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Upgrading a very old PC

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January 22, 2012 7:40:55 PM

Hi guys,

I'm not very techy, just know a bit :) .

So anyways, I have an old HP XW4300, Pentium 4 3.0 GHZ, 2GB DDR2 ECC RAM, Nvidia GT220 GPU. Those are the only things which are different than in the standard specs. Everything else is stock. I just need a PC to keep me going until the end of this year, so I thought of upgrading to a Pentium D, as my mobo is LGA775, and that's the best CPU it supports. Pentium D's are hard to get hold of nowadays, I couldn't find a 3.6 GHZ one, so I went for 3.4 GHZ. Here are the specs of it;


Brand: Intel
Processor Model:p entium D 945
MPN BX80553945
EAN 0735858184878

Key Features
Processor Manufacturer Intel
Clock Speed: 3.4 GHz
CPU Socket Type: Socket LGA 775
Multi-Core Technology: Dual-Core
TDP: 95 W

Cache Memory
Level 2 Size 4 MB

Other Features
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Manufacturing Process: 65 nm
Architecture Features: Dual Core, Enhanced Intel Speedstep technology, Execute Disable Bit, Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T)
Instruction Set SSE3

Just want to know a few things.

1. Is this CPU compatiable with my PC?
2. Should I get more RAM, in light of the fact that I will be playing games, and I do wish to achieve an at least half-decent amount of frames, (not exactly the newest games, from c.2007 period).

More about : upgrading

January 22, 2012 7:55:53 PM

I would not throw too much money at it. The new processor is compatible, but would only be a slight upgrade. Even then, it would not be near as powerful as the current low end Intels. It is just older tech.

The best upgrade I could think of would be 2 more gb ram, and a new video card. Any newer video card will be hamstrung by either old processor, but you will still be better off then you are now. Plus the new video card will transfer over to a new machine whenever you can get it.

Your power supply is 460 watts, so you could handle a decent low-mid range card. I would suggest something like an Nvidia 550 Ti, or a AMD Radeon 6670 card. Even my lower end Radeon 6670 card would be a sizable upgrade.
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January 22, 2012 7:58:31 PM

im suprised you went for that, you would have been better off with a new more modern motherboard and cpu

you can buy a cheap socket 1155 motherboard for £50 and a core i3 2100 for £80 (4gb ddr arround £15) which can be upgraded to core i5/i7 or ivy bridge when i comes out


thats £145 for a computer that would be a lot faster than the one you have now


whats your budget?

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January 22, 2012 7:59:17 PM

you'll have no problem running most games on the lowest/medium graphics on a decent resolution, but to be honest, i'd just save up for a new pc entirely. Although ifyou're truly desperate for an fps higher than what you already have (seeing as pentium 4 is old as) then i'd guess that buying the pentium D is your best bet.
If you run a lot of background programs (like antivirus/music player/etc) then i would strongly advise getting some more RAM (no more than 2GB if you're on 32 bit OS)
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January 22, 2012 8:02:49 PM

tlmck said:
The best upgrade I could think of would be 2 more gb ram, and a new video card.


I wouldn't see how getting a new card would help though, It seems like the gtx220 is the borderline for being bottlenecked by the pentium 4
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 22, 2012 8:07:00 PM

Conjo91 said:

1. Is this CPU compatiable with my PC?


Yes the Pentium D 945 should work fine in that motherboard. Both the Pentium 4 and Pentium D are socket 775 so it should be compatible. If the motherboard is stock it can't hurt to go to HP's website and check the motherboard compatibility list

Conjo91 said:

2. Should I get more RAM, in light of the fact that I will be playing games, and I do wish to achieve an at least half-decent amount of frames, (not exactly the newest games, from c.2007 period.


Adding more RAM can't hurt but I wouldn't spend to much money on this old junky computer. I wouldn't bother with any upgrades really and just wait to do a whole new build.
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January 22, 2012 8:07:17 PM

ChosterF said:
I wouldn't see how getting a new card would help though, It seems like the gtx220 is the borderline for being bottlenecked by the pentium 4


And the rest of my statement was. "Any newer video card will be hamstrung by either old processor, but you will still be better off then you are now. Plus the new video card will transfer over to a new machine whenever you can get it."
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January 22, 2012 8:07:49 PM

Right now, my budget is virtually non-existent. That's why I'm choosing to stick with this for about another year. At the end of the year, I'll have some cash to spend on a new, and hopefully nice, gaming PC.

My biggest concern right now, is if I'd be able to reach 125 FPS stable on COD4 (125/250/333 FPS is optimal for COD4). As I'm playing cups for it pretty much daily, and with my P4, I can hit about 50-60 average.

BTW, thanks for fast replies guys. Impressive :) 
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 22, 2012 8:21:35 PM

If you have no money I don't see the point of upgrading an already old junky computer. 50-60 FPS isn't great but is it really worth spending what little money you have on an old computer. I would say keep playing with what you have and save up for a full build.
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January 23, 2012 5:54:10 PM

I've devided to buy the processor. One more year with 50 FPS doesn't bear thinking about :p .

I've just one more question. I did a Crucial memory scan, and the results showed me that I had 1GB DDR2 ECC and I had another 1GB DDR2, NON-ECC.

I'm slightly confused, I always thought ECC and non-ECC can't be mixed?
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a c 146 à CPUs
January 24, 2012 2:52:44 AM

You can mix ECC and non-ECC but it will depend on the motherboard. ECC RAM though will slow everything down compared to regular RAM.
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a c 116 à CPUs
January 24, 2012 8:30:37 AM

to be blunt any upgrade on that system would be wasted money...
the penny d is borderline minimum spec as is the 220, in fact the 220 will struggle to run new games at anything other than a snails pace., as for more ram its not needed. you need 1 gig if your running xp to play games and 1.5 gig for vista/win7... so what you have will work all be it in a very limited way...
seriously m8 even putting the penny d in will be a waste of money as would more ram.

i would normally just say throw a cheap 775 board at it and say a q8400 which will cost about 120
which will actualy be a better option on your system due to the fact your psu is likely to be pretty old and not have the latest enhancements that are needed by some of the new cpu's.

if you have a decent/new psu then the i3 2100 would change your world 2 and be a great start for your upgrades. but like i say its possible that your old psu may not work with it as it may not have the multi phases needed for the cpu to power itself properly.(but some 1 who knows more about psu's would be able to answer that 1)
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