This is pretty much a carbon copy of a thread I had posted on another forum, but I felt like posting it here as well. Feel free to ask any questions you have.
I recently bought an Athlon 64 upgrade to my system. I've had a few people ask me how it has been, and I intend to try and answer a few questions here about it. But before that, I'm going to post a few pictures of the installation process, and show it off a little.
Here's what the boxes showed up as:
The K8N Neo2 Box was beautiful, it had a very nice shiny black cover that slipped over the box, and is probably one of the neatest boxes I've recieved from a computer part before. The Athlon 64 box was also neat, and I must say I like this design must more than the shoddy plastic one my 2500+ came in. And, speaking of the motherboard, it has a really, really neat feature that came with it. MSI included what they call a D-Bracket, this little thing has two USB ports on it, as well as 4 little LED's next to them. I thought it must've been some sort of USB activity set of lights, and blissfully plugged everything in. I pressed the power button and got what every computer nerd fears- No POST and no special error code from the BIOS.
I was about ready to freak, until I saw that the LED's on the D-Bracket were lit up in a particular pattern. There wasn't anything plugged into the USB ports, so it couldn't have been activity from there, so I did the unthinkable- I checked the manual.
Apparently, this D-Bracket goes through a visual sequence of initializing the the BIOS and booting into the OS. Apparently, I had installed 3 DIMM's in the motherboard, when I'm only allowed to install 1, 2, or 4 DIMM's at a time. I grumbled a bit, and replaced my 2x256MB sticks with my Parental Units' machines' 1x512 DIMM. After that, the board worked perfectly and booted. Here's a picture of the D-Bracket:
Now, onto the rest:
This is my graphics card, granted, it's not a GT or Ultra, but it's still better than my old Radeon 9500 Pro.
Well, after tearing everything out of my case, I installed the motherboard and dropped the chip in.
Here's a close-up of the chip:
And, here's what the case looked like after everything got installed:
Now I just need to brace for Proto's whipping on my wiring job.
And, since I collect boxes:
I collect boxes mainly because that's where I keep all my old invoices, as well as hold some other computer components. I don't mind looking at them and showing them off, either, though.
And that's about it for the physical aspect. It was fairly easy to install everything, and the new Socket 939 heatsink installation is much, much improved over the Socket A way of doing things. It was easy to install, and was still very sturdy.
Now, onto the benchmarks!
So, my new system now uses these specs:
Mobo: MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum
CPU: Athlon 64 S939 3000+
Video Card: BFG GeForce 6800oc
RAM: 1GB Dual-Channel Kingston valueRAM
Hard Drives: Western Digital 80GB 7200RPM HD, Maxtor 20GB 5400RPM
Optical Drives: Lite-On 48x24x48x16 CD-RW/DVD combo drive, NEC 3500A CD-RW/DVD-RW DL drive.
First up is AquaMark3:
This is about an 11k point increase with the dual-channel RAM upgrade, and the A64 3000+
Not too bad, about a 700 point increase from my last bench.
And since I'm too lazy to re-do 3dMark03 and take a screenshot of it, I'll just post my comparison URL:
And that's about it. I believe this upgrade was worth it, and ought to last me at least another year or so.