Is This Computer Worth Upgrading To?

May 7, 2015 at 12:02:27
Specs: 7, Dual Core/8 gigs
Right now I'm running an E2200 (dual core Pentium 2.2ghz) with 8 gigs (2 x 4 gig sticks) of DDR3 1600 and an Nvidia GeForce GT260 and Windows 7.

I was looking at the AMD A10-7850K and Asus A55BM-E Micro ATX FM2 motherboard, and possibly 16 gigs of RAM as an upgrade.

What I'm wondering is how much of a performance boost will I see? Is the in-bedded R7 graphics going to be better than my discrete GT260? Currently I have a dual monitor set up. A 32" 16:9 LCD TV as the main, (720p running off the VGA) and a 19" 4:3 as the secondary (much higher resolution, I can't remember right now, but with the DVI). I want to upgrade my main to an actual PC monitor, 27" running at 1080. But I'm going to wait for the right price. When I do, I'll run that off the HDMI and the secondary off the VGA.

I run a virtual machine inside my computer, go online, watch movies, convert and play MP3s, and very rarely, converting DVDs to AVIs or MP4s. I almost don't do any gaming, so bleeding edge graphics are not what I'm after. No photoshop either. I like messing with Linux, and would like to in a VR. I haven't been able to make it work with my current set up. But the VR that I do run isn't the fastest either.

What I have does pretty well, but sometimes it lags. Mainly when I have multiple things going. Like the VR machine, converting a DVD, watching a movie, and watching Youtube.

I know, this is pretty taxing. But I'd like to run more than one VR at a time, and go online and watch a movie, if this is reasonable.

I'm trying to justify spending the $200 or so to upgrade.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#1
May 7, 2015 at 12:22:48
Why not just upgrade the CPU in your current system & ride it out a while longer? Or overclock the E2200 (if you have a decent motherboard)?

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#2
May 7, 2015 at 12:36:39
Well, that was one of my thoughts before, but I never got around to it. Most of what I saw was that the E2200 could be overclocked to no more than 2.5ghz stable. Some people said they got it up to closer to 3, but had problems.

I was looking into coolers and all, but again, it didn't seem to be worth it. As for a new Dual Core Pentium, what CPU would fit that would be worth the price of an upgrade? And where do I find it? Those are just some questions I was asking myself. Then I just decided to upgrade completely, then the idea just fizzled out....

But I saw a really good price on a mobo, and was sparked into the whole upgrade thing again.

I was messing with PCPartpicker and got to thinking.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#3
May 7, 2015 at 14:37:12
I'm a big proponent for overclocking. And the E2200 should be able to do 3.0GHz without much tinkering. Even if you don't overclock the overall CPU speed, you should be able to reclock the CPU to take advantage of a faster FSB.

For example, the E2200 default clock settings are 11.0 x 200MHz frequency (800MHz FSB). If you were to drop the multiplier to 7.0x & increase the frequency to 333MHz (1333MHz FSB), the CPU clock speed would be 2.33GHz @ 1333MHz FSB. You would then have to lower the RAM speed from 1600MHz to 1333MHz to match the CPU. The result would be an extremely mild CPU overclock of 6%, but the FSB speed would be increased 67%.

And if your motherboard supports 1600MHz FSB, you could lower the CPU multiplier even more (6.0x), raise the CPU frequency to 400MHz, & the CPU would run at 2.4GHz. The FSB speed would then be double the stock FSB speed & you'd be able to take full advantage of your DDR3-1600 RAM.

If you post the make/model of your current motherboard, I'll see if it can be done.

message edited by riider


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Related Solutions

#4
May 7, 2015 at 15:46:15
As soon as I get home I'll post the mobo model. I know that it's supposed to be easy to overclock it. I mean there is some dip switches that allow "easy" overclocking, but also, there are a lot of options in the BIOS as well.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#5
May 7, 2015 at 18:27:16
Ok, MSI G41M-E43 (MS-7592) v. 3 as per CPU-Z

BIOS: American Megatrends
v7.12 Feb 24, 2011

I have the manual, so if there's anything you need me to look up, just let me know.


BTW, thank you for helping me out with this!

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#6
May 7, 2015 at 19:34:42
No problem...if I didn't like doing this, I wouldn't be here ;-)

I had a look at the board manual but didn't find any info on how to adjust the CPU multiplier. This site has numerous shots of the BIOS screens but I don't see it anywhere?

http://www.motherboards.org/imagevi...


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#7
May 8, 2015 at 07:40:19
I'll get into the BIOS when I get home, and post back with some info. Like in the link, you can adjust the CPU and RAM settings, as well as the switches. I did read that you can flip the switches for more clock speeds and then tweak the multiplier to make it more stable. But I just never got around to doing that. Also, I'm only running the stock heatsink and fan. I think that when I was going to overclock it before, that I was looking for a better heatsink. I just never got around to getting one. I do have a couple of "universal" heatsinks, but they don't fit the LGA 775 socket. Mostly they're for older P4s and AMD Athlons.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....

message edited by stingerssx


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#8
May 8, 2015 at 11:34:55
No need to upgrade the heatsink. Your main objective is to increase the FSB speed, not to increase the overall CPU clock speed.

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#9
May 8, 2015 at 12:25:13
So, about the upgrade, seems Amazon has a couple:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...

What do you think? Get this and overclock?

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#10
May 8, 2015 at 14:24:58
Another CPU isn't going to help. I need to know if there's a multiplier adjustment. Can't do much of anything without it.

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#11
May 8, 2015 at 20:02:35
The option to "ADJUST CPU FSB FREQUENCY" that's in the first picture of the link you provided, is one of the menus. It's set at 200 and can be bumped one unit at a time up until 700. Also, looks like the FSB/DRAM ratio can be adjusted also, if that'll help.

It seemed to work well at 694 but got a little hot at 695!

J/K

What should I do, and how should I do it?

Again, Thank you!

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#12
May 9, 2015 at 06:16:19
FSB is where the performance is at. The higher the FSB, the faster the system. On older Intel systems (P4 thru Core 2), the FSB = CPU frequency x 4.

CPU frequency & CPU multiplier are 2 completely different things. Ideally, you want the frequency at 400 & the multiplier at 6. The default multiplier for the E2200 is 11. If you can't lower the multiplier, all you can do is try raising the frequency a little at a time & see how high you can go before the system becomes unstable.

Shutdown the system, unplug the power cord, open the case, & then set the 3 switches on the board to OFF. Close it up, restart, enter the BIOS & do the following:
Disable CE1, EIST & Spread Spectrum.
Set the FSB/DRAM ratio to 1:2.
Set the PCIe to 100MHz.
Set the CPU frequency to 220MHz as a starting point.
Save your settings & restart.

With any luck, the system will restart with the CPU running at 2.42GHz @ 880MHz FSB. I doubt the extra 80MHz FSB will be all that noticeable, but it's something.

message edited by riider


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#13
May 9, 2015 at 19:07:43
Ok, so I switched all three to the off position. The computer won't boot. Won't even post. All lights and fans come on, but nothing else. And the fans spin really fast (loud). Back at default, on, off, on. I guess this little E2200 doesn't want to go to 400?

I have an HP Pavilion that I got as a hand me down. The P/S was out, so I swapped it, and it worked. I ran it for a while pretty much stock. Then the original mobo went out. At the time, it was too much to upgrade everything, so I just got a relatively inexpensive mobo and some RAM. I kept the original CPU, so maybe it's locked? I read somewhere that some stock BIOSes can prevent overclocking by disabling the options. Could this also be true for the CPU? I know VERY LITTLE about overclocking, so I'm just guessing here.

Oh, and yeah, the multiplier is locked. I can't change it from 11.

Don't get me wrong, this thing is good for my needs. As always, I just want it to be faster!

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#14
May 10, 2015 at 13:16:33
Sorry, but after re-reading the post, what does "turning all switches to off" do? According to the manual, it overclocks the FSB by setting the CPU frequency to 400 Mhz.

From the manual:

"Overclock FSB Switch: OC_SW1
You can overclock the FSB to increase the processor frequency by changing the switch. Follow the instructions below to set the FSB."

If that is the case, then why do I set the CPU frequency manually to 220? If the switches in the off position sets the CPU frequency to 400, and the multiplier is locked at 11, would that be bad?

Or does the switches being off, just allow the frequency to be manually adjusted up until that level?

And, should I try to set everything else the way you said without turning off all switches? Or should I try incremental changes.

From the manual:

"On, off on ------ = Default

All on ----------- = 200➔266 MHz

On, on, off ------ = 200➔333 MHz

On, off, off, ---- = 266➔333 MHz

All off ---------- = 200➔400 MHz & 266➔400 MHz & 333➔400 MHz"

I'm probably wrong, just was wondering....

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#15
May 10, 2015 at 19:58:36
riider: I had a G41 based motherboard and I believe that it supported only up to FSB1333 (333.3 MHz Freq) not FSB1600 (400 MHz Freq.) and it was otherwise a fully overclockable Gigabyte model so I think you are going to have to go on that basis for the numbers. I ran mine with an E7500 but I don't remember the exact OC I ran at the time.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#16
May 12, 2015 at 18:33:08
Ok, I tried all settings, but could only get the computer to boot with the switches set at all on, or 266 Mhz. But, I think disabling the EIST allowed me to change the multiplier. I took a chance and tried it at 6 with the CPU frequency at 400 Mhz, no go. The system doesn't boot, and the when it does, gives a black screen with red letters prompting me to change the settings.

It's now running at 2.93 Mhz. I kept the multiplier at 11 and the FSB at 266 Mhz. Everything else like riider said.

Feels quicker, but that may just be a placebo! I've only been running it long enough to type this!

If I've learned right so far, to reduce the multiplier, and bump the CPU frequency would give me a faster FSB right? Should I mess with some of these things? Oh, and setting the FSB/DRAM ratio to 1:2 dropped the RAM down to like 900 Mhz. Is this supposed to happen?

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#17
May 12, 2015 at 20:20:40
Try Freq. 333 (333.3) with a multiplier at 9 (later try at 10 if all works). If it won't boot repeat but start slower with a multiplier of 7 and work your way up slowly. This will give you a FSB of 1333MHz. Set your RAM Freq at 333.3 which will give you a 667MHz DDR2 for a 1:1 Ratio (for those with DDR3 motherboards you would use a freq. of 667 for a 1333MHz DDR3 for a 1:2 Ratio).
Your final CPU speed is your base frequency times your multiplier: 333.3MHz X 9 = 2999.7MHz = 3.0GHz

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#18
May 12, 2015 at 21:18:04
No go. Tried 333 and 9, it booted, but BSODed really quick. Changed multiplier to 7, no boot. Set back to 266 at 11 and seems to work. Maybe I'll try a couple of Mhz at a time? Should I lower the multiplier, then raise Mhz?

Oh, and I'm running DDR3 so I have the DRAM set to 1:2.

What was funny was that CPU-Z was showing my clock speed at 3.6 Ghz when set 333 and 9. Now it's showing 2933.42 Mhz with 266 and 11.

CPU-Z also shows my CPU to be a "Conroe" if that means anything?

Also, the switches are set to 266. This is the only way it'll run, other than default (200). But in the BIOS I can go as high as 700 Mhz.

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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#19
May 13, 2015 at 20:18:39
I have never encountered a motherboard with dip switch settings and I have never encountered CPU-Z disagreeing with a setting I set so I do not know what to recommend. Your CPU is listed as an Allendale but this appears to be a subset of the Conroe Family.
If you can get a stable configuration you are happy with then that might be the best you can do unless Riider or others drop back with better suggestions. If it is withing the realm of possibilities you may consider a complete replacement to get significantly more computer than you currently have.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#20
May 14, 2015 at 20:48:58
Well, as of now, I'm pretty happy with the system. I haven't noticed any slowing down with in the past couple of days, (since I started messing with all of this). Like I said, it's probably just a placebo, but it seems to be running better.

I should probably start a thread in the "Overclocking" forum and go from there.

Thank you all for your help! I have learned a lot. And I got one really good thing out of this thread, THE BUG TO OVERCLOCK!!!!!

Old stuff that still works, somewhat....


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