Back at it after 7 years off, need upgrade advice

Back in 'the day' I used to build and OC AMD systems, heck, I even wrote about freezing my tongue to a waterblock for my MIT admissions essay. Then a graduated from college, got married, bought a house and you know the rest, last time i paid attention and did a meaningful upgrade was 2005. Last night, my wife asked me to stop using her 2 year old laptop to back up our DVD collection using DVDFab and instead use my desktop. Problem is, her laptop encodes at about 40 fps and my desktop is under 10 fps. Obviously I need to upgrade it, but honestly, its been soo long, I probably don't know what I don't know.

Tried to follow the template the best I could but bear with me if its not perfect.

Currently running an AthlonXP 3000+ with 2GB of DDR ram and a ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Video card.

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next few weeks

Budget Range: Ideally under $300 for now but will go higher if necessary to accompish my goals

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Encoding movies to h264 with DVDFab, listening to music on winamp on the treadmill (I'm assuming no one uses winamp anymore...), very occasional movie watching, no gaming

Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, case, hard drives & DVD burner (see additional comments), Power Supply if possible (Antec Performance True 430, 430W max, max outputs: +5V:36A +12V:20A +3.3V:28A -5V: 0.5A -12V: 1A -3.3V 2.0A)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com (first order placed there 7/30/2001!)

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Whatever works best

Overclocking: Maybe, not required

SLI or Crossfire: Nope

Monitor Resolution:Sony Bravia 1360 x 768 @ 60 hz

Additional Comments: Every drive I have is IDE. 2 hard drives (1 for the OS and one for storage), a very old DVD drive, a newer DVD burner and a USB 2.0 Burner. In a perfect world, I'd like to use the PCI IDE card I have to keep using the two hard drives and DVD burner while maybe buying a reasonably priced, newer interface DVD Drive. The intention, of course, would be to upgrade the hard drives down the line, but I don't even know if this is reasonable in this brave new world.

Given my budget, I have no issue with mobo that has integrated video, sound, lan, etc if that doesn't seriously cripple my fps output.

Thanks for reading!
Mark
72 answers Last reply
More about back years upgrade advice
  1. No replies and I've dropped to page 2. Was it something I said?
  2. Well, your budget is low for a custom pc.
  3. Sorry mate....

    Your best choice for that budget is buying it off the shelf, especially discount spring or summer sales! You would most probably need at least $750 or $1000 to configure a decent new build. Recommendations would start pouring-in then :-)

    Good luck......
  4. Thanks for the note. Maybe I'm asking the wrong question.

    Given what I've already got, could I get by with just getting a new mobo / processor and ram only?

    Or will that not fly with my current power supply and hard drive setup (running off of the pci card)
  5. I am afraid I cannot comment on the AMD system you have.

    Please this fantastic budget pc link by another member and see if you are happy with it...

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/343869-13-ultimate-budget
  6. That does look good, I appreicate the link. The only thing I do not understand (I'm assuming this has changed in my years away) but why is he using (2) 300W power supplies? Has the interface for power supplies changed?
  7. so according to me you need a processor ram and mobo and maybe a psu..?
    you need to check if your optical drive has a old hdd or sata cable because the new mobos dont support old big hdd cables..
    $300 is enough for a mobo processor n ram.. maybe will have to sqeeze in a bit to get a psu if required... you want amd or intel ?
  8. you can sell the processor mobo...430w psu is enough...
  9. divj,
    don't understand what you mean by 'sell' the processor / mobo.


    As noted above, the hard drives are IDE ones not SATA. I do have a PCI IDE card so I was planning to just use the card to run the hard drives through the PCI slot. Again, I've been away for so long though, I don't even know if I can boot / run an OS through a hard drive on a PCI card.
  10. why dont u upgrade the hdd too ?
    sell means sell ... :/
  11. i m too young to tell you about old stuff like old ide hdds... i recommend to buy a new hdd too... your budget is enough as you will not be using it for gaming...
  12. Ha, I guess I'm just a 27 year old dinosaur. Plan is to upgrade the hdds eventually, just not right away (assuming I can use the ide drives through the pci slot in the first place).

    Another question for you young guys, this motherboard has a DVI port but I don't see any mention of onboard video so I don't know what that means. Its kind of making me feel like an idiot. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138296
  13. some questions... why r u buying intel ?
    why are you wanting to spend one third of your budget on a mobo ?
  14. some questions... why r u buying intel ?
    why are you wanting to spend one third of your budget on a mobo ?
    dvi is for the crt monitor... you have a lcd which needs hdmi...
  15. I was buying intel because everything I've read around here seems to say that while AMD was the chip of choice back when I was active (2001 - 2005) that intel is much better now. If thats not the case for what I'm trying to use the rig for (encoding video, no gaming) then I'm happy to stay with AMD

    my bad, that mobo also says it has an hdmi port. whats confusing me is that 'back in the day', if a mobo had integrated video card, all of the specs would be listed. but I cant understand why these ports would be on it if there was no integrated video.
  16. well... according to what i know during 2001 -2005 amd used to suck and intel was the champ but now amd has improved its architecture n is making more sales... its best for a super budget build...
    go for amd...
    though just so you know everyone has their own personal preferences...
    intel has better architecture(even now) but its very expensive.. amd has good architecture and is low priced.. u choose
  17. where are you gonna attach the monitor cable if there are no ports and you dont have a gpu ? lol
  18. My question must be so stupid (I'm not being sarcastic) that you aren't understanding me.

    Do I NEED a video card with this motherboard or not?
  19. lol your language is weird... i understand now
    what do u think will do with a gfx card?
  20. u getting intel or amd ? tell me that so we can go with the first step of choosing the processor...
  21. I'm here because I don't know what is the best for my purposes anymore. As far as the intel vs amd, I'm happy to take your advice.
  22. okay amd it is then....

    u can buy a processor with integrated gfx to meet your needs.... check out the amd a8..
    n maybe u would need a hdd too... how much capacity does yours have ?
  23. I've got a 20 gb I've been using for the OS and a 200gb for my storage
  24. guess that is sufficient...
  25. Alright, I'm looking at these A8 processors and I see that the processor itself has in integrated GPU (never heard of this before).

    So does that mean the motherboard does not need an integrated video card?

    I may be starting to get it
  26. lol... look at a6 too.. mobo will have integrated gfx as well but not even half as good as the processor
  27. So a motherboard like this would do the trick?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157278

    Looking at the pics, it looks like there is an '8 pin cpu power connector'. Can you tell me about that? I'm only familiar with the 24 pin ATX power connector.

    Does that mean my PSU is no good if it doesn't have this additional 8 pin power plug?
  28. and if we go under budget maybe you could get a better faster processor
    what is your exact budget?
  29. divJ said:
    well... according to what i know during 2001 -2005 amd used to suck and intel was the champ but now amd has improved its architecture n is making more sales...

    2001-2005 were the Pentium 4 years where Intel CPUs had horrible performance per clock while AMD had an indisputable performance advantage in most benchmarks. Intel introduced the Conroe Core2Duo in 2006 which turned tables around and AMD has been playing catch-up ever since with Intel pulling yet further ahead with Core i3/5/7.
  30. google it ... lol.. can u give me picture of your case n psu ?
  31. Its not so much that I have a price range in mind so much as I am trying minimize cost subject to the following constraint:

    To encode video as fast or faster than my wife's laptop running

    Inspiron 1545, Intel Pentium Dual Core T4200, 2.0GHz 800Mhz, 1M L2 Cache
    2GB, DDR2, 800MHz 2 Dimm

    Thats it.
  32. we are gonna build a budget super computer as compared to ur wife's... lol
    but only if you want...
  33. tell me if u just wanna do encoding ? just encoding ?
  34. ok, one more question that mind seem really stupid (unless you remind yourself I have been out for 7 years).

    Back when I was doing this, you needed to either have a AGP video card or buy a motherboard with an integrated graphics card. However, now that I'm reading about these processors now, it sounds like they process the graphics on the chip in which case you dont need a video card AT ALL?

    Is that true?
  35. I want to do encoding, rip and burn DVDs (already have the drives) and occasionally listen to music, surf the web, watch a video or type up a document. No gaming

    It seems like the last thing I need to figure out is this 8 pin connector thing.
  36. surfariver said:
    Its not so much that I have a price range in mind so much as I am trying minimize cost subject to the following constraint:

    To encode video as fast or faster than my wife's laptop

    Right now, the fastest way to transcode video is to use Intel Quicksync on Ivy Bridge CPUs with HD4000 IGP, 2-3X faster than the next best thing including GPU-accelerated transcode from AMD or nVidia. The cheapest CPU with it would be the i5-3550k.
  37. surfariver said:
    However, now that I'm reading about these processors now, it sounds like they process the graphics on the chip in which case you dont need a video card AT ALL?

    Intel integrated their HD1000/2000/2500/3000/4000 IGP in most core i3/5/7 CPUs so you are correct, nearly all Intel CPUs now have basic 3D acceleration built-in, all you need is a motherboard that exposes the display interfaces.

    The recently launched Ivy Bridge cores sport 3xxx model numbers and have either the 2500 or 4000 variant of Intel's IGP. However, even the 4000 variant only half as fast at 3D acceleration as ~$75 add-in boards.
  38. surfariver,
    just so you know or maybe u now know... the i5 clearly takes you outta budget... just the processor consumes 80% than your total budget...
  39. under i5 on newegg I only see sandybridge and clarkdale, no Ivybridge. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    To divj's point, the i5 would be great but it sounds like alot of these chips support some level of quicksync and should be much faster than my wife's laptop at encoding, correct?
  40. surfariver said:
    under i5 on newegg I only see sandybridge and clarkdale, no Ivybridge. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    Ivy Bridge was released this week, many stores/e-tailers haven't added it to their product lineup yet. If you shop around, you can find it around $210.
  41. surfariver said:
    under i5 on newegg I only see sandybridge and clarkdale, no Ivybridge. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    To divj's point, the i5 would be great but it sounds like alot of these chips support some level of quicksync and should be much faster than my wife's laptop at encoding, correct?


    a hell lot faster...
  42. Ok, back to the power supply. The one I've got is 430 watts and has 3 connections (other than the hard drive and fan connections). A 20 pin (2x10), 6 pin (1x6) and 4 pin (2x). I'd upload a picture but its asking me for a link rather than letting me attach the picture.

    It looks like all of these boards I'm looking at for both AMD and Intel use a 24 pin and an 8 pin power connector. Does that mean my power supply is no good?
  43. tell me the model of ur psu
  44. Antec Performance True 430 430 watt max no model # I can see from here
  45. surfariver said:
    It looks like all of these boards I'm looking at for both AMD and Intel use a 24 pin and an 8 pin power connector. Does that mean my power supply is no good?

    On most motherboards, the extended ATX connector and 8-pin 12V are optional unless you start overclocking and use high-power add-in boards. If you look at your 4-pin cables, one of them might be designed to clip onto the ATX power connector to provide the extra pins. You still need to plug your 4-pin ATX12V cable in the board's 8-pin 12V header.

    Since you probably won't be overclocking and might not even use discrete graphics, your PSU is vastly sufficient rating-wise.
  46. ok, on my current nf7 motherboard, the 6 pin is not in use but the 4 pin plugs in apart from the 20 pin.

    Thanks again!
  47. surfariver said:
    ok, on my current nf7 motherboard, the 6 pin is not in use but the 4 pin plugs in apart from the 20 pin.

    The 6-pin cable is for high-power (>75W) graphics boards.

    The 4-pin ATX12V connector provides extra 12V power mainly for the CPU power regulators.

    The optional pins on the 24pin ATX connector add an extra 3.3V, 5V and 12V line.
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