Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Im looking to give my current system to someone in need and looking for
suggestions on what I could  upgrade too.

Currently I have an AMD Athlon 1.4 ghz, 512 ram with an ATI 9600xt thats
held out fairly well. Ive played most games on it but Half Life 2 started to
show that its really time to get some more speed. ( I will keep my Antec
480W PSU and maxtor 120gig HD) Im not a serious gamer but still enjoy them
and not want to have to be worried about meeting system requirements for

Its been suggested that theres a budget friendly CPU's such as the Sempron
3000 or a Celeron 3.06 ghz ( both in  $75 range)with a simple MB for
$75-$100 which may be the way for me to go. ( I may keep the 9600xt AGP or
let that go with the old 1.4ghz and get something new in PCI-E ... This
option is quite flexible.)

What kind of CPU/MB/RAM combo for a modest price can you guys suggest ?
Thanks for all input

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

Brad wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

If your desire is only to play half-life 2, the MOST modest way to go
is to find out the top processor your motherboard takes, and scrounge
one up on ebay. Aside from the processor, your config is within the
Recommended Specs for that game, the processor is barely above mimimum.
If the top is only an athlon 1800+, you may as well dump the whole
system, but sometimes the top is an Athlon Thunderbird 2600+. Halflife
is a heavily CPU bound game.

This is a stopgap method, it would meet your current needs, and buy
some time to save for the better system.

If there are other games in the mix you've got your eye on, the picture

Can we get more detail on your current config?

Motherboard make and model?
What type of RAM? (eg, pc-133, pc2700)

THe Celeron is not really a gaming chip, but a 3.06chz would let you
play halflife 2 better than your current system. I have found the
Sempron 3400+ to be quite acceptable for the games I play. 2GB of ram
deosn't hurt either (I know it's overkill),

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

You ever tried to get a 133MHz FSB XP2600+ second-hand? They're dearer than
the new CPUs mentioned, *if* you can get one. Always the case with the
fastest CPU for a particular socket/FSB...

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

~misfit~ wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I usually pull mine out of dead machines Particularly Emachines (lots
of dead ones).  It IS easier to find the 2600+ in the 166MHZ FSB

It really depends on what the top for the motherboard is, and 1 step
below the top is not a bad idea either.

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thank you for the ideas. I just wanted to clarify though that Im not looking
to just upgrade portions of my system. The intent is to give my setup to my
lady friend. I wanted to find if the budget cpu's will noticeable outperform
my aged Atlhon or if I would need to go higher. Given your opinion and some
others, Im gathering a Sempron may be the viable option.

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

Brad wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Anything new will outperform that old athlon by at LEAST 3x or more.
Probably much more.

With regards to the motherboards, avoid ECS/Elitegroup, they have a
phenominal failure rate.  Also avoid the temptation to buy an emachines
computer. Aside from not being gaming computers, they both SUCK, and
die young (never to be revived). It's not a moneysaver to have your
machine die in 2 years. I have a wall of dead emachines.

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade


Quoted text here. Click to load it

It will depend on how much future upgradability matters.
The cheapest means towards your end is legacy stuff from the
socket 754 or 939 era, but of course least upgradable, and
even moreso if you bought another board that supports DDR1
or AGP instead of DDR2 and PCI Express.

So you have to decide what the budget is,  including for
memory and video card, and consider what resolutions you
game with and how much eyecandy you "need" in your games as
it directly effects how good a video card you need and how
much of a bottleneck your current one is.

Since your present system is fairly aged, I will presume you
want to likewise get a few years out of it's replacement and
thus recommend going to PCI Express and DDR2 memory,
especially since your present video card and memory aren't
very valuable and not of much use in a faster/newer system
even if the newer system supported them.

If instead, you only want the cheapest thing to reuse your
memory and video, possibly something like this,
but IMO, you're at the point where replacing the video card
(and going with a board supporting PCI Express instead) make
the most long-term sense, but of course will cost more

Re: Seeking suggestiongs for upgrade

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yeah Kony is right.

It depends on how tight your budget is vs how much upgradeability you
want. Right now the prices are getting so close together its tempting
just to keep moving up one level.

The cheapest is the 754 socket combo at newegg for $90-100.
The 3400 AMD 64 754 socket is a decent performer. Ive tried Half Life2
Episode 1 on a 2800 sempron with a 9600 and it works fine though some
effects are obviously turned off and its at 800x600. However it looks
fine.  With a better card you could probably up the resolution.

The 7600GS is going for as low as 89 bucks I think and there are lots
of choices in the 100-150 range.

For anyone with an ancient system who is on a really tight budget
these are really decent upgrades.

In the 100-200 range I used to say get a newer 939 socket AMD dual or
single cores. And these are  still a good option if you can get them
cheap enough but frankly since the AM2 sockets are going for almost
the same or the same price, I would get an AM2. Depends on the 939
deal you get.

With AMDs --- 754 was replaces by the 939s which has been recently
replaced by the AM2s.  So your best bet are the AM2s but it depends on
what kind of price you get the 939s. Look at it this way --- if CPUs
close to the same performance are in 754 or 939 socket formats - pick
the 939. If the same performance level is offered in 939 vs AM2 then
pick AM2.

754 sockets only a few CPUs left so virtually nil upgrade option if
you get the 3400 combo but then its cheap 89-99 bucks for the whole
combo and its a decent performer. No dual core CPU offered in 754
socket. 939 socket ---- lots of single and dual core CPU options but
will be phased out more and more from the mkt like the 754 has been
phased out. The AM2 --- the newest AMD often the same price as the
939s --- has the same tons of CPU options but for the same price
doesnt really offer any performance increase over the 939. The main
difference besides the different socket is it uses DDR2 memory vs DDR
for the 939s.  The 3 big attractions for the new AM2s is ---- AM2 is
the current socket so it will be around longer and costs about the
same as 939 unless you see a great clearance sale on the 939 then the
939 might be a better deal. They use DDR2 and everyone is using DDR2
now INTEL and AMD on their current systems.  The 3rd --- AMD is coming
out with a whole processor based on the 65nmj process next year and
hopefully it will be a killer CPU equal or better than the INTEL
conroes which hopefully will work with all the AM2 boards --- they
wont be made for the 939 boards the old socket last time I read about

However the top CPUs right now are the Intel Conroes. These just
freaking keep getting cheaper , Intel is really trying to squeeze AMD
and regain the mkt share they lost. Their lowest one is the e6300
which OCs like crazy and has great performance w/o OCing.

Right now there are cheapo boards like the Asrock for $59 though kind
of cheesy with very lmited OCing ability but it gets you into a conroe
system cheap.  There are a few cheapo 965 chipset  boards in the 80s
like ECS. The ones everyone was hyping was the Gigabyte 965s. If you
check they have a S3 for $117 and a DS3 for $149 or so. They seem
identical except that the DS3 uses solid capacitors for better
longevity etc. I really dont care about that and am looking for the S3
to drop to 70-80 bucks.  The Gigas may be the cheapest decent boards
right now for the conroes --- they are said to OC quite a bit. With
the conroe 6300 it would be about $300. With the Asrock cheapo maybe

However FRYs has been advertising combos like they always do. They
usually take a a popular lower end CPU and pair it with a real cheapo
ECS board they give away for almost free if you check the combo price.
Unfortunately they havent offered this at their website Outpost yet.
The last price was I think $189 for the combo. The e6300 goes for
$180-190 or so eventhough the board is a real cheapo its a way to get
into a conroe system dirt cheap. The board they offered was a real
oddball --- it wasnt a Intel chipset and used DDR, AGP etc  so it let
people with old parts transition cheaply to conroe.  For $189 it
rivals the lower end 939 and AM2 systems in price.

Im looking for a conroe deal around BF/Halloween preferably for a rock
bottom $150 combo price.

You can keep your 9600 but its a marginal video card. If you want to
keep playing newer games I would go for at least a 100 buck card.
But with a CPU upgrade you could play at lower res 800x600.

So your choice is actually complicated cause prices are so compressed
nowadays. It also even more complicated cause they are phasing out 754
and 939 so there might some killer clearance deal much lower than the
price Ive quoted that may make an older system attractive.

Site Timeline