Advice concerning 3500+...

kremlin456

Distinguished
Jun 15, 2003
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18,510
Hi,

I was thinking of upgrading my CPU/Mobo. Currently, I've got a P4 3GHZ (w 1MB/800FSB) and an Asus P4C800-E-DX Mobo and was thinking of upgrading (?) to an AMD 64 3500+ socket 939 and an Asus A8V Deluxe S939. So I'm requesting advice with the following: I can't do major pricey upgrades so I think the vertical limit with money ends with the 3500+, however I'm wondering if I'll see a significant performance increase in games. And if the 3500+ will deliver the sheer performance increase over a 3400+ or P43GHZ. I want a CPU/Mobo that'll allow me to play the games of this year and next year with ease and visual fidelity. I'm not looking to overclock, but I'd like some solid performance with as little headaches as possible. (My current video card is a AIW 9800 Pro but I'll upgrade that later on - perhaps later this year or early next year)

Also, I was wondering if the Mobo I selected for the S939 3500+ (Asus A8V Deluxe S939) is worthwhile or if there is another one that performs better. Basically, with this upgrade I'm aiming to boost overall gaming performance. As a side note, I currently have 1GB of 3200 Ram (nothing fancy) and was wondering if I'd have to buy dual channel for an AMD CPU/Mobo. Any advice/recommendations or recollections from experience would be greatly appreciated and I apologize if I sound like a newbie, but it's like my computer is making a sex change and I'm not all that familiar with the new AMDs.

In conclusion, I'm wondering if the items I chose would be a worthy upgrade (btw the difference between the 3400+ and 3500+ is only around 70$ CDN and am assuming the latter is more powerful) and, in the big scheme of things, a logical one. I don't upgrade my computer very often but when I do I'd like to make sure I can get some decent power out of whatever hardware I'm running. I'm not a hardcore hardware enthusiast but do enjoy playing games and playing games with the highest visual quality possible.

I must once again apologize for my rambling but I appreciate any advice you guys can give, and is the sex change really worth making?
 

DonnieDarko

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Mar 25, 2004
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18,980
IMO that upgrade isn't worth it. Your current setup with a new gfx card will be great. Even if you did that upgrade you'd only see i slight speed jump. Maybe you want to wait till windows 64bit is out, and when there is 64bit programs. Because till then, your current setup will be just fine.

Watch out for the <b><font color=red>bloody</font color=red></b> Fanboys!

AMD64 2800+ :: MSI Neo-Fis2r :: 512mb Kingmax ddr400 :: Sapphire 9800pro 128mb :: 10K WD Raptor

Addicted, finally.
 

Sornin

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Aug 20, 2004
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18,510
Save your money.

The Athlon64 line is excellent, and if your processor actually did need an upgrade, I would recommend your proposed setup in a second.

However, your processor is more than capable of handling the games of this upcoming year. Heck, people with processors significantly older and slower than yours are running Doom 3 fine on medium quality (with a good video card). Your limitation in games is not the processor right now.

Your proposed upgrade is not worthwhile unless you like to upgrade a ton and do not care so much about the price you pay versus the performance increase. However, you stated you do not upgrade often and have a vertical limit, so this upgrade is not one I would suggest. The performance increase is outweighed by value.

If you really want to upgrade now, then get yourself a nice little GeForce 6800GT. I know you want to put off the video card upgrade, but right now that will help your system more than anything. The difference between a 9800 Pro and 6800GT in Doom 3 is remarkable, as in more than double the performance. No processor upgrade imaginable can do that.

For an upgrade to your processor and motherboard, I would wait until AMD or Intel (whatever you decide to go with when the time comes) and the rest of the tech industry figure out PCI Express and how to truly utilize it. Let that technology mature a bit and upgrade then, when the value will definitely be present and your purchase will see some really good longevity.
 

kremlin456

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Jun 15, 2003
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18,510
I really appreciate the thorough advice - thanks again. To clarify a bit, my parents want to upgrade their computer fairly soon (and their current set up is ancient) and they may end up taking my current set up and I'd be coupled with the A64 3500+ with the Mobo aforementioned. So, I suppose the real question is that whether or not my the initial set up I mentioned is good enough for today's standards and if I'll be able to run games just as good or even better than before. Because (I hate beginning sentences with that word) whether or not there are better upcoming pieces of hardware (which, of course, is inevitable) is immaterial as my parents are upgrading rather soon. So do you guys think a 3500+ would be solid enough for me to play games with? I don't do much video and photo editing so I'm looking for all out casual surfing, intense and frequent video viewings (lol), playing the newest games, downloading anything and everything and other minute things. What are your thoughts?

PS: Do you guys think the 3500+ socket 939 is better than the 3400+ in every respect? And is the motherboard I selected (the Asus A8V Deluxe) a well equipped and powerful performer for the 939 sockets? Do you guys know of any better Mobos for the new sockets? Thank you.
 

Sornin

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Aug 20, 2004
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18,510
Yes, the 3500+ is more than solid enough to play games with. :)

Is the 3500+ ALWAYS better than the 3400+? In the benchmarks I have seen, no. However, it is usually better, but by a small amount. When it loses to the 3400+, it loses by a very small amount.

Essentially, they are so similar that I doubt you could tell the difference in actual use, so in terms of raw performance you can go either way. However, Socket 939 is a better investment for the future as that is where AMD is going. Socket 754 and 940 is where they were.

So, go for the 3500+ on Socket 939, if you are willing to pay ~$150(?) more for the processor and however much more for the motherboard.

As for motherboard, assuming you go with the 3500+, my pick would definitely be the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum, based on nForce3 Ultra. It is far from what you have picked, a VIA K8T800 PRO chipset from Asus, but it is simply incredible on a motherboard scale of performance.

Asus has become Sony, in the sense that you now pay for a name instead of what you really get. Yes, Asus is great, but I now go with MSI due to a similar and sometimes superior product for a lower price.

Here is some reading you may want to check out: <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2128" target="_new">http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2128</A>

Good luck!
 

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