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Need suggestions for silent system upgrade

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I've been lurking here for quite awhile but registered today to ask some questions.

I built a silent, low-power Linux system about four years ago that works fine for my needs. I'm not a gamer; just surf the internet, email, write some code and documents, watch videos... light use, overall.

Here are the specs: GA-MA78GM-US2H, Athlon X2 5050e 2.6 GHz (45 watt CPU) w/ Cooler Master CK8-8JD2B-0L-GP (runs @ 35C), NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT, 4 GB DDR2 800 MHz RAM, Seagate Barracuda 500 GB SATA, Seasonic 500W P/S, DVD R/W, CDRW, Panaflo fan.

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Lately I've been having trouble booting up. Starting to see some level 2 cache errors, which makes me think the CPU is on the way out. It's been discontinued. The only available 45-watt processor that will fit on my Mobo is the Sempron 140 or 145, but I'd have to flash the bios to make it work.

I've never flashed a bios before, the thought makes me nervous. Gigabyte's bios upgrade is a .exe but I use Linux, not windows, so I'm not sure how to proceed there.

The Sempron has a larger cache but is only single-core. Would I notice any slowdown or speedup from it? Supposedly it can be unlocked to open the second core, but the Mobo needs a SB710 chipset, and mine is a SB700. I'm concerned about the additional watts used if I can manage to unlock it.

Should I try to make a Sempron work with my system, or build something new? AMD's Trinity APU coming out in a couple of days looks intriguing. There are two that run at 65 watts with built-in graphics. So even though it's higher watts than what I have now, a separate video card would be unnecessary.

Any input is greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 3
I don't know the answer to what you could do best, but maybe you get more response if you post in the AMD section because it is more a question about the AMD CPU's than silent computing.
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Conquistador. I did that and got the answers I needed. This is a nice group of people.
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