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Pentium 4 2.4

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June 7, 2009 4:55:15 AM

Hello everyone,

Could this fall under graphics card category as well? Sorry its a mix of questions.

My next door neighbor wants to FINALLY upgrade his old P4 2.4ghz for his 8 year old son. He asked me about gpu's and I told him that the last of the mohicans as far as AGP is concerned is the ATI 3850.

System specs:

Make/Model: VPR Matrix ft2100pe

P4 2.4 Northwood
Intel D845PEBT2
1gb Ram

Although I have found conflicting information about the amount of RAM it can actually hold, will the 3850 bottleneck the CPU? Back to the RAM. It currently has 1gb max acording to the manufacturers website, however, when I ran the Crucial System Scanner app(on crucials site) it said it can hold 2gb max of pc-2300. PC currently has 512 pc2100 and 512 pc2300. Would it help if those were pairs? Also can I use pc2300 in place of the pc2100 an would that help speed it up? I have also heard that pc3200 can be used in place of pc2100/2300. Is this true?

Thanks

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June 7, 2009 5:01:22 AM

It might, I have a Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU in my HTPC and its running a HD 3650. What will he be using this for?
June 7, 2009 5:08:45 AM

Hey thanks for such a quick reply,

Well basically online gaming(combat arms, operation7). I have Bioshock collecting dust that he can have as well which it will run bette than the x1650 pro 512 it has now. So you are saying "it might" as far as bottle necking the processor or "it might" in regards to running optimially? And do you have any input as far as the RAM/MOBO is concerned?
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June 7, 2009 5:13:19 AM

845PE chipset can hold a maximum RAM of 2GB (as Crucial website indicated) in combination of 4x512MB or 2x1GB.
If gaming at resolution below 1600x1200 then the 2.4Ghz Northwood will become a bottleneck if pair with a HD3850 AGP for most games. You can solve that by overclocking it up to 3Ghz fairly easy by using something like SoftFSB if no overclocking option is present in BIOS, with stock voltage and cooling (might have to change thermal paste and disable fan control).
June 7, 2009 5:18:42 AM

+1. ClockGen or SetFSB might also work, wuzy can SoftFSB control CPU voltages as well?
June 7, 2009 5:29:25 AM

Changing FSB and other frequency is supported by programming to the specific clock generator chip, which ClockGen and SetFSB and SoftFSB supports a lot. One of them is bound to work I guess. Speaking of which you'd have to find which clock gen. chip it's using if 'Intel D845PEBT2' isn't listed. Traditionally they're made by 'ICS'.
Software voltage change is specific to individual motherboards unfortunately as there's way too many voltage controllers out there and not many of them are well documented for software programming. If I do one tho I can lookup its datasheet and figure out a vmod for it through a trimpot, but that's way beyond the context of this discussion obviously.
June 7, 2009 5:29:47 AM

Thanks for the reply guys,

As far as the ram goes, can I replace the pc2100/2300 with pc3200 or is pc2300 the highest i can go? The BIOS is fairly limited. There is no voltage adjustment, just some adjustments to change it to "AGGRESSIVE MODE"(as stated in bios). I will return in about 10 minutes after I check what bios adjustments are present. Thanks again. I will try and be quick about it.
June 7, 2009 5:39:32 AM

Higher speed rated RAM can run at lower speeds.
PC2100 is 266Mhz(DDR) and PC3200 is 400Mhz(DDR)
June 7, 2009 5:52:54 AM

Alright I'm back,

So seeing that this is a 333mhz PC, then if i installed pc3200@400mhz, then the RAM would clock itself down, correct? And the pc2100 will not clock itself up?

I think I mentioned that there are no voltage adjustments that can be made in bios.

I went into the BIOS and this is what I found:

Adavanced>Chipset Config

SDRAM FREQ: 266 or 333 currently 333
SDRAM Timing Control: User Defined
RAS act. to Pre: 5 (choice of 5,6,7,8)
Cas#Latency: 2.0 (choice of 2.0, 2.5)
Ras# to Cas# Delay: 2.0 (choice of 2,3,4)
Ras# Precharge: 2 (choice of 2,3,4)

Also

PCI latency Time is 248

Went into Fan Control Configuration

Fan Control: Enabled (othe choice is Disabled)
Lowest Fan Speed: Slow (other choice is OFF)

It may seem like this is drifting off topic a little but it will all make sense, right? If it makes the pc run faster and if his kid can use a 3650 than its all good.
June 7, 2009 5:54:37 AM

I'm pretty sure it should, on this P4 box I have which supports 333MHz I have installed PC3200 so it should be fine.
June 7, 2009 5:59:55 AM

Very cool. I will order some tonight. TY SO do you see anything with these bios settings that seem like they could be adjusted for better performance? It is a limited BIOS to say the least.
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June 7, 2009 2:24:17 PM

I had a system based on that motherboard. My son and his friends complained that it was too slow when playing on-line games at 1280 x 1024. On the other hand, a P4 2.8 with an ATI X850 XT was just acceptable at the same resolution. At lower resolutions, the X 850 XT definitely is faster than the X1650 Pro. Based on my experience, installing a faster video card might not make a really huge difference.

I have two Core 2 Duo (E6300 and E6420) with ATI 1950 Pro video cards and those are excellent for on-line gaming at 1680 x 1050. They are much better than the P4 2.8.
June 7, 2009 5:24:15 PM

Thanks GhislainG,

Well he could always upgrade mobos and cpu's but he is really only willing to upgrade the GPU at this point. Its hard for me to try and explain to him that the P4 was a good processor 5 years ago but not now.
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June 7, 2009 6:04:58 PM

The 3850 will certainly be an improvement in games like Combat Arms. The goal for an 8-year old is to not lose simply because his PC (or the Internet link) isn't fast enough to be competitive. Unfortunately a 3850 AGP isn't cheap.
June 7, 2009 8:38:17 PM

The HD3850 can be found really cheap now. And by cheap i mean WAY below 100$.

I jus saw it selling for 80$ ( canadian )

You can raise the FSB in the bios. The voltage is not adjustable but maybe the FSB is. The mobo will auto adjust the VOlts. well i guess.

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June 7, 2009 9:11:31 PM

boulard83 said:
The HD3850 can be found really cheap now. And by cheap i mean WAY below 100$.

I jus saw it selling for 80$ ( canadian )

You can raise the FSB in the bios. The voltage is not adjustable but maybe the FSB is. The mobo will auto adjust the VOlts. well i guess.
Not much is adjustable on an Intel desktop motherboard. However they are very stable.
June 7, 2009 9:18:17 PM

Yeah, that's it, buy some PC3200 memory you don't need, for a system that WON"T PLAY ANY CURRENT GAMES, "How about a game of chess"...Quit wasting our and your time...
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June 7, 2009 10:26:31 PM

marcellis22 said:
Yeah, that's it, buy some PC3200 memory you don't need, for a system that WON"T PLAY ANY CURRENT GAMES, "How about a game of chess"...Quit wasting our and your time...

According to the OP, the system is for an 8-year old and I'm sure his parents won't let him play Crysis.
June 7, 2009 11:52:52 PM

It's still a very usable machine for playing pre-2007 games with a HD3850 @1280x1024.
Not everyone is like us who demands 1920x1200 with maximum eye candy on latest released games.
June 8, 2009 5:17:52 AM

GhislainG said:
Not much is adjustable on an Intel desktop motherboard. However they are very stable.


Yeah Intel boards aren't the best for overclocking, most don't even have overclocking capabilities. Try software?
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June 8, 2009 12:21:02 PM

When I had it, I tried software to overclock it, but it didn't work.
June 8, 2009 4:22:07 PM

Well I guess its either the gpu or a new PC.

First of all MARCELLIS22---Nice self-portrait. Looks like you've been in that positon for a long time. Why don't you try and leave it there a while longer and quit wasting the time of the one's who ARE trying to help.

Wuzy---Yeah I might get the guy to try and buy a 3850 or a 3650 for it. I also tried the SoftFSB and SetFSB. Waaaay to much hassle there man!LOL

Boulard---Yeah the FSB in the bios is already set to the highest.

GhislainG---Yeah this thing is very stable. My neighbor bought it brand new and has never had a problem(now its the age).

Marcellis22----Sorry to interrupt your hectic schedule. I'll quit wasting MY time even responding to you.
June 8, 2009 5:07:55 PM

I know that SEtfsb and other OCing prog can be hard to play with. But if you take your time. Reading and Learning. You can get it and P4 seems to be able to reach high FSB with decent cooling. Or at least a lil OC to 3.3-3.5 with stock cooling.

If you dont want to play with it ... well live with this computer taht way or buy something newer .. :( 
June 8, 2009 11:37:57 PM

+1. And you can try ClockGen, stuff like that. Just remember to watch thermals and stress test. Go slow, don't go with a huge o/c at once.
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June 9, 2009 1:10:37 AM

AKM880 said:
+1. And you can try ClockGen, stuff like that. Just remember to watch thermals and stress test. Go slow, don't go with a huge o/c at once.

We shall never forget that the user of that PC is not the OP, but his neighbour's 8-year old kid. I'd stay away from overclocking a system that isn't mine unless the owner agrees to it and fully understands the risks.
June 9, 2009 2:08:35 AM

Sorry I forgot to thank AKM as well. ClockGen from CPUID is not available right now. As far as SetFsb is concerned, I was just looking at it and it makes little sense to me but I am not well versed in this sort of thing. I see all of the numbers but get lost. Do you guys know of a good tutorial for SetFSB? I found one that is in Japanese, I think LOL! That would be nice to OC that much. If it burns it burns, the P4@2.4 is really cheap to replace. I found a few P4@3.06ghz CPU's for 80 DOLLARS! No way. I could get an Athlon X2 7850 BE for less.
June 9, 2009 2:07:41 PM

^ Sorry forgot about that lol :lol: , you can get ClockGen from any other file hosting website I guess, its really easy to use..
June 9, 2009 5:07:35 PM

Hey AKM880,

I actually found a rather easy to use application called CPUFSB. Its really nice but I am fairly certain that due to the mobo limitations it just wont push the CPU any further. No matter how little of an adjustment I make it just locks up the cpu. It's no big deal. From what I have been reading on Toms and other sites, that OC'ing the p4 2.4 Northwood is not as easy as others UNLESS you have a decent mobo, and this D845PEBT2 just doesn't have what it needs. Plus the very limited Phoenix bios doesn't help the matter. Oh well. It's old but it still runs rather well, figuratively speaking.

Thanks for your help anyway. Unless there is some other trick anyone has up thier sleeve's, we should just call it a day on this venture. Please feel free to PM me if there are anymore thoughts on this subject.
!