To upgrade or not upgrade?

Hi, question on benefits of upgrading to a faster cpu chip for a non gamer. I’m currently running a 7 year old homebrew P4 2.8, 512Meg, 2G, PC2700 DDR333 on an Asus P4GE-V w Nvidea Gforce 7300GT system overclocked to 3.2GHz and it’s getting the job done. I’m not a gamer, but want fast response and do a little video crunching and DVD copying. Would it be cost effective to upgrade to a multi core chip assuming that I keep all my really old software which includes Office 2003, Nero 7 and other ancient s/w that’s not written for a multicore cpu. The only multicore app I run might be Firefox, IE8 and Picasa 3, assuming they are multicore compliant.

Maybe it would make more sense to build a new system around the fastest single core P4 or AMD chip available? I realize that simply moving to a state of the art mobo with SATA drives and a modern chipset would also contribute to throughput gain.


You would see a nice speed boost with a modern HDD, but your MB has no SATA support. You can actually sell your old MB/CPU/RAM on ebay and recoup at least half of what you will need to spend for a new cpu/mb/ram.

Here’s a suggested build:
ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core
Crucial 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
SeaSonic SS-300ES Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

That totals $282. You could get around ~$60 for the old cpu/MB, maybe $20 for the video card, and as much as $40 for the ram if that ‘2g’ meant 2 gigs.

The new MB already has high quality on board video so there’s no need for a video card. You could save $20 going with a single core cpu, AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz Socket AM3 45W Single-Core, which is actually a dual core and possible to ‘unlock’ the second core via a simple function in the MB’s bios.

edit: Unlocking a second core is not guaranteed though. But even if it can’t be unlocked you can still OC the single core.
edit: To spend a little less on the MB you could go with the BIOSTAR TA785G3 AM3 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Hmmm…You got me thinking. I was not going to take the leap soon, but at that price…That’s a sweet config with all I need in a much smaller box than what I have now. Plus there’s the fun factor of building up a new box. I did add a PCI SATA i/f a month ago with a new 500GB SATA drive for C, but the old mobo PCI bus is limiting speed. Thanks for putting the time into your reply. I’d swap the new drive to a new machine to further cut cost and replace with the old aging but usable EIDE/PATA drive.