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Old 04-30-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Post Upgrade suggestions? multi-core CPU, motherboard, memory, + PSU w/64 bit Linux

This computer uses:
Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit

Current specs include
|| AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+
|| ASUS A8N5X ACPI BIOS Revision 0902
|| 2x512MB DDR333 (dual channel mode)
|| Nvidia 7300 GT PCI-e

939 dual core chips are expensive and hard to find. It almost seems pointless to update this outdated system. Instead I have opted to get a new platform while recycling my PCI-e video card. I'll edit the posting to reflect what I'm currently looking at. Here is the list...

1. new chip

Intel Pentium E5200 "Wolfdale"
2.5GHz | 800 Mhz FSB | 2MB L2 Cache | LGA 775 | 65W | Dual-Core | 45 nm
$69.99 + free shipping @

2. new motherboard
I'm overwhelmed by the options out there - Looking for something I can overclock that Wolfdale past 3Ghz and will work with Linux no problems. Stability and driver compatibility also are a must.

3. new memory
(4 GBs at the least - I always disable swap)

4. new power supply
(going to put the old one in another system)

I want my new system to be able to handle multi-tasking like a hot knife through butter. Looking for suggestions from other Linux users who have taken the path to multi-core already. From upgrade to upgrade the time frame is usually a solid 5 years. I'd like to do it right the first time. Which would be the better route to go? AMD or Intel? But even more so what specific solutions have you found to work? I am not a gamer. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by student2501; 04-30-2009 at 07:21 PM.
Old 05-01-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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If you intend the life cycle of your next PC build to be five years, I think you need to look at making a couple of changes on your choices: first of all, you would probably want to get a quad core CPU, and particularly look at the amount of level 3 cache that the CPU has -- once with a minimum of 6 MB would be preferable. Maybe Intel 9550 or AMD Phenom II 940.

As for the power supply, make sure you buy something that is modular so the you can remove unneeded cables, and also something with a large main fan, as these will be quieter. Obviously 80+ certification is a prerequisite.

For the RAM I would just buy a 2 x 2 GB matched pair of DDR2 800 MHz or something.

The move to DDR3 would probably not be worth the money at the moment, as would shelling out the money for the core i7 platform.
Old 05-01-2009, 05:56 PM   #3
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I simply cannot justify a quad core at this time for what I do. Maybe in the future... maybe 5 years from now.

Last edited by student2501; 05-02-2009 at 02:03 PM.
Old 05-02-2009, 04:57 AM   #4
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A dual core is fine, in many cases it's actually faster than quad core.

For PSU make sure to check here:

I would get a good brand like Chieftec or Corsair, etc.
Not foxcon or brands you haven't heard of.

For the processor I would get a Core 2, because the Pentiums are rather limited by the 800 MHz FSB and 2 MB L2.
I would get a E6320
Unfortunately it's double the price around $140
Or you could go for a Phenom II, which is much cheaper and more powerful:
around $80-$100 for a superb processor.
Old 06-26-2009, 06:00 PM   #5
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The most important thing, you left out...

Originally Posted by student2501 View Post
I simply cannot justify a quad core at this time for what I do. Maybe in the future... maybe 5 years from now.
No where did I see you say what your maximum project cost should be. Without that, anyone attempting to answer this question is in the dark. But if you can't see yourself managing the cost of a quad-core for another 5 years, I think that pretty much says it all.

Let me just say this. By time you can afford a quad (5 years from now), they will be as obsolete as the old Pentium 100.



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