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Making a 4yr old system fast!Plz add ur success stories too?

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August 9, 2006 12:25:14 PM

hey, so I have an old system that is based around a P4a Northwood 2.4GHz... bought in the summer of 2002. Yes, yes you read right. It is four years old lol.


So I need a new agp card because the old geforce 5200 U was crappy. I think pretty much any new agp video card from the geforce 6xxx to 7xxx family would be severely limited by the cpu. Am I right in assuming that these newer video cards will be severely limited?


I don't know exactly how it would be limited but thats just my assumption. Maybe somebody with a similiar setup could enlighten me? So what I did was I bought a new agp card and memory. Specifically I bought a geforce 6800GT (Smokin hot Leadtek 6800GT) and 2GB ram upgrade.


Any of you done anything similiar? What kind o performance you get on new things?


I'm betting my system will pull about 70% of the performance out of the RAM/6800GT, How much do you think it will pull out the performance? (Compared to a new system that would uses 100% of the new video card and ram)
August 9, 2006 1:01:27 PM

I'm thinking that my old system would be comparable to a new system with a geforce 6600?
August 9, 2006 1:07:55 PM

It will pull full performance out of it of course. The 2,4Ghz is enough to pass the recommended specs that games need. Maybe you can OC it?

But the 6800gt will work like it should on it.
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August 9, 2006 1:11:03 PM

You think that's bad? I have a 5yr old system, P4 1.3Ghz, Radeon 8500LE. Bleh!

Your CPU will meet the minimum and usually maximum of the system requirements for most games. You need not worry. 6800GT is a decent card but by no means high end. So of course you will see a big performance gain and CPU won't limit the graphics an unacceptable amount.
August 9, 2006 1:37:12 PM

I got a 2.6 Northwood and I had a geforce ti4400. Just upgraded for a x800xl and i can now play oblivion and titan quest without much stress. Only thing is I have 1 gb of ram and I don't think i want to invest any further, but you did the right thing in buying ram cuz ram and video card does 80% of the real job in games. GL with your new system, enjoy :D 
August 9, 2006 2:33:08 PM

I have a 5 year old 1.6 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, Nvidia Riva TNT2.
And I have a 5 year old laptop with about 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, Rage Mobility M3 AGP 2X, but it's running linux so it's all good. 8)
August 9, 2006 2:35:37 PM

Depends on what you use it for, for gaming the TNT2 isnt enough.

Till last year i used a pIII 450Mhz, 384mb ram, Geforce MX460 for gaming. (didnt ran the newest of course) and that pc is 8 years now. So i used it for 7 years :oops: 
August 9, 2006 2:41:58 PM

Quote:
hey, so I have an old system that is based around a P4a Northwood 2.4GHz... bought in the summer of 2002. Yes, yes you read right. It is four years old lol.


So I need a new agp card because the old geforce 5200 U was crappy. I think pretty much any new agp video card from the geforce 6xxx to 7xxx family would be severely limited by the cpu. Am I right in assuming that these newer video cards will be severely limited?


I don't know exactly how it would be limited but thats just my assumption. Maybe somebody with a similiar setup could enlighten me? So what I did was I bought a new agp card and memory. Specifically I bought a geforce 6800GT (Smokin hot Leadtek 6800GT) and 2GB ram upgrade.


Any of you done anything similiar? What kind o performance you get on new things?


I'm betting my system will pull about 70% of the performance out of the RAM/6800GT, How much do you think it will pull out the performance? (Compared to a new system that would uses 100% of the new video card and ram)


I have a comparable system P4 2.4, 1GB RAM and a 6800GT and to tell you the truth I think it performs better than it sounds.
About the graphics card being limited by the cpu I think you are right. Let me give you an example:
Right now I'm playing X3 (great game by the way) and with full settings I get around 20 to 22 FPS. If I reduce things to it lowest I get 25 to 27 FPS.
So you see the cpu simply can't feed the graphics card fast enough so getting a better card is useless. You are better off getting a new cpu or overclocking the one you have.
Now this doesn't apply to all games (some are heavy on the cpu others are heavy on the graphics card).
August 9, 2006 4:39:53 PM

ya... i was very tempted to spend extra cash on the agp-7800gs. But then i saw the total was coming up to something like 500$.

I was like *damn* I can get a new system almost for that.

-----

So ya I guess it is good that I didn't get the agp-7800gs. I'll just get a new system in 6 to 12 months =P . I'll show pics with my new stuff laters on thurs. (assuming it comes in today/thursday).
August 9, 2006 4:41:53 PM

you know what I definately have to say tho... Systems are definately getting more use out of them. They don't become obsolete nearly as fast!

Which of course you can infer that --> the acceleration of hardware performance is slowing WAYYY down. I'm not saying its 100% true. But I definately believe it because I can still do some pretty recent gaming on this machine lol. Comments on this statement?
August 9, 2006 4:47:57 PM

This is if you upgrade intelligently and plan for the future/what you buy originally.
Depending on how much you spend on an agp card you may be able to get a cheap mobo+am2+pcix card for same price.(but ram wouldn't be compatible)
The cpu shouldn't limit it much.
Also if your not having heat issues then mebe a slight OC would help.
Also a fresh install of XP could help boost performance by 25% I'd say.
Just my $.02
I loved my pIII 400 system.
Played and worked with everything up to XP(odd mobo i think).
600 mg ram heh.
my SC+civ 2 rig for ever! heh.
August 9, 2006 5:08:41 PM

I'd try overclocking your CPU to reduce the bottleneck on the graphics card. You should be able to hit 3GHz+ with that Northwood. Also, what make/model PSU does your computer have? That 6800GT will need at least like a 400W PSU with 20A on the 12V rail.
August 9, 2006 5:14:21 PM

Quote:
You think that's bad?... P4 1.3Ghz...

Quote:
...1.6 GHz Pentium 4...


Holy crap, having skipped from a PIII to my current rig, I was never really up on the P4 lineup. I never even knew they made P4s in the mid-1GHz range. I wonder how my pIII@1.17 would fare against those in a similar setup (ram,gfx,etc).
August 9, 2006 5:43:03 PM

Quote:
you know what I definately have to say tho... Systems are definately getting more use out of them. They don't become obsolete nearly as fast!

Which of course you can infer that --> the acceleration of hardware performance is slowing WAYYY down. I'm not saying its 100% true. But I definately believe it because I can still do some pretty recent gaming on this machine lol. Comments on this statement?


Hardware is still progressing... at a faster pace than ever before.

It is more likely that game developers are designing their games with more options on how you render graphics. This has made 'older' cpus and graphics hardware more capable of running the games at decent framerates. Those with newer hardware are able to turn on all of the eye candy and play at higher resolutions.
August 9, 2006 5:47:11 PM

I just bought a new motherboard and case for a PIII Dell system that died a couple years ago. PIII 1 Ghz with 512MB PC133. DFI still makes socket 370 boards, so if you have an older CPU and Ram laying around, you can slap together a system for under 100 bucks. I'm going to put Server 2003 on it and use it as a file server for me and my roommate at our apartment. Sweet.
August 9, 2006 6:09:45 PM

Quote:
You think that's bad?... P4 1.3Ghz...

Quote:
...1.6 GHz Pentium 4...


Holy crap, having skipped from a PIII to my current rig, I was never really up on the P4 lineup. I never even knew they made P4s in the mid-1GHz range. I wonder how my pIII@1.17 would fare against those in a similar setup (ram,gfx,etc).

Well my 1.3 is running on 512MB RDRAM. LOL.....
August 9, 2006 6:11:56 PM

Quote:
I wonder how my pIII@1.17 would fare against those in a similar setup (ram,gfx,etc).


Umm ya ur PIII would have been equal/slightly-better than the P4 1.6. All the P4s before the P4a northwood had huge memory bottlenecks and made them under perform really badly...

---------

PSU: Yes you did catch me there =) my old PSU is 330w. So I went and spent 60$ to get a new 450w psu. Makes the upgrade less "value" because I am spending money on something that won't increase the performance. But it is acceptable to me.

---------

Re-install xp: Yaaaa definately I will. Big increase of performance.

---------

File server: What does that mean exactly?? like its just a computer with tons of harddrive space that you share on ur home network???
August 9, 2006 6:13:48 PM

Wanna run some benches and compare?

Sandra? 3dmark? other?
August 9, 2006 6:16:45 PM

anyone know any good harddrive ghosting software? If so, please give me a link to the article? (please only comment if you have experience/know about hdd ghost software.)

I plan on ghosting my hdd so that I can go back to the faster clean hdd after I reformat. =P
August 9, 2006 6:18:34 PM

haha my sister is using a p2, 400 mhzs, 128 ram onboard graphics\\

i have an old celet next to my 1.1 ghz oc to 1.31 and a 64 mb mx4000 with 384 ram
August 9, 2006 6:37:37 PM

Quote:
Quote:


File server: What does that mean exactly?? like its just a computer with tons of harddrive space that you share on ur home network???



You're exactly right. I am a photojournalism/Information Technology major and my roommate is a Cinema and Digital Arts major. So, basically I need a place to dump all of my super high res photos, and he needs a place to stick all of his raw footage. I figure 500 gigs should be adequate ... or overkill. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
August 9, 2006 6:50:53 PM

8)
Quote:
You think that's bad? I have a 5yr old system, P4 1.3Ghz, Radeon 8500LE. Bleh!

Your CPU will meet the minimum and usually maximum of the system requirements for most games. You need not worry. 6800GT is a decent card but by no means high end. So of course you will see a big performance gain and CPU won't limit the graphics an unacceptable amount.


HAHAHAH, thats nothing, i have a p2 366mhz with no vid card. Bought it Jan 98' :oops: 

also 96mb of ram and 8 gig hd. what else... oh, 15" crt with 13 inch viewable lol

luckily i'm gettinga new kick ass system
August 9, 2006 6:53:21 PM

My wife had a Dell with a P4 Northwood 2.6GHZ 800 FSB CPU in it. I took the CPU, HDD, 6800 vanilla and DVD/CDRW out and sold everything else as pieces making about $300.

With that I purchased an Asus P4P-800SE mobo, a Zalman 7000HSF and a PC P&C Silencer 360. I had a bunch of spares leftover from previous upgrades that I hadn't sold yet including a Lian Li PC 60, 2x512MB of Corsair XMS PC3200 and a 160GB SATA 150HDD.

Slapped it altogether, reinstalled Windows from the Dell CD (yes it required a conversation with MS) as well as the Works Suite and Virus software and then overclocked it to 3.12GHZ. Any higher would've required more noise, which was a no-no.

Anyways, she has a very fast, smooth running and quiet rig, I got a fun build out of it and I learned that the Northwood was one helluva CPU. It felt great to recycle the Dell into a very fast rig for relatively little money and to not have to "throw away" a great CPU just because it was getting "slow" (Dell makes them slow intentionally I am convinced). The better motherboard, lack of Dell sludge on the HDD and the overclock changed a slow PC into a very fast one.
August 9, 2006 6:57:03 PM

I have the same P4 2.4 in my PC at the mo (I'm gunna get a new build with conroe soon) and I have a Geforce 6600GT running as my GFX card. I don't think it would be worth getting anything better, my P4 is the limiting factor in most situations, including most new games.

My rig (for refrence):

CPU: 2.4GHz P4 Northwood
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8SIMLH-P
RAM: 1 GB PC3200 DDR RAM
GPU: Gigabyte Geforce 6600GT Turbo Force Ultra GV-N66T128VP
HDDs: Western Digital 1200JB and Western Digital 1600JB
PSU: Antec True Power 500W

Thats about the sum of componets your going to find it useful to know about.

I would just save up and get a whole new PC if I'm honest.

Hope this helps.
August 9, 2006 7:16:09 PM

Dude you'll be fine. I have a P4 2.66HT, 68GT, and 1GB of RAM and I get good FPS. Just OC the b!tch, add some good cooling and you should be okay. And don't even worry about investing in a vid card yet cause DX10 is slated to come soon, and NONE of the cards out now support it, not even the 7950 series. Enjoy your rig, it will play games just fine. 8)
August 9, 2006 9:09:51 PM

Quote:
Dude you'll be fine. I have a P4 2.66HT, 68GT, and 1GB of RAM and I get good FPS. Just OC the b!tch, add some good cooling and you should be okay. And don't even worry about investing in a vid card yet cause DX10 is slated to come soon, and NONE of the cards out now support it, not even the 7950 series. Enjoy your rig, it will play games just fine. 8)


Kick A55! =P

For the record, one of the reasons for keeping this thing around is because I did a custom paintjob myself two years ago. Using this tutorial for painting Mirror finish paintjob... same steps used for hot-rod cars

Mine is SOMETHING like this... not quite as good.

The paintjob took about two days and 8 hours total.
August 9, 2006 9:21:04 PM

Some games will be CPU bound, but you'd be suprised: the P4 2.4Ghz Northwood isn't that bad. In single threaded apps, it will hardly ever fall more than 50% behind an FX-62. That is how slow single threaded performance has increased over the past four or five years.

With a 6800GT (which you can even overclock a good deal on stock cooling if you want even more performance), you will be able to run most modern games in a suprisingly high resolution. Your CPU won't hold you back as much as you think.

You may not see your framerates increased significantly beyond a certain point. However, if you run a game at 100FPS at 640x480, then with the 6800GT, you will probably be able to run the game at nearly 100FPS at a much higher resolution with full settings enabled.

If you want to find out right now how your system will perform, just run your games at the lowest resolution and settings possible and look at your FPS. With a 6800GT card, that FPS will probably be the same at around 1600x1200 (without fancy AA/AF though).
August 9, 2006 10:40:17 PM

hahaha u think that bad i have a very old computre in my basment thats runs on a p1 at 273Mhz.
August 10, 2006 12:30:47 AM

hey anyone have stuff i can have fort free to put in my intel p4 2.4 northwood computer?, its running really slow,, i dont know why, i think my harddrive is a bottleneck, its ata 33 i think its like ten yesars old like a ibm deskstar
November 19, 2006 3:58:46 PM

hey hey wusy i o'ed my p4 to 2.9 its a 2.4 is taht stable?
November 19, 2006 4:28:02 PM

First

Open the case and clean the case from dust (completely) specially any fans u have in there.
Buy a cheap processor (but faster than the one you have one of course) from eBay. Make sure is compatible with your FSB and socket.
If you can buy a new socket 478/775 heatsink fan for that processor it will be even better, the intel one is not recommended in most cases.
Put on it a 7600GT AGP
Put 1Gb of RAM

and wualla, you have brought back to life your system.

Make sure you have enough power from the power supply too because you dont want your system to be turning off by itself. I would say 400watts would be enough and you can get them cheap.

That should make that system last a good period of time :D 
November 19, 2006 4:38:58 PM

ill give you my secret to making a 4yr old comp faster, sell the old parts and buy new ones.
!