upgrading ASUS socket 478 (P4C800-E Deluxe) motherboard to permit PCI-E

Posted on 2006-06-30
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
I have a computer that is all but one respects (I believe) is able to handle the most graphics-intensive games.  The one exception is the motherboard (ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe), which is socket 478 and has the Intel 875p chipset and thus cannot support PCI-E, which I need for an adequate video card (I currently use the ATI x800XT Platinum, which is only adequate).  I have an Intel P4 EE 3.2 GHz, 2 gb DDR-SDRAM, and Windows XP Home.  Is there a way to upgrade the motherboard without having to replace the CPU?  ASUS has a motherboard (P4GD1) on its website which is socket 478 and has the 915 chipset, but I cannot find it for sale anywhere.  Is there a solution.  If I cannot keep my current CPU, what is the most economical way to get PCI-E capability.  thanks
Question by:gbesq1
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Expert Comment

ID: 17020354
I think you're approaching it wrong.  Few games will tax the cpu as much as the video card, and the ATI X800XT is a bit long in the tooth.  The 7800GS is an AGP card and gives PCI-e cards a run for the money:  As you can guess, high performance video comes at a price, and that card isn't cheap.  Dumping the motherboard and video card is not going to get you anywhere unless you get a better video card.  Even in this comparison, you can see what AGP cards outperform the X800XT, without even considering the latest ones.

Now if you're thinking about the future of video cards, yes, PCI-e is the way to go, but remember that you will have to replace cpu, motherboard, and video card to significantly better the performance of your current setup.

Expert Comment

ID: 17021715
I was not clear in my question.  My ultimate goal was to upgrade to a better video card, and I thought I needed PCI-E for that.  I will check out the 7800GS but am still interested in how to upgrade to a PCI-E chipset, if that is possible

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Accepted Solution

garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 17022179
In addition to motherboard, CPU, and video card, you'll most likely need to buy new DDR2 memory if you buy a current card.   For what you've indicated your needs are, a better AGP video card certainly seems like the best option at this time.   I'd suggest this:

... but if you really want a hybrid motherboard that supports both Socket 478 CPU's and PCI Express x16, then the Asus P4GD1 (as you noted), the Asrock P4Dual-915GL, or the EQS A46G8-MLF will give you that capability, but they are all VERY difficult to find.   TopMicro ( had the Asus board in stock a few months ago, but they don't list them now -- you might give them a call and see if they know if the board's still being made.
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Expert Comment

ID: 17022236
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Expert Comment

ID: 17022255
... as I noted, however, finding someone who HAS one of the various 478/PCI-e boards is a challenge :-)

Since the only area the author needs to improve here for his needs is video, I think a video upgrade is a much "safer" approach unless he elects to buy a complete motherboard/CPU/memory/video card upgrade.
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Expert Comment

ID: 17023772
Yes, they seem to be very hard to come by.

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