Upgrading from Pentium 4 and Asus Motherboard

By Timonius
Apr 2, 2010
  1. Hello I'm just trying to figure out what my best move would be right now. I'm considering upgrading my system from the current bottleneck, an old Pentium 4. Here are the current relevant system specs:

    CPU: Pentium 4 3.0 GHz (530J Prescott)
    RAM: 2 Gb DDR(i don't know the speed...it is heck slow compared to the upgrade I'm looking for)
    GPU: Nvidia 9600 GT (512 Mb)

    I am currently looking at a max budget of $400 (cdn) for cpu, mb, and ram. If I spend any more I would rather build a complete system and something more in a 'cost friendly enthusiast' range. I found a deal at a local computer store for $365+tax (cdn) that includes:

    CPU: Intel Core i3-530
    MB: Asus P7H55-M Pro (micro-ATX)
    RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333MHz

    1. Is this a good deal?
    2. Can you give me any recommendations for other budget upgrades that will perform comparably?
    3. Should I spend a bit more and go for an i5-750?
    4. Does anyone know if the built in graphics from the i3-530 will work together with another gpu (otherwise I'll just use my current gpu)?
    5. I should be able to use a micro-ATX board as a replacement for my ATX board right (ie. they should still mount in a standard ATX tower)?

    note: yes, I do have a 64 bit OS ready to install.
  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    1. It's an ordinary deal, neither good nor bad.
    2. You can also look at this board; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128421 Don't pay attention to the reviews, they were written by morons who thought the Core i5-750 had integrated graphics.
    3. The Core i5-750 is almost $200,00 US
    4. The Gigabyte BIOS (Award-Phoenix) in the past has allowed onboard and add-in graphics to work simultaneously. I can't speak to Asustek.
    5.Matx is about 2/3rds the size of ATX. These boards mount in an ATX case on basically the top 2/3rds of the ATX mounting pattern.

    The graphics integrated with the Core i series CPUs are decent. They score about 5.3 in "business and gaming", in the "Windows 7 Experience" tests. Older G31/ G42 Intel graphics scored about 3.5. They won't play Crysis though, not no how, not no way.

    You should also price the items you intend to buy through Newegg Canada.
  3. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 647   +58

    Thanks for the input. I'd like to explore the possibility of combining the use of the integrated graphics on the i3-530 with a gpu added to the pci-e slot. My reason is that just about any modern cpu will be a good upgrade, but the i3 is the cheapest alternative, i just don't want to waste it's graphics capability. Any ideas of where to start looking for this information (besides boards with the Award-Phoenix BIOS)?
  4. kjSean

    kjSean TS Rookie

    It's a good deal.
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