Build or Buy

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by terrypeggy@hotmail.com, May 17, 2006.

  1. Guest

    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
     
    , May 17, 2006
    #1
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  2. Toby Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    Toby, May 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. Nick Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    Nick, May 18, 2006
    #3
  4. Guest

    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
     
    , May 19, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

    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
     
    , May 19, 2006
    #5
  6. Guest

    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
     
    , May 21, 2006
    #6
  7. Pen Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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/index.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs
     
    Pen, May 21, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    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
     
    , May 21, 2006
    #8
  9. Pen Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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/processors/sb/CS-001465.htm
    processor ID utility
     
    Pen, May 21, 2006
    #9
  10. Guest

    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
     
    , May 21, 2006
    #10
  11. Guest

    Well, the hunting game is over, and I'm sad about the outcome. I took
    it apart and removed the heatsink. The socket is a 478. I've seen
    quite a few pictures of the 478 and 775 now, posted on the web. Mine
    looks just like the 478, the square tan/white color with a thick
    plastic side lever that lifts straight up. I removed the CPU and all
    the pins are attached to the CPU. I read the 775 has the pins on the
    motherboard and holes on the CPU, unlike the 478.

    So, I guess if I'm going to buy components to do my upgrade, I'm only
    going to be able to keep my DVD writer and external peripherals. New
    mobo, cpu, memory and hard drive (remember I don't have SATA).

    I've been to Fry's now. They have a motherboard that has SATAII (3Gb/s
    instead of 150Mb/s) and PCI-E X16. I think the tech said PCI-E X16 was
    better then just PCI-E. The motherboard was only $59 after $30 mail-in
    rebate. But the kicker was buying the AMD processor for it. A 3200+
    was $300. And they went way up in speed and price from there. If I
    spend another $200 on a good PCI-E video card, that doesn't leave me
    enough for hard drive and memory.

    I think I'm stuck with this thing until prices come down in another
    year or so, maybe early 2007 I'll price things out again.

    Thanks for all the responses provided!
    -Terry
     
    , May 22, 2006
    #11
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