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Upgrade Question

By Hemogoblin · 17 replies
Sep 28, 2008
  1. Alright. In my computer right now, i've got:

    CPU: Intel Pentium 4 550, "Prescott", 3400 MHz
    Motherboard: Intel Battle Lake D915PB1
    RAM: 2 x 2gb Corsair XMS2
    Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 9600 GT

    My question is, would it be worth the money to upgrade to a new Core 2 Duo processor? I use the computer really only for gaming. Would I see any real difference in performance if I were to upgrade to something like this?

    I know that games are mostly dependent on the GPU, but I've had this processor for a number of years now, and I figure that it's about time to upgrade. Along with that it runs REALLY hot. Like, 63 degrees idle hot.

    Anyways, what do you think? Is it worth the bucks to upgrade?

    Another, somewhat unrelated question to that first one is more general, and just something I would like to know out of curiosity. What difference does your motherboard make? I mean, ok, some come with more or less RAM slots, or slots for two videocards or whatever, but in general, what difference does it make? I'm sort of a noob if you can't already tell, so this is just something I got to thinking about as I was writing this post.

    Anyways, if anyone would like to enlighten me with regards to that point as well, that would be great.
  2. greatman05

    greatman05 TS Maniac Posts: 429

    I'm not an extreme expert, but Core 2 Duos are AMAZING gaming processors...the optimizations Intel put in them make them excellent for any sort of usage you might think of, so yes, I would recommend that upgrade, especially since you have a Geforce 9 (Your current processor is most likely bottlenecking it). About motherboards...each one has different implementations on the components on it. Long story short: Some boards are, at their base level, faster and more stable compared to others. One example, I believe, is that when you pair a NVidia graphics card with an nForce motherboard, you get even more graphics performance as compared to that same graphics card in a different motherboard...Another example is that, for the most part, VIA motherboards are incredibly slow, especially in regards to memory and drive performance...Just a thought, and if any information in this is incorrect, please let me know and correct it...Hope this helps...
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,160   +460

    In this case it makes a lot of difference. As best as I can tell your current motherboard does not support Core 2 Duo so you would need a new motherboard which does.
  4. Hemogoblin

    Hemogoblin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    cool, thanks for the replies.

    Any suggestions as to a good motherboard and processor? In terms of price, I'd like to stay around or under about $400.

    I'm in Canada by the way, so something available at NCIX or TigerDirectis preferable!
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

  6. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    The Intel 915 chipset is a 32 bit system. It won't even run later P4s or Celerons. Any CPU that states it has, "EMT64" is not compatible.
  8. Hemogoblin

    Hemogoblin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Sorry, like I said, I don't know much about all this. What exactly does this mean? Not compatible with what?
  9. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    The newer Pentium and Celeron D CPUs are 64 bit. The "EMT-64" stands for Extended memory technology. And they simply won't work in a 32 bit board. 32 bit systems won't handle more than 4 GB of installed memory. Basically, if the CPU you'd like to use says "EMT-64" in the specs, it won't work in a 915 board. This includes every C2D made, every E2XXX pentiun dual core, every 4XXX series Allendale, and so on. You are limited to a few older Prescott P4 & Celerons with your chipset. These are rapidly disappearing so you should probably get used to the idea that it's pretty much a new motherboard or bust. Sorry, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings. The Intel 915s are a decent, reliable chipset. I have an Emachine with a 915GAG board installed, but I'm surely not planning to try to upgrade it.

    The difference between a 64 bit and a 32 bit system is that 64 bits of information are transferred at once as opposed to 32. A 64 bit machine can basically remember more memory and hardware addresses, since it deals with 64 places of binary numbers. The largest number that can be described with 32 places of binary math is about 4 Gigabytes, hence the memory limit I mentioned earlier.

    Does that help?
  11. Hemogoblin

    Hemogoblin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Alright, thanks for the explanation! I was planning on buying a new motherboard anyways, so that's not too big of a problem.
  12. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    As captaincranky mentioned before with your motherboard you can only use up to 4Gb of RAM on it but if you use a 32bit(x86) Windows version the OS will only detect around 3.5 to 3.7GB of RAM and sometimes less depending on the motherboard.

    So when you will buy a new motherboard you will get a 64bit one and if you will have more than 4GB RAM on it you will also need to buy another Windows 64bit(x64) due that the 32bit won't detect all.
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I thought post #4 clearly mentioned that he wanted motherboard and CPU recommendations, innit?
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    Probably did. I just couldn't help myself. I always am looking for a better way of explaining the 32 bit 64 bit issue. I hope I didn't do any permanant damage to the OP.
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    LOL living up to your name, aren't you cap?
  16. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    What do you to ask about the 32 bit 64 bit issue?
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,759   +2,431

    A brief recap. The OP asked about upgrading an Intel 915 board. Intel 915 chipsets are 32 bit. So, at one point this issue was pertinent. Regrettably, it no longer is. I was in fact, just getting started.
  18. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 606

    Ah ok.... Now I understand it.
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