OS and programs from the SSD. You'll never look back.

Plus, if this doesnt improve it enough for you, save up and get a CPU later. But if it does, you've saved yourself nearly $200.

Edit: Sorry I just had a look at the motherboard and CPU you have now. Your Motherboard is CPU Socket AM2/AM2+ compatible. So if you were going to upgrade your CPU, you would have to either get a Socket AM2 CPU (which would just waste your time because there arent many any more that are better than what you have now) or replace your motherboard and get a newer CPU (gives you a better range of choice for CPU's and features on the motherboard itself, but would be very expensive because you're replacing the two main components in the computer).

Hope that helps. Have a look around Pricespy because you can filter it by socket type for CPU which gives you a better idea of whats out there.




Bachelor of Computing Systems (2015)

 

--

 

Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina Display (4GB/2.4GHz i5/128GB SSD) - HP DV6 (8GB/2.8GHz i7/120GB SSD + 750GB HDD)
iPhone 6S + (64GB/Gold/Vodafone NZ) - Xperia Z C6603 (16GB/White/Spark NZ)

Sam, Auckland 


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Vocus

  #797243 10-Apr-2013 16:48
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Run some kind of performance logger in the background and see if the performance is actually CPU constrained or something else, before upgrading one component.

Also, can you still get motherboards to suit your new CPU (likewise does that CPU work in your current board) - As judging by the vintage of your current CPU that's quite an old board...

 
 
 
 


noc

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Master Geek


  #797575 11-Apr-2013 09:22
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I had an Athlon 4000+ ages ago, and there isn't a lot of overclocking headroom with those CPUs. As "tardtasticx" mentioned, in your situation, the only upgrade that would be worth doing is an SSD (use the SSD as your System drive, and your current drive as your storage). I would suggest saving up for a combo upgrade rather than trying to improve what you have. There are some nice CPU, RAM and Mobo combo upgrades for very reasonable prices these days, and even a cheap upgrade will be a good improvement over what you have at the moment.

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  #797602 11-Apr-2013 09:56
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I'm still running my phenom x4 955BE and love it, it overclocks like a champ with zero overvolting. But as mentioned above you'd have to also upgrade mobo (and RAM?) to run one.

Have you looked at a cheaper pentium and mATX mobo? You can pick up a G2020 or G620 for ~$80 and a B75 mobo for $85 and 4GB ram for ~$40. It should outperform you current setup by a fair margin I think:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/37?vs=406

so if you can stretch your budget a bit this might be an option...?




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


noc

107 posts

Master Geek


#797889 11-Apr-2013 17:04
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sidefx: I'm still running my phenom x4 955BE and love it, it overclocks like a champ with zero overvolting. But as mentioned above you'd have to also upgrade mobo (and RAM?) to run one.

Have you looked at a cheaper pentium and mATX mobo? You can pick up a G2020 or G620 for ~$80 and a B75 mobo for $85 and 4GB ram for ~$40. It should outperform you current setup by a fair margin I think:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/37?vs=406

so if you can stretch your budget a bit this might be an option...?


+1 for the Phenom II 955 BE!  Laughing

But, he would need to upgrade to DDR3 RAM as well, that board he has is DDR2 compatible only.

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Ultimate Geek


  #797897 11-Apr-2013 17:08
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The 945 he suggested is listed on Asus's list of compatible cpu's, if he can find one of those it will be the best cheaper option unless he does a proper upgrade of motherboard and ram.
Looking at Anandtech's Bench site the performance should be just short of double with the 945.

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  #797937 11-Apr-2013 18:18
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Poll: The 945 he suggested is listed on Asus's list of compatible cpu's, if he can find one of those it will be the best cheaper option unless he does a proper upgrade of motherboard and ram.
Looking at Anandtech's Bench site the performance should be just short of double with the 945.


Ah, true.  Might need a BIOS update but looks like you're right.

But.... unless he's getting it second hand I don't see anywhere with phenom IIs in stock for less than ~$200, which would make the cpu + mobo + ram option more economical IMO and he'd get DDR3, USB3, etc and the option to move to an i3 at a later date if needed. 




"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman


 
 
 
 




348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #798241 12-Apr-2013 09:41
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Thanks for all the advice, guys - really appreciate it.

Turns out I may yet have pretty good resolution.

A work colleague has a PC in her cupboard she just wants to get rid of - she's basically giving it away. She really has no idea about PC's, so doesn't know the spec's (I'll get to have a look at it next week), but she paid $2k for a custom build around 2 years ago, so it's highly likely the specs are going to be significantly better than mine. So....yay!

I will probably simply use her PC (and maybe transfer over my graphics card as she doesn't think it has one). The only questions I have - I assume it's no real issue to restore the HDD in it to original (getting rid of all her stuff but keeping the OS), and add my old HDD in it as a storage drive only?






 




Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries




348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #800041 16-Apr-2013 09:51
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Ok - I have had a look at the PC. Nowhere near the specs I was hoping for, but....

AMD Athlon II X2 240 & M2N68-AM Plus mobo.

Plus the case is better than I currently have, and I'll probably use the WD HDD as well for storage.

Worth $100?




Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries




348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #800048 16-Apr-2013 10:03
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Actually - is the M2N68-AM Plus better than the M2A-VM at all?




Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries


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Master Geek


  #800149 16-Apr-2013 12:45
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Off-topic, but big +1 for WoT.

Haven't played in a few weeks, but I've gotten up to a T8 american (M26 Pershing).
Once I build a new PC in a few months I'll be playing more.

My best game was in a Chaffee on Malinovka, starting in village.
Ran up south-end hill, ran down the north hill through the forest and the other team were turtling at their base.
Light up all their team, scooted around near the river and repeated again. Didn't get hit, but got alot of XP that match for scouting!



348 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #800162 16-Apr-2013 12:57
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Okay - after some research.

I'm not so sure the M2N68-AM Plus is that much better than my existing M2A-VM. 

In the end, as a summary:


Current set up:


Mobo: M2A-VM
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 4200+
HDD: Seagate 500GB (not sure of model - at least 8 years old though) 


What's been offered:


Mobo: M2N68-AM Plus
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240
RAM: 2GB DDR2 800 RAM
HDD: 500GB WD Green Caviar
(plus a nicer case)

Worth it for $100?









Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries


noc

107 posts

Master Geek


  #800294 16-Apr-2013 16:13
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Looks fine for $100 in my opinion. You can transfer your old HDD to that setup as well for a bit more storage.

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