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Upgrading from P4 478 to either AM2 or LGA775

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December 7, 2006 5:10:44 PM

Trying to figure out what the best path is. I'm trying to spend as little money as i can but keeping conscious performance in mind. This is a huge upgrade for me...

I'm switching from an AGP, DDR, P4 478 and looking to go to PCI-E, LGA775(or AM2) and DDR2.

So far what i run into is that searching newegg i can't find a good combination. I need raid for my serial ATA, i would like to get a Pentium D or a AMD 64 X2. The board i was looking at was GA-965P-DQ6 but i just can't pay that much. Would like to go with something like the GA-8N-SLI board but the Pentium D 820 priced so well just does not go with that board! So i looked at the AM2 AMD 64 X2 3800+ processor, and i wouldn't mind... but then when i compared it to the Pentium D 820 THG shows better performance in the areas that matter the most, and that processor is 50$ less...

So my thoughts, I want something better than a P4 2.8E, better video card than the X800XT 256MB card i have, raid and DD2, SATA RAID. The new board must have raid for my SATA, be full ATX and work with either the Pentium D 820 or the AMD 64 X2 3800+.

Budget,
Board 100-150,
Processor 100-150,
Video just need something better than X800XT but not much more, i'll upgrade that later.
December 7, 2006 5:37:54 PM

okay if you want to go intel:

Intel core 2 duo E6300
+
either;
GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3
OR
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3
$130


This would probably be the best option as core 2 duo is the best uarch at the moment and at that price the motherboard and CPU are only a few dollars off the cheapest dual core AMD counterpart.

The core 2 duo plays better at games than the AMD, about the motherboard; I would select the 965G-DS3 as it is only $5 dollars more and you get onboard VGA and although it won't be on par with a modern video card it would be a convenience. Say if it all goes wrong, at least that way you can test if the video card is the fault or if the motherboard is faulty :) 

Oh and at the moment you can get the OEM of ghost recon ad.warfighter for free with a E6300 :D 
December 7, 2006 5:41:29 PM

Try this:

Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3: $129.99
Core 2 Duo E6300: $181.49

Does that work in to your budget?
Related resources
December 7, 2006 5:43:46 PM

Note that the S3/DS3 has only limited RAID (0/1 on 2 of the 6 connectors from a JMicron chip because it uses ICH8), unless you can find the 965P-DS3P (rev 2.0), which uses ICH8R. I believe the DS4 also has ICH8R.
December 7, 2006 5:48:48 PM

yep the ds4 does have the ICH8R (as i have one :D ), though i think newegg + gigabyte list the motherboard (ds3) as having RAID; though as you said it is probably due to an external hub(not the northbridge).

[quote"I"]
Oh and at the moment you can get the OEM of ghost recon ad.warfighter for free with a E6300 Very Happy[/quote]

thats at newegg by the way...
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2006 5:55:50 PM

Quote:
performance in the areas that matter the most
We notice you failed to mention what those areas that matter most to you are...
In some instances changing out one 2.8Ghz for another 2.8Ghz (dual core 820) CPU will give you surprisingly little performance improvements.
iTunes benchmark D820 2.8Ghz vs P4 520 2.8Ghz

Is the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813128017 $125 in your budget range?
The NewEgg page doesnt mention RAID support but the GigaByte website does: GA-965P-S3 Supports RAID 0, 1, JBOD (2 ports with RAID function)
The other good news about that board is that it will support all the C2D and C2Q for any possible future upgrades.
A sub-$100 7600GS should be good for your budget but is actually less powerful than your X800XT. A 7600GT or Radeon X1800GTO @ $150 will nearly equal the X800XT 7600GT & X1800GTO benchmarks - look for X800XT in lists as well
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2006 5:59:43 PM

Quote:
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3: $129.99
At $130 its a bargain and a no-brainer if you're looking at the Gigabyte GA-965P-S3.
December 7, 2006 6:02:25 PM

I wonder if the Ghost Recon bonus is direct from intel, rather than the retailers. It came with my E6400 bought on NCIX.com too.

As for the RAID thing, I did say that the S3/DS3 have RAID, but it's true that it's only RAID 0/1, and only on the two connectors controlled by the JMicron chip. The other 4 connectors do not support RAID of any sort. The OP said he needed RAID, but didn't say exactly what kind of RAID, so I just thought I'd make sure he knew what he'd be getting with S3/DS3.
December 7, 2006 11:38:04 PM

gOdMan: Thank you, those boards seem to do what I'd like them to. The only thing i noticed different was that one has onboard video and the other doesnt? I don't really need onboard so i'd go with the cheaper one i think. Thats a perfect price for a board it seems.

The core2 duo seems a bit more than i'd like to spend but like you said its a better arch so i'd probably justify spending a bit more in that direction.

NotAPimecone: I do the stripe raid which is Raid 0 I think? I have two 160 SATA hard drives and think it benefits performance quite a bit by doing that instead of just one hard drive. So i would only need two connects to be controlled by raid.

WR2: I think that will most likely work, I'd probably like to go with something that is a bit better than the X800XT as i hate losing performance. I was thinking about getting a board with two PCI-E x16 incase id do SLI or Crossfire but, seeing as how i can't spend much in my personal build i'll probably stick with a single card for a loooong time.

Here is a little more to the story... I have someone that will buy my 2gigs (4 X 512) of DDR for the same price as what it will cost me to get 2GB of DDR2. And my X800XT since is a AIW that i don't use is going to sell to someone else and cover my cost for the new PCI-E card i'm getting. The old board/processor i have will replace a faulty board in my secondary PC (usb doesnt work anymore and the system needs to be unplugged from the wall for 15 min every time it powers off... tried different power supplies and components but narrowed it down to the board being flakey).

So that covers everything, i will most likely order

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
Leaning towards a card that is around $160 like the 7900GS... I need more suggestions on this.
As far as ram, im going to get whatever works as long as its 2GB dual channel.

Thanks for all the help everyone... need more suggestions on video cards, other than that im golden.
December 8, 2006 1:06:22 AM

How much of a difference am i looking at if i splurge and get two of,

XFX PVT71PUDP3 GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 EXTREME Video Card - Retail

I'll need a compatible board? Or is there a setup that beats that with a single video card for the same money? I think im looking at about 300$ in video right there.

Any thoughts? I'd like to try this SLI combo since those cards look amazing... i'd probably slap two Zalman coolers with ramsinks on them.

Also for memory, was looking at:

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Will that work with the board i have in the previous post or the new board i'm looking at if i want to do SLI? It says supports memory of 5-5-5 but says 1.8V and the Corsair spec says 1.9V.

Thanks again.
December 8, 2006 1:19:55 AM

You need an SLI board for that. I believe boards with intel's chipsets only support ATI Crossfire, and the S3 doesn't even have the 2 X16 PCI-E slots required anyway.

For similar money to the two 7900GS's ($186 each -> $372), you could get a X1950XTX ($390) which seems to outperform 2 SLI'd 7900GS's according to Tom's VGA Charts, and for a little more, you could get a 8800GTS ($450)

As for the RAM, I have very similar RAM (the 4-4-4-12 version of the same brand), it's given me no trouble, and is great for overclocking. My DS3 defaulted the RAM to 1.9V and 5-5-5-18 timings, but it was easy to change it in the BIOS.
December 8, 2006 1:39:19 AM

I've decided to cut back on SLI for now and instead stick with what i've come up... to reitterate:

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz 2M sharing L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

XFX PVT71PUDP3 GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 EXTREME Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Respectively (taking off rebates):

155.99
223.00
124.99
181.00
--------
754.98

Now, i sure will need a PSU for all of this, after that choice i think i'll be all set... am not going to do SLI even though i'd like to... and i had thoughts of adding:

ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail

and

ZALMAN VF700-CU 2 Ball VGA COOLER - Retail

... kind of a waste on the CPU since i'll have a spare stock cooler... but i value cooling and think i'll need it. All of it will be running spec, i don't feel like overclocking and worrying bout something going wrong.

So last thing left... which PSU should be sufficient for all of this? And are the additions for cooling worth the etra price tag?
December 8, 2006 1:51:37 AM

If you're not overclocking, you probably don't need to buy the 9500. The stock fan would be fine, assuming you can get it installed right (pain in the ass).

But it's good to have good cooling around, in case you want to play with the (awesome) overclocking potential of the C2D.
December 8, 2006 3:43:46 AM

NotAPimecone: Yeah i think i might venture in that a bit seeing as how it would definetly increase my performance by quite a bit. Still trying to decide on a PSU before i submit my order.

Anyone have ideas before the day escapes me tomorow?
December 10, 2006 5:20:49 PM

Either of these would be really quite good:

OCZ GameXStream - 600w

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus - 550w

they are both good brands (and good PSUs) :) 

...im not sure what your budget for a PSU is though...

If you want a cheaper PSU have a look at corsair, OCZ modstream, enermax liberty, seasonic and tagan PSUs, they're all reputable brands:) 
!