Processor upgrade advise


Hey guys, I have a question I need answered for my system upgrade

I am currently running a Athlon 1800 xp and Im definate that its time for an upgrade, but I am really getting confused by the whole athlon deal

I read the sticky post above and searched but couldnt really find the right answer.

First of all, Im thinking about getting either the Athlon 64 3200+ or 3400+. But I am curious as to how fast it actually is, I hate the fact that everyone is using number which is not reflecting their actual processing speed.

Will 400 fsb and 800 fsb really make that big of a diff?
what else to look for?

With the new processer I will need a new motherboard, what do you guys think of either the K8V SE Deluxe or the K8N-E Deluxe? I am really looking for a board that supports SATA so that I can buy a few SATA compatible HDs

any questions, comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
well there is a reason why amd uses the product rating and that is because their processing is done differently then intel so the actual processing speed is kind of hard to answer for you...the AMD 64 3200+ and 3000+ will easily beat out a intel p4 running at 3.0 or 3.2 in games with it running about 1 ghz slower...with media encoding a p4 usually wins when matched up to comparable amds so it mattes on what you plan on doing with the computer.

AMD has also recently released 64 3000+ and 3200+ in socket 939 which is the socket of the future for amd and they should be priced pretty well...take a look at what 939 motherboards you would like but I suggest a MSI K8N Neo2 platinum socket 939 for the motherboard


Tuffgong4, thanks for the reply

well, I use my computer for mostly picture manipulation (photoshop), Movies and games... thats about it.

I will definatley look into the socket 939 proccessors.

Im still at work right now, but what makes the MSI motherboard you mentioned that great? I know that the brand is pretty reliable, just never heard of that specific product.


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
just reading reviews and stuff made me feel like recommending it...also for this round of motherboards the nforce 3 250 has been the best chipset...also I would like to add that there will be amd 64 pci express based motherboards coming out some time soon so keep any eye for that and maybe even think of waiting on your upgrade...will post links for info later


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Might I butt in? I hae a reason and Tuff gong will know it well enough!

OK so you want to jump all the way to AMD 64? Could I first of all direct you this way (which I think deserves a rep point right off ;) )

Second could I say personally you can get pretty good bangs per buck simply upping your existing socket A processor to an XP3000+ or so, they are very reasonably priced now - and you WILL notice the shift from a 1900 (I know, I did it!)

Then again - supposing you DO in an INFORMED way need or want the 64 option then - well - I am not sure why Tuff said MSI (I am not a fan) but he will explain that,...

For myself may I share something I have just been sold on - the Abit Av8 3rd Eye? Or - if you have no inclination whatsoever to overclock or monitor your mobo - go for value with my old friends ASUS and the A8V Deluxe WiFi-g which bundles quite a lot (though less firewire ports!) ... if you take the Asus do try to hold out for Rev2.

There - if that does not earn a Rep I dunno what will....

Let me know how it goes - you are making a helluva jump (as a closing comment could I mention the AMD FX are esp. aimed towards video editting - if you satisfy yourself with a top range Athlon for now they must surely drop in price within the year, then may be the time to strike?)


OSNN Veteran Addict
If you're going to upgrade go for a socket 939 64 bit system. The equivalent 800 mhz fsb is a must if you do graphics or video editing. For processor speed don't go for the fastest. You get 15% more speed for twice the price. A bad deal.

Match it with at least 1 gig (preferably 2 gig of 400 mhz RAM).

That combo will give you about a 3x speed increase over what you have now.


Yah I will definatley be upgrading my ram, currently I am only running a gig.

Well, I dont really plan on overclocking right now, to much to deal with at the moment.

LeeJend, you recommend not going for the fastest (which im not) but which one would you reccomend? do you think the 3200 is sufficient (socket 939 of course)


you guys have also really confused me about the whole motherboard thing. more input would help, ill do a lil research too


Once again im at work and dont have the time to search and read up on the articles, but... Thank you for the links, I will look into it tonight.

If I am to go with the PCI express motherboards, how long would I have to wait? couldnt i go with a normal MB for now and upgrade to PCI-E later?


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
if you like but I think the amd pci express motherboards might be out soon...

but it's all up to you whatever you feel is necessary for you is the best


OSNN Veteran Addict
What speed proc to get varies as the new ones come out. If you look at prices they go up in straight line and then jump sharply. Buy the fastest one on the flat part of the curve. The ones on the steep part don't give you much extra bang for your buck. There aren't that many socket 939 CPUs on the market yet so the curve isn't very well defined:

3500 $341
3800 $630
FX-53 $809

The step (~10-20%) from 3500 to 3800 or the FX-53 just isn't worth the kind of extra money needed.

As for the PCI Express...
It's been coming and coming for months (kinda like HL2) but the only thing it's any good for in the foreseeable future is servers and gaming graphics (maybe). If you want to wait and then be a beta tester for the new pci-express hardware, go ahead, but remember pci-express means an expensive new video card too.


ahhh, didnt know about the video card, so forget that, ill just go with a normal one for now... so your telling me that if i get the PCI-E i need to get a brand new video card?

ok so far I guess i will be settleing with a 3500+ (where did you find that price?) and most likely the Asus motherboard.

hmmm then I will also need ram... sigh.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Depends on the pci express mb. Some will have agp slots and pci express slots for video but you usually loose performance when you go that route. The current video cards only use up to about agp 4x so there is still growth in the agp standard at 8x.

PCI-express is a lot of hype so far. It has performance improvements but they are not needed/utilized yet. Notice the lack of MBs out there even though there are video cards.

You should be able to drop an AMD 64 939 cpu into a pci-express MB if you ever have a reason to upgrade. Note SAZAR's comment in his upgrade tutorial:

"figure out what you need in an upgrade then select CPU/MB accordingly"

-You don't need high frame rates for what you want to do so pci express is a luxury.
-You do need high speed between the cpu and memory which the 939 will give you and AMD has always had an edge over Intel in floating point math applications.
-You will need high speed RAM so 3200 is recommended and when manipulating video or still images the more RAM the better. The AMD 64 supports up to 4 gig.

The older socket 754 AMD 64 is a lot cheaper but has half the memory bandwidth and is not suited to your applications.


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
everything leejend says is all valid except for some fine tuning on some points...any board that has pci express and agp takes a severe hit if running the agp port...the agp port is essentially crapped down to running no faster then old pci specs when used on motherboard with both pci express and agp on same mobo unless some manufacturer comes up with the solution for that...which I doubt

also don't fear sticking with agp because he is 100 percent correct on the bandwidth usage for pci express bandwidth not being used all the way since the 8x agp is barely used.

I would suggest nothing more than the socket 939 but the real performance difference between a socket 754 cpu and socket 939 cpu is only between 2-9 % because of the on die mem controller...but make sure if you can afford socket 939 get it...also in the near future or maybe even now cheaper socket 939 cpus will be out with ratings of 3000+ and 3200+...also I read in some reviews that the new 90nm chip design for the newer socket 939 processors will increase the performance and heat dissapation (sp?) as well

best case scenario is that you get an agp based socket 939 board and when all the kinks, like leejend suggested, in pci express get ironed out in 8 months to a year and you take your processor and other things pop it into a pci express based motherboard and get a pci express card later


Tuffgong4 said:
best case scenario is that you get an agp based socket 939 board and when all the kinks, like leejend suggested, in pci express get ironed out in 8 months to a year and you take your processor and other things pop it into a pci express based motherboard and get a pci express card later
Guys, all of you, thank you so much for your advise, you have all converted me into getting a socket 939 processor and I will definatley just stick with AGP for now.

Now, Ive been looking at prices for a processor and a motherboard all around the web. I cant seem to find a site that is selling (or one that differentiates) the Rev 2 Asus Motherboard. Do you guys know of any trusted sites? I was reading about the WiFi intergration in the Asus motherboards, and that seems really useful especially if its a Wireless G Router. Does Rev2 have this feature? (I read somewhere that it doesnt)

one last question, is $330 a decent price for a Athlon 64 3500+?


OSNN Veteran Addict
$330 was the best I could find from reliable suppliers.

I'm not sure how low the price will go if they do come out with lower speed 939 CPUs.

Right now the big problem is Intel. They need to get off their butts and put out a 64 BIT x86 family chip to drive AMD prices down! My God did I just say that? LOL


The Donger Need Food!!!!
Political User
#19 is my favorite but their prices are a little high

also always posts articles about the months cpu and motherboard prices and there are places starting to show up with amd socket 939 processors at rating 3200+ and i think the price I saw was about 230 if you don't wnat to go crazy with the 3500 get the 3200 also there are supposed to be 3000+ 939 processor out soon as well

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