Coming soon: My new old PC!

Current System:
Graphics card nVidia PCIe -
3D Fuzion (BFG) 7800GT

Windows -
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

CPUs Socket 939 -
AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+

Monitor LCD 19 inch -
Acer AL1916W

Mouse -
Logitech Trackman Wheel (Trackball)

Case -
Antec Super Lanboy

DVD-ReWriters Serial-ATA -
LG GSA-H62L

DVD-ReWriters IDE -
Lite-On SHW-160P6S

Keyboard -
Logitech Media Keyboard

Motherboard Socket 939 -
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe

Harddisks 3,5 inch Serial-ATA -
Western Digital Raptor 74GB (Original version)
Western Digital Caviar 320GB

Memory DDR-400 -
OCZ 2 GB DDR-400 Kit (2-3-2-5)

New System: (New components in italic)
Graphics card nVidia PCIe -
3D Fuzion (BFG) 7800GT

Windows -
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

CPUs Socket 775 -
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6750

Monitor LCD 19 inch -
Acer AL1916W

Mouse -
Logitech Trackman Wheel (Trackball)

Case -
Antec Super Lanboy

DVD-ReWriters Serial-ATA -
LG GSA-H62L

DVD-ReWriters IDE -
Lite-On SHW-160P6S

Keyboard -
Logitech Media Keyboard

Motherboard Socket 775 -
Asus P5K

Harddisks 3,5 inch Serial-ATA -
Western Digital Raptor 74GB (Original version)
Western Digital Caviar 320GB

Memory DDR2-800 -
OCZ 2 GB DDR2-800 Kit (5-5-5-15)

Note that only the motherboard, processor and memory will be changed from my present system. And I was wrong when I said the P35 chipset was designed especially for DDR3 memory. There are plenty of DDR2-only P35 motherboards on the market (the P5K, without the C, is DDR2-only), and Asus makes one (the P5KC) which has both DDR2 and DDR3 slots (although you cannot use both DDR2 and DDR3 memory at the same time in the same system).

By the way, the P35 chipset is not the best choice for dual ATi graphics cards in CrossFire since using two graphics cards will drop the PCI-e slot speed to x4 from the normal x16. Those who want full CrossFire support at full speed plus an officially-supported 1333MHz (1.33GHz) FSB and the stability of an Intel chipset should wait for the X38.

Any thoughts?

It’s really nice to see a well-considered upgrade like this posted. Looks like you’re in for a boost in performance and a good, stable setup. The only points I would examine are these (Crossfire isn’t something I want):

Lack of RAID on the ICH9 southbridge.
Maybe a Q6600 or X3220 might do better at about the same price as the E6750?

My buddy uses a P5K. RAID isn’t a concern for him, and he isn’t an OC nut. He’s been running an E6600 @ 9 x 333Mhz with Elpida DDR2 800 RAM (4-4-4-12 @ 2.20 VDIMM, DDR2 667 divider) for a while on that board with the stock CPU cooler and stock vcore. That idiot laughs every time I destroy my system and have to redo it from scratch. :slight_smile:

I’d have a look att Gigabyte’s offerings when it comes to motherboards.
//Danne

Thanks for your suggestions. But the truth is, I have gotten the parts already. The chipset fan on my old motherboard went south, and I could not get a replacement fan on time (but I could get a new motherboard, processor and memory). And nobody around where I’m at is currently selling any Socket 939 motherboards with anywhere close to the number of features of my old motherboard.

And where I got the parts from, the Q6600 still costs $100 more than the E6750. And the slower E6550 costs only $15 less than the E6750. The memory and motherboard are also discounted – the memory, even more heavily. Had I chosen the 4-4-4-12 DDR2-800 memory instead, I would have paid $200 instead of $65 for 2GB.

Don’t sweat it. You’ll probably have a blast with those components.

I got the parts assembled, and it’s a noticeable improvement over my old system.

However, I had to tweak the system for optimal “stock-speed” performance. First off, the OCZ memory is rated at 2.1V, so I had to set the DIMM voltage to 2.1V in the BIOS. (Most motherboards default to 1.8V for the DIMM voltage, which means that performance-oriented memory should not be used if the motherboard provides no provision at all whatsoever to manually set the DIMM voltage.) Second, running DDR2-800 memory at DDR2-800 speed with a 1333MHz (1.333GHz) FSB processor actually reduces overall performance slightly compared to using DDR2-667 memory to begin with due to the added latencies of asynchronous memory operation (the Core2 Duo has a much shorter pipeline than the Pentium D that it replaced, and thus the Core2 Duo is more sensitive than the Pentium 4/D to deficiencies in memory latency and bandwidth). So, I chose to manually set the memory speed to DDR2-667 with 4-5-5-13 latency timings (stock timings for this memory @ DDR2-800 are 5-5-5-15), making the memory operation synchronous to the CPU’s FSB in terms of actual clock speeds for both. And the memory is running in dual-channel mode.

…namely the Atheros/Attansic L1 LAN controller. Its transfer performance was a bit weak compared to other solutions out there. And ASUS’s implementation of the ICH9 does not even support AHCI, let alone RAID. (Face it, it’s nice to have AHCI and/or RAID support available, even if you never use it.) And I don’t want to mention the performance or reliability of the JMicron IDE/SATA RAID/eSATA chipset…

So, I was back to square one, going back to the store. Unfortunately, the store does not carry any of the GigaByte P35-based motherboards (the only GigaByte motherboard it stocked at the time I picked out this P5K used an older P965 chipset, which did not officially support the newer FSB1333 processors. Today, that store does not even want to carry the affordable GigaByte-branded motherboards other than those which are based on low-end “integrated-everything” chipsets; for example, the GigaByte motherboard with an X38 chipset sells at that store for more than $250. And I simply cannot afford to spend $250 just for a motherboard alone.)

I then looked at two Intel-brand motherboards (knowing that I intended to use my X-Fi Xtreme Music soundcard rather than onboard audio) with only one PCI-Express x16 graphics slot and no secondary PCI-Express graphics slot (also knowing that I intended to stay with single-graphics-card configurations permanently). I first thought about the “Classic Series” DG33FB, which lacks RAID capability but has RealTek onboard audio, integrated Intel GMA3100 graphics, and legacy PS/2 and floppy ports. I had assumed that the DG33FB used the ICH9 without AHCI support – only to later discover that it actually used a third version of the ICH9 family, the ICH9DH (the “DH” stands for “Digital Home”), which is essentially the ICH9R with its RAID controller internally disabled (it still supports AHCI, which can still be enabled on that version of the ICH9 family). The motherboard I eventually picked as a replacement, the DP35DP, is of the “Media Series”, which packs a lot of media-concentric features but leaves off the legacy PS/2 and floppy ports. The DP35DP uses the full ICH9R, but has the SigmaTel audio codec (which I don’t particularly care about, since I will be putting in the X-Fi anyway) and lacks integrated graphics. With this motherboard, I would have to finally ditch my old floppy drive (and replace it with a USB drive) and my current PS/2 keyboard (and replace it with a USB keyboard). The PATA controller used by both motherboards is a Marvell controller rather than the more commonly used JMicron controller.

Neither of the two Intel motherboards mentioned above allows for any overclocking or any memory tweaking at all whatsoever. For any tweakability on an Intel-branded motherboard I would have had to get the DX38BT for about $250 and spend another $300 or so on a 2GB dual-channel kit of DDR3 memory. And that would have been more expensive than the amount that I had originally paid for my whole AMD x2 to C2D upgrade. (Remember, I’m buying for stability and compatibility first, performance second, and tweakabilty way down the list.)

Boy, is B.Y.O.C. (Build Your Own Computer) fun?

Hmm…
I only know of one motherboard with integrated graphics that allows some kind of overclocking that’s the GA-G33M-DS2R / GA-G33M-DS3R which are motherboards by Gigabyte. In general integrated chipsets doesnt offer overclocking at all.
Intel are very restrictive on overclocking as you’ve noticed…
//Danne

So RLJ do you need any help or are you just venting? :smiley:

With integrated graphics the gigabyte AMD based 690G boards support OC’ing, the s2h and s3h. The S2H is OC’d by using a version of the bios from the S3H.

[QUOTE=eric93se;2017995]So RLJ do you need any help or are you just venting? :D[/QUOTE]

I’m just venting over the use of “second-class” components by companies as large as ASUS. :stuck_out_tongue:

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2017633]Intel are very restrictive on overclocking as you’ve noticed…[/QUOTE]

True for the most part. Most of their mid-level motherboards allow no tweakability besides the limited memory latency timing adjustments…

Last week I picked up a Core 2 Quad Q9450 so that I could transfer my existing Core 2 Duo E6750 onto another new build (one that’s non-serious-gaming – more on my proposed new Average Joe build in another thread).

I am currently running Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit with SP1, and only 2GB of memory. Could I gain anything by ‘downgrading’ to Windows XP Pro? Or should I stick with my current Vista installation? (By the way, it’s running perfectly fine as is.)