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Old 09-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

Hi there, I'm in dire need of an upgrade to my motherboard and processor. I currently have 2 GB of RAM installed and I've got a 2GB ram chip in anti-static plastic in my case just waiting to be installed. My current motherboard doesn't even support mixing 1GB chips with 2 GB chips and since I'm using 5 year old chips I think it's time to upgrade.

My CPU pretty much always runs at >55C so I suppose a better CPU is in order if I want to increase performance.

My current motherboard is a MSI K9N Neo (NVIDIA nForce 550 series Chipset).
I would preferably like all my devices and components to keep working aside from the processor (since I will probably be replacing it).

Any extra tips would be wonderful, the following image should show my system components:



Please also bear in mind that I am on a tight budget, I'm not looking for a $500 upgrade here.
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Old 09-12-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

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Originally Posted by throstur View Post
My CPU pretty much always runs at >55C so I suppose a better CPU is in order if I want to increase performance.
As long as your CPU temp is below 80C it is fine. Why would a temp above 55C indicate the need for a better CPU?
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

You're CPU should be fine. I wouldn't keep it. It's old. lol, but if you want to leave it in thats fine. I don't know what PSU you have. But, if it's still in good shape, here's a ny suggestion:

Get this motherboard, and transfer everything else. Newegg.com - MSI 785GT-E63 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard I had this same chipset for two years and even when I upgraded, it was working perfectly.

Then, get a new heatsink. Doesn't have to be awesome, just does the job well. Like this one: Newegg.com - EVERCOOL HPFA-10025 100mm Ever Lubricate CPU Cooler (Buffalo for AMD) This well help keep your CPU running cool.

I'd suggest a new power supply just in case. I don't know which you have or how old it is. Here's a good one for you: Newegg.com - Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply This one actually looks pretty boss. I'd get it if I was running a basic system.

If you want a new CPU, I'd suggest something else entirely. This mobo: Newegg.com - BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard and this CPU Newegg.com - AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX250OCGMBOX and then find yourself some good DDR3 RAM and then the heatsink and PSU I suggested above. This is a more expensive solution but much more permanent. Good luck. And ask if you need more advice or details
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

Thank you nbrikha, for your excellent response, it is clear you know what you're talking about!

I am more inclined towards your second suggestion although I've been hearing that AMD is very far behind intel. That is why I was wondering whether or not it would be a better idea to get one of those multi-core intel processors. I would really like an i7 processor but looking at the prices at my local retail store I'd have to dish out over $700.

My only real choices are to buy from my retailer or ship from the US although I don't really want to pay super high shipping costs from the states (not to mention I'll have to pay 10% on top of shiping costs for duty and 25.5% on top of all that for tax). Below is a link to processors, motherboards and graphics cards respectively. You can select the chipset at the top.

Processors
Motherboards
Graphics Cards

I don't really want to buy a new graphics card but I can do so if necessary, as long as it's budget friendly. I'm just looking for a motherboard + processor upgrade that'll speed up my system all the while being a very permanent upgrade. I'm not going to buy a new desktop for another 5-10 years so I've got to be smart about my ugprades. I don't mind buying new RAM since RAM is generally quite cheap but I definitely want new and modern ram (probably DDR3).

I'm also kind of puzzled about these up and coming Solid State drives. Will I be able to install a Solid State drive regardless of what motherboard I'm using? Also, will my DDR2 hard drives work with a DDR3 motherboard and all?
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

I do not recommend solid state drives. Most programs are still designed to write data onto hard drives, but solid state drives have a different storing process. Current software will cause SSDs to lose blocks faster than anticipated. A good hard drive will do you just fine. I posted one below that I would recommend for you.

Intel is ahead of AMD but not noticably unless you're trying to graph weather and then predict it. Without doing heavy video and audio editing, you're not going to see a difference. In fact, there is not much of a performance upgrade from AMDs Thuban six core and Intel's Gulftown 6 core. Intel is ahead for sure, but it's measured in miliseconds, if 50 milliseconds seems like a long time, then get the intel. But, when it comes to budget rigs or gaming rigs, or just getting more for your money, AMD is a great way to go. If you don't want to upgrade for a while, here is a good build suggestion:

Video Card
CPU
Motherboard
Heatsink
RAM
Hard Drive
Power Supply

You can change pretty much anything to your budget or style or whatever, but I highly suggest that you get that power supply. It's got all the wattage you need and a good brand and bronze certified and continuous power. Quality matters when it comes to electronics. My hope is you can find these things in Iceland at a decent price. My concern is that there may be other products better priced just because it's in a different location. See if this fits in your budget. I didn't include a case because I assume you have one. If you need a suggestion, I highly recommend the Cooler Master Elite series. Affordable and good quality for the price. They range from 30-50 dollars depending on which style you select. If I may make a suggestion:

Computer Case
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice for motherboard upgrade (+ processor)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nbrikha View Post
I do not recommend solid state drives. Most programs are still designed to write data onto hard drives, but solid state drives have a different storing process. Current software will cause SSDs to lose blocks faster than anticipated. A good hard drive will do you just fine. I posted one below that I would recommend for you.
This is bullshit. Solid State Drives operate just fine, and contrary to what folks may think, aren't some magic solid mass of material that will one day give up the ghost differently than any other piece of electronic hardware. CCP has been using SSDs for many years to run EVE Online without any issues. I've been running an Intel 40GB SSD for over a year, and two Corsair SSDs for just about as long, zero issues. In that same time span, I've had to replace about 4 hard drives across all of my other home / Server PCs. SSD's don't have a different "storing process" - they write and read data much the same way as a standard hard drive would. They just don't do it on a spinning magnetic substrate with a lot of little parts. Current software has nothing to do with SSDs losing blocks "faster than anticipated". Where did you pull that out of? SSDs will allocate sectors based on use and "burn out" but the makers of SSDs "overprovision" the drives, so you may buy a 120GB SSD, but you may be getting 122GB so that over the life of the drive, 2GB can be re-mapped to circuit paths as they die out - it's pretty ingenious and it works fine. Other than Intel FUBAR'ing some SSD launches (the 320 series for example) SSDs are perfectly legitimate storage devices. Expensive still, compared to non-SSDs, absolutely.

nbrikha, you may have your opinions on things, but spouting them off as fact, I take a grave problem with. There are no published articles that state what you mentioned is the case, and I think you're completely off base.

You're also incorrect about the difference between AMD and Intel processors. Take a good look at my avatar, and it'll be pretty obvious who I side with.

That being said, Intel's CPUs are several factors of magnitude faster than AMD processors, and in more than just video editing tasks. I have the fastest AMD Phenom II X6 money can buy, but it can't hold a candle to an i7 2600k we have at work (that I built...) You're completely off base by stating the difference is in milliseconds. This is false. In many cases, Intel's processors can be several minutes faster, which is substantial. I wouldn't have a problem with you stating your opinion, but when it's obvious that you don't know what you're talking about and you start throwing random numbers out there at people on a public forum, I have to question your integrity. Links to back yourself up shouldn't be necessary, but at this point, you're still living in the 90s.

I never want to downplay the value of going with an AMD, especially since the processors they make do fine in high resolution gaming paired with a decent graphics card - they're evenly matched in this arena, at least when it comes down to the final visible framerate (both can deliver substantial FPS, which is enough for the current landscape)

About the only thing I can get behind in your response is the Power Supply. At least you didn't suggest something crappy like RAIDMax as being "top quality"
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