Originally posted by: whitemateriax
This computer uses:
Ubuntu 9.04 64 bit
Windows XP Pro SP3 32 bit
Current specs include
|| AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+
|| ASUS A8N5X ACPI BIOS Revision 0902
|| 2x512MB DDR333 (dual channel mode)
|| 7300 GT
939 dual core chips are expensive and hard to find. Besides I don't want to to update an older system. Here is the list...
All right, we'll see what we can do to help.
1. new chip
(leaning more towards a 2 core chip - the idea is to get one of those cheap cpus and clock it over 3 Ghz+)
[I have a zalman copper fan but open to suggestions for fanless cooling solutions]
2. new motherboard
(major overclocking, performance, and stability)
3. new memory
4. new power supply
(going to put the old one in another system)
Linux is what I use 90% of the time. 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. Thank you in advance.
I have a fairly similar situation to yours. I use Linux exclusively and had an old Socket 939 system (albeit one with one of the early dual-core chips) that died on me not that long ago. I normally upgrade about every five years, and this machine happened to die on me right about that time. I wanted more reliability and multi-tasking performance as well, and I managed to make the jump from a couple of cores to a lot of cores easily. A few thoughts:
1. If you want a lot of multi-tasking ability, look at six-core CPUs. They will multitask MUCH better than dual-core CPUs and are not all that expensive. You can get Phenom II X6s for under $200. The clock speeds of six-core CPUs are also not all that much different from dual-core CPUs, so you don't have to sacrifice much if anything in single-threaded performance to get much better multithreaded performance. It's a lot better today with regards to multicore CPUs being affordable and usable compared to the Socket 939 days.
2. Linux works very well with multicore CPUs and the upgrade path from a single-core CPU with any reasonably-modern distribution is simply to upgrade the hardware and boot up the computer. Every distribution I've run into in the last few years has enabled SMP operation by default, so you don't even need to select a SMP kernel and reboot after the initial boot like you used to have to 4-5 years ago. Windows XP will almost certainly need to be reinstalled because changing the motherboard with a much newer one usually causes it to barf over the large number of driver changes at one time.
3. Reliability/stability and overclocking do not usually go together well, especially if you want to run your system for five years. I'd strongly suggest keeping things at stock. However, many newer chips run at well over 3 GHz at stock, with several being closer to 4 GHz in some situations.
4. You probably want to get a new hard drive since hard drives have gotten a lot faster since the mid-2000s and this will make your computer feel much faster and more responsive. Also, a 5-year-old HDD probably doesn't have a huge amount of life left in it and an HDD failure is something that ranges from a pain in the butt (if you have backups) to a catastrophe (if you don't have backups.)