Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.4GHZ

I have an old desktop with these specs:

RAM: 512MB (2X128MB) DDR 133MHZ
MOBO: ECS L4S5MG/651+: 3 PCI; 1 AGP
GPU: SiS 650 740 32MB ONBOARD
PSU: Some Generic 250W

I don't plan on selling it nor do I want to.
Are there any upgrades I can make to get this rig to run smoother? If not what should I do with it? (don't say destroy it)
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about intel pentium northwood 4ghz
  1. Besides destroying it... oh wait..

    Ram + 7200 RPM hdd are the only things you can really do. If you plan on gaming drop a better card in there.

    EDIT: if you are strapped for cash get more ram first. Ram is seriously underrated on these forums but makes ALL the difference.
  2. What are the best ram kits for DDR?
  3. Something like this would be fine for you:

    Though you might want to check out craigslist or ebay and see if you can find some cheaper.
  4. Best answer
    Seriously, this desktop is so old there is no point to try to save it.

    ANY $300 desktop computer will destroy your computer. You don't know how much you're missing out with your computer, even for basic tasks. I have a 5 year old computer with better specs than yours, and I can't stand browsing the web on it after being so used to the instantaneous response time from my quad core computer.
  5. Served me many years/:P
  6. Best answer selected by tpho2500.
  7. Bang for buck upgrade priority list.

    1. Back everything up and do a fresh install of XP Pro and update to SP3.

    2. This era will support at least 1Gb if not 2Gb. Some systems will require a bios update (quick & free) often found at the manufacturer's or the motherboard support site. Make sure it's the right RAM (DDR or DDR2?, pins, speed, Low/high density...) Use the scanner. Just bought 2Gb of Low density for an old P42.66 used on eBay for $36. Retail is often $90.

    3. Get a video card matching your AGP slot, memory interface bit rate (64 or 128). Older nVidia (FX5500,5600,5700, 6200) or Ati cards w/ 256mb run about $20 to $35 used on eBay. Cards that have an extra power supply (molex) connector (nVidia 6600 and faster) might exceed your systems 250 watt power supply. If its a Dell the 250w psu is rated continuous which compares to a cheap psu peak rated between 320 and 340w which helps. If you have 2 hard drives, two optical (dvd/cd) drives... you are likely over your 250w budget especially with a graphics card that requires an extra power lead. Go to the Journey Systems paower calculator (easy). Just bought a used FX5500 for $20.

    4. You probably have and IDE 5400rpm hdd. If it is old with say 2mb of cache, then a younger 80 to 120ish Gb hdd w/ 16mb can be had used for maybe $25 to $40 and will be a lot faster than a 2mb cache drive. Be ware of used drives though... it's good to know the drive's history.

    5. If all that works out, consider a processor. Is it a 478 pin? If you have a 400fsb it might be to slow to mess with, but if it's a 533fsb you might run up to a 3.06Ghz, 512kb cache P4 Northwood (SL6PG, SL6S5, etc.). It's tricky figuring out which one will work. They run $25 to $30 (and up) used on eBay and sellers don't accept returns. I got the wrong one, but sold it for $12 more than I paid. Check the motherboard specs online and search to see what others have done regarding compatibility. Maybe a local tech can help for a small fee. If it doesn't work as soon as you plug it in, then it will take hours of techie time to sort and that will far exceed a reasonable budget on the system.

    Having said all that, you might luck into an ok system for around $100, but you might chase your tail. If you're up for the challenge, that's great, but there is a risk of brain dammage... $#!+ :^( If you plan to run modern games or do video editing, you probably won't be satisfied. I just finished this upgrade and it does video edit, but compiling takes about 1 hour per 10 min of 640 x 480 video and it will not do HD. I have a jet screamin' quad core, but for basics, the ol' P4 does just fine. I could probably CraigsList off the ol' P4 (w/ nice 19" crt boat anchor) for $200.
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