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Upgrade from P4/2.66G, what CPU should I use?

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March 11, 2009 3:09:35 PM

I didn't ask this question when I built my P4-2.66G six years ago. It has served me well, quite well for the last six years.

Somehow I can't help thinking of upgrade. What should I get so it can last as long? As you can imagine, I am not a game player. I use PC to do the basic tasks: excel, email, programming in c++, listen to music, watch movie occasionally, and would like to be able to edit video clip if the cpu is powerful enough.

So what should I get? In term of budget, I think I can spend upward 1500 on cpu, motherboard, video card, and ram.

Any thoughts?

More about : upgrade 66g cpu

March 11, 2009 3:17:24 PM

Some other things that can help us make your 1500 hunderd budget go as far as possible we need a bit more info. Are you planning on reusing some of your old parts? If so, what are they? OS/mouse/monitor/keyboard/hd ...ect.

Do you have any plans on upgrading parts over the next few years to keep your computer up-to-date or do you plan or just doing a fresh new build every couple of years?
March 11, 2009 3:17:46 PM

Ion based netbook @ $499

Well for everything except the video editing unless nvidia or ati come out with a similar platform which supports the quad core, arm based A9.

Or if you want a full PC then you could get pretty much what you wanted for $8-900
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March 11, 2009 3:31:02 PM

kubes said:
Some other things that can help us make your 1500 hunderd budget go as far as possible we need a bit more info. Are you planning on reusing some of your old parts? If so, what are they? OS/mouse/monitor/keyboard/hd ...ect.

Do you have any plans on upgrading parts over the next few years to keep your computer up-to-date or do you plan or just doing a fresh new build every couple of years?


The parts I can reuse include monitor, keyboard, mouse. If I stay with IDE hard disk, I can re-use them too. I dont know how much faster the SATA ones.... I can live with IDE unless you see something different.

One side comment:

When I see how often people upgrade their PC, I feel I've saved so much over the years. Will I upgrade parts in the new PC's life span? I might if I have to, or if I have a reason to do so.

My current setup include dual 22" monitors, 3G of RAM on P4-2.66 stock frequency. I run XP pro, Visual Studio 2005, CS3, and listen to XM online..... pretty good? I need to get myself ready for the next upgrade.

Thanks again.
March 11, 2009 3:53:44 PM

I'm kinda in the same boat. I have had the same PC for 11 years, with a motherboard upgrade 6 years ago and I want to build myself a new one despite the fact that the old one is technically fine for what I use it for.

I've just accepted that it's a toy and I deserve it ! Plus, spending maybe $3,000 every 10 years works out at $300 a year, which is a bargain compared with some hobbies.

At the moment, my plan is to get; i7-920, Asus P6T Motherboard, 6GB of Memory, 1GB 4870 Video card, probably a Xigmatek cooler, BFG 650 PSU and NZXT Tempest Case. I'm still wavering over whether to get a 300GB Velociraptor or to stick with a 1TB Caviar Black. I'll need the OS, Keyboard, Mouse and a 24" 1920x1200 LCD as well, so $1,500 will be tight but I think it is manageable.

I figure that this will last me at least 5 years and can be upgraded cheaply during that period with a 3.4GHz overclock, an extra 6GB of RAM and maybe a second 4870 in crossfire mode if I do need more power for some reason.
March 11, 2009 3:59:54 PM

Siggy19 said:
I'm kinda in the same boat. I have had the same PC for 11 years, with a motherboard upgrade 6 years ago and I want to build myself a new one despite the fact that the old one is technically fine for what I use it for.

I've just accepted that it's a toy and I deserve it ! Plus, spending maybe $3,000 every 10 years works out at $300 a year, which is a bargain compared with some hobbies.

At the moment, my plan is to get; i7-920, Asus P6T Motherboard, 6GB of Memory, 1GB 4870 Video card, probably a Xigmatek cooler, BFG 650 PSU and NZXT Tempest Case. I'm still wavering over whether to get a 300GB Velociraptor or to stick with a 1TB Caviar Black. I'll need the OS, Keyboard, Mouse and a 24" 1920x1200 LCD as well, so $1,500 will be tight but I think it is manageable.

I figure that this will last me at least 5 years and can be upgraded cheaply during that period with a 3.4GHz overclock, an extra 6GB of RAM and maybe a second 4870 in crossfire mode if I do need more power for some reason.


I just looked around and this is what I get:

CPU Q9550 280
MB P5Q3 150
RAM 8G P3-1066 140
Video ASUS 4850/512MB 170
PS CORSAIR 620HX 120
HD anything 100

Total 960

I dont know if the video card is the right fit for video editing. On the other hand, last time I said I wanted to do video editing was 6 years back when building the current one. So .... I'd like to be able to do it but dont know if I am serious enough. It's too time consuming as far as I am concerned.

Please comment.
March 11, 2009 4:50:26 PM

If you are going with that CPU, why not get an i7 instead... The CPU is about the same price, the Motherboard will be about $50 more, but 6GB of DDR3 memory (seems to be the sweet spot for DDR3) is only about $110 so you should get it all for under $1,000. If you have a Microcenter near you, they may still be selling the i7 for $230 which would actually save you money so long as you don't buy anything else at Microcenter !

The i7 overclocks easily, I gather, and the memory and graphics can both be upgraded without replacing anything (extra memory and/or a second video card in crossfire mode).

The stock cooler that comes with the i7 is perfectly sufficient for the time being, so you don't need to buy an aftermarket one until/unless you do overclock and possibly not then.
March 11, 2009 5:44:12 PM

i7 Build

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 ($59.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99 ($169.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $288.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $96.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $154.99 ($134.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
EVGA 01G-P3-N870-AR GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Total: $1,060.91 *(not including shipping and rebates)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 Free Shipping*
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail
March 11, 2009 5:47:20 PM

Siggy19 said:
If you are going with that CPU, why not get an i7 instead... The CPU is about the same price, the Motherboard will be about $50 more, but 6GB of DDR3 memory (seems to be the sweet spot for DDR3) is only about $110 so you should get it all for under $1,000. If you have a Microcenter near you, they may still be selling the i7 for $230 which would actually save you money so long as you don't buy anything else at Microcenter !

The i7 overclocks easily, I gather, and the memory and graphics can both be upgraded without replacing anything (extra memory and/or a second video card in crossfire mode).

The stock cooler that comes with the i7 is perfectly sufficient for the time being, so you don't need to buy an aftermarket one until/unless you do overclock and possibly not then.


I certainly would consider it if the it doesn't bring up the cost. I am not a big fan of energy efficiency after it passes certain threadhold. I mean I would walk away if the upfront cost is larger than the saving, which is under certain assumptions.

Anyway, it's good to know the cost of a new build.

Thanks.
a c 77 à CPUs
March 11, 2009 5:54:25 PM

An i7 build is overkill for your intended use, but easily fits into your budget. I wouldn't use any of your old parts. Just build a whole new computer and either find another use for your old one or donate it to a family member.

Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $288.99

ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $289.99

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.95

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $20.00 MIR

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 - $15.00 MIR

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Total - $1,143.87 - $35 MIR's
a c 77 à CPUs
March 11, 2009 6:05:00 PM

This AMD build would be very nice also:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.00

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $138.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.95

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $20.00 MIR

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Total - $907.88 - $20 MIR's
March 11, 2009 6:08:36 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
This AMD build would be very nice also:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.00

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $138.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.95

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $20.00 MIR

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $24.99

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Total - $907.88 - $20 MIR's


Nice build, but I think the i7 build for only $100 more than the AMD build would be the way to go.
a c 77 à CPUs
March 11, 2009 6:11:26 PM

Yea, I upped the GPU in the AMD build to a 4850 also. The 4830 from the i7 build could be used since the OP doesn't game. In fact, he could go without a GPU with the AMD build since the motherboard has onboard video, but I think the OP said he runs two monitors.
March 11, 2009 6:21:03 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Yea, I upped the GPU in the AMD build to a 4850 also. The 4830 from the i7 build could be used since the OP doesn't game. In fact, he could go without a GPU with the AMD build since the motherboard has onboard video, but I think the OP said he runs two monitors.


I went with a 1 gig gpu for the video editing. That and it has all the adapters for TV, etc....
March 11, 2009 11:20:05 PM

Why_Me said:
I went with a 1 gig gpu for the video editing. That and it has all the adapters for TV, etc....


First, thanks for comments!

What make these configurations diff from the Dell priced $499-799 we see from time to time on dealsea?

Any thoughts?
a c 77 à CPUs
March 12, 2009 6:49:33 AM

OEM's cut corners everywhere they can to get the prices down. You almost always get a POS power supply and so-so RAM at best. OEM's also load the PC with a bunch of crap software. When you build your own PC, you can pick high quality parts and only install the software you need.

If you think you want a Dell, get a Dell. I know I personally will never buy a pre-built computer again.
March 12, 2009 11:07:48 AM

To add to short's comments. Dell computers ussualy won't last as long either because of the reasons noted above. Its also very difficult to upgrade dells unless going through a dell retailer due to the custimazation of parts used. Which mean you pay for there name anyways.

I'm like short I'll never buy a pre-built computer again (except for laptops). I like the to know my computer in and out. What's on there and what's not. It helps from having problems even start in the first place.
a b à CPUs
March 12, 2009 11:08:58 AM

^+1 Well said!
March 12, 2009 11:53:52 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
OEM's cut corners everywhere they can to get the prices down. You almost always get a POS power supply and so-so RAM at best. OEM's also load the PC with a bunch of crap software. When you build your own PC, you can pick high quality parts and only install the software you need.

If you think you want a Dell, get a Dell. I know I personally will never buy a pre-built computer again.


I owned a Dell server before, a ~399 P4 with no OS preloaded. My use was to run Linux. However, the hardware was kind of strange that some required special handling on the drivers. That really limited my use on the box. That is the only thing held me back from getting an inexpensive while reasonabley powerful configuration.

Getting back to my question here, I see your point for the merits of building one's own PC. To some degree, the decision is more or less tied to the preference of the owner. I like to build because I can choose the so-called best suitable parts. If things work out, the additional dollar would be considered as "benefit premium".

ok. I will let you know after I complete the build.

Thanks very much.
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