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Help! - inherited PC&need to know components for upgrade

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April 24, 2006 9:31:34 PM

I recently inherited a PC from a family friend, but don't know what components are in the case (I'm not to savvy on the building side of things).

Is there anyway I can find out EXACTLY what components I have so that I can buy the right parts to do an upgrade.

What I do know is that:
-it's a HP (on the label)
-with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU (from properties window in "My Computer")
-504 MB ram (dont know what version, got that from same window)
-75.5 GB hard drive (Barracuda 7200.7 Ultra ATA/100 7200rpm - Googled the serial number I got from right clicking on the C: and going to properties)

I would like to prep this PC to play games like The Sims 2 (very important) and SimCity 4 (both with best resolution settings), and give it to the girlfriend.

I think it has an onboard video setup, so I will probably need a card (dont know if PCI express or what - how do I figure that?), more ram (dont know what Mhz), another hard drive (I suppose I need a Ultra ATA compatible one). It has an onboard sound card.

Will this P4 actually run games like The Sims 2 with max resolution settings, AND NO LAGS( :evil:  ) when zooming in and out?

Thanks guys. Any help will be great. Really appreciate it.

FishBoi
April 24, 2006 9:56:54 PM

The fact that you have 504mb RAM instead of 512mb means that 8mb is (almost certainly) being used up by onboard video, which, again almost certainly, won't be able to play Sims 2 on any sort of res, let alone highest.

Luckily you should be able to use at least an AGP graphics card, if not PCI-E. For Sims 2, minimum is really ATi Radeon 9250. The lowest card I've had it running on is an AGP Radeon 9200 64mb, however I'd reccommend something a little faster, say Radeon 9800 (as you can probably get one fairly cheap) or one of the newer Radeon cards.

You'll also need to expand your RAM, 512mb is the bare minimum, you should put another 512mb in to make it a round gigabyte. This will give you ample headroom for Sims 2 and also is a fairly cheap upgrade, around £30 in the UK and probably about $30 in the US.
Related resources
April 24, 2006 10:03:28 PM

Hi MesaRectifier,

I actually posted that link as I got your reply. Thanks for the info. It's really useful. If you look at the specs provided in the link, what would you recommend with respect to the card? Are you sure that 1GB of RAM will be sufficient (I can go higher). How much do you think an upgrade will cost here.

THANKS!

:o 
April 24, 2006 10:06:44 PM

MesaRectifier,

One thing I also noticed here was that the PC only has 180W in power (4th cell from the bottom on the page). Is that a problem?

With these new graphics cards, will that power supply handle it?

Thanks!

8)
April 24, 2006 10:21:55 PM

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, fishboi, but that PC isn't going to be able to take the Sims 2.

The first problem is the power supply - 180w isn't nearly enough for anything these days, and would need to be replaced.

The second problem is the case, which is small form factor. These cases require special dimension graphics boards which are really only available as options when you buy the machine - as a retrofit item they are nearly impossible to obtain.

The third problem is that the motherboard in that machine only takes PCI graphics cards - not PCI-E or AGP, so no chance of any real graphics performance.

Again, bad luck, but if you get a new motherboard, case and PSU you can still save the everything else, though I don't know if it's worth it to you, that's your decision.
April 24, 2006 10:43:08 PM

That is such a pity :(  , but thank you for your help. Much appreciated. I guess I will have to just go with buying a new PC.

Chat to you soon.

FishBoi
April 24, 2006 10:56:20 PM

Quote:
That is such a pity :(  , but thank you for your help. Much appreciated. I guess I will have to just go with buying a new PC.

Chat to you soon.

FishBoi


Would you consider building one? By building, you won't have power supply problems if you want to add a graphics card. You can choose every component, so you can choose name brands, rather than the no-name brand crap that Dell and HP put in their comptuers. If you give me a budget, I'll make a list of components.

-Ducky
April 24, 2006 11:11:12 PM

Yes that P4 is a decent chip and the ram and the HD you would just need a case,mobo,PS,video card ! good situation to be in realy :) 

Edit: err I would add some ram too :p 
April 24, 2006 11:17:57 PM

You may have some luck with ATI 9600se. I think it comes in pci and a half slot other then that theres NV fx5500. The fx are crap and the 9600se isn't that much better but thats what you get in pci. Both will play sims 2 but not max. Check Ebay and you might get a real good deal[ 20-30] on a card like those. Does intel make pci-e boards in that socket? If so a x1300 would be nice and all you need is a new mobo. 1gb is nice but if set up right you only need 512mb. If you can get a 1gb.
April 25, 2006 12:14:15 AM

Quote:
Yes that P4 is a decent chip and the ram and the HD you would just need a case,mobo,PS,video card ! good situation to be in realy :) 

Edit: err I would add some ram too :p 


Another 512MB of RAM. The P4 is a fine chip which won't bottleneck the graphics card. I don't think you'll be able to find a board for that chip with PCIe, so you'll have to get something AGP. A 6600GT would be nice.
April 25, 2006 12:51:51 PM

Hi Ducky,

Actually I've already put a list of all the components I would like to buy and build the machine myself. I was going to get a new one, but then came into this inherited PC. It's all the latest stuff and I've been doing some research for sometime now in deciding what to buy. I have put things on hold for now until AM2 comes out (not for performance, but more for future upgradeability) and will wait till then.

And my gut says if I am going to wait till then, then I should rather wait till Conroe comes out as they expect a lot more performance. For now we'll see, but one thing I know - I'm going to put together a great machine and get that ATI 1900xt card so the girlfriend does not have to get so damn frustrated with The Sims 2.

Chat soon!

Update: I'll look into both the PCIe and the AGP mobos. Thanks guys!
April 25, 2006 12:54:13 PM

Jon,

Thanks for the thoughts. I would rather go with spending a few extra dollars and getting the latest stuff so at least it lasts for a while.

THANKS!
April 25, 2006 12:57:32 PM

Unsmart,

That's interesting. I will look into them making a PCIe mobo for this chipset. Then I could just replace the mobo, get some new ram and get a v-card.

Good idea! :lol: 
April 25, 2006 1:21:13 PM

So everyone,

I dug into the mobo situation. It appears that they only make AGP mobos for this socket (478): http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...|c:182|&Sort=0

BIG QUESTION: I assume I have socket 478. Could it be the P4 in socket 775? How can I find out. It's about 2 years old this PC.

And of the list of mobos, which one should I get. I guess an important question again is: will those mobos fit in this case and, if I get one of the cards you recommended, will my power supply take it?

And to conclude: What video card should I get to go with the new mobo?

Thanks guys! You're all very helpful.

Fishboi :lol: 
April 25, 2006 1:48:01 PM

Quote:
So everyone,

I dug into the mobo situation. It appears that they only make AGP mobos for this socket (478): http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...|c:182|&Sort=0

BIG QUESTION: I assume I have socket 478. Could it be the P4 in socket 775? How can I find out. It's about 2 years old this PC.

And of the list of mobos, which one should I get. I guess an important question again is: will those mobos fit in this case and, if I get one of the cards you recommended, will my power supply take it?

And to conclude: What video card should I get to go with the new mobo?

Thanks guys! You're all very helpful.

Fishboi :lol: 


To find out what socket the CPU is, download CPU-Z and run it. If the CPU is s478, you won't be able to find a PCIe board for it, and you're better off getting a new CPU and board. If the RAM is DDR400, you can reuse it on a s939AMD board.

For the new CPU, an s939 A64 3200+ Venice will do, and any name-brand, sub-$100 mobo will be fine. I like the DFI board that I have in my signature. Get another 512MB of Corsair Value Select; if there's 2x256 in there right now, get a new 2x512. You don't need a super powerful gfx card to play TS2; a 7600GT would do.
April 25, 2006 1:52:47 PM

You need to get PC Wizard This software is cool. I found it through Toms in one of their older articles and I've used it alot. It gives lots of info and also lets you do some overclocking.

Hope it Helps!
April 25, 2006 1:57:49 PM

Quote:
For the new CPU, an s939 A64 3200+ Venice will do, and any name-brand, sub-$100 mobo will be fine. I like the DFI board that I have in my signature. Get another 512MB of Corsair Value Select; if there's 2x256 in there right now, get a new 2x512. You don't need a super powerful gfx card to play TS2; a 7600GT would do.


Don't get a new CPU!! Your P4 2.8ghz is very much capable of running TS2, so you don't need a new CPU.

There are 3 things you need:

- New motherboard (either socket 775 or socket 478 depending on what CPU-Z comes up with)

- 512mb RAM to expand to a gigabyte

- New graphics card, either PCI-E or AGP, depending on the outcome of the CPU-Z test.

It shouldn't come to more than $200 and that would make a great system.
April 25, 2006 1:58:29 PM

Nope, that power supply will put the whole system at risk if you update just about anything. You will need to update the PSU first, then you can start plugging in new components. You'll probably need a 350 watt PSU to run what you want, so check out some name brand ones.
April 25, 2006 2:00:05 PM

Yup forgot to mention a new power supply and case :wink:

So the list is, Motherboard, RAM, Case/PSU, Graphics card.
April 25, 2006 3:35:42 PM

OK GUYS,

I have a plan and am pretty excited about it. I think what I’ll do is build a new PC combined with whatever I can siphon off this old one, and hopefully bridge the gap between now and when Conroe comes out & is in full swing, and has a large price drop.

I will need your HELP on this one, so please don’t be shy with your comments and thanks for being so patient with this fool. Here we go:

Case: P180 Silver Mid-Tower ($124)

Power supply: Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550, 550W Power Supply ($97)

Hard drive: Use the 75.5 GB hard drive (Barracuda 7200.7 Ultra ATA/100 7200rpm) I already have

Mobo: SO I RAN CPU-Z! Under CPU in the “package tab” it said “mPGA-478”. I then assume this is a 478 socket. I need a mobo that is Ulta-ATA compatible. What about this one: ABIT SR7-8X Pentium 4, Socket 478, ATX, 3GB DDR-SDRAM, 400/533MHz FSB (http://www.pcprogress.com/product.asp?PID=ABSR7-8X&m1=p...) at $46.

RAM: Use the 512MB I have, and buy another 512MB. In CPU-Z under memory it says “DDR 512 Dual” at “200MHz frequency” with “PC3200”. I assume then I have another 1 slot available on the mobo I selected, so I will go with the Kingston 512MB PC3200 DDR DIMM Memory (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...) at $46.

Video Card: Need your help deciding. Least expensive AGP card that will run Sims 2 PERFECTLY to go with the new mobo. I selected the 256MB eVGA GeForce FX5500 Video Card (http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A960277...). Any thoughts on this? $54

Processor: I’ll use the Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU I have

Monitor: It came with a HP 1730 (not a bad screen but 25ms response time). It will do.

Keyboard: Came with one and a mouse – wireless (nice)

DVD Rom: Only came with a CD burner so I will buy a new one that I can keep going forward. I chose this one (ND-3550A Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer – Black) = $43. I’ll also put in the CD burner as a bonus.

Total cost: $124+$97+$43+$46+$54+$41 = $410 (of which $146 will be discarded at year end)


Important questions:
-will the 550W power supply handle two Radeon x1900 xtx cards in Crossfire mode??? My first round of upgrades after I build this base PC will include a nice new mobo with one new Radeon x1900 card (and of course a new chip and RAM etc). I will put in a 2nd card in down the line in round 2, and JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE the power supply will support it now.
-WILL THE MOBO I SELECTED (2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors) WORK WITH THE BARRACUDA HARD DRIVE (Ultra-ATA)????
-Will this system run the Sims 2 perfectly?
-will there be any bottlenecks in the current base system? (this one worried me the most
-have I forgotten anything?

THANKS GUYS! This is so great. I really do appreciate all the help.

FishBoi
April 25, 2006 4:06:49 PM

GeForceFX cards aren't so great. I think you should try one of the newer GeForce cards if you want the perfect performance you are after, or one of the PCI-E Radeon cards.
April 25, 2006 4:22:29 PM

Socket 478 only comes with an AGP slot on them - so unfortunately I will have to go with a AGP card. They had mobos with 4X AGP, and I paid up and selected a 8X one. What are my options here?

What about this alternative (Sapphire Radeon 9250 Video Card): http://stores.tomshardware.com/search_techspecs_full.ph...

Thanks guys! :lol: 
April 25, 2006 4:42:19 PM

I've got a Radeon 9200 64mb on AGP8x that works pretty good with TS2. The extra RAM should make for even better performance than my card, and your CPU and RAM are faster and bigger.

The 9250 is cheap and has a lot of RAM, I think it's a good bet, but wait for some more opinions from people who have other cards also.
April 25, 2006 5:16:51 PM

Thanks MesaRectifier! :lol: 
April 26, 2006 1:45:44 PM

This looks like a good mobo. I'm not so up to speed on what a FSB is and how it works, memory latency and timings etc? I'll do some reading on it to understand it better.

If you have time, could you let me know briefly what this entails? Where are the most common bottlenecks in a system?

Thanks. I take it from the lack of response from others this forum has hit a brick wall. :(  . Oh well, your help is much appreciated. Thanks.
April 26, 2006 1:51:13 PM

FSB is the speed at which the RAM communicates with the system. It is written as a PC**** number, or something like DDR400.

DDR is double-data-rate - if the FSB is measured at 200mhz, it's DDR speed will be 400mhz - DDR400.

That's the basic gist. If you need more info I'm sure something like wikipedia will have more info.

The processor speed is decided by the FSB by a multiplier. If the FSB is 200mhz and your CPU speed is 2.8ghz, your multiplier is 14x.
April 26, 2006 2:33:35 PM

http://www.obm.co.nz/OBMNew/800x600/guides/ddrram.htm

Hope this is not too much info for you but it might help explain some memory settings for you.

Post a CPUZ verify link, might help us work something out for you.

Bottlenecks are commonly the graphics card followed by memory then the CPU and somethimes the power supply.

Cheapest option is to by an ati9250 or nvidia6200 or 5500 for a small form factor case. Something like this with an optional case bracket supplied.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
April 26, 2006 3:26:19 PM

I wouldn't recommend this board because the price seems too high, but just FYI, you can get a Socket 478 board with a PCIe x16 slot:
MSI 915GM
April 26, 2006 7:58:04 PM

WOW guys. I think I would have more luck learning Coptic. This all seems very complicated to me. But assuming I choose not to overclock, and I buy components and check their specifications first before hand (ie. make sure the mobo can take DDR333Mhz vs DDR666Mhz), then I should be ok if I use the BIOS to automatically detect the settings. I've heard of bottlenecks but wasnt sure what these were and when they occur. I'll have to do more research.

In general, will this approach be ok? When you mentioned graphics card bottle necks - does that occur when you put in a newer card into a mobo that cant handle it, and then you dont actually get the performance you desire - only the max performance your mobo can allow? How do you avoid this? (ie. I buy a Radeon x1900 XTX card and try put it into 478 mobo with PCIe capabilties with the intention of moving it to the new PC later on, but the mobo only has a certain output of XXX%). How do I find that out?

I hope this makes sense. Confusing *$&^%it. Thanks.
April 26, 2006 8:11:53 PM

Quote:
OK GUYS,

I have a plan and am pretty excited about it. I think what I’ll do is build a new PC combined with whatever I can siphon off this old one, and hopefully bridge the gap between now and when Conroe comes out & is in full swing, and has a large price drop.

I will need your HELP on this one, so please don’t be shy with your comments and thanks for being so patient with this fool. Here we go:

Case: P180 Silver Mid-Tower ($124)

Power supply: Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550, 550W Power Supply ($97)

Hard drive: Use the 75.5 GB hard drive (Barracuda 7200.7 Ultra ATA/100 7200rpm) I already have

Mobo: SO I RAN CPU-Z! Under CPU in the “package tab” it said “mPGA-478”. I then assume this is a 478 socket. I need a mobo that is Ulta-ATA compatible. What about this one: ABIT SR7-8X Pentium 4, Socket 478, ATX, 3GB DDR-SDRAM, 400/533MHz FSB (http://www.pcprogress.com/product.asp?PID=ABSR7-8X&m1=p...) at $46.

RAM: Use the 512MB I have, and buy another 512MB. In CPU-Z under memory it says “DDR 512 Dual” at “200MHz frequency” with “PC3200”. I assume then I have another 1 slot available on the mobo I selected, so I will go with the Kingston 512MB PC3200 DDR DIMM Memory (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...) at $46.

Video Card: Need your help deciding. Least expensive AGP card that will run Sims 2 PERFECTLY to go with the new mobo. I selected the 256MB eVGA GeForce FX5500 Video Card (http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A960277...). Any thoughts on this? $54

Processor: I’ll use the Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU I have

Monitor: It came with a HP 1730 (not a bad screen but 25ms response time). It will do.

Keyboard: Came with one and a mouse – wireless (nice)

DVD Rom: Only came with a CD burner so I will buy a new one that I can keep going forward. I chose this one (ND-3550A Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer – Black) = $43. I’ll also put in the CD burner as a bonus.

Total cost: $124+$97+$43+$46+$54+$41 = $410 (of which $146 will be discarded at year end)


Important questions:
-will the 550W power supply handle two Radeon x1900 xtx cards in Crossfire mode??? My first round of upgrades after I build this base PC will include a nice new mobo with one new Radeon x1900 card (and of course a new chip and RAM etc). I will put in a 2nd card in down the line in round 2, and JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE the power supply will support it now.
-WILL THE MOBO I SELECTED (2 x Ultra DMA 33/66/100/133 Connectors) WORK WITH THE BARRACUDA HARD DRIVE (Ultra-ATA)????
-Will this system run the Sims 2 perfectly?
-will there be any bottlenecks in the current base system? (this one worried me the most
-have I forgotten anything?

THANKS GUYS! This is so great. I really do appreciate all the help.

FishBoi


Don't spend so much on the case and power supply. A GeForce 6600GT AGP would be perfect for the rest of those components. I'd suggest just keeping the current hard drive. If you give me your budget, I'll give you a list with a case/psu, motherboard, RAM, and video card.
April 26, 2006 8:16:11 PM

This exlpains it better: http://www.itworld.com/Comp/1961/040930intelfastbus/

Quote: Most chip designers feel that the once the clock speed of the processor exceeds four or five times the speed of the front-side bus, the processor is charging ahead of the bus and wasting time waiting for the bus to feed it data, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst with Mercury Research Inc. in Cave Creek, Arizona.

So if I understand this correctly, the CPU/FSB multiplier should be around 4-5X. How does this work with X2 chips? What is your MHz used as the numerator? If you have a 2.2GHz X2 (dual core) and a 800Mhz FSB, do you actually say 2.2/0.8 to get your multiplier, or do you use (2.2*2)/0.8 to get it.

Interesting.
April 26, 2006 8:22:54 PM

Quote:
This exlpains it better: http://www.itworld.com/Comp/1961/040930intelfastbus/

Quote: Most chip designers feel that the once the clock speed of the processor exceeds four or five times the speed of the front-side bus, the processor is charging ahead of the bus and wasting time waiting for the bus to feed it data, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst with Mercury Research Inc. in Cave Creek, Arizona.

So if I understand this correctly, the CPU/FSB multiplier should be around 4-5X. How does this work with X2 chips? What is your MHz used as the numerator? If you have a 2.2GHz X2 (dual core) and a 800Mhz FSB, do you actually say 2.2/0.8 to get your multiplier, or do you use (2.2*2)/0.8 to get it.

Interesting.


I have a 2.2GHz A64 (single core). To find the multiplier, I divide the 2200MHz (1GHz=1000MHz) by the 200MHz FSB, and I get a multiplier of 11. Using that 11 multiplier, if I raise the FSB to 250, I'll have a 2750MHz (or 2.75GHz) chip. Can you please give your budget so that I can give you the list of parts?
April 26, 2006 8:31:41 PM

I see. So the FSB multiplier is fixed. If you overclock the FSB speed, you actually increase the speed of your processor. Interesting.

So do you multiply the 2.2GHz in a dual core by 2, and then go 4400/200?

I have a budget of around $500. Not to worry about the other parts - I will keep the good case and power supply for the future.

THANKS!
April 26, 2006 8:39:19 PM

Quote:
I see. So the FSB multiplier is fixed. If you overclock the FSB speed, you actually increase the speed of your processor. Interesting.

So do you multiply the 2.2GHz in a dual core by 2, and then go 4400/200?

I have a budget of around $500. Not to worry about the other parts - I will keep the good case and power supply for the future.

THANKS!


If you have a dual-core, you find the multiplier by dividing the speed of one of the cores by the FSB. Just because it's 2.2x2 doesn't mean that you get 4.4GHz. I wish I could tell you why, but I don't know. Perhaps someone else could answer that question.

As far as I understand, you'll be keeping the CPU, hard drive, RAM, and replacing everything else. RIght? I'll post the list of components soon.

-Ducky
April 26, 2006 8:41:39 PM

I think I may be getting the hang of this. So for example, the FSB on this mobo is 1GHz: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

If my chip is 2.2Ghz dual core (need to confirm my previous question about how you calculate total GHz in dual), the multiplier is 2.2, which is pretty good the (ie. <5).

How do you calculate total MHz with DDR2 ram. Assuming it is 533Mhz. Does this mean the 533Mhz<FSB 1000MHz, and then this is ok????

Thanks for the patience. I am such a tool.
April 26, 2006 8:42:28 PM

Quote:
Is the FSB part of the CPU or mobo??

The new AMD chips have a bus speed of 2GHz. Is that something different?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Category/catego...


The FSB is part of the motherboard; it's the connection between the CPU and RAM.

AMD chips don't use a conventional FSB; they use HTT (Hyper Transport Tech; not to be confused with Intel's Hyper Threading). I'm not quite sure as to how HTT works, and why the speed of the "FSB" is still shown as 200MHz for my 3700+ in CPU-Z. Again, someone else can probably answer these questions.

-Ducky
April 26, 2006 8:44:20 PM

Quote:
I think I may be getting the hang of this. So for example, the FSB on this mobo is 1GHz: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

If my chip is 2.2Ghz dual core (need to confirm my previous question about how you calculate total GHz in dual), the multiplier is 2.2, which is pretty good the (ie. <5).

How do you calculate total MHz with DDR2 ram. Assuming it is 533Mhz. Does this mean the 533Mhz<FSB 1000MHz, and then this is ok????

Thanks for the patience. I am such a tool.


The FSB to RAM speed relationship is something that I don't understand, along with HTT. Can someone else answer these questions?
April 26, 2006 8:46:42 PM

What is the difference between FSB and CPU bus speed then?
April 26, 2006 8:53:59 PM

FSB is Front Side Bus - i.e. Bus speed (for short)
April 26, 2006 8:59:28 PM

Because if you look at the AMD FX chips, they have a bus speed of 2000MHz. If you look a the Asus mobo A8n32, it had a FSB of 1000MHz. What the heck does this then mean (ie. what are the implications?)
April 26, 2006 9:08:55 PM

That's the HyperTransport bus, which is something totally different that I'll let someone else explain as I'll probably get something wrong - not booksmart on HTT :wink:
April 27, 2006 2:39:56 AM

Quote:
I wouldn't recommend this board because the price seems too high, but just FYI, you can get a Socket 478 board with a PCIe x16 slot:
MSI 915GM

That MoBo is for the pentium mobile cpu. not the regular P4
Intel Pentium M (Dothan / Banias)

Albatron has one that suite's the regular P4 and so does Asus, but are very difficult and rare to find.

http://www.albatron.com.tw/english/it/mb/specification....
http://www.thetechguide.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php...

http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=12&l3=230&mo...
http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=12&l3=27&mod...
http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?l1=3&l2=12&l3=158&mo...
April 27, 2006 2:41:58 PM

Datman,

Solid find, thanks! :lol:  I'm going to look into all these over the weekend when I have more time.

I did some homework on the whole FSB multiplier question. I guess what I can gather at this stage is that you divide the CPU Mhz by the FSB and get the multiplier. That multiplier should be below 5 to be running smoothly and allow you system to run properly (not fact - assumptions here for whoever picks up on this forum).

This multiplier then has some relationship with the RAM Mhz that I dont understand. But what that basically means is that you should install a RAM dim with a certain speed to maximize your RAM capacity (the equation must have an optimal point - logic tells you that). Although you may be buying 800Mhz RAM vs 333MHz RAM, your multiplier will ultimately determine if it is worth spending more money to get the faster RAM, because you may not get all the benefit out of it - and this is just standard installation - we'll discuss overclocking some other time.

Surely there are built in plug-and-play systems that sort this out (adjustments)?

And again, anyone know how the HTT bus works?

Chat soon guys! :roll:
!