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Old 08-13-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the weakest link in my current rig?

Hi all, I'm sort of a noobie (compared to you guys, anyway), and I'm wondering what is the weakest link in my rig. I'm trying to make my computer up-to-date as possible, despite the fact that I don't play games like Crysis. I guess I want to tackle the most "urgent," outdated component first, and work my way down the list.

Anyhow, here it is:

Processor (I'm guessing this is the weakest, but hardest to replace?): AMD Athlonô 64 X2 4600+ dual-core processor 3800+
* 2.4 GHz
* 2000 MHz front side bus
* L2 cache: 512 KB ◊2

Memory: 4096 MB DDR2 533 MHz (PC4200) (four 1024 MB modules)

Video: Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT (512MB GDDR3)

Hard drive: 320 GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA II hard drive with 8 MB cache

Thanks in advance. =) Any advice or info would help.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

I would have to guess the processor is the weakest link.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

That was my guess too, but how would I upgrade this? Would I have to replace the whole motherboard, or can I just drop in a new CPU? Sorry, this is one area of the computer I'm wholly unfamiliar with.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

If your CPU is the 4600+, you can upgrade most likely to any 5000+ or 6000+ CPU. What is your motherboard so we can let you know for sure?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeVel View Post
If your CPU is the 4600+, you can upgrade most likely to any 5000+ or 6000+ CPU. What is your motherboard so we can let you know for sure?
I don't really know how to check for this...doesn't seem to show up in the specs that I see.

My computer is a Gateway GT5252, by the way.

The CPU/motherboard are the things I've never put a finger on, so I have no idea how it works. I've upgraded a lot of other components in the past, though.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

I think this is my current CPU: Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ Windsor 2.4GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

and this would be the logical upgrade?: Newegg.com - AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

They're both the same "series," AMD 64 X2. I'm guessing it's not possible to go to a quad-core processor without changing the whole motherboard?
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

If your motherboard is an AM2 motherboard, which it probably is, you can only upgrade to another AM2 socket CPU. The highest CPU you can upgrade to would be that 6000+ you listed.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

Thanks for the help -- it is becoming clearer =)

BTW, would upgrading that part be a big improvement? Or is it basically just a waste of money?
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

Well, the 4600+ is already a decent processor. With your setup you should be getting basically max settings on any games you do play. I would say if your motherboard supports it, upgrade to DDR2 800 RAM, then the processor, and that would be the best upgrade you could do for the money. If you need to know your motherboard model, download CPU-Z:
CPUID
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: What is the weakest link in my current rig?

Great stuff man. Thanks so much for all your help!
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