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Replacing Parents PC


awergh
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Afterall it is possible to goto x64 eventually although by then buying DDR2 would be way too expensive.

Then again, Intel setups with DDR3 are still relatively expensive. And 99% or so of mATX boards for C2D's only have 2 DIMM slots, so if you wanted to move beyond 2GB, you'd have to throw away your existing RAM.

For a few bucks difference with your current selection of parts, you could build a box with an Athlon II X2 240 CPU (has VT as well, same performance too), DDR3 RAM, and a LOT nicer motherboard. It would be a LOT nicer in many ways: onboard video that's a million times better in terms of performance, more video outs than just plain old VGA (often you get DVI and HDMI, sometimes DisplayPort too), 4 DIMM slots is standard on 99% of them, it would be using DDR3 that's now cheaper, and perhaps have a few more features like eSATA. I understand what rock bottom price is a big factor here, but LGA 775 is pretty much dead, DDR2 prices are on the rise (and you have no expansion capability either), and low performance GMA video with VGA-only output might not be what you're wishing for either.

Just another option worth considering :)

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Note that there are new motherboards with G41 chipsets and that do support DVI as well, and HDMI 1.1 some times and also hard to find (no idea of 1.3, have to look that up, but sound could be provided by the HD soundchip). A DDR3 mobo will cost still some 20 to 25USD more in most cases, plus the X2 240 is also a bit more expensive, if it needs to be cheap, compatible and good, the E3200 with G41 and DDr2 is still okay, just fork out directly some 3 to 4GB of DDR2 RAM that is about the same price still as DDR3 or a few bucks more.

That AMD setup is cool, and just 50 bucks more or so... but I thought it must be cheap and for 50 bucks I can buy a ATI HD4650 ;).

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Well I was actually thinking of 1 x 2GB apposed to 2 x 1GB, for the possibility of expansion but then again if the latency changes or something you have to replace both sticks anyway.

DVI onboard could be useful eventually, because I had wondered if I should get an HD4550 or something so that it had DVI if it ever needed it.

I think I really need to find out how much I can spend, apposed to being as cheap as possible.

AMD setup sounds good, I think my main problem with it is just my unfamiliarity with AMD.

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AMD setup sounds good, I think my main problem with it is just my unfamiliarity with AMD.

Well, there's not a whole lot of difference (building a system-wise). It works just the same. Let's compare both options (your initial and a decent AMD setup):

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail

Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2K2/2G - Retail

Total: $178

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX - Retail

ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT12864BA1339 - Retail

Total: $204

So for ~$25 extra, you get:

-a motherboard that uses a socket that hasn't been replaced already (newer, faster CPUs for cheap down the road)

-far better onboard video: DirectX 10.1, it even does decoding of H.264 HD movies in 1080p in hardware (be it Blu-Ray, x264, etc), it also works great for aero glass, Photoshop CS4 OpenGL acceleration and the like

-you get DVI and HDMI outs out of the box. Going Intel with a G41 mobo negates the slight price advantage the E5200 has (while still being slower), and so does buying a $50 video card...

-you get a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot

-4 DIMM slots instead of 2 (more expansion room)

-it uses newer and faster DDR3 (also means cheaper to upgrade down the road -- you'll easily get your $20 back then, and it'll be easier to find at that point too)

-you get more SATA connectors, a toslink out (more analog too) and more USB at the back (and more headers too)

-a newer chipset (785G is brand spanking new i.e. from 2009, whereas G31 is from 2007 and its ICH7 is from 2005)

-you can get models with eSATA and firewire too for very little more

etc.

There won't be a problem dropping a very fast quad core on this setup in a few years, along with some more DDR3 and a fast GPU should you feel like it, and without breaking the bank (AMD already has quad core CPUs for $100)

Just saying that it's worth considering, especially if you got the extra twenty bucks or so to spare. But it's not so easy undercutting the E3200 setup. Either ways, it'll run circles around the P3 (anything would)

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Hmm doesn't sound too bad although I prefer Gigabyte/MSI to ASUS mainly because i prefer AWARD BIOS.

Although the prices would be a little more expensive but $AU isn't too bad atm.

but AMD definitely looks like a good option and I'm sure the AMD boards are there I've just always looked for intel boards

Edited by awergh
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CoffeeFriend, you are cheating, you could be starting to work at my shop so sales would go up ;).

PQI POWER Series 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model MAD42GUOE - Retail $43.99

Intel Celeron E3200 Wolfdale 2.4GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $52.99

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $54.99

Total: 151.97USD

With HDMI and DVI:

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2H LGA 775 Intel G41 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $64.99

Total: 161.97USD

and now the best bang for your money:

PQI POWER Series 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model MAD42GUOE - Retail $43.99

Intel Celeron E3200 Wolfdale 2.4GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $52.99

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $54.99

XFX HD-465X-YAF2 Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $49.99

Total: 201.96USD

Any way, you can't go wrong on both setups, AMD or Intel, the budget market part is already squeezed out as much as it can. I just ordered some of those G41 mobos with the E3200. I'll be OCing them and that's why I went with the Intel setup, later on I will add some HD4650/512 cards to the setup for simple game play, better OC, and freeing up the shared memory. For my main setup I ordered an AMD X2 240, 8GB of DDR3, HD4730 and GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P (Better to get a good mobo so I don't need to buy a new version of Windows 7 (Even with the retail version it is pain in the hole here in Mexico) when I need to change my mobo).

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CoffeeFriend, you are cheating, you could be starting to work at my shop so sales would go up ;)

LOL. When do I start? I merely used that setup he stated out of lazyness (I was genuinely too lazy to price the 3rd option). Then again, all 3 mobos you listed only have 2 DIMM slots...

But yeah, they're basically all decent options, and it'll be a gigantic step up from a P3 regardless of what he picks.

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For the simple tasks you mention you could maybe use the old computer for a while and save up some cash, just add more RAM and maybe a newer disk.

You can probably get those things very cheaply or even for free, people throw away computers newer than that one. Installing some light Linux dist might give the machine new life.

But if you choose to go the other route and get a new one...

As others have stated, S775 and DDR2 are practically dead.

Don't buy old stuff even if you need to go cheap, it's not worth it in the long run unless it's very cheap.

Longevity and upgradability should be concerned on any purchase, since the computer will most likely be used over a few years.

Find out how much you can spend, but don't just look at the price.

Don't be afraid to try new things, everything you need to know can be found on the net.

Built-in graphics is more than enough for those tasks, it can even decode HD movies as CoffeeFiend said.

Mainboard: A 785G-based board for AM3, with DDR3 support (4 slots). mATX is often cheaper than full size ATX.

CPU: AMD Athlon II 240/245/250, depending on which one you can find and at what price.

RAM: 2x1GB DDR3 1333, you can simply add 2x1GB later if needed.

HDD: The Seagate 7200.12 is a good choice.

Case: There are lots of cheap generic cases, some better than others. Make sure it has sufficient cooling.

PSU: A good quality brand name PSU is very important, going too cheap here might cost you in damaged components down the line.

DVDRW: Any new DVDRW with SATA will do.

Overclocking the CPU will give you some extra perfrormance for free, but that's probably not needed.

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Nah, building something new seems a much better option I don't want to have to go buy PC133, and if you got a new disk does i810 support 48bitLBA besides IDE drives are getting more expensive, and part of the problem really is that the CPU sits at 100% CPU Usage when doing some stuff.

Yeah I need to know when I can do it and how much I can spend.

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For the simple tasks you mention you could maybe use the old computer for a while and save up some cash, just add more RAM and maybe a newer disk.

Not that easy with this one. A friend asked me to “tune up” a Compaq with the i810 chipset last year.

The ram will have to be 256mb matching sticks of PC100. I found only Micron would work. The only pci graphics card that will work is a Matrox G45. The bios upgrade for XP has disappeared from the Compaq site. Officially the machine has to have ME installed and then upgraded to XP, although booting with an ME floppy and using a reboot utility to trick the cd into booting XP works.

With all the upgrades the thing was more stable but no faster and for some reason the graphics were still fuzzy even with a Matrox card.

All in all it’s a lot of work and I had the parts lying around and didn’t have to hunt or pay for them.

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For the simple tasks you mention you could maybe use the old computer for a while and save up some cash, just add more RAM and maybe a newer disk.

Not that easy with this one. A friend asked me to "tune up" a Compaq with the i810 chipset last year.

The ram will have to be 256mb matching sticks of PC100. I found only Micron would work. The only pci graphics card that will work is a Matrox G45. The bios upgrade for XP has disappeared from the Compaq site. Officially the machine has to have ME installed and then upgraded to XP, although booting with an ME floppy and using a reboot utility to trick the cd into booting XP works.

With all the upgrades the thing was more stable but no faster and for some reason the graphics were still fuzzy even with a Matrox card.

All in all it's a lot of work and I had the parts lying around and didn't have to hunt or pay for them.

Compaqs are not the friendliest of computers to work with, that's for sure. They are often picky with components.

The BIOS upgrade doesn't have to be specifically for XP as you incorrectly said.

Adding more RAM and a newer disk is a way of delaying the inevitable. But if you already have or can get those things for free/very cheaply it may be an option for a while...

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Just remember you can still use that old PC for something! With 320MB RAM and that 800MHz CPU, you would do OK for watching DVD's (just add an IDE DVD drive), downloading stuff off the net (or a torrent box...legal torrents of course ;) ), playing classic old games (any game pre 21st century should work, and there are plenty of fun ones that are easy to get) and even using it to do something like play music. Just don't do all of those things at once :lol:

I still have an fairly small, old Dell P3 that up until I built my 'LAN-BOX' was used solely for watching videos and movies on. Plus the odd CS 1.6 :yes: Its a 1GHz P3 with 512MB RAM and a 40GB HDD.

Because it used so little power (had a 110W PSU!), made so little heat and so little noise (had just a single 80mm fan in the whole system) it was perfect for what it did. But I really wanted to build a compact PC for LAN parties and loved the look of Shuttles so the P3 is now getting handed down to my little sister for playing old games emulating GBA games, using word and paint, you know just really basic stuff.

Anyways, just give it a format and use nLite and it should still be OK to use XP to do something really basic with. My P3 has a RAM usage of under 120MB when at idle with no open apps! Its got a hugely cut down install of XP though, and boots up in under 40 seconds.

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I was never thinking about chucking it out afterwards I only chuck out stuff that doesn't work. Not so sure about pre 21st century games on that I remember playing UT99 on that ages ago when it had 98SE and 128MB RAM and it was a bit slow at the start although I did play it over the network but I've always felt that i810 is a bit low in performance.

Think the suggestion was to give it to someone else.

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Think the suggestion was to give it to someone else.

Either that or use as a router/firewall (easy to do), and it's almost overpowered for that. Compared to most comsumer routers it's rock stable and won't freeze/crash/drop connections with the right NIC.

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The BIOS upgrade doesn't have to be specifically for XP as you incorrectly said.

The bios in the last one I worked on was not fully ACPI compliant. Installing XP from the Compaq upgrade disk worked, as did a full install of Windows 2000. A full install of XP did not work. A bios upgrade was necessary to accomplish this.

However Compaq and HP used different i810 boards in their PIII computers and this might not be the same in all of them. I was using this as an example to say as you did the difficulty in upgrading OEM i810 systems.

Edited by puntoMX
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