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Worthy $150 upgrade?

Last response: in Systems
February 16, 2008 2:46:33 PM

So now that I finally have my main system right where I want it as far as specs (the one in my signature) I'm considering upgrading my secondary/HTPC.

Here's what I have now:
Pentium 820D 2.8Ghz
Cheap Intel Motherboard
3GB PC4200
8800GTS 320MB
Seagate 320GB Sata 3.0Gb/s

My son uses this for gaming and I use it for watching TV, movies, music, pictures DVR etc. It runs very well right now with Vista Ultimate 32bit despite the crappy CPU. Honestly it doesn't need an upgrade but with a new CPU/Motherboard I could use the old ones to build another system which I 'm sure I could find something to do with (already have extra case, PSU, ROM, HDD, video card). So here's what I'm thinking:
$99 AMD 5000 BE
~$50 motherboard

I would use 2GB of the RAM that I have and the other 1GB for the extra system. So would this be worth it? If the drop in ram would be too much I would use all 3GB. Also any opinions on cheap motherboards that can overclock well?

More about : worthy 150 upgrade

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February 16, 2008 2:53:08 PM

You might be better to get the mobo you say, but go ahead and do 2 gb of dd2 800, memory has been dirt cheap lately, like under 50 bucks for 2gb, and you see a difference between 1 and 2 in vista.
February 16, 2008 2:55:58 PM

Well I would be using a minimum of 2GB, possibly 3GB.
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February 16, 2008 3:15:34 PM

For over clocking your better off getting an Intel e21xx series with a P35 mobo. The Asus P5K SE is $89.00. Tigerdirect has this one on sale.

You could use your ram but you would need to buy a after market CPU cooler to overclock since it is an OEM chip.

This setup up would be like $190-$200 with shipping. The e2180 OCs to 3.33 on this board with the stock cooler. With the aftermarket cooler you could probably go higher.

Dont forget the thermal paste.
February 16, 2008 3:35:16 PM

I have a Thermaltake Big Typhoon on the 820D right now so a cooler isn't an issue. I'll have to consider the Intel.
February 16, 2008 5:03:12 PM

You wont be sorry going the Intel route. I am running that setup as we speak.
February 16, 2008 5:18:03 PM

Well I'll have to look into whats going to work better, an unlocked multiplier and a cheap board, or a great overclocker with a better board.
February 16, 2008 5:56:36 PM

Looks like the average overclock for the 5000BE and the e2140 are both 3.0. You get 400MHZ out of the 5000 and 1400 out of the e2140.
A crappy board for $50.00 might not net you any Overclock. The P35s are known OC champions. I would rather have a better chip that one with a unlocked multiplier. The e4700 is due out March 12 and it has a 13x multiplier if multipliers are your thing. MFSR $113.00
February 16, 2008 6:28:16 PM

I think you're missing the point on the unlocked multiplier. With an unlocked multiplier the CPU can be overclocked without changing the FSB, which can make it easier and less dependent on a good motherboard or memory. But I'm definetly going to look into both options.