Upgrading with an Athlon 64

posted by Jeff | Thursday, July 28, 2005, 12:34 AM | comments: 2

I upgraded Stephanie's computer today with a shiny new Athlon 64 3000+. She's had a 2 GHz P4 for almost three years, so it was time for an upgrade.

Actually, she did most of the work. She gutted the machine and rebuilt it, except for me clamping down the heat sink. Then I f'd around with Windows because it couldn't just do a repair install, it needed a fresh install. I hate that about Windows. With XP I've never had "OS rot" like in the Windows 95 days, but I still upgrade CPU's and motherboards about once every two years, and that's when I run into this.

Anyway, I bought a nice Abit motherboard with an AGP slot because her video card (Nvidia 5700) is still serving her well enough, so no reason to get a PCIe board. That's the third Abit board I've bought in the last year (one for my desktop and one for my HTPC), and they seem to be nice stuff. I love the optical audio outputs and the ton of connection options for USB and Firewire ports.

The chip itself, with the stock cooler, runs insanely cool. Even after messing around in Half-Life 2, it never got very warm. I was seriously impressed. Lower clock speeds apparently pay off there.

At some point it might be interesting to hook her up with the 64-bit version of Windows, but maybe we'll just wait until Longh... I mean... Windows Vista ships. And heck, since most of these socket 939 boards also support the lovely dual-core chips, upgrading will be smooth!


Alex, July 28, 2005, 4:58 AM #

So does Stephanie's computer have more testicular fortitude than yours now?

Jeff, July 28, 2005, 5:18 AM #

It does. I just upgraded mine to a mobile Athlon 2600+ last fall, so I'm in no hurry to upgrade it for awhile. I'd like to keep it at least through the end of this year, and preferably until the dual cores come way down in price.

The only thing CPU intensive I do is video encoding, and I don't even do it that often. When HDV editing finally comes around, then it might be worth it. (I really want an HVX200 when it comes out, but $6k is kinda expensive, even if it flirts with the capability of film HD!)

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