Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Upgrade Time In Jan or Keep Up Life Support on P4 2.8

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 25, 2007 6:15:03 PM

Awesome forum here. Its way past time to upgrade to a new system. My 5 year old computer:

XP Pro 32 bit
p4 2.8 ghz socket 478 (3.16 fastest CPU out there, not sold in stores)
1 gb rambus ram (rambus too expensive to upgrade to 2 gb)
320 gb ATA 100 HD
120 gb ATA 100 HD
agp 4x
Radeon 9800 Pro 128 mb video card
20.1 wide screen Dell Ultrasharp Monitor (I run it at 1680x1050)
350 power supply (need to look at amps)
I'd like to play the current FPS out there. BF2141, Quake 4, CSS at decent frame rates
I'm not concerned with playing the new games like Crysis ATM. I can wait a year for that.

I have a couple options:

I could upgrade in Janurary to a new Peryn CPU system. I would spend $1500 ish on the computer.

Or I could buy a 7800 gs for $120 from newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think I may need a new power supply to handle the 18 amps requirement on the 7800gs. I was thinking of going with this for $56:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My TH7 II Raid motherboard has an addition aux power supply connector that the new ps's don't have. Will a new ps work without this plug? If so, maybe I should go with a new ps.

I'm thinking that the $200 upgrade will allow me to keep my system going for another year or so. Then I'll have a better picture on Vista performance and the Peryn chips.

Will my P4 bottleneck the 7800gs?

Will the 7800 gs be a significant upgrade over my 9800 pro? I'm thinking it'll be 2x the performance.

What do you think?

Thanks
October 25, 2007 6:53:04 PM

I would guess that a complete system rebuild would be the better option, overall. AGP cards are more expensive, and you may very well get into bottleneck issues with your old p4.

For the record, in around a year, nehalem will be rolling out (supposedly), so you might continue to play a waiting game. Also, I expect you could design an excellent performing system for closer to $1000 rather than the $1500. I think investing in the old system is probably a mistake, but I'm no expert.

Other people will ask not only about the wattage on your PSU, but the make.

Regarding how much of an improvement, I usually cheat and look at this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/10/01/the_best_gaming_...

You're up around 5 tiers, which should make a noticeable difference, but you'll be buying an AGP part, which you won't be able to transfer to a new system.

I don't know about the power supply plug. How many pins is it? In what formation?

Since you're talking about power supplies, I'll provide the obligatory link to the tiers:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...
October 25, 2007 7:00:24 PM

UPGRADE!
Keep the hard-drive and monitor.

You can upgrade to a 7800GS or x1950Pro which will help, but at this point, I'll save that cash for a much better new system.
The problem is not the card upgrade, the old AGP cards are just expensive. New cards are just faster for less money.

If you had an early C2D(775) or X2 (939), you can wait a year. But what you have not isn't even upgradable anymore.

Also, if what you are running now seems ok - just wait a while. If not broke, don't fix it.
October 25, 2007 7:07:03 PM

And if you are going to Upgrade, go ahead and do it now.
Look at the 8800GT shipping next week.

The Penrynn will be nice chips, but they will not be leaps and earth shattering improvements.

Intel has a new chip next Fall/Winter that will be that category.
So if you want till Q1 '08 you will want to wait again.
It's a never ending cycle.

There are very powerful and good chips out now for great prices.
October 25, 2007 7:12:19 PM

Full upgrade, but if you do take the advice to keep your current HDDs or optical drives, pay attention to the MB you get (needs at least 1 ATA connector, some nowadays don't) or get an add-in PATA controller.
October 25, 2007 7:31:22 PM

January 2007. Oh, you are too late!
October 25, 2007 8:40:13 PM

Thanks for the links einstein4p res. I had found the ps one, but I didn't know about the video card one. It's good info. I'm surprised so many people think I should just rebuild a new computer. I was for sure that getting the new 7800 gs would breathe some life into my system and allow me some time to see how Vista, Quad Core and the Peryn chips work out.

If the new CPUs in Q1 2008 are as much are an improvement as zenmaster says then that may be a good move.

Now I sound like I'm trying to justify buying the video card and I've made my mind up. I haven't, but I am leaning that way. Can anyone else comment on if my p4 2.8 Northwood will bottleneck a 7800 gs?
October 25, 2007 8:50:03 PM

I had a P4 setup almost exactly like yours. I bought the 7800GS and it was horribly bottlenecked. I was hoping for the quick one component fix that would get me decent framerates in WOW and BF2. I tried to keep my AGP platform alive by buying one component at a time. As a result, I ended up shelling out for a new video card, PSU, CPU, motherboard, and finally memory before I finally got the performance I wanted. Now, I'm stuck with a decent, but still AGP system - when I could have had a MUCH better system for the same amount of money if I had just committed to changing platforms.

Bottom line - upgrade your platform, and be decisive about getting the best you can for your money when you do it.

If you don't upgrade the entire system, you'll very likely be dissatisfied with the gaming performance you end up with.

Hope this helps.

October 25, 2007 8:55:35 PM

Quote:
I had a P4 setup almost exactly like yours. I bought the 7800GS and it was horribly bottlenecked. I was hoping for the quick one component fix that would get me decent framerates in WOW and BF2. I tried to keep my AGP platform alive by buying one component at a time. As a result, I ended up shelling out for a new video card, PSU, CPU, motherboard, and finally memory before I finally got the performance I wanted. Now, I'm stuck with a decent, but still AGP system - when I could have had a MUCH better system for the same amount of money if I had just committed to changing platforms.

Bottom line - upgrade your platform, and be decisive about getting the best you can for your money when you do it.

If you don't upgrade the entire system, you'll very likely be dissatisfied with the gaming performance you end up with.

Hope this helps.


Listen to this guy. I went through the same thing.
October 25, 2007 8:56:02 PM

I've been happy with my 7600GS, but it's not a huge step in the right direction, just a small one. If you want a noticable difference as well as more-for-your-money-ness, build new (with a little recycling/reusing).
October 25, 2007 9:03:39 PM

Thanks guys. Looks like my new badass build in Jan it is.

rgeist554 said:
Quote:
I had a P4 setup almost exactly like yours. I bought the 7800GS and it was horribly bottlenecked. I was hoping for the quick one component fix that would get me decent framerates in WOW and BF2. I tried to keep my AGP platform alive by buying one component at a time. As a result, I ended up shelling out for a new video card, PSU, CPU, motherboard, and finally memory before I finally got the performance I wanted. Now, I'm stuck with a decent, but still AGP system - when I could have had a MUCH better system for the same amount of money if I had just committed to changing platforms.

Bottom line - upgrade your platform, and be decisive about getting the best you can for your money when you do it.

If you don't upgrade the entire system, you'll very likely be dissatisfied with the gaming performance you end up with.

Hope this helps.


Listen to this guy. I went through the same thing.

October 25, 2007 9:11:01 PM

You could do an 'upgrade with a future cpu upgrade' idea like I'm doing.

I have to wait til tax refunds to buy everything but I've already bought a few parts to use in my current system (namely LL PC-A05B case, Yate Loon fans, 2x120mm radgrill for fan mod job, side window for mod job, 750gig SATA HD) but I also have an old system...3 1/2 y/o P4 Northwood 3.0C, 865PE mobo, Radeon 9500 agp, 1gig Corsair ValueSelect, etc.

I'm going to build a system around an E2160 o/c to 3gig/1333fsb, Gigabyte P35-DS3P mobo, 4 gigs of DDR2 800 ram, etc. The trick being - I'm going to buy the E2160 for now because it's dirt cheap ($85) and overclocks to 3gig on stock cooling and voltage. When Nehalem cpus come out next summer/fall, I'll probably replace the E2160 with one of those (depending on cost, how they fare, and assuming they work with P35 which is true AFAIK).
October 25, 2007 10:52:00 PM

Or if you want to go the darkside and go AMD, which I personally am a fan of.....how about this....

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

this would give you plenty of ATA ports so you can keep your hard drives, and any dvd drives/burners you have.

2 of these...........

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

So far we've spent about 100 bucks....

maybe one of these...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now we've got about 270 into this thing........

Or maybe the 6400+ for 209.....

But say your going for the 6000+ so we have 270 spent....

then maybe.....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


So we are looking at about 530 bucks. Think about that versus 1500...of course you may want to add a better PSU, and maybe different case.....say you put out another 150 for that. Say 700 bucks you are well under 1000 or 1500, and you'd have a system that would scream. Not the fastest....but top notch, at least double your system now.....
October 25, 2007 11:07:53 PM

Thanks for the build info. I fully realize that I can build strong pc for under $1k. I'm looking to build a PC that I won't have to upgrade for 2-3 years. I don't plan on buying the most expensive stuff out there, I usually buy the best before the big jump. Which right now would be the Q6600 or the 6750. I plan to do the same in a few months.

Also my $1500 figure includes everything. ie shipping & tax, cables, fans, etc. If I built today I would get something like:

Q6600
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775
G.SKILL 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 - 4 gigs
8800GTS 320MB
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS - power supply
SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB
cheap sound blaster sound card, mouse, keyboard, dvd, fans - $150ish
Windows XP/Vista

Which is about $1240 before tax and shipping. Note that I already have a Zalman 9500 and a FAR case.

I plan to keep my computer and find a use for it. Maybe I'll donate it to a family member who is about to go to college. Maybe I'll keep it for a 2nd gaming machine so my Little Brother can play older PC games with me. Hell I might even donate it to charity.

Remember that I have stretched out my use of my current P4 for 5 years. I don't have a problem dropping down graphics to play newer games when they come out. But I would like to treat myself a little since I'm building a PC.

You guys are really helpful here. I'm glad I found this forum.

Thanks
October 26, 2007 1:03:30 AM

Do like I've always done.
Buy/build what you want/need, sell your old system on eBay, Craigslist, local paper etc. to recoup some of the costs of your new system.
!