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possible upgrade...

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March 6, 2006 1:40:39 AM

I have an old Dell dimension 4550 with a P4 @2.4ghz with an Intel 845PE motherboard (socket 478) that I would like to upgrade as much as I can.
Everything else:

250watt psu (can't replace because of case)
1,280 mb ram (origional 256 166mhz mb and Kingston 333mhz 1gb stick)
GeForce MX 420 (feel free to laugh)
60gb Hard drive.

I did my homework and noticed that I can upgrade the CPU to a 3.06ghz with HT technology at maximum, but I don't know if my psu will be able to handle it when I install my BFG 6200 OC. I also have updated my bios to version A08 (don't know if that will help) Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

More about : upgrade

March 6, 2006 2:13:30 AM

I doubt your PSU can handle both of those.
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March 6, 2006 7:58:47 AM

I had a 4550 and Im going to say it will be fine, the 6200 isnt exactly power hungry.

Two points, The limit on the 4550 is 1gb ram I would take the 256mb module out.

2nd, the 4550 motherboard will support a p4 3.06 but not with hyperthreading. To support hyperthreadint the FSB has to be capable of 800mhz the 4550 will only go up to 533mhz.

You are not going to see much of a performance increase going from a 2.4 to a 2.8 or 3.06 and is probably not really worth it.

The p4 3.06 is probably also now expensive as they are rare and in demand by people you want to get the best they can on the old technology.

You will see the biggest improvement if you game from a decent graphics card rather than cpu. its AGP 4x but that does not really matter get a 9800 pro or 6800gs as the best for an old system.

Dell psus are rated at continous watts hence 250w, high street psus are rated at maximum watts. A dell 250w is the same as a highstreet 345w psu.
March 6, 2006 8:49:19 AM

A 350watt psu should be able to hack it. Better yet get an sli psu for future proof. :D 
March 6, 2006 6:02:57 PM

Thanks for all of the help. Those websites are really helpful cuz I couldn't find dell replacement psu's rated higher than mine.

Why should I take the 256 module out?? the board registers it and uses it(I think)

I also thought that the 3.06ghz cpu would work because it has a 533mhz fsb and that's the max my motherboard can handle?

3.06ghz

I couldn't find this on newegg, but on pricegrabber. I checked out Intel's site and saw that the 845PE motherboard should support HT technology.
March 6, 2006 7:07:42 PM

Ok my bad on the hypertreading on the 533 bus, the p4 3.06 was the only one to offer it thats why I didnt think they did it.

Check the system properties in windows about the ram, but dell definatly says the limit is 1gb.

I still dont think you will see much of an increase in performance getting the 3.06 unless you do video encoding.

But any how the psu should be ok as dell sold the 3.06 with that psu in the first place.
March 6, 2006 7:16:58 PM

Well, about the ram. The book says that it will only work with 2x512 mb sticks 2700(333mhz) at max. But for Xmas, I got a 1gb stick @333mhz and it worked. When I added the stick, I then removed the 256 and it worked. Then I tried the 256 along with the one gb and it accepted it.

both times the bios said "new memory amount" and booted normally, but faster than before with the 256. Windows also recognizes the amount as 1.25 gb ram (dunno if that includes the 256 stick). The other thing is that the 256 module is running at 166mhz, even though we ordered 333mhz with the PC package. So I don't know what to make of everything. I think the board can handle 2 gb so that may be why it works. Correct me if i'm wrong.

I understand that it won't be a big improvement going from a 2.4 to a 3.06 and I see your point. Besides, I only do gaming a little and the graphics card upgrade should be good. Plus I am going to eventually build my own rig with an AMD cpu so it's all good.
March 6, 2006 7:38:14 PM

Ok fair enough, if it works I will not argue I never tried as it said it was a 1gb limit i just built a new computer.

The ram will be the same speeds the 166mhz is just the single data speed
as its ddr double it so 166x2=333mhz the same speed as your other module, nothing to worry about.
March 6, 2006 7:58:03 PM

Yeah, I can't explain the 256 plus 1gb modules, but they work and that's all that matters. I never thought of the DDR meaning with the 166mhz. I just assumed that it would say the actual speed like the 1gb stick does. Like I said, I was surprised that the 1gb stick worked cuz of what the book said, and was further surprised at the 256 module with the new stick.

Nice rig. I will probably get all of my money set up by the beginning of the summer so I can then get my parts for my pc.

It's gonna be:
-AMD +4000 San Diego core
-1gb or 2gb ram
-Gigabyte PRO-SLI motherboard
-Antec TruePower 550 watt psu
-6800GS
-ThermalTake VB1000BWS Soprano ATX
March 6, 2006 10:45:05 PM

Quote:
Yeah, I can't explain the 256 plus 1gb modules, but they work and that's all that matters. I never thought of the DDR meaning with the 166mhz. I just assumed that it would say the actual speed like the 1gb stick does. Like I said, I was surprised that the 1gb stick worked cuz of what the book said, and was further surprised at the 256 module with the new stick.

Nice rig. I will probably get all of my money set up by the beginning of the summer so I can then get my parts for my pc.

It's gonna be:
-AMD +4000 San Diego core
-1gb or 2gb ram
-Gigabyte PRO-SLI motherboard
-Antec TruePower 550 watt psu
-6800GS
-ThermalTake VB1000BWS Soprano ATX


You can probably get a better video card for pretty cheap by then.
March 7, 2006 8:47:00 PM

Which card? The one that's going to be in my new computer? Or the 6200 OC for my DELL???

Instead of the 6200 OC I may get a different card that's in AGP form. Dunno what though.
March 7, 2006 9:16:11 PM

Well, it looks as though the BFG runs about $123.00 on Newegg. For a little more you could get a X1600PRO or for just a bit more than that you could get a 6600GT. Both would be better than the 6200OC. I would save a few bucks and go with the X1600PRO for the extra pipes, but the 6600GT does have faster memory speeds. Either one will be light years ahead of the GeForce MX420.
March 7, 2006 10:52:19 PM

Yup, the 6600GT is an excellent choice.
March 8, 2006 11:13:51 PM

Which card would be the best for my dell???

The ATI??

ATI cards @ newegg.com

OR the Nvidia??

Nvidia 6600GT models w/128mb @newegg.com

I looked at the 256 nVidia 6600GT but it required a Prescott cpu or something equal, and I have a Northwood... One of the 256 ATI cards seems to be the best choice for my dell and it has more pipelines. I also don't know if my motherboard has a power hookup for the card. (my current card doesn't have a cord) Any way, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
March 8, 2006 11:35:57 PM

Northwood is actually better than prescott, so thats fine. If you aren't obsessed with Shader Model 3, I would recommend the ATI X850XT on newegg. It about 170, and a really good card.
March 9, 2006 12:08:51 AM

But from what ive read, prescotts are the high end (LGA775) and northwoods are in the middle. the card requirements were an LGA775 cpu/prescott.. just look at the details.
March 9, 2006 12:26:42 AM

Yeah, but the Northwood is a much better processor overall than the Prescott, and is definately more than enough for your needs.

Those card requirements are pretty much pointless anyway. The card will work with Northwood, no problem. The card would work with a PIII, there just wouldn't be much point.
March 9, 2006 8:29:50 PM

I don't know if it requires a power cable. Because if it does, it won't work in my system. I checked it and all it has is a power jumper (dunno what that's for) and im sure that won't work... I really don't care about what the card includes. All I want is to buy it, and put it into my pc and play a game with decent detail. I don't need any extras like overclocking software or whatever. Plus ANYTHING would be better than my MX420. I don't want to spend over $170.
March 9, 2006 8:54:49 PM

I would say any one of these will fit your needs, though your powersupply pro bably can't handle the higher end ones.

As far as a cable, they all come with extension cables to use an existing molew connector, and you do have those.
March 9, 2006 11:58:00 PM

I think then I will still go with an X1600X. I don't think the GTO model would be the best because it requires alot of power and I don't have a powerful psu right now. I'm not sure about Nvidia.
March 10, 2006 1:41:25 AM

Can't help with NVida too much. I can tell you what I've read, but I haven't used one of their cards in a few years. I usually stick with ATI for the AIW cards.
May 7, 2006 6:58:32 PM

So did you ever get the x1600 and more importantly, did you get it to work?

I just bought a x1600 and a) it doesn't work for me (no signal to monitor) and a lot of internet searching has shown that the x1600 just doesn't work on a 4550.

I was wondering if you had better luck.

Thanks
Avram
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