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Upgrading my P4 D 930 Dual Core or buy a new MB, CPU and Vid

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March 25, 2010 3:05:41 AM

My Current System:
Intel P4 D 930 3.0ghz
MSI P965 Platinum
2x2 Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800
EVGA Geforce 7600GT 256meg DDR3
WD 250 gig SATA
DVDRW SATA
FSP 450 watt PSU
SAMSUNG 19" LCD 1280x1024
WinXP Pro SP3

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: anytime
BUDGET RANGE: 200-300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: email, office, surfing, CAD, minor gaming (dragon age origins), photo editing, video

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: hd, dvdrw, psu, monitor, case, ram if possible.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: reason i am asking

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My current system is a few years old and I am considering upgrading. I have looked into just updating the processor and based on MSI's cpu support list I can put a select few Intel quadcores in there but they are around 200 bucks. That led me to start looking at some of the AMD cpu's and newer motherboards. Specifically, I have been looking at the Athlon II 630 and a Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H and a Radeon 4670 w/ 1gig DDR3. The reason I chose that MB was b/c it supports DDR2 ram. I am not married to my current ram but I just purchased that ram about a year ago and I would like to continue to use it.

So, I guess my question is: should I just upgrade my processor and video card or should I go ahead and upgrade the CPU, MB and Video card? Which would be the best bang for my buck and give me a little more upgradability in the future? Also, I am open to other mb, cpu combinations.
March 25, 2010 3:19:18 AM

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

The link I posted is the board I'm using right now, there is one thing you should know about this board on newegg they have it misprinted it is AM3, AM2+, AM2.

The link for this board from the company:

http://www.gigabyte.us/Products/Motherboard/Products_Sp...

For the video card I mean I used Nvidia, but since the motherboard I gave you a link or the one I use it uses an AMD chipset which is good so you can use ATI or Nvidia if you would like.

I used this video card:

PNY GTX 260 core 216 896MB

I mean what you posted looks good as well. I just have a soft side for AMD/Nvidia.

a b B Homebuilt system
March 25, 2010 10:05:46 AM

Ow just 1280 x 1024 i have clients getting by on HD 4670/9600GT but hey why not hit this HD 4770 at an amazing price! Plus a 790GX/SB750/triple core/CFable combo mmmm :p  Board was also one of the pioneer AM2+ unlockers if u into that too hehe
Related resources
March 25, 2010 11:59:27 AM

@ shanemarines

Thanks for the mb rec. I have not looked at that one. If I did I may have looked past it b/c of some of the user reviews on newegg about the heatsink/heat problems. I would much rather have an ATX mb anyways. So, I will take another gander at it.

As for the video card, I have always bought evga and nvidia. This would be my first ATI card and I chose it purely on THG recs from the past vs. nvidia cards.

@ Batuchka

Good catch on the 4770. How reliable is the unlocking of the 4th core on that Athlon. My only fear about getting the triple core would not being able to unlock that 4th core. So, I would rather spend 25 bucks more just to make sure I get that 4th core unless everyone is able to unlock that 4th core.
March 25, 2010 10:27:43 PM

SHANEMARINES said:
http://www.lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com...

Thats a link to unlock the fourth core on that Athlon II x3 435 @2.9Ghz.

I hope that helps you stravy.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257054-29-athlon-over...

The tomshardware link above is also about unlocking that fourth core and about the overheating I've had this board brand new from the store in Boise for about three months now just playing the game Crysis at a consistant basis.


ooh...so so so tempting

thanks for the links
a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2010 1:55:04 AM

For the record no, not everyone can.

Everyone can try if they know how, but the likelyhood is to get one that does not unlock. As such you should go ahead and get the quad.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2010 8:02:51 AM

stravy said:

@ Batuchka

Good catch on the 4770. How reliable is the unlocking of the 4th core on that Athlon. My only fear about getting the triple core would not being able to unlock that 4th core. So, I would rather spend 25 bucks more just to make sure I get that 4th core unless everyone is able to unlock that 4th core.


Unlocking is to be viewed as a bonus rather than a given ^^ If within budget hit the Propus then
March 26, 2010 7:57:24 PM

I hope everything works out and you can un-lock that fourth core. I also hope that I've helped enough to try and figure out how to un-lock that fourth core if you can't seem to do it post whats wrong and or I can find you a really great CPU for a great price. You can also ask some of the Veterans on here for help.

-Shane
March 26, 2010 9:47:50 PM

Well...I want to thank all for their help so far. I think I am about 90% sure about going with the Athlon II x4 630 and the Gigabyte board. However, I did come across these combo's on newegg.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

what are ya'lls thoughts on the AMD Phenom II x3 720 Black Edition and the Biostar board. I know I was skeptical about getting the Athlon II x3 but this processor has the 6mb of cache. The only other thing...how are the biostar boards? I have never bought one? I have been buying MSI and Gigabyte for years.

If I did go with the 720 I would need a aftermarket heatsink and fan. I am a little unsure about the socket names and fan compatibilites on newegg's website, but I picked this cooler out. Would it work for the Gigabyte board above? It says it is AM2 compatible and this mb says it's an AM2/AM2+/AM3.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
March 26, 2010 10:55:58 PM

Biostar is a much lesser brand than gigabyte.

Just go with the x4 and gigabyte board.
March 26, 2010 11:19:54 PM

OK...i think these are my 2 best options. I feel pretty good about either of these. The only thing I might hold out on is the video card. Considering the next gen card from ATI might drop in price to match the 4670. Other than that I am ready to buy. Anyone have a perspective that I may have overlooked considering the hardware I am reusing? BTW - you all have been great with your recs and stuff. I really appreciate it.

Configuration 1: Total $268.47

HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

COOLER MASTER RR-CCH-P912-GP 92mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Configuration 2: Total $264.97

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 27, 2010 12:55:09 AM

Go with number 2 cause the fact that I've had problems with that AMD x 3. I mean its up to you, but I've had bad luck. Just go with Dual or Quad.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 27, 2010 2:43:11 AM

My triple works fine, but why bother? If you wanna overclock later, just buy the cooler later and overclock the quad.

Also, don't play the waiting game. Otherwise you'll wait forever.
March 27, 2010 5:34:42 AM

False_Dmitry_II said:
My triple works fine, but why bother? If you wanna overclock later, just buy the cooler later and overclock the quad.

Also, don't play the waiting game. Otherwise you'll wait forever.


*CHEERS* and AGREE!
March 27, 2010 12:14:17 PM

#2 it is then...thanks for all of your advice. I will let you know how it goes.
March 29, 2010 3:01:33 AM

stravy said:
#2 it is then...thanks for all of your advice. I will let you know how it goes.


Sweet man glad Tomshardware could help!
March 30, 2010 3:21:44 AM

Does anyone know if I am going to have problems with my current psu (FSP 450watt) and this mb/cpu combo? I only have the 4pin 12volt connector. Not the 8pin.

The Specs are
+3.3V@30A
+5V@28A
+12V1@14A
+12V2@13A
-12V@0.5A
+5VSB@2A

1 x Main connector (20+4Pin)
1 x 12V (P4)
6 x peripheral
2 x SATA
1 x Floppy
1 x PCI-E
March 30, 2010 6:29:05 AM

The only reason for some motherboards to have a 8pin instead of the 4 is because the really high end quads require an 8pin. If you don't have or arnt using a high end quad then you can just hook your 4pin in the 8pin slot and the 4pin will only fit one way so you don't have to worry about hooking it up wrong. I hope this helps you.
a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2010 8:08:06 PM

That and they don't even actually require it. It's just a good idea to use it. Some of ASUS' motherboards still don't have an 8-pin connector, even on AM3 boards.
April 3, 2010 10:57:14 PM

Well...just wanted to let all know that I bought the parts and rebuild the computer this morning & installed win7 64 bit. All is working fine. However, I ran Passmark and my CPU results and Memory results are a little low compared to other comparable systems with the same OS and ram. I will have to look into this. Anyone have any thoughts?
a b B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2010 5:05:59 AM

Gratz on your buy ^^ Dun read too much into synthetic benchmarks - enjoy the real world upgrade hehe
April 4, 2010 9:52:08 AM

Nice man and as long as your system is running fine and stable I wouldn't worry about benchmarks.
a b B Homebuilt system
April 4, 2010 8:58:46 PM

Could just be because of other parts that are the same, like the old hard drive, etc.

But it's still way faster than it was I bet so it doesn't really matter.
April 5, 2010 12:06:54 AM

There was a performance issue. So, I downloaded the latest chipset driver from gigabyte and ati driver. All is right in the world now. I am really liking this system. Appreciate all of ya'lls help.
April 8, 2010 4:08:22 AM

stravy said:
There was a performance issue. So, I downloaded the latest chipset driver from gigabyte and ati driver. All is right in the world now. I am really liking this system. Appreciate all of ya'lls help.


Glad you got it solved ohh man the bad world of faulty drives / out of date drivers!

May 5, 2010 3:43:22 PM

OK...this system has been running for a little over a month now w/o any problems. Until the other day. Here is the story.

I installed "steam" and installed Dragon Age: Origins. I quickly found out that there is a memory leak with DA:o  using win7 64 bit and more than 2 gigs of ram. While playing the game my computer crashed to desktop then imediately rebooted. When the computer rebooted it said that it had recovered from a fatal error. This happened twice then I found a fix for the problem. Everything started working fine again. But, now my computer has randomly rebooted twice yesterday just while I was surfing the web. The last time I played the game was on Sunday and since then I have shutdown my computer, so I do not believe this problem is caused by the game.

So, what would cause my computer to randomly reboot? It is not a windows update, I have checked. I have run a virus scan and did not find any problems. I don't believe it is a heat issue b/c I do not have the side panel on my computer right now. One thing I have thought of is AHCI. I have my HD to run in this mode. This is something I have never fooled with before and thought it may be the culprit.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

AMD Athlon II x4 630
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-UD2H
2x2 Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800
ATI Radeon 4670
WD 250 gig SATA
DVDRW SATA
FSP 450 watt PSU
SAMSUNG 19" LCD 1280x1024
Win7 64bit
a b B Homebuilt system
May 5, 2010 8:18:38 PM

If you switched your hard drive to that mode before installing win 7 then it isn't your problem. If you did it after either reinstall windows or switch it back.
May 6, 2010 10:31:12 AM

Your having a BSOD crash from Windows most likley and since its 64bit your going to have common issues. If you don't mind losing saved files or if you can move the ones you want to an external I would just try to reset BIOS and re-install Windows 7 64bit. I mean it will most likley fix your problem man. Thanks for your questions though I remember this thread a long time ago sorry your having problems.
May 7, 2010 2:26:19 PM

@False_Dimitry

I am almost positive that I switched it in the bios after I installed windows 7. If I remember correctly, when I booted the computer and after the post, a screen came up asking if I wanted to run the HD in AHCI. I think I just let that message time out and by default it was set not to run in AHCI. When I get home this evening I will switch it back.

@ shanemarines

I am really hoping it is the AHCI setting. I am running win7 64bit at work without any problems at all. Also, I essentially used the same components to build my wifes home computer and hers has been rock solid (knock on wood). I think the only difference is hers is not set to run AHCI. I will report back and let you know how it goes.

Thanks to both of you for your help. I really appreciate it.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 7, 2010 10:35:29 PM

It is a performance boost to have it on. So just keep in mind when you do it in the future to set it before installing windows.
May 8, 2010 12:25:38 AM

stravy said:
@False_Dimitry

I am almost positive that I switched it in the bios after I installed windows 7. If I remember correctly, when I booted the computer and after the post, a screen came up asking if I wanted to run the HD in AHCI. I think I just let that message time out and by default it was set not to run in AHCI. When I get home this evening I will switch it back.

@ shanemarines

I am really hoping it is the AHCI setting. I am running win7 64bit at work without any problems at all. Also, I essentially used the same components to build my wifes home computer and hers has been rock solid (knock on wood). I think the only difference is hers is not set to run AHCI. I will report back and let you know how it goes.

Thanks to both of you for your help. I really appreciate it.


No problem man I hope that will fix your problem and I'm just going to keep checking up on this problem to help you find a solution.
May 8, 2010 12:42:28 AM

Thanks all. I did change the setting in the bios back to ide. So, we will see how it goes the next few days. Just to let you all know. I have been keepin my computer on since the last random reboot, which was the day I posted the problem, I have not had anymore reboots, but i have been too busy to really be using my computer. This evening i have stopped using AHCI and I will report back any problems, if any. Thanks again for your advice. I let you know how it goes. Maybe later I will get in an hour or so of DAO.
June 23, 2010 2:54:24 PM

UPDATE: the BSOD's got worse and about a week and a half ago they were so bad that when I logged into windows it would immediately BSOD. So, I got another hard drive and reinstalled windows 7 enterprise 64bit. Since then everything was running fine. Until last night...the first BSOD.

I was using the computer last night. I had IE open with a couple PDF's open. I left the computer for about an hour. When I returned there was a popup box about windows error reproting. I sent the data then the computer BSOD'ed and reboot. When the computer reboot MS security essentials started an update which hung. I restarted the computer again. I ran MS security essentials update again and windows also found 5 updates. No more blue screens as of yet. *knock on wood*.

I have 3 computers running windows 7 enterprise 64bit and this one is the only one that is having the problem. Does anyone have an idea where I can begin to troubleshoot this problem?

Thanks.

Windows 7 Enterprise 64bit
AMD Athlon II x4 630
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
Crucial Ballistix 4GB Kit (2x2) DDR2 800
Gigabyte GV-R467ZL-1GI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-Bit DDR3
Seagate 320GB 7200RPM 16MB cache
LG DVD Burner
FSP 450 Watt PSU
Coolermaster Midtower Case
June 24, 2010 9:43:19 AM

Looking into this further for you.
!