What's cheaper/more practical

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What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:19 pm

So, here's the situation. I have an old AM2+ mATX board with 4gb of RAM total. The board has only two RAM slots, so my sticks are 2gb each. I have searched and searched for 4gb sticks of DDR2 so I can upgrade it to 8gb, but haven't had much luck.

I know that DDR3 is out there and is cheap, but I would have to buy a new board to take advantage of it. Would that be my best bet? If I did buy a AM3 board, would my existing Athlon II X2 255 processor work in it? I apologize for the noobish question but I have been out of the PC hardware loop for about five years now.

Or, I should I just go with a new platform altogether? Something from Intel, perhaps? A mobo/CPU/RAM combo in the mATX form factor? I think this option would be the most expensive, and given what I use my box for, not worth it.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:24 pm

Well, NewEgg has 2 different 4GB sticks (PC2 6400) for $74.99 and $79.99. Need to make sure in advance that the mobo can take 4GB sticks.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:25 pm

I know you can put an AM3 cpu in an AM2+ mobo, but I don't remember if the reverse is true.

Looking at newegg the difference in price between 2x4 for DDR2 and DDR3 is about $40 compared to $150. So if you can put an AM2 chip in an AM3 motherboard, I think that's the way to go. That should also get you a lot of other modern features like USB3, faster SATA ports, more PCIe lanes.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:44 pm

I think I've got some old DDR2 modules lying around.. let me check them out and see if they would help you.. Not sure if they are 2GB or 4GB.

I'll let you know the details tonight.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:53 pm

The Athlon II X2 255 is AM3.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:02 pm

TDIdriver wrote:The Athlon II X2 255 is AM3.
Really? Cool.

Given the price diff between DDR2 and DDR3 then, can anyone recommend a decent mATX AM3 board? I have a Biostar A785GE right now and I've been happy with it for what it is.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:05 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Well, NewEgg has 2 different 4GB sticks (PC2 6400) for $74.99 and $79.99. Need to make sure in advance that the mobo can take 4GB sticks.

Interesting. I thought I had checked them thoroughly, guess not. Expensive though. My board should be able to take them, it supports 8gb max.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:11 pm

Vrock wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:Well, NewEgg has 2 different 4GB sticks (PC2 6400) for $74.99 and $79.99. Need to make sure in advance that the mobo can take 4GB sticks.

Interesting. I thought I had checked them thoroughly, guess not. Expensive though. My board should be able to take them, it supports 8gb max.

For the $150 it'd cost for 8GB you can get a better board and ram.
Do you use the integrated video on your current board? And do you need mATX or would ATX work?
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:24 pm

Can I ask, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM when a relatively weak CPU like the Athlon II is good enough for your uses?
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:25 pm

I need mATX. I have a mATX case. Video is an old Radeon 4830.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:27 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Can I ask, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM when a relatively weak CPU like the Athlon II is good enough for your uses?
Insurance, I guess. I've always believed the more RAM, the better, especially with Windows and how bloated apps are these days. Plus, RAM is cheap.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:41 pm

I'd look at a 880G board and this RAM
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Vrock wrote:I've always believed the more RAM, the better, especially with Windows and how bloated apps are these days. Plus, RAM is cheap.


DDR3 ram is cheap. DDR2 ram is expensive. I would think good and hard whether or not you'll actually use 8GB before you go spending $150 pretty much either way you slice it. (new DDR2 or new DDR3+mobo)
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:39 pm

I can get a new board and 8 gig of DDR3 for about 100 bucks. That's not bad.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:57 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Can I ask, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM when a relatively weak CPU like the Athlon II is good enough for your uses?

With Vista or later, the OS will use the ram to cache things so the whole system could feel snappier.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:14 pm

Socket-AM3+:
$90 Gigabyte GA-880M-USB3
or $100 Asus M5A88-M
Both of these micro-ATX motherboards have 4 memory slots, 880G chipset, HDMI and USB3. Here's the CPU support list for the Asus board:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM ... A88M/#CPUS


LGA1155:
$75 Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H (Includes 4 memory slots, HDMI and USB3)
and $90 Intel Pentium G860 dual-core 3.1 GHz
or
$60 ASRock H61M/U3S3 (Has only 2 memory slots, but includes HDMI and USB3 and it's cheap)
and $125 -13 combo Intel Core i3-2120 hyper-threading dual-core 3.3 GHz
or $88 -10 combo Intel Pentium G850 dual-core 2.9 GHz
or $68 -10 combo Intel Pentium G630 dual-core 2.7 GHz


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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:53 pm

Just took a look.. I don't have the RAM you are looking for :P
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:04 pm

BobbinThreadbare wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:Can I ask, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM when a relatively weak CPU like the Athlon II is good enough for your uses?

With Vista or later, the OS will use the ram to cache things so the whole system could feel snappier.


Except it's recommended to turn off Prefetch if one has an SSD, and if not that would be a far better upgrade.

It's up to VRock of course, it just sounds like more of an upgrade itch than anything else to me.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:31 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:
BobbinThreadbare wrote:
MadManOriginal wrote:Can I ask, why do you feel the need for 8GB of RAM when a relatively weak CPU like the Athlon II is good enough for your uses?

With Vista or later, the OS will use the ram to cache things so the whole system could feel snappier.


Except it's recommended to turn off Prefetch if one has an SSD, and if not that would be a far better upgrade.

It's up to VRock of course, it just sounds like more of an upgrade itch than anything else to me.

His motherboard will only have SATA2, so he wouldn't get the full advantage of an SSD.

I haven't heard about turning off prefetch, do you have a reputable source for that? Ram is still faster than an SSD.

8 gigs of DDR3 is cheaper than any decently sized SSD.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:45 pm

Intel does...this is from their SSD Toolbox:
In Microsoft Windows* 7 and Windows Vista*, Superfetch* tracks and copies your most frequently used applications to system memory to reduce load times. Superfetch is based on the similar Prefetch feature available in Windows XP. Superfetch/Prefetch is not needed on an Intel SSD and should be disabled for optimal performance.


While the latest SSDs might not perform up to their maximum on SATA2, to say that they are therefore not worthwhile over a mechanical drive is flat out wrong.

The only completely wasteful thing Vrock could do out of the options here is be so set on 8GB of RAM that he gets DDR2. Totally not worth buying these days.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:28 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Intel does...this is from their SSD Toolbox:
In Microsoft Windows* 7 and Windows Vista*, Superfetch* tracks and copies your most frequently used applications to system memory to reduce load times. Superfetch is based on the similar Prefetch feature available in Windows XP. Superfetch/Prefetch is not needed on an Intel SSD and should be disabled for optimal performance.


While the latest SSDs might not perform up to their maximum on SATA2, to say that they are therefore not worthwhile over a mechanical drive is flat out wrong.

The only completely wasteful thing Vrock could do out of the options here is be so set on 8GB of RAM that he gets DDR2. Totally not worth buying these days.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009 ... s-and.aspx
Will Superfetch be disabled on SSDs?

Yes, for most systems with SSDs.
If the system disk is an SSD, and the SSD performs adequately on random reads and doesn’t have glaring performance issues with random writes or flushes, then Superfetch, boot prefetching, application launch prefetching, ReadyBoost and ReadDrive will all be disabled.
Initially, we had configured all of these features to be off on all SSDs, but we encountered sizable performance regressions on some systems. In root causing those regressions, we found that some first generation SSDs had severe enough random write and flush problems that ultimately lead to disk reads being blocked for long periods of time. With Superfetch and other prefetching re-enabled, performance on key scenarios was markedly improved.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:38 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:The only completely wasteful thing Vrock could do out of the options here is be so set on 8GB of RAM that he gets DDR2. Totally not worth buying these days.


There you have it, either buy a new AM3+ mobo and 8GB of RAM or live with what you have. Staying with what you have is cheaper, buying an AM3+ board is most practial in the long run. That way you can keep your CPU for now and still be able to upgrade to a Piledriver (or even Steamroller?) processor down the road if you so decide.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:59 am

MadManOriginal wrote:While the latest SSDs might not perform up to their maximum on SATA2, to say that they are therefore not worthwhile over a mechanical drive is flat out wrong.

Good thing I didn't say that then :wink:
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:21 pm

What DPete said.

That's actually what I did, pretty close. Reused a Phenom II dual core. Later, picked up a x6 on a very nice sale price. But the more important fact even than 6 cores vs 2 for me was the 8GB of cheap ddr3 ram, since I multitask very heavily.

Cost? It was low for me, since I reused my Windows 7 (I found a full retail version cheap from a friend). I got an AsRock motherboard on sale (970 extreme 4 was on a big sale locally at Microcenter) for like $90 or so. (note that the 970 extreme 3 is excellent and cheaper). My cost was quite low, as I used microcenter Ram (8GB) -- that's about $40 now.

So now I have Sata 6, USB 3, DDR3, and future cpu upgrade avenues.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:10 pm

I went for cheap, cheap! :D

8gb of Crucial RAM--$35 shipped

ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS (open box)--$39.99 shipped

Total cost: $75.98. Ha!

I know I cheaped out on the mobo and I am taking a risk with an open box part, but I'm feeling lucky, punk.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:13 pm

A successful cheap upgrade. Didn't even need to reinstall Windows.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:38 pm

Now you can upgrade to a Phenom x4 965 Black Edition for $80, HA!
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:41 pm

Might just do that.
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:17 am

DPete27 wrote:Now you can upgrade to a Phenom x4 965 Black Edition for $80, HA!


Might as well upgrade to an ssd while you're at it!
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Re: What's cheaper/more practical

Postposted on Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:17 am

If you were going to get a new motherboard and a new processor, the LGA1155 options would have offered more bang for the buck.
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