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Where's ny bottleneck

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November 29, 2006 2:12:49 PM

Hi guys, just wondering if you can help me figure where's the bottleneck in my system, it's pretty old, got it from a friend way back. Here's the spec:

Pentium 4 Northwood 3.06Ghz
Intel D8OEMV2 Motherboard, Chipset Intel i850e
RDRAM 1024MB 530Mhz
Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Plus: ST3160023A ATA100 7200rpm
Getting Maxtor 200GB L01P200 8mb cache, ATA 100 7200rpm (from Staples Black Friday)
Nvida 6600GT AGP 128mb
400watt PSU

Anything else you need to know?

Thanks all

More about : bottleneck

November 29, 2006 5:47:14 PM

Get a new vid card and double your ram. Seems about the only thing you can do that I can see. How much you have to spend?
November 29, 2006 6:27:29 PM

I don't have a set amount of money to spent yet. Just looking around. I do some game. Just to Medieval II Total War. It plays alright at low-medium graphics setting. I crappy thing is, I still have to get AGP which are really limiting, and sometime pricy.
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November 29, 2006 6:41:58 PM

Are you running Windows. Windows picks up a lot of baggage. If this install is several years old, it may be hauling around a lot of junk. It might be time to wipe and reload.
November 29, 2006 6:44:23 PM

Oh, I format quite regularly. At lease twice a year.
November 29, 2006 6:47:06 PM

From looking around, it looks like 7600GS is the highest thing offered at AGP, is that correct?
November 29, 2006 6:50:39 PM

you can get up to a 7900GS or radeon 1650 pro in AGP i belive

but both at a heavy price tag.
November 29, 2006 7:04:07 PM

Hi Tey,
I agree with friend Prozac, 1024MB memory is lots and it's not your big problem. You should get the best vidcard you can find for it, I think a GeForce 7600GS or maybe a Radeon X1650Pro. They will not be too expensive, or see what you can get for $100 bucks or whatever.
I had an AGP X1600Pro and it was just okay - but the new X1650 is supposed to be much improved.
Your CPU is still good and - you will be happy to know - was pretty well top-o'-the-line Northwood in its day.
Its day was 133MHz FSB (533QDR) also known as FSB533.
The CPU is Socket478, 130nm, 1.550V, 512KB L2 and has an incredible locked multiplier of I believe 23x :o  So 133MHz x 23 = 3066MHz
This runs synchronously with Rambus memory at 533MHz, and 1024MB is a lot of that old memory, trust me you don't even want to price getting more.
Later Northwoods switched to 200MHz (FSB800) with DDR400 memory, but yours is the last of its 133MHz FSB era...
Note: Athlons went 100MHz > 133 > 166 > eventually 200MHz FSB, but Intel jumped right from 133 to 200MHz FSB.
This makes overclocking different for you because unlike AMD your CPU is unlikely to POST at the next higher OEM FSB speed, and I have no idea how your memory would react.
But it's a nice old rig, put in a newer vidcard and it should still fly.
Regards
November 29, 2006 7:47:22 PM

RDRAM? That might be a bottleneck, I would recommend to upgrade to 1Gb but unfortunately is too expensive.

The barracuda 7200.7 is too old! ata100 is way too slow! get a Sata 1.5Gbs hard drive with a barracuda 7200.10 (if that motherboard has sata 1.5)

upgrade the videocard to at least a 7600GT

if you are gonna make this upgrades upgrade that PSU to 550watts
November 29, 2006 10:35:09 PM

the problem is that the motherboard doesn't take SATA so I would also have to get a PCI SATA adapter. I got 2 of the maxtors..should I raid 0 it? I just want to find the biggest bottleneck right now... they are all too old lol.
November 29, 2006 11:31:32 PM

In that case I recommend getting the sata pci controller (preferible one with sata 3gbs port)

and you might want to have in mind my other recommendations too...
a b K Overclocking
November 30, 2006 12:33:25 AM

The 7600 would be a good, workable solution for you, as it won't adversely impact your power supply requirements, so you're thinking in the right direction.
November 30, 2006 12:41:17 AM

The 7200.7 is not a bad drive considering its age. In fact the seeks on it are relatively speedy which in many cases can be more important than raw transfer rate, let alone interface bandwidth. As for PATA being "too slow"... ok :roll:
@OP
If you're looking for more gaming performance then the way to go would be a new video card, but whether the cost/performance gain is worth it is personal preference. Unfortunately, to get serious improvements across the board you'd need a relatively complete overhaul. Personally I'd save up for a while and build another computer on a newer platform (this way you'd have two :D ) but this will be significantly more costly. For this same reason I'm hoping that my current system can last me a few more years...

-mcg
November 30, 2006 5:40:53 PM

You may want to think about something like this for about $170.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Then flash it to X850XT or PE with instructions from something like here:

http://forum.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=20604

or you can buy a 7600GS for between $125 and $150

or oyu can buy a 7800GS for around $210-$225

The 7800GS is by far teh best card and also cost the most. The X800 is better than the 7600GS but also costs more and doesnt have SM3.0. The 7600GS is the cheapest and performs the worst here but it does have SM3.0. But as far as I know there is only like one game out that requires a SM3.0 card.
November 30, 2006 6:31:19 PM

Quote:
Then flash it to X850XT or PE with instructions from something like here:

http://forum.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=20604

Be careful about recommending this, because as of late, many X850Pro models have been produced using R481 cores instead of the original R480, which in turn means that instead of having bios locked pipes, they're in fact laser cut instead which makes bios flashing irrelevant. When your talking about a 200$ investment, it's quite a bit of money to take the chance...
November 30, 2006 6:34:25 PM

Im saying that might be causing the bottleneck. Is not slow for some people but for overclockers, gamers and employers it is. Sorry if that offended you! Im just telling him the truth :) 

ATA-100 is now considered "not high performer" since motherboards since 4 years ago use ATA-133 which doesnt make big difference since now we have SATA ports.
November 30, 2006 7:15:58 PM

Hard disk's a hard disk, not much impact (apart from size differences).
ATA133 was invented by Maxtor and was never officially endorsed by motherboard makers or WD or Seagate. Only UltraDMA Mode5, which is 100MB/s is official.
You will find a bigger difference in performance between an IDE drive with 16MB cache and a SATA with only 8MB cache - the IDE might seem faster.
Anyway his HDs could be bigger (and therefore newer and faster) but I would not single that out as his bottleneck,
L8R
!