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Pegatron M2N68-LA/HP Narra3-GL8E: CPU Upgrade
#31
(02-13-2011, 06:14 PM)nickolmsted Wrote: I believe I have found this CPU at the following online store:
http://www.directron.com/hdx945wfgmbox.html

Yeah, that's the right one. I have now one of those up and running.
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#32
I have an HP m9100z with the M2N68 LA Narra 3 board bios (5.10), AMD 9500 Phenom, Nvidia 9300 GS and 6gb of RAM. I tried installing an Athlon II X3 455 and the computer comes on, but monitors are black and nothing happens. What is the issue?
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#33
Hi, sorry to make this thread come alive again but can't seem to find info about this...

I currently have this narra3 and on it I have a 8gb ram, hd6850, so I feel it just my processor letting me down...

Would I be right in thinking if I bought the phenom 945 it would be the best CPU I could get?

I've also read abit about am3's not working in am2's unless there is a bios update, but as you have done it, does that mean I can...or should be able to ?

Thanks
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#34
(11-08-2011, 08:26 AM)lockoutking Wrote: Hi, sorry to make this thread come alive again but can't seem to find info about this...

I currently have this narra3 and on it I have a 8gb ram, hd6850, so I feel it just my processor letting me down...

Would I be right in thinking if I bought the phenom 945 it would be the best CPU I could get?

I've also read abit about am3's not working in am2's unless there is a bios update, but as you have done it, does that mean I can...or should be able to ?

In theory, the 95W models of 3.2 GHz Phenom II x4 (955 = HDX955WFK4DGM and B97 = HDXB97WFK4DGM) should also work, provided that you can locate one somewhere. However, the difference between 945 and them is only 0.2 GHz, so that probably is not the best value for the money in case you already have a 945. If you have some much slower processor (first-generation Phenom or something with less than four cores) and can find a cheap 945 somewhere, then it may be worth trying. Narra3 doesn't recognize the model of those processors, but they still work, even though not with their maximum HT speed.

You should also note that Narra3 is not an optimal motherboard for any new video cards compatible with PCIe 2.0 standard (8 GB/s bandwidth), as its PCIe x16 slot only supports PCIe 1.0 (4 GB/s bandwidth). If you want to retain your DDR2 memory modules, I suggest trying to find an Asus M4A785G HTPC board somewhere. It is the same size (mATX) as Narra3, has a PCIe 2.0 x16 slot as well as one of the best integrated audio solutions available, uses DDR2 RAM and works flawlessly with the fastest Phenom II CPU's released, including x6 1100T and x4 980.
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#35
Thanks for that info, my budget is the thing what with this time of year....

I was thinking i could just upgrade the CPU to make things cheaper, I did think about a new m/b but thought if I'm going down that route then I'd be better of stepping up to ddr3 and starting from scratch and maybe selling this one to get a few notes to get me going.
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#36
(11-08-2011, 11:07 AM)lockoutking Wrote: Thanks for that info, my budget is the thing what with this time of year....

I was thinking i could just upgrade the CPU to make things cheaper, I did think about a new m/b but thought if I'm going down that route then I'd be better of stepping up to ddr3 and starting from scratch and maybe selling this one to get a few notes to get me going.

Well, you can do that, it is the cheapest way to get forward.

[Image: 1601329.png]

[Image: 1601329.png]

http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=1601329

Updating the memory from DDR2-800 to DDR3-1333 doesn't speed up the system that much. Windows Experience Index remains at 7.5 for memory and I couldn't tell the difference with the same CPU and video card (the latter being the component having the most noticeable effect on overall system performance) and roughly similar Asus motherboards (M4A785G HTPC vs. M4A785TD-V EVO), both having the 785G chipset.
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#37
my windows experience is 4.9 due to my processor, i think i'll just go for the new processor depending on how hard it will be to find one, that way some time next year it will give me a better selling point and then upgrade to a whole new system, I have intentions of getting some xfire or sli on the go so probably be best that way.

Been looking around and it seems it might be hard to come by though, hope fully i will find one under £100 or there abouts but if i cant find one then i guess that will make my mind up.
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#38
(11-08-2011, 02:24 PM)lockoutking Wrote: my windows experience is 4.9 due to my processor, i think i'll just go for the new processor depending on how hard it will be to find one, that way some time next year it will give me a better selling point and then upgrade to a whole new system, I have intentions of getting some xfire or sli on the go so probably be best that way.

Been looking around and it seems it might be hard to come by though, hope fully i will find one under £100 or there abouts but if i cant find one then i guess that will make my mind up.

In that case, a new CPU will definitely boost the performance of your system. My original system was HP m9190.de-a, updated with 8GB DDR2-800 RAM when I bought it. It received the following score:

[Image: Phenom%252520-%252520Win7%252520x64%2525...252529.png]

(Phenom 9500, 8GB DDR2-800, nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB, 2x Hitachi 750GB SATA HDD)

Even with a dual-core Athlon 64 x2 4850e (2x 2.5 GHz) the CPU score was 5.5.

Following the first upgrade (original M2N68-LA / Narra3 motherboard; CPU upgraded to Phenom II x4 945 and video card to Asus Radeon EAH4870 TOP/HTDI/512M) I got the following score:

[Image: Phenom%252520II%252520-%252520Win7%25252...ssment.png]

Finally, with upgraded motherboard (Asus M4A785G HTPC, further updated graphics card (Club 3D Radeon HD 6870 Overclocked Edition) and further upgraded CPU (Phenom II x6 1100T) the score looks like this:

[Image: Phenom%252520II%252520x6%2525201100T%252...520WEI.png]

That is probably the ultimate system that can fit in the HP Pavilion Elite case. Radeon HD 6950 or HD 6970 won't fit, they are too long: the maximum length of the graphics card which can fit the case is 25.5 cm. Based on WEI, the hard disks (2x 750GB SATA 7200 rpm) are and have always been the bottleneck, but in practice upgrading both the CPU and the GPU drastically improved the framerates on some of my favourite games. Building a completely new system from the scratch would probably have been both easier and cheaper, but I like the compact HP media center case.

Based on my experience, any quad-core Phenom II would probably be a big improvement compared to your current CPU. Some Win7 WEI CPU scores for the sake of comparison:
  • Athlon Thunderbird 1.2 GHz = 1.7
  • Athlon XP-M 1500+ (1.33 GHz) = 2.1
  • Athlon XP 1800+ (1.53 GHz) = 2.4
  • Core 2 Duo U7600 (2x 1.2 GHz) = 3.8
  • Pentium 4 HT 3.067 GHz = 3.9
  • Turion 64 X2 TL-58 (2x 1.9 GHz) = 4.7
  • Core 2 Duo E6400 (2x 2.13 GHz) = 5.3
  • Athlon 64 X2 4850e (2x 2.5 GHz) = 5.5
  • Pentium Dual-Core T4400 (2x 2.2 GHz) = 5.6
  • Phenom 9500 (4x 2.2 GHz) = 6.9
  • Core i7-740QM (4x 1.73 GHz) = 7.1
  • Phenom II x4 910e (4x 2.6 GHz) = 7.2
  • Phenom II x4 945 (4x 3.0 GHz) = 7.3
  • Phenom II x6 1100T (6x 3.3 GHz) = 7.5

For any quad-core Phenom system, CPU is not the bottleneck, at least if you ask Windows experience index Smile If you use integrated graphics, that will be the WEI bottleneck (e.g. Radeon HD 3200 = Graphics score 3.7), otherwise it will be the hard disk (traditional 3.5" SATA II 7200 rpm HDD = 5.9, best SSD I have seen so far = 6.6). Based on my own observations, CPU will be the bottleneck in practice for those games that use only single CPU core (i.e. FS2004 or RailWorks 2), in any other case it will be the graphics card, at least if you want to use 1920x1080 resolution and highest graphics details.
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#39
you have pushed me more into wanting one even more now Smile and have found one for £70 but it is in USA so maybe another £20 for p+p...

my next lowest WEI is 5.7 for my hard drive, so unless i get a 10,000 rpm hard drive or SSD then that'll stay...i am tempted with SSD at least thats a component i can take with me at anytime.

And i know what you mean about the case..mine is sat just fine on show in quite a snug spot (dont think to meny other case's would fit where it is), but out the way, also with easy access yet smart looking and has the features/adapters on the front which i use all the time....like i said happy with everything really just trying to improve what i can without going overboard and spending hundereds.

But reading your last post has made think i'd be happy with that upgrade to a P945, i also think i'd be happy to keep the comp after that for a while or at least untill technology force's me to upgrade, which by that time i think i'd be just fine with anyway.

My graphics is too bad, well i get it bouncing around 30 fps on crysis 2 on hardcore settings with 1280x1024...probably not the best game to benchmark but only game ive tested and i'm alright with that, some would say thats not enough but then not all of us can afford quad sli Smile
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#40
You could also monitor ebay.de for some time. I found mine there for 102 EUR (with postage included) and that was back in January (corrected; I updated the GPU first last October and then CPU in January). Search for both "Phenom 95W" and "Phenom 945" as well as the model numbers "HDX945WFK4DGI" and "HDX945WFK4DGM", probably one will pop up eventually Smile Good luck for finding one!

Installing a 10k rpm hard drive would improve the hard disk score and even the actual performance somewhat, but those disks are expensive and often rather noisy, something you don't want if you also use the same computer for watching movies and stuff. Using two of those in RAID 0 mode would probably improve the performance a lot, but then again, it would mean even more noise and Narra3 does not support any RAID modes (in fact, it keeps the hard disks in PATA emulation mode no matter what you do, it cannot be changed to AHCI or RAID in BIOS settings) anyway. The other option, a high-performance SSD improves mainly the read performance, which is much faster than ordinary hard disks, but the write performance is often lacking. I have a 256 GB Samsung MMDOE56G5MXP-0VB SSD drive installed in my laptop and it can be painfully slow compared with an ordinary 7.2k rpm HDD in those operations affecting a large number of small files, for example in installing some Windows updates, even though its WEI score is 6.6 and that of the 7.2k rpm HDD is only 5.9.

A Phenom II X4 945, combined with that Radeon HD6850 you already have, is a good choice at least with 1280x1024 resolution and should be enough for most of the games for a year or two. Adding a more powerful graphics card usually means more noise, and that happened when I updated my graphics card from Asus Radeon EAH4870 TOP/HTDI/512M (which was almost silent with low to medium fan speeds) to the current Club 3D Radeon HD 6870 Overclocked Edition. I have to manually set my system to Tranquil Mode in Asus Home Theater Gate settings and the graphics card fan speed to 20% in AMD Vision Control Center when I watch movies, otherwise the fan noise will be audible during the more silent scenes and that is rather annoying.

Anyway, I will keep my current system until some new game which I really want pops up and my current system cannot run that. Even then I will probably only remove the noisy HD6870 graphics card and retain the computer for watching movies (the integrated Radeon HD4200 on my current motherboard should be enough for that), as it fits my living room decor perfectly Big Grin
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