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Simple upgrade for s478?

Which upgrade path? (For office use - not gaming)

  • Cheap upgrade, 20-30% improvement for $70

    Votes: 4 30.8%
  • Expensive upgrade, 100% improvement for $700

    Votes: 9 69.2%

  • Total voters
    13
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#1
I've got a fairly decent P4-478 system. (Dont laught, gentlemen!) I'm not unhappy with it... for the purposes for which I use it. I'm not a big gamer. The main "bottlenecks" in performance for me are: media encoding, e.g. DVD/CD to Divx/MP3, archive zipping/unzipping, photoshop work, and multitasking.

For main productivity work - MS Office, Acrobat, Printing, Internet research, I have zero complaints with the machine.

So what should I do "for Christmas"?

1./ One option is to replace the WHOLE system, for $700. Not just the cost, but VERY TIME CONSUMING for a full reinstall of everything.

2./ Second option is to drop-in a P4 3.2 Extreme Edition, for $100, into the existing setup. Then ebay the P4 2.8 Northwood, and recover something. Not much, but maybe $30-$40. Net cost $70.

What do you think? I imagine I will get about 20-30% performance increase with the 3.2EE over 2.8. And I guess around 50-100% performance gain by going to Core 2 Duo rather than 3.2EE, but at a 10:1 cost ratio compared with the simple upgrade.

I'm not wanting to break benchmarks or run the latest games. Just productivity software. What do you think?
 

hat

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#2
Why don't you just overclock your current P4?
Also... the EE won't be much of a difference. In fact it might even be a little slower. L3 cache sucks. Spend the money on a good cooler and get clocking.
 
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#3
Hmm let's see if I can put this into perspective for you. My 2 ghz core 2 out runs our prescott p4@ 3ghz HT by 40% on a single threaded task. So that's 40% improvement in one core, so the other core is like 140%....so almost 200% improvement if it's multi-threaded. But if you need the money in other places, a cpu upgrade would be ok to.
 

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#4
get a el cheapo e2160, 2gb of ram, and a decent oc mobo, and you got yourself a p4 killer
 
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#5
depends on what you're lloking for, but I'll tell you it doesn'thave to be anywere near 700$, a q6600 with a mobo and vista are going on ebay for 320$ right now, add 80-100$ worth of ddr2 and you're looking at 300-400% overall experience improvement, as the newer chipsets as well as the memory and cpu all factor in, not just cpu power.
 

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#6
just plop in the 3.2ghzEE

hey you kow what i have a s478 3.2ghz P4 just laying around...but idk if it works i got it free and have never used it
 

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#7
he'll need a new PSU and viddie as well for the new system, possibly more - he hasnt said if he can recycle the old case and peripherals.


My advice is the new system, my housemates 478 system is pretty slow/useless in gaming, even with an X1650pro and 2GB of ram. (clocked at 3.5Ghz)
 
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cdawall

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#8
he'll need a new PSU as well for the new system, possibly more - he hasnt said if he can recycle the old case and peripherals.


My advice is the new system, my housemates 478 system is pretty slow/useless in gaming, even with an X1650pro and 2GB of ram. (clocked at 3.5Ghz)
well if he hadnt already said its not for gaming!

lemonadesoda said:
media encoding, e.g. DVD/CD to Divx/MP3, archive zipping/unzipping, photoshop work, and multitasking
a P4 can run that just fine IN FACT thats the ONLY thing those chips were good at the long pipelines let them do encoding quite well in fact this catagory was one of the few that showed a CLEAR advantage to P4 over K8!
 

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#9
not for gaming still needs a video card, or at least choosing a mobo with onboard - still adds to the cost.

I was merely saying i've got a 478 system here, and its slow as poop compared to a new system. Gaming is all i've tried on it, so thats my comparison.
 
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#10
the combo i stated has onboard, so no isse there especially wiht him not being a game, the psu may apply, but without the draw of the bulky vga's he might be okay. I swear a 400$ upgrade would be plenty.
 
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#11
I used a P43.0E HT @3.4Ghz not votage boost and I didn't find what your'e doing that painstaking.
 
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#12
for $400 i replaced the motherboard (necessary to use the 3.4), cpu, and ram to upgrade my p4 system.

i had a p4 2.8ghz northwood @ 533fsb and 512kb cache with 512mb ddr333 ram and upgraded to a p4 3.4ghz prescott @ 800fsb and 1mb cache with 1gb ddr400 ram.

if you asked me if im happy with the improved performance i would say i am pretty happy with it (10-15% faster), if you asked me if i think the improvement was worth what i spent i would say NO. given the chance to have my $ back and undo the changes i would undo it and sell this system because IMO a p4 system is not worth upgrading, use it as is or sell it as is to build new but $ spent upgrading one is $ down the drain.

as you see in my specs i own the system i am talking about, im not just trashing old tech
 
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#13
Intel P4 Dual Core's stomp the P4 EE's into the dirt!
Even a baseline e4300 would simply destroy that chip.. My father has a P4 3.4 EE works for him but far from worth it.
 

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#14
Or...

Buy an e2140/60/80 for $70-90.

Get one of those Asrock 4core mobo's for $60.

You now have just the same hardware with a processor that will kill a P4, for $130/150 :p.

Sell your current processor/motherboard and it might be even less ;).
 
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#15
I say, either go all the way or not at all. You're not going to get a huge performance difference out of a socket 478 P4 "extreme edition". If you wait a while, save up, and buy a new l33t system, then you're going to be blown away with how much faster it is :).
 

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#16

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#17
Or...

Buy an e2140/60/80 for $70-90.

Get one of those Asrock 4core mobo's for $60.

You now have just the same hardware with a processor that will kill a P4, for $130/150 :p.

Sell your current processor/motherboard and it might be even less ;).
the asrocks are poo for gaming, which doesnt apply here that much. That said, you can do a simple FSB increase from 200 to 266 or 333 at stock voltage, and get a nice OC out of one of those chips for dirt cheap on those mobos.

There are variants of these mobos with PCI-E and AGP as well (Asrock 4-core vista, i think its called) - the PCI-E is 4x only, and it has some issues with ram (on DDR1, i've seen the ram speed go wrong - 360 Mhz instead of 400 with a 266FSB CPU installed) but its cheap and will hammer the ass off your P4 system, for about the same upgrade price.

edit: after looking into it, a 200 FSB (800 quad pumped) CPU is best for the board. that will let DDR 400 ram run at stock speeds if you stick with no overclock, but will let you run upto 266 so long as the CPU can take it. - thats a 1.8GHz CPU to 2.4Ghz, and probably exactly what you need (and should even do that on the stock cooler, at stock volts)
 
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#19
the asrocks are poo for gaming, which doesnt apply here that much. That said, you can do a simple FSB increase from 200 to 266 or 333 at stock voltage, and get a nice OC out of one of those chips for dirt cheap on those mobos.

There are variants of these mobos with PCI-E and AGP as well (Asrock 4-core vista, i think its called) - the PCI-E is 4x only, and it has some issues with ram (on DDR1, i've seen the ram speed go wrong - 360 Mhz instead of 400 with a 266FSB CPU installed) but its cheap and will hammer the ass off your P4 system, for about the same upgrade price.
Yeah, I recently got a 4core-SATA2 (not the VSTA) for a friends build and put a e2180 in it. It looked to have some decent OC options.

The only thing I didnt like about it (didn't know about it till I bought it) was that it only had the PCIe 4x slot (as you said) and only supported DDR-667 (I had already got 800mhz RAM). And even then, with the 800mhz RAM, it only ran it at 533mhz.

That being said, unless your going to get a PCIe card (you have AGP dont you?) and your not gaming, you shouldnt have any problems.


edit: after looking into it, a 200 FSB (800 quad pumped) CPU is best for the board. that will let DDR 400 ram run at stock speeds if you stick with no overclock, but will let you run upto 266 so long as the CPU can take it. - thats a 1.8GHz CPU to 2.4Ghz, and probably exactly what you need (and should even do that on the stock cooler, at stock volts)
Ive got the e2140 (stock 1.6ghz) in my matx rig, and it did 2.1ghz with no hassle. I havent bothered pushing it higher because I just wanted it at 1066 FSB anyway :p. (That was with the stock cooler, not with the Golden Orb)
 
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#20
Yeah, I recently got a 4core-SATA2 (not the VSTA) for a friends build and put a e2180 in it. It looked to have some decent OC options.

The only thing I didnt like about it (didn't know about it till I bought it) was that it only had the PCIe 4x slot (as you said) and only supported DDR-667 (I had already got 800mhz RAM). And even then, with the 800mhz RAM, it only ran it at 533mhz.

That being said, unless your going to get a PCIe card (you have AGP dont you?) and your not gaming, you shouldnt have any problems.




Ive got the e2140 (stock 1.6ghz) in my matx rig, and it did 2.1ghz with no hassle. I havent bothered pushing it higher because I just wanted it at 1066 FSB anyway :p. (That was with the stock cooler, not with the Golden Orb)
the boards have no OC options except for ram divider and FSB speed - no voltage control or anything on the one i saw. we used DDR1 before we went DDR2, and noted the ram speeds were crap as well - 667 ram runs at 667, but 800 ram ran at 533 only, wouldnt up to 667.

cheap as chips however, as these problems really only affect gamers anyway. ran on a 300W PSU at the time (20+4 pin ATX, nothing fancy needed) and most of this guys old hardware will work - i think its his best option.
 
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#21
Or...

Buy an e2140/60/80 for $70-90.

Get one of those Asrock 4core mobo's for $60.

You now have just the same hardware with a processor that will kill a P4, for $130/150 :p.

Sell your current processor/motherboard and it might be even less ;).
Without some clocking on the e2140 its not faster than a high end P4 EE.. And on a cheap Asrock mainboard you are not going to get a lot of oc..

I'm with Zek on this one, go all out on the next upgrade and if you can't hold off until you can.
 

Mussels

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#22
Without some clocking on the e2140 its not faster than a high end P4 EE.. And on a cheap Asrock mainboard you are not going to get a lot of oc..

I'm with Zek on this one, go all out on the next upgrade and if you can't hold off until you can.
the mobos support 1066 FSB (266) by default. these chips are 200 defaiult, and do 266 on stock volts - so you DO get some OC, as long as its a 200 (800 quad pumped) FSB CPU.

a 1MB cache core 2 OC'd to 2.4GHz or so is going to rip the pants off anything else, AND the board can take kentsfield quad cores for later upgrades - also, all his current hardware works in the new system. it will cost barely anything more in the end, for the same or better speed with more upgrades possible (no upgrades possible on 478)
 

Pinchy

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#23
the boards have no OC options except for ram divider and FSB speed - no voltage control or anything on the one i saw.
Lol, I consider that to be "decent" OCing options for a budget board. My last budget board didnt have anything, the only way I could OC was in windows :p....(Got my 3Ghz P4 all the way up to 3.2Ghz...then it crashed :ohwell:)

Without some clocking on the e2140 its not faster than a high end P4 EE.. And on a cheap Asrock mainboard you are not going to get a lot of oc..

I'm with Zek on this one, go all out on the next upgrade and if you can't hold off until you can.
Mussels basically summed it up for me, with a bit of OC, your not going to go wrong. Lets say he goes with the 2Ghz e2180 for $90 (Which I would think would beat an EE @ stock clocks, esp with multi core apps). Total price (with asrock mobo) is $150. He can then sell his current CPU + motherboard for (lets say) $50.

So, if he sets the CPU to 266 FSB (which unless he gets a really bad chip, is quite achievable) his 100 dollar 2.6Ghz chip is going to rip up an EE CPU for $70.



Just one last thing as well, he might not have to format his computer if he only changes the motherboard/CPU as he should be able to use Sysprep.
 
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cdawall

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#24
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#25
I haven't read all the posts, but I saw some people are saying to go with the e21x0 series. In your case, even an upgrade to an AMD system would be a pretty big step for you. If you go into C2D land, it's even better. Since you're not wanting to waste much time with this, I suggest waiting until January where you can build a nice Penryn setup, or buy the older C2D parts for cheap.

If you're wanting it now, I'd go w/ the e2180, a G33 or G31 (whichever series that offers integrated video) and you can pick up the rest of it easy. And a total setup won't necessarily cost you 700 for an Intel rig. If you go for the low-range stuff with integrated video and whatnot, you can be in the 400-500 range. Even with a lowly e2180, it'll be a massive improvement over your P4.