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My Computer needs an update bad ... help w/ your thoughts

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December 30, 2006 8:59:56 PM

My current PC (built 3+ years ago):

Cpu: Amd Barton 2500+ sckt A
Memory: 512 ddr 3200
MB: chaintech Apogee
Video: Radeon 9600xt AGP

only have about 250 - 300 to do it
I don't do any real hard core gaming oviously

need at least new cpu & mb not sure about if i can keep mem or vid card
please let me know your ideas and suggestions

More about : computer update bad thoughts

December 30, 2006 10:17:19 PM

Thanks for the reply. I currently have Thermaltake 480w power supply, i forgot to mention that
December 30, 2006 11:01:28 PM

any body else have any suggestions? poissibly thoughts on a pentium d, 775 board w/ onboard video and new ram? i hoping to keep further upgrade paths w/o another complete overhaul
Related resources
December 30, 2006 11:43:21 PM

STAY AWAY FROM PENTIUM Ds only the 900 series are worthwile spitting at, though even they are demolished by the x2s. Get your self the 3700, that in my opinion is amd's best pprocessor they released, because people are going above 3ghz on those things, and getting insane performance for the little price it is. Any way, if you get that, you can keep your 3200 ram, and and save your money for some more sticks

It might not be a bad thing to get a basic graphics card such as a 7300 le, only 30-40 bcks, but they still beat integrated graphics, and as far-fetched as it seems, having an actually gfx card will give you a small boost in performance, not much, but some

Though if I can say something, you might want to consider an am2 build instead of a 939 build, because all intel builds until conroe was released were demolished by a cheaper amd build, so intel is not the way to go with a $300 budget, but at least if you go am2, future upgrades will be cheaper because supposedly am2+ (next amd set of cpus) will be backwards compatible, the only problem is you'll need ddr2 ram, which is kinda expensive now because of conroe (it used to be so insanely cheap you could get 2gigs of high quality dd2 ram for only a margin more than 1 gig of regular ddr)
December 30, 2006 11:57:34 PM

Quote:
any body else have any suggestions? poissibly thoughts on a pentium d, 775 board w/ onboard video and new ram? i hoping to keep further upgrade paths w/o another complete overhaul


This comes out to $278

Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... $75
CPU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... $139
Memory http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682... $71

Granted it has on-board video but when you get some extra money you can always get a video card same with increasing the memory. This is a dual core AM2 with DDR2 memory so it's the most recent version of everything. Should last you a long time..
December 31, 2006 12:18:42 AM

g-paw nailed you. You have essentially nothing you want to invest money on in your current setup but the power supply. He stayed in the budget and you've got nowhere to go but up from there. Use those links before the prices change.
December 31, 2006 12:27:35 AM

has my approval

I agree with the 65w thing too, though the 65nm techinacally have been released, so they might be a tad cheaper, and will run cooler if you can wait. Everything else is already compatible with a 65nm brisbane core 3800
December 31, 2006 2:36:56 AM

I think a may look at the AMD x2 3800. would it be worth the extra $30 for the x2 4200?
December 31, 2006 3:13:54 AM

Not at this point. I would be more focused on doubling up that RAM.
December 31, 2006 12:56:48 PM

4200? depends if you want to oc or not. The only problem that comes into hand with the 4200, is because it has an odd multiplier. Since am2 systems run at a stock 2:1 ratio (but since it is cpu instead of fsb, its actually 11:6) so the 11:6 means you are actually underunning your ram, so it will turn out slower unless if you overclock

Get more ram instead
December 31, 2006 12:58:11 PM

Quote:
Not at this point. I would be more focused on doubling up that RAM.


Would agree, sooner or later you'll need at least 1GB of RAM and it's my understanding it's always best to buy 2 sticks at the same time.
December 31, 2006 1:18:46 PM

In that case, I will difinately say wait until almost spring. The core 2 craze shot up ram prices insanely, and they won't go down until the manufacturers get some down time, which is usually spring, because with eh exception of the r600, all the big companies have made their major launches in fall in time for christmas, which is what traditionally happens

Right now a gig of ddr2 ram is $150, last year I bought a gig for only $67. I will stand by my point to wait.
December 31, 2006 1:34:57 PM

Quote:
In that case, I will difinately say wait until almost spring. The core 2 craze shot up ram prices insanely, and they won't go down until the manufacturers get some down time, which is usually spring, because with eh exception of the r600, all the big companies have made their major launches in fall in time for christmas, which is what traditionally happens

Right now a gig of ddr2 ram is $150, last year I bought a gig for only $67. I will stand by my point to wait.


No question RAM will be cheaper but if he wants to upgrade now I'd suggest the 512 RAM, this machine even with 512 will be much faster than what he has now and get more RAM in the spring. What I do is take the pieces parts I replace and eventually get what I need to put together a back up computer so it's not like you can't use replaced parts. Amazing how many computers you can end up with over the years. :) 
December 31, 2006 2:33:57 PM

Quote:
What I do is take the pieces parts I replace and eventually get what I need to put together a back up computer so it's not like you can't use replaced parts. Amazing how many computers you can end up with over the years. :) 


After the u/g I know for a fact that the Barton will make for a sweet little file server. Mines on the rack as I type with 1G RAM, various and sundry PATA drives in JBOD on a Promise controller. (Don't tell it), But it is soon to step down after over a year of 24/7 operation in favor of the old 939 rig.

That's how upgrades work at my house. I get my Opty. The file server gets the 939, the exchange server gets the Barton, the wife gets the Socket A, oldest gets the Athlon, newest gets the FrankenDell ... I just thought, by the time everything trickles down, I'm not going to have any more Intel's on the network. Well Huh.
December 31, 2006 3:00:22 PM

Hi Kdawg,
Quote:
Cpu: Amd Barton 2500+ sckt A
Memory: 512 ddr 3200
MB: chaintech Apogee
Video: Radeon 9600xt AGP

Hey that's my old rig! But I had ABit AN7 mobo.
I upgraded this rig by installing new vidcard and 1024MB Corsair 2,2,2,5.
I also raised the FSB to 200MHz to get XP3200+ speed.
With new X1600 Pro vidcard etc. my 3DMark '03 doubled - but still not today's numbers!
So you're gonna buy new stuff?
Regards
December 31, 2006 3:49:50 PM

if you dont do any hardcore gaming then I wouldnt upgrade.

I dont think you'll notice a dramatic performance boost in web browsing, email, and msoffice.



Why not save up some more money and wait for the dust to settle with the new dx10/vista hardware coming out over the next year. Theres a lot of changes coming with cpu and graphics hardware coming.


just my 2sense

cheers
December 31, 2006 5:32:51 PM

I plan to order the stuff within a week or so.
While I do not consider myself a hard core gamer I do play a fair amount of games and some of which are experiencing slow downs and even pauses during game play. so I want to do something.

right now I'm leaning towards the AMD x2 3800 and maybe a geforce6100 mobo w/ the onboard video and a 512 stick of OCZ gold DDR2 800 hopefully the onboard video will at least stay close to the performance of my 9600xt untill i can get a new pci-e card.

Thanks for all the helpful reponses so far
January 1, 2007 12:39:46 PM

OK I found another scenerio I'm looking for opinions on

what does everyone think of getting a C2D E6300 on a ASRock 775Dual-VSTA m/b. since this would allow me to keep my ram and video and easily upgrade it at a later time

Any thoughts?
January 1, 2007 12:55:05 PM

Quote:
OK I found another scenerio I'm looking for opinions on

what does everyone think of getting a C2D E6300 on a ASRock 775Dual-VSTA m/b. since this would allow me to keep my ram and video and easily upgrade it at a later time

Any thoughts?


It doesn't look like this mobo has PCI Express x16, which means you won't be able to upgrade your video card. Personally, I think you're better of with on-board video for a while than locking yourself into an AGP graphic card
January 1, 2007 1:09:46 PM

I think that is a great builf right there, only think I'd have to say is that ocz sometimes has problems with many mobos because of the required voltage. Since you don't have an asus mobo, you should be fine, but if you can't get it to boot first time up, simply take one stick out, go in the bios and change the voltage to 2.1, and your set

If I can make a suggestion though, get the platinum, timings are more crucial with amd builds (I won't get into why, but it deals with hyper transport). For only a tiny bit more, the platinum heatspreaders are worth it, because if you don't oc, you should lower the timings to 3-3-3-x (8/12. what ever you can achieve). The platinum should be able to do that with a bit of voltage because of the much better heatspreader
January 1, 2007 1:12:28 PM

VIA chipset! Ewww!

In my experience do everything M/B's do nothing well.
January 1, 2007 1:39:05 PM

you sure that's conroe (actually allendale in this case, but for our purposes, conroe) compatible? Conroes only work on intel chipsets of 975x, 975xbx, 975xbx2, and 965(an assortment of those). And with nvidia, there is a nforce 4 chipset, and then the 500 and 600 series. A few ati, but I don't think asrock even makes ati boards.

As far as I know, none of them support regular ddr, and conroe boards are expensive, but if you can get it to work, good luck
January 1, 2007 1:49:54 PM

I *hate* doing someone elses shopping but you seem to be going through the "What if I ..." phase and I can't let you go down that road. So here goes ...

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

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

A little over budget @$325 but it has 1G of DDRII 800 in Dual channel. Look at my sig, they work and play well together. Just manually set the memory voltage to "Normal". This will make your current rig look like a 386 and leave you options for the future.
January 1, 2007 1:51:10 PM

According to ASRocks website and several reviews on newegg the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA does support C2D.
January 1, 2007 2:32:04 PM

If it works, then go ahead, but I don't know how well a c2d processor will work with regular ddr ram. Plus if you don't oc or game, then you are better off getting a 3800/4200. If you can afford the 6400, that is your bets bet right there, but its all up to you and your budget
January 1, 2007 3:08:31 PM

Quote:
what does everyone think of getting a C2D E6300 on a ASRock 775Dual-VSTA m/b.

The ASRock is generally not liked because it is very much a bottom end motherboard. And, as is always the case when you're buying something near the bottom of the price list, there are concerns about quality. That said, I've seen posts from people who have gone this route, been very happy with the results, and highly recommend it. In any case, yes, the ASRock 775Dual-VSTA definitely supports C2D.

The pros for this board are pretty much what you already listed. You get to use a C2D CPU with your old DDR memory and AGP video card. This saves you money and the performance at stock C2D speeds is still not too shabby.

The cons are that the board has limited capability and expandability. Only 2 DDR and 2 DDR2 memory slots and you can only use one or the other.

The PCIe video slot is only x4 channels. Surprisingly, you can still get pretty good performance since most video cards don't yet use all the bandwidth larger PCIe slots supply. But it's still a limit to be aware of.

It is definitely not a board you can OC (much) with. (Maybe ~300 FSB? Don't count on even this though!)

The ASRock 775Dual-VSTA has been debated many times on this board, so searching will turn up other threads if you want more information and opinions. I considered going that route myself, but in my case it didn't make enough sense. My memory is SDRAM so I would only be bringing forward a cheapo AGP card. IMO, ASRock makes the most sense when you can save money by reusing both your memory and your video card.

-john
January 1, 2007 3:18:28 PM

Quote:
If it works, then go ahead, but I don't know how well a c2d processor will work with regular ddr ram.

FWIW, here's a link to an AnandTech article which benches the board with DDR and with DDR2 and compares the results.

ASRock 775Dual-VSTA: Does DDR2 matter?

-john
January 1, 2007 3:18:37 PM

I completely agree
January 1, 2007 3:21:51 PM

Quote:
OK I found another scenerio I'm looking for opinions on

what does everyone think of getting a C2D E6300 on a ASRock 775Dual-VSTA m/b. since this would allow me to keep my ram and video and easily upgrade it at a later time

Any thoughts?


With your budget, this is your best solution. Pay no heed to anyone poo pooing this idea. they seem to have more money than brains. The advantages of this solution greatly outweigh the disadvantages. Wth this combo, you will have bested pretty much every AMD solution out there, and will be about 5% slower than the best out there. Not all that bad a compromise if you ask me. I would try to dig up more money for a e6600 cpu though, because the 4 megs of cache will do wonders to offset the lower end gear, but you work with the budget you got, and the E6300 is pretty good.


The only thing stopping your machine from running respectable is that slow 9600 video card! But since you are not much of a gamer, it is not a huge priority
January 1, 2007 3:37:04 PM

Another FWIW post ...

Saw a reference to the ASUS P5PE-VM LGA 775 Intel 865G Micro ATX as another possible "go with C2D while keeping your DDR and AGP" motherboard. It differs from the ASRock in that this board is strictly DDR and AGP. You'd have to buy another mobo to move to DDR2 and PCIe. This mobo also includes on-board video.

Posting it not so much to recommend as to give the OP another choice to consider. I know that when money is tight it always nice to have as many options as possible. :wink:

-john
January 1, 2007 4:45:12 PM

Let me muddy the waters even more. I don't disagree with the other's suggestions, only want to add my two cents.

Intel has already announced price drops for the C2D line as well as new C2Ds coming out. I believe that the first round of price drops happens later this month.
Both AMD and Intel are moving to DDR3 within the next year.
AMD is replacing the AM2 socket with AM3.

IF you can wait, you may find your money better spent, in the long run.

BTW, last month, Newegg was running some combo deals that could have gotten you into a single core Athlon 64 and a Geforce 6100 integrated MB for around ~$120-140 after rebates and combo deals. This would allow you to use your RAM and maybe add a PCI-e video card now or latter.

Just found:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
Pick a CPU (3700+ was recommended by someone else) and add a X1950 Pro video card and your total is around $350 +S&H. Just a little over budget, but then you could wait for the Vista/DX10 dust to settle.
!