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Upgrading slowly from P4

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  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
July 12, 2007 6:20:57 PM

Hi all. Some advice required please by a UK (complete newbie) who knows nothing about overclocking, etc (yet!)...

I currently have a 3 year old system including the following...

P4 3.0 GHz with HTT
Abit IC7-G mobo (socket 478 whatever that means!!)
512 Crucial Ram DDR400
QBit 650W PSU
GeForce Ti-4200 with AGP 8x
(Running XP Pro SP2)

I was about to add 2 Gig of DDR400 RAM and buy a 7600GT GPU (now tempted by X1950Pro due to minor price difference). Would then have to upgrade/replace for Core 2 Duo at a later stage (12-18 months maybe).

I'm now considering upgrading the mobo as well in preparation for Core 2 Duo so that I can upgrade step by step - is that a good idea??

I'm looking for a mobo that will work well with my existing CPU, but allow me to upgrade to PCI-e and DDR2 (if you thinks that's worth it). I figure that I'm going to end up going that way sooner or later so may as well get there systematically rather than having to fork out loads later - plus the savings on PCI-e components (like GPU) might help offset the additional cost of replacing mobo now). Problem is, can I find a decent mobo that will work with this CPU and then also be good for Core 2 Duo later. As I said, it needs to provide PCI-e and ideally DDR2. I've seen a few that provide PCI-e but only DDR which means the mobo would still need replacing at some stage.

Just to make things that little bit trickier, I'm playing with a small budget (ideally approx £200)

Would eventually like to start tweaking/overclocking a little - but have a hell of a lot to learn before then!!

Cheers everyone - btw, if you think I'm better off waiting and just doing bare minimum now then please do say because I'm not definite on either course of action yet.

More about : upgrading slowly

July 12, 2007 6:35:57 PM

Raz said:
...
Abit IC7-G mobo (socket 478 whatever that means!!)
...
I'm looking for a mobo that will work well with my existing CPU, but allow me to upgrade to PCI-e and DDR2 (if you thinks that's worth it). I figure that I'm going to end up going that way sooner or later so may as well get there systematically rather than having to fork out loads later - plus the savings on PCI-e components (like GPU) might help offset the additional cost of replacing mobo now). Problem is, can I find a decent mobo that will work with this CPU and then also be good for Core 2 Duo later. ...

C2D uses an LGA-775 socket, while your current CPU uses the obsolete socket 478. Thus, you'll have to buy a new CPU along with the new MB. Moving to PCIexpress and DDR2 are good ideas.

Raz said:
...I'm playing with a small budget (ideally approx £200)

That's a pretty big budget for MB alone. Decent MBs (not high-end, but solid) will run in the US$100-170 range.

July 12, 2007 6:49:38 PM

Your best option is to simply sell your current system intact and purchase a new system.

Basically you could likely save the Case, PSU, HDD, and CD/DVD Player.

If you can get close to the cost of these parts new, you are best off selling the old system and getting those parts new.

Without looking up specific parts, lets see if we can get some prices for very cheap parts.

$60 - Inexpensive AMD X2 Processor.
$70 - Inexpensive AM2 MOBO
$50 - 1gb of RAM
$80 - Low End Video Card
$50 - HDD
$50 - Case/PSU Combo
$30 - CD/DVD Writer
------------------------
Total - $330

As a result you would need to get about $150 for your old system to buy the parts to have the funds to buy a very entry level system.

Unfortunately, my prices are all US prices.
Sorry I do no know how well that would translate to UK prices.


You should also be able to afford another 512mb of DDR ram and a slightly better AGP card. This may work better for you on your budget.
Related resources
July 12, 2007 7:07:04 PM

@Mondoman...

Thank you for the explanation about MB/CPU compatibility. I don't really want to fork out extra now for an entry-level C2D system if I'm going to have to replace parts again in the next 6-12 months. So it looks like it would be best (for now) to get a new socket 478 MB and get DDR2 RAM along with a PCI-e GPU. Then I can hopefully use these when I can afford to go C2D properly - what do you think?

BTW, the £200 was for MB, GPU & as much RAM as poss although I figured I'd need to add some if I was taking this route!
July 12, 2007 7:21:08 PM

@zenmaster...

problem is that I wouldn't be happy replacing what I have with an entry-level system and can't really afford to go silly right now with a high-spec replacement. Just trying to find the best way to upgrade current system (to be able to play latest games with decent performance) while also minimising cost implications later when I'm ready to splash out (& I've learnt more about what I'm doing!!).

Thanks v much for the advice though - suppose I could at least look at replacing things like the PSU/case/HDD bit by bit in the meantime couldn't I to save cost later.
a c 220 V Motherboard
July 12, 2007 7:21:21 PM

Looks to me like he said he wants Intel C2D, not AMD X2. After July 22, many Intel prices will drop. A C2D 4300 is only $117 now.
$50 for a case PLUS a PSU will buy him a sparkler, with maybe a pop and some smoke thrown in. Fortunately he said 200 pounds, not 200 dollars. The current conversion rate means he's got about $400 US.
$117 - CPU
$ 80 - cheap mobo (but not SiS or VIA)
$ 50 - 1GB RAM (2 would be nice)
$ 65 - Low End GPU (7300GT)
$ 50 - HDD
$ 40 - Case
$ 50 - PSU
$ 30 - Optical
----
$482

You'd need to get about L45 for your old system.
July 12, 2007 7:46:41 PM

Your current RAM, CPU, and Video card are not going to be compatable with a newer motherboard. You might be able to find one that uses some of the parts and not others, but you are only going to be hurting yourself in the long run.

By the time you replace most of the parts you are going to be to the point where the difference in price between the upgrade and a new "low end" system is going to be minor, and the "low end" system will still be considerably better then what you end up with in the upgrade.

I'm currently running the exact same motherboard and did a bit of an upgrade and I'm somewhat regreting it. The video card upgrade helped a lot in the average framerate issues with most games, but I'm still getting fairly bad minumum framerates when it hits CPU intensive times and memory transfers.

One other thing that makes a big difference on how much of an upgrade you should do is what you plan on doing with the system.
You can easily get a fair amount of playability out of the system with $75-100 for some more RAM (I assume you only have 1x512 stick rather then 2x256) upgrading to 4x512, this will also put your RAM into dual channel mode which it isn't in if you've only got 1x512.

One thing I might suggest, is if you are interested in learning some OCing then upgrade this PC a little bit and practice OCing it and get a feel for how things work before you upgrade to a new system. It will also last you for a while longer so long as you aren't looking at doing the very newest games at high resolutions.

Find a decent aftermarket heatsink, one that has different brackets for using on different processor socket types. You should be able to find some that will do 478, LGA775 and AM2 so that way you can use the heatsink on your current system to practice your OCing and then move it to your new system when you get around to building it.
You should be able to get 10-20% more out of the system with some OCing.

With that you should be able to OC your CPU a fair amount and learn the basics of what it takes.
Then with a newer video card, like an x1650Pro or 7600 you should be good for a while, both cards run about $75-100. If you've got a bit more to spend you could go with an x1950GT/Pro as well.
So $75-100 for some more RAM, another $75-100 for a new video card, and then $20-50 for a CPU heat sink that can be used with any new system you buy and you will be good for a while.

Of course that all depends on what you are wanting to get out of the system with this upgrade. Its probably not going to be running Crysis or some of the other enthusiest level games, but if you aren't planning on playing them and mostly just want more in what you are already playing then it will be enough.
I would also consider some of the cost of the upgrade more of a cost of learning rather then simply the cost of the upgrade because learning can be expensive. So its best to not try to learn on a brand new system. Besides with the older system you will be able to see the impovements you are getting with the OCing, where as with the new system it will already be much faster then what you are used to so you personally won't see the impovements that the OCing did nearly as much.
July 12, 2007 7:47:20 PM

Raz said:
@Mondoman...

Thank you for the explanation about MB/CPU compatibility. I don't really want to fork out extra now for an entry-level C2D system if I'm going to have to replace parts again in the next 6-12 months. So it looks like it would be best (for now) to get a new socket 478 MB and get DDR2 RAM along with a PCI-e GPU. Then I can hopefully use these when I can afford to go C2D properly - what do you think?

BTW, the £200 was for MB, GPU & as much RAM as poss although I figured I'd need to add some if I was taking this route!


As far as I know no 478 board will take DDR2 RAM and doesn't have PCIe x16 slot that you'd need for the video card, DDR2and a PCIe x16 video will not fit in you board. To noticeably speed up your current system increase you RAM to at least 1GB and 2GB if you're budget can handle it. I'd replace what you have in there now with either 2 x 512MB or x 1GB to make sure they match. Keep in mind it will have to be RAM will have to be DDR not DDR2.Secondly, would be to upgrade your video again it will have to be an AGP not a PCI x16 GPU. But keep in mind you will not be able to use either in a new system. While RAM is pretty expensive and GPUs aren't. When you're ready to commit to a new machine you could either sell your current one or keeping it for a backup, which personally I think is a better idea. I'd also suggest you do some research on current Intel and AMD CPUs, mobo, RAM, and video cards as well as what new will be coming out in the next year. That way when you're ready to do something you'll save yourself a lot of time. Keep in mind that computers are not like cars, you can't use a hammer to make things fit. :) 
July 12, 2007 7:51:12 PM

Here, This may squeeze you buy if you use your old parts.
The parts in in Lbs.

E4300 - http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/121407 - $73
965P Chipset Mobo - http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/124961 - $61
(Note: I prefer the Gigabyte 965p mobos, but they only had the 965g.)
1gb DDR2-667 - http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/116259/rb/0 - $25
7600GT - http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/106578 - $60
-------------------------------
Total - $221

While this is a low end C2D, do not let that worry you.
It should be possible to OC this chip to reasonable levels.

The chip should be capable of hitting 3.0Ghz if you get a even a fair after market cooler. With stock cooling 2.4Ghz should not be a problem.

I'm not sure about the Mobo, but it uses the 965P chipset which is generally a very good overclocker. Do not get the 965G sets which have onboard graphics. Normally the Gigabyte 965P-S3 and 965P-DS3
are recommended boards that come at a good price. You may be able to locat other UK sellers that actually carry these.

If you really needed to hold the line at 200Lbs, you could get this video card.

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/119698 and shave another $24 off the price shown above to come in under your budget.
July 12, 2007 7:53:03 PM

Onus said:
Looks to me like he said he wants Intel C2D, not AMD X2. After July 22, many Intel prices will drop. A C2D 4300 is only $117 now.
$50 for a case PLUS a PSU will buy him a sparkler, with maybe a pop and some smoke thrown in. Fortunately he said 200 pounds, not 200 dollars. The current conversion rate means he's got about $400 US.
$117 - CPU
$ 80 - cheap mobo (but not SiS or VIA)
$ 50 - 1GB RAM (2 would be nice)
$ 65 - Low End GPU (7300GT)
$ 50 - HDD
$ 40 - Case
$ 50 - PSU
$ 30 - Optical
----
$482

You'd need to get about L45 for your old system.


Cheers JTT,

I've no preference yet between Intel/AMD as don't know enough about either. Why are Intel prices dropping? Any advice? I need to look round for prices in UK so I can work out which route to take. Any suggestions for decent CPU/MB/PSU? I get the impression that I could go with the X1950Pro (PCI-e) and still use that when it comes to changing MB/CPU (assuming I have to do that in few months that is). I'm also looking to have a 2GB system for improved performance. As mentioned in previous posts, at least changing PCI-e and DDR2 now should save money later because of transferrable parts.


July 12, 2007 8:45:05 PM

Raz said:
Cheers JTT,

I've no preference yet between Intel/AMD as don't know enough about either. Why are Intel prices dropping? Any advice? I need to look round for prices in UK so I can work out which route to take. Any suggestions for decent CPU/MB/PSU? I get the impression that I could go with the X1950Pro (PCI-e) and still use that when it comes to changing MB/CPU (assuming I have to do that in few months that is). I'm also looking to have a 2GB system for improved performance. As mentioned in previous posts, at least changing PCI-e and DDR2 now should save money later because of transferrable parts.


Well any video card or RAM upgrade you do for your current system will not work in any new system you build. Your current system is AGP video card and DDR RAM, any new system you build will be PCIe video card and DDR2 RAM (DDR and DDR2 are not interchangable).
There are a very few motherboards that will do DDR2, PCIe, and take your old processor, and by the time you do that you may as well replace the processor too and be done with it.

As for why Intel is dropping their prices, it is because they want to stay competative in the price vs performance category with AMD. AMD just dropped their prices too. As it is, while at the high end AMD can't match Intel for speed, at the mid and low end range you can get a faster AMD processor for the same price as an Intel processor.
July 12, 2007 8:48:08 PM

@erloas...

Thanks for the advice. Think I will be trying to learn with this system by the looks of it. My current RAM is actually 2 x 256 and is running in dual channel. I'm aiming for 2GB so may be best to add 2 x 1GB sticks to keep in dual channel.

I'm also thinking about the X1950Pro GPU to keep me going until I go for the big upgrade but I'm now reading about all sorts of overheating issues with it so more reading to do yet. Otherwise it's the GeForce 7600GT.

What did you try (that you're disappointed with)? I'm thinking about changing MB (temporarily by the sound of it) to allow me to run a PCI-e GPU and DDR2 instead of the current AGP and DDR - assuming that at least I can use those when I change in the future. But don't you think I'll get decent improvements with that?

*EDIT* Looks like you answered my question while I was typing it! Cheers
July 12, 2007 9:16:51 PM

If you can find a cheap MB that will allow you to keep you're processor and do the memory and video card, you will deffinatly see an improvement in gaming. As said earlier, you can then get a decent cpu cooler for socket 478/775 and practice OCing the cpu you have. I was able to hit 3.6 on my old Prescott 3.0 with a Zalman cooler and runing stock voltage. If you go this route, the only wasted component would be the motherboard when you decide to upgrade the cpu.

Probably the worst thing you could do would be buying a new AGP video card and DDR memory. I did that to my old system and am still kicking myself for doing it.
July 12, 2007 9:26:37 PM

g-paw said:
As far as I know no 478 board will take DDR2 RAM and doesn't have PCIe x16 slot that you'd need for the video card, DDR2and a PCIe x16 video will not fit in you board. To noticeably speed up your current system increase you RAM to at least 1GB and 2GB if you're budget can handle it. I'd replace what you have in there now with either 2 x 512MB or x 1GB to make sure they match. Keep in mind it will have to be RAM will have to be DDR not DDR2.Secondly, would be to upgrade your video again it will have to be an AGP not a PCI x16 GPU. But keep in mind you will not be able to use either in a new system. While RAM is pretty expensive and GPUs aren't. When you're ready to commit to a new machine you could either sell your current one or keeping it for a backup, which personally I think is a better idea. I'd also suggest you do some research on current Intel and AMD CPUs, mobo, RAM, and video cards as well as what new will be coming out in the next year. That way when you're ready to do something you'll save yourself a lot of time. Keep in mind that computers are not like cars, you can't use a hammer to make things fit. :) 


Cheers g-paw - although you've just buggered up my plans again!! lol! So the best I can do with current CPU is get a 478 MB that will support PCI-e GPU (sticking with DDR ram). Looks like I'll have to learn how to tinker on this one and then upgrade later.

Just when I thought I had a plan!!
July 12, 2007 9:41:02 PM

Raz said:
@erloas...

Thanks for the advice. Think I will be trying to learn with this system by the looks of it. My current RAM is actually 2 x 256 and is running in dual channel. I'm aiming for 2GB so may be best to add 2 x 1GB sticks to keep in dual channel.

I'm also thinking about the X1950Pro GPU to keep me going until I go for the big upgrade but I'm now reading about all sorts of overheating issues with it so more reading to do yet. Otherwise it's the GeForce 7600GT.

What did you try (that you're disappointed with)? I'm thinking about changing MB (temporarily by the sound of it) to allow me to run a PCI-e GPU and DDR2 instead of the current AGP and DDR - assuming that at least I can use those when I change in the future. But don't you think I'll get decent improvements with that?

*EDIT* Looks like you answered my question while I was typing it! Cheers


I just upgraded to the X1950GT and I haven't had any overheating problems with it yet. It is the X1950XT that I believe had the heat issues. The X1950GT and X1950Pro are the same core just that the Pro is clocked a bit higher, the XT is a different core which is the power hog.

What I was mostly disappointed in is that the rest of my system can't keep up with the video card, I get great average framerates out of the games I've tried since the upgrade, but what kills me is the minumum framerate. That usually happens durning heavy load times when things are being transfered and when things happen that are CPU intensive. I was hoping the CPU wouldn't be a big bottleneck because the game I'm playing is more GPU/shader intensive then anything else so I figured the CPU would be ok but it wasn't. Then again I'm only running a 2.4GHz P4, still working with the OCing, not getting very high because I think my PSU is a little underpowered and fluctuates too much for a much higher OC, though with a 650W PSU you shouldn't have that problem.

Considering that currently very few games are taking advantage of dual core processors you should still be ok with a 3GHz processor for a while. You should also have decent results with OCing.

My justificiation for doing the upgrade rather then a replacement is because I only expect to get another 6 months out of this PC. I plan on doing a high end system in about 6 months and I couldn't justify doing a low end upgrade now when I'm planning on doing a high end upgrade in a little while. I also know a few people that don't need a high end system that I can probably sell my current system to and they will be able to benifit from my upgrade.
July 12, 2007 10:41:13 PM

RAZ,

If you dont have the funds to build a whole new system at this time i would just get another 1.5 gig DDR400 and a decent vid card, which will hold you over till you have the funds to buy a quad system (when they drop in price)
July 12, 2007 11:59:54 PM

Raz said:
Cheers g-paw - although you've just buggered up my plans again!! lol! So the best I can do with current CPU is get a 478 MB that will support PCI-e GPU (sticking with DDR ram). Looks like I'll have to learn how to tinker on this one and then upgrade later.

Just when I thought I had a plan!!


A ray of light here are a couple 478 boards that will take PCIe X16 video cards but require DDR2 RAM but I would make absolutely sure your CPU will work. These are Via boards and so not the greatest. I still think your best best is to put your money into a better AGP video card and more DDR RAM, for gaming the video card would be more important. The problem you're facing is with your limited budget you're not going to be able to get very good stuff. Figure you'll be dropping at least $53 plus shipping on a pretty crappy mobo, don't know how this translates into pounds, taxes, and what I understand are generally higher prices.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 13, 2007 12:06:58 AM

@erloas & grieve...

Thanks both. Looks like that is probably going to be the way to go. Looks like I'll still need to spend approx £200 ($400) if I go for 2GB DDR400 (2 x 1GB kit) and the X1950Pro. But if I can find a decent M/B that will allow me upgrade to PCI-e then at least I can transfer the GPU to the new system for a while when I get there. Problem now is finding a decent socket 478 M/B for not too much money!

The search goes on...
July 13, 2007 12:46:41 AM

g-paw is back in my good books! Cheers buddy. Just had a quick look and they do both seem to fit the bill. Now, what is the problem with Via boards and how do I make sure the CPU will work? What do I need to be checking?

Next question - does it matter that they're micro-ATX? Told you I was new to this!! I notice they have less PCI slots but hopefully I should only need the one (soundcard) anyway shouldn't I?
July 13, 2007 10:22:49 AM

Hmmm

i have pretty much the same system also. My advice would be to not bother getting a new motherboard, just get some more DDR ram and the AGP version of either 7600GT or 1950pro graphics cards.

the x1950pro card should set you back £120 for the 512mb version
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX... pid=701&catid=56&subcat=403

and the Ram you should be able to get for around £45
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY... 701&catid=8&subcat=557

total £165 plus shipping

tbh your 3ghz cpu should be fine for the next 6 months. what games do you play?
my system plays fine with c&c3 and supreme commander (not highest settings or res), Fear, half life 2, Quake 4, doom 3 etc and thats only with a 6800GT and 2gb Ram!

You can then concentrate on saving for your big spend later on in the year and get a complete new system with all the bells and whistles.
July 13, 2007 1:15:39 PM

Raz said:
@erloas & grieve...

Thanks both. Looks like that is probably going to be the way to go. Looks like I'll still need to spend approx £200 ($400) if I go for 2GB DDR400 (2 x 1GB kit) and the X1950Pro. But if I can find a decent M/B that will allow me upgrade to PCI-e then at least I can transfer the GPU to the new system for a while when I get there. Problem now is finding a decent socket 478 M/B for not too much money!

The search goes on...


Most of what I've read over the years say VIA boards while less expensive than vVidia and Intel do not have the quality of the latter 2, which I guess is referring to the pieces parts, capaciters, resisters, etc, but someone with far more knowledge than me would have to elaborate. I've read a bit about this but not really interested enough in engineering to learn the details. Micro ATX boards are just physically smaller, which mean they'll fit in about any case. While it's still preferable to have 3 PCI slots, you can usually get away with 2, most likely a video card and a wireless card.
July 13, 2007 10:50:32 PM

Thanks everyone for your help so far. As you probably gathered I'm not in such a rush now. I know the cheapest option right now would be to just add some more RAM and a new AGP GPU.

I'm just wondering now how much I could set up a new (reasonable) system for so I'll no doubt be back over the next day or so - when I'll no doubt need some more advice!

Cheers everyone

July 13, 2007 11:08:40 PM

g-paw said:
Most of what I've read over the years say VIA boards while less expensive than vVidia and Intel do not have the quality of the latter 2, which I guess is referring to the pieces parts, capaciters, resisters, etc, but someone with far more knowledge than me would have to elaborate. I've read a bit about this but not really interested enough in engineering to learn the details. Micro ATX boards are just physically smaller, which mean they'll fit in about any case. While it's still preferable to have 3 PCI slots, you can usually get away with 2, most likely a video card and a wireless card.


What's a decent machine for the money really depends on your budget. Unless you're a professional athelete, very successful entertainer, a drug kingpin, or politician, you will have to make trade offs and what are the best trade offs ultimately depends on your budget. Entry level for a decent gaming machine would be about $500 to $600 for everything, case, all drives, video card, CPU, RAM, etc. You go up from there. Only you know your budget so when you're ready to do something, post your budget and how you'll use the machine including the games you plan and you'll get a boatload of suggestions. In the meantime start researching. The more you know, the better you're decision will be. Unless you have a lot of technical training you're probably best to focus your research on how well things function for what you'll use them for.
July 14, 2007 9:09:23 PM

Cheers g-paw (again).

Have now decided that I am going to get rid of my current system (for as much as I can get for it) and set up a new one.

Problem with budget is that $500 - $600 in the US will get you more than the equivalent amount in £'s (approx £250 - £300). Over here (at the moment) just the E6420 alone would set me back approx £110($220) !!

I think I'm going to have to resign myself to spending in the region of £400. If I can get in the region of £100 for the old system then I should have approx £500 ($1000) to run with. Now I need to work out the best use of that money!

Think I'll probably opt for the E6420 - although looks like I could get the E6550 for only £7 more so not definite yet. Think I've persuaded myself that the X1950Pro (at £120) would serve my needs for a decent while. That leaves approx £270 for the rest (excluding TFT).

Particularly stuck with M/Bs as there are so bloody many! Thanks by the way for finding the other two earlier - it's just that the needs have changed again! Games-wise - play a wide variety so I want to be able to run pretty much whatever I can but don't need 'amazing' performance.
July 15, 2007 12:02:57 AM

Suggest you read the following including the last section re significantly increasing the gaming ability of the low cost machine, which shows how important the video card is.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/05/11/system_builder_m...

I would suggest with a very tight budget you at least consider AMD because not only are the CPUs less than Intel even with Intel's upcoming price cuts, AMD just cut their prices again, but the boards are less expensive. When selling your old system make sure you can at least as much if not more than the parts you'll have to buy that would likely be the hard drive, optical drive, case, and PSU. If you're getting case, suggest considering something like the something like an Antec Sonata II, very quiet, easy to work with, and most importantly has a good PSU. newegg, which I know you can't buy at, has a 450w Rosewell case that I just used to build a grandkid a computer. While you want to start with a decent PSU keep in mind you'll be able to upgrade everything as the pounds roll.

Something like this would fit your budget
Case http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681... $99
MOBO http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681... $99
RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $90
Video Card http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681... $90
CPU http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681... $17.50
Floppy http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682... $6
HDD http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Total $567.

Any number of ways you can save money, less expensive case, mobo, or starting with 1GB of RAM, and if this fits your budget, put the savings to a better video card or put it in your pocket. You could easily upgrade everything in the future.


July 15, 2007 12:43:45 PM

You see, this is my problem... I've just priced up all the bits you outline at UK prices to see how it compares. According to the newegg costs that budget system comes to $567 (which converts as approx £283.50).To buy that same stuff here actually costs £435 (or $870) and I'd need to add an optical drive yet as well - for a "budget system".

I also priced up the mid-range system from the marathon build out of interest. According to the US cost it came to $1,255 (£627.50) - which I'd be more than happy with if I could sell my old system.

To buy everything in that build from the UK actually comes to £780.00 ($1,560) - plus shipping! Infuriating!!

Anyway, you've given me plenty to think about so I'm going to do some looking round for prices/parts and will come back with some ideas to see if you can give me the thumbs-up/thumbs-down on any of them.

Thanks for all your help so far. Look forward to getting your input in a few days if that's okay.
July 15, 2007 1:09:19 PM

Damn prices are high over there. Do those prices include VAT, I think that's what you call sales taxes, or just for the parts?
July 15, 2007 4:09:50 PM

Yeah, those were prices including VAT - but not shipping costs!

Can I come and crash at yours for a couple of weeks while I buy everything cheap? LOL!
July 15, 2007 5:25:58 PM

Raz said:
Yeah, those were prices including VAT - but not shipping costs!

Can I come and crash at yours for a couple of weeks while I buy everything cheap? LOL!


As long as you bring some Bass :) 
July 15, 2007 5:39:27 PM

Yeah I agree the best thing to do is sell that system. By all rights, the 875p chipset is a dead end, but it can hold its own even today. You just need more ram and a better video card and it can still run all of today's games just fine. You could probably overclock it to 3.4 ghz, in which case it would be equivalent to an x2 3800 system. Not blazing fast but it gets the job done....

One thing you can do right now for a nice performance boost is make sure you're using both memory channels. You said you only have 512mb, which sounds like you've only got one channel running. I could be wrong though, since you could have 2 256mb sticks.

But as for dropping $200 on an agp video card... that is a tough choice. I wouldnt. The price premium on 2 gigs of ddr and an x1950pro agp is about the same as a new mobo with a pcie x1950 and 2 gigs of ddr2. Then all you'd really be paying for is a new cpu. Your p43.0 is only worth about $50.

Not sure where that 650W power supply came from(!) but you might want to rip that out of there before selling the rest of the system.