Suggestions for AMD Athlon 64 x2 dual-core 4800+ upgrade

By treesmoker · 14 replies
May 18, 2011
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  1. Hey guys,

    MOTHERBOARD: Crosshair II Formular - nVidia GeForce 8300
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core Processor 4800+
    VIDEO: nVidia GeForce 780a SLi
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit

    So about a week ago my WD Cravier blue 500GB internal HDD died on me, tried repairing bad sectors with chkdsk /r and it said no bad sectors found, but Dban and other software could not continue because of bad anyway I've brought a new WD Cravier Green 1TB HDD and thought why not do a few more much needed upgrades at the same time, so I upgraded my 2x 1GB DDR2 PC2-5300 ram to 4 x 2GB DDR2 PC2-8500 which in total only cost me £76 when compared to Crucial memory quoting me £159 for the 8GB bundle. However i'm just wandering if you experts have any other performance upgrade advice?

    1) Is there a better processor that's compatible with my mobo?
    2) Am I better off using the onboard GeForce 8300 HDMI port or my 780a Sli?
    3) How easy is it to multiboot with Ubuntu or ChromeOS

    oh and one more question that a friend asked me the other day (might save me some precious google searching time :D) he has installed win7 ultimate 32-bit but has two internal HDD's hooked up (1 master, 1 slave) but when he boots he gets the choice between "Windows 7" or Earlier version of windows", i've told him that he probably still has an operating system on the slave drive and windows is presenting a multiboot screen, is this correct???

    p.s - Hello Mr Leeky! (i'm sure you'll be one of the first in here! lol)
  2. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    37 views and nobody has any suggestions to any of the questions? come on techspot brave! :D
  3. tractorphil

    tractorphil TS Enthusiast Posts: 60

  4. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Sorry Sir, I've been taking some personal time away from the forum after the recent breakup of my relationship.

    In regards to your thread:

    1. If you're going to upgrade the CPU, do the BIOS upgrade first, and then get a Phenom X6 1055T. If you're doing a partial upgrade now you want to max out your performance to its limits otherwise you're going to need to upgrade to a newer chipset earlier.
    2. 1 master and 1 slave refers to EIDE (PATA aka flat ribbon cable) devices - modern SATA devices do not need it. If you have SATA disks don't worry about it.
    3. Dualbooting, or multiple-booting is simple enough - It adds additional complexities in regards to the boot loader software, but essentially it will handle all OS startup requests that you can throw at it. Linux dual-boot with Windows is very well supported.
    4. Your friends issue sounds like that, though I'm surprised its asking in the case of Windows. As I understood it (and I could be wrong here with Windows) it only usually loads one of the other... So if you swapped slave and master around, it would change the OS being loaded, as it would look for the OS on the master disk.

    Alternative boot-loaders like those used for *nix use a different method, whereby the application runs from whatever location you tell it to (which is the start up disk), and can then be used to instruct the chosen OS to run. So you could have 4 physical disks, with 4 physical OS' and just choose one of the 4 at boot time.

    P.S. I'm assuming the motherboard referenced is correct - Make sure to confirm it before purchasing anything.

    P.P.S. With good cooling the Phenom X6 1055T can clock speeds over 4.0GHz. Dont bother with higher (e.g. 1075/1090/1100) as the only difference is clock speed (4.0GHz is above them all anyway).
  5. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    If you have another, or a portion of an old installation of windows on any of the other HDD's it will list it and ask you to choose which one you want to boot to, even if the install is defunct, in which case will tell you tat it cant be found , boot, or it may Bsod. you can remove it from the listing on the boot screen however.
  6. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    First off, thanks for your reply, I kinda thought my thread was gunnna sink into the abis :D I like that the x4 is 3.20Ghz andactually very cheap at £58, and the Phenom looks very impressive, however this I don't understand

    CPU Specification Comparison
    Processor Clock Speed Max Turbo L2 Cache L3 Cache TDP Price
    AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz 3.6GHz 3MB 6MB 125W $295
    AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8GHz 3.3GHz 3MB 6MB 125W $199
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4GHz N/A 2MB 6MB 125W/140W $185
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz N/A 2MB 6MB 125W $165
    AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz N/A 2MB 6MB 95W $155
    AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz N/A 2MB 6MB 95W $145

    The Phemon 6 core is actually slower than it's quad core AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE at stock? I don't fully understand everything about processor spec's, could somebody breifly explain what each spec means? i.e clock speed, turbo, L2 & L3 Cache ect.

    Hello Kind Sir, it's been a long time... I am sorry to hear about your personally issue's I know how you must are feeling, needless to say the whole techspot community is still here to support you! :D

    1) Good to get 2 recomandations of the same processor, however same question about speeds, multi-tasking ect. I assume by a new chipset that means a new mobo?

    2) I don't quite understand, are you talking about my friends issue or the Graphic's card question?

    3) I've looked at a few youtube video's/text tutorials and it doesn't look too hard to do, and I have a spare 500GB HDD to use instead of re-partitioning my 1TB drive, and i've always wanted to try out Ubuntu, however I don't know what the advantages of Ubuntu are? Leeky your a Ubuntu veteran, can you point out a few good things about Ubuntu that are worth trying, or what about ChormiumOS?

    4) Ah so if win7 HDD is set to master then windows will only load win7, and if Earlier version (i'm guessing XP) HDD was set to master, then windows would boot XP and ignore win7.....interesting, what if both were set to Cable select?

    5) What alternative boot-loaders are there?

    Yes the link is spot-on, although theres looks alot shiney-er than mine ;)

    Ok so what sort of cooling are we talking about? would my PSU take it? i.e not explode..hehehe I assuming that the 1075/1090/1100 could be overclocked to go even higher than 4.0Ghz? but this would be dangerous correct? would I be safer just getting one of the higher model and running them at stock? I'm new to overclocking and it kinda worries me slightly that i'll kill something/someone/my entire PC

    Ahhh Red, how could I forget about you! I remember you helping me with stopping my last computer from frying because of those insane high temps!

    How would he go about removing the entry from the boot menu? or infact disabling the boot menu all together so that it boots straight into win7?

    Thanks again guys, I appreciate the help.
  7. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    guys? don't leave me MAN! :D
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    A hex-core CPU has 6 processing cores - quads have 4, so you have two more straight away, and they will make a difference when loading up CPU cycles on the computer.

    The only difference between the 1055T and 1090T is the clock speed (and the price of course). The X6 Phenom CPU from a 1055T-1100T are capable of 4+GHz CPU speeds. Save money, get a 1055T, and overclock it past 4.0GHz to make it faster than a 1100T. If you overclock the 1100T you spend more money to begin with, and you gain less as it will only overclock as much as a 1055T can.

    Yes, you partial upgrade now and you're good for the next couple of years minimum - dependant on your usage of course, but its unlikely you're going to struggle with the vast majority of the computers usage for some time to come.

    I cannot comment in the slightest in regards to Google's OS, as never used it.

    As for Linux, its a personal thing really, but rather than mess around dual booting I now recommend those wanting to learn Ubuntu or Linux thereof, to install Virtualbox, and run it virtually to begin with. It makes the learning curve much more controlled as mistakes are confined to a virtual OS, rather than hosing your Windows install due to user error. Believe me, you will make mistakes in the beginning.

    Linux has many advantages - Google "Advantages of Linux", or thereabouts for thousands of different takes on it. Suffice to say, for some it offers a freedom unlike anything Windows can offer, the price is massive change though, and a whole new learning curve unlike that of Windows.

    You will want to read Red's response above.

    *nix usually uses Grub, Grub2, or Lilo as its default bootloader, but in reality they can handle anything thrown at them.

    With the correct cooling, 3.6-4.0GHz will be fine as an everyday overclock, and perfectly safe. It might reduce the long term reliability of the CPU, but it will outlast your usage for it on a couple of conditions:

    1. You feed it clean power. Fluctuating power will degrade it over time, so you want to make certain your giving it reliable, good, clean power.
    2. You keep it cool. Max temp on a Phenom 1055T is low, at around 62'C, which is pretty low for most CPUs. With this in mind you need to keep it cool if you want to overclock, and keep it alive. Which cooler is perhaps something you need to start a separate thread about, or do some googling for cooler reviews for the processor. It will respond well to a Coolermaster V8 (if you have space) or a Corsair H70 water cooler, but there are others that will be very good.
    3. Probably others, but those are the two most important I can think of.
  9. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Okay that makes perfect sense, thankyou for explaining that in common folk terms :D

    Good Good, thats what I like to here...

    Okay, Virtual Machine it is, i suppose it's like you say, mess up a virtual machine and nothing on the host is affected whatsoever.

    don't really understand this, so Linux systems would install a boot-loader by default? :confussed:

    Just researching OCing now, will update comment soon
  10. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Yes, *nix will use a boot loader to start up, and basically when its installed during the installation stage, it hunts out other OSes on other partitions, then adds them to the list seen during boot time.

    Ubuntu will have its own boot loader (grub2), and that will find your Windows partition if dual booting.

    If your using Virtualbox, it will install it as normal, but will obviously only see the Linux hard disk its installing to, so will only include the section options for that.
  11. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Yep that makes perfect sense!

    Right back to the overclocking bussiness, I've been researching last night and found this out:

    multi-core processors are basically designed to handle multi-threaded requests, i.e instead of two programs sharing one core's resources, each app take resources from one of the single cores, meaning better multi-tasking performance.

    Clock speed is the rate in which the prcessor can execute each task.

    L1 cache is directly on the processor and is used for rapid access to stored (cached) data, L2 is slightly bigger in size and is used for less fequently used data & L3 Cache is even bigger but slower. And from what i'm reading the computer looks in this order L1>L2>L3>RAM

    I keep finding conflicting arguements about the safety of overclocking, some people say it's safe, others are saying it will drastically reduce your CPU's life-span, and could cause failure to more than just your CPU, which is correct?

    And I've heard that you need to be running 64-bit OS to fully take advantage of the multi-core procesors

    What scares me is some of the technical side of things, like people saying you need to stay as close the the original stock voltage or else things get dangerous, now how the hell do I do that? I kinda understand the Mulitpliers x fequency = Clock speed but how do I know whats safe for MY motherboard? will my Crosshair 450W PSU be enough to handle the load? and what do you mean by "clean power" Leeky?

    These are the things I generally use my PC for.....

    Photoshop CS5 - seems sluggish when multiple images are open.
    Flash CS4 - runs smoothly
    Firefox - General Internet use
    RT Seven Lite - OS Slimming & Intergrating
    ConvertXtoDVD - For convert all our Home recordings, can sometimes be huge as sources from DV camcorder
    Would CPU + RAM upgrade improve extraction speed when using WinRAR for bigger files?

    ....Maybe games like Crysis 2 and COD: black ops, if my computer can graphicly handle them. Will I benefit from these upgrades from my day-2-day use?

    Okay so I would need a custom cpu cooler, i'll look into air/water coolers! Thanks guys
  12. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

  13. treesmoker

    treesmoker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 26

    Well I got 8GB of DDR2 PC28500 Crucial Memory so that should be enough, Mobo cant take anymore.

    I'm sure someone on this site advised me with the Corsair PSU :( which PSU would be suggest mate?
  14. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    They probably did, but I wouldn't recommend or use them any more. Both of mine have failed, the HX750 that most know about, but also a CX400 with less than 200 hours usage has died as well.

    Given that I simply refuse to recommend them to anyone, and have quite literally thrown both in the bin.
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

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