Please feel free if you can answer only some of the questions and not all.
I want to build an average pc that will be easily upgradeable in 2,3 or 4 years time. I don't play games and I don't need too much performance. Anything that is %30 faster than my current pc is enough for me.
I have looked around and those AMD Socket AM3 systems look good. The cpu I have in mind for an AMD system is this one:
£76, AMD Phenom X2 550 Black Edition 3.1GHz
For intel, for an average system system I would need to choose a socket 775 system. The cpu I was considering is this one:
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400
Question 1: If I buy an AMD AM3 motherboard for the Phenom X2 550, will it support the top of the range AM3 cpu's? Will it support new models that will be released later on?
Question 2: The same goes for intel. If I buy an Intel socket 775 motherboard for the e7400 will it support the faster core 2 duo or quad cpu's? E7400 runs at 1066Mhz fsb, for instance e8600 runs at 1333Mhz fsb. Are there motherboards that support bpth?
Question 3: Considering upgrade potential for cpu's, should I go the amd or intel route?
Question 4: I have a 500GB ide hard drive. Can I use it on the new system? Do I have to buy a sata hard drive?
Question 5: I have read somewhere that new motherboards wouldn't fit into my existing case. There was a mention about pins not being the same. Is this true for both motherboard options mentioned above?
Question 6: I want a quiet system that doesn't consume too much energy and easy to cool down. Is this a matter of case, fan and PSU or would these also effect the desicion between intel and amd?
Question 7: If I upgrade my cpu to a pentium 4, 3.06 Ghz will it make a big difference? Can I overclock that cpu? They are going for £15 to £20 at ebay. My pc slows down when unzipping big files or opening folders with too many files in them. Rdrams's are too expensive. I can't upgrade the ram.
My current system:
dell dimension 8250
cpu: 2.66Ghz Pentium 4, 533Mhz fsb,
1GB rdram (4x256Mb)
Geforce4 Mx420 64Mb graphics card
1) Yes, an AM3 mobo will support future AM3-socket CPUs.
2) It depends on the motherboard that you buy. In most cases, yes, even if they don't list support, you can often overclock them to meet your requirements.
3) AMD route. LGA775 is a dead-end, there are no more new CPUs being released for it.
4) You should be able to use it, it would depend mostly on your motherboard. I would suggest buying a SATA HD, though. Easier cable management, and a good bit faster.
5) Can't be sure.
6) It's only a matter of components, brand doesn't matter. If you don't plan on gaming, then you won't need a loud video card and a bunch of fans for cooling, so your rig should stay cooler and quieter. For your uses, you don't even need a seperate video card, the onboard graphics on a 790GX motherboard will be more than enough.
7) No, it won't make much of a difference, and no, you wouldn't be able to overclock without upgrading your motherboard.
2) Yeah it should owever the phenom 2 x2 550 costs less and performs better than the E7400 and has a better upgrade path since the 775 is a dead socket.
3) Intel is moving to socket 1336 and 1156 so the lga 775 is no longer been developed,AM3 is a new socket thus amd offers the better upgrade path.
4) Some motherboards still come with a few IDE connectors however it would be better to get a sata drive if you are staring with a new build
5) Some newer mobos might not fit into older cases but you gotta check with the manufacturers for that can' t be sure
6) The phenom 2 x2 550 consumes little energy but offers huge performance,usually intel always had the more energy conscious chips but with the phenom 2 you get good tdp and performance and both chips do well on stock coolers so you are good to go