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

Posted on 2006-06-30
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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
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Question by:gbesq1
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by:Callandor
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: http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/02/02/nvidia_7800gs_confirms_agp_aint_dead_yet/.  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 http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/07/05/vga_charts_vii/, 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.
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by:gbesq
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

gbesq
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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: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130274

... 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 (http://topmicrousa.com) 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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by:Mark
ID: 17022236
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by:garycase
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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by:Mark
ID: 17023772
Yes, they seem to be very hard to come by.
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