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Will upgrading my motherboard lead to a PERCEPTIBLE increase in speed?

Posted on 1999-12-12
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I use Dragon Dictate (voice recognition software) in Word 97, a combination which requires a hell of a lot of RAM, a fast chip, etc.

My System:
PIII 533 B (i.e. can run at 133 MHz)
512 RAM (4 sticks of 128 running at 66 MHz)
My motherboard: ASUS P3B-F (440BX), whose "official" limit is
100 MHz.
Hard drive: brand new, runs at 7200

My question: Would I see a NOTICEABLE change in speed if I
were to buy a faster motherboard, even though my RAM only
runs at 66 MHz?

Thank you for your help.
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Question by:Rombas
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rayt333 earned 400 total points
ID: 2275467
If you are running a PentiumIII 533 with 66mhz Ram then it really doesn't matter how much you have you are not getting full benifit of your system.
You need 100mhz memory for MB that run the 100mhz bus speed or you create a bottleneck which slows down your system
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2275815
rayt333 is right about the bottle neck.

If you bought a motherboard with a FSB (front side bus, the motherboard's operating speed) of 133mhz AND bought memory that is 133mhz certified (guaranteed to run at 133mhz) you would see a MAJOR difference in the performance speed of your software applications, even with 100mhz ram you would see a big difference but if your gonna buy new ram and/or a motherboard you might as well get the 133mhz since it is pretty much the same price and your processor can handle it. See this website for some current prices:
http://www.pricewatch.com

This doesn't mean that programs would LOAD all that much faster because that is limited to hard drive speed but they would perform a heck of a lot better/faster.
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by:Otta
ID: 2276225
> Would I see a NOTICEABLE change in speed if I were to buy a faster motherboard, even though my RAM only runs at 66 MHz?

Noticeably?

No -- your Pentium 533 uses "cache" memory, which compensates for the "slowness" of RAM, by providing a "high-speed buffer" between the CPU and the RAM.
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by:nomadic1
ID: 2276566
you've got one of the top rated boards available, and the BX chipset doesn't get any faster, no matter who makes the board.  As for your RAM...are you running a 100MHz FSB?  If so, then you got a great deal on that RAM...cause I have yet to get lucky like that! :-)  If you're running that processor on a 66MHz bus to compensate for the RAM, then buying new RAM is what I see in your future...as ray333 said, the RAM is a HUGE bottleneck.  As for Otta, yeah, the cache does help compensate, but not EVERYTHING can fit on your cache, and when the CPU is forced to look further than cache, the 100MHz bus will make all the difference
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by:Rombas
ID: 2276647
Comments from others welcome, as I don't know whether to
believe Otta or the rest of you (though I'd like to think that it would make a MAJOR difference).
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by:nomadic1
ID: 2276784
The answer to "Would I see a NOTICEABLE change in speed if I
were to buy a faster motherboard, even though my RAM only
runs at 66 MHz?" is........no!
Once again, all BX based motherboards offer different features, stability and options, but the chipset, BX or VIA, is still going to be the same spedd since they are both using the Intel GTL+ memory bus protocol.  No motherboard will speed it up unless you buy a board with the VIA Apollo 133...and even then, will not give a speed increase, because as ray333 said, and I concur, your RAM running at 66MHz is the bottleneck in this situation.  Buy PC-100 rated SDRAM, stick it in your board, and hang on cause it's gonna fly.  You processor is running underclocked...i.e. SLOWER than it's rated for, and so is your system bus, because your memory is not up to spec.  That's the plain and simple truth, and is what you'd get from any A+ certified technician
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by:Rombas
ID: 2276912
In other words, if I can afford a new MB and 133 MHz RAM, go for it, because I won't be disappointed?
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by:nomadic1
ID: 2277175
Well, sounds like you're just reaching for an excuse to buy a new motherboard.  The P3B-F you have is a fairly new board.  I wouldn't waste the money on another one so soon.  But that's your decision to make.  Our, as in ray333, somebody_else, and myself, recommendation would be to get some PC-100 or PC-133 SDRAM and stick it in the board you have.  Wait for the board, as VIA has the only solution as of yet, and few makers put it out...I think only Tyan, so far.  But at least your RAM will be ready for future use if you buy PC-133 now.
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2278478
yes right now if you buy ram first get the 133mhz, it will work in your currtent board and any future plus it is basicaly the same price.
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2278511
I have seen the difference in speed and it IS noticable to say the least, the answer is: YES, you will see a big difference with faster ram/motherboard, my last post was a little garbled so I wanted to clarify. I would have posted as an answer in the first place but I didn't want to step on rayt333's toes since he basically said the same thing.

So to clarify/simplify:

The first thing you can do to increase speed is to buy the 133mhz ram. The second is to buy a motherboard that supports the 133mhz standard when availible over time,as they develop, motherboards that support 133mhz will be more stable).

When/if you get the new ram you will have to adjust the speed of your current motherboard to 100mhz (current limit) to see any improvement.


I have a question for you, Pentium2 or 3 processors have "locks" on their internal multipliers, thus somewhat disabling overclocking, and since your processor is a 533 and able to support 133mhz then the multiplier should be "locked" at 4x, then that would mean that your processor is only currently running at 264mhz (4x66mhz). What clock multiplier do you have your motherboard set at for the CPU?
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by:RudolfFraDK
ID: 2279512
There are other interesting factors that the memory speed! According to tomshardware the 100 Mhz gives you a 20% better performance that the 66 Mhz bus, but the multimedia extensions and the L2-cache speed does also make a significant difference!
The major difference between PII and PIII is the 'streaming SIMD extensions' and this gives you a performance increase of about 25% for SIMD optimized programs such as Dragons "Naturally speaking".
The importance of the L2-cache speed for the "Naturally speaking" software is also clear in the tomshardware comparison where "Celeron is scoring a whole lot better than a Pentium II at the same clock/bus clock".
The newest Intel processor the PIII called Coppermine has a very agressive L-2 system which makes it the strongest processor that you can use in your system!
So if you want to make the most out of your present system you can invest in new 100Mhz memory and/or the
coppermine CPU! - A new motherboard wont make any significant difference!
My comment are primarily based on these two links from tomshardware:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/99q1/990223/index-07.html
and http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/99q4/991025/coppermine-03.html
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2282011
my friend works at adaptec and he says that the new coppermines are having a lot of compatibility issues right now( he usually gets the newest hardware to mess around with for benchmarking adaptec devices)
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by:chewymon
ID: 2283996
Of course you can always go whole hog and get an Athalon running on a 200MHz bus.  750MHz speeds available at present I beliee.
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by:ViRoy
ID: 2285127
the bus speed is the bottle neck of a pc... increasing this will allow more data at whatever speed to flow... this is why the athlon's are soo fast, 200mhz bus is ALOT.. you will want to get faster ram if u do get a faster board... should be no less than -5ns

i use dragon naturally speaking and dont see these requirements... you are so stocked full of resources that you shouldnt need to worry, the dictation does require alot of ram but jesus man... 4 sticks of 128? i dont even run that in my application server!
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2285133
amen to that, I wish I had that much ram!
talk about the multitasking possibilities! whew 8-)
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by:rayt333
ID: 2285155
ViRoy
It pays to carefully read the thread of the question. That will prevent you from posting an answer that has already been suggested or tried.   It also may give you the insight to post *the* right answer that the other experts have missed.  You should not post as an answer something that is already suggested in a comment.


Rombas
Please reject the proposed answer since he has done no more then take comments posted by others and posted an answer, this is not very professional and is called answer stealing, please do not support this by accepting it as the answer
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2285159
rayt333  you the "man"
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by:rayt333
ID: 2285180
Somebody_else
I'm not sure how to take that comment but the reason I posted my earlier comment was because ViRoy has been doing this same thing on alot of questions, he mostly just post what others has said already as the answer and he has gotten credit for alot of them simply because some people aren't smart enough to reject them I guess. This bothers me because some people come here to help others and learn something at the same time then you get some that simply copies comments and posts them as the answer to steal some points.
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by:chewymon
ID: 2285263
I undestand that the Athalon has also added three new dedicated registers to boost the Floating Point Operations.  One of AMD's shortcomings in the past.
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2285511
chewymon- I heard that they only had 1 flp operator over the current P3s which still makes a big difference performance wise. I was really dissapointed though with the k6 which seemed to be lacking in this area.

rayt333- basically I was affirming your position, there have been a few times where I have posted an "answer" as a comment so that others can also help and then then next post is my comment in answer form and they get the credit.
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by:rayt333
ID: 2285529
Somebody_else
OK That's what I was thinking but I wasn't positive.

 I have been burned twice so far tonight on the questioner accepting the posted answer then making comment that the problem still wasn't solved and they wanted more advice?????????????
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by:Somebody_else
ID: 2285547
I know the feeling. some consolation huh?

what was the original topic again? 8-)
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by:Rombas
ID: 2285678
Thank you to everyone for your help
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