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Upgrading Advice

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August 29, 2005 10:48:35 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Dear Peeps-In-The-Know,

I wish to upgrade my current hardware a little but require some advice
along the way. I play some games and do a lotta surfin' and lesser
tasks.

My current specifications are:
AMD 1800+, 512 DDR PC3200 RAM (2x256MB), KT400 Abit Motherboard,
GeForce 6600GT AGP.

I am thinking of upgrading to a 3400+ CPU, get a new motherboard, and
double the RAM.

Do modern 3400+ capable motherboards contain AGP slots for my graphics
card? Is it worth getting PCI-Express?

About the RAM, I presume the new motherboard will take PC3200, will
purchasing another 512MB piece offset the RAM pairing, will I have to
dump the 2x256MB and get 2x512MB?

Can anyone recommend any bundles for the components I require?

Although I don't expect to be able to play Doom3 at highest detail I
would like it to be a decent improvement on what I currently have (long
loading times and occasional juttering).

Any advice is hugely appreciated!

Jonny

More about : upgrading advice

Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2005 1:38:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Kony, Thank-you for your reply!

kony wrote:
> On 29 Aug 2005 06:48:35 -0700, "Jab" <jabjuice@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Dear Peeps-In-The-Know,
> >
> >I wish to upgrade my current hardware a little but require some advice
> >along the way. I play some games and do a lotta surfin' and lesser
> >tasks.
>
> So essentially, gaming is by far the most demanding task.
> (?)

Yes! Well this is the reason for my enthusiasm to upgrade.

>
> >
> >My current specifications are:
> >AMD 1800+, 512 DDR PC3200 RAM (2x256MB), KT400 Abit Motherboard,
> >GeForce 6600GT AGP.
> >
> >I am thinking of upgrading to a 3400+ CPU, get a new motherboard, and
> >double the RAM.
> >
> >Do modern 3400+ capable motherboards contain AGP slots for my graphics
> >card?
>
> Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
> be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
> CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
> choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.
>

I was unsure of these different sockets. See below for my current
Mmtherboard.

> > Is it worth getting PCI-Express?
>
> Yes, IF you also buy a significantly faster (than 6600GT)
> video card for it. Otherwise, the primary bottleneck at the
> (presumed above) most demanding use will still be the video
> card. In other words if you're not willing to spend at
> least $200 on a new video card, you won't get much
> performance benefit from moving to PCI Express.
>
>
I'm happy with the 6600GT and will keep it for a while yet, I guess I
will buy a full system upgrade sometime when the rest of the computer
has started to decompose.

> >
> >About the RAM, I presume the new motherboard will take PC3200, will
> >purchasing another 512MB piece offset the RAM pairing, will I have to
> >dump the 2x256MB and get 2x512MB?
>
> You should be able to run 2 x 256 + 512, but you'll have to
> wait-n-see if that's stable on any particular board.
>
>
> >Although I don't expect to be able to play Doom3 at highest detail I
> >would like it to be a decent improvement on what I currently have (long
> >loading times and occasional juttering).
>
> Long load times should be primarily bound by the hard drive
> performance. Juttering might be lack of memory, video or
> CPU. I'd suspect these moreso than the 6600GT at Doom3
> (since you don't expect highest detail), because relatively
> speaking the 6600GT is the stronger rather than weaker link
> in your system at the moment.
>
>
I hadn't considered HD performance, perhaps this is an avenue worth
considering! The juttering occurs when loading new areas to the ..
<Chug>... memory, persumably due to swapping since 512MB is too low?

> >
> >Any advice is hugely appreciated!
>
> I'd be tempted to buy a mobile Barton (XP2400), overclock it
> some, add 1 - 1GB PC3200 module, and a new hard drive, then
> keep the rest of the system as-is for awhile longer. That
> is, unless you also want to put down the few hundred $ more
> for a significantly faster video card and socket 939 board
> and CPU. You don't mention your power supply but newer
> parts could mean a significant shift in power consumption
> and you "might" need a new PSU too... insufficient info to
> know but worth mentioning.
>

I'll have a look about for this chip, thanks.

My PSU went several months ago and I replaced it with a 450W unit, so
it should be ok. I've hoked out the invoice for my last upgrade and it
lists the motherboard and CPU as follows:

Abit SoA VIA KT400 ATX A L
Athlon XP 2100[plus] 1.73Ghz SoA AMD

I was unable to work out the model name from the Abit website. Can you
hassard a guess at the highest CPU this board would take?

> I suppose ultimately it boils down to total budget for the
> system... if it won't include a new video card >=$200 then
> the best bang for the buck might be keeping the same
> motherboard for the time being, or at least starting out
> with other potential improvements that can be moved to the
> newer config later, like a hard drive.

I'm more interested in gaining the best bang for the buck than going
for an all out new system right now, but I see your point.
I hope to use the graphics card for another 9-12 months, I will
possibly upgrade the system fully then.

Thanks again for your help.

Jonny
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2005 7:54:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On 29 Aug 2005 06:48:35 -0700, "Jab" <jabjuice@gmail.com>
wrote:

>Dear Peeps-In-The-Know,
>
>I wish to upgrade my current hardware a little but require some advice
>along the way. I play some games and do a lotta surfin' and lesser
>tasks.

So essentially, gaming is by far the most demanding task.
(?)


>
>My current specifications are:
>AMD 1800+, 512 DDR PC3200 RAM (2x256MB), KT400 Abit Motherboard,
>GeForce 6600GT AGP.
>
>I am thinking of upgrading to a 3400+ CPU, get a new motherboard, and
>double the RAM.
>
>Do modern 3400+ capable motherboards contain AGP slots for my graphics
>card?

Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.

> Is it worth getting PCI-Express?

Yes, IF you also buy a significantly faster (than 6600GT)
video card for it. Otherwise, the primary bottleneck at the
(presumed above) most demanding use will still be the video
card. In other words if you're not willing to spend at
least $200 on a new video card, you won't get much
performance benefit from moving to PCI Express.


>
>About the RAM, I presume the new motherboard will take PC3200, will
>purchasing another 512MB piece offset the RAM pairing, will I have to
>dump the 2x256MB and get 2x512MB?

You should be able to run 2 x 256 + 512, but you'll have to
wait-n-see if that's stable on any particular board.


>Although I don't expect to be able to play Doom3 at highest detail I
>would like it to be a decent improvement on what I currently have (long
>loading times and occasional juttering).

Long load times should be primarily bound by the hard drive
performance. Juttering might be lack of memory, video or
CPU. I'd suspect these moreso than the 6600GT at Doom3
(since you don't expect highest detail), because relatively
speaking the 6600GT is the stronger rather than weaker link
in your system at the moment.


>
>Any advice is hugely appreciated!

I'd be tempted to buy a mobile Barton (XP2400), overclock it
some, add 1 - 1GB PC3200 module, and a new hard drive, then
keep the rest of the system as-is for awhile longer. That
is, unless you also want to put down the few hundred $ more
for a significantly faster video card and socket 939 board
and CPU. You don't mention your power supply but newer
parts could mean a significant shift in power consumption
and you "might" need a new PSU too... insufficient info to
know but worth mentioning.

I suppose ultimately it boils down to total budget for the
system... if it won't include a new video card >=$200 then
the best bang for the buck might be keeping the same
motherboard for the time being, or at least starting out
with other potential improvements that can be moved to the
newer config later, like a hard drive.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 12:08:25 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

In article <gua6h1h8po7gik11a91ij9ks01docb6a95@4ax.com>, kony says...

> Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
> be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
> CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
> choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.
>
For Socket 939 boards with AGP, you'll be looking at the Via KT800
chipset ones.


--
Conor

"You're not married, you haven't got a girlfriend and you've never seen
Star Trek? Good Lord!" - Patrick Stewart, Extras.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 1:00:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

"Conor" <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d7d6d87d2c72e9c98a985@news.individual.net...
> In article <gua6h1h8po7gik11a91ij9ks01docb6a95@4ax.com>, kony says...
>
>> Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
>> be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
>> CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
>> choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.
>>
> For Socket 939 boards with AGP, you'll be looking at the Via KT800
> chipset ones.
>
>

There are nForce 3 powered motherboard, for example the MSI K8N Neo2
Platinum

--
Derek
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 5:23:13 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On 29 Aug 2005 09:38:56 -0700, "Jonny Barr"
<jabjuice@gmail.com> wrote:



>I hadn't considered HD performance, perhaps this is an avenue worth
>considering! The juttering occurs when loading new areas to the ..
><Chug>... memory, persumably due to swapping since 512MB is too low?

HDD performance will slow down level loading. Juttering in
new areas could be one of several things, including HDD,
amount of memory, and even memory bus speed to a certain
extent (but "probably" less significant). It is definite
that you need more memory so that's one thing I'd go ahead
and do regardless of what else... PC3200, CAS2 or 2.5, not
CAS3 for best odds of success and possible reuse someday.


>Abit SoA VIA KT400 ATX A L
>Athlon XP 2100[plus] 1.73Ghz SoA AMD
>
>I was unable to work out the model name from the Abit website. Can you
>hassard a guess at the highest CPU this board would take?

I don't have one and can only guess about the following-

Should support 166MHz/DDR333 FSB. Therefore won't support
fastest Athlon XPs' DDR400 FSB, BUT Abit was generally good
with overclocking features, so _IF_ the board allows
changing the multiplier you should be able to get a Mobile
Barton (which is multiplier unlocked) up to a higher
multiplier on 166Mhz FSB. That "might" require some kind of
wire mod to the socket or burning a CPU multipler bridge if
you want to run it above 2.1GHz... I don't recall the
details on that but Google can find them when the time
comes, it's definitely possible so long as your board allows
mutliplier and CPU voltage changes.

Otherwise, you can get a Barton (non-mobile, multiplier
locked) XP3000 that uses DDR333 FSB.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 6:19:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

kony wrote:
> On 29 Aug 2005 09:38:56 -0700, "Jonny Barr"
> <jabjuice@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> >I hadn't considered HD performance, perhaps this is an avenue worth
> >considering! The juttering occurs when loading new areas to the ..
> ><Chug>... memory, persumably due to swapping since 512MB is too low?
>
> HDD performance will slow down level loading. Juttering in
> new areas could be one of several things, including HDD,
> amount of memory, and even memory bus speed to a certain
> extent (but "probably" less significant). It is definite
> that you need more memory so that's one thing I'd go ahead
> and do regardless of what else... PC3200, CAS2 or 2.5, not
> CAS3 for best odds of success and possible reuse someday.
>

Thanks for the advice, I've ordered 1Gb. I'll try a defrag too, that
hasn't been done in a year!

>
> >Abit SoA VIA KT400 ATX A L
> >Athlon XP 2100[plus] 1.73Ghz SoA AMD
> >
> >I was unable to work out the model name from the Abit website. Can you
> >hassard a guess at the highest CPU this board would take?
>
> I don't have one and can only guess about the following-
>
> Should support 166MHz/DDR333 FSB. Therefore won't support
> fastest Athlon XPs' DDR400 FSB, BUT Abit was generally good
> with overclocking features, so _IF_ the board allows
> changing the multiplier you should be able to get a Mobile
> Barton (which is multiplier unlocked) up to a higher
> multiplier on 166Mhz FSB. That "might" require some kind of
> wire mod to the socket or burning a CPU multipler bridge if
> you want to run it above 2.1GHz... I don't recall the
> details on that but Google can find them when the time
> comes, it's definitely possible so long as your board allows
> mutliplier and CPU voltage changes.
>
> Otherwise, you can get a Barton (non-mobile, multiplier
> locked) XP3000 that uses DDR333 FSB.

This seems complicated, multipler and voltage changes are possible,
it's been running overclocked for at least 2 years now.
I will check the motherboard itself tonight for markings, hopefully it
will take FSB400 and I can go for a 3200+, 512k 400mhz FSB, if not I
guess a new MB wouldn't be much, otherwise the 'upgrade' would be a
little lame!

This is with the view to totally build a new machine possibly next
year, who knows what the prices will like for the high end stuff then!

Thanks again,

Jonny.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 11:12:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Thanks Kony!

One last question!
I *think* this is my motherboard:
http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?catego...
Why does it not mention 333Mhz FSB ?
You've confused me a little with "DDR400 FSB". FSB (Front Side Bus??)
is in MHz, DDR relates to the RAM?
And DDR400 supports PC3200 yes?! I presume there's some sort of
correlation worth matching here... Confusion surrounds me like that
musty smell from my local bar.

Anyway! Taking this motherboard, will it support the following?
AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2GHz 333FSB 512KB Cache OEM
CORSAIR 1GB PC3200 DDR 400 RAM 1 GB 1024MB (512MB x 2)

Looks like a reasonable if so!
Many thanks,

Jonny
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 5:06:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On 30 Aug 2005 02:19:50 -0700, "Jonny Barr"
<jabjuice@gmail.com> wrote:

>> I don't have one and can only guess about the following-
>>
>> Should support 166MHz/DDR333 FSB. Therefore won't support
>> fastest Athlon XPs' DDR400 FSB, BUT Abit was generally good
>> with overclocking features, so _IF_ the board allows
>> changing the multiplier you should be able to get a Mobile
>> Barton (which is multiplier unlocked) up to a higher
>> multiplier on 166Mhz FSB. That "might" require some kind of
>> wire mod to the socket or burning a CPU multipler bridge if
>> you want to run it above 2.1GHz... I don't recall the
>> details on that but Google can find them when the time
>> comes, it's definitely possible so long as your board allows
>> mutliplier and CPU voltage changes.
>>
>> Otherwise, you can get a Barton (non-mobile, multiplier
>> locked) XP3000 that uses DDR333 FSB.
>
>This seems complicated, multipler and voltage changes are possible,
>it's been running overclocked for at least 2 years now.
>I will check the motherboard itself tonight for markings, hopefully it
>will take FSB400 and I can go for a 3200+, 512k 400mhz FSB, if not I
>guess a new MB wouldn't be much, otherwise the 'upgrade' would be a
>little lame!

It won't do DDR400 FSB, only 200MHz (DDR400 as PC3200)
memory bus... but, on your board it's probably best to leave
memory bus at same speed as FSB.

I would not buy a new board to get DDR400 FSB... if you do
that it'd be better to get a more modern board instead of
socket A. The difference between DDR400 and 333 is an
impact on performance but not as significant as most other
factors. It might be good to just add the memory and (if
beneficial) a newer HDD then go from there, since these two
things are useful either way.


>
>This is with the view to totally build a new machine possibly next
>year, who knows what the prices will like for the high end stuff then!

High end parts prices will be about the same as now, as the
high end is not based on much except what the market will
bear and to a lesser extent availability/yields. If
anything the high-end keeps slowing going up in price
gradually.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2005 8:49:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

On 30 Aug 2005 07:12:10 -0700, "Jonny Barr"
<jabjuice@gmail.com> wrote:

>Thanks Kony!
>
>One last question!
>I *think* this is my motherboard:
>http://www.abit-usa.com/products/mb/products.php?catego...
>Why does it not mention 333Mhz FSB ?

Probably because there were no CPUs with FSB higher than
133MHz (DDR266) at the time of it's release. Do not use the
term "333MHz FSB" as that is not correct and confusing.
Unfortunately even Abit made this mistake on their page with
reference to a Duron with "200Mhz" FSB which should also
have read "DDR200" instead.

Check your bios for frequency settings, see how high they
go. Even KT333 itself could run 166MHz/DDR333 FSB, though
on KT333 it put the AGP out of spec due to a PCI divider
issue that, IIRC, was fixed with KT400. However, KT400
still had a somewhat picky memory controller, you might find
it more likely stable with only 2 memory modules at 166MHz
memory bus speed, not so likely you can fill all slots and
run at 200MHz/PC3200 speed (though you could of course still
use PC3200 memory at 166MHz/PC2700 speed, which is what I
would do.

As for what limits Abit artificially imposed though, you'll
have to check that yourself in the bios menus. I'd expect
it would allow "trying" settings up to 200MHz/DDR400 FSB
even though it's not expected to be stable at that DDR400
FSB setting in some configs- is certainly not guaranteed
AFAIK.


>You've confused me a little with "DDR400 FSB". FSB (Front Side Bus??)
>is in MHz, DDR relates to the RAM?

MHz should be used to refer to clock rate. FSB on that
board uses a Double Date Rate, with a clock rate of (133MHz
for your present CPU), so your FSB is currently 133MHz, * 2
(as a Double Data Rate, not double clock rate) = DDR266, not
266MHz.

>And DDR400 supports PC3200 yes?! I presume there's some sort of
>correlation worth matching here... Confusion surrounds me like that
>musty smell from my local bar.

A DDR400 FSB would be running synchronous with 200MHz memory
bus clock rate. Since the memory bus also (happens to be)
is Double Data Rate, it would be DDR400, except that most
vendors refer to it as PC3200.


>
>Anyway! Taking this motherboard, will it support the following?
>AMD Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2GHz 333FSB 512KB Cache OEM
>CORSAIR 1GB PC3200 DDR 400 RAM 1 GB 1024MB (512MB x 2)
>
>Looks like a reasonable if so!

Yes that would work, though IIRC they now have a locked
multiplier (unlike the Mobile Barton) so you might have very
limited overclocking potential if that's important, only
whatever headroom is left in the FSB and memory.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 31, 2005 12:56:56 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

In article <JaidneK3-9Uc9I7eRVnyhw@eclipse.net.uk>, Derek Baker says...
> "Conor" <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1d7d6d87d2c72e9c98a985@news.individual.net...
> > In article <gua6h1h8po7gik11a91ij9ks01docb6a95@4ax.com>, kony says...
> >
> >> Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
> >> be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
> >> CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
> >> choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.
> >>
> > For Socket 939 boards with AGP, you'll be looking at the Via KT800
> > chipset ones.
> >
> >
>
> There are nForce 3 powered motherboard, for example the MSI K8N Neo2
> Platinum
>
Socket 939?


--
Conor

"You're not married, you haven't got a girlfriend and you've never seen
Star Trek? Good Lord!" - Patrick Stewart, Extras.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
a b V Motherboard
August 31, 2005 1:00:30 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

"Conor" <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d7eca5fb700d08998a996@news.individual.net...
> In article <JaidneK3-9Uc9I7eRVnyhw@eclipse.net.uk>, Derek Baker says...
>> "Conor" <conor.turton@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:MPG.1d7d6d87d2c72e9c98a985@news.individual.net...
>> > In article <gua6h1h8po7gik11a91ij9ks01docb6a95@4ax.com>, kony says...
>> >
>> >> Yes, there are some. If your proposed 3400+ is socket 754,
>> >> be aware that will limit any potential to later upgrade the
>> >> CPU, moreso than socket 939 would, but there are more
>> >> choices in skt 754 boards with AGP slot.
>> >>
>> > For Socket 939 boards with AGP, you'll be looking at the Via KT800
>> > chipset ones.
>> >
>> >
>>
>> There are nForce 3 powered motherboard, for example the MSI K8N Neo2
>> Platinum
>>
> Socket 939?
>
>


Socket 754 as I meant to say.
--
Derek
!