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CPU upgrade

By Hal24
Feb 10, 2013
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  1. Hello Gentlemen,
    I need some advise from people who have a bit more knowledge than I have regarding the wisdom of upgrading an ancient MOBO (Gigabyte GA-M61VME-S2 REV.2.0) running an equally ancient CPU (AMD Athlon 64 X2
    5400+,socket AM2, 2.8 gHz).
    I saw recently on this site that AMD has released a low cost CPU (Athlon II X2 280 Dual-Core Processor, socket AM3, 3.6 gHz).
    Would this be a worthwhile upgrade? It appears that the 280 is backward compatible with the AM2 socket. Are there any other traps I could fall into?. BIOS issues for example?
    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Hello hal,

    For starters, your system is not as ancient as you may think. Until last month, my primary rig was still sporting an AMD Opteron 165 on a socket-939 Abit K8N mobo with 4GB DDR1 as my primary rig.. I'm now running an AMD A8-5600K APU (socket FM2), with a Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 MoBo, 8GB DDR3 RAM, and just the built-in APU graphics. Yes, I could have built a much more powerful system, but this was a "budget build" and it is still amazingly fast compared to my trusty old Opty rig ("State of the art" when I built it many moons ago ;)).

    Now onto your question... Just an FYI, while it may still work, that CPU is not listed in the CPU support list for your motherboard. That being said, since the other (lower) models in that series are supported, I suspect it is just a matter of Gigabyte simply not updating the list yet to include that model, but you may want to verify it's compatibility before purchasing.

    As for performance, while that processor is indeed an upgrade from your current CPU, I wouldn't expect a night and day difference. It is 800MHz faster and has double the L2 cache, but that's about it. It has a stock 2000MT/s HT speed, but since you would be using it in an AM2 mobo, it will be downclocked to 1000MT/s. Your [slightly] outdated mobo, RAM, and graphics will still be limiting factors.

    While the ~$50 pricetag isn't too bad; Personally, I wouldn't bother with just a CPU upgrade. I would save your pennies for a full system (CPU, MoBo, RAM, and [possibly] video) upgrade. Whatever you decide, Good Luck :)

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