Pentium 4 Gaming PC

Hi, I recently got my hands onto a old Dell Media Server pc.

It has a Pentium 4 3Ghz CPU (LGA 478) in it and it got me thinking, can this thing even run Tetris? :P

Nah, but seriously, I'm looking to use this in a gaming pc but I have no idea where to start. I'm looking to at least overclock it to 4Ghz MINIMUM, and run games like Fallout 3 and Left 4 Dead.

I'm planning on only reusing the CPU so I need to buy a new case, motherboard, RAM, hard drive and graphics card.

My budget is $400 and can be expanded.

Also, it would be really great to watercool the CPU, if possible.

Remember, this is a build, I already have a great gaming pc, I just want to have the experience of such a build. :)
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  1. Some of this isn't going to happen. The S478 P4 is good up to around 3.73-3.8GHz. 4GHz isn't likely. The prescot S775 P4s could do 4GHz+, but I doubt you have one.

    Source games like L4D, TF2, etc should be fine. Any game that has a dual core as the minimum won't really be playable on this rig. You will also have the issue of spending a price premium for the board, ram, etc. The cost of doing this really isn't worth the benefit.
  2. Hmm, ok thanks 4745454b, by the way, nice haiku in your sig. :)
  3. If you budget is $400(and expandable) you can still build a machine that will have a cpu to blow that p4 out of the water.
  4. zooted said:
    If you budget is $400(and expandable) you can still build a machine that will have a cpu to blow that p4 out of the water.



    I already have a machine that can blow a p4 out of the water, I was trying to see if I could use a p4 in as a gaming pc.
  5. Well I have an old hd 3850 agp card that I ran on an old p4 system to bring some life to it. I could run source games but not much more than that. The 3850 is literally the fastest agp card ever made.
  6. zooted said:
    Well I have an old hd 3850 agp card that I ran on an old p4 system to bring some life to it. I could run source games but not much more than that. The 3850 is literally the fastest agp card ever made.


    I see.. what resolution where you able to run games at?
  7. I found a very similar computer like 2 years ago. HP D530. I got an old 3850 agp card on ebay for $50. Slamed it in along with 4x512 of ddr 400 and 2 WD 80gig IDE drives in Raid 0.
    Unfortantily those cards are hard to find now.

    That computer gets a 3d mark 06 score of around 6000. As a point of refrence at the time i had a q6600 core2 quad at 2.4. with an 8800gt that computer got 11000.

    My p4 can play MW2, World at War, MW3 at a solid 45 FPS with everything on low and of course aa off at 1280x1024. It cant run Black OPS or BFBC2 with consistant frames.
    It can max out all source games.

    My HP Mother board had no over clocking ability and very little bios adjustments. So I cant speak to how an OC to 3.6 or 3.8 might help.

    When my bro comes over he uses it and we party for MW3 he is always in the top 3 on it, he says it does not lag or anything.
  8. I think I may just buy a micro atx motherboard and use it as a server/gaming pc.

    Anybody know any lga 478 micro atx motherboards?
  9. dragonite said:
    I see.. what resolution where you able to run games at?

    1440x900. It also would run wow on medium settings. (pre cataclysm)
  10. If your goal is to learn something then go for it. If the goal is to have a useful computer in the end you might be waisting your money. A better project would be to see how much of a gaming system you can build with 400 and the parts from that old Dell.
    Maybe get an i3 for 100 a cheap board for 50 ram for 50 a gpu for 100 case and psu for 50 and reuse the Dell hd and optical. In the end you would have a computer that has a future. I found the more I messed with the older computers the more disappointed I was in the lack of performance I got.
  11. I wouldn't drop that much money on a platform of that age, you could look on craigslist for older parts that people could be getting rid of if you are interested in playing around with an older platform.
  12. And unless you are really rich I can't see spending $400 on something that will always be slow, and tied to a system that is 5 generations old. The ram, motherboard, GPU, etc will never carry over to a new system.
  13. ^agreed
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