Should I upgrade my PC?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Brett DiMichele, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Hey Gang!

    After I came back from the World Of Wheels Autoshow a few weekends
    ago with 230+ images to load into the PC and Convert to JPEG I came to
    the realization that it's time to upgrade [​IMG]

    My current rig:

    Intel Pentium 4 Wilamette 1.8Ghz 256Kb L2 Cache
    Intel Genuine Motherboard with 4X AGP, Dual Channel DDR,400FSB
    Segate Barracuda 7200RPM Ultra ATA133 60GB Hard Disk
    LiteOn DVD Drive
    NEC CD-RW Drive
    256MB PC2100 266Mhz DDR Ram (Crucial)
    400Watt Power Supply
    SoundBlaster Live 5.1 Sound
    Nvidia GeForce 3 Titanium 200 4X AGP Video with 64 Megs DDR Ram
    NEC 17" FD Trinitron MultiSync CRT Monitor

    What I am fairly sure I want to do:
    CoolerMaster Wave Case (Aluminum,Neat looking!)
    Upgrade to 1GB of DDR Ram
    Some other "apearance" items..

    But should I swap out the MoBo for a new 800Mhz FSB and upgrade to a
    Hyperthreading P4 and faster DDR or RamBus Ram?

    Any comments, advice always appreciated!
     
  2. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    These are some of the parts I am swapping just to make it
    look better [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CoolerMaster Wave Case


    [​IMG]

    CoolerMaster AeroGate Fan Bus

    [​IMG]

    CoolerMaster 80mm 2500RPM Fans (five)

    [​IMG]

    CoolerMaster Aluminum CD/DVD Drive Faces

    [​IMG]

    Zippy Electro Luminescent 104 Key USB Keyboard

    [​IMG]

    Logitech MX700 wireless mouse

    And if I keep the same MoBo and CPU this is the Ram I will
    most likely use.

    Micron (Crucial) DDR 266 512MB x 2
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    It sounds like you feel you need to upgrade b/c it can no longer do what you need in the time you want it to yet almost all of the items you list as upgrade parts (other then the ram) will only make it look pretty...IMO if you're going to upgrade do it right and go with a lot more ram and a new CPU.
     
  4. More ram is what you need. Your CPU isn't the issue. I guess I don't understand why people feel the need to do a 'fast and the furious' job on their computer. But thats just me. If you want to upgrade, take the money you were going to put into the 'pretty' stuff and spend it on the things that will actually make it run faster. I would just stick with the DDR ram, I don't think theres much reason to go obove and beyond DRR unless you are looking for your computer to shoot flames out the back. As far as your CPU is concerned I know the HT P4s run nice but I would think your CPU is good enough for now. For the long run, get the ram, new MOBO that you can put a HT P4 in and up to or above 1GB ram, maybe swap in a new vid card.
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    I don't think the mod job I am doing looks F&F at all..
    That's one CLASSY case.. Is it wrong to have an attractive
    well managed case and wires and some lights? I mean that's
    the biggest gloat of Macophiles about how classy the
    designs are [​IMG]

    I am going to either 1 or 2 gigs of ram I need to check my
    current MoBo manual to see what all processors can be used
    on the socket 478 and also what the fastest DDR Ram is that
    is supported.

    Other than that I think I am just going to let the rest
    alone.. I am not a "gamer" so the latest greatest $400.00
    whizbang video card that renders 400 Frames Per Second and
    puts you into a seizure isn't needed [​IMG]

    But I do need the Ram for the photoshop work, transferring
    files from my digital camera and for the 3D Wireframing
    that I do on the machine.
     
  6. Im only saying that those things aren't going to improve performance. Im not bashing you or anyone else that bling out their computer, I just don't see the need for, but to each his own. The computer doesn't run any faster/better, and you save a good amount of money besides.

    My only recomendation was to go up a step on the vid card if you felt it necessary, I wasnt suggesting you buy a radeon 9800 pro.
     
  7. Bob_Bo

    Bob_Bo Agent

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    Brett, I think you could squeeze another year of computing happiness out of that machine with just a RAM upgrade.

    The question you have to ask yourself is; Is it worth the money for just another year of use?

    I used to upgrade piece by piece, but I've found that it's rarely worth it anymore. The technology changes too fast and the parts you buy today will look like antiques in another year.

    My philosophy now is to build the best machine that I can afford (usually 1 or 2 steps below top of the line ) and then in 2 years or so, build another. Usually the only things that get recycled from the old machine is the monitor, case, power supply and maybe a drive.

    I try to refit the old gear into a cheap case and donate it to a charity or school.
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Well I plan on keeping the case and all the goodies I am
    buying for it. When I feel it is time to fully change out
    the hardware I can slap it in my stock case and donate it
    or just network it and use it as a dump station.

    I think it will hold me off more than a year for what I do.
    I am not constantly upgrading I do so every 4 years that's
    about how much use I get out of a machine at home.
     
  9. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    yeah bro 256 megs of ram is pretty anemic get at least up too 512 and you will see a big difference. a 1.8 ghz pc is still
    more than able too do most anything. i have yet to come across anything i cant run on my machine.

    Athlon xp Barton 2500 (stock speed 1.83 ghz have run it as fast as 2.3 ghz no problems)
    512 megs Corsair ddr400 (dual channel)
    radeon 9500 pro
    Abit NF7-S Mobo
    current cpu temp is 43°C
    current case temp 24°C

    using an Antec case with 6 variable speed fans
    Thermalright slk900a heatsink with 3500 speed fan

    my temps dont change much under load.


    as to your question about ram, dont waste your money on rambus fast DDR ram kills it nowadays. and its cheaper.
     
  10. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Anemic doesn't begin to describe it.. I had planned on
    maxing the ram out when I first got the machine but you know
    how that goes.. Busy buying HT stuff and other toys [​IMG]

    The Ram will make it a new machine.. The processor still
    does it's job and even my video card is still on par for
    what I do.. I can't bring myself to spend mega dollars on
    a Vid card when I don't play games on the system. [​IMG]

    As for cooling the new case is aluminum so that's a plus..
    I have a large heat sink on the northbridge and I have a
    set of Thermaltake Ramsinks with fans plus I will run 3 of
    the 2500 RPM Coolermaster fans in the case and I am also
    picking up a Thermaltake Aquarius II Open Loop Watercooling
    kit to replace my Coolermaster Fujiyama Heat Pipe.

    Since I am no OC'r the Aquarius will keep my stock clocked
    P4 cool even under heavy load but if I was seriously OCing
    I would look for something way better (also way more expensive..)

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    So you're getting a water cooled setup with (5) 80mm fans? That's overkill for a p1.8, even for a p3.4. I have 3 slow fans total in my computer including the PSU. Plus I'm oc'ing a p2.4 because of heavy gaming and DV editing, and I've never had heat problems.

    But as for the original question; Do you need to upgrade? No, though another 256mb stick would do you good. [​IMG] I'd save the money from the case and the F&F fans to buy a bigger CRT monitor, since it sounds like you do photo editing.
     
  12. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Scott,

    The watercooled setup isn't hardcore like some of the
    more expensive deals. This setup is very reasonably priced
    but it's definatly for stock CPU speeds not for Overclocked
    rigs.

    The reason for 5 fans? 3 for the case 2 intake one exhaust
    one to replace the more noisy fan on the watercooler's
    radiator and the 5th is for my PSU [​IMG]

    The amount of money I would save by not buying the case and
    other items wouldn't even touch a good large CRT and I
    won't buy an LCD so.... I am very happy with my 17" at the
    moment and I just bought it not that long ago.
     
  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm curious - is your CPU currently not not cooled properly? If it is running fine, how will a new cooling system help? The case, keyboard, mounse and digital display all look like fun, but I don't understand the cooler.

    And here I am poking along on my Dell P3 450... [​IMG]
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Why is cooler better? As long as the CPU is within its operating range, what is gained by cooling it further? Or is this a "just because" upgrade that gives you warm fuzzies even though it doesn't matter? I've done some of those before. [​IMG]
     
  15. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    I wouldn't go higher than 1GB RAM, there are very steep diminishing returns. If your motherboard supports dual channel DDR, that would be a nice upgrade. Another thing to consider would be a second HDD for all your PhotoShop files and applications.
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Daryl,

    I am stepping up to 1GB of Dual channel 266Mhz DDR for now.
    The price of the 1024 DIMM's is unreasonable IMHO compared
    to the 512's.

    Another hard drive is a great idea... It's a shame I have
    15 SCSI2 Hard drives sitting in a box I could do a nice
    Raid 0-1 with but they are all tiny drives (under 2GB each)

    I may pick up a 100 Gig ATA133 10K RPM and swap it in as my
    main drive and move my 60GB 7200RPM as the file drive.

    DaveF,

    Cooling a CPU is like cooling the air going into your engine
    cooler air = more power [​IMG] Granted it may only = a couple
    Mhz but I think there have been tests done that showed
    dropping the temps dramatically have gained some more speed
    out of the CPU...

    That and it gives me warm fuzzy feelings [​IMG]
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Brett - I see. I didn't realize you were going to overclock the CPU.

    I recommend dual monitors if you have the space and a spare monitor. I've had that for a few years and it's nice.
     
  18. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Dave,

    I am not OverClocking the CPU (well, at least not at the
    moment). My current Motherboard was meant to be rock solid
    stable and as such they don't let you tinker with Clock
    Multipliers, System Bus or R/V Core Voltages. But in the
    future maybe instead of upgrading the CPU I may just get
    a generic Motherboard and crank it up.

    Dual monitors would be nice... If I did this stuff for a
    living I would certainly run a dual or more head graphics
    card and dual or more monitors [​IMG]
     

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