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Looking to Upgrade My PIII

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March 13, 2004 4:27:58 AM

I'm thinking about upgrading my old PIII. I have some parts from my newer P4 that I've upgraded recently such as an ATI 9600 Pro, 512 MB of Kingston PC3200 DDR RAM, and a Creative SB Live Series (WDM) sound card. I also have a DVD RW and DVD player plus some of the small stuff. Reuse should help keep the cost down to <$900 for case, PS, MB, 3HD 80GB SATA & CPU.

Questions
2.8 GHz Presscott or Northwood??
Asus P4C800E-Delux or other??
Keep sound card or use new MB onboard sound??
Mother board must have comparable features to P4C800E, RAID, Intel Gig Ethernet, good OC control & features, <$200 US.

Looking to go with a 875 chip-set and either a 2.8 GHz P4 Northwood or Presscott. I've heard that the Presscott doesn't over clock well? Therefore, I'm leaning toward the Northwood, but if I wait for a new step on the Presscott this may change. Looking at the two parts, I am surprised to hear that the Presscott is not over clocking well. The 90 nm process should allow for higher clock rates. The Presscott doesn't represent such a significant increase in complexity that the clock rate should be reduced from the Northwood.

I'm also looking at the ASUS P4C800E-Delux. I have a P4C800-Delux. It seems fine, but I've been hearing that it doesn't over clock that well, due to poor core voltage regulation.

Thanks


ZZSpaceman

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March 13, 2004 7:33:53 AM

Read my review of the P4C800-E Deluxe at Sysopt, then consider a less expensive board like the Abit IS7.

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March 13, 2004 7:36:39 AM

Hello Crashman. I would recommend the P4c Northwood over the Presscott. What do you think?
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March 13, 2004 7:58:37 AM

I would, only then I'd have to explain why.

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March 13, 2004 2:50:50 PM

Thanks, very informative review. I will consider the ABIT board. Your review jogged my memory about the vAGP setting. I have an AIW 9800Pro (OC 350/410). Where should I set this? Running my FSB @ 240 MHz the AGP bus is on Auto.

The sound card seems to be a push in which case I will probably use the onboard sound. I can always put it in latter.

How about the Northwood vs. Presscott, anyone?

Thanks for taking the time to respond,


ZZSpaceman
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March 13, 2004 4:21:06 PM

Prescott runs hotter and provides no performance boost in it's present format. Msi actually restricted it's voltage setting due to concerns about overheating with a recent bios upgrade.
March 13, 2004 8:36:03 PM

Over clocking the Northwood sounds like the right choice.

Looks like a packaging breakthrough will be required to get the heat out of the smaller dies. Too bad, the 90 nm process could take the clock rate up considerably, but until Intel can get the heat out of the part there is little hope of achieving significant performance improvements short of extreme cooling solutions.

Thanks for the reply,


ZZSpaceman
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