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CPU upgrade for ECS RC410-M motherboard

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July 31, 2012 12:05:20 AM

Hi.
I have an old HP pavilion a1516in media centre PC.
motherboard specs are Here http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...

It says it's possible to upgrade to a Pentium D dual core processor.Which exactly will be the best for my motherboard?
My target is "silent" HTPC,Better and "choppy free" youtube video playback.
Current configuration is stock except for 2X512 MB DDR2 533 Mhz ram.Also i am running Full HD display @ 1080P.Also i Don't mind throwing in a new SMPS and some PCIe 16 Graphics card if they are supported by the MOBO.
Thank you.
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July 31, 2012 1:44:56 AM

http://ark.intel.com/products/family/7944/Intel-Pentium...

I would go for the 945 if you can get one. It's 95W TDP vs the others at 130W TDP. It will run cooler and require less cooling / fan speeds than it's counterparts, and is only 200MHz slower than the fastest 900 series (3.4 vs 3.6GHz).

http://ark.intel.com/products/27520/Intel-Pentium-D-Pro...(4M-Cache-3_40-GHz-800-MHz-FSB)

If they are still expensive to find used, step down to one of the other 95W ones.
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July 31, 2012 4:39:12 AM

I would recommend adding another gig of ram too. (total 2GB, 2x1) It is usually a good idea to have at least one gig of ram per core on the system.
Plus, the integrated graphics processor has to share memory with the system. It will have a slightly easier time driving that HD display with more ram.
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July 31, 2012 5:13:19 AM

A Core 2 Duo would be a nice upgrade and u can get them cheap on ebay.
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July 31, 2012 3:52:34 PM

@ scottiemedic, Sir, how can i be sure The intel pentium D 945 will match the MOBO. Me being a noob, Does it matter if the FSB speed does not match with that of my current intel pentium 4 3.06 HT 524 processor.Also i am facing a lot of high fan revving at loads with my current CPU, how will it help if the TDP rises from the current specs i have.
Also if i go for the 945, how will the performance increase, in terms of actual audio vodeo playback and youtube flash playback.

I have faced problems with this mobo earlier when i tried to install 667 Mhz Ram and the dealer assured me they are backward compatible, so it will run well in the 533 Mhz Mobo.I want to be sure if i will be allright if i go through with 945.
Thank you.
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July 31, 2012 8:59:04 PM

The motherboard manufacturer show all 900 series Pentium Ds as compatible on the link you sent. All I did was go to Intel's site and look up all the 900 series there were. They have taken into account the higher FSB and allowed for it either by the chipset or through BIOS updates (make sure you're running the latest BIOS).

The dual core of the D will increase computer efficiency by allowing tasks to be spread over 2 cores instead of 1 on your current 524.

As for the fan revving, I'm guessing it's cause the P4 you have is tached out trying to do everything you are asking, another relief you will get from the D series.

You will have to sacrifice some more heat (84W vs 95W TDP) if you want the advantage of a dual core CPU, but I wouldn't pump it up to the 130W TDP of some of the 900 seies. With the CPU running more efficiently at tasks, it might actually lower temps than one CPU running it's arse off. Comparison - You would get a lot hotter running a 400M relay by yourself than you would if you ran only half the distance then handed a battan off to an anchor runner to run the second half.

In terms of playback, it won't change how it plays video, but it will allow the second core to take on medial tasks like Explorer, virus scan software, etc that are running in the background...

And I agree with risaccess1, another gig of RAM will help (maybe more than a CPU upgrade) for HTPC purposes, if ALL you are using it for is dedicated HTPC.
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July 31, 2012 11:10:25 PM

i guess the best approach will be to upgrade to 2 X 1 GB RAM ,check for improvements and then think about a CPU upgrade.
What about the integrated ati radeon xpress 200 graphics.Is there a possibility if i get a dedicated card ,will there be any improvements in playbacks without my current HW configuration being a bottleneck?
Thank you.
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August 1, 2012 2:13:06 AM

If your CPU is peaking currently (you can check task manager while doing playback), then a new GPU isn't going to make an improvement, since the CPU will be the weak link. If you aren't topping the P4 out, then a GPU can make an improvement (I'd still start with RAM and get some solid numbers on resources before investing in the GPU or Pentium D).
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August 1, 2012 1:09:57 PM

Both CPU and RAM are at 25-30 % use with just AV play back and they are just fine.

But everything goes crazy with web flash videos,lots of video tearing (even with HW acceleration OFF), as if i am watching snaps and not video.the fan revs up like crazy.

Just my thoughts , i heard upgrading to a DVI from VGA cable helps?

Thank You.
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August 1, 2012 6:40:51 PM

I'd start with RAM. The less your computer has to store to HDD instead of RAM during playback, the smoother it will look. If you RAM is 'full', then the computer starts writing to your computer's temp files, but then they have to access them off the slow HDD, while competing with other processes demanding HDD attention and cycles.

My HTPC (Old Athlon X2 and some slow ass onboard video) does just fine on VGA (D-SUB), and it's running 1080 to a 50" LG plasma. Pull the trigger on the RAM, you'll notice an improvement from the very moment the chip goes in.

Also, is the HDD in your box IDE (ack!) or SATA?
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August 2, 2012 1:37:10 AM

It's SATA.

Any ways sir, thanks for the advice, i will definitely start looking for the compatible RAM upgrade and then follow through on further as per your instructions.

It may sound crazy, but i am also in the process of trying to restore my 12 year old P3 550 Mhz HP Brio Business PC.Hope it's worth the troubles!!! It actually was the first home PC in my locality with a dial up internet connection and all my friends used to flock around after school hours.Am still in love with my 2 old HPs.
Am currently using a dell XPS 15 L501X Desktop replacement laptop(1080P with B+RG LED backlit AUO display),the original one.Proud to own it because i heard B+RGs are not available anymore.

Thank You.
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August 2, 2012 2:11:14 AM

My pleasure...
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