Upgrading a PC for the first time... on my own ;) RAM>motherboard>core

By romgod9208
Jul 14, 2011
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  1. Ok, hello Techspot members, that's my first post out there and it's kinda the reason why I even joined this community. I'm a newbie in what concerns PC upgrading, but other then that I have a lot of experience around PC world.
    So, just to describe a bit, I'm using my current machine for around 5 years, with Win7 ultimate (2 years) and usually I'm doing quite a lot of stuff, like web surfing, office working, 3d modeling and photoshop and gaming for sure. So, if you take a look at my specs, they are kinda...lower then average I guess. The thing is, until today, my PC was pretty good performing all tasks. Never had major crashes or blue screens, not too much laggy, can still play decent games on medium graphics (metro 2033 or starcraft 2 are fine on medium o_O). The only crashes I had were because of trojans/worms, that I managed to kill anyway.

    And now, I want to change a bit my pc. The last time my dad upgraded for me, he changed the burnt motherboard and GPU, so that now I have Ati radeon 4350 (was decent 4 years ago) and Asus A8N5X with one 939 socket for AMD Athlon 64, 2200 MHz 3500+. My budget is infinite (theoretically, used for calculations for now;)) but the upgrade I need to do should be as effective as possible in terms of price/quality.

    So, for now, straight questions I got:
    1) First I need is to add some ram (ideally 2 more GBs) . Considering my mobo (OLD!!) I've got few examples which I'm not sure about and I can't frikkin post links now cuz I have 1 post, ohh why is that?? I ll post them later.
    2) I have one socket 939, can I change my current core to AMD double core or even triple? Is that even possible for that mobo? Which will play the trick for the right price? Little detail: I prefer AMD over Intel.
    3) I think I have a free PCI-E slot, can I double my ati radeon 4350? Adding the second same video card, is it possible?
    4) From the three precedent questions it is possible that one of the best decision would be to change the entire mother board, or is it?

    I'm open to all your clarifications/proposals and if you need additional info on my system, ask, I'm using AIDA64, hope I can find everything with it.
    Don't propose Newegg deals, I know it's a good site, but I'm from Canada, no shipping there, so eBay is fine for me.
    Thank you!
  2. romgod9208

    romgod9208 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    ok, I got links in my signature, first is my system at a glance and three others are my RAM examples.
  3. mike1959

    mike1959 TechSpot Addict Posts: 1,033   +15

    Upgrade info

    Hi. You can read an up to date guide with excellent information on this site.
    There are four PC's listed, the 'Budget Box' PC is not relevant
    to you, but the second and third options should give you some ideas.

    http://www.techspot.com/guides/buying/
  4. romgod9208

    romgod9208 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Ahh.

    Ok I already read those before but it's not helpful at all :stickout: Those guides contain already built systems, they have nothing in common with my system and also they are twice as powerful as mien lol. The thing is, I'm not sure about my mother board. Should I change it or leave it. All I want is to add 2 more RAM and change the CPU. Also, if it's possible, I'll add an additional video card. And I need a confirmation for these details, because maybe I should change the mobo, and if so, it's totally different, then I'll need to find completely different RAM and CPU!! I'm just not sure what are my mobo's capabilities. I'm still searching CPUs and RAMs that will be compatible with current mobo, so I'll add other details later.
  5. romgod9208

    romgod9208 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    new details

    Ok, as I have found, my socket 939 supports nothing new, one of the good cpu I found for it, is Athlon 64 FX-60, but it's impossible to find it anywhere.
  6. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TechSpot Addict Posts: 879   +170

    Yes you definitely want to change your board. There is no use upgrading on your old board, especially since your model is limited to those old processors.

    Where are you open to purchasing your upgrades from ?
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    Not being able to post links is a restriction on new user accounts to prevent people signing up and spamming the forum with spam links. It will go away after a few posts.

    You need to change the motherboard unfortunately, and any money spent on your existing 939 socket set is a waste in my honest opinion.

    You need to be looking at AM3(+), LGA1155 (Sandy bridge) or LGA1156 (i3/5/7 series) or LGA1366 (i7 920+ series) sockets. Best bang for buck will be a range topping Sandy Bridge i7 2600K LGA1155 socket CPU, coupled with a aftermarket cooler and running 5GHz speeds.

    Given the information in your first post, I would be looking to change the entire system, so the TechSpot PC Guides are worth looking at to answer your questions.
  8. romgod9208

    romgod9208 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 16

    hmm

    ahh, good, I thought I'll win with less blood lost, but well, looks like, change is imminent. About the place I'm not sure myself, I live in Mtl, QC, Canada, there are futureshop, bestbuy, walmart there, I'm usually using eBay or amazon, tigerdirect is not bad too. Newegg doesnt have shipping, and newegg Canada is way more expensif. So its kinda all I have, plus all those multiple little PC shops here and there.



    ahh ok, thanks. Well, LGA series sound not bad, but quadcore is kinda too much for me, also not cheap, I'll look them more specifically. Btw, why aftermarket cooler? I never had those, all mien are stock, hmmm, but considering my old shitty rig, I guess that's why I dont have problemes with overheating. So, for more powerful rigs, it's always better to take a new cooler?
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    3D Modelling and Photoshop use will benefit from higher CPU frequencies, and more cores, as will games. You can hit 5GHz with the new SB i7 2600K with the correct cooling - that translates to an awesome improvement in performance on an already top of the line CPU.

    Another option is the AM3 route, and Thuban hexacore, like a 1055T, which you can overclock to around 4GHz (again with the correct cooling), and having 6 cores, it likes CPU intensive tasks very much.

    You want to be considering a quad core at least for your usage, anything less will be pretty inadequate in my honest opinion. What you have now is a few generations old, and anything current is going to be a huge step up in performance.

    You don't have to use a aftermarket cooler, but I grew used to it back in the days when CPU's rain pretty hot, and OEM coolers just never seemed up to the task of cooling the things. These days I'm told its much different, and OEM's have got there act together (and CPU's are more efficient), but I always recommend an aftermarket cooler to anyone considering overclocking.

    As long as you don't live in Death Valley, or anywhere else desert-like, and you don't overclock, the cooler that comes with the CPU will be fine.
  10. vChRiSv

    vChRiSv Newcomer, in training Posts: 44

    I'd also suggest Canada Computers. Future Shop and Best Buy are pretty useless. I bought all of my parts from a mix of Canada Computers and Tiger Direct. FYI, I live in Ontario.


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