I use my business PC to literally run my home office. It runs standard office applications, (word processing and number crunching) sends and receives faxes, lots of scanning, printing, CD & DVD burning, etc. Multiple apps are usually running.
I'm now using an ASUS P4PE with a 3.06 MHz HT Intel CPU (Hyperthreading)and 1G of RAM. The HT made a big difference when I set that up a couple of years ago.
In reading the various reviews, I'm wondering if a new MB would make any descernable difference in the speed of processing various tasks. New boards I might consider would be the ASUS P5AD2, P5GD2 or the P5GDC; all are either 915 or 925 chipsets. Also, with a SATA drive, maybe things would liven up a bit.
With office apps (as opposed to gaming, which I don't do) I'm wondering if the expense would be worth it.
Two things, basically I don't think you will notice the difference between motherboards, or SATA and IDE. Note that there is no real performance difference between SATA and IDE, hard drives just aren't able to use up the bandwidth that IDE offers, much less what SATA offers (Which isn't a great deal more).
Yes motherboards can make a difference, however generally I haven't ever actually "noticed" the difference. Generally, unless you have a <b>very</b> sorry motherboard, you can measure a difference (benchmark), but generally won't notice a huge difference.
You have a fast system. A P4 3.0C might give you 5% better performance due to increased memory bandwidth, but I doubt it's worth changing the entire platform for.
You could get a slightly LARGER gain by simply moving to an inexpensive dual-channel board with your current CPU and RAM, assuming you have matched pairs of RAM. Consider the Abit IS7, it fits your processor, is dual-channel capable, has loads of features, and cost around $90. Also, it could probably overclock your CPU to around 3.2GHz if you wanted.
When you consider what you have and what's available, changing both the CPU and Motherboard for a small increase in performance seems a little foolish. Dual-Channel could get you half the performance increase for $90, compared to the $300+ you'd have in a completely modern board and CPU.
SATA doesn't give you any performance adavantage yet. 10,000RPM drives give you some performance advantage, but they tend to be expensive and small. So SATA upgrade is an even worse deal than a total platform change.
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I really appreicate your feed back and the other reply also. I will check out the suggestion of the Abit IS7, but from what you're saying, it sounds to me that I'd best stick with my current setup for awhile and see what comes down the pipe. This system does operate well.
Perhaps when 64 bit is more common that might be worth looking at.
Thanks again for the time you took to provide this useful info.