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Re-use old CPU or buy new CPU?

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June 4, 2012 3:04:00 PM

I'm building a new graphic design/video editing PC but want to stay in the $300-$400 range and salvage parts from my old machine. I'm already salvaging the HD and memory, but I'm wondering if it would be wise to use my old CPU as well. I'm having a hard time finding a good consensus on which would be faster, and does it really matter for graphic design when I'm already getting a high end graphics card?

The old CPU is an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 / 2.33 GHz

The new CPU in my price range is: Intel Pentium G850 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz

More about : cpu buy cpu

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June 4, 2012 3:42:37 PM

How are you getting a high end graphics card if your whole budget is $300-400??

For video editing you would want a i3 at least because a pentium g doesn't have hyperthreading, or keep your quad and overclock it to at least 3ghz.
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June 4, 2012 3:50:16 PM

Well it depends on what your classification of high end is.. I know some cards can go way up, but I have my eye on:

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

So far, with that card, case, motherboard, power supply, and the cheaper CPU, I'm at $330.

So it sounds like hyperthreading is pretty important. I can see about overclocking my old CPU, but won't that shorten it's life span? It is already over 2 years old.

Thanks for the reply.
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June 4, 2012 3:50:37 PM

Why not just try the old CPU and see how it handles the load? You can always replace it later if it performs poorly.
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June 4, 2012 3:55:26 PM

ram1009 said:
Why not just try the old CPU and see how it handles the load? You can always replace it later if it performs poorly.


Well the old CPU is a socket 775, so I would have to buy a 775 motherboard, and none of the new CPU's (as far as I know) will fit that.
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June 4, 2012 4:08:08 PM

Looks like I can get an i3 for $120

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

This will keep me under $400. I'm not sure I would want to purchase an LGA775 motherboard anyway, since there are only a few processors that will fit that anymore. So if the older processor was too slow or went bad, I would have limited options on a new one.

I think I answered my own question then.. Thanks everyone for the replies.

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June 4, 2012 4:32:29 PM

If you could get that upto about $450:
.. GPU $115 (Your choice - But the 7000 series is only needed if you plan on again upgrading the CPU/MB to take advantage of PCI-e 3.0. But by then you will probably want a NEW GPU also. Might look at a good 6000 series GPU. Didn't see gaming as a usage, so don't need a real HIGH end GPU.
.. CPU $210, i5-2500k
.. MB, About $125 A good Z68 based MB to take advantage of quick sync and enhanced video encoding.

If you live close to a microcenter, they often have CPU/MB bundles for less than newegg and that could bring you down closer to your $400
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June 4, 2012 4:57:02 PM

ram1009 said:
Why not just try the old CPU and see how it handles the load? You can always replace it later if it performs poorly.


if the CPU doesn't turn out he will still be suck with getting a new CPU + mobo + ram.

also to the OP don't try to get a new socket 775 mobo. they are hard to find and if you are able to find one the quality is not going to be that great
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June 4, 2012 5:00:54 PM

Thanks RetiredChielf. I have looked at a few of the 6000 series GPU's as you suggested, and I found this one:

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

I have always heard good things about ASUS. I own an ASUS laptop and it has been excellent. Seems like it's only a little slower than the 7000 I have linked above, and $50 cheaper.

Here is the case, power supply, and motherboard I have my eye on
if anyone is interested:

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

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 4, 2012 5:41:09 PM

moornix said:
Consider this GPU:
http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/301487 ($80 w/ MIR)

And this PSU (Corsair is a better established brand):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026 ($35 w/ MIR)


Thanks moornix. I'll take your word for the PSU, just exchanged in my shopping cart. :) 

And that GPU looks like a beast for such a good price.. I'll just have to make sure it fits on the motherboard since it looks like it takes up two slots. The only other card I need to put in though is a firewire card, and it will go in one of the PCI X1 slots.
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June 4, 2012 5:47:47 PM

The PCIe slots are separated. The extra slot will go on an expansion slot on the case.
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June 4, 2012 5:52:12 PM

Thanks azeem40. While I'm thinking about it, this is my first time building a PC, so I'm wondering how the motherboard is attached to the case.

So with the case and motherboard I have linked above, how will I know that the screw holes will line-up properly? Sorry about the noob question...
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June 4, 2012 5:54:12 PM

A case usually has many ATX mounting holes. Depending on how the mobo has its standoff locations, all you do is put the standoffs in the case and align the holes on the MOBO to the standoffs on the Case.
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June 4, 2012 6:00:46 PM

azeem40 said:
A case usually has many ATX mounting holes. Depending on how the mobo has its standoff locations, all you do is put the standoffs in the case and align the holes on the MOBO to the standoffs on the Case.


Great, I figured it was something like that. Just thought I would ask while I had your attention... lol

Thanks again.
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June 4, 2012 6:04:25 PM

I am a regular go-er on these forums, so I usually always reply very quickly. :p 
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June 4, 2012 6:05:36 PM

just remember to combo the cpu and the mobo to shave off ~15$ before final purchase.
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June 4, 2012 6:14:23 PM

Good choice in switching PSU. as a "LOW" quality one can wipe out your system in a heart beat.
In terms Of GPU, your MB only has one PCi-e x16 slots so a Daul slot GPU should be OK, HOWEVER, you might want to read the reviews before buying that MB - 22% 1/2 egg recommendations puts it very close to a "DO NOT BUY" catagory. Biostar may be cheap, but generally for a reason as they tend to be lower quality. Always read the user recommendations, some are not valid, but that's true for other brands. Memory compatability is NOT one of Biostars strong suits.
My MBs of choice are Gigabyte, Asus, and Some models of ASrock. Have not used MSI

Note On reusing your Ram, Default memory speed is 1333 for SB, and 1600 for IB. But you can run lower Also, verify that your old DDR3 Memory is at 1.5 Volts. Some of the older DDR3 Ram is rated at 1.65 V which is above SB max of 1.575V

NOTE: OOPs, your Q8200 775 MB, Verify that the ram is DDR3, not DDR2 as Newer MBs require DDR3 ( but memory is cheap right now)
If you buy ram make sure it is on the "Recommended list" - just check MBs webpage for the MB you end up with.
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June 4, 2012 6:19:00 PM

royalwe95 said:
Well it depends on what your classification of high end is.. I know some cards can go way up, but I have my eye on:

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

So far, with that card, case, motherboard, power supply, and the cheaper CPU, I'm at $330.

So it sounds like hyperthreading is pretty important. I can see about overclocking my old CPU, but won't that shorten it's life span? It is already over 2 years old.

Thanks for the reply.


Those are VERY low end gpu's, no where near high end.
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June 4, 2012 6:21:26 PM

The Z77 BIOSTAR motherboards aren't bad at all.
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June 4, 2012 6:24:28 PM

@ Geek: Correct, but he did not indicate gaming, he stated "design/video editing" inwhich case the 6770 would probably be OK. And definatly better than the HD2000/3000 iDGP

azeem40, I posted a Build list that initial listed the Biostar Z77 (around $100). Had a very good review (1/2 egg very low) . One of the feed backs I got was that they tend to be a problem with memory compatability - NOT sure as I have never used, The Biostar Z77 would probably be a good choice, But NOT the one He linked too.
On Z77. Has a lot of feature improvements over Z68. But unless he goes with a IB CPU (or Upgrades later to one) can not take advantage of pcie 3.0. The other features are prety much contained on the Newer Z68 MB. Granted the USB 3.0 is native on the Z77, But have read that you have to be carefull on KB and not a bad idea to keep a Old spare KB handy (for getting into BIOS).
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June 4, 2012 6:31:26 PM

You guys are great, very helpful.

From what I can tell, I'll be ok using my old memory. It is:

4 gigs, DDR3 SDRAM - Non-ECC, 800.0 MHz, PC3-6400, 240 pin.
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June 4, 2012 6:41:22 PM

Are You sure!!!
Just checked newegg and all PC800 ram was DDR2. Looking at DDR3 the lowest was PC3-8500. Doing a search for DDR3-6400 on newegg comes up empty
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June 4, 2012 6:42:01 PM

That is DDR3, but current DDR3 speeds range from 1033 to 1600 MHz (well, the reasonable range; it does go above to 2133, but that has no real world use).
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June 4, 2012 6:45:18 PM

Yea, just did a web goole and came up with some PC3-6400, Just no longer common:
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=OCZ3G8004GK

However he may have a problem with that low of a memory speed on newer mBs as the lowest they may support would be the 1066. Would need to verify any MB he chooses can go below the 1066, as Indicated the spec for SB is 1333.

IE for the MB he initially linked to the Details page shows Supported memory as DDR3 1066 / 1333
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June 4, 2012 6:49:28 PM

Yeah, 1066 is the lowest you can go on SB/IB.
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June 4, 2012 6:49:57 PM

yea i am pretty sure PC800 is DDR2 only
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June 4, 2012 6:51:51 PM

azeem40 said:
Yeah, 1066 is the lowest you can go on SB/IB.


Well darn. So it looks like the only thing I am salvaging from my old PC is the hard drive. Oh well, time to go memory shopping..

Edit: Or maybe not! Here are the specs of my old machine. You can see the memory specs on the right:

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/gateway-sx2800-01/1707...
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June 4, 2012 6:58:59 PM

memory is cheap anyway. might as well go for it
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June 4, 2012 7:02:18 PM

You can sell the components from the old PC. Surprisingly, there are always demands for old but less expensive parts. I sold a Q6600 CPU, a few DDR2 desktop and DDR SODIMM memories on ebay for fairly good price. The proceeds will help you build a new PC.
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June 4, 2012 7:06:20 PM

As You are correct, in that the Ram is DDR3,
The real question becomes if a New MB will pass a Post with it. If you go with a SB CPU/MB the standard is DDR3-1333. Most SB MBs list compatability down to 1066.
DDR3-1066 = PC3-8500, well above PC3-6400.
What this means is there is a good chance that the computer will not even pass a post test and then you are in the game of what is the problem - Ram, CPU, MB, PSU.

Look on the MB specs to see if it supports 800, you'll find most SB MBs only go down to 1066 for support.

Not saying it will not work, just chances are Low.
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June 4, 2012 7:08:22 PM

RetiredChief said:
As You are correct, in that the Ram is DDR3, The real question becomes if a New MB will pass a Post with it. If you go with a SB CPU/MB the standard is DDR3-1333. Most SB MBs list compatability down to 1066.
DDR3-1066 = PC3-8500, well above PC3-6400.
What this means is there is a good chance that the computer will not even pass a post test and then you are in the game of what is the problem - Ram, CPU, MB, PSU.

Look on the MD specs to see if it supports 800, you'll find most only go down to 1066 for support.

Not saying it will not work, just chances are Low.


Yeah, I'll probably just pickup some memory just to be safe. Can't go wrong with this:

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

Plus I can always go up to 8 gigs if I need to, my old memory would occupy both slots.
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June 4, 2012 7:14:34 PM

little cheaper, BUT better rated and you will be running in daul channel mode, not single channel.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

NOTE if you go with a single module, you will be running in single channel mode, daul channel requires two modules. Most SB MBs have 4 dimm slots.
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June 4, 2012 7:48:42 PM

RetiredChief said:
@ Geek: Correct, but he did not indicate gaming, he stated "design/video editing" inwhich case the 6770 would probably be OK. And definatly better than the HD2000/3000 iDGP


Sorry but I never indicated anything about gaming either.........he said he would be using a HIGH END video card, then he posts a 7750 and a 6570 DDR3. LOL

I was just making the point to him that those are barely LOW END. 6770 is still fairly low end but not bad.
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June 4, 2012 7:56:57 PM

royalwe95 said:
Well the old CPU is a socket 775, so I would have to buy a 775 motherboard, and none of the new CPU's (as far as I know) will fit that.



I'm a little confused. If you can't find a socket 775 MB then doesn't that force you to get a new CPU?
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June 4, 2012 8:03:31 PM

ram1009 said:
I'm a little confused. If you can't find a socket 775 MB then doesn't that force you to get a new CPU?


It's not that I can't find them. They are still around, but only a few.. I realized that later after I posted, which is why I pretty much answered my own question.
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June 4, 2012 9:52:13 PM

I think it would be dumb to buy a s775 motherboard, you'll never be able to upgrade.

If your buying a new mobo, buy a H61/H67/H77 and a the i3-2120. You'll be able to upgrade to a faster i5/i7 down the road.
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June 4, 2012 9:59:18 PM

that is the thing about building a PC. you can always keep upgrading it. when i built my system i would only buy a few high end parts like the PSU,CPU and mobo and then later when i had the money i upgraded the other parts i skimped on.

just get a good mobo with something like an i3 with some value ram and then later on you can uprade the ram and to something like an i5 or i7 CPU. it might be value parts but you will still notice a big improvment
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June 5, 2012 2:12:04 PM

Thanks again everyone. A great bunch of folks around here... :p 
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June 5, 2012 6:06:20 PM

A heck of a deal if you ask me, overclock it and add a fast video card and you got a pretty decent gamer.
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June 5, 2012 8:01:35 PM

With this config, you still would need to replace the PSU, if you want to upgrade and/or use this machine as your main work/gaming computer. Built-in PSU bundled with a case for such cheap price means a cheap quality product.
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June 5, 2012 9:28:02 PM

And "cheap quality" does NOT pertain JUST to The PSU!
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June 5, 2012 9:52:39 PM

if the case were beige i could of swore that was an old 800mhz computer lol

i checked the mobo and it is very limited. no usb 3.0,or sata 6, only 2 memory slots and from reading the feedback the mobo is not good for over clocking

sure its cheap but in no way is it future proof or upgradable
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June 5, 2012 11:42:58 PM

That Type of system is aimed at the webserfer, email, family photo, types of task that do not overly tax a system - for them it's OK.
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June 6, 2012 2:13:09 PM

MKBL said:
With this config, you still would need to replace the PSU, if you want to upgrade and/or use this machine as your main work/gaming computer. Built-in PSU bundled with a case for such cheap price means a cheap quality product.


It's cheap, but I see no reason why you would need to replace it. Please explain?

I have a raidmax case I paid $29 for and it came with a 400w power supply. It's 6yrs old and still running 24/7 as a server.
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June 6, 2012 3:44:13 PM

For such price range, most likely the PSU lacks many safety features and more prone to failure than more expensive PSUs sold separately. I don't say that the more expensive the better, but when it's cheap, it has to sacrifice somewhere. When you don't have problem, that's good. If a product, not necessarily PSU, has a lot of problems with the most users who bought them, the manufacturer would have been out of business already. What I'm saying is that such cheap product has more likelihood of failure over the long run. So it's personal choice, whether to go for cheap price with higher probability of hassles, or rather expensive proven-quality product with less probability. The problem with a built-in PSU is that it is hard to tell its quality based on reputation, since you don't know what PSU is inside. So you are in the dark, and that doesn't help you make an informed decision.
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