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CPU Upgrade Advice for a Newbie PLEASE

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April 6, 2010 8:49:23 PM

Hello, I am looking to upgrade my compute in order to be able to watch 720p and 1080p material. Also my computer is continually maxing out the CPU just with all the other processes and applications I typically use.

I read a guide on how to upgrade the CPU and just wanted to check that what I was about to order will work and will be enough of an improvement in performance to warrant the change.

So far the best I have been able to find that is compatible with my RC-410M ECS Motherboard, which I believe is 800Mhz (although I'm not 100% sure). Is a Intel BX80571E5400 E5400 Pentium Dual-core 2.7 Ghz, 2MB Cache, 800Mhz FSB Socket LGA775 45 nm.
What I was wondering is would this be a decent upgrade from my current CPU which is a Pentium 4, 3.06Ghz.
And are there any better options for me that anyone could recommend please.
a c 133 à CPUs
April 6, 2010 8:54:07 PM

As far as I can tell that will not even work It looks like the best that can work in that board is a Pentium D. Just because the socket is the same and the FSB is the same doesn't meant its gonna work the bios has to be able to support it and unless ECS puts out an update for the bios it will not be able to accept anything better then a Pentium D 9xx.

I cant even find anything on ECSs website for that board so it dont look good.
April 6, 2010 9:38:20 PM

hankmarvin said:
Hello, I am looking to upgrade my compute in order to be able to watch 720p and 1080p material. Also my computer is continually maxing out the CPU just with all the other processes and applications I typically use.

I read a guide on how to upgrade the CPU and just wanted to check that what I was about to order will work and will be enough of an improvement in performance to warrant the change.

So far the best I have been able to find that is compatible with my RC-410M ECS Motherboard, which I believe is 800Mhz (although I'm not 100% sure). Is a Intel BX80571E5400 E5400 Pentium Dual-core 2.7 Ghz, 2MB Cache, 800Mhz FSB Socket LGA775 45 nm.
What I was wondering is would this be a decent upgrade from my current CPU which is a Pentium 4, 3.06Ghz.
And are there any better options for me that anyone could recommend please.


Before buying anything you should really try to post your entire system setup or model and make to help us help you with the most accurate diagnoses. You could have some terrible mix of parts or even some type of dying piece that isnt performing right but this is just my thoughts on your question :D  If you post a little more details it would really help us to help you :hello: 
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April 6, 2010 10:01:23 PM

OK so pretty much everything I know comes from this page which is the specifications of my computer.

http://support.packardbell.com/uk/item/index.php?i=spec...

I also have a blu ray/HD DVD player I can't use because my system can't manage, and some new DDR2 ram from Corsair I bought and installed today, which is I the Corsair Dominator GT 4GB 1066MHz C5 DDR2 with Airflow Fan (which I couldn't get fitted so it's just sitting on my bed!).
I also have a sound card I added today.

If you could tell me what other information you need I will do my best to try and find it. Thanks again for the help.
April 6, 2010 10:10:15 PM

I just found that my graphics card is a ATI Radeon xpress 200. I'm running windows XP if that's at all relevant.
a c 81 à CPUs
April 6, 2010 10:43:06 PM

In my opinion, you are wasting money on unnecessary parts.. Instead invest on getting a new mobo and CPU.. A 790GX chipset motherboard and a X3 720 will help you more than some fancy RAM..
April 6, 2010 10:46:38 PM

I agree, it's just that I needed to buy more RAM and I thought if I bought something high end then I could use it when I upgrade to a new system.
April 6, 2010 10:53:57 PM

Emperus said:
In my opinion, you are wasting money on unnecessary parts.. Instead invest on getting a new mobo and CPU.. A 790GX chipset motherboard and a X3 720 will help you more than some fancy RAM..


In all honesty i wouldn't put to much money into that system unless you wouldn't be able to just save up for an entire new build...with every upgrade your gonna see some kind of bottleneck or downside...i mean that can be true to almost every computer but unless that computer is holding up and works fine i really wouldnt sink any unnecessary money into it. If you werent thinking of a 100% new build then you should just give a thought and see what ya think. Im not sure on your money situation or desire for a new computer or level of tech to build a pc which isnt too hard if its 100% new but will take a bit of research if you want to understand the ins and outs or just enough to get by. But i built my pc with it costing $566 at first without a graphics card and i had HDD's already and i had the OS already

My system at that point: Everything was bought new and 1 or 2 combo deals made it cheaper (i could post links if you wanted to see each item specifically)
Ga-P55-UD3L
Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro 7 i think
i5-750
4gb DDR3 1333 RAM
Rosewill mid-size case
2-120mm fans to get me to 5 case fans
and a 700w psu

i made this as cheap as i could and still came out with a decent rig. Since then i added 2 more HDDS (freebies :D ) and a gtx 260. And im lovin' it (bada bah bah...yea lol) i also had a monitor already and i spent about $100 recently on a razer mouse/keyboard to upgrade some old ones i had.
April 6, 2010 10:54:42 PM

saaiello said:
As far as I can tell that will not even work It looks like the best that can work in that board is a Pentium D. Just because the socket is the same and the FSB is the same doesn't meant its gonna work the bios has to be able to support it and unless ECS puts out an update for the bios it will not be able to accept anything better then a Pentium D 9xx.

I cant even find anything on ECSs website for that board so it dont look good.



On the Packard Bell site it says that with that motherboard I can use "Intel Pentium D Dual Core Technology"?...
April 6, 2010 10:55:52 PM

hankmarvin said:
I agree, it's just that I needed to buy more RAM and I thought if I bought something high end then I could use it when I upgrade to a new system.


You might of upgraded your RAM but...its still DDR2 and ram is progressing to the new DDR3 standard now so if you did end up making a new pc this would either have to be replaced or you would have to build around the ram which i wouldnt suggest
April 6, 2010 10:58:18 PM

white4lfe said:
In all honesty i wouldn't put to much money into that system unless you wouldn't be able to just save up for an entire new build...with every upgrade your gonna see some kind of bottleneck or downside...i mean that can be true to almost every computer but unless that computer is holding up and works fine i really wouldnt sink any unnecessary money into it. If you werent thinking of a 100% new build then you should just give a thought and see what ya think. Im not sure on your money situation or desire for a new computer or level of tech to build a pc which isnt too hard if its 100% new but will take a bit of research if you want to understand the ins and outs or just enough to get by. But i built my pc with it costing $566 at first without a graphics card and i had HDD's already and i had the OS already

My system at that point: Everything was bought new and 1 or 2 combo deals made it cheaper (i could post links if you wanted to see each item specifically)
Ga-P55-UD3L
Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro 7 i think
i5-750
4gb DDR3 1333 RAM
Rosewill mid-size case
2-120mm fans to get me to 5 case fans
and a 700w psu

i made this as cheap as i could and still came out with a decent rig. Since then i added 2 more HDDS (freebies :D ) and a gtx 260. And im lovin' it (bada bah bah...yea lol) i also had a monitor already and i spent about $100 recently on a razer mouse/keyboard to upgrade some old ones i had.


That system sounds very good, especially for that price!.
April 6, 2010 11:01:11 PM

hankmarvin said:
That system sounds very good, especially for that price!.


Im not a pro by any means but i could try to get some type of build setup for you if you gave me a price point but if were gonna take lets say 3-4 months to save its best to worry about picking parts in that time frame because parts come and go without any notice and whats good right now could be gone or undercut by something better in little time :D  so yea idk but i hope i helped ya out a little and got you thinking towards the future a little
April 6, 2010 11:17:23 PM

white4lfe said:
Im not a pro by any means but i could try to get some type of build setup for you if you gave me a price point but if were gonna take lets say 3-4 months to save its best to worry about picking parts in that time frame because parts come and go without any notice and whats good right now could be gone or undercut by something better in little time :D  so yea idk but i hope i helped ya out a little and got you thinking towards the future a little


Yeah you certainly did. I'll be completely honest with you about my situation. I don't need a new computer, because this old boy can do what I ask it to, it just that it takes a long time to do it and makes a hell of a noise while it works. The only thing it dosen't do that I'd like is play back blu-rays and HD content.
I don't have much money, none basically, but I thought if I could just add or tweak or whatever to this one that would only cost a little bit then I would do that.
But I really like the idea of making my own computer, I love a gizmo :D  , so is there nothing I can do for this computer to get it to do what I want while I have a study up and save?...
April 6, 2010 11:21:42 PM

hankmarvin said:
Yeah you certainly did. I'll be completely honest with you about my situation. I don't need a new computer, because this old boy can do what I ask it to, it just that it takes a long time to do it and makes a hell of a noise while it works. The only thing it dosen't do that I'd like is play back blu-rays and HD content.
I don't have much money, none basically, but I thought if I could just add or tweak or whatever to this one that would only cost a little bit then I would do that.
But I really like the idea of making my own computer, I love a gizmo :D  , so is there nothing I can do for this computer to get it to do what I want while I have a study up and save?...


Yea you could always put the best thing that pc could handle in it but i havent looked into whats compatiable with your system as of right now and once i stuff some fries in my face ill give it a look and see what you could do that would benefit you the most. heck ill look at it while i eat :D 
April 6, 2010 11:23:05 PM

YOU'RE THE MAN :bounce: 
a c 133 à CPUs
April 6, 2010 11:32:12 PM

hankmarvin said:
On the Packard Bell site it says that with that motherboard I can use "Intel Pentium D Dual Core Technology"?...

The Pentium D is a dual core its the first dual core made for consumers by intel they basically slapped 2 Pentium 4s together and said dual core but the problem was that the 2 cores had trouble working together efficiently. The Pentium dual core you are talking about has the core 2 architecture with a lower FSB the Core 2 is 1066mhz and 1333 mhz FSB the Pentium Dual core is an 800mhz FSB version of them with less cache too I believe. Also the Pentium Ds were 90nm and later they made them in a 65nm package under the code name presler.

Now I dont know what you have in your system right now but I do know a Pentium D 940 can run 720p video no problem and can play 1080p with a good gpu to offload some of the work off the processor. Your ATI card you have now will not be very useful playing video at anything over 320p so you are really gonna have to think about a total upgrade.
April 6, 2010 11:32:28 PM

hankmarvin said:
YOU'RE THE MAN :bounce: 


Hey this part of the conversation would take a lot of posts back and forth lol do you have AIM by any chance or some type of messenger program? If you have aim just send me a IM at "white4lfe" same as my profile name
a c 133 à CPUs
April 6, 2010 11:38:40 PM

If you go HERE everything from the Pentium D 960 down will work in your system.
April 6, 2010 11:49:49 PM

saaiello said:
The Pentium D is a dual core its the first dual core made for consumers by intel they basically slapped 2 Pentium 4s together and said dual core but the problem was that the 2 cores had trouble working together efficiently. The Pentium dual core you are talking about has the core 2 architecture with a lower FSB the Core 2 is 1066mhz and 1333 mhz FSB the Pentium Dual core is an 800mhz FSB version of them with less cache too I believe. Also the Pentium Ds were 90nm and later they made them in a 65nm package under the code name presler.

Now I dont know what you have in your system right now but I do know a Pentium D 940 can run 720p video no problem and can play 1080p with a good gpu to offload some of the work off the processor. Your ATI card you have now will not be very useful playing video at anything over 320p so you are really gonna have to think about a total upgrade.


OK so a Pentium D 950 or lower, can you advise me on a new ATI card that would play 720/1080p PLEASE :love: 
a c 81 à CPUs
April 6, 2010 11:50:40 PM

Its amazing how much price/performance precedes over the fact that one should build a system or choose components on their primary needs and the life span associated with them..!! hankmarvin basically needs to build a decent HTPC but is gearing towards buying fancy RAMs which would become irrelevant in the near future as pointed out by white4lfe.. I mean i've read about the financial dilemma so forgive me in case i've been harsh.. Meanwhile, congrats white4lfe for such a nice build although the nameless 700W PSU is scary..
April 6, 2010 11:54:54 PM

Emperus said:
Its amazing how much price/performance precedes over the fact that one should build a system or choose components on their primary needs and the life span associated with them..!! hankmarvin basically needs to build a decent HTPC but is gearing towards buying fancy RAMs which would become irrelevant in the near future as pointed out by white4lfe.. I mean i've read about the financial dilemma so forgive me in case i've been harsh.. Meanwhile, congrats white4lfe for such a nice build although the nameless 700W PSU is scary..


It is a COOLMAX 700w psu :D  it was an uneducated buy and i didnt really look into detail about psu's at that point cuz this was my first build i was rough around the edges lol
April 6, 2010 11:55:03 PM

Emperus said:
Its amazing how much price/performance precedes over the fact that one should build a system or choose components on their primary needs and the life span associated with them..!! hankmarvin basically needs to build a decent HTPC but is gearing towards buying fancy RAMs which would become irrelevant in the near future as pointed out by white4lfe.. I mean i've read about the financial dilemma so forgive me in case i've been harsh.. Meanwhile, congrats white4lfe for such a nice build although the nameless 700W PSU is scary..


That's not harsh at all, I'm a complete moron in this area, absolutely retarded in fact, you couldn't possibly make me think worse of myself with regards to my computing know how.
April 6, 2010 11:59:57 PM

hankmarvin said:
That's not harsh at all, I'm a complete moron in this area, absolutely retarded in fact, you couldn't possibly make me think worse of myself with regards to my computing know how.


I believe he said you could use the 960 if you wanted to. And as far as the best graphics card you could get in that machine depends on your power supply which i cant really find any info on and the type of pci express x16 slot it is...if you buy a new card that wont adapt to an older format besides the current standard of 2.0 then it would be a bad buy and with the age and uncommon-ness of your motherboard its kind of hard for me to find out what you could use...having the slot type alone is a huge help but how old is your computer? And to find the power supply watts and info you could pop off the side of the case and read the side panel. The side of the psu usualy says most of the info just read all the small text and find the watts. And to be safe i would not touch anything inside your pc while its on :D 
April 7, 2010 12:06:23 AM

white4lfe said:
I believe he said you could use the 960 if you wanted to. And as far as the best graphics card you could get in that machine depends on your power supply which i cant really find any info on and the type of pci express x16 slot it is...if you buy a new card that wont adapt to an older format besides the current standard of 2.0 then it would be a bad buy and with the age and uncommon-ness of your motherboard its kind of hard for me to find out what you could use...having the slot type alone is a huge help but how old is your computer? And to find the power supply watts and info you could pop off the side of the case and read the side panel. The side of the psu usualy says most of the info just read all the small text and find the watts. And to be safe i would not touch anything inside your pc while its on :D 


960, check
open panel without dying, check!
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 12:20:21 AM

I would say get the Pentium D 940 or 950 you can find one on ebay for around $40 and if you are only going to use this for HD video and some light gaming here and there an ATI HD 4670 will be plenty and will pair with a Pentium D perfect they go for around $60 to $70. Your stock PSU will be plenty for a 4670 anything stronger then that you will have to upgrade the PSU.

Check out my sticky the link is in my sig it will show you what each card will need as for power supplies. And I have personally ran an HD4670 on a 300 watt PSU so it will work.
April 7, 2010 12:23:41 AM

white4lfe said:
I believe he said you could use the 960 if you wanted to. And as far as the best graphics card you could get in that machine depends on your power supply which i cant really find any info on and the type of pci express x16 slot it is...if you buy a new card that wont adapt to an older format besides the current standard of 2.0 then it would be a bad buy and with the age and uncommon-ness of your motherboard its kind of hard for me to find out what you could use...having the slot type alone is a huge help but how old is your computer? And to find the power supply watts and info you could pop off the side of the case and read the side panel. The side of the psu usualy says most of the info just read all the small text and find the watts. And to be safe i would not touch anything inside your pc while its on :D 


My power supply is only 250 Watts! (I didn't die by the way, yeah yeah bad news for the forum I know!)
April 7, 2010 12:27:53 AM

saaiello said:
I would say get the Pentium D 940 or 950 you can find one on ebay for around $40 and if you are only going to use this for HD video and some light gaming here and there an ATI HD 4670 will be plenty and will pair with a Pentium D perfect they go for around $60 to $70. Your stock PSU will be plenty for a 4670 anything stronger then that you will have to upgrade the PSU.

Check out my sticky the link is in my sig it will show you what each card will need as for power supplies. And I have personally ran an HD4670 on a 300 watt PSU so it will work.



Thank you that's really helpful, I appreciate you taking the time to help a fool in need!.
April 7, 2010 12:30:18 AM

hankmarvin said:
My power supply is only 250 Watts! (I didn't die by the way, yeah yeah bad news for the forum I know!)


Looks like he found a solution for you :D  that should give you some nice performance boosts! Just be sure if you do buy a new cpu to buy new thermal paste for the installation and clean off your current heatsink before hand or you could risk your new cpu :D  and obviously apply an even amount of thermal paste across your cpu for optimal cooling
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 12:30:46 AM

So do you just need this to run 1080p right no gaming ?
April 7, 2010 12:34:45 AM

white4lfe said:
Looks like he found a solution for you :D  that should give you some nice performance boosts! Just be sure if you do buy a new cpu to buy new thermal paste for the installation and clean off your current heatsink before hand or you could risk your new cpu :D  and obviously apply an even amount of thermal paste across your cpu for optimal cooling


Yeah looks great!. Thanks for all your help and advice too, this is my first experience with computing and computer forums and you've been been great.
April 7, 2010 12:35:51 AM

saaiello said:
So do you just need this to run 1080p right no gaming ?


Yeah just 1080p I'm a simple soul!
April 7, 2010 12:50:46 AM

hankmarvin said:
Yeah just 1080p I'm a simple soul!


do you have a monitor that can view 1080p? lol or are you planning to vga to a HDTV or hdmi to it? if you use a dvi to vga adapter im pretty sure you wont be viewing true HD since vga doesnt have sufficient bandwidth? Im pretty sure thats true. Dont quote me on this lol But dvi does work for HD since it can handle the bandwidth needed :D 
April 7, 2010 12:58:11 AM

white4lfe said:
do you have a monitor that can view 1080p? lol or are you planning to vga to a HDTV or hdmi to it? if you use a dvi to vga adapter im pretty sure you wont be viewing true HD since vga doesnt have sufficient bandwidth? Im pretty sure thats true. Dont quote me on this lol But dvi does work for HD since it can handle the bandwidth needed :D 


Yep I have a 1080p LCD monitor thanks. I bought it after I read that my Radeon xpress could support 1024x768 32bpp. A "friend" of mine who works in IT said that my system could run blu-ray and HD fine. I did ask before I just bought it, but it's my fault for not learning about everything first.
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 12:59:11 AM

Since all you need is for playing 1080 p and you have such a small PSU an HD 5450 fits your needs perfect its got HDMI output if you need it and it only costs $49.99.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also when buying a video card for bluray you wont be able to watch it if its not HDCP ready which this is.
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:05:39 AM

You might be able to get by without replacing the CPU HD requires only a 2.4 ghz Pentium 4 most of the processing for the video will be offloaded to the video card so I would try just replacing the video card.
April 7, 2010 1:08:39 AM

saaiello said:
Since all you need is for playing 1080 p and you have such a small PSU an HD 5450 fits your needs perfect its got HDMI output if you need it and it only costs $49.99.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also when buying a video card for bluray you wont be able to watch it if its not HDCP ready which this is.


Brilliant, I would have to buy it in the UK really though to avoid massive shipping charges. amazon's uk site are selling the 1GB one for less than the 512MB one?...go figure!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-HD5450-DDR3-Graphics-C...
The DDR3 that it says in the title, does that mean I wouldn't be able to use it as I have DDR2 memory?...
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:12:30 AM

That will work perfectly the video memory doesnt have to match you system memory.
April 7, 2010 1:12:38 AM

saaiello said:
You might be able to get by without replacing the CPU HD requires only a 2.4 ghz Pentium 4 most of the processing for the video will be offloaded to the video card so I would try just replacing the video card.


Even better!, my Pentium 4 is 3.06ghz so it really should be just a new video card I'd need then accoring to that!.

The annoying thing is I recently bought a cheap sound card for my PCI-E slot, which means that was a waste of money too if that has a HDMI!, B U G G E R
April 7, 2010 1:14:36 AM

saaiello said:
That will work perfectly the video memory doesnt have to match you system memory.


Great great great so my problem should be able to be solved with £43!. I wouldn't have ever needed the Corsair 4GB of RAM then?...
April 7, 2010 1:14:50 AM

hankmarvin said:
Even better!, my Pentium 4 is 3.06ghz so it really should be just a new video card I'd need then accoring to that!.

The annoying thing is I recently bought a cheap sound card for my PCI-E slot, which means that was a waste of money too if that has a HDMI!, B U G G E R


Well idk if the ATI hdmi will carry the sound not all cards do at least the nvidia cards dont lol or mine doesnt
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:24:16 AM

Yea the HD 5450 will do it all no need for the sound card. Thats why you should always do your research before makeing purchases. As for your ram more ram will help the system be a little faster at multitasking but will not effect HD playback thats all video card and CPU.
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:26:34 AM

white4lfe said:
Well idk if the ATI hdmi will carry the sound not all cards do at least the nvidia cards dont lol or mine doesnt


For your card to carry sound you need an spdif cable to connect to the video card to get the sound from either the onboard sound or a sound card. ATI has an onboard sound processor.
April 7, 2010 1:26:44 AM

im not to sure if your motherboard supports 4gb of ram i thought i raid max was 2gbs of single channel ram
April 7, 2010 1:28:08 AM

white4lfe said:
im not to sure if your motherboard supports 4gb of ram i thought i raid max was 2gbs of single channel ram


How would I tell?...
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:29:38 AM

white4lfe said:
im not to sure if your motherboard supports 4gb of ram i thought i raid max was 2gbs of single channel ram


It will support up to 4gb RAM 2x2GB single channel support only. Also its only DDR@ 533 or 667, 800mhz RAM might work but it will be underclocked if it does.
April 7, 2010 1:31:03 AM

saaiello said:
For your card to carry sound you need an spdif cable to connect to the video card to get the sound from either the onboard sound or a sound card. ATI has an onboard sound processor.


Yea my BFG card didnt come with the dongle but i dont use an HDMI adapter on my dvi port and nor does my monitor have dvi or hdmi lol its a old crappy monitor that just functions :D  i have used my 32" HDTV in my room tho i had to use dvi to vga on it and i plugged in my 5.1 channel into my onboard but idk thanks for the info on the ATI i didnt know that was a standard :D  thats pretty cool
a c 133 à CPUs
April 7, 2010 1:37:14 AM

ATI made that a standard back when the HD 3xxx cards were new :D 
April 7, 2010 1:38:25 AM

saaiello said:
ATI made that a standard back when the HD 3xxx cards were new :D 


GTX 480's dont even do that lol
April 7, 2010 1:39:32 AM

saaiello said:
It will support up to 4gb RAM 2x2GB single channel support only. Also its only DDR@ 533 or 667, 800mhz RAM might work but it will be underclocked if it does.

Hold up mines the Corsair Dominator GT 4GB 1066MHz C5 DDR2, is it OK to use it like this, I mean it must be working because I'm using my computer now, but is it likely to catch fire or something?...
April 7, 2010 1:42:17 AM

Your computer would beep and yell at you if it didnt work but you can run dxdiag in run /search to see if your computers recognizes the total ram
!