View Full Version : computer purchase question...hopefully two for one!

11-24-2007, 11:12 PM
hello all,

i got my current computer a few years ago, (with a lot of help from forum members here
who helped answer all the questions i had...thanks again)
it's kind of old now, but it's adequate for maya.

pentium 4 3.0 ghz
asus p4p800 deluxe mobo
quadro 900xgl agp video card
2x512 ocz premier memory
antec plus1080 AMG with 430w truepower.

now here's where i need help with.
the 2nd computer that we use downstairs, is used by the family, and is strictly for surfing.
yes it's a dinosaur...but it was adequate for surfing...sort of.

dual pentium II 400mhz (<--no typo there)
asus p2b-d mobo
576 mb
3d labs oxygen vx1 agp card
cheapy 350w power supply

unfortunately,it recently fried, so i decided to look for a cheap surfer
from best buy or dell...around $300....i don't need monitor, mouse or kb etc.

then it occurred to me since i'm looking for another computer, to use the money to upgrade my pentium 4 3.0ghz instead. so i did a little research, and things have certainly changed.
core 2 duo...pentium dual core...too many cpu options!
now i don't want go crazy again and spend a month researching on getting
the best bang for the buck, like i did for the pentium 4 3.0
so i'm hoping you guys can help.

after researching a little, it seems for around $300, i can piece together something that would be better than a celeron package from bestbuy or dell.

mobo---ASUS P5KPL-VM $84.99
memory---Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C5DHX Matched Pairs 2GB Kit (2x1GB) $117.99
cpu--Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180 2.0 GHz -- 95.99

i only chose this combo, to keep the cost around $300.
i have no idea what is comparable...or "better for a few bucks more."

now i'm guessing this would definately be faster than my current pentium 4 3.0 ...right?

so i'm thinking i'd put this new mobo, memory and cpu, in the 430w antec case, (i hope it's compatible)along with the quadro 900 xgl... and that would be a good upgrade to my
workstation,considering it's a newer cpu and double the memory.

then i could part out the pentium 4 3.0 cpu, asus p4p800 mobo, and 1gb ocz memory from my work station,put it in the downstairs computer case..... plug in the 3d labs oxygen vx1 agp card (lucky it didn't fry)and this would be a HUGE upgrade as a surfer.
(and probably better than a celeron package from dell?)

now here come the questions:

unfortunately, this particular new mobo, does not have an agp slot.

1.) are there any mobo's that support the newer generation intel cpu's and still have agp?
(like i said, i only wanted to spend about $300 for a surfer, so i really don't
want to spend more on a video card)

2.) speaking of...i know the quadro 900 xgl is old, but is it still good enough?,
or does even the most entry to mid level current generation of gaming cards out perform it?
i always see in bestbuy flyers $100 video cards that have 256mb, (double the memory of the 900 xgl)
and i wonder, is my quadro really that out of date?...
or is it still good enough because it was a "workstation" card.(in any case...it still works for me)

3.) will my antec case accept the newer mobos, are they all eatx?, my antec case is atx.
and would 430w truepower be enough to power the new cpu/mobo?

4.) is it safe to put the pentium 4 3.0 and asus p4p800 mobo into the beige case with cheapy 300w psu.
(the whole reason i got the antec case/psu in the first place was because i was advised that it
was important to have enough power to supply that particular cpu/mobo combo...but now it seems
i'm willing to chance it, considering it'll only be a surfer....maybe i should just spend $30 on another psu)
btw, what's the worst that could happen if there isn't enough power...does Windows just freeze...or is there a chance something could fry?

again keep in mind, i initially only wanted to spend about $300 for a surfer, so i'm hoping
instead of just getting a new computer for surfing (like a celeron package from BB or dell)
i can upgrade my current workstation instead, and then use the leftover parts to piece together a surfer which is a big improvement on the lowly dual pentium II 400mhz.

sorry for the extra long post...i hope someone can help...thanks in advance

11-25-2007, 03:21 AM
1) yeah there arent really any mobo's that support core2duos/pentium dualcore and agp.

2) I have the same card it my other computer, it still works but yeah a 6, 7, or 8 series geforce card will outperform it.

3) your case should be fine, most motherboards are standard atx. eatx boards are usually only used for dual socket/multiple socket senarios because they have to have another place to put a second processor. dual core boards just have 1 socket just like older boards so they didnt need to get any larger than standard atx.

4)psu is important you dont want to supply bad power to your unit because it can damage parts. 300w should power that ok as long as its actually gives 300w. there alot of cheap psus will say that they will max at 300w but only do 250w. if you dont have enough power all that will happen is your system simply wont start up.

11-25-2007, 01:04 PM
hey davijin thanks for responding,

dang...it seemed like such a good plan...only needed a mobo that had agp!

i just found a mobo with 775 and agp

too bad it's no longer available, in any case, think it only supported up to ddr2 533

btw, since i can't find any intel mobo with agp, for the upgrade i mentioned...
do you know of any amd cpu/mobo combo (within the same price range) with agp?

11-26-2007, 12:47 AM
Here's a core 2 duo motherboard with AGP:

Asrock ( a sub - label of asus) specialise in this kind of backwards compatability. There's a slight penalty in that the way they achieve this is to modify older chipsets which may perform a little worse than more recent ones. This isn't likely to be massively significant though. For example, this board will only support (according to this spec) 1066 fsb core 2 duos. However the CPU you specified is one of these. Also, the RAM is limited in speed compared to newer chipsets but this will make roughly sod all difference in real use.

By the way, the performance upgrade you'll see is in rendering, which should be roughly twice as fast because your new CPU is a dual core. In non - dualcore scenarios, it should be a little faster.

11-26-2007, 02:44 PM
hey Decade thank you for responding,

yeah, i came across the Asrock boards also after a little research
(i had told myself not to go crazy researching again...but oh well)

i also found a dual core AMD board that has agp, that i'm really considering, comes packaged with an athlon 64 x2 4000

and i figure i get this memory to go along with it, only because it runs at 1.8v
and i read on newegg, that the MSI mobo only has a max of 2.0v
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3089875&CatId=2261[url="http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3089875&CatId=2261"] (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3322768&Sku=MBM-K9MMV-4000)

now surely this setup would be faster than my pentium 4 3.0, asus p4p800, 2x512 ocz premier right?

a few questions though:

1.) how does the above AMD setup compare with intel? i'm confused as what the
comparable intel cpu would be....does it compete with intel's E2140 or higher?

2.) can i simply plug back my sata hard drive(with XP) and have everything run as normal?
or because i'm switching from a 32 bit environment to a 64 bit, i should reformat
the drive and reinstall XP...i read a review about that on newegg.
btw, would i need to configure anything in the bios, because i'm running 32 bit XP
on a 64 bit system?

3.) now here's a few newbie questions
(i think i know the answers, but after reading that post on newegg about
reinstalling, i'm not sure, so i should ask...excuse me if they seem silly)

switching from 32 bit architecture to 64 bit, are the opening and saving of files affected?
for example, i should be able to open all files with the athon 64 x2 setup that were saved
from my pentium 4 3.0 system problem free right?....and if i were to save files from the
64 bit(athlon) system, and then open them on the old 32 bit(pentium4) system
there should be no problems?

4.) again almost same question...
since i'm switching from intel to amd, is there a difference when opening/saving files?
for example, a file saved on intel system is opened/saved differently by an amd system?
i know it might sound silly, but having experience with corrupt files(thanks to zip drive)
one gets a little weary.... this would be my first amd.

this thread all came about because i was looking at spending about $300 for a replacement
surfer, but now it seems i might be able to do a double upgrade for about $180...

btw, if you have any input on a price wise comparable upgrade, please advise
thanks in advance

11-26-2007, 04:46 PM

This is the cpu chart on tomshardware.com. it a great resource as far for comparing different cpus and gpus. on a 3ds max render test the 4000+ is faster than the pentium dualcore E2140 but only by 1 second which in real life means theyre gonna be the same speed at most things. AMDs arent as fast as core 2 duos right now but they are still good processors. and they are a bit cheaper. that mobo processor combo is an ok deal but I would say buy the mobo by itself and spend 50 bucks more and get a x2 5000 or 5600+. trust me the extra speed will be worth the extra money.

2) the answer to that one is a big maybe, sometimes you can, sometimes youll end up having to reinstall windows. you may just have to do it and hope it works though in both cases youll probably have to reactivate windows but as long as you have the original key youre fine. you wont have to do anything in the bios because the hardware is capable of 64bit. the hardware can do 64bit and 32bit without any changes to anything.

3) No. like I said above the hardware is capable of 64bit but it is also fully capable of 32bit also. you will not have any issue in saving or opening files.

4) No you wont have saving,loading or opening issues with an AMD vs and Intel. AMD is still a quality manufacturer and before the core2duo the AMD Athlon 64 X2 and the single core athlon 64 was the overall choice of gamers and cg artists because the were a bit cheaper and faster than intel pentium 4 and pentium D dualcore line of processors. Intel was losing marketshare until they released the Core2Duo (desktop and notebook) and Quadcore processor line which are really fast and affordable. though they arent king of the hill anymore AMDs are still pretty fast and reliable processors. no where near one of the crappiest inventions ever, the zip drive. Ive had those too and lost so much data on them.

anyway AMD and intel processors use different technology hardware to achieve their speed but the processing instructions are about the same

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