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First build or Replace the parts?

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May 18, 2009 4:06:47 AM

Ok this is my baby my bro built for me a little less than 5 years ago.

CPU: Intel(R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 3.00Ghz (listed twice on the device manager-why? dual core perhaps)
Graphic: ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 series (2)
ACPI Mulitprocessor PC Is this the motherboard? (I admit I have no idea what the hades this means nor did any link online provide a real answer-they just assume you know.)
Soundcard: Creative SB audigy 2 (WDM)
crappy webcam
no longer made Logitech keyboard
19 inch ViewSonic flat screen.

I would like to upgrade her as her case is nothing short of an oven making issues even with four fans (tons of wires blocking of course). Already the master HD has a bad sector but rarely does she blue screen. This is the case I've picked:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm going back through articles as well as the forum to make sure I at least get the ballpark of what I want to do. However in re-discovering my own system, I'm on the fence as to what I can keep/replace thus save $$ or just go with a 100% upgrade. What do you guys think?

TIA
Kai

More about : build replace parts

May 18, 2009 4:18:12 AM

Salvage the soundcard, keyboard, and monitor. Start from scratch.
May 18, 2009 5:08:25 AM

So...dump the CPU? Why?
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May 18, 2009 5:20:37 AM

Because very few motherboards are made that support pentium 4's these days, and its likely hyper threaded not dual core as that should list as a Pentium D. You will also have a hard time finding a motherboard that has an AGP port for your graphics card so its best to drop them both and upgrade to a much more powerful system.

You can get a true dual or even a triple core system for not all that much, and it will leave you with upgrade paths for the future. Also make sure to salvage your optical drives and hard drive as that will save you quite a bit, even though you should upgrade the HDD in the future before it dies.
May 18, 2009 6:24:48 AM

If your upgrade involves a new board, you should get a newer cpu as well. That's an OLD cpu. There is a huge increase in performance with the dual core and faster fsb cpu's.

You could keep the case, optical drives, and soundcard. What is the PSU?
May 18, 2009 5:22:16 PM

@aford10: I have no idea (@ work so can't chk) I just know its 350W which is not nearly enough for my current/future needs.

I did look at CPUs and found this one to be just what I need in a decent price range:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case while will be donated with the xtra parts so new case it is! Why would you not update the soundcards. Optical drives I assume are the graphic cards? Forgive all the noob questions I just want put names with equipment.
May 18, 2009 6:13:22 PM

Because there isnt too much of a difference between sound cards, as you already have one if it currently puts out good quality you arent going to be able to tell the difference between it and a new expensive one, most people are limited on their sound quality by their speakers.

Optical drives are CD and DVD drives. What budget are you working with as you are going to need to get a new motherboard, ram, CPU, and potentially a new graphics card too.
May 18, 2009 6:51:35 PM

not moose said:
Salvage the soundcard, keyboard, and monitor. Start from scratch.



I'd think to dump everything and the soundcard, salvage the keyboard, mouse, monitor, and maybe optical drives and hard drives if you're tight on cash. Your optical drives and hard drive may be IDE and if they share the cable you'll want to invest in SATA drives eventually for their increased speed. You see the increased speed the most if you're using an optical drive and hard drive on the same IDE cable.

Most on board sound now is pretty good and may even come with optical out. I'd take the small savings in energy for one less card on the MB.

As others have said. Your board probably can't support core duo cpus, and your current setup see's two cpus due to hyper threading. Wiki has a good explanation, but basically the OS treats your cpu as if its 2 cores even though its not. Hyper threading isn't the same as having two cores buts it can perform better than a cpu that doesn't support it with certain apps.

that dual core you linked is nice, and you may also want to look at a quad core amd if you use your computer for more than gaming. There are lots of threads on builds for budget quad amds that will work for gaming.
May 18, 2009 6:55:11 PM

@ hunter315

Since I am not purchasing everything at once so I'm trying to keep it under $2000 bucks. Spread out over the next six months or so. I'm in no hurry but I wanted it before Deus Ex 3 is released in Dec (IF) that would be great.
I figure I could pick up parts here and there as sales or rebates become availible.

I have both a DVD-R and CD which rarely get used so they can stay. I primarily wanted to concentrate on motherboards, ram, graphic cards and the CPU. I mainly surf the web but I want a gaming system which was focused on improving the graphic details of games, websites, pictures, etc.
May 18, 2009 7:04:49 PM

For $2000 you could go for an i7 build and still have a ton of graphics muscle to back it up. I havent looked into an i7 build due to my limited budget, but you will probably want to get a new HDD in the near future if your current one is not sata. Most modern boards only support 1 IDE cable which would require you to either switch to a SATA hard drive or ditch the CD drive.

Since you want to improve the graphics in the games you will want to look into buying a bigger monitor with your budget so you can actually make use of the full graphics potential you are going to have.
May 18, 2009 7:33:24 PM

With a $2000 budget, you can easily get into an i7 system. I love the e8500, as you can see from my signature. You can get all new hardware and still stay under your budget. That is the way I would recommend you look.
May 18, 2009 8:58:55 PM

@ hunter315: I figure a large chunk of the $$ will go into a better moniter & . I have astigmatism so any little bit to make those details stand out helps a lot. I need to see more on the i7 before I consider it.

@aford10: I skimmed through the review of the i7 but I'll have to go back and look again. I want to stay way under $2000 but will go that high if I see it will be better in the long run. My current system was $2300 through Compuserv and thus has lasted a long time with minimal problems. Hm. Perhaps I just answered my own question.

If I have not said so thank you everyone for your assistance. As you come up with more suggestions, I will keep it all in mind as I built this system.

May 18, 2009 9:09:30 PM

What will you be using the pc for? If you are thinking long term, mulit purpose PC, the i7 is the way to go. It's got the bus speeds of the high end dual cores, but it's a quad core. The catch is, it's a different socket, so you can't just upgrade the cpu down the line if you go w/ a dual core now. It also requires DDR3 RAM instead of the common DDR2. Performance wise, there's no competition. High end dual cores can compete in games, but the i7 will beat out any other cpu in nearly every single area (including the phenom II).
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...
May 18, 2009 10:54:20 PM

aford10 said:
What will you be using the pc for? If you are thinking long term, mulit purpose PC, the i7 is the way to go. It's got the bus speeds of the high end dual cores, but it's a quad core. The catch is, it's a different socket, so you can't just upgrade the cpu down the line if you go w/ a dual core now. It also requires DDR3 RAM instead of the common DDR2. Performance wise, there's no competition. High end dual cores can compete in games, but the i7 will beat out any other cpu in nearly every single area (including the phenom II).
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...


Mainly for surfing the web. I also needed to be the giant typewriter for my fall school and to play the graphic heavy games I know are coming in the next year or two. It has to be able to handle both new games and the older ones I like to play. Kind of a jack of all trades. I figure the reason my bro did so much on this system is so I would not have to upgrade for a couple years which turned out it made it three years before I started to notice slowing down here and there. Of course a slowly dying HD isn't helping I'm sure...

May 18, 2009 11:04:30 PM

Sound card wise as long as the Audigy 2 is a proper audigy 2 and not a cut down variant then it's still better than most onboard audio in terms of cpu utilisation.
Also I'm not sure why your astigmatism is relevant as I have one and I've never had an issue with a 19" (also Viewsonic) monitor. This assumes you wear glasses to correct for it and if you don't I'd spend the money on some new specs. Still everyone has their own foibles.
May 19, 2009 2:49:01 AM

A new HD is one of the better ways to speed up a system. A cavair black or velociraptor would do very nicely paired up with an i7 920.

The upgraded graphics in a new system will improve the display on your current monitor. Since the monitor is the easiest item to replace, I'd recommend staying with your current monitor to see if it meets your approval.
May 19, 2009 4:39:23 PM

I think I am amazed at the little things people are mentioning that could speed up the system.

Last question about the new build...ok last question for a while. I have read the reviews of the i7 vs AMD, on Overclocking (which I nothing about) and the i7 running games. Can of worms I'm opening here but I get the impression that the i7 is really more of a gamer's CPU. Now I am fine with that but do I need the overkill of the i7 just to type reports or watch YT videos?
May 19, 2009 5:32:00 PM

Nope, not at all. If that's all you want your system to do, it probably is overkill. To type reports and surf youtube, you could get away with an e7400 or phenom x3 cpu. Above you mentioned games. If you want to play the new games and be the 'jack of all trades,' that's more the i7 territory.

The i7 is an all around CPU. It does ok in today's games. The e8500 (dual core) will actually beat out the i7 in some games. That will change in coming years as games are designed for multiple cores. The genious in the i7 is the way the cores interact with each other. The cores interact on the chip, not through the board, as the socket 775 quads do. The i7 also has bus speeds like a dual core, much faster than the 775 quads.

May 19, 2009 5:47:21 PM

the i7 is the low-end workstation and high-end mainstream cpu, it's hardly a gaming CPU because of it's price but it will still reach to gamers because even the cheapest boards have 32 PCIe lanes and they handle multiple gpu's better than other platforms.
May 28, 2009 3:56:13 PM

aford10 said:
Nope, not at all. If that's all you want your system to do, it probably is overkill. To type reports and surf youtube, you could get away with an e7400 or phenom x3 cpu. Above you mentioned games. If you want to play the new games and be the 'jack of all trades,' that's more the i7 territory.

The i7 is an all around CPU. It does ok in today's games. The e8500 (dual core) will actually beat out the i7 in some games. That will change in coming years as games are designed for multiple cores. The genious in the i7 is the way the cores interact with each other. The cores interact on the chip, not through the board, as the socket 775 quads do. The i7 also has bus speeds like a dual core, much faster than the 775 quads.


You are right, adford I did say I want to play games-who knows what is coming in the next couple of years. So many choices :pfff: 

Thanks again for answering my questions, everyone. I'll be back to pick your brains probably in july when I am closer to picking other parts like PSU, graphic cards, HDs, etcs.
!