Computer Upgrade Tips

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Computer Upgrade Tips

Postby Angelspit » Aug 17 2006, 20:27

Here are the specs of my Dell Dimension 8200, the computer that I've been using for over four years without any problem. My processor is a 2.26 Ghz with a 533 MHz FSB. I've since upgraded the memory to 1 Gig and added an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro.

I'm wondering if upgrading to processor to a 2.8 Ghz will make any noticeable change in performance (the price tag would be a little less than $200 CDN). My goal is to improve the performance with Dark Messiah, and hopefully add another year to the gaming life of the machine (it will eventually move to the basement for work and Internet stuff, but I'm not yet ready to buy a new machine). I've heard from a reliable source that a 3.0 Ghz processor could also fit on the motherboard, but I'm not sure I want to take the risk without any confirmation from Dell.

So is it worth it, or would I just waste my money? Any advice?

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Postby Kalah » Aug 17 2006, 22:51

I don't have very good experience with Dell's knowledge on hardware compatibility. They told me "they could not guarantee" a 'strange' Hard Drive would work in my old laptop, but once I decided to try it, I found out it worked like a charm.

If you trust the source, I'd say go for it. 3 GHz right now is the standard powerpack. It could also be an idea to swap the oldest RAM-chips for something new, since the PC can't run new chips at any higher speed than the old ones.
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Postby Angelspit » Aug 18 2006, 18:13

Regarding the 3.0 CPU, here is what was posted on a Dimension 8200 fan site (which has since gone offline):

"If you have a 850E chipset, you can upgrade to a P4 3.06Ghz 533Mhz processor with hyperthreading. Dell's specs state the highest is a 2.8Ghz. The reason is they did not offer the 3.06Ghz on the 8200. The 2.8Ghz 533Mhz is the highest processor without hyperthreading."

But Vision told me to stick to the 2.8, since there's only a minor difference anyway. So the final question is, is a 2.2-2.8 CPU upgrade worth $150 or should I just keep that money for a new machine? Anyone else?

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Postby Kalah » Aug 18 2006, 21:44

What do you mean anyone else? Not happy with my advice? :S Hyperthreading (known here in Norway as 'HT technology') is a great big boost. Even if it's only 2.8, go for it. :tsup:

And get some faster RAM. I know a guy who can help you install it. ;)
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Postby Pol » Aug 18 2006, 21:57

Kalah wrote:...And get some faster RAM. I know a guy who can help you install it. ;)


Yes, you know me :rofl:
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Postby Angelspit » Aug 19 2006, 13:42

My motherboard only supports RAMBUS memory, so I cannot switch to the more recent formats.

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Postby Kalah » Aug 19 2006, 20:34

Drat.
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Postby Campaigner » Aug 19 2006, 22:35

Doing mini upgrades such as that will only improve performance a lil bit.
But once you start changing to 400 FSB and upgrade the cpu it starts to become worth to buy a new rig.

If you find the upgrade cost to be very small then go for it. Otherwise, overclock as high as possible and keep the money for an Conroe (shouldn't have to wait long to upgrade).

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Postby Pol » Aug 19 2006, 23:27

After that it will be upgrade. :D I agree upgrading old system is very often wasting of money. It's usually all depend on motherboard...
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Postby Psychobabble » Aug 20 2006, 0:16

Round where I live you could update to a AMD 3200XP with motherboard for AU$300, and I think $AU is worth less than your $. And that was 6mths ago, before Intel dual core started having an effect on prices. My point is... can you find yourself better/cheaper supplier? :)

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Postby Corribus » Mar 24 2007, 16:54

*BUMP*

Rather than starting a new thread, I thought I would add my question here.

Here it is:

Does anyone out there know really what the difference is between the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7200 (2.00GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB) and the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5200 (1.60GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 533 MHz FSB). I don't just mean in terms of numbers, but really what is the difference in performance, and what types of applications will be influenced the most? The difference in price is about 150 US dollars, which is significant. Is it worth springing for the T7200, or is my money better spent elsewhere.

I don't do too much video processing (aside from backing up the occasional DVD) and I don't play too many FPS, if that helps. But, I want something that will be somewhat current for a few years.

Any opinions?
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Postby Pol » Mar 24 2007, 17:14

Any opinions?

Here will be new additions soon, 7/2007 probably, and also some done with 0.45 nm technology - less heating, more efficient and longer lifetime.

Also such things mostly indicate some repricing.

...ntel® Core™ 2 Duo T7200 (2.00GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB) and the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5200...

I don't think that difference is worthing of such money, but it's here and it can be very considerable.

btw AMD is planning technology to join processor cores when needed. Have no idea what Intel on that however...
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Postby ThunderTitan » Mar 24 2007, 17:37

Here: http://www.tomshardware.com/

I'm sure you can manage from there.
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Postby Caradoc » Mar 24 2007, 18:34

When you upgrade, make sure your power supply is up to the increased load. You may also have heat issues to address.
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Postby Corribus » Mar 25 2007, 2:39

Caradoc wrote:When you upgrade, make sure your power supply is up to the increased load. You may also have heat issues to address.

Sorry, I guess the thread I bumped made it unclear. I should have started a new one. I'm not upgrading a current system. I'm buying a new one, since my old laptop is on it's last leg. I have an eye on one, but I'm trying to decide whether the 7200 chip is worth the extra 150 dollars.

While we're at it - is it worth it do you think to wait until Santa Rosa is released? I am usually not one to play the "wait until X comes out in two months" game, because generally there is always something new coming out in two months. But this seems like it could be a major change. I guess DirectX 10 is coming out soon also. Sigh...
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Postby Zamolxis » Mar 25 2007, 13:33

@Corribus: first of all, judging by the processors mentioned, I suppose you are thinking of buying a laptop, right?

Now, IMO the difference between the two processors (400GHz extra speed, double the Cache, 133Mhz extra bus) is worth at least 100 bucks, so I guess 150 is not that much. Personally I would go for the T7200, but it depends how limited you are with the money.

- - -

@Angelspit: I know the story is half a year old, but what did you do in the end? Did you upgrade to 2,8 or 3,0? I'm curious if there was a difference. Especially in the case of a 2,8 - I doubt it would make much of a difference in DMoMM.

The lack of performance in DMoMM on that computer are obvious because of the specs:
- video card is far from the best
- P4 CPU platform was never the best in games (until Core 2 Duo, Athlons were always better)
- being a Dell computer, you never know how good the memory is (don't look only at the GB's - frequency, cyllinders and brand matter a lot!)
- and also, being a Dell computer, it's also hard to say how good is the motherbord (which also has an influence on system's performance).

In case you didn't upgrade yet, you better save those $200 CDN, wait till they become at least 1,000, and then ask Pol to build you up a nice kick a** PC. ;)
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Postby Corribus » Mar 25 2007, 14:26

Thanks for the suggestions, Zamolxis.
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Postby Zamolxis » Mar 25 2007, 14:31

You're welcome. Good luck with the PC. :)
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Postby Corribus » Mar 25 2007, 15:01

Zamolxis wrote:You're welcome. Good luck with the PC. :)

Oh and yes, it's a laptop.
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Postby Angelspit » Mar 25 2007, 16:54

Zamolxis wrote:Did you upgrade to 2,8 or 3,0? I'm curious if there was a difference.

Nah, I didn't do it. I get those urges to get new upgrades/computer once a in while, especially when I'm frustrated because my machine cannot run a game the way I hope it would, but they go away after a while. After all, my current machine is just fine for Heroes, surfing and web publishing, which is what I do most of the time. Besides, more recently an unexpected event forced me to spend my money on home improvement instead, so I barely have time to play games these days.


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