Re: Making it faster - Upgrades?

July 20, 2008 at 08:38:31
Specs: xp pro, athlon
Last week I posted about making my current system faster. Since then I have done a lot of work with msconfig, programs, defragging, ect ect.

Me being me, I am still not happy. I'm looking at moving to SATA rather than ATA. The only reason why I used ATA for the HDD was because it does not support SATA. I'm thinking of a new HDD for speed and capacity bonuses. Moving to SATA and a faster drive with more capacity, in my eyes will easily kick up the performance. However, I would like to avoid reformatting, as I dont think I have the key anymore to reactivate. I was reading about cloning the drive for transit to the new one? Is this method the best for me?

I also looked into a faster processor with a new heatsink. I have a nice processor now but with the old athlon 64's getting soooo cheap, I figure just bumping that up a little wouldnt be a bad idea. I would pair that new processor with a nicer heatsink as well.

I havent worked on this system in so long I havent got myself a dvd burner or player!!!! I've got one of those on the list too.

I'm planning on buying a new lcd tv soon. I'd like to be able to use it as a secondary monitor. I'd also like to be able to use it as hi-def. I'm looking at video cards that are DVI, with HD components. I'd use a DVI-HDMI adapter and throw it to the tv HDMI style. Although, I have a feeling this idea is more complicated than I am aware of.

Here are the parts I am looking at. All of these are upgrades in my mind.

Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3250310NS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz Socket 939 89W Single-Core Processor Model ADA4000DKA5CF

ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Total is around $300, and I would be buying part by part over time.

That being said what would you guys buy first?

Direction is wonderful and you guys know this better than I do.


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July 20, 2008 at 08:53:47
In my opinion, $300 is to much to invest in a 939 system. I would stick , maybe with the hard drive & dvd burner, you could do that for a little over $100 and they can be used in a future build. Does your board have SATA?
how much ram do you have?


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July 20, 2008 at 08:55:56
1.5gb ram, yes on SATA

processor for 35, heatsink for 60. Gains for the price?

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July 20, 2008 at 08:57:25
Forgot to reference the card.

PNY VCG86512GXPB-OC GeForce 8600 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

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July 20, 2008 at 09:11:38
the thing is you are basically getting everything, but a new board. With the money you are proposing to spend, why not just do a new build. I think the reason why is because, is you do not want to re-install windows.


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July 20, 2008 at 09:18:32
I checked out the new build earlier before posting. For what I would want it to be, it would run close to a grand.

A complete new build would look like this...

NZXT LEXA Blackline Series CS-NT-LEXA-BLB Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower

Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W ATX Power Supply

ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5

EVGA 01G-P3-N869-AR GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Microsoft Windows XP Professional Upgrade with SP2

Rosewill RCX-Z5 92mm Two Ball Bearing / FDBB CPU Cooler

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Brisbane 2.9GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADO5600DOBOX

A grand is not in the picture for this year, but for next summer.

P.S. I'm in college if that helps reasoning! haha

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July 20, 2008 at 09:23:19
too much trouble to post your specs again?

"DFI UltraInfinity Mobo
Athlon 64 3000+
1.5gb Ram
Saphire x550 Video Card
SB Live Sound Card
Secondary PCI Network Card
40gb HDD"

As I stated in your other thread...overclock! You have one of the hottest boards there was for the S939 & your CPU should easily do 2.4GHz. If you don't know how, that's one thing, but if you do know how & aren't taking advantage of it, it's a waste of a high-performance board. The 3000+ at 2.4GHz will perform nearly as well as the 4000+ running at stock speed. If the RAM isn't running dual channel mode you're losing some performance there. And your video card is very weak.

You'll gain absolutely nothing by going to an SATA optical drive. You'll gain performance by upgrading the HDD, but the SATA vs IDE issue doesn't have near as much to do with it as going from an old 40GB HDD to a modern 250GB. The difference between 250GB IDE & 250GB SATA wouldn't even be noticed.

You got several decent suggestions in your other thread. I liked what Ghostman 1 recommended:

"Disconnect the 300gb drive at startup...Also disable indexing service". The indexing makes a huge difference.

IMO, you're gonna be dumping way too much money into an aging system. The HDD upgrade makes sense, but not the rest. For $300 you can get a new board, CPU & RAM that will blow your system away.

PS.. the Zalman is a waste of money.

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July 20, 2008 at 09:31:33
No not too much trouble to repost specs, laziness on my part.

I like the suggestion of a new board cpu and ram. I could probably manage the hdd too and reuse my case, power supply, video card for now ect right?

I have been disconnecting the external, and it has shown a better startup. Thank you for that!

I'll post in a few mins when I get a new board/processor/ram combo and see what you guys think.

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July 20, 2008 at 09:41:18
This is what I came up with...

ASUS M3N78 PRO AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 8300 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 125W Dual-Core Processor

Keep the old video card for now, keep the old HDD for now, keep the old case and power supply for now, and call it let it run?

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July 20, 2008 at 10:29:07
Once again you didn't comment about overclocking....

The 6000+ is a poor choice. It's a power hog consuming up to 125W. Most of the other AMD X2 CPUs only use 65W. The 5000+ Black Edition with it's unlocked multiplier can be overclocked to the same speed as the 6000+ & still only uses about 75W.

Or for about $10 more than the 6000+, you could get an X3 Phenom (95W). The Phenom makes better sense since you wanna get PC8500 RAM.

The Geforce 8300 onboard video is probably better than the X550.

Here's a good article about that talks about the latest motherboard chipsets:

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July 20, 2008 at 10:52:13
Thank you.

Well, I have never played with overclocking.

With my current setup, what are the settings you recommend. FSB is usually the first place to start right?

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July 20, 2008 at 12:47:43
The A64 doesn't have a FSB.

You have to adjust the CPU freq, the RAM freq & timings, the HyperTransport bus, the PCIe bus, possibly the CPU voltage, etc.

- raise the CPU freq from 200MHz to 250MHz, but do it in 10MHz increments. Make all the rest of the changes listed below, but start with the CPU freq at 210. I doubt there will be a problem. Reboot & test the system...make sure you can boot into Windows & the system is stable, If it tests OK, go back & raise the CPU frq from 210 to 220, then boot into Windows again. If it becomes unstable or locks up at any time, it means you need to add a little votage to the CPU.

- change the RAM from AUTO (or DDR400/200MHz) to DDR333/166MHz
- keep the RAM timings at their defaults for now, eventually you can try for 2.5-3-3-7 @ 1T
- lock the PCIe bus at 100MHz
- if theres a setting for the PCI, set it to 33MHz
- set the HyperTransport (or LDT) to 800MHz (or 4x)
- if there are any Spread Spectrum settings, disable them
- if there's a Cool 'n' Quiet setting, disable it

If you can get the CPU freq up to 250MHz, the CPU will run at 2.25GHz, the RAM will run at 208MHz (DDR416) & the HT bus will run at 1000MHz.

If you wanna try to push the CPU even farther, lower the RAM setting from 166MHz to 150MHz, lower the HT bus from 800MHz (4x) to 600MHz (3x) & try bumping the CPU freq to 270MHz but this time, increase the freq in 5MHz increments.

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