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Build or Buy

 
 
terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-17-2006
I'm looking for advice for my specific situation. I have a Dell that
has a 3 ghz Intel P4, but the mobo only has PCI and PCI integrated
video. I want better video for gaming. I'm thinking of buying my own
components, motherboard, power supply, etc. and taking as much from the
Dell as I can, such as my CPU, and 512MB 400mhz DDR memory, and DVD
writer and using them on the custom system. I have a budget of $600,
but I need suggestions on motherboard I would be able to move the CPU
to (and would need powersupply since only 250W in my Dell). I want
PCI-E graphics and SATA hard drive support.

Alternatively, I found this system at Circuit City for $599: Compaq
SR1850NX with Athlon 64 3700+ with integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200
with Shared video memory 256mb. It, of course, has all the nice
components already on it: 1 gb ram, dvd-writer, 250gb sata hard drive
(my Dell doesn't have SATA). I just read that shared memory is not
good at all.

My goal is to be able to play the latest high-demanding games. Do you
think I should go through the trouble and build my own, or purchase the
Compaq? And by the way, buying the Compaq and dropping in a better
PCI-E video card sounds easy, but unfortuneately I have to stick to my
budget.

Thanks!
-Terry

 
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Toby
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      05-18-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> I'm looking for advice for my specific situation. I have a Dell that
> has a 3 ghz Intel P4, but the mobo only has PCI and PCI integrated
> video. I want better video for gaming. I'm thinking of buying my own
> components, motherboard, power supply, etc. and taking as much from the
> Dell as I can, such as my CPU, and 512MB 400mhz DDR memory, and DVD
> writer and using them on the custom system. I have a budget of $600,
> but I need suggestions on motherboard I would be able to move the CPU
> to (and would need powersupply since only 250W in my Dell). I want
> PCI-E graphics and SATA hard drive support.
>
> Alternatively, I found this system at Circuit City for $599: Compaq
> SR1850NX with Athlon 64 3700+ with integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200
> with Shared video memory 256mb. It, of course, has all the nice
> components already on it: 1 gb ram, dvd-writer, 250gb sata hard drive
> (my Dell doesn't have SATA). I just read that shared memory is not
> good at all.
>
> My goal is to be able to play the latest high-demanding games. Do you
> think I should go through the trouble and build my own, or purchase the
> Compaq? And by the way, buying the Compaq and dropping in a better
> PCI-E video card sounds easy, but unfortuneately I have to stick to my
> budget.
>
> Thanks!
> -Terry


The Athlon is a good chip, certainly comparable to your 3G P4, but I doubt
that you would be happy with the integrated graphics card. SATA is not so
important really. 250W is adequate if you don't hook up a huge number of
extra drives and peripherals. Why not check out Tom's Hardware
(www.tomshardware.com I think) for reviews of motherboards with at least 1
PCI-E slot (and preferably 2 for the newest graphics cards), paying
attention to your CPU socket, and see what that would cost you. My guess is
that you can get an excellent mobo for under $150 (I'm not familiar with US
prices), leaving you with money for other things, like a good graphics card.
I'm not a gamer and I'll leave it up to them to tell you what is most
important, but my understanding is that 512 MB of RAM is enough for
gaming--what you really need is that graphics card. In any case RAM is not
expensive--you could get another 512 and still have money to spend of your
graphics.

Toby


 
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Nick
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      05-18-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> I'm looking for advice for my specific situation. I have a Dell that
> has a 3 ghz Intel P4, but the mobo only has PCI and PCI integrated
> video. I want better video for gaming. I'm thinking of buying my own
> components, motherboard, power supply, etc. and taking as much from the
> Dell as I can, such as my CPU, and 512MB 400mhz DDR memory, and DVD
> writer and using them on the custom system. I have a budget of $600,
> but I need suggestions on motherboard I would be able to move the CPU
> to (and would need powersupply since only 250W in my Dell). I want
> PCI-E graphics and SATA hard drive support.
>
> Alternatively, I found this system at Circuit City for $599: Compaq
> SR1850NX with Athlon 64 3700+ with integrated ATI Radeon Xpress 200
> with Shared video memory 256mb. It, of course, has all the nice
> components already on it: 1 gb ram, dvd-writer, 250gb sata hard drive
> (my Dell doesn't have SATA). I just read that shared memory is not
> good at all.
>
> My goal is to be able to play the latest high-demanding games. Do you
> think I should go through the trouble and build my own, or purchase the
> Compaq? And by the way, buying the Compaq and dropping in a better
> PCI-E video card sounds easy, but unfortuneately I have to stick to my
> budget.
>
> Thanks!
> -Terry


What I would suggest. if your making a computer thats good for gaming, is to
spend most of your money on a video card. your 3 ghz intel chip should be
fine. I'd make sure you have at least 1GB of ram. I wouldn't go for the
compaq that you saw because your just buying slightly better components as
whats in your dell now and STILL have on board video (which instead of
having it's own graphics CPU and dedicated ram, uses your own CPU and ram
for video). you could get a pretty high end graphics card for a few hundred
bucks (or even more, depending hwo crazy you want to get) or you could get
an SLI motherboard (which allows the use of 2 graphics cards). I'm nto sure
hwo crazy your looking to get into games, but if I was going that route,
thats what I'd do,

-Nick


 
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terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-19-2006
Thanks for the replies! So I understand then that buying components
with my $600 is a better way to go. I did look through the Tom's
Hardware site, tons of stuff in there on montherboards and video cards!

For me, thought, its too much information, that is, too many choices.
Could someone suggest to me a couple of specific choices that would be
good components for me to bring my CPU (Intel 3.0 Ghz P4) and memory
over? The CPU is a ZIF socket, meaning I could, after removing the
heatsink and raising the bracket arm, just lift the CPU off the
motherboard. I'm not overly 'crazy' about gaming, or else I'd have to
up my budget. I like the army shooter games, which won't play on my
current computer, like Call Of Duty 2.. But I figure I have to buy a
CPU, and probably a case since I expect my Dell case to be proprietary
(but I really don't know for sure), and of course a video card. (I
don't need dual monitors.)

So if someone has suggestions for at least those three components, i.e.
Mfg and model, I'll shop the local Fry's Electronics for it or CompUSA
is local to me too. Thanks!
-Terry

 
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terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-19-2006
I reviewing what I wrote, I see I typed the wrong component. I of
course don't need a CPU, just a motherboard and video card, and maybe a
case.
-Terry

 
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terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-21-2006
Googling for Dimension 3000 and CPU Socket, most results associate it
with a socket 478. Is there a way to tell for sure?

I found only one result of a motherboard that joined a socket 478 CPU
with PCI-E video. It was an Albatron PX915P4C Pro,
http://www.marnscda.com/review06_15_05.htm. But I can't find it
anywhere to actually purchase, and saw other internet posts saying the
same thing.

So hopefully my 3 ghz CPU is not a socket 478. I couldn't find mention
of it in Dell's electronic manuals. So again, would there be any
marking I could tell by without removing the fan and heatsink?
-Terry

 
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Pen
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      05-21-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> Googling for Dimension 3000 and CPU Socket, most results associate it
> with a socket 478. Is there a way to tell for sure?
>
> I found only one result of a motherboard that joined a socket 478 CPU
> with PCI-E video. It was an Albatron PX915P4C Pro,
> http://www.marnscda.com/review06_15_05.htm. But I can't find it
> anywhere to actually purchase, and saw other internet posts saying the
> same thing.
>
> So hopefully my 3 ghz CPU is not a socket 478. I couldn't find mention
> of it in Dell's electronic manuals. So again, would there be any
> marking I could tell by without removing the fan and heatsink?
> -Terry

The CPUs in the 3000 came in 478 and 775 socket versions.
Your best bet might be to go to DELL support, enter
your service tag and check the "original system configuration".
This should give you a number for the cpu that you can then
check on the Intel web site.
http://support.dell.com/support/inde...=us&l=en&s=dhs


 
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terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-21-2006
Here's the CPU line in the Dell Support:

Quantity Parts # Part Description
1 M5268 PROCESSOR, 80546, 3.0, 1M, PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT DT, 800, D0

I've looked at a couple pages on Intel using 80546 and Prescott, and
I'll continue, but just thought I'd post this response.
-Terry

 
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Pen
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      05-21-2006

<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> Here's the CPU line in the Dell Support:
>
> Quantity Parts # Part Description
> 1 M5268 PROCESSOR, 80546, 3.0, 1M, PENTIUM 4 PRESCOTT DT, 800, D0
>
> I've looked at a couple pages on Intel using 80546 and Prescott, and
> I'll continue, but just thought I'd post this response.
> -Terry

Try this;
http://support.intel.com/support/pro.../CS-001465.htm
processor ID utility


 
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terrypeggy@hotmail.com
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      05-21-2006
Thanks! My hopes are up for a socket 775! But the intel utility I
found there, v 2.8, doesn't show the socket type. It confirms I have a
3.0 ghz with an 800 Mhz FSB and 1MB L2 Cache. It titles it: Intel(R)
Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00E Ghz.

Other details it lists:
Intel Virtualization Technology: No
Hyper-Threading: Yes
Intel Extended Memory 64: No
Speedstep: No
MMX: Yes
Streaming SIMD(1 through 3): Yes

CPU Type: 0
Family: F
Model: 3
Stepping: 4
Revision:13

L2 Cache: 1MB
L1 data cache: 16KB
L1 trace cache: 12 Kuops
Packaging: FC-PGA2
Platform 04A

Execute Disable Bit: No
Enhance Halt State: No

I'm guessing I might find an answer from the CPU type/Family section of
information it listed. I'm going to try looking with that.
-Terry

 
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