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Haven't upgraded in almost 5 years...what should I do?

  • Motherboards
  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
September 14, 2006 5:37:03 PM

Hi all,

I am new to this forum, but have been reading TH reviews for as long as I can remember. So I decided to join the community as I am planning a major upgrade. Hope you guys can give me some good suggestions on what to do.
I currently have:

P4 1.6Ghz Northwood (OC'd to 2.2GHz)
MSI 645 Ultra
40GB Maxtor HD
512 DDR277 Generic RAM (one of the first types of RAM for P4)
ATi 9600 Pro

I want to upgrade to:

Core 2 Duo E6400 (OC it initially to reach E6700 level)
ASUS P5B-Deluxe WiFi/AP
320 GB Seagate 7200.10
2 GB RAM (not sure what to get to OC without paying $450 for it)
NVidia 7600GT OC or 7900GS (don't need anything really fancy for now...will probably wait for DX10 cards)

Man, writting this down shows how old my system is. But I'm quite impressed with how long it lasted.

So, the BIG questions here are:
1) Should I upgrade now or wait a bit for NForce chipsets? Looking for a stable future-proof system. Are C2D bugs a problem now? Should I wait until they are resolved and buy a C2D processor then?
2) What memory should I get that will do the job of OC'ing and will be rock-solid stable?

Thanks a bunch!

More about : upgraded years

a c 80 V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
September 14, 2006 6:03:48 PM

I'd wait til next year around this time. Directx10 won't be available til Vista hits the marketplace, and will only be compatable with IT. True, the technology has leaped a little, but there are still some bugs to be worked out, especially with compatability issues with various components. After Vista launches, and Microsoft starts fixing some of their "bugs", then I think it would be a good move..... not to mention, the components you chose should be a little cheaper by then.
September 14, 2006 6:32:01 PM

Thanks for your suggestion swifty.
Not sure I can wait another I should maybe consider a "half-way" upgrade to a AMD X2 3800 for now...which will be cheaper and I can probably reuse some of its pieces for the next upgrade to C2D.
I just wonder if I can resist the C2D temptation?! :twisted:
Related resources
September 14, 2006 10:59:08 PM

I find it easy to resist. Why? Well, I"m sitting on an X2 thats doing just fine. I've had the pleasure of tinkering with an E6300. Nice little chip, but wasnt anything I consider a milestone to tempt my upgrade.

In word; Quad core -- Kentsfield looks promising. 4x4 looks a little better. My true aim would be a QC Opteron. So this little toaster is hanging on until that time comes.
September 14, 2006 11:44:12 PM

Depends on what you need a computer for.....

If you can wait, see what happens as HD content becomes more common in PC use to see what kind of system can truly handle it well. Quad core sounds nice and fast, but with those processors we are taking a step back if you're looking for a cool running computer.

In the end it really depends on your budget. The new macs will have two of the new generation xeon processors (total of four cores) and will actually be cheaper than the Dell eqivalent (for the first time?)

September 14, 2006 11:45:36 PM

Yeah, I can see that. My problem is that I am way behind with a P4 1.6. If I had an AMD X2 I would probably do the same and wait a little longer.
September 14, 2006 11:48:37 PM

I am mostly looking for a fast and stable home machine...not too much gaming since I have an XBOX360 for that. But lots of multitasking and multimidia.
September 15, 2006 12:07:41 AM

I think Conroe has yet to prove stability over the long term. AMD X2 line has proven more stable than the p4D series.

If its multimedia you want, you might want to consider intels viiv technology on the conroe processors. Perhaps someone can comment on that.
a b V Motherboard
a b K Overclocking
September 15, 2006 12:19:22 AM

2) What memory should I get that will do the job of OC'ing and will be rock-solid stable?

I just put together a P5B-Deluxe and a E6300. I went with this RAM:
Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) $180

I can tell you that it works great with that motherboard and starts out at low voltage (1.8V). I easily set it to DDR2-800 speed with 4-4-4-12 timings so it should be good enough for overclocking.
September 15, 2006 12:21:10 AM

Hey, my setup is fantastic. (in signature)

I am also waiting for a dual core dx10 graphic card.

The only thing you may want to consider is a more powerful power supply. Mine seems to have enough juice and the calculator says i have plenty. go to psu calculator.

It was really fun overclocking.

I used ocz xct 6400 800mhz platinum. 274 canadian for a 1gb x 2 pair. With an ocz 25$ mail in rebate. You probably should use 800 mhz ram. Anything faster does give a large enough improvement for price, and its extremely stable for overclocking. I've upped my voltage to 2.0... +.2 and the rams running at 850 mhz. i found that anything over 900 id have to bump the voltage to +.4 and over... and i like to keep the ram cool so 850 works perfectly for me..... although ocz has been known to take more voltage.

It does superpi 1M in 17.793 seconds!!! I've been running a ton of programs and it doesn't slow down, boots in 15 seconds! Just shut off non essentials in msconfig.
September 15, 2006 12:31:21 AM

Hey grant...

Thanks for the info. How stable is your system at those speeds?
And what about the Core 2 Duo E6400 itself and the chipset...are they as stable as your old system?
September 15, 2006 12:57:00 AM

I'm in the same boat as you afraga so I'll be reading this with interest. Actually your PC is faster than mine (been over 5 years here).

The question of the DX10 cards and Vista are the ones that make me hesitate. But it seems that XP will be around for a while and the DX10 cards will likely be very pricey initially and the older cards will be able to run any DX10 stuff but with reduced features if I understand things correctly. So I think it won't matter too much except in the changing of the price. But you can play that game all the time in PC's. I will probably wait until next year myself assuming that my PC doesn't die on me in the meantime.

But I'll do alot of research and lurk on the boards for these kinds of questions :D 
September 15, 2006 1:04:47 AM

I've been thinking about upgrading, too. My 286 machine is a bit sluggish.
September 15, 2006 1:08:40 AM

My old system is an amd athlon 3800+ x2.

Because the motherboard didn't have voltage adjustment i wasn't able to overclock it more than 100 mhz without crashing once in a while, so i ran it at stock.

The c2d system is perfectly stable. I run climate (boinc) and it hasn't crashed once on this set up. I restart every day or 2, but i've been running it straight the last week and a half and not one crash.

When my room gets to 26 C running games the cpu gets to 57-60 Celcius, and the motherboard always hovers around 40 Celcius. When my room is around 22 C the system runs about 48-53 C.

Intel recommends keeping the cpu at under 62 C so its well within the limits. I've seen pentiums run at 79-90 C built on the same manufacturing process and not have a problem. My friends old pentium4 similar to yours runs at 90-100 C and hes trying to burn it out.

Bang for your buck this is the best system I have ever purchased.
September 15, 2006 1:10:51 AM

Hey Texas gulag,

I got an old Cyrix 300 m2 you could purchase for $30... itll probably be about 15x faster!
September 15, 2006 1:12:51 AM

I guess I'll need to get another drive, too; the current 20meg Seagate MFM is getting a bit full.
September 15, 2006 1:29:58 AM

The main problem with my system is my HD of only 40 GB and only 512 MB. But I really don't think I should invest another $1 on it, since it is completely out of date. So I would rather put the money towards a new C2D system.
I am currently thinking on getting the P5B Deluxe, but I find it too pricey for a Mobo...maybe I should consider the DS3?! Have been seeying some good reviews about it...just never owned a it is always a hard step to take.
Plus I don't see any major reason to wait for NFORCE boards other than the fact that prices will be lower. Performance wise it may be a bit better for games, but don't care too much about that. Features seem the same as today's 975X/P965 boards?!
September 15, 2006 1:50:29 AM

Well theres a review on the ds3 at

Asus and gigabyte are merging, and you know ive always bough asus. But i know a thing or two about electronics, and solid state capacitors are 5x better than electrolitic capacitors. Solid states the way all these companies are going to go eventually, and in power supplies too.

The ds3 was 175 canadian, 75$ cheaper than the asus. If you want sli, there is always the 7950 gt which runs the same speed as 2 7900 gt's in sli.

It has fantastic 7.1 audio setup, which i don't have the speakers for but am planning on buying some now.

Plus its got 8x sata 2 connectors, so im just going to keep buying 90$ hds, until i fill it up, right now 320 are cheap, next year i can get bigger ones for cheap...

You have to download the new bios 1.4 drivers off the net before overclocking but its extremely easy. Its got @bios utility which automatically does the bios updating for you, no restarting or anything. If the system does not post when you overclock it, it automatically restarts it with default 2.13 settings... and you can figure out in less than a second where your overclock went wrong. Worse comes to worse theres a jumper, but after the bios update i didnn't have to do that again.
September 15, 2006 3:30:57 AM

Just ran Super Pi 1M on my P4 1.6GHz...guess the time: 1m 39s :roll:
September 15, 2006 5:10:52 AM

My old AMD Thunderbird 1400 Mhz, 512 ram does the super pi 1M in 1m 34seconds...