TechSpot

Please Suggest a Few Things...

By LegendMind
Aug 15, 2006
  1. Hi there,

    I am planning to buy new memory for my system in order to play Heroes of Might & Magic 5 more smoothly on my system. My system specs are as below:


    Board: Intel D865 GBF
    Processor: Intel CeleronD 2.40 GHz., Socket 478, BusSpeeed 533MHz
    Memory: 256MB, DIMM, DDR 266
    OS Version: Win XP 5.1.2600 Service Pack 1 Build 2600

    Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
    Driver Version: 6.14.10.7772
    Adapter RAM: 128.00 MB


    Please suggest which memory module should I go for. You see, there is quite a jargon about them i.e. 266, 333, DDR, Rambus etc.

    Further, please tell me which DVD Writer is the best performer while keeping balance between Quality/Speed & Price. Also suggest a good UPS/PSU too(but not an expensive one).


    Your help will be greatly appriciated.

    Thanks for reading my post along with advanced Thanks and appreciation on your valuable suggestions.
     
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    1GB of value ram is fine. You can use anything from PC2100 to PC3200. Whatever is in your budget.
     
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Yeah. OCZ and Crucial have good value RAM sets. U should look into buying a dual-channel one if ur mobo supports it.

    That motherboard looks pretty expensive(I checked the prices through the Intel site and online retailers are selling it for over $100! WTF?). U can get an LGA775 motherboard + DDR2 RAM + A Core 2 Duo for real cheap nowadays. But if u wanna stick with ur selection, look for DDR 400(PC3200) RAM since it's the fastest supported by ur board.

    As for DVD Writers, look for an LG or an NEC one. They usually have good value-for -money writers with excellent performance.

    For PSUs, u have these brands to choose from for the best quality PSUs around.
    Antec, Enermax, Fortron FSP, Thermaltake, OCZ, and PC Power & Cooling, though the last one will be quite expensive. I personally have used an Antec and it has been superb for the 3 years I used it and still works flawlessly. I own an OCZ GameXStream and it has been rock solid for the 6 months or so I have used it. But it's over $100 and 700W so u wouldn't need that kinda power. Still keep these brand names in mind and u will not go wrong.
     
  4. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thanks for the reply, friends.
    What do u suggest should I go for memory upgrade only or throw away my board in order to get a new one. I am so confused.
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Where are u located exactly? And how much are u getting that particular board for?
     
  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Can you tell us your budget?
     
  7. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    I am from Islamabad, Pakistan. The currency is Pak Rupees (1 $ = 60 Rs.). I have not searched the market yet. If you guys recommend me some alternative to my current sytem which I have described above, then I can check the prices from market.

    Actually you know, that I have purchased D865GBF mobo, Intel Celeron 2.4 GHz processor, DDR266 128x2 MB Kingston Memory Modules along with NVIDIA Inno3D 6600GT 128MB GPU just about 8 months ago. The GPU cost me Rs. 13000 (216 $) and it is AGP. Now I want to upgrade my current setup in order to play Heroes of Might and Magic 5 smoothly (it says, it requires Minimum 512 MB RAM ). So, in this connection, I planned to upgrade my RAM and processor to origional Intel processor. That's why I seek your advice to know if my decision of this type of upgradation is right? My budget is Rs. 15000 (250 $).

    Thanks.
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Your motherboard supports DDR400 memory modules so getting ones of that speed would be best. Look for TwinMOS branded ones(I have Pakistani friends who bring them from there since they're inexpensive and good performers). Kingston is not bad too, if TwinMOS isn't available or is more expensive.

    And processor-wise, try getting a Pentium 4 2.8-3.2GHz processor. It will be a big jump from the Celeron ur using and if it's cheaper than the Celeron D then it's ur best bet. Otherwise, the Celeron D is fine too(if it's cheaper than the Pentium 4)
     
  9. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Anymore suggestions ... ?
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    I agree again with Rage. You need DDR400 modules, and a Pentium 4 2.8 3.0 GHZ CPU. If you can't get the P4 chip, then the Celeron D 340 or higher will be your best choice. They're not bad chips. I had one, and it was able to run any game very good, of course, with a good video card.
     
  11. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Hello there,

    I gladly thank you guys, you are helping me greatly to arrive on a decision. Now I want to ask you one final thing.

    Should I make the following deal:


    Processor--- Intel Origional 2.4 GHz = Rs. 5000 (83$)
    Memory---- TwinMos DDR400 1GB =Rs. 7000 (116$)


    My current specs are:
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Board: Intel D865 GBF
    Processor: Intel CeleronD 2.40 GHz., Socket 478, BusSpeeed 533MHz
    Memory: 256MB, DIMM, DDR 266
    OS Version: Win XP 5.1.2600 Service Pack 1 Build 2600

    Video: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT
    Driver Version: 6.14.10.7772
    Adapter RAM: 128.00 MB
    -----------------------------------------------------

    So, basically I m changing my Celeron D 2.4 GHz with a 2.4GHz origional one.

    I just want to ask if there will be any significant increase in my system's performance is expected or not...?

    Once again thanks to all of u.
     
     
  12. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Is that a Pentium 4 Processor? I hope yes :)

    The memory seems fine. And your videocard too.
     
  13. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Yes it is Pentium4 2.4 GHz Processor. Should I buy it for 83$...?
     
  14. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,199

    Hi LegendMind,
    I would urge against the new CPU for now but start with simply upgrading the memory.

    Also, that motherboard does support dual-channel so you should purchase memory in pairs in order to achieve dual-channel memory performance.

    The memory alone will make a substantial impact in game performance provided you also tune windows for the new memory (i.e. disable virtual memory, defrag the drive(s), then create a static sized.. say min/max 2048mb page file on your fastest drive.. or only drive if you have only one).

    I'd highly recommend Kingston 2x512 ddr400 kit to bring your system up to 1gig of memory... and just toss your existing 256mb, unless it's in 128x2 form. If it's 2x128mb AND ddr400, then you can re-use them in the second bank without any decrease in performance.

    Once you have your memory installed and working in dual-channel (you can download cpu-z to check your memory type, speed and number of channels..), from there you can judge if you need your cpu upgrade.. at which point I'd strongly urge against anything less than a p4-3.0ghz with 800mhz fsb. You'll then be able to get the full use of your ddr400's.

    Lastly, what power supply do you have? Most have their ratings on a sticker on the side.
     
  15. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,083

  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    I disagree Sharkfood. He's budget limited so I think the 2.4 GHz CPU is fine for now and will give a significant performance increase from the Northwood core Celeron he was using. And TwinMOS RAM is not bad. I have personally used them and they're a great value brand. However, buying two sticks of 512MB TwinMOS RAM would be better since they can run in dual-channel which will give a performance boost. Go ahead with it LegendMind, I'm sure this will help u play Heroes of Might & Magic V with good performance. That video card is also very nice and will even be able to utilize Windows Vista's Aero Glass feature when the latter is released.
     
  17. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thanks for your suggestions Rage and SharkFood. Now at least I am feeling more confident. My motherboard's manual reads that It utilizes/ supports memory as follows:


    -----------------------------------------------
    Memory Types:
    1) DDR400 SDRAM Memory (when used with IntelĀ® processor with 800-MHz system bus)


    2) DDR333 SDRAM Memory (when used with Intel processor with 800-MHz or 533-MHz system bus)


    3) DDR266 SDRAM Memory

    4) Non-ECC RAM (ECC memory will run in non-ECC mode)
    ----------------------------------------------


    Now what I want to know is that the meaning of item no. 2 i.e. DDR333 SDRAM Memory (when used with Intel processor with 800-MHz or 533-MHz system bus) implies that I can use only the DDR333 SDRAM with the processor I gonna buy which is Intel Pentium4 2.40 GHZ 533-MHz and not DDR400?

    Please give your advice in this regard.

    Thanks.
     
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Then in that case I think you should buy DDR 333 (PC2700) RAM, for it to be compatible with the processor ur buying which is the P4 2.4 GHz I think, right?
     
  19. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,199

    As you're just trying to smooth-out performance in Heroes of Might and Magic V, I'm betting you're 2.4 ghz Celeron is more than adequate for this game. It's a very "meaty" game memory wise, but really isn't a bit CPU-killer.

    With only 256mb currently, you're game will be a total pagefile/swap fest slowing the game down tremendously and causing a LOT of hitching/slowdowns as most of the game is playing off disk vs. memory.

    In the case of your mainboard, it's a decent motherboard- with support for dual-channel DDR. I'd highly recommend ANY memory direction you go is towards dual-channel since these Intels (be it a Celeron or P4) thrive off good, low latency, high-bandwidth memory access. They aren't like AMD's!

    As you've been playing with only 256mb, going up to 1 gig will smooth the game up tremendously. I'd still lobby to start there FIRST, then decide if you even need a new CPU for this particular game. At that stage, I'd say save up for an 800mhz FSB/P4.. such as the Northwood P4-3.0ghz/800 which can be found here in the states for about $99 OEM/CPU.

    As far as memory is concerned, provided the BIOS is at least 2 years or newer, DDR400's should run in DDR266 or DDR333 mode with that chipset. So, definately upgrade with a future CPU in mind. DDR400's may cost a tiny bit more, but worth it if you want to upgrade to an 800mhz CPU down the road.

    I've ran this combo on that chipset/intel many times before- such as my GF's P4-2.4ghz/533 with dual-channel ddr-400's. The memories clock back to DDR-333 and achieve a 4:5 memory ratio.. which not ideal is still a big perk/improvement over single channel speeds. Later if you add an 800mhz FSB CPU, you'll be able to achieve 1:1 ratio + dual-channel performance.
     
  20. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Dear SharkFood, you're really doing a great help in making up my mind. I thank u too Rage.

    Well, friends, I have discussed this issue with a vendor and he is of the view that I should upgrade my Mobo in such a way that my existing AGP slot 6600GT along with most of the other components may be reused while leaping up to 775 socket processor technology and a 800MHz FSB board. So, in this connection he came up with the following idea which I think is worth sharing with you.


    ----------------------------------------------
    Board: Intel D865 GSA (Rs. 3800 or 63$)

    Processor: Intel Origional 3.06 GHz HT (Rs.6800 or 113$)., Socket 775, BusSpeeed 800MHz

    Memory: 512 x 2 MB, DIMM, DDR 400 (Rs.3100x2 or 51x2 $ i.e. 102$)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    What is ur opinion about this? Also tell me if above system specs deserve spending some money or not (this is in my budget though). Moreover, I know that, now a days, it is an era of PCI-Ex and Core 2 etc. but in order to get a system which supports these features I would have to throw away almost everything i.e. my hard disks, AGP 6600 GT, DDR RAM etc.

    So, what I seek is to get a system which not only upgrade my current specs at a certain level but also be able to run future software i.e. Windows Vista at bearable speeds.

    Thanks again for your kind suggestion SharkFood and Rage. Now I m sure, u will be able to help me in making a quick decision.

    P.S. what about AMD's...?
     
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    That's a nice motherboard u have there. AMD is definitely better but with Socket 939 fast becoming obsolete and Socket AM2 being expensive as of now, stick with the Intel one u have chosen. U will even be able to run a Pentium D(dual-core) in the future with that motherboard should u choose to do so. And the fact that the processor u have chosen is HT is just icing on the cake. It looks like a nice PC u have there. Enjoy! :grinthumb
    P.S.->BTW, what brand are the RAM sticks?
     
  22. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Thanks Rage for ur comments.

    As far as Memory is concerned it is Kingston DDR400, DIMM 512 x 2 MB

    Thanks.
     
  23. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,290   +25

    Ok they look good then. Good luck with the build!
     
  24. LegendMind

    LegendMind TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 54

    Hello Folks,

    Hello SharkFood and Rage,

    I have finally purchased following system:

    ------------------------------------------------
    Board: Intel D865GSA - 800MHz SB

    Processor: Intel Origional 3.0 GHz - Socket 775 - 800MHz FSB

    RAM: Kingston 512MB x 2 = 1GB DDR-400

    DVD-Writer: ASUS 1608P3S

    UPS: Alpha 5305 Digital, 500VA
    --------------------------------------------------

    But now I have another issue which is quite weird i.e. whenever I launch Heroes of Might
    and Magic 5, its start up screens run smoothly but when real game almost begins to start my
    system just shutdowns straight away. No warning, no message, no signal just shutsdown as if
    someone has unplugged its power cable. When I try to turn it back on I have to first unplug
    the cable to my power supply (at back of casing) and then re-plug it. Only then my system turn
    on.

    Also I have played Doom 3 on it and it runs just fine. It runs fine other applications. As far
    as heavy games are concerned, I have only checked HoMM5 and Doom 3 on this system yet.


    P.S. My power supply is ATX-300A.

    What should I do to resolve this problem...? Please guide me in this regard.

    Accept my Thanks for ur help in advance.
     
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