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Computer Upgrade Question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MichaelKing, Apr 25, 2010.

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  1. MichaelKing

    MichaelKing Thread Starter

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    I currently have the following:
    1.6GHZ P4 Williamette with a 400MHZ FSB
    -Abit SD7-533 Motherboard
    -768 MB PC2100 DDR Memory
    -Windows XP

    and I am wanting to upgrade the cpu to a:
    -2.8GHZ P4 Northwood with a 400MHZ FSB

    http://www.buy.com/prod/intel-penti...socket-478-sl7ey-cpu/q/loc/101/208166365.html

    I would go ahead and upgrade everything, but a new processor or some additional memory is all that I can afford right now. This will only be a temporary fix. I am guessing that a CPU upgrade will be worth it due to the fact that when I check physical memory usage, I usually come up with (Free=400-470MB), but my CPU usage is constantly maxed out at 100%.

    Is it worth it? I mainly use my computer for multitasking and watching online videos. Rarely do I use it for gaming.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Mike
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Since you have limited funds and can't afford a new machine right now, the P4 2.8GHz. would be a good upgrade. These processors are expensive since they were the fastest P4's made with a 400MHz. FSB

    You should see a significant improvement of performance over the 1.6GHz. Williamette you are currently using.

    Have you checked to make sure your board supports the P4 2.8GHz. 400FSB processor?
     
  3. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Assuming you are running Windows XP, if you had only 512 RAM, I would recommend an upgrade to 1024; but, since you are already at 768, a difference in performance between 768 and 1024 would be all but undetectable, in other words, a waste of money.

    As for the processor and considering the cost of good used ones at this point, I think the difference in performance would be well worth the expense, especially considering the ease of inserting a CPU.

    The only thing that concerns me is whether your board will accept a processor that is enough faster than your old one to make it worth while. With a board that came originally with a 1.6 GHz, I would be surprised if it would support anything past 2.4 -- if it will go that far. Check with your main board manufacturer's web site and see what processors it will support. Get the fastest one possible as the cost difference will be negligible.

    I have bought several good used P4 processors from listings at PriceWatch.
     
  4. Goodspeed2651

    Goodspeed2651

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    Another thing that may help your computer to run like new again is to reinstall windows.Over time the OS can get bulky and slow and a fresh installation can help it run like new again. Also you said that your CPU is almost always running near 100%. That could be that there are a lot of programs running in the background. If you can find out which programs are running in the background and stop the ones you don't need this could also help out.
     
  5. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Yes, click Start> Run> type MSCONFIG and press enter. Check the Startup tab and disable everything that isn't necessary to load into memory every time the computer starts.

    Example: It is not necessary that Adobe Updater, AcroTray, MSOffice, NeroCheck, NMBgMonitor, NWiz, most updaters and a host of other programs run every time your computer comes on. They are just superfluous memory hogs and they slow the boot process.
     
  6. sacatech

    sacatech

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    You can visit to Saca Technology for such upgrades, i think you would like their offers. Thanks
     
  7. Compiler

    Compiler

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    But considering that P4s have and will always be on the slow-side of things, perhaps be on the look-out for a used computer for about $100, rather than spending $85+S&H for a somewhat faster CPU.

    Check out Craig's lists or computer swap-meets. To me... a used AMD X2 (dual core) 939 CPU + motherboard are worth about $25. Considering that YOU can buy a NEW dual-core AMD CPU and mother board for $100 (a bit low-end mobo thou). But the memory will get you, but today the price of ram is $20~25 per GB.

    Here's a chart I like to use: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/46
    Your CPU is not on the list, but it would be pretty much the last one at almost 700seconds. This is based on clock rate against the P4- 3.6Ghz which scores 310seconds. The AMD CPU above that P4 costs $32 today. The $55 AMD X2 would do the job in about 175 seconds.

    So spending $86 for that CPU + the cost of a heat-sink fan (HSF) cooler that fits it, about another $10~15 for a cheap one will bring your costs to $100 for slightly faster computer... by todays standards.

    $33 = AMD X1 CPU (you can later upgrade to a X2, X3 or X4 CPU) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103698
    $44 = Foxconn board (cheapest thing to get) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186189
    $60 = MSI 785G board (higher quality and performance + free shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130254 (free shipping so its $13 more, get 2 extra ram slots)
    $28 = 1GB DDR3 RAM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...0148196&cm_re=DDR3_1GB-_-20-148-196-_-Product

    Total = $105. Both those motherboards above have onboard video, the $60 board has much more advanced features and 3D video abilities. ($118 for that total).

    But the ONLY big issue is that if your power supply is also old, it won't work on anything new. This is the cheapest PSU I can recommend at $25. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...ermaltake_power_supply-_-17-153-023-_-Product

    I am aware you have limited funds. And you'll most likely need to do a clean install of Windows... but I'd say, save up another $25~30 to get a whole new system.

    $100 = Easy drop in, but only another 80% or so performance increase, you are still working with 2001~2002 tech that is not upgradable.

    $139 = Whole new parts, upgradable to even faster CPUs. But limited to a single PATA/IDE channel. ($130 = CPU X1, $44 mobo, 1GB RAM, $25 PSU)


    And of course, sometimes a CLEAN install of WindowsXP will do wonders (don't go to SP3 - it'll slow things down).
     
  8. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Used socket-478 processors in the 3-GHz range start at $6.00 at Pricewatch.
     
  9. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    If I were low on cash instead of looking for a processor for the Abit board, I would purchase one of these for $35

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-D865GVHZ-...=ViewItem&pt=Motherboards&hash=item58871034d5

    Add this Northwood processor for $20 + shipping

    http://www.starmicro.net/detail.aspx?ID=120

    Add this cooler $27

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...06606&cm_re=cpu_cooler-_-35-106-606-_-Product

    and you have about the same cost involved for a new board, new cooler and used faster processor with HyperThreading as the processor you were considering.

    Although the Abit board you have is an ATX form factor board, the vast majority of ATX chassis will support uATX motherboards such as the Intel D865GVHZ.

    An important factor to bear in mind, unless you can update the Abit board you would also need a new copy of Windows XP or whatever operating system you are now using.
     
  10. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Yep... spending all that on used / old tech... and you'll still end up within price-range of a new bottom end (yet faster) AMD setup. The other reason I recommend the AMD setup is that the onboard video (especially the 785G) is faster than most popular AGP cards.
     
  11. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Yep, spending all that (about $88) which will probably serve the OP's purposes. The cost is no greater than the processor he was considering.

    Everyone doesn't always need a new system as you always seem to recommend.

    Since the OP was saying he needed something as a "temporary fix" this would work fine as a temporary fix until he can afford to build a new system.
     
  12. Compiler

    Compiler

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    I try to NOT always recommend a new system. Its just that if a used part costs almost as much as new parts, why bother with the used. If the OP happens to have a newer PSU, then that is a costs that wouldn't happen. Being $15~20 difference from a completely new hardware setup vs keeping something on life-support isn't good use of money.

    BUT, if that P4 chip can be found and bought for $5~20, then I agree that a purchase makes more sense - for now. But not $90 for a used 6+ year old CPU.


    PS: On the Thread about the AMD X2 5600 + GTX280... I recommended he stick with what he has for now and give it a try - even thou his CPU is dated, its not too bad.
     
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