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CPU, mobo, RAM upgrade? worth it?

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March 14, 2006 12:43:09 AM

Hi all
I have a socket 478 p4 3.2Ghz Northwood
Asus P4C800-E Deluxe
512MBx2 Kingston HyperX pc4000
Antec 420W
6800GT AGP

and I'm thinking on upgrading but wondering if what I'm thinking on getting would be better or not among other things...I'm looking at getting:

Asus P5WD2
socket 775 pentium D 920 (2.8Ghz)
1GBx2 DDR2
6800 GS PCI-E

Would this be a improvement? how much?
Is it worth getting DDR 667, or would DDR 533 be enough?
Would my power supply be good enough?

I only play RTS games on occassion
I have a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 500 which I record a lot of stuff and cut up clips
I do a lot of programming
and DVD ripping
Are the pentium D's 2 cores both at 2.8, 3, 3.2...Ghz a piece? or do they add up to a 2.8 or whatever when together?

any responses and suggestions are appriciated
March 14, 2006 12:48:35 AM

I'd up it to a 950. The 9xx architecture is faster than the Northwood, but the lower clock speed may remove the advantages of the platform. Dual core can do encoding better - in some cases - but clock speed is king everywhere else except programming since compilers are usually multithreaded. Tom has a good CPU comparison with all Intel chips.

I'll see if I can find it.
March 14, 2006 1:04:41 AM

You're talking about replacing an apple for an apple. But configurations are very similar. The only thing you really are doing is doubling you memory (which is really great).
I think you should keep the current set up and double you ram. Maybe think about The 7800gs agp. it's the current fastest agp card. you wont see a large improvent from the video card but it will had shader 3.0 which will give you help in the years ahead.
If you really want to go for a new system then think about a amd64 4000 or higher. A SLI motherboard would be good.(even if you dont get two cards now, it will allow u to in the future.) And pci-express will allow you to go for the gold on video card. The 7900gt is only 366.00 and a fast card.
As far a cpu goes. You wanna replace them when they are really hindering your performance. What you got now is a very fast chip. True is isnt the fastest and it isnt duel core. But so what.
I would upgrade what you have in memory. Maybe also the video card. But not the whole system unless money is no object.
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March 14, 2006 1:10:56 AM

it's a $400 difference between a 920 and 950
I figured with a 920 the lower multiplier would let me get it up to the 3-3.2 range without a problem, but I'm runnning my 3.2 at 3.68 right now...the difference between standard and OC speeds though really aren't that noticable in most cases unless it's a benchmark type thing so I figured it wasn't too big of deal.
And thought the newer platform, and the 2MB cache , and dual core instead of HT would make a huge difference but I really didn't know thats why I came here
March 14, 2006 1:21:32 AM

The video card isn't a big deal to me right now, I've had the 6800GT for about a year and have no issue with it, the only reason I even bought it was because I broke my Ti 4200 putting a cooler on it.

I guess I was under the impression that AMD 64's were more for gaming and the intel's had a lil' lead in encoding and normal apps...and I thought the 64 X 2's were quite a bit more expensive then the pentium D's were.

And if I were to get a new setup, I could sell my current setup for about $400 to my family and would be able to keep my DVDRW, HDD's, PSU, and tuner card.

doubling my current RAM would be a $250 investment it didn't seem worth it.
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March 15, 2006 11:18:34 PM

No point in upgrading that system. If you wanted a faster video card there's a 7800GS AGP...

You have a powerful processor, the one you're considering is actually slower for gaming. As for multitasking, you mentioned recording TV, but you could get a hardware-encoded card to take the load off the CPU and eliminate most of the "dual core advantage"
March 15, 2006 11:21:40 PM

my tuner has a onboard hardware encoder already, it just seems like when I go back and edit the video clips it takes forever.
March 17, 2006 3:19:58 PM

no point at all? Or would getting some more RAM be useful?
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March 17, 2006 11:29:48 PM

I didn't notice how much you had, but video conversion is a huge memory hog, so I'd shoot for 2GB if you don't have that already.
March 17, 2006 11:40:21 PM

I only have 1GB right now.
March 18, 2006 12:42:04 AM

Wait for Conroe and 965 chipset
a b à CPUs
March 18, 2006 1:05:45 AM

Quote:
Hi all
I have a socket 478 p4 3.2Ghz Northwood
Asus P4C800-E Deluxe
512MBx2 Kingston HyperX pc4000
Antec 420W
6800GT AGP

and I'm thinking on upgrading but wondering if what I'm thinking on getting would be better or not among other things...I'm looking at getting:

Asus P5WD2
socket 775 pentium D 920 (2.8Ghz)
1GBx2 DDR2
6800 GS PCI-E

Would this be a improvement? how much?
Is it worth getting DDR 667, or would DDR 533 be enough?
Would my power supply be good enough?

I only play RTS games on occassion
I have a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 500 which I record a lot of stuff and cut up clips
I do a lot of programming
and DVD ripping
Are the pentium D's 2 cores both at 2.8, 3, 3.2...Ghz a piece? or do they add up to a 2.8 or whatever when together?

any responses and suggestions are appriciated


Id wait for Conroe and AM2 and maybe get a cheap s939 system (or Intel), PCIe based, cause currently your northwood will do for a bit longer.
March 18, 2006 1:24:35 AM

Going from HT to dual core that is bandwidth starved is not a gain. Lowering chip speed is a true lose.
Get more ram, for now, and wait till the new chips come out. You should be fine for another year.
BTW, at this point Amd is better for compiling and gaming. An equally priced Amd will generally even split encoding benches.
The dual core Amd chips beat the equally priced Intel DC chips, right across the board.
That may all change by this time next year. In any even, we should see major improvements in the next twelve months.
March 18, 2006 1:24:58 AM

Ummm, there's one component that I believe overlooked in all this.

The HDD...

I went from a Maxtor 80Gb 7200 RPM PATA 133 44mins to a WD Raptor 36Gb 10k RPM SATA 15 mins for exactly the same stream and all other hardware the same.

And the current generation Raptors are even faster than mine! I would suggest looking at 2gb of memory and a Raptor. :) 
March 18, 2006 1:29:51 AM

I have a 7200 120GB IDE
and a 300GB sata 7200 rpm 16mb cache
March 18, 2006 1:33:32 AM

Ah, alright, then you aren't hurting too much for drive performance off that SATA. Though I would still give a tip of the hat to the Raptors, the extra rotation speed does help move the data about.

EDIT: I don't use the Raptor for storage, I use it as my OS/working drive. Just put the data on it temporarily.
March 18, 2006 3:02:29 AM

sounds great altho it would be wiser to wait for conroe
March 18, 2006 10:30:42 AM

DrSatan,

For playing RTS games you will not notice any difference at all between the 6600GT and the 7800GTX. So, considering that you don't have the mania of 3DMark(and other 3D benchmarking) scores, you will find no use of the better and much more expencive graphics card during the programming, encoding, recording and ripiping.
I think that 2GB of RAM are not necessary yet, but will become when Windows Vista will be released. If you want a lot of memory concerned tasks running on your dual core chip, you will find the additional GB usefull.
My opinion for what you are doing is that the dual core K8 configuration will do the job better and for the same or less money that you are going to spend for the Pentium D 920, 2GB of DDR2 667 and LGE775 mainboard.
For less money you can buy aditional 2x512MB Kingston HyperX pc4000 for the new one and any cheap 2x512MB PC3200 for the old system that you are currently using. The low latency 128bit DDR on the K8 delivers more memory bandwidth than the DDR2 on the P4, and you will have more budget to invest in the CPU. That would be the dual core AMD Opteron(Denmark) s939 2GHz that overperforms PD920, works more stable, and is easy overclockable like the RAM you allready have. I will recomend you to put that stuff on the DFI LanParty NF4 mainboard.
What about an aditional 300GB sata 7200RPM 16MB and a RAID stripe?
March 18, 2006 12:09:34 PM

I would stick with your current setup, The other is more a sideways move than an upgrade. The new platforms that are yet to be realesed would be better to upgrade to once the are out for a while and settled. That's my thoughts anyway.
March 18, 2006 1:07:58 PM

Leave it alone, other than more RAM.
I use a WinFast PVR also, but I don't edit anything with it, just recording. I use WinDVD Creator to edit and it doesn't take long at all, granted, my system isn't an X2 64, but it only takes about 11 minutes to DVD Shrink a DVD.
With new stuff coming I haven't seen any reason to upgrade my rig, although I do have a 939 pin my current rig is fun, no volt mods yet, maybe today.
Squeeze all you can outta your's, in a few months the new stuff will be out and choices will be much clearer, meaning not planning your next system on BS Press releases.
March 18, 2006 2:19:30 PM

If I were you, I would save my money and wait a while longer before major upgrading. The 920 has 2 cores and more cache per core, but has a lower clock than what you currently have.

On cache hungry applications (like Doom III) the increase in cache roughly offsets the decrease in clock, and the improvement is virtually nil.

There may be an improvement in multi-threaded apps but I have not seen the comparison.

For most of the current applications that are still single threaded, the new system would actually be slower.

I have been seeing more applications that benefit from a 2nd gig of RAM than multi-threading - more RAM would be the most cost effective upgrade.

If your machine is currently performing to you satifaction, do nothing.
March 18, 2006 3:18:15 PM

The dual core would help with multitasking.. as well the difference between a 920 oc'ed to 3.2 and your old processor would be very minor in gaming. The added memory would be a good upgrade... BTW are you selling that 6800gt?? AGP i assume :?:
March 18, 2006 3:59:37 PM

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...
That Upgrade Would Be Stupid , You WILL See Less Frame Rate With Your New System In Some Games Like F.E.A.R. ( 6800GT is ~20% Faster Than 6800GS )
I Say Stick With Your Rig , Only Memory Upgrading and Maybe a 7800GS :twisted:
March 18, 2006 7:29:33 PM

You have a very good socket 478 rig there. The presler is a overclocking monster, DDR2 is good for the future. But Yah, CONROE! I'd wait for a mobo that is confirmed to work with conroe and get a $135 805 to use untill you can get a E6700.
March 18, 2006 9:16:34 PM

the 6800GT is agp, and I had thought about selling it if I went through with it, but don't really know where to sell it at.

Would the raid stripe be useful? I could get another 300GB matching drive for a little over $100.

And what's so special about this Conroe? I keep seeing stuff about it supposedly being so sweet, but haven't ever seen any justification on why.
March 18, 2006 9:36:45 PM

Quote:
the 6800GT is agp, and I had thought about selling it if I went through with it, but don't really know where to sell it at.

Would the raid stripe be useful? I could get another 300GB matching drive for a little over $100.

And what's so special about this Conroe? I keep seeing stuff about it supposedly being so sweet, but haven't ever seen any justification on why.

RAID offers greater data safety and performance.
With RAID two or more disks can work as one, writing or reading different or same data at once. With a stripe of the two disks you will achieve almost double of the bandwidth of one.

Special about Conroe is its architecture and as a result of it its performances and low-power consumation. I guess it will be the best and the most valuable choice when it arives.
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March 18, 2006 10:11:01 PM

Intel is replacing the P4, which always had performance problem, with an enhanced version of the PIII. That brings them closer in line with what AMD offers.

The enhancements Intel has applied are vast, the new processor actually outperforms AMD's current offerings. You'll get enhanced performance at less than half the power consumption.
!