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[OP]
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NAS AM2+/AM3 CPU Upgrade

I have had a NAS running Windows Home Server 2011 and Flexraid for several years now that has been completely problem free. It's running on an old Athlon 64 X2 5200 CPU (65W) which is beginning to show it's age as I'm running more and more applications on the box. Thankfully the motherboard is AM2+ and does support a wide array of AM3 CPUs, so I am hoping to pick up a cheap used CPU somewhere that should make it a bit more snappy.

Would I notice a difference moving to something like an Athlon II X2? I am also considering hosting a small Minecraft server for a friend and I to play on - any benefits to a 4 core at this point? The NAS is under my stairs in a network close, so lower wattage chips are a factor.

Hoping for some input.
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Heh. Funny you should mention that.

I'm in a different TDP class, but just ordered a Phenom II X6 1055T hex-core CPU today, from Korea off eBay. Hopefully it works in my AM3 socket desktop, which is currently running an Athlon II X3 435. The current and new chips are 95 Watts.

If you can run quad-core, you might want to consider that. You can get 45 W (Athlon II) and 65 W versions (Phenom II). I'm not sure which would be compatible with your motherboard BIOS.
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Only main benefit maybe network throughput ... are you getting gigabit speeds with your file transfers?
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A64 X2 5200 seems like a lot of processor as it is for a NAS...are you sure you don't just need more RAM? Are you doing CPU-based transcoding or some other CPU-intensive task? Because otherwise most NAS tasks should be well handled by a processor that fast (I know it's not a fast processor by today's desktop standards but for NAS it's not that bad).

As for Minecraft server, I don't know much about that but after a quick search online it looks like an A64 X2 is around the minimum for that as well though I see warnings if you have a large/complex world the CPU requirements can be much greater.

In theoretical terms of the fastest thing you can get would be a Phenom-II X6 but keep in mind most of those take a relatively gross amount of power, for a NAS you're really better off sticking with the lowest power processor you can get and get it a little lower by undervolting from there. Unless of course, you don't care about the electricity costs.
[OP]
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EugW wrote: Heh. Funny you should mention that.

I'm in a different TDP class, but just ordered a Phenom II X6 1055T hex-core CPU today, from Korea off eBay. Hopefully it works in my AM3 socket desktop, which is currently running an Athlon II X3 435. The current and new chips are 95 Watts.

If you can run quad-core, you might want to consider that. You can get 45 W (Athlon II) and 65 W versions (Phenom II). I'm not sure which would be compatible with your motherboard BIOS.
I was actually looking at some of the eBay processors from Korea - the price seems crazy low but I suppose theyre old chips! I'd be interested to hear how it works out for you regarding shipping time and any additional fees/duty you get hit with.
coolspot wrote: Only main benefit maybe network throughput ... are you getting gigabit speeds with your file transfers?
I am getting gigabit speeds, yes. Will elaborate down below
ES_Revenge wrote: A64 X2 5200 seems like a lot of processor as it is for a NAS...are you sure you don't just need more RAM? Are you doing CPU-based transcoding or some other CPU-intensive task? Because otherwise most NAS tasks should be well handled by a processor that fast (I know it's not a fast processor by today's desktop standards but for NAS it's not that bad).

As for Minecraft server, I don't know much about that but after a quick search online it looks like an A64 X2 is around the minimum for that as well though I see warnings if you have a large/complex world the CPU requirements can be much greater.

In theoretical terms of the fastest thing you can get would be a Phenom-II X6 but keep in mind most of those take a relatively gross amount of power, for a NAS you're really better off sticking with the lowest power processor you can get and get it a little lower by undervolting from there. Unless of course, you don't care about the electricity costs.
The NAS has 4gb of DDR2-800Mhz ram, which I think is sufficient for the tasks I'm throwing at it. I do have another 4gig DDR2-800 kit lying around in an old PC that I should probably just put in though. I have the O/S installed on an SSD.

In terms of what the NAS may be doing at any given time - P2P connections, several Python-based media management programs, network streaming (Hardwired PCs, mobile devices), network file transfers, occasional local USB transfers (USB keys, external hard drive). When there's a lot going on, I find that i get buffering while attempting to stream, inability to connect through remote desktop, or if I already have a session going things lock up or go non-responsive. In addition to my plans of hosting a small Minecraft server, I am hoping to throw cloud-based backups/syncs into the mix which may add to the system stress.

For the CPU, it looks like I will be able to get my hands on a free dual-core Phenom II 555 BE chip which is 80W TDP. It's a bit higher wattage than my current chip though. Other possible options might be:

-Athlon II X2 260 (3.2 Ghz, 65W TDP, 2x1MB L2 cache, no L3 cache)
-Athlon II X4 620e (2.6 Ghz, 45W TDP, 4x512KB L2 cache, no L3 cache),
-Phenom II X4 910e (2.6 Ghz, 65W TDP, 4x512KB L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache)

Thermals are a factor, as the NAS sits in a "closet" under my basement stairs.
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jacquesstrap wrote: I was actually looking at some of the eBay processors from Korea - the price seems crazy low but I suppose theyre old chips! I'd be interested to hear how it works out for you regarding shipping time and any additional fees/duty you get hit with.
Personally I don't think those chips are really cheap. I paid US$60 for a USED Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz, with that usual eBay international cheap shipping, which in the context of Canada's customs delays might might I won't actually get the chip until March. Furthermore, not only is this chip used, it's got the performance of a 9 year old Core i7, which is roughly the speed of a current Core i3. The 1065T would have been US$90.
For the CPU, it looks like I will be able to get my hands on a free dual-core Phenom II 555 BE chip which is 80W TDP. It's a bit higher wattage than my current chip though.
I don't think I'd bother with a dual-core at this point, plus it's a hotter chip.

What kind of a machine is it? Does the motherboard support 80 Watt chips? If it were a small form factor model it might not, but I'm just guessing.

In my case my machine is a 95 Watt chip, but I've read a lot of the manufacturers don't support the 125 Watt versions in their (slim) desktops. As far as I know, my desktop model never shipped with a 125 Watt so I made sure not to get one. Plus, I wouldn't want the added noise anyway.
Other possible options might be:

-Athlon II X2 260 (3.2 Ghz, 65W TDP, 2x1MB L2 cache, no L3 cache)
-Athlon II X4 620e (2.6 Ghz, 45W TDP, 4x512KB L2 cache, no L3 cache),
-Phenom II X4 910e (2.6 Ghz, 65W TDP, 4x512KB L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache)

Thermals are a factor, as the NAS sits in a "closet" under my basement stairs.
If wattage is very important, consider the Athlon II X4 620e. Otherwise just get the Phenom if the price is OK.
Last edited by EugW on Jan 15th, 2018 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Just curious ... What's brand/model of the mobo ?
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willy wrote: Just curious ... What's brand/model of the mobo ?
Who are you asking, the OP or me?
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willy wrote: Just curious ... What's brand/model of the mobo ?
Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3
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EugW wrote: Who are you asking, the OP or me?
Oh, I am sorry ... I meant for OP ....
[OP]
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EugW wrote: Personally I don't think those chips are really cheap. I paid US$60 for a USED Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz, with that usual eBay international cheap shipping, which in the context of Canada's customs delays might might I won't actually get the chip until March. Furthermore, not only is this chip used, it's got the performance of a 9 year old Core i7, which is roughly the speed of a current Core i3. The 1065T would have been US$90.


I don't think I'd bother with a dual-core at this point, plus it's a hotter chip.

What kind of a machine is it? Does the motherboard support 80 Watt chips? If it were a small form factor model it might not, but I'm just guessing.

In my case my machine is a 95 Watt chip, but I've read a lot of the manufacturers don't support the 125 Watt versions in their (slim) desktops. As far as I know, my desktop model never shipped with a 125 Watt so I made sure not to get one. Plus, I wouldn't want the added noise anyway.


If wattage is very important, consider the Athlon II X4 620e. Otherwise just get the Phenom if the price is OK.
When i meant cheap I was more refering to some of the Athlon II cpus - there are several on there for $5-10 with free shipping. Seems almost too good to be true - but yes, one should remember they are used and are also old :)

It's a mid tower (Fractal Design Define R4) with 5x WD 3TB Red drives (pooled, 1 parity), 1x WD 2TB Green drive (not pooled), and a Samsung 128 SSD. It's hardwired at 1 Gbps to my router.

The motherboard accepts up to 125W compatible CPUs, but I definitely don't need that. I don't think I am comfortable going above a 65W for the CPU though. Is there any benefit to me going with a Phenom II over an Athlon II?
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jacquesstrap wrote: When i meant cheap I was more refering to some of the Athlon II cpus - there are several on there for $5-10 with free shipping. Seems almost too good to be true - but yes, one should remember they are used and are also old :)

It's a mid tower (Fractal Design Define R4) with 5x WD 3TB Red drives (pooled, 1 parity), 1x WD 2TB Green drive (not pooled), and a Samsung 128 SSD. It's hardwired at 1 Gbps to my router.

The motherboard accepts up to 125W compatible CPUs, but I definitely don't need that. I don't think I am comfortable going above a 65W for the CPU though. Is there any benefit to me going with a Phenom II over an Athlon II?
Phenom will be faster at the same clock speed, although in some cases not by a huge amount.

Some of the Athlon II chips are cheap because not too many people want them. It's like 1 GB DDR3 RAM sticks. Cheap as borscht.
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jacquesstrap wrote: Is there any benefit to me going with a Phenom II over an Athlon II?
I think it's largely better performance at the same clock speed ... and I believe the large L3 (vs 0) plays the big role for that.
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willy wrote: I think it's largely better performance at the same clock speed ... and I believe the large L3 (vs 0) plays the big role for that.
Also, for the X6 Phenoms, they have Turbo Core, so they'll clock higher when using 3 or less cores. So, theoretically, an X6 2.6 GHz Phenom 1035T can clock as high as 3.1 GHz. However, that doesn't apply to the X4 Phenoms.

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