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Where do I go from here?

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November 19, 2004 5:41:53 PM

I'm stuck whether to buy a new pc all together or try to upgrade my pc(if at all possible).This is what I currently have.
System Info
Model : Compaq Presario
Chassis Type : Desktop
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Processor
Number Of Processors : 1
Type : Intel Pentium 4 1600 MHz
Processors Bus Speed : 400 MHz

Motherboard
Manufacturer : Compaq
Model : 0784h Rev. Not Available
CPU Slot/Socket Type : mPGA-478
Chipset Vendor : Intel i845D Rev. 4
Bios Manufacturer : Compaq
Bios Version : 686Y2 v2.06

Video Card
Model : nVidia AGP NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500
AGP Speed : 4x

Storage
Hard Drive 1 : ST380020A IDE
Size : 76.32GB, 2048KB Buffer
Hard Drive 2 : WDC WD1600JB-00EVA0 IDE
Size : 131.07GB, 8192KB Buffer
Optical Storage Drive 1:
Compaq DVD Drive DVD-ROM DVD-117
Optical Storage Drive 2:
HL-DT-ST CD-ROM Drive CD-RW GCE-8240B (40x/24x)

Memory
Total RAM Installed : 512 MB
Type : DDR DIMM PC2100

Peripherals
USB Version : 2.0

What I really want to upgrade is my processor, RAM, and video card. Someone told me that because I have a compaq, I wasn't able to upgrade the processor, so I'm hoping I'll have the truth to that here. My main purpose is gaming. Pls share with me the info that would work best for me.

On a side note, should I be using my second hard drive as my main seeing that it does have a higher buffer?

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November 19, 2004 7:24:42 PM

You can upgrade your processor but you'll be limited to a 400mhz fsb, I believe the fastest one you can readily buy runs at 2.8ghz. The problem with having a Compaq is you wont be able to change the FSB so no overclocking.

Your graphics card is another weak point, either get a 9800 pro or wait a little and get a 6600GT.

If you want a brand new system then I would get this -
S939 motherboard
Amd Athlon 64 3200+ (higher if you can afford it)
1 Gig PC3200 memory
Either a 6600GT or 6800GT depending on budget

With the new computer you'll also need a new case and powersupply. I believe Compaq has a propriety design that would make it hard to swap your own motherboard. Plus the powersupply may be inadequate for the new upgrades.

Also, use the hard drive with the 8 meg buffer, it'll be faster than the other one.



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oh, its a nice day. TO EAT CHILDREN!!!
November 19, 2004 8:55:03 PM

Thanks for the info. I have money to spend but if i can upgrade and hold on to what I can get for at least 2 more years I'll be happy.

Once I find a processor that matches, I was next going to add 1gig memory and go with the ati 800pro or xt (i get a discount on it so i figured i do one of those).

Before that though, what do I need to look for in a processor, that the fbs is 400mhz? Then I just find the fastest with that stat? Then the next part after I install it, what steps do I need to go thru to install it. Ive spent some time looking for these answers so if u can answer this, I thank you. Also maybe some links to where I can read up on this stuff would help also. Thanks in advance.
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November 19, 2004 9:37:54 PM

To begin with you need to look for a socket 478 processor. After you found one, look for one with a 400 mhz FSB, it may say 100mhz quad pumped. Sorry, I can't help you with the installation of it, I'm not familiar with socker 478 installation, the processor should come with instructions on how to do it. Make sure you get a retail processor so that it will come with a heatsink and fan.

The ram puts you in a tough position. If you have one stick of 512mb of ram then thats good, if its 2x256mb sticks then that is bad. You'll have to throw out the two 256 sticks if you plan on keeping dual channel memory (2x512mb sticks.) Also, you must decide if you want to get PC3200 or PC2100 memory. If you don't want to upgrade for another 2 years, you may be better off getting cheaper memory (but not cheap memory.) By the time 2 years roll around, PC3200 memory may not cut it any more and you may need DDRII or a faster grade of DDR.

If you have to pick between the X800pro and the xt variant, I'd go with the xt. I would still rather have the 6800Gt though, the X800's smell too much like a rehash of the 9800's (though that still isn't bad)

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oh, its a nice day. TO EAT CHILDREN!!!
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November 20, 2004 12:35:46 AM

You're completely wrong. There are no pumps, P4's use a Quad Data Rate bus. There is no "P" in "QDR".

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November 20, 2004 3:06:55 AM

Don't be fooled, Nothing wrong with the term Quad pumped. The term has been around for ages.

If I glanced at a spilt box of tooth picks on the floor, could I tell you how many are in the pile. Not a chance, But then again I don't have to buy my underware at Kmart.
November 20, 2004 3:28:37 AM

the only potential problem I see is what do you have for a power supply? would be my guess you don't have enough to upgrade to a high-end card like you want to
November 20, 2004 6:26:42 AM

Stay away from upgrading the compaq. In the last three years I have had a bunch of these systems, probably over 100. Im not putting down compaq, but I went through the same thing that you are. I bought a couple of the power leap adapters to upgrade the cpu and maxed out the ram. The amount of money that you will spend on the new memory modules, the new processor and/or powerleap adapter and the new PSU that you better go ahead and buy because the one that comes in the system will not last for more than a couple of weeks. You can easily spend$250 - $400 to upgrade something that you are not going to be happy with. In my case the Powerleap adapter had a celeron processor which was about like taking a shower with your socks on! If you decide to upgrade, max out the memory modules. That made a bigger overall performance increase with my systems than any other single component. Which vidoe card do you have?
November 20, 2004 6:30:21 AM

You can disregard that last post, if I would have read closer I would have noticed that you were talking about the newer compaqs. I was refering to the older ones. Sorry about that!
November 20, 2004 3:35:11 PM

Something that i have noticed while looking for a new processor is when i look for the motherboard that i have, it says the most that goes with that mobo is 1.8. Now can someone confirm that for me?
November 20, 2004 7:25:50 PM

Does the MOBO have Compaq stamped on it? Is your procesor one of the slot processors? See if you can find what year is stamped on the board. There may be a sticker on the case or on the MOBO somewhere close to where the power switches hook onto the board. I would be somewhat surprised if it would go that high. How much Ram do you have in your system now? Also, how many RAM SLOTS does it have 2 or 3? Processor speed is important, but not nearly as important as maxing your RAM out would be. AT least thats what I found with my Compaqs. The one that I have used for the last 3 years is a 1999 model. One of the first slot P3 550's that came out. Mine will take 3 x 256 MB of RAM. I was running 2 x 64 for years, but after I upgraded to 384, I was able to do much more with the system. Give me a little more info like model numbers and I will look it up for you.
November 22, 2004 5:04:35 PM

Quote:
There is no "P" in "QDR".

That depends upon how one looks at the letter R. To me there most certainly is a P there, as an R is just a P with an extra leg. :o 

<pre><b><font color=red>"Build a man a fire and he's warm for the rest of the evening.
Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life." - Steve Taylor</font color=red></b></pre><p>
November 22, 2004 5:27:16 PM

Well, that's a socket478 mobo with an 845 chipset, meaning single-channel DDR. It looks to be stuck using PC2100, which makes sense for the time period it comes from.

I believe that in theory you can upgrade up to a NorthwoodA 2.4GHz for about $125. That'll certainly give you more processing power, but the real question is it worth it? The limitation of a 400MHz FSB is certainly no good, nor is the limitation of single-channel PC2100 RAM.

Plus, like any major OEM PC, if you make any upgrades you'll probably have to replace the power supply while you're at it.

So I'd say that if you're willing to make an investment then you're better off considering a new motherboard, CPU, RAM, and power supply all in one go. You can do Intel or AMD that way.

If you're looking to make less of an investment you could keep your RAM and drop it into an nForce2 mobo with an Athlon XP, running the RAM in dual-channel and maybe (or maybe not) keep your power supply.

Or there's use the nasty existing limitations of your motherboard, buy a Northwood A, max out how much RAM your mobo can support, and hope that a video card upgrade isn't too badly bottlenecked by the rest of your system.

<pre><b><font color=red>"Build a man a fire and he's warm for the rest of the evening.
Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life." - Steve Taylor</font color=red></b></pre><p>
May 17, 2009 8:36:22 PM

mozzartusm said:
Stay away from upgrading the compaq. In the last three years I have had a bunch of these systems, probably over 100. Im not putting down compaq, but I went through the same thing that you are. I bought a couple of the power leap adapters to upgrade the cpu and maxed out the ram. The amount of money that you will spend on the new memory modules, the new processor and/or powerleap adapter and the new PSU that you better go ahead and buy because the one that comes in the system will not last for more than a couple of weeks. You can easily spend$250 - $400 to upgrade something that you are not going to be happy with. In my case the Powerleap adapter had a celeron processor which was about like taking a shower with your socks on! If you decide to upgrade, max out the memory modules. That made a bigger overall performance increase with my systems than any other single component. Which vidoe card do you have?

I have a Compaq Presario S5000V. I probably need a on switch because it does not work right for a year or so. Do you have one. Thank you!! Mike have
May 18, 2009 12:52:29 AM

WTF!!! (calls Randomizer)
!