Tips on maxing out my old PC

Emachines / 3230
May 30, 2009 at 17:40:20
Specs: Windows XP
Hi guys,
I'm running an emachines e3230. It's getting pretty
near the end of its useful life but I don't have the
pennies to get a new one quite yet (maybe in
september but not until).
I've given it a new chunk of ram and a new graphics
card but I'm now held back by my processor.

I'll give you my stats and then ask my questions:
Running xp on a pentium 4, northwood 9. 2.80GHz. (I'll
throw in all the data I've got, useful or not), multiplier
x28, 100 MHz bus speed and rated fsb 400 MHz.
Mobo is a MSI MS 6714. Intel chipset with Phoenix
Bios from july '04. Got a total of 2048 DDR on two 1Gb
sticks, one max bandwidth 200MHz, the other 166
max bandwith.
Graphics card is a Radeon x1650 pro 512 Agp (pc
predates pci-express, so I went agp... it was an
absolute pain to find).

Here are the questions:
I can get a new processor (socket 478) for about £50,
getting me to 3.4GHz (another pentium 4). Would you
recommend this?
Is the extra 0.6GHz going to make a huge difference
to my performance on games my comp can JUST run
(but laggily) such as Dawn Of War 2?
Or are there other things I can do to squeeze
performance out of this hulk and get it to lurch into
(perhaps) 2010? Is the 166MHz limit on one of the ram
sticks an issue performance-wise? It was originally off-
the-shelf and phoenix doesn't seem to allow
overclocking, which is what I started out investigating

Any help would be much appreciated.

See More: Tips on maxing out my old PC

Report •

May 30, 2009 at 18:23:04
Don't waste any more money on that system. It's configured pretty decently for what it is...any more upgrades will be like throwing your money away.

The RAM speed isn't an's probably running at 133MHz anyway. That's the correct speed for a 400MHz FSB P4 & according to MSI, it's the fastest memory speed the board supports.

And check your eMachines model number. There doesn't appear to be an E3230.

Report •

May 30, 2009 at 18:27:08
I know emachines deny all knowledge of its existence, but it's written plain and clear on the case, e3230. Makes finding tech support awful.
Thanks for your help.

Report •

May 30, 2009 at 19:00:21
I would put my money into a new power supply.

If you still have the original ...when it goes it will take any new installed toys with it.....hd ram cpu cdrom graphics card.... bet ya!

I do believe though that the e-machine gives the end user the biggest bang for the buck and except for the power supply issue they're stable.

Report •

Related Solutions

May 31, 2009 at 01:54:00
I've given it a new PSU after I burnt one out when I came back from the US to the UK and forgot to switch from 115V to 240V but it's still not got the most juice. I've always been afraid of putting in a meatier PSU for fear of frying the mobo.

One of the reasons I have been looking at upgrading this thing is that it's a rock-solid computer and has rarely let me down over the 5 (almost 6) years I've had it, meanwhile I have friends who've spent $5000 on new PCs and new laptops only to have them die within a year!

Report •

Ask Question