Upgrading PC! Help a n00b out?

I currently have:
AMD XP Athlon 2600+ 512mb RAM

I’m looking at upgrading to:
AMD Athlon64 AM2 DualCore 5200+ 2gb RAM

My current motherboard is an ABIT NF7 Series (recommended by everyone at the time). The sticker on the side says: “For AMD CPUs 3DDR”
Does this mean that I can just switch my current CPU with a newer one using the same motherboard, even though they are different types? ie. AMD XP Athlon - AMD Athlon64
Same with the RAM? (I’m upgrading to newer faster types)

The computer is mainly being used for Blender but I’d like to be able to play Battlefield 2 after hours of blendering to unwind. :cool: How does it look?

I’m sure it’s been covered before, but I’ll throw it in anyway: Which boosts render times more; CPU or RAM?

Really appreciate any help anyone can dish out. I thought I’d ask here before I go out and spend all my dough. :smiley: THANKS!

You will not be able to use either your old motherboard or the memory.

The AM2 AMD processors use a completely different CPU socket, and their memory controller is DDR-2 (rather than DDR-1 for older Athlon XP and Athlon64 processors).

You’ll need a new mobo, new memory and most likely a new graphics card as well, since your old system will be AGP, and AM2 standard is PCI-Express.

NOOOOOO! More money!
Found my motherboard:

It says it supports Athlon. Doesn’t that mean I fits an Athlon64 AM2?
Oh I don’t know. dreams crushed :frowning:

No. Something saying “Athlon” doesn’t mean it will take every flavour of Athlon.

The Athlon XP was Socket-A. Early Athlon64 was Socket-939. Newer Athlon64 is socket AM-2.

The pin arrangements are completely different, and as I’ve said, the memory controller on AM2 processors requires DDR-2 memory, which is 100% incompatible with older DDR-1 systems.

you must look for the socket AM2 motherboards, with a compatible ram slot… it may be tricky to find one that you need,

here is a list of socket AM2 motherboards that i found on a quick note

You should just sell your old computer and build a whole new computer from scratch. My friend built his quad core system with awesome specs (i dont remember the specifics) for only $700. It’s not as hard as it sounds, all you gotta do is put the parts where they fit. Do some research on part compatability, or even ask the guys in the store, and just put it together. Also, if you get confused about anything, the motherboard usually comes with good documentation to help you out.

Check out TigerDirect.com for great barebones systems. It’s a really good and trustworthy site.

taht link i gave him was at TG already :slight_smile:


$700? Really? I might be able to afford that myself…

I like these threads, because even people who already have some experience can still get some valuable information.

I would get a new Motherboad/Processor/Ram, and a new GFX card. Always go nVidia with the card, and AMD with the processor.

Yeah I’m definately going to buy a complete system. I was thinking of upgrading the gfx card and tower too. So screw it. NEW SYSTEM TIME! Seeing as I’ve been progressively upgrading this for about 6-years, it’s time.

I’ll just go to my local underground bargain basement computer store, and say “I’ll buy all the parts here if you put it together for free.” Done deal. I hate building computers. It’s so nerve racking. If you aren’t grounded properly, you can fry a $600 component in a snap!

Thanks for the help guys!

I feel your pain, man. I have built every computer i have owned after my 166 Mhz Pentium 1. 32MB of RAM baby, hell yeah! I know what it is to buy a motherboard and then realize that tab A will not fit into slot B. It’s bad enough all the different standards, but often now you have to double check the parts specs from multiple sources for fear of typo’s or inaccurate information on vendor’s sites. ALWAYS check the manufacturor’s site.
As for the rendering question: I’d go with CPU speed and bus speed (the speed of the RAM as opposed to the amount) being the most crucial to the rendering process. That is until GPU rendering becomes more popular. If that ever happens I’ll be glad i have an SLI system :stuck_out_tongue:

A lot of that could be avoided if you pinpoint some good CPU/mobo combos (e.g. newegg deals) and buy TESTED (approved) RAM that works with your mobo.

And twist some wire around your wrist for grounding so you won’t fry your chips (that’s a good practice even if you’re a guitar/bass player, old tech really … but works every time and makes your tone much clearer)

I built and assembled PC’s, but this last one I bought HP7750 was pre-packaged, because it was cheaper than the total of just the desired parts (CPU, RAM, Mobo, new HD, OS upgrade) from my local bargain basement store! These large manufacturers are able to buy in such bulk that their component prices beat the local guys by such a margin that I was able to get an extra 500MB drive for the same total price ($800). Of course, before you flame me for spending $ on an OS upgrade, I did order Ubuntu, but I need Windows for work.