As dpunisher pointed out in the previous post, clock speed is not an indicator of actual performance. Almost any modern processor will be more efficient and powerful than a Pentium 4. Intel processors are generally faster, for now, than AMD's but you will be paying a higher cost. Replacing the CPU, RAM, and motherboard will be necessary if you choose to go to another processor. Below are some possible upgrade suggestions.AMD Phenom Quad Core
CPU: AMD Phenom 9850 BLACK EDITION 2.5GHz
- This is the Black Edition which has unlocked multipliers making overclocking easier.
Motherboard: ASUS M3A78 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
- This is a good, inexpensive motherboard. It has only one PCIe x16 slot making SLI or Crossfire impossible.
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
- Get two of these for 8GB of RAM. Note, that if you have 4GB or more of RAM, you will need a 64-bit operating system to use it all. If you don't have, or don't want to purchase and install, a 64-bit operating system, purchase one RAM kit instead of two of these. If you purchase only one, you save $50. The total cost for all systems in this posting is for two RAM kits.
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
- This is used to bond the heatsink to the CPU. Many already have it applied, but I'm not sure if the heatsink coming with the Phenom has it.
Total Cost $343AMD Dual Core
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.1GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor
- This is essentially a four-core Phenom with two cores disabled. This processor costs half what the Phenom above does.
Other Components: Keep the rest of the items from the quad-core setup above, they are compatible with this processor.
Total Cost $280
Intel Quad Core
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
- A good processor using the latest 45nm technology.
RAM: Use the same RAM that the AMD Quad Core setup above uses.
Motherboard: ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard
- A solid, and inexpensive, motherboard. This only has one PCIexpress x16 slot making SLI or Crossfire impossible.
Total Cost $446Intel Dual Core
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
- Solid dual core processor.
Other Components: Use the same RAM and motherboard from the Intel Quad Core setup above.
Total Cost $356
Edited by DJBPace07, 28 December 2008 - 05:32 PM.