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Upgrading my PC, decisions to be made

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April 6, 2004 5:47:28 PM

I have an i845PE mobo and a P4 2.4B. I'm ready for an upgrade but I cant decided between two options. I could get a P4 3.06GHz HT for my current mobo running DDR333($220) or I could buy an Abit 865PE mobo and a P4 3.0C HT and run my 2x256 DDR333 modules at dual DDR333 ($320). The benchmarks on anandtech.com seem to show that the extra bus with Dual DDR400 only gives a slight increase in most aplications. Considering I'd only be on Dual DDR333 it seems that it makes more sense to save the cash and pick up the 3.06GHz HT. I know I've pretty much answered my question already but I'd like to see what other people suggest between my two options and maybe some A64 options.

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
April 6, 2004 7:40:50 PM

uh huh...so is this just an extra system? if so, get a 2500+, nf7, and put 2x256 pc3200. and put some old hard drive in it and buy a cheap monitor. 9600pro good choice :D 

<A HREF="http://kevan.org/brain.cgi?michael:) " target="_new"> You Want To Click Me, Go Ahead:)  </A>
April 6, 2004 9:33:09 PM

i don't think he wants to buy all new parts for a second system, i think he was saying an upgrade. And i think i would go with the 3.0c just because i think the northwood core is the best of the p4 class. But i don't think there would be a huge speed difference in either processor.
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April 6, 2004 11:28:45 PM

Im upgrading my main PC. The P4 3.06GHz HT is the northwood core. The Northwood ranges from the 2.0GHz upto the 3.4GHz. There are prescott versions mixed in but northwood covers all those speeds. I have a northwood now and both a 3.0C and a 3.06 would be a northwood.

Thanks for the compliment on the 9600Pro. It's a sweet card and sure beats my old GF4 MX420!

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by PCfreak15 on 04/06/04 07:36 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
April 7, 2004 12:03:51 AM

I've forgotten most of what I used to know about the 845PE so please forgive me if this doesn't make sense.
The PE does support HT but not dual channel. Most reviews of the 3.06b chips were done on either a 7205 or 865/875 chipset, with dual channel memory. Dual channel is needed to get the most out of either the P4b 3.06 or the P4c 3.0. Putting a 3.06 on your board would yield about 20%.
The gains from the 865/875 chip are about 10%, but the penalty for running async ram would eat up most of that. To be blunt, the gains from either of your first two options would be about equal to running your current system with a fsb of 160.
The third option, the A64 would add more to gaming, but not a whole lot.
If your main focus is gaming, and you really want to drop some cash, you could pick up a BBA 9800 pro through Ati's trade-up program. It would set you back $200 plus an old video card
April 7, 2004 12:15:41 AM

The i845PE supports HT and single channel DDR333. I do moderate gaming and lots of video work. Mainly why my options were set for P4 not A64.

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
April 7, 2004 3:40:11 AM

Unless you sit and watch your video encode, or do gigs of encoding every day, your system is great.
Just so you know, the A64s excell at avi to wave and some other video progs, and some audio encoding. This is likely to really grow, once Win A64 is working right. The extra SSE2 register should make a lot of difference. Intel may have a fix for Scotties, heat problem, so that also looks very promising.
April 7, 2004 3:46:41 AM

Since you have PC2700, why not venture into overclocking that P4-2.4B. The 533 bus P4's are only running DDR266 in sync. That ram will give you room to up the fsb and use a 1:1 ram ratio. Hey it's a free speed boost. Why not give it a try upping th fsb a bit at a time and checking for stability and temps. You can always still do a 3.06 HT or build an i865pe "C" rig after that.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
April 7, 2004 6:05:42 PM

I have an OEM mobo. No settings in BIOS for it or jumpers sadly :( 

My DDR is running at 333 not 266. The mobo runs FSB533 with 333 or FSB400 with 266.

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
April 7, 2004 6:41:36 PM

IMHO, you should probably wait a little while. The upgrades that you're talking about would be nice, but not so nice that your new setup would blow the old one out of the water. If I were you, I'd wait to see what the LGA775 boards do before sending my cash into an expiring socket. If the new chipsets don't do that well, or if Prescott's early 775 renditions have issues then that's another story.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
April 7, 2004 7:28:28 PM

I cant get an LGA775 without BTX. From what I hear there won't be any LGA775 boards on the ATX form factor. Also my most prefered option is a 3.06GHz on my current board. One new part, keep everything else the same. I was just curious of anyone had other, noticabley better suggestions than the 3.06. I may hold off but LGA775 will be more than 200-300 bucks for a mobo and CPU. Plus I will need a new PSU and probably a BTX case. Trying to keep this not too expensive and fairly simple.

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
April 7, 2004 8:54:26 PM

BTX is another consideration that didn't occur to me. It could be seen as another reason to wait, or a reason to choose the 3.06, but I think that it leans against buying a new motherboard and CPU.

My opinion is that the performance gain by adding HT and 606 MHz is not all that much, which makes it logical to get a $2-300 head start on a new rig in a few months. That's just my opinion, ultimately it's your choice.

With BTX, PCI-E, 939/775, DDR2, etc. there are too many major hardware changes in the pipe right now for me to spend a dime on anything. I'll wait until the fall and see how all the new stuff is panning out.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
April 7, 2004 9:44:31 PM

Yeah, that does stink about the oem board. Anyway, 3.06 GHz sure would be a quick and easy upgrade compared to other options. Seems with a system as good as yours, 3.06B or waiting are your best options.


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
April 7, 2004 9:53:48 PM

Ive used a 3.06GHz HT and it seemed to do a lot better than my 2.4B. Especially in multi-tasking. I feel sick when I try to do anything while my videos are rendering, lol. That computer ran things perfect that mine does like a pentium 133MHz. Thats what made me really consider it.

I don't plan on building my next PC until 2006. I wanna hold off for the successor to prescott, tejas, to mature a little. Prescott will be fast down the line but I want my next pc to be x86-64 and have HT. Basically my next PC will be a 64bit intel chip. Thats why I wanna put some cash into this PC and then just live with it. I used my last PC (PIII 500MHz, KATMAI ROCKS!!!) until december 2002 and survived. I figure I'll run this till it's too slow to live with.

I want to get a new mobo but the prob is i wanna keep my cost limited to around 250 or less. I figure there will be VIA and SiS chipset mobos for LGA775 and ATX but then again I always use intel chipsets. Also all intel chipset based LGA775 boards will have NO AGP or PCI slots. I dont wanna throw out my sound card, modem, 802.11g card, MPEG-1/2 video encoder, and R9600Pro just for a new mobo.

Now you see why I'm having decision issues? lol

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
April 8, 2004 4:15:14 AM

Sounds like through processing the issue with us, you decided what you want to do. Go ahead and grab yourself the 3.06B and enjoy.

Athlon XP 1900 (11x200) 42C (Load w/AX-7 & 8cm Tornado) - MSI K7N2 Delta - Corsair Value PC3200 - Gainward GF3 @ 250/550 - 80Gb WD 8Mb Cache -
April 8, 2004 4:23:38 AM

Please remember, your mobo does not support dual channel, while the laptop probably does. You will see at most a 20% increase in perf. You would gain a lot more by cleaning out your start menu, and keeping your hdd below 25% full.
April 8, 2004 10:49:02 AM

>I cant get an LGA775 without BTX. From what I hear there
>won't be any LGA775 boards on the ATX form factor

Where did you hear that ? Don't believe it anyway, its bogus. ATX will be with us for a very long time to come, and s775 won't change that. MB oems are free to use whatever form factor they want, they can build AT boards still today if they wanted to, and from what I hear, MB oem's are not that excited about BTX, so expect the change to take as long as AT->ATX which took what, 5 years ?

As for your main post.. its up to you if the performance increase is worth the $$, personally I'd try overclocking frist using software tool to increase FSB, and cleaning up your harddisk and registry may give you much more of an upgrade in responsiveness. HT is nice, but honestly, even on my lowly AXP I have no problem encoding video in the background, even while playing a game. For some encoders (actually only TMPGenc), I do reduce the threat priority in taskmanager (or trhough added startup switch in the shortcut), after that, it becomes completely transparent, even though background encoding performance will no doubt be (significantly) lower than with a HT enabled cpu.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
April 8, 2004 3:22:06 PM

I hope im not coming off as a nag, asking similar questions. Anyway I'd like to go with an LGA775 but i would need one for ATX, with an intel chipset, AGP, 3 PCI slots, and all of this for a reasonable price, if a mobo like that ever appears.

The laptop i mentioned didnt have dual ddr. It was running single DDR333. Anyway I know I need to upgrade but waiting may see the rise in price of the 3.06 as it becomes more rare or see new components, in my price range, that offer better performance than the 3.06. Tough choice, just trying to make a decision that i will be 100% sure i'm happy with.

Thanks for all the responses so far.

Pentium 4 2.4(B)GHz
i845PE, NO INTEGRATED 3D DECCELERATOR HERE!
512MB PC2700 DDR-SDRAM CL2.5
Dual 80GB Hard Drives 7200RPM 2M/8M ATA100
ATi Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB 4xAGP
!