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Is my pc worth upgrading? (newbie)

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September 24, 2009 3:00:29 AM

LONG POST.. im newb and got lots on my mind.


i picked up this pc for $35. i know basics about pc's like swaping components.

i included screens of cpuID says.. feel free to ask me anything about it or even take pics of motherboard if u guys like.




and this is the specs i got from dell website when i put in service tag:

System Type: Dell Precision WorkStation 670
Ship Date: 3/20/2006
Dell IBU: Americas

Quantity Parts # Part Description


1 5120P Cord, Power, 125V, 6Feet, SJT..., Unshielded
1 C8509 Processor, 80546K, 3.2G, 2M, XNI 800, N0
1 XC837 Printed Wiring Assy, Planar Xeon Paxville, C4, PWS670

2 D6599 Dual In-line Memory Module, 1G 400M, 128X72, 8, 240, 1RX4
2 D6599 Dual In-line Memory Module, 1G 400M, 128X72, 8, 240, 1RX4

1 P9222 Card, Graphics, 128, V3100, ELGA8 Lead Free
1 X8134 Assembly, Floppy Drive, 1.44M Teac, CHASSIS 2001..., Lead Free
1 C6355 Assembly, Cable, Serial ATA Transformer Sky Dive Mini Tower, 2.0
1 YF439 Hard Drive, 160G, S2, 7.2K, 9G, 3.5WD-HAWK



my questions.....

is it worth adding another xeon ?

what is the potential of this system?.. whats the highest graphic game i can play? i would be happy playing crysis or any of the recent games. it says pci 16x , i just dont know if its worth upgrading.

is the memory good? it says 4gb but when i go to properties on my computer it says 3.25 gb.. is that normal?

what can i do overclocking wise? i never overclocked before so yea... im scared of it right now. lol

there is a bunch of plugs in the back, and i know it has a raid setup which i dont know crap about raid other then its a backup system..... is it worth keeping?

the power supply i noticed is the whole bottom of the pc.. which got me saying wtf... u can see in the pic where the two fans are on bottom. sometimes when i boot it says somthing about power low. i cant remember, it happens once a while. whats so special about this psu setup?

another thing... .what are all these cards/plugs? the one under under where the monitor is pluged seems like second video card based on it looks the same and cpuid said two.. i havnt tested or opened to look at it yet but i hope i have two (even if they suck lol).




any input or advise i would appreciate. i know i got a good deal. my pc before this was a p3 850mhz back from when geforce 256 card came out over ten years ago. its a mindblowing upgrade for me already. i usually play halo1 pc on it and gta: samp on it but low settings. i would love to play some games with high settings for once.

More about : worth upgrading newbie

a b à CPUs
September 24, 2009 3:20:38 AM

That's a very interesting machine you have.
Unfortunately the next step up or ups available, really require almost everything to be replaced.

If you just want slightly better graphics, see what AGP cards you can find. The FireGL is a desktop card I think (not designed for 3D gaming). Adding a 2nd Xeon chip (assuming there is a spare socket) would be a good improvement, but I'm not sure how easy it is to find another 2.8Ghz Xeon 90nm chip?

Newer RAM/CPU would require a new motherboard. You do have DDR2 RAM (DDR2-400), but upgrading to DDR2-800 etc wont help much with a 200 FSB.
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a b à CPUs
September 24, 2009 3:34:24 AM

Looks like you bought yourself a server there. You could throw in a new video card (right now you have a desktop card which is useless for gaming), but you cant hope to play crysis with a single core xeon. If you wanted to play modern games you would have to get a new system.
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a b à CPUs
September 24, 2009 2:58:32 PM

sounds more like a workstation with that GPU in it. If you want to game, a new PC is in order, sorry. PSU-wise, it could have a secondary backup redundancy system?
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September 24, 2009 10:09:44 PM

dang didnt think it was that bad that its not worth upgrading at all. i thought since it has pci 16x that its capable of something decent performance wise. i want to use it for gamecube emulation. also for video editing and music.

upgrade i was thinking about: nvidia 8800 and a good sound card plus add another 3.2 xeon. it can handle 12 gb of ram so i cant be that bad can it?
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a b à CPUs
September 25, 2009 12:35:15 AM

err I just looked up your video card and you're right, PCI-Express!
That's a wacky workstation/server you've got there.

I'd definately whack a faster video card in there, and just see how it goes. I didn't say that before because I expected it to be AGP.

2nd chip will help with more modern games. I'd suspect with 2 processors, it could run games like Prototype.
As far as '90nm generation PC' goes it's a beast and will be a lot of fun (but being realistic, it wont keep up with Core2 etc). If it's not fast enough for you with the better video card, then you can always reuse the card you bought in a new PC.

Download SuperPi and tell us how fast you can do 1M in. That's a fair single core test to see how good your Xeon goes. I'm curious to see how it compares to my old P4 3.0 chip. Super Pi link: http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=36

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September 25, 2009 2:20:45 AM


512k in 18 sec
1m in 42 sec.

im not trying to compete with core2 or anything i just want to see what i can get out of this rig. i just saw video for prototype.. i would happy to play that game on this pc lol.



.. can anyone tell me about those plugs in the back? and if there is a second video card how come it doesnt have dvi output like the top one?
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a b à CPUs
September 25, 2009 2:34:39 AM

42 seconds is around the same as my P4 did it (think it was 43 or 45).
Prototype would play on that CPU but the gameplay videos will crap out and whenever there is lots of public or enemies the computer drops to like 1 frame a second (I know from experience lol).

Adding the second CPU and a better video card should let you play it sweet though (assuming Prototype makes use of multiple cores which I think it does).
I don't have a spare CPU slot, so got a new motherboard/chip/RAM.

In comparison, E8500 Core 2 Duo setup did it in 15 seconds, down to just under 11 seconds after overclocking (and that's single core, not using the second).

8800 + another Xeon and you should be good enough for Prototype. It's good fun!
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October 5, 2009 1:10:23 AM

thanks for your replies. but no one has answered :




is the memory good? it says 4gb but when i go to properties on my computer it says 3.25 gb.. is that normal?

overclocking ?

there is a bunch of plugs in the back, worth keeping?

the power supply i noticed is the whole bottom of the pc..wtf... whats so special about this psu setup?

.what are all these cards/plugs? the one under under where the monitor is pluged seems like second video card based on it looks the same and cpuid said two..
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October 5, 2009 9:21:54 AM

1. You can always run Memtest if you want to be sure. That should be running a 64-bit OS, but you haven't specified. If it's 32-bit, that's most likely why you only see 3.25 Gigs.

2. Sorry, can't help too much here, never tried to OC a workstation. It must be doable though, from specs I've seen posted.

3. The first set of ports beneath the VGA/DVI from the video card are a Serial and a HD-44 port. Not another video card. Probably won't use them unless you have some old specialized hardware. Can't imagine you needing those ports.

The gray port beneath that is a Parallel port. Mostly used for older printers.

The three below that look like 68 pin SCSI-5 connectors. Can't seeing you needing those for anything either.

Black one below that looks like a SCSI-2. Again, you don't need it.

4. There's nothing special about it, it's just a different way to arrange the case. Don't worry about it being at the bottom instead of the top.

5. You'll notice that the card has 2 video outputs. The (secondary) doesn't mean you have 2 video cards, it's just that the last owner had a dual monitor setup, so you have Primary and Secondary displays, both controlled by the same card.

Lastly, like the others said, that's a workstation card, optimized for rendering and the like. Plus, its fairly old. Definitely toss a newer gaming card in there and see what happens.
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a b à CPUs
October 5, 2009 7:35:11 PM

selicate covered it.

I'm just posting to explain the 32bit OS thing a bit more. A 32 bit OS can only see 3.25Gb of memory, it can't read or access anything beyond that. You need to install a 64bit version of Windows if you want to use the last 768Mb.

Also the 'dual display' card, is probably just a normal card with a D-SUB VGA connector and DVI. Often this will let you run two monitors at once, but it might not be, you'd be able to tell though because Windows will have the option to configure the second monitor.
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