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ideal board & cpu for pc3200?

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June 16, 2008 6:36:53 PM

My old system is a 3.2 Prescott with 2gigs of PC3200. The board is a Microstar PM8M-V (or something like that, I always forget the board number on this one) It still rocks AGP8x.

If I were to rebuild with the intention of ditching the hot P4 and its motherboard, but keeping everything else, would there be a reasonable alternative worth looking in to? Put more simply, what is the last motherboard to have PC3200 as its fastest supported memory speed? It'd be nice if it were something that ran cooler than the Prescott, but I'm not holding my breath for much of a temp change. I don't care about brand, I simply want the best performance from the cpu and motherboard, without having to buy new memory, video card, etc.. (and I don't want to upgrade so far that the PC3200 becomes a killer bottleneck)

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum, but I suppose my question is mainly motherboard related.

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June 16, 2008 6:49:26 PM

I don't think it's a good idea, considering how cheap memory is nowadays, but this is your best bet:

ASRock 4CoreDual-SATA2 LGA 775 VIA PT880 Pro/PT880 Ultra ATX Intel Motherboard - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And any 800/1066 Core 2 Duo/Quad or Pentium Dual Core (E2xx0 series)
a b V Motherboard
June 16, 2008 6:50:00 PM

Edit: Great minds think alike, KyleSTL. I just posted the same mobo.

Overall, you're better off building a new system.
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June 16, 2008 6:56:07 PM

I already have a "new" system. I'm just trying to bring the heat down and maybe get a bit better performance out of what I've got in this one, so I can hand it down to a friend in need.

Hm. Spend $200 buying a board and processor, or blow through at very least $500 building something from scratch. Thanks for the advice, but I knew I should've specified not to bother telling me how much better it would be to build something new. :D 
June 16, 2008 7:14:39 PM

dave3k said:
I already have a "new" system. I'm just trying to bring the heat down and maybe get a bit better performance out of what I've got in this one, so I can hand it down to a friend in need.

Hm. Spend $200 buying a board and processor, or blow through at very least $500 building something from scratch. Thanks for the advice, but I knew I should've specified not to bother telling me how much better it would be to build something new. :D 


Or you could spend $245 on a new processor, board, and 2 gigs of DDR2 800, what's your point?
June 16, 2008 8:03:58 PM

What's yours? You're basically telling me to buy a piece of crap bundle. I'd rather use something obsolete than something intentionally designed to make other systems look better by comparison. Not to mention the fact that you didn't include a new PSU in all of that.. or would you feel comfortable putting a used PSU with all those new parts? Hopefully not. So again, that bumps the cost well beyond what is budgeted for this potential tune-up.

I'm not trying to get in to a big thing here, it's just that this hairsplitting is so typical for these forums; the topic isn't whether or not I should build a new computer. Why do so many topics here seem to spiral so quickly toward the suggestion to start from scratch? Sometimes, money the biggest factor.

Couldn't you make your point just as easily telling me to not bother doing anything at all to it?
June 16, 2008 8:22:56 PM

You say you would like to spend $200 on a CPU and board, why do you have to reuse the RAM? That would only mean spending more, or getting a lower quality, board to accept DDR RAM. You could buy the same CPU, a better board, and DDR2 RAM for the same or little more money. Get something like an Athlon 4800 for $60, a $70ish board, and 2 gigs of DDR2 (I have seen Crucial Ballistix for as low as $15), that way you are not stuck with a crappy board, and you can sell your old CPU, board and RAM.
June 16, 2008 8:43:36 PM

You can try to update, but boards with AGP are all but gone and DDR is following the same path. So, simply put, if your gonna try to upgrade that box, you will likely need to get new mem and a new vid card as well.
a c 435 V Motherboard
June 17, 2008 10:31:27 AM

Your best option for ddr is to get one of the asrock boards that can use either ddr or ddr2. 3Btech had one for $33 shipped; I've done business with them. Had to return one board within the 90 day warranty, and since they were out of stock, they gave me a full refund. The model number may be dual vsta; they had 2 models; one with built in agp video and another one with either pci-e or agp slots. Both boards have 2 ddr and 2 ddr2 slots. I would use either an e2200 or e4500 Intel cpu and pin mod it to 1066 using copper tape or the solution from a rear defroster repair kit, available at some auto parts stores.
a c 435 V Motherboard
June 17, 2008 3:46:55 PM

If you go with the open box at 3btech, you'll need to download the drivers first on your current system, and burn them to a cd. You'll also need to order a backplate from asrock america for $5 shipped. The address is on their website. Just type the model number on the check.
June 17, 2008 4:15:52 PM

Grimble_Crumble said:
You say you would like to spend $200 on a CPU and board, why do you have to reuse the RAM? That would only mean spending more, or getting a lower quality, board to accept DDR RAM. You could buy the same CPU, a better board, and DDR2 RAM for the same or little more money. Get something like an Athlon 4800 for $60, a $70ish board, and 2 gigs of DDR2 (I have seen Crucial Ballistix for as low as $15), that way you are not stuck with a crappy board, and you can sell your old CPU, board and RAM.

I like this idea, except it doesn't include a GPU. Add another $60+ for a PCIe card. Although selling the old parts on eBay may offset the difference entirely, but that depends on whether the OP wants to go through the hastle to do that (overall you'd be in a much better situation in this case).

Edit: Here's an open box Asrock for $40 w/ free shipping -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's a gamble, but could pay off.
!