Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Upgrading my system


  • Please log in to reply

#1
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
I am in need of some answers for upgrading my system. Ive googled for a while but need some assistance in some unanswered questions.

1) PCIe backward compatible, can it acept my old PCI cards?
2) Other then the size of the slot what is the diff between PCIe x1 and x16

Ok so this is what I currently have

Form ATX
CPU Celeron 1GHz on socket 370
FSB 133
256MB SDRAM
AGP 8x with ATI Radeon 9200

I have developed a skill and interest in 3D modleing, 3D gameing and Programming, so I need a system that will not be slow with these sorts of activities. I also have a tendancy to have multiple programins running and switch back and fourth. I run Win XP Pro SP1.

So far I have found a few boards I am seriously looking at buying, none have PCIe but have other stuff like SATA

Do you think any of these would suit my 3D and Programming needs?

PCCHIPS M981G
Gigabyte 8I848P-G
Mach Speed PT88AS

Also it seems the boards with PCIe do not have AGP 8X, or are there some that have both? My current Graphics card is AGP and I think I can get more out of it with the beter board, I dont realy have the budget for a new card too.

I was looking at 512MB DDR RAM around either 333 or 400 as these boards support, but is there any real difernce in brand names?

Anyone with experince in PCChips/Gigabye or Mach Speed board manufactures? Are they good brands?
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Hi there

I'll try to explain the PCI-E questions you have.

Firstly PCI-E is not the same as PCI-X which is the new extension of standard PCI slots. Your old PCI cards should work in PCI-X slots but not PCI-E.

PCI-E is available is several different lengths (x1, x2, x4, x8, x16, x32). Apart from each one being longer than the number before it, the higher the number is, the faster it is in terms of data transfer. PCI-E x16 is used for video cards, x1, x4 etc will be used for slower devices such as mice/keyboard/joystick etc.

You won't find a motheboard that provide PCI-E x16 AND agp, because PCI-E x16 was designed to replace the agp standard.

As far as your plans for upgrading your system are concerned, I can give you this advice :

Graphics card - if you can't afford to upgrade the card then a newer motherboard may help in that it should support agp 8x whereas your current mobo probably doesn't.

RAM - be aware that a new motherboard will mean buying new RAM altogether. Your current ram won't be compatible. Buy decent RAM (eg Crucial/Corsair/Kingston), don't be tempted to go for the cheap value stuff, and buy plenty of it.

Power Supply - a new system will probably require a better PSU than your current one. Eg, 500W is ideal, 400W absolute minumum and make sure you get a good one.

Motherboard - stay away from PCChips! Gigabyte are OK, so are Abit, Asus, MSI, chaintech for example. Stay clear motherboards that have everything integrated into them (especially video) and only provide 2 or 3 PCI slots. All boards these days seem to have integrated sound but thats fine.
  • 0

#3
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
I had been away for a few days but now I am back. Many thanks for the answers I was looking for. Im especialy glad you refered to the brands because I was realy looking towards that pcchips board but now ill prity much focus my atention on the other brands youve mentioned. Ok so i decided from that info that I will not get pcie because id need new stuff so I think either pci 2.x or pcix for me will work with my current stuff.

Many thanks.

Is pcix and pci 2.0 prity much same?
Is AGPro workable with a standard AGP 8x card?
  • 0

#4
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Hi again

AGP Pro is an extension of the agp standard and AGP Pro cards are physically longer than standard AGP cards - so an agp pro card will require an agp pro motherboard. However, if you have an agp pro motherboard & a standard agp card, that card will fit the agp pro slot so long as the card has a registration tab. This tab is an L shaped piece of PCB board that takes up the additional space provided by an agp pro slot. See link below :
[attachment=2906:attachment]

AGP Pro is recommended for high-end graphics applications, such as the type of things you are hoping to do. Be aware though that a standard agp 8x card fitted in an agp pro slot, will function as agp 8x, not agp pro obviously.

PCI-X is equivalent to PCI v3.0, however, PCI-X is also backwardly compatible with PCI v2 etc, so you shouldn't have any problem.
  • 0

#5
phua zheng hao

phua zheng hao

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 31 posts
have a look at these

http://tw.giga-byte....2_sli.htm#intel
  • 0

#6
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
I am very greatfull for the answers and recomendations provided by everyone. All my questions have been answered and i even have some brands and boards to consider in my final choice.

Im especialy glad to be informed about the registration tab since my card does not seem to have one and this stops me from makeing the mistake of buying a board with agpro.

I looked at the two boards mentioned and am investegateing them further.
  • 0

#7
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Glad we could help. If you have any more questions or require any further advice, just ask.

Samm
  • 0

#8
warriorscot

warriorscot

    Member 5k

  • Retired Staff
  • 8,889 posts
You know if you got pci-e the only thing you have to replace is your graphcs card because you still get normal pci slots.
  • 0

#9
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts

You know if you got pci-e the only thing you have to replace is your graphcs card because you still get normal pci slots.


Thanks, it is good to know some boards have both, however my budget does not permit a new graphics card. I will keep this point in mind though.

It seems with my ATI Radeon 9200 SE that I only get a 3DMark of 512 max after tweaking and that others have been achiveing scores of around 3000 with the same card. My origional idea was to buy a new card untill someone pointed out that I was not getting all the power the card has to offer, and that my card outpreforms my motherboard. This is when I shifted my atention to a new board, cpu and ram.

From my calculations I will need about 280 CDN after taxes not counting rebaits, unless I need a new poer supply as well, which I have yet to check. Somone once told me if the power supply unit fails so does the motherboard but I dont see how this could be true from my previous electronic engineering at college, but im a bit rusty. Could this be true that the power supply failing could result in motherboard melntdown?
  • 0

#10
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
You're right, if your power supply fails, it shouldn't damage the motherboard. All good PSUs have built in protection anyway to a certain degree, however I wouldn't trust a really cheap one and I certainly wouldn't guarantee that its impossible for a PSU to damage a board, just very unlikely.

What you need to do is check the power rating (watts) of your current PSU. Also check to see if it has a 4 wire 12V atx connector - most newer mobos require one of these to provide power to the CPU
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
Sory to keep bothering you fine people, as my research has progressed a new question arises:

When a MoBo says it suports IDE Ultra DMA 33/66/100 devices does that mean it will work with any standard ATA drive that has the IDE conector?

The only thing I understand about ULTRA DMA is that if enabled via software you can achieve faster transfer speeds. But does this mean that if for example a board that suports only DMA 66/100 can take a DMA 33 drive. Or even a drive that does not suport Ultra DMA at all?

Also about form factors, we talked about how to ensure the power supply works on the new board, but what about the case. How can I tell weather a case suports the board since there seems to be so many variants on the ATX, such as u-ATX and micro ATX, is there a site that shows the measurements and what to look for?

When a board comeas as a combo with CPU does this mean it also comes with the cooler fan or is this dependant on the store?
  • 0

#12
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Hi

Ok, UDMA first :
Ultra DMA refers to the data transfer rate supported (ie 33/66/100/133MB/sec). Basically, a UDMA 33 drive (for example) will work on a UDMA 100 motherboard & vice versa. However, the system will only run at the lowest of the 2 transfer rates - ie. 33MB/sec in this example. For the system to run at UDMA 100, both the drive & the motherboard must support that transfer rate. The same applies to udma 66/133.
The only other consideration is the cable - udma66/100/133 require 80 wire cables (not 40 wire) otherwise they will only run at udma33.

Cases & form factor.
The most common form factor is ATX. Most atx cases will also support microATX but not the other way round. If in doubt, the manufacturer specifications should state which form factors are supported.

Combo boards:
All the motherboard/cpu combos I've seen for sale do come with a heatsink/fan. However, as you suggested, it is down to the supplier & therefore I would recommend you check this first before purchasing one.
  • 0

#13
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
Thanks. You are very helpfull and informative.

I searched all over google and only found some information on what FSB is and how to ensure the motherboard FSB matches the processor and that some boards are automatic. All I have learned about FSB is that it conects the CPU to RAM and I know nothing else. Is there a site to teach me more?

Ok I found a motherboard that suports FSB 400/533/800 and a CPU of Celeron D 320 2.4GHz FSB 533. Now as for RAM it says it suports 333 and 400, so I decided I will go with the 400, PC3200 But now lets say I configure the motherboard for FSB 533 because thats what the CPU likes, but the RAM is a 400 so does that mean the RAM will burn out?

Also if a motherboard is socket 478 and claims to acpet P4 and Celeron D up to 3.6GHz does that realy mean any Celeron D up to that speed? I assume if the statement is corect it will acept Celeron D 320 socket 478.

More spasificaly I plan to buy:

Celeron D 320 2.4GHz
Asus P4P800S-X P4
Cosair 512MB DDR 400 RAM

This machine will be for a friend, since she has the money already and I am still saveing.

The board says it does not like ECC Memory, I asume this is another case where the retailer/store would state the memory is ECC, and then I would not buy it.
  • 0

#14
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
A P4/Celeron cpu that uses an FSB of 533MHz, actually uses an external clock frequency of 133MHz. This is multiplied by 4 to give the 533 value & doubled to give the FSB of ram (ie 266Mhz). So if you had a 800MHz FSB cpu & DDR400, the external clock speed would be 200Mhz - multiply by 4 to give 800MHz for the cpu & doubled to give 400MHz for the DDR.

However this doesn't necessarily mean that using an FSB of 533MHz will cause your memory to run at 266MHz. Most boards allow you to adjust the memory speed independently of the CPU.

As far as cpu support goes, if the specs state that the board supports celeron cpus up to 3GHz for example, then it should support lower values as well.

If in any doubt though, the best thing to do is go to the motherboard manufacturers website & check their cpu compatibility list. Be aware that some boards may require a bios update in order to fully support the fastest cpus. Also, when you check the cpu compatibility tables, make a note of any PCB revisions that are listed & make sure your prospective board matches it. If your board has a lower revision/version number, then it may not support the max cpu stated in the table.

If you want a good website for learning about components etc, check out this one:
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/
  • 0

#15
kellymandrake

kellymandrake

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
That web site is just what I needed, besides your phone number :tazz: j/k but the site is great. The final purchase was made today, I will be puting it together in a few hours.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP