View Full Version : Upgrade or buy anew?
01-12-04, 03:34 PM
My brother's computer is currently sporting:
1.7 ghz cpu
256 mbs of ram
40gig hard drive
Creative Sound Blaster PCI
Should I upgrade or buy anew? If I bought a new computer, itd be under $1050
edit: kinda silly second question, but the little sticky things on the bottom of my mouse have fallen off. The little oval shaped things that are on the 5 points where the mouse hits the surface on my logitech duel optical mouseman. Can you buy new ones? Edited by: pulid at: 1/12/04 3:42 pm
01-12-04, 03:40 PM
What are you trying to do with it?
The ram could use an extra 256 to cap it off.
If you only have 1k to spend, a new system might not be that much of an improvment over what you have now, unless you're trying to run applications that you can't currently run
01-12-04, 03:40 PM
He tries to play alot of CPU intensive games, namely American Army and Battlefield 1942.
And If I was to upgrade, how could I check to see what motherboard he has. Can anyone walk me through where that information is? Edited by: pulid at: 1/12/04 3:45 pm
To find out information about the mainboard, try SiSoft Sandra 2004. Use the "Mainboard Information" module.
As for upgrading, is the 1.7Ghz processor Intel or AMD (I'm guessing it's a 1.7Ghz willamette, but I thought I'd make sure), and is the memory SDR SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, or RDRAM, and what speed is it, plus how many sticks make up that 256mb?
The GeForce3 (original and Ti500 versions) is still as fast as or faster than the budget cards of today, and since it is capable of pixel shading it will run EQ2. If it's a GeForce3 Ti200, then you may want something faster. Regardless, the GeForce3 would make a good backup card if a more powerful graphics card is in order.
The 40GB hard drive can be carried over, though if the drive is easily filled, a faster 8mb cache drive might be a better option. If money is an issue (though with a grand as a budget I doubt it is) the 40GB drive could be used until a new drive is bought.
The sound card can also be carried over to a new system, though is it a Sound Blaster Audigy, Live 5.1, or an AWE32 (an old Sound Blaster; the 'Sound Blaster' brand has been around for a long time)?
Finally, if you decide on a new system, will you be building or buying?
01-14-04, 04:49 PM
Just a question;
"DIMM Synchronous SDRAM 256mb/64 @ 133Mt/s on a model D845HV motherboard made by Intel"
If I wanted to purchase a compatible stick of 256 or 512 mb ram, what would I be looking for(like a link on a website). Edited by: pulid at: 1/14/04 4:51 pm
My rule for upgrading is when the fastest processors having ratings at least 3 times your current one. It's meaningless and arbitrary but it keeps the costs down. I went from a 450 Mhz K6-III to a 1.3 gig Athlon to a Athlon XP 3000. Granted before that I was using a 233 Mhz processor another generation behind...
Since no processor is rated 4.4 GHz yet maybe you should hold off upgrading and just get a better graphics card. The 9800 Pros are getting cleared out, might be worth getting. You would probably use 2100 DDR, though it is possible you are still using PC133. The PC133 has no little gap between the sets of pins, the 2100 DDR does.
01-15-04, 08:32 AM
I'm pretty sure I'm using PC-133. If I went ahead and bought this, I'd be safe?
Manufacturer : Gateway
Model : E-3600
Version : 4000742
Manufacturer : Gateway
Type : Desktop
Can be locked : No
Version : HV01C07
Manufacturer : Intel Corporation
MP Support : No
Model : D845HV
Version : AAA63931-304
Intel ICH2 Audio Device : Sound Adapter
Intel 82559 Ethernet Device : Ethernet Adapter
System Memory Controller
Location : Mainboard
Error Correction Capability : None
Number of Memory Slots : 3
Maximum Installable Memory : 3GB
DIMM0 - J6G1 : DIMM Synchronous SDRAM 256MB/64 @ 133Mt/s
DIMM1 - J6G2 : Empty
DIMM2 - J6H1 : Empty
Model : Intel Corporation 82845 Brookdale Host-Hub Interface Bridge (A3-step)
Bus(es) : X-Bus AGP PCI IMB USB i2c/SMBus
Front Side Bus Speed : 4x 100MHz (400MHz data rate)
Maximum FSB Speed / Max Memory Speed : 4x 100MHz / 1x 133MHz
Width : 64-bit
IO Queue Depth : 12 request(s)
Chipset 1 Hub Interface
Type : Hub-Interface
Version : 1.00
Number of Ports : 1
Width : 8-bit
Full Duplex : Yes
Multiplier : 1/1x
Speed : 4x 66MHz (264MHz data rate)
Logical/Chipset 1 Memory Banks
Bank 0 : 128MB SDRAM 3-3-3-6CL
Bank 1 : 128MB SDRAM 3-3-3-6CL
Speed : 1x 133MHz (133MHz data rate)
Multiplier : 4/3x
Width : 64-bit
Refresh Rate : 15.60Ás
Power Save Mode : No
Fixed Hole Present : No
Don't bother buying more SDR SDRAM if you're trying to increase the computer's performance; it's the bandwidth that's the main problem. At 100mhz (400 effective) the P4 wants 3.2GB/s of memory bandwidth, but PC133 memory can only supply just over 1GB/s; it's essentially being starved out of performing.
You're a bit in luck in that the motherboard is a D845HV; according to Intel it's a socket 478 board (using PC133 memory). That means if you choose to do so you can upgrade the motherboard without needing to upgrade the processor just yet (there should be Intel processor price cuts coming in February, so you might want to wait and see what the introduction of the Prescott does to Northwood pricing, or whether a Prescott would be a good upgrade). The fact that the processor is a Willamette means that some 865PE/875P motherboards won't support it though; if you go the upgrade route make sure the motherboard you buy supports the Willamette.
Since it's a Gateway, the case and power supply may or may not be proprietary, but you may want to get a new case and power supply anyway because once you're finished upgrading your brother's computer, you can re-assemble the Gateway back to its original condition.
So I'd consider buying a case and power supply, motherboard, SATA hard drive, and 2x512mb of quality memory (PC3200 at least, even though you won't be able to run it to spec when using the 1.7Ghz processor - you're buying the memory for a future processor), then move the processor, sound card, and graphics card over to the new motherboard. Try out the performance (it won't be fast, but the bandwidth increase and increase in amount of memory should speed things up a bit over the existing setup, maybe about a 15 to 25% increase in gaming performance), then you can decide when you want to upgrade the graphics card and processor in the near future.
But buying a whole new computer is always an option, so it's up to you to decide how you want to go. I'll say that if I was to design a true gaming computer that I'd personally be using every day, the only part from your old computer that would have a chance to find its way into the gaming computer is the sound card.
01-16-04, 08:18 PM
For $1000, i'd definatly buy a new computer. It'd probably be more of a hassle just trying to refit the old one.
01-18-04, 04:52 PM
Quote:So I'd consider buying a case and power supply, motherboard, SATA hard drive, and 2x512mb of quality memory (PC3200 at least, even though you won't be able to run it to spec when using the 1.7Ghz processor - you're buying the memory for a future processor), then move the processor, sound card, and graphics card over to the new motherboard. Try out the performance (it won't be fast, but the bandwidth increase and increase in amount of memory should speed things up a bit over the existing setup, maybe about a 15 to 25% increase in gaming performance), then you can decide when you want to upgrade the graphics card and processor in the near future.
I'm going to be doing all of this, except the SATA hard drive. I have the case, power supply, and ram picked out.
Ruccus, or just anyone, do you have any recommendations for a less expensive motherboard, compatible to the Willamette CPU?
Quote:ASUS socket 478 P4P800 Deluxe
How's that. Edited by: pulid at: 1/18/04 6:23 pm
You don't need the deluxe version of the P4P800 if you're concerned about cost; the standard P4P800 is able to run a Willamette. Looking at Newegg, it's about $20 less than the deluxe version ($107 for the P4P800, $126 for the Deluxe).
About the only differences between the two are PATA RAID (the Deluxe has SATA RAID and PATA RAID, while the regular version has SATA RAID) and Firewire. Looking at the specs on Asus' website, it looks like the Deluxe version also includes WinDVD. So it's up to you whether you think the extra cost is worth the second RAID, Firewire, and WinDVD.
01-19-04, 06:57 AM
Mmm, definetly not, it was just the cheapest top seller at motherboards.org, so I figured it was decent. The non-deluxe version sounds just as good.
01-19-04, 07:05 AM
Is it safe/pratical to mix a PC-2700 ram and a PC-3200 ram of 512 mb?
Intel Pentium 4/ 2.4C GHz 800MHz FSB, 512K Cache, Hyper Threading Technology - OEM
Intel Pentium 4/ 2.66 GHz 533MHz FSB, 512K Cache - OEM
Is the hyper-threading losing the 200 megahertz? Edited by: pulid at: 1/19/04 11:14 am
the HT and the FSB speed is worth the 200 MHZ...
Actually I think the 2.4C and 2.66 would probably perform similarily, but you should be able to get a 2.6C for roughly the same price as either the 2.4C or 2.66.
I'd also suggest going with a retail processor instead of the OEM versions; they're only a few bucks more and come with a three year waranty and a heatsink (last I heard the OEMs had a one year warranty and no heatsink).
Edit: Looking at Newegg, here are the prices for the three processors:
Retail, $160 (one day sale, ends 4pm on the 20th)
Retail, $170 (one day sale, ends 4pm on the 20th)
I'd say the retail 2.6C would be the best value of the six. I also noted though that Digitimes is reporting price cuts for the 2.8C and higher, so you may want to hang tight and see if the 2.8C drops into your price range. Edited by: Ruccus at: 1/20/04 12:25 am
01-20-04, 08:21 AM
What benefit would be derived from Hyperthreading, that would be worth the 200mhz?
Just wondering what it does exactly.... And if I dont already know, does it matter?
Marketing Speak: www.intel.com/personal/pr...eading.htm
basically its like having 2 processors for applications that support 2 processors. Where you will see the most gain is within Windows XP (or 2000/2003) in that you can do a lot of back end processing as if there were 2 processors.
Burning a CD and streaming a Video off the net would show much better performance is a good example..
But again, to me the 800mhz FSB is the better of the 2 features supported in the "C" versions of the P4....
01-20-04, 10:25 AM
Ah, thats a great demonstration, especially if it works that well. Thanks alot Aidden!
Yes, the 200mhz (800 effective) fsb is the feature which will produce the most performance. Think of it like rush hour traffic; with the 133mhz fsb you have an 8 lane highway and a 100kph speed limit, but with the 200mhz fsb it's like those same cars are put on a 12 lane highway (though with a 90kph speed limit). The extra 4 lanes of traffic more than make up for the slightly slower speed limit, allowing more cars (information) to flow from one place to the other in a set amount of time.
Plus with regards to the 2.6C vs. 2.66, you're getting the 'wider highway' and almost the same 'speed limit', which will produce an even larger performance gap. Edited by: Ruccus at: 1/20/04 11:02 am
01-20-04, 05:46 PM
So, come February 1st, what do you recommend I buy? 2.6C or the 2.8?
Well, I doubt the price differential would have quite worked its way down to retail stores until later into February, but soon the 2.8C should be selling for close to the current price of a 2.6C.
They're both good processors - if you can wait for the 2.8C's price drop then get the 2.8C; if you can't, then get the 2.6C. Edited by: Ruccus at: 1/20/04 8:03 pm
but I think everyone agrees, buy a "C" version processor...
if your going with intel you want the C processor.
I would recommend the 2.6c,as its 40-45$ cheaper then the 2.8c. the 25% increase in price,isnt really worth the extra 200mhz as you wont really notice it,except in intensive applications.
your better off taking that 45$ and spending it elsewhere on a better motherboard,or more/better memory etc.
You can always upgrade to a 3.2C in 18-24 months,for probably less then you would pay for the 2.8 anyway,at that time.