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Buying New CPU And Motherboard help

By Ritwik7 ยท 18 replies
Dec 21, 2008
  1. Hello everybody.

    I am planning on getting a new CPU and motherboard this Christmas. However, I'm a little low on budget. Could you guys please recommend a CPU + Motherboard combination at under $200 ($150 if possible)?

    My current specs are:

    Motherboard : Asus P5B-MX / WiFi-AP
    RAM : 2 GB (Transcend)
    Graphics Card : XFX 9800 GT
    Processor : Intel P4 2.93 GHz
    OS : Windows XP Professional

    Would it be a good idea to go for the AMD X2 6000+?
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431 At that price, wow, why not. It certainly would give your old P4 quite a thumping!

    Is your copy of XP Pro a retail copy? If not and it's an OEM copy, you might run into trouble trying to migrate it to a completely different machine. Since, cost is an issue, this might make the Q6600 in the old board the best choice.
  3. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    Get an X2-6000 and an Asus M3N78-VM. Great combo. Even a 5200 will be better than what you have.

    No probs with the XP. Do a fresh install, then tell MS that your old board went POOF! and they'll reactivate for you. :)
  4. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    I've been trying to get reviews of the ASUS M3N78-VM. There aren't too many barring customer reviews at Newegg. However, these reviews are mixed.

    Are there any better boards available at a similar price ($80)?

    How about the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H?
  5. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    I use the Asus a LOT.. I buy them by the case. They're a fantastic board, ultra stable (actually they're guaranteed stable from Asus). HDMI out is a neato feature as I also use them in HTPCs. It's a good performer as well.

    Believe me, it's a rock solid board. Plunk it in and go kinda thing. Even the driver install is uber easy.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    E2200, Practically Free......

    Microcenter has a walk-in only after Christmas sale. E2200 @ $49.95 and E7300 @ $104.95 The are only about 22 stores in the US, but if you're lucky enough to be near one. The sale's only the next couple of days. 26, 27, &28th.

    Sure, it's 65nm but $50.00 bucks for the E2200 is almost a giveaway.

    Here's the web site Then click the "hot ad deals" tab, then "shop online catalog". I"d have linked the page directly, but it needs extra script permissions.
  8. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    @ captaincranky - Thanks for the info mate. But I happen to live in India! But really grateful for all the help. :) (BTW is E2200 good for gaming? I'm looking for a processor that will not bottleneck during games. I'm using the XFX 9800GT.)

    @Rage_3K_Moiz - I think the E5200 is supported on my current board. Is the processor good for gaming? I was thinking of the E6700 but am not sure of the prices in India. Maybe I should wait a while and get a Wolfdale along with a new mobo. Suggestions?
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Nah, stick with your current mobo, it's good enough. For a new CPU, I recommend this as your best choice. Fry's will deliver anywhere, their shipping rates are quite reasonable and they ship FAST. I usually get my stuff within 2 days of placing the order, and it's always impeccably packed.
  10. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    The E8400 was the one I was talking about (Wolfdale). But Its not supported on my current mobo. What should I look for in case I plan to stick with my motherboard?
  11. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    The E2200 is good enough for gaming, especially if overclocked to 3Ghz or higher (Which is simple enough to do). I ran an E1200 (Dual Core Celeron) at 3.15Ghz (Stock clock 1.6Ghz) on the stock cooler with a Gigabyte 9600GT OC and it gamed as well as someone could expect from that GPU. I also ran an E2140 at 3Ghz and a E2160 at 3.2Ghz with a 8800GT and a HD3850 in the past, both on the stock coolers (You don't wanna know how many computers I have or had in the past year, you really don't) and both ran well.

    The E6700 is incredibly expensive. Heck, if you can find it, it usually costs more than the Q6600, which would be superior in nearly every aspect (Except for strict single-threaded app performance, the E6700 has a higher stock clock, but not significantly so).

    Oh, the E5200 is a Wolfdale, by the way. If your board does not support 45nm CPUs, it won't support the E5200, either. As for being good for gaming, my current rig is in my specs tab and it includes a HD4870X2 along with an E5200 at 3.8Ghz. It games like a dream.

    I recommend you get a Q6600 or, budget permitting, a Q6700, and stick with your current motherboard. The Q6600 costs around 170-200 USD online, from what I can see.
  12. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

  13. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    Well, updating a BIOS is not difficult, if you follow the manufacturer's instruction correctly. Checking the CPU support list, nearly every reasonable upgrade path (E4700/E4500/E4600, Q6600 G0, E2220, etc) will require a BIOS update in any case. Think about it that way, if you pay ~250$ for the E6700, then it will work on your motherboard. If you pay ~180$ for the Q6600 and then screw your motherboard with the BIOS upgrade (which isn't very likely, if you follow the instructions on the Asus site, I've flashed BIOS on all my motherboards, a good portion of my video cards and both my laptops and never had any problems), then if you get a new motherboard for it, you still pay less than for the E6700.

    If you are really daunted by flashing the BIOS, or if you want to go cheaper, you can get something like what Rage_3K_Moiz offered, with a P43 motherboard and an E5200. Even without overclock, its performance would be well in stride with the E6700 and if you ever get to overclocking it it would far surpass it.

    Edit: The E2200 really isn't in the CPU support list. But the E2220 is and might represent a reasonable upgrade path for you (It is a 2.4Ghz with 1MB of Cache). An E2220 would be your cheapest upgrade and would do its job well (And miles ahead of the P4). Again, BIOS update is required.
  14. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Thanks a lot. I'll think over it a while and post again. :)
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    The E6700 is a stupid idea, period. Ditto for the Q6600. (although not quite as stupid as the E6700) No, I'm NOT going to do the typing to justify that remark. Take it or leave it.

    @Ritwik7 You have 2 threads going with the same general idea, upgrade the CPU or replace the board. Now you can be incapable of making a decision in 2 places.

    If you board's BIOS, can be updated to accomodate 45nm CPUs, then you should buy one of those and do the update.

    You 9800GT GPU is doing, and will continue to do, most of the work in gaming.


    Buy; E2220

    Don't buy ANY E4xxx (Obsolete 65nm, 800 mhz fsb) or any E6x00, where you would find these (E6x00) sort of beats me anyway.

    Buy; E5xxx (800mhz FSB, but current line)

    Buy; E7xxx (1066Mhz FSB) These should take the measure of any of the earlier Conroes. Except the extreme.

    Buy; E8400 (This is the best choice of all, if your board will run it).

    Now, either you can update the BIOS to run 45nm or not, in any case I'm not certain it's our responsibility to do this part of the "legwork".

    I hate BIOS updating and RAID installation for different reasons, but principally because I don't have a floppy drive, and Newegg never has them with free shipping. Don't you fall into this quagmire.
  16. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    Then I guess I won't bother shooting you down, either.

    It was already established that it cannot.

    In the other thread it was well established that his board does not support 45nm CPUs. I don't know what you have against E4XXX CPUs, but the argument of "Obsolete 65nm, 800 mhz fsb" is one the silliest I heard in a long while.

    Ritwik7, if I were you, I'd ignore his post altogether.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,760   +2,431

    Dear Mr. Wolf,
    The text of this post justifies the fact that the E6700 and the Q6600 are both reasonably stupid ideas. And well, you wrote it!

    >> Maybe we should ignore this post as well <<< No, wait Ritwik7 already has!

    So, replace the board and go with a newer board, and less expensive but more current CPU. or pay way too much for the older processor. Wow, this could go on forever.

    I simply can't decide, nor tolerate the anguish. Forgive me, I'm going to sign of now, so that I can lose sleep over it.

    I just for the record, I agree with you that, in this case, an E4xxx series CPU is a great idea. They're cheap now, you can overclock them like crazy. So, if that CPU fits, wear it.
  18. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,672   +9

    Hey guys. I'm sorry for causing all the trouble. Its just that I wasn't sure as to what to do.

    And captaincranky, I know that my last 2 threads ended up pretty much on the same thing. Not intentional.

    @direwolf007 - Thanks for all the support. Now I've managed to update my BIOS but can't set my RAM to 667MHz (I've got a separate thread for that, so won't say more here.)

    Thank you.
  19. direwolf007

    direwolf007 TS Rookie Posts: 105

    No, my post shows why the E6700 is a bad idea. It shows also why the Q6600 is a good one (Being cheaper than the E6700, and being one of the best all around CPUs even today).

    As for your "anguish", I hope you sleep tight.

    Ritwik7, I'll take a glance at your RAM issue once I get back, but now I gotta run off.
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