Upgrade or wait?

  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

My current system:

Asus P4P800-SE Mobo
P4 3.0E w/ HT 800MHz FSB
2x512MB Corsair XMS DDR
Radeon X800 Pro AGP
WD 80GB 7200rpm SATA HD
SoundBlaster Audigy 2
DVD Burner
DVD ROM

I've been heavily debating upgrading my machine, mostly to move into the 64 bit era, upgrade to a PCI-express video card and possibly DDR2 memory if I were to go with an Intel upgrade. The more I've read, the less important I've found the DDR2 upgrade to be. I'd also like a setup that would leave me open to the possibility of adding a second video card down the road (either SLI or ATI's crossfire).

I've always stuck with Intel / ATI / Asus, etc and never had any issues, while I am constantly hearing horror stories from friends about the weird reboots and blue screens they get from their AMD / nvidia systems. Changing over to AMD / nvidia would require me to check my balls at the door, more or less...but its possible if the rewards outweigh the risk.

I use the machine to do a huge variety of tasks...

In order from most often to least often used:

Gaming
Web Design
Video Editing
3D Animation (3DS Max)

My current machine runs everything, including games just fine. Plenty of FPS on max settings of pretty much any game I've tried. Battlefield 2 should be interesting (demo out this Friday). However, there can always be more raw horsepower in the box and I have roughly $1000 to burn.

What I'm looking at upgrading to:

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Clawhammer
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
ASUS EN6800GT/2DT/256MB Geforce 6800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI-Express x16 Video Card
Another WD 80GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive for a RAID setup


SO...my question is....is it worth upgrading? Would the performance gains be negligible, blow me away or somewhere in between? Is there something I should hold off and wait for (SATA2)?

Thanks for any input you can provide.
  • 5k1LLz
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Post 3+ Months Ago

*peach* yeah thats anice setup
  • Skirge
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah go upgrade and donate ur pc to the needy like me !!

nah jk

ur computer is fine..... mines bad

p4 2.4 ghz
biostar p4vma-m
Ati Radeon 9550 256 mb AGP
1280 mb ram Pc2700
wd 80gb 7200 rpm hd
soundblaster audigy 2
dvd rom
cdrw drive


soo mee need to upgrade lol anyone wanna donate?
  • TomK
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Unless you're having trouble running programs you need, I wouldn't bother upgrading.

You don't need to switch to AMD (although you can if you want, they're currently beating Intel on most fronts). Intel's new chips come with the 64-bit instruction that the AMD 64 chips have.

Honestly it seems like a waste to spend all of that money upgrading because you'll barely seen an increase in performance. I would wait until next-generation video cards come out as well as the dual-core processors.
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

TomK wrote:
Unless you're having trouble running programs you need, I wouldn't bother upgrading.

You don't need to switch to AMD (although you can if you want, they're currently beating Intel on most fronts). Intel's new chips come with the 64-bit instruction that the AMD 64 chips have.

Honestly it seems like a waste to spend all of that money upgrading because you'll barely seen an increase in performance. I would wait until next-generation video cards come out as well as the dual-core processors.


I agree with TomK here, AMD and Intel are moving into the Dual Core CPU sector for desktop PC and so far the benchmarks and reviews are looking very promising.

Obviously there isn't currently alot of software that requires a Dual Core CPU but you could put money on the fact that there soon will be !

Already posted this link somewhere else but its deffinatly worth posting again as it has some great info.

http://www.techwarelabs.com/reviews/processors/amd_x2/

If I were you, I would hold out a few more months, and anyway, your PC isn't that bad ! If your not having any major issues with it then there really isn't any need.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it !"
  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I appreciate the responses.

I looked into the X2 dual-cores but all of the benchmarks I found showed that the only real performance boost came from mass multi-tasking. I don't have any burning desire to encode a DVD, render out a 3D animation, zip a 2GB file and play Battlefield 2 all at the same time. The single-core 4000+ performed as well or better in gaming situations for a significantly lower price tag. I could have misunderstood what I've been reading, though.

Odds are I will wait it out, as you've suggested. If I wait until around Christmas time though...I'll also be wanting a new PS3 and Xbox 360 around then so upgrading my box here would probably be too much at once. If I were to upgrade now (birthdays are great, eh?), I'd be set for a while and still be able to upgrade into the dual-cores in the future using the exact same rig.

Another concern is that I've read in a few places that AMD's supposedly moving on from socket 939 to M2 (I think thats it?) in early 2006 that support DDR2. That means if I upgrade now, I'd be back in the same 2nd generation boat when the M2 sockets arrive. I'd then need yet another new motherboard and processor...but at least my PCI-express video card would carry over.
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Currently the X2 chip do perform very similar to the AMD 64 FX chips but thats only because there currently isnt alot of software that can take advantage of the Dual Core CPU, not because they suck :P

Socket M2:
http://www.tomshardware.com/hardnews/20 ... 45314.html
  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting article on the M2. Thanks for the link. I'd read elsewhere that it was supposed to be out sooner but I guess it was outdated, as usual.

The main issue with the X2's is that the cheapest I can find the 4200+ is $520 (1MB cache) and the 4400+ for $565 (2MB cache). Sure, you're essentially getting two processors for that price but the bottom line is its still pretty steep =/ The FX series is even worse with the FX-53 around $725 and the FX-55 around $810. :shock:

If I do upgrade, I'll probably stick with a 3800+ ($372) or a 4000+ ($487) single core and possibly swap out just the processor up to an X2 when the prices come down a bit. Then again, that's only $80 more for a 4400+ X2 vs. a 4000+.

I write all this out mostly to get it straight in my own head, but also in case someone else is interested.

Tiger Direct Prices -

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ / 2MB Cache / 2000MHz FSB / Socket 939 / Dual-Core / Processor
$545.99

Asus A8N SLI Deluxe nVidia Socket 939 Motherboard / PCI Express / Audio / Dual Gigabit LAN / Serial ATA / Dual RAID / USB 2.0 & Firewire
$174.97

B52-1004 :: BFG GeForce 6800 Ultra / 256MB GDDR3 / PCI Express / SLI / Dual DVI / TV Out / Video Card
$479.99

Total: $1229 shipped

Holy crap would that system scream or what :shock: :lol: 8)
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

True the X2 CPU's are currently quiet expensive, but the same can be said for all new technologies.

Personally I`m going to wait a few months for the Dual Core CPU's to improve and hopefully, decrease in price a little.
  • think.correctly
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i once read that amd support was going to skip ddr2 alltogether and go straight to dd3 which is being tested by samsung right now.
  • TomK
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Post 3+ Months Ago

4ss_munk3y wrote:
i once read that amd support was going to skip ddr2 alltogether and go straight to dd3 which is being tested by samsung right now.


I heard that as well but now I've been hearing stuff about their new Socket M2 which will have DDR2 support, not DDR3. Can anybody clarify this issue?
  • Bgnn32
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It can never hurt to upgrade, but if your aren't experienceing any problems then it is a waste of money.
  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I suppose I can just dump the cash into savings and hold out a while.

Something that changed my line of thinking today was finding out more about the next generation of video cards...namely the R520 from ATI which is supposedly as fast or faster than TWO SLI nvidia cards and roughly 3x as fast as an X800 Pro. I can't find a report on a release date but the rumors I'm reading are sometime in July or September.

No sense buying an X850XT PE or a 6800 Ultra now if R520's will be roughly the same price in a month or two. X850XT PE and 6800ultra will drop in price when the next generation hits the shelves as well.
  • Tchuki
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Post 3+ Months Ago

TomK wrote:
4ss_munk3y wrote:
i once read that amd support was going to skip ddr2 alltogether and go straight to dd3 which is being tested by samsung right now.


I heard that as well but now I've been hearing stuff about their new Socket M2 which will have DDR2 support, not dar3. Can anybody clarify this issue?


I was asking about the M2 Socket on the AMD forums yesterday [ http://forums.amd.com/ ] and was informed that it would have support for DDR2 but they are not sure about DDR3 yet. They are looking into it.


Smooth wrote:
I suppose I can just dump the cash into savings and hold out a while.

Something that changed my line of thinking today was finding out more about the next generation of video cards...namely the R520 from ATI which is supposedly as fast or faster than TWO SLI nvidia cards and roughly 3x as fast as an X800 Pro. I can't find a report on a release date but the rumors I'm reading are sometime in July or September.

No sense buying an X850XT PE or a 6800 Ultra now if R520's will be roughly the same price in a month or two. X850XT PE and 6800ultra will drop in price when the next generation hits the shelves as well.


This is the thing with upgrading ... there is ALWAYS going to be "rumours" and "new releases just around the corner". The I.T industry and the technologies surrounding it is and are progressing so fast that you can never really catch up with it. Even if you do catch it, your hardware will only be up to date for a matter of months [ if your lucky ! ].

The best thing to do when it comes to upgrading is collect a large pile of money and buy all the "latest & greatest" current hardware in one go. Then as that hardware is becoming outdated, start collecting your next large pile of money [ thats if you looking to "keep up with the jones's ].

Basically, whats going to happen if in a few months at the release of the R520, Nvidia come along and say "we have a new monster that is X times faster than the R520!" ? Will you wait for that ? Its a vicious circle my friend, and one that has to be broken at some point.
  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You make a good point. There are phases though and it seems as though we're toward the end of the current one. The next generation of video cards should be about the same price as the high end ones now, with the high-end ones now dropping in price a bit. I think its a smarter move, for my situation in particular, to wait until July / September.
  • Uncle_Slappy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It would appear that you have 2 schools of thought here and I would just like to throw this out to you for your consideration:

1. Intel just released the new Pentium D's and the 3.0's are hovering right around $320 (the Extreme edition is up in the $1,200 range :shock: )
2. If you go with the Pentium D proc then you will need either a 945+ board, or the nForce 4 - Intel (which by the way offers SLI for the Intel platform :D )

I am offering this from the perspective of remaining on the Intel platform since you are in your comfort zone there, and I didn't see anyone else put this there for your consideration.

Now that I left AMD behind, I will think long and hard before I go back...I averaged 1 crash every 3 weeks for 2 years with AMD. My Intel box has been up and running for the past 18 months, doing the same things as with my AMD box, and I have yet to see a crash. 8)
  • XDUDE
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Go with AMD...i was just like u,wanted nothing else but intel..then when i went to build my new computer i found out that intel was just trying to get my money and not give me what i wanted,so i for the first time built a AMD system from the ground up...and I LOVE IT!...I see the "Blue Screens" every few months,but i saw them when i was with intel just as much if not more...I do a LOT of high end video / audio editing,design and rendering ,along with graphic design....intel is good stuff,but when u want the best and don't want all your money going to the pockets of the CEO's of intel,switch to AMD..I didn't and i know u wont miss intel AT ALL.......
  • psuedofy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hey xdude...u got some HOT! wallpapers dude....u got skills i been lookin all over da place for good wallpapers thanx bro
  • Smooth
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've spent hours and hours reading and comparing the Intel offerings vs. the AMD and absolutely everything points to AMD right now. The Intels are more expensive and perform worse in everything except hardcore desktop apps such as Word and Excel :roll:

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ is looking pretty sweet. Basically, its two AMD Athlon 64 3700+. Won't help in games much now, but it does help with audio / video / graphics right now and games will be added to the list starting now (FarCry just received a 64-bit patch). The price tag on the 4400+ was $550 last night (in stock) and $600 today (7-21 day wait). I'm hoping it drops at least a little bit (probably not much at all) between now and when the next generation of ATI cards (R520) hit the shelves...supposedly sometime July - September.

nVidia's releasing their G70 line pretty shortly and I can't imagine ATI waiting too long to release their competition.

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