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Best system upgrade for £400

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June 8, 2006 10:43:00 AM

I have £450 to spend on a system upgrade naturally I am looking to get the best bang for my buck and as so I have came up with the following system;
Pentium D805 2.6Gig £80
Asus PW5D2 Mobo £100
2Gig DDR2 Mem 667Mhz £117
Maxtor Raptor 36Gig £72
Samsung Spin Point 250Gig £52
Artric Freezer 6 Cooler £20

I am planning on o/c the cpu, to about 3.3G, and using the Raptor as the main C drive. The system will be mostly used for encoding dvds, programming and hosting a sql database.

Is their anything on the list that you would change? If so what, bear in mind the the budget limit of £450 is set in stone and wont budge.

Thanks in advance

More about : system upgrade 400

June 8, 2006 12:58:53 PM

do you have a GPU?
if you do then please tell us wich =P
June 8, 2006 1:31:49 PM

Quote:
I have £450 to spend on a system upgrade naturally I am looking to get the best bang for my buck and as so I have came up with the following system;
Pentium D805 2.6Gig £80
Asus PW5D2 Mobo £100
2Gig DDR2 Mem 667Mhz £117
Maxtor Raptor 36Gig £72
Samsung Spin Point 250Gig £52
Artric Freezer 6 Cooler £20

I am planning on o/c the cpu, to about 3.3G, and using the Raptor as the main C drive. The system will be mostly used for encoding dvds, programming and hosting a sql database.

Is their anything on the list that you would change? If so what, bear in mind the the budget limit of £450 is set in stone and wont budge.

Thanks in advance


Problems:

1) Asus motherboard don't overclock very well- you might not even be able to get to 3.3.

2) You won't be getting anywhere close to 3.3 with that RAM. You need DDR2-800.

3) 805 runs hotter than hell, Zalman cooler is required for good overclocks, nothing else is good enough.
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June 8, 2006 1:45:16 PM

Quote:
do you have a GPU?
if you do then please tell us wich =P


I am not using the system for games, so i am just going to get a chepo £30 PCI-E card.
June 8, 2006 1:49:44 PM

The problem is i cant afford 2Gig of DDR 800Mhz Ram, if i were to buy it then a) I would have to sacrafice a component
b) i would buy 1Gig of DDR2 800Mhx and upgrade to 2gig in furture

Would it be possible to build the system around an AMD cpu that would offer about the same price and performance?
June 9, 2006 7:19:58 AM

At the moment you cannot build a dual core AMD system for anywhere near that price.

I also don't understand the blankett statement that ASUS boards don't overclock very well.

Firstly, the 805D that he has listed runs normally at 133MHz FSB so the motherboard will be underclocked at stock settings with that processor. If he manages to get the FSB up to 200MHz, he'll be running his 805D at 4GHz (which is pretty much the limit). Finally, the p5wd2 motherboard goes up to 266.5MHz FSB so there's going to be no problem with the motherboard limiting the overclock.

Oh and the "He won't get anywhere near to 3.3GHz on that RAM", well, he can always use a divider on the RAM.

It's quite clear he's trying to build a cheap system and going for faster RAM will dramatically increase the price of the system while giving no big performace benefits.

One thing I would say is that the motherboard doesn't natively support dual core processors. You might have to get a BIOS update for it.

I think you have a really good system but I'd recommend one change: get an intel 930D insteady of the 805D. The 930D is built to the 65nm process and thus consumes much less power. You can easily save a bomb in electricity bills for not alot more outlay.
June 9, 2006 8:00:13 AM

Cheers Kholonar, thanks for the advice.
June 9, 2006 9:13:06 AM

Scrap that Raptor. A 36Gb Raptor is very out of date and significantly slower than the newer offerings (because it has no TCQ or NCQ support). The money you save can go towards RAIDing your other Samsung 250Gb drive for redundancy and/or striping. If you really must have a Raptor get at least a 74Gb one, as they are newer and a lot faster. The 36Gb offers only marginal benefits over a regular drive in some tests.
June 9, 2006 3:32:21 PM

Quote:

I think you have a really good system but I'd recommend one change: get an intel 930D insteady of the 805D. The 930D is built to the 65nm process and thus consumes much less power. You can easily save a bomb in electricity bills for not alot more outlay.


Completely agree. 930 is much better anyday and can overclock nicely in its own right.
June 9, 2006 3:58:59 PM

The 930D is definitely a nice buy (but also a lot more expensive - perhaps taking you to the realms of a cheap AMD X2, then again you could wait for Core 2 Duo) due to it's larger cache and 65nm process. The lower power consumption is a good thing (less heat output, more overclockability) but in terms of electricity bills it's not a big deal, someone proved this a while ago, it would be something like £20 more a year under normal use (sorry, but I can't remember the link). Personally, I'd stick with the 805D, but if you drop the Raptor, you could probably get the 930D with the remaining cash left.
June 9, 2006 4:34:33 PM

The 930D is $190, the 3800x2 is $290. Yes, ideally he'd wait for conroe as when it comes the 930D will drop significantly or he could go for the conroe itself.
June 9, 2006 5:11:22 PM

That lot will run easy 3.3
If you want a cheaper mobo option

I got the Gigabyte GA 8I945PG-RH

It was only 64 quid and runs 805 at 3.3 stable, not tried higher.
Idles at 45 , never breaks 60 playing games [Quake4] for hours on stock cooling.I have 667 ddr2 XMS and with my fsb at 166 its reported running at 668.without me touching any ram settings.
Im staggered how much this chip out performs my old p4 @ 3.1 with the Q4 dual core patch enabled.
I didnt want to spend much money because of conroe coming soon. But i can see this setup lasting me a bit longer than i thought.
June 9, 2006 6:07:46 PM

Wasn't aware it was that much for the X2, but if the 930D is that cheap, definitely, it's a great option. The 9-series is meant to be Intel premium dual-core (I know not so much with Conroe round the corner) but at that price it's a steal.
June 9, 2006 6:25:13 PM

The difference between the 9 series and 8 series is the change from 90 nm to 65 nm die marking methods. Comparing 3.2GHz 8 series and 9 series processors there's a 12% drop in power consumption, the difference gets higher as the clock speed increases. In the end, you have to decide whether the $70 difference will be made up by power savings. I have no idea what electricity prices are per watt but if you spend 3 years with the processor you should find the 9 series to be cheaper. If you plan on overclocking to the higher end of 3GHz then the savings will be even more dramatic.

Mind you, thinking like that makes the X2 seem very good value as it boasts even better performance per watt. Conroe is touted as being even more efficient.
June 9, 2006 9:41:22 PM

Quote:
The difference between the 9 series and 8 series is the change from 90 nm to 65 nm die marking methods.


That's not the only difference between Smithfield (8xx series) and Presler (9xx series). Smithfield only has 1Mb cache per core vs. Presler with 2Mb cache per core, this gives Presler a significant advantage. Coupled with the power savings, yes, it is just a downright better CPU. I think you'll find the power drop is a lot more than 12%, not only does it idle at a lot less I think it turned out at load, it's less than an identically clocked 8-series, but don't quote me on that. Like you say, it's still more than an X2, though it's a much smaller gap with the 9-series.
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