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Processor upgrade?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gelert, Feb 27, 2008.

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  1. Gelert

    Gelert Thread Starter

    Feb 26, 2008

    I apologise for introducing myself with a question, but I have been a member here before, but have lost my password and changed my Email address. So, I thought I may as well register with my new Email. I'm not even sure of what my username was. Some faithful member eh?!

    Anyway, here's my question. I hope you can help. I've asked this on another forum as well. Hope that doesn't seem a bit cheeky. :eek:

    I’m looking for some advice please and I’d be grateful for any help in pointing me to what I need to buy. I realise that overclocking may be an option but, unless someone explains how to do it I have no idea, and I'm very wary of editing the BIOS. I'm NOT very techy (a novice really), but I have upgraded some of the hardware on my PC over the years. Not the processor though.

    Anyway, I have a PC that’s around 6 years old. I realise that I probably can’t upgrade its processor very significantly without replacing the motherboard, but I’d still like to upgrade as much as possible in order to be able to play at least some of the more recent games. From what I’ve been told by my local PCWorld PC store, the motherboard should support a processor as ‘high’ as 3000MHz. Can this be confirmed?

    I’ve been told that Socket A processors are harder to find. Can you tell me exactly what it is that I need please? I'm in the UK.

    I don’t need to play the MOST modern games, and I realise that a new PC would be my best option for that. I just want my son and I to be able to play some games that my current processor can’t handle. Some we have in mind specify a 2.6GHz processor, or thereabouts.

    My system includes that shown by the utility below and also;

    My graphics card is a recently installed ATI Radeon X1650 Pro. Around two years old in terms of when it came out. It's a 512MB AGP card as it had to be for my setup. PCI-E wouldn't be compatible. I installed this instead of the Radeon 9200 series that it had in it from purchase. Did I do the right thing? Is it a better card? I thought it was.

    Memory - I upgraded it recently to 1024MB DDR RAM

    Thanks for your help (in advance).


    Here’s what the utility, CPU-Z, says I have;

    AMD Athlon XP

    Barton (I think that was the name of the Code name).

    Socket A (462)

    Technology 0.13um

    Core voltage 1.680v

    Specification AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+

    Family: 6

    Model: A

    Stepping: 0

    Ext. Family: 7

    Ext. Model: A

    Instructions: MMX(+), 3DNow!(+), SSE

    Core Speed: 1921.1MHz

    Multiplier: x11.5

    Bus Speed: 167.1MHz

    Rated FSB: 334.1MHz

    Cache: L1 Data: 64KBytes

    L1 Inst.: 64 KBytes

    Level 2: 512 KBytes
  2. bigbear


    Apr 27, 2004
    The only place you might find an upgrade cpu over what you already have is Ebay ( if you can find one).
    To go from a 2.6ghz to a 3.0ghz cpu you are not really going to notice any difference so not really worth the headache of trying to find one then change it
    I am afraid your system is over hill in pc terms, 6 years is a long time in the pc world
  3. Gelert

    Gelert Thread Starter

    Feb 26, 2008
    Hi Bigbear.

    The reason I asked is because I'm obviously confused.

    Even though my processor is called... 'Specification AMD Athlon™ XP 2600+', the 'Core Speed' is 1921.1MHz, so isn't it the case that I want to increase from 1921.1MHz to around 3000MHz?

    Isn't XP 2600+ just the name of the processor and I'm NOT ACTUALLY running my PC at that level of processor oomph? You say that I'd only be increasing from 2600MHz, and I understand that that would have very little effect. But, if I'm at 1921.1MHz, it would pay to increase to 3000MHz, wouldn't it? :confused:
  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Jan 2, 2001
    OK first of all there is NO 3gig athlon xp. There is a 3000+ that runs @ 2.2 or so. Next since you have a 2600+ that runs at 1.9, I am assuming it is the barton core since there are 3 different 2600 series athlons.

    It appears you have a 333 fsb board. Most of the 3000+ were 400fsb and would not work with your board anyway. I believe there was a 333fsb version of that cpu however it has been a long time since I have worked with the athlon xp line of cpus. While you should be able to use the 333fsb version, cost for the cpu would be prohibitive and you may need a bios update for your mb.

    The only way I could even think about recommending an upgrade to your current system would be if you got the cpu for shipping only or got it for a nominal charge ie $5~10 or so. I highly doubt you would find one at that price.

    In short, take bigbear's advise. It is time for a new system. Putting money into something so old is not worth it.
  5. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

    Jan 2, 2001
    One other note. When installing an athlon type cpu, I always recommend pulling the board. This is for two reasons;
    1 The hsf will fit on either way however it will only work when installed with the recess fitting over the lip on the cpu socket. It is pretty easy to get the hsf installed incorrectly.

    2 Next that cpu has an exposed die. It is possible to crack the die when installing the hsf. Another reason for pulling the board.

    Unless you can R&R the board yourself, the labor to do the job plus the cost of the cpu would be prohibitive for what little gain in performance you would achieve.
  6. Gelert

    Gelert Thread Starter

    Feb 26, 2008
    Okay. Thankyou very much... both. That's definitely clear advice and I will follow it. The next step for me will be a new PC, but I'm very glad that I now feel that I've explored all prospects of economical, and efficient, options first. Thankyou again.

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