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Which quality of a CPU is most important?

By Jay123
Sep 14, 2010
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  1. I am thinking of getting an AMD athlon 3800+ dual core with 2.0 GHz instead of my current CPU which is the 3400+ 1.99 GHz.

    The only benefit seems to be the fact that it is a dual core and it is a 3800+, but it has 0.01 more GHZ, so if I am playing a game like supreme commander is this processor worth getting?
  2. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    What is the model of your mother-board? A new CPU would really help you, but your current integrated graphics chip is pretty bad. So a video card would noticeably improve your gaming performance. Although, I'm not quite sure which type of card is best suited for your mo-bo.

    If your computer has a PSU of at least 300 watts, then here's a decent card:
    Radeon HD 4350 Video Card 512MB ... $29.99.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,288   +7

    Supreme Commander is an extremely demanding game in terms of hardware. With your current configuration and the Athlon 3800+ you'll still struggle for performance. However, in most general comparisons, a dual core CPU will outperform a single core.

    The HD 4350 is by no means a good gaming card.

    If you want to play games, I suggest saving up for an entirely new rig.
  4. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    Yeah, an entirely new rig would be ideal if you can afford it.

    Supreme Commander (not the sequel) isn't an extremely demanding game by modern hardware standards.

    Recommended:

    * 3.0 GHz Intel or equivalent AMD processor or better
    * 1 GB RAM or better
    * 10 GB available hard drive space
    * 256 MB video RAM, with DirectX 9Vertex Shader / Pixel Shader 2.0 support (Nvidia 6800 or better)
    * Internetconnection with Cable/DSL speeds
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    no...
  6. daz80

    daz80 TS Rookie

    i doubt you will see any improvements with that cpu upgrade. What is your motherboard? Sometimes a BIOS update will allow you to install a better CPU than was previously available
  7. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

  8. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    Oh man ... your mother-board, at best, can only have 400 MHz DDR RAM. Knowing that, I would definitely save up for an entirely new machine. If you are dead-set on upgrading the processor and video card, then this processor is the best I could find for the money:

    EDIT: ... nix that. lol
  9. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    If i'm not as sleep deprived as I think, it won't fit.
  10. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    LOL ... It seems I am the more sleep-deprived person. Somehow my eyes missed the fact that it is an AM2 processor.
  11. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    What if I got the video card that pygmus suggested in his first post plus a 4200+ 2.2 GHz x2 CPU socket 939?
     
  12. Jesse

    Jesse TechSpot Staff Posts: 369   +40

    Upgrading to that video card may be a minor improvement, but the rest of the hardware is so old, there will be bottlenecks everywhere. Consider saving your money for a new system, rather than spending money on old hardware that will barely provide an increase in performance.

    On the other hand, upgrading to a dual core processor would do a lot for you outside of supreme commander in day to day tasks on your computer (e.g. running multiple programs simultaneously).
  13. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    What kind of RAM do I need rather then 400MHz DDR RAM? I dont know much about ram right now so what other kinds of ram are there?
  14. Jesse

    Jesse TechSpot Staff Posts: 369   +40

    Unfortunately you cannot upgrade to DDR2 or DDR3 RAM because your motherboard does not support it.
  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    Don't expect a miracle.

    You probably can't even fit anymore.
  16. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

  17. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 355   +8

    socket 939 expensive-

    last time i checked, socket 939 chips were all expensive - not current/limited availability, plus some ppl are looking for them for their aging systems (i am still using my 3800 939), so price remains high.

    for the money, you definitely could get a basic build with basic,current chip that is more powerful than the 3800, a decent mb, and 1-2 GB ram.
  18. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 355   +8

    which qual most important? L2 cache

    to answer OP, my guess is that for a given set of dollars, i would opt toward a cpu with greater L1 and L2 cache, versus the overall speed.

    dual core evaluations show benefit, but comparing dual core to quad core shows modest benefit, and only for some applications.

    tomshardware will conduct tests like this to show what is the most bang for your buck.
  19. EDO219

    EDO219 TS Rookie Posts: 298

    You might buy the $30 video card to see if you can run Supreme Commander smoothly on low to medium settings. If your PC still can't pull this off, then at least you have increased the resell value of your computer to put towards an entirely new machine.
  20. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 355   +8

    i agree w/ the vid card idea

    i agree with the idea of throwing money at the vid card.
    other low-$ ideas would be:
    make sure you have 2 GB RAM;
    maybe add 2nd hard drive, and keep OS on 1st and games on 2nd.

    hard drives are cheap, and easy to add. you can often find a cheap hard drive by finding a whole computer for sale at a garage sale.
  21. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Row1 and PYGMUS I think I will get the vid card and the processor. Currently my comp has over 2 GB of ram but its DDR ram not DDR 2 or 3 ram. I have 37.1 GB of free hard disk space on my comp and I could free up to 50 because my comp can hold up to 156 GB of hard disk space. So I will see positive results.
  22. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    At that point the benefits of having more RAM overshadows the benefits of quicker RAM, usually.

    Sure you can do that, but...
    Firstly, you get what you pay for.
    Second, its updating an outdated computer doesn't make it a good computer.
    Thirdly, there is no easy solution to the problem; though for the amount money you'd be spending, it is one of the only viable choices.
  23. Row1

    Row1 TS Maniac Posts: 355   +8

    cool. do one thing at a time, though.

    cool. do one thing at a time, though.

    like vid card. see the diff it makes.

    where are you getting a socket 939 processor at a decent price?
  24. Jay123

    Jay123 TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 62

    Processor is coming from ebay so I have to get it first due to when the money is coming. I also need it for everyday stuff too so I still need it either way.
  25. Jesse

    Jesse TechSpot Staff Posts: 369   +40

    Sweet! Let us know how it goes.


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