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Upgrade Question

jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

I want to upgrade a CPU from an AMD Athlon x2 4400+ to an Intel E5700 and was wondering how much performance difference there would be.

 

I'm on a tight budget so I can't really afford the newer Intel CPUs

 

I mainly want to upgrade or change CPUs rather because this AMD CPU tends to overheat a lot... I have to keep a large fan blowing into the case to keep it from beeping the overheat warning.

Comments

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    let me introduce you to a close personal friend of mine.   it's name is the mugen 2 rev. b.   there has never been a CPU that my friend cant tame:D

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142

    the advantage of buying a cpu cooler now is that when you have enough $ to buy a real upgrade, you can transfer this heatsink to pretty much any AMD boards since the clip works for all AMD boards.   as for intel, they like to change their cpu cooler mount with every board so you may be out of luck if you prefer intel:)

    one caveat tho.  the heatsink is so large that sometimes it interferes with memory.  also the heatsink is very tall so if you have a narrow case, it may not fit inside your case:D

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    Yes, the Pentium will be a bit faster, but do you have a motherboard for the it? You can't just drop it in the one you have your Athlon in.

    The older X2's did run very hot, I had one for a long while.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Originally posted by psyclum

    let me introduce you to a close personal friend of mine.   it's name is the mugen 2 rev. b.   there has never been a CPU that my friend cant tame:D

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142

    the advantage of buying a cpu cooler now is that when you have enough $ to buy a real upgrade, you can transfer this heatsink to pretty much any AMD boards since the clip works for all AMD boards.   as for intel, they like to change their cpu cooler mount with every board so you may be out of luck if you prefer intel:)

    one caveat tho.  the heatsink is so large that sometimes it interferes with memory.  also the heatsink is very tall so if you have a narrow case, it may not fit inside your case:D

    Lol, I think that's the same one I have on it now... doesn't really seem to be helping much.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    Do you have a motherboard for the other CPU? You can't just drop it in the one you have your Athlon in.

    The older X2's did run very hot, I had one for a long while.

    Ya I know, I'd be getting a new mobo and memory with the CPU.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    Lol, I think that's the same one I have on it now... doesn't really seem to be helping much.

    if you are using a mugen and still overheating, then you are badly in need of a new case:D   the ONLY way to overheat a mugen is if you have zero airflow inside the case or if you are SERIOUSLY overclocking the crap out of your CPU:D   even if you are doing some serious overclocking, as long as you have enough airflow inside the case, you can just switch out the 700rpm fan that came with your mugen for a 2000rpm unit.   it wont be dead silent like the mugen fan, but it will keep your cpu cool.  like i said, i've never seen a cpu that the mugen cant cool down:D

    I guess the best way to offer suggestion in this case is to ask you what do you have in your system?  case, vid card, powersupply, coolers, etc...     personally i think you are wasting $ by moving to an OLD intel chip since you are already spending the $ on board/chip/memory.  you'd amost be better off buying an i3 board/chip/memory

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Well, I just reapplied grease and the heatsink and also rearranged some fans on the case so hopefully that will help... I'll have to wait til daytime to see if it starts overheating.

     

    I think one of my main problems is that I have a video card without external exhaust in the machine, but I also think the CPU just runs real hot regardless.

     

    The machine I'm talking about is a secondary machine so that's why I was thinking about getting an older chip.

     

    But it looks like I can get an i3-2100 for just $50 more which I think is better than my main machine which is an e8400

     

    I guess if I decide to buy a new chip I'll just replace the e8400 with the i3 and replace the AMD system with the e8400 system.

     

    I don't really know much about the new intel chips, how much of a difference would there be between an e8400 and an i3-2100?

     

    EDIT- Oh and BTW the heatsink isn't mugen it's cooler master that looks pretty much identical to the one you linked. I don't know how much of a difference that makes... maybe they use different metals or something.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    The new Wolfdale Pentium might be 50%-60% faster than what you have now.  I don't think it makes sense to buy that new if you're going to have to replace the motherboard and memory, too.  If you're replacing the motherboard anyway, then you want a more modern platform.  You could get an Atlhon II processor with a Socket AM3+ motherboard that will let you upgrade to a much faster processor in the future if you decide you want to go that route.

    Alternatively, if you have a Socket AM2 motherboard, you might be able to upgrade just the processor and keep the old motherboard, though that will depend on having the appropriate BIOS update available.  The Deneb die has both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers, so it's able to work with some motherboards as far back as Socket AM2.  I'm not sure if Propus or Thuban do, and if they don't have a DDR2 memory controller, then they can't work with a DDR2 memory motherboard.  You'd have to check with your motherboard manufacturer to see if that's an option.

    If you've got a big heatsink on the processor and are still overheating, it might be a problem of insufficient case airflow.  If the interior of the case is hot, then all that the processor fan can do is to blow hot air at the heatsink, which isn't terribly effective for cooling it.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    The new Wolfdale Pentium might be 50%-60% faster than what you have now.  I don't think it makes sense to buy that new if you're going to have to replace the motherboard and memory, too.  If you're replacing the motherboard anyway, then you want a more modern platform.  You could get an Atlhon II processor with a Socket AM3+ motherboard that will let you upgrade to a much faster processor in the future if you decide you want to go that route.

    Alternatively, if you have a Socket AM2 motherboard, you might be able to upgrade just the processor and keep the old motherboard, though that will depend on having the appropriate BIOS update available.  The Deneb die has both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers, so it's able to work with some motherboards as far back as Socket AM2.  I'm not sure if Propus or Thuban do, and if they don't have a DDR2 memory controller, then they can't work with a DDR2 memory motherboard.  You'd have to check with your motherboard manufacturer to see if that's an option.

    If you've got a big heatsink on the processor and are still overheating, it might be a problem of insufficient case airflow.  If the interior of the case is hot, then all that the processor fan can do is to blow hot air at the heatsink, which isn't terribly effective for cooling it.

    The case didn't have any front fans pulling in air but I just arranged some fans to solve that, so hopefully that helps.

    Also, the mobo is socket 939, it's pretty much using the best CPU it can atm.

     

    What would you say the performance difference is between an i3-2100 and e8400? I know intel likes using a different fricken socket type for nearly every processor they come out with, I don't want to get a mobo with a socket that's at the end of it's life cycle like I seem to have been doing.

     

    If I get the i3-2100 I'd get an LGA 1155 board which looks like it supports some i7 processors too but by the time I upgrade again there will probably be a new socket type so I don't know if it even matters.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Intel is splitting its desktop sockets, with LGA 1366 and soon LGA 2011 for the high end, and LGA 1156 and now LGA 1155 for everything else.  Sandy Bridge uses LGA 1155, as you know.  Ivy Bridge is supposed to still use LGA 1155.  I don't know about Haswell.

    The reason I brought up Socket AM3+ is that that's actually meant for AMD's upcoming Zambezi processors that aren't even out yet.  AMD intended to launch the processors around the start of June, but the fab didn't have the process node ready in time, so it was delayed.  AMD did give motherboard manufacturers the go-ahead to sell motherboards with the chipsets and socket intended for Zambezi, and they're backward compatible to processors intended for Socket AM3.  Socket AM3+ with a 900 series chipset is what AMD intends for Zambezi processors that should launch next month.  It will likely also support next year's Komodo processors, and possibly even beyond that. 

    I'm not a fan of Intel's Core i3 processors.  The IPC is good, but the clock speeds aren't, and there is no turbo boost.  Two cores might be enough for today, but I don't see that having a long lifetime.  If you get a cheap H61 motherboard, then that cripples some stuff that might not matter for a Core i3 processor, but could be a problem if you want to upgrade to a higher end Ivy Bridge processor later.

    For the same price as a Core i3 from Intel, you could get a Phenom II X4 with four real cores, and a Socket AM3+ motherboard that will allow you to upgrade the processor only if you later decide you need something faster.  Or on a tighter budget yet, you could get an Athlon II X3 or X4 and still have three or four real cores.  I don't think any of the processors priced between the $110 Phenom II X4 955 and the $210 Core i5 2500 (New Egg's current prices) make a whole lot of sense to buy new if you're replacing the motherboard as well.  Note that a decent LGA 1155/P67 motherboard also costs a fair bit more than a decent Socket AM3+/970 motherboard.

    To answer your question directly, a Core i3-2100 might be around 30% faster than a Core 2 Duo E3400, or more in situations where hyperthreading helps.  Of course, hyperthreading only helps much if it would have scaled to four cores, in which case, it's not going to keep pace with a Phenom II X4 with four real cores.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Thanks for all the info so far.

     

    What CPU/MOBO/Memory would you suggest I buy for ~$200

     

    Also, I don't want anything that runs real hot.

     

    From what I'm seeing the under $100 AMD chips run with 95W whereas the i3-2100 runs with 65W, that deters me from wanting to buy those AMD chips in fear that I'll have heating issues.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    $200 is pretty tight budget for board/chip/memory.  it maybe be a case where you are better off dealing with the heat now and see if you can save up to $350 range before making the big switch to better board/chip/memory.   if you had no intake in your old configuration, pumping cool air into the case with a 120mm fan may help you with some of your overheating issues.  

    as for your coolermaster cpu cooler, the mugen has more then twice the surface area:D  so yah it's not quite the same cooler:D  however, even mugen would fail if you dont have cool air flowing into the case.   if your budget is deadlocked at $200, you may be better off just getting a nice case in the mean time rather then trying to squeeze a whole upgrade in the sub par budget.  

    when you build your own machine, you build it over a few "generations" of upgrades :)  this generation of "upgrades" you get a nice case and maybe a decent powersupply that will support your next generation of upgrades which may be board/chip/memory.  after that generation of upgrades, you may think about a 7000 series AMD gpu.   and so on and so forth.   when you buy quality components, they often last through a few "generations" of upgrades.   for example, i'm still using a 275gtx video card.  it's an older card, it can't do dx11, but for the most part, i have no problems playing whatever game i want to play.  my mugen was purchased back when your athlon was NEW:D  (the mugen was called infinity back then :D) but due to the upgrade path of AMD, my mugen can be used on the lastest AM3+ motherboards and i fully intend to use it on the bulldozer when it comes out:D

    I guess you really should think about how much of a gamer you want to be:D  are you the type that would spend a ton of $ on computers? or do you want to just get something that works well and can play the games in medium setting?  once you have decided that, quizzy can pick out the best gears(that is onsale:D) for you to buy at newegg:D   but, stay away from those G Skill SSD's:D   mine died in 10 days of usage:(

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    I think I will just deal with the heat for now... if all else fails I'll just keep using the household fan at the side of the computer.

     

    From some benchmarks I've looked at, it seems like the i3-2100 would be the best upgrade for my e8400 machine at a fairly cheap price.

    Put some parts together that come up to $210

     

    The phenoms at the same price range seemed to under perform compared to the i3-2100 or oven the e8400.

     

    I imagine if I saved up for an i5, it would be a fairly significant upgrade.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    well, depends on how long it takes for you to save up for the i5:)   bulldozer is maybe 2 to 3 months away so you may be aiming for that upgrade instead:D  my personal advise is to maybe spend $60 to $100 (maybe an antec unit) on a nice new case so you wont have any overheating issues when you build your new upgraded machine.  maybe $100 or so on a new powersupply if your existing powersupply isnt a quality unit.  this way you'd be ready for the thermal and electrical demands of the upgraded components you put into your box. 

    as i mentioned, once you've decided on what to do, quizzy would be best able to help you with actual selection of the exact parts.  he's really good at picking out good parts that are on sale:)

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    I wouldn't spend any money on the Pentium 4 machine. If you had it laying around, I'd say give it a shot, but if you have to spend money on it, definitely not.

    A Core i3 2100 would be significantly faster than any Pentium 4 (more than just 30% I believe, it's a full four or so generations more advanced - check out the Passmark scores, which aren't concrete evidence, but give a good relative indication). However, your going to need a new motherboard, and new RAM, and there isn't any realistic way you can get a Sandy Bridge in with just a $200 budget - and the Core i5's are significantly faster than the i3's by another large margin for very little additional money, so it's certainly worth saving for.

    Athlon 64 X2 4400+ - 1,194: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+64+X2+Dual+Core+4400+
    Pentium 4 E5700 - 2,013: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/[email protected]+3.00GHz
    Core i3 2100 - 3,830: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/[email protected]+3.10GHz
    Core i5 2500 - 6,498: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/[email protected]+3.30GHz

    You can see some of the other CPU's in those lists as well, particularly the AMD Phenom II X4 series (scores in the 4,000's), which should be of note. Those AM3 CPU's and motherboards will more easily fit your budget, beat out the Core i3 handily, over clock very well, and many motherboards (AM3+) support upgrades to Bulldozer coming out later this summer, for a clear and easy upgrade path.

    Your Socket 939 X2 is listed as a TDP of 89W or 110W by AMD depending on the model number, but it ran very hot (it wasn't the most efficient architecture). I wouldn't worry too much about the TDP of your next CPU, most everything runs cooler than the CPU generation from 6 years ago, even if it has a higher listed TDP. Better thermal management and energy management keep chips running cooler - they can power gate, under clock, and do all kinds of nifty things that lower the TDP down to as little as 2W while they are idle, and you'll only see a large amount of heat when they are actually working really hard. Your old X2 4400 did have "Cool'nQuiet" but it didn't work very well. Intel chips are much better at it than AMD chips, even today, but current AMD's are miles ahead of what they used to be with regard to energy management.

    But if you have that huge heatsink on there, you have case problems, I have to agree. Time to buy more fans, they are cheap. I also agree with Psyclum - maybe it's time to take your current budget and invest it into a really good case and power supply, then next time you get some money to upgrade, you'll be set to throw in whatever you want, rather than being constrained by a crappy case/power supply. A really good case can last for a really long time: I have a Lian Li that's running for around 10 years now and still looks and works great, so it was certainly worth the money.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    A Pentium E5700 is a Penryn architecture Wolfdale chip, and basically a cut down Core 2 Duo.  It's not at all similar to a NetBurst Pentium 4 or Pentium D.

    Sometimes the issue isn't adding more fans, but having place to add them.  If you've got a case with one 80 mm fan and no other place to put fans, then you can't add more fans very well.  Rather, you'd need to replace the case.  If you've got a case that has five spots for 120 mm fans but only comes with one fan installed, then adding more fans is easy.

    Rather than trying to upgrade your secondary computer when even your primary computer is getting old, you might be better off getting a new primary computer and relegating the current primary computer to secondary status.  That might not fit your budget just yet, in which case, save up for it.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    I'm gonna try to save up for an i5-2400 with a mobo and 4GB RAM which right now is at $318. IDK when I'll have it though, money is kinda tight atm.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    I'm gonna try to save up for an i5-2400 with a mobo and 4GB RAM which right now is at $318. IDK when I'll have it though, money is kinda tight atm.

    if you plan to save up. then there are other options like zambezi.  but DO plan for 8 gigs of ram rather then 4 gigs.  it will offer better futureproofing.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    I'm getting a single 4GB chip to start, and when I get more money I'll add another 4GB chip.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Also how much is zambezi gonna cost? And how much better will it ben than an i5?

     

    I guess it depends on when it comes out and how much money I have then.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    I'm gonna try to save up for an i5-2400 with a mobo and 4GB RAM which right now is at $318. IDK when I'll have it though, money is kinda tight atm.

    I'm not a fan of the lower bins of Sandy Bridge such as the Core i5 2400.  With both clock speed increases and IPC improvements hitting a wall, the difference between the 2400 and the 2500 is maybe a year's worth of per-core improvements in processor speed.  Future processors may have more cores, but how much are extra cores beyond four worth?  Is it worth saving $15 today to get a year less of useful lifetime before you have to replace the processor and motherboard?  I'd say "no".  Now, if it were $50 cheaper, then there would be more of an argument for it.

    "I'm getting a single 4GB chip to start, and when I get more money I'll add another 4GB chip."

    Like most modern desktop processor architectures, Sandy Bridge has a two channel memory controller.  Each module has to be associated with one particular channel.  If you only have one module, then you leave one memory channel completely vacant.  That cuts your memory bandwidth in half, which cripples the processor.

    "Also how much is zambezi gonna cost? And how much better will it ben than an i5?"

    Zambezi is AMD's upcoming Bulldozer architecture.  It does some things very differently from how AMD and Intel have done processors in the past.  AMD concluded that if you're going to have things scale to several cores, then having several identical cores sitting there in parallel is the wrong way to do it, and Bulldozer is their attempt at doing something better.

    Rumors say that the top bin, 8 core chip will cost $320.  Lower bins will cost less, and I'd expect to see the quad core version somewhere in the $150-$200 range.  Getting a Socket AM3+/970 motherboard for Zambezi is cheaper than a comparable quality P67 motherboard for Sandy Bridge, too.  The motherboards are already out (and backward compatible to older processors), so you won't pay a new product price premium on the motherboards, either.

    AMD's latest guidance on when Zambezi will launch is that, at the start of June, they said "60-90 days".  It was supposed to launch at the start of June, but the fab didn't have the new process node ready on time.  So basically, it should launch on a Tuesday in August.  I say Tuesday, because AMD launches nearly everything on a Tuesday.  If I had to guess, I'd say August 24, but that's only a guess.

    Performance is the great unknown.  Since it's a new architecture, we don't have anything to extrapolate from.  Some rumors put the clock speeds very high, but that doesn't mean anything if we don't know IPC.  I'd say there will be a 30% chance that Intel will continue to own the high end for gaming purposes (though eight cores will help for some other purposes), a 60% chance that both Zambezi and Sandy Bridge will make sense for a high end gaming machine, and a 10% chance that Zambezi will be good enough to make people who buy Sandy Bridge today regret that they didn't wait.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Thanks for helping out with all this, I have no clue about any of this information.

     

    I won't have the money for these new parts before next month so I guess I'll see how the new AMD CPUs play out.

     

    I gotta wonder though, why on earth would I need 8 GB for gaming? Especially mostly MMO gaming? Most games are still only 32 bit which will never take advantage of more than 2GB.

    If anything I'd think I'd only need two 2GB chips so they're not limited by using one like you said.

     

    I can't imagine tons of 64bit games coming out before I upgrade again after this upcoming upgrade, so I guess when I upgrade I'll stick with 4GB(two chips) and upgrade sometime later if needed.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 23,226

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    I gotta wonder though, why on earth would I need 8 GB for gaming? Especially mostly MMO gaming? Most games are still only 32 bit which will never take advantage of more than 2GB.

    In the near future, you won't.  It might be convenient to be able to have several other programs open at once without having to worry about memory.  With no SSD, Windows can make use of the extra memory for prefetching to speed some things up.  Memory is cheap enough now that it's only an extra $20 or so to get 8 GB rather than 4 GB.  Whether to actually get 8 GB of system memory is a question of budget and priorities.

  • psyclumpsyclum Member Posts: 792

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    why on earth would I need 8 GB for gaming?

    hahahaha  I remember asking that in so many different denominations of memory:D  

    the short answer is 1 word

    MICROSOFT:D

  • jusomdudejusomdude Member RarePosts: 2,706

    Originally posted by psyclum

    Originally posted by jusomdude

    why on earth would I need 8 GB for gaming?

    hahahaha  I remember asking that in so many different denominations of memory:D  

    the short answer is 1 word

    MICROSOFT:D

    I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it, but for now 4GB is more than enough that I'll need.

     

    At most when I'm gaming I have 1 game app open and a few browser windows.

     

    I know memory is cheap but there's no reason to essentially flush money down the toilet.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Member EpicPosts: 7,234

    If you get 2 2G DIMMs, many ATX motherboards have 4 DIMM slots anyway.

    So you can keep the dual channel advantage with 2 DIMMs, and still have room to upgrade to two more later on should you find that you need it.

    You just don't want to use an odd number (1 or 3), and all your DIMMs should be the same capacity (all 2G, all 4G, etc).

    2x2G (often sold as a 4G "kit") is very typical, and probably the most economical.

    I recommend at least 4G, 8 is good but hardly necessary for most people - I don't recommend against it, but I don't think it's a requirement for most people. You are 100% correct in that most games are still 32-bit, and simply can't use more than 2G of RAM in the first place. Windows 7 typically uses around 2G (give or take a bit depending on what services, drivers, and background programs you have running), so if you have 4G total, that's 2G for Windows, and that leaves a comfortable 2G for your game.

    Now if your a heavy user: you multi-box multiple MMO's simultaneously, you like to run AutoCad and AION at the same time, you do video transcoding in the background while your playing BFBC2, etc - then you could certainly make use of 8G now. And you can never have too much RAM. Having more RAM than you need will not slow you down, but not having enough RAM when you need it sure as hell will. If you have the capacity to get what you need now and upgrade to more easily later if and when you need it, then your right, no reason to buy it until you do run into a situation where you need it.

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