Upgrade Priorities??? Case/Mobo/CPU/etc.

By bcbcbc
Jun 10, 2005
  1. My P4 Willamette @1.7 Ghz is now 3.5 years old. Gigabyte GA-81RX Mobo. 768 MB PC 2100 RAM. 2@ 120GB IBM/Hitachi HDD w/8MB Cache. Windows XP Home SP 2.

    Mostly use this system for web surfing and music playback via E-Mu 0404 PCI sound card/ASIO through J. River Media Center--analog output to Hi-Fi receiver. My only real complaint is that when web surfing just about any use of CPU causes stutters in playback.

    I'm also concerned that this system is becoming obsolete--soon impossible to upgrade at all. I would like to be able to use the RAM and the HDDs on the upgraded system at least initially to spread out the expense. Eventually I'll go to faster RAM and bigger HDDs.

    The existing Mobo will accept a P4 Northwood up 2.6Ghz but still with 400 FSB. I don't think that makes any sense. So that means a new CPU/chipset/Mobo for openers.

    I've got two Mobos in mind: Gigabye GA82PE1000Pro-G Socket 478 Intel 865 PE chipset; or ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe Socket 478 Intel 865PE.

    For CPU I'm considering the P4 3.0C Northwood 800MHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket 478.

    I don't see any problem using the existing ATA 100 HDDs. The specs on the two Mobos call for DDR 400 (PC3200) RAM. Can I temporarily use the existing PC2100 RAM or do I need to buy new RAM from the jump?

    What about power supply? Current is 300 W in original Inwin case.

    Any recommendations on alternatives would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I don't see why there should be problems using your soundcard and your CPU at the same time. Your CPU should have enough processing power, although it is alittle old, but definately enough for web surfing and playing MP3s.

    I also do play a little with playback, and I find that its not really recommended to do anything else other than record when you want the best possible quality. I don't do it often, nor do I do it on a professional level, so I'm happy with just recording it and not do anything else.

    I tried checking up your m/b, but GA82PE1000 doesn't show up. I assume you're talking about the GA81PE1000Pro-G (Socket 478 Intel 865 PE chipset). Personally I'm using the GA81PE1000 (non Pro-G). Thats together with 2.4ghz Northwood and 1gb DDR400 RAM. And I still find skipping if I record while doing something else. But bear in mind I'm using Audigy2 Platinum, not sure how that fares against yours.

    Now back to your question...

    I don't think there should be a difference in the Gigabyte or Asus. These 2 brands are pretty good already, Asus being a little more popular.

    CPU speed is as high as you're comfortable with getting. I'm still trying to get back with the advances in tech, so I'm not sure if the chips with 1mb cache is supported by your m/b (it should). Worth checking it out.

    You can use the PC2100 RAM for the moment, but you're not unlocking the full potential you can unleash with the PC3200 of course. Also, to get the Dual Channel, you'll need similar RAM, so pairing your 512 and your 256 will not enable the Dual Channel RAM.

    And yeah, you shouldn't have too much problem with your existing HDD.

    You should look into a larger PSU, depending on how modded your case is. I always go for the biggest, that gives me one less problem to deal with no matter what I do (except adding peltiers, real energy hoggers, which I am currently toying with).
  3. GoAvalanche

    GoAvalanche TS Rookie Posts: 42

    Something that helped me to decide what to add next. I picked out the processor I wanted first. Intel recommended several mobo that were compatable. It helped putting together a system that works well together. I did go with pc3200, it seem to be so much faster than my old pc2100.
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