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Upgrade RAM, Video, and CPU for Intel D875PBZ

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-10
- Upgrading an older computer to maximize the RAM (Quantity and Quality) and improve the Video Card.
- OS is 32 Bit XP Pro (and that won't change any time soon).
- Currently running Corsair TwinX CMX512-3200LL (x2), nVidia GeForce Fx5600XT, Intel Pentium 4@3.0 GHz.
- I plan on keeping this computer in service for another 2-3 years.

My primary use is as a diagnostic computer on my workbench, but my son and grandsons use it to play their games on  (hence the upgrades).

Please give me your specific recommendations on the upgrades.

Thank you.
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Question by:younghv
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by:Dizzybro
ID: 22763327
I need motherboard make + model pls :D
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by:Dizzybro
ID: 22763331
And also ur Power Supplys wattage? Thanks .
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by:debuggerau
ID: 22763339
Its not a bad system as is. I'm not sure its good value for money for this system to be upgraded, compared to replacing it.
It should operate most games already, did you have any specific ones that are not working?
Maybe a operating system cleanup, or even reinstall could restore the snappiness of the system and make it more user friendly.

But seriously the bus speed has been far exceeded from the Pentium D days, memory is faster, Video cards are faster, but they are all expensive and you might do a better deal to get a replacement box, all included..
have a look at the 8500 processor, it rocks for its price, but will need new motherboard, memory and video since the new boards have different video connectors now-a-days.
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by:Dizzybro
ID: 22763355
debuggerau has a point. Your system is definitally in good shape right now. Its better than mine! (although im buying a laptop soon so i dont want to upgrade mine)

However if you still want upgrade info, hit me up with ur PSU, and MOBO info.
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by:younghv
ID: 22763467
Thank you for the quick replies.
I am OK on the basics of computer stuff (http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_3628488.html), but was looking for some specifics on the upgrades I mentioned.
The current PSU is a CoolerMaster @500 Watts, but I can upgrade that if needed.
As mentioned in the title, the Motherboard is an Intel D875PBZ.

@debuggerau - what is an "8500 processor"?
When I Google that expression, nothing significant shows up.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22763507
2 x 1GB DDR400 memory modules --> my recommendation http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146545

Memory addition will give you 3GB total. XP will probably only have about 3.25GB useable if you install 4GB.

Video is limited to AGP 8X and I hesitate to recommend a specific card. I do have some experience with Radeon X1650 cards and they are decent. Just search Newegg for AGP 8X video cards and see what tweaks your fancy.

Grandsons?? Vic, you old codger, you!!!  ;-)
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by:younghv
ID: 22763540
Hey Dalton - they're keeping me young!
:)

The Crucial RAM you recommended will plug in with the old pair of Corsair?
The intricasies of RAM always throw me for a loop.

I imagine tripling the RAM will give me all the umph I need, but is the CPU maxed out?

Let me run up to Newegg and look at some AGP 8X cards.

Thanks and check back when you can.

Vic
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by:willcomp
ID: 22763551
500 watt PSU is fine and CoolerMaster is an OK brand --> I have a 350 watt CoolerMaster Real Power PSU that came with a Cavalier case and it's been powering an Athlon 64 3200 system for about 4 years-- 1GB RAM, Radeon 9550, 2 x 120GB SATA HDDs (mirrored), 2 x DVD-RW drives, floppy drive. and 6 USB ports.

Getting about time to retire this one to the shop and build a new one. It has provided faithful service and runs 24/7.
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by:Dizzybro
ID: 22763558
For a 500 watt PSU i would get the radeon 2600 HDXT

Thats what i have with a 420 PSU. However, if your willing to take the chance of being on the brink of power supply capabilities the radeon 9850 is the fastest AGP 8x card out there.

I love the 2600 HD XT btw.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22763586
Supported CPUs -- http://support.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/D875PBZ/sb/CS-021825.htm

I wouldn't upgrade CPU unless you can get a 3.4GHz or EE cheap. Any others would be a small increase and a 3.4GHz isn't that much of an increase.

Socket 478 CPUs are probably an eBay or used item. Haven't seen any new ones for a while.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22763633
Crucial RAM should be compatible. Board is single channel as best I can tell and a matched pair would work with dual channel. Place largest sticks in first 2 slots or first channel.

Corsair TwinX is low latency memory and you may want to look around and see if you can find some. I did find this deal while sifting through Corsair RAM --> a steal with rebate!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145579
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by:willcomp
ID: 22763647
If Gary comes along, he may be able to check available ranks on your mobo. That is a concern with DDR RAM and 1GB Corsair will have at least 2 ranks per stick. Are your 512MB modules single or double sided?
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debuggerau earned 100 total points
ID: 22763673
Yes, well the 2600 are PCI-E, and so this cuts him out of most reasonable gaming cards.

If your wanting to play the latest games at top resolution, with all features enabled, I'd replace the box...
If its just having it work acceptably, a second hand AGP card would be the best, I agree the 9800 series are good bang for buck, but nowhere the value of the latest PCI-E offerings..
And then there is the processor limits, the new core duo and quads are soooo much more bang for buck, sooo much better at running cool and with lower power. The bus speeds have gone from 533MHz (yours) to the current 9000 series (expensive, which is why I recommended a 8500 (8000 series Pentium) which operates at 1600MHz.
memory has more than doubled in speed, and worst of all, I expect your computer may not last the additional 2-3 years you require (depending on its use), expecting it is at least that old already.

My father asked me what computer to get for his last one ever...
He wants it to last for 15 years...
My brother replies with "well get it in 13 years time then..."

We could suggest something for a given dollar value, or to meet some software requirement...

Plus, the chips you would need to upgrade this unit are the extreme P4D 3.66 which are still highly sources by overclockers and have that price premium to reflect their uniqueness and scarcity. And still not enough bang to warrant the effort..

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by:willcomp
ID: 22763676
Memory is dual channel. I overlooked that in board description. Wonder why they didn't put it in memory description in spec block?
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Author Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22763698
Dalton - sorry for the delay.
I just bought that RAM from Newegg - for $20 (after rebate) it was hard to pass up.
It is the exact RAM I have, but twice a big.

I'm going to call it a night, but will check back first thing in the morning.

Thanks for all the comments.
Vic
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by:younghv
ID: 22763708
@debuggerau,
Loved the comment your brother made.
Too late for me to be thinking and typing at the same time - LOL.

I'll be back in the morning.

Someone say hey to Gary when he checks in.

Vic
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Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 22764212
Guess I need to check in here :-)

I have two D875PBZ systems -- one with a 2.8GHz and one with a 3.4GHz P-IV.   I agree it's not worth upgrading the processor ... there's little performance difference.   The 2.8GHz has been on non-stop for nearly two years in an HTPC and works very nicely (has 1TB of storage for recorded video).   The 3.4GHz was my "main" machine until I built a Core-2 based system last year ... and is still sitting beside the new system - I use it occasionally (via KVM) for miscellaneous stuff.  [Not worth enough to sell;  too good to toss.]

The extra 2GB you just bought is a GREAT price !!   I may have to order a pair myself!!

As you already know, the board supports dual channel operation -- and will work just fine with the two pairs you'll now have.   I presume the 512MB modules are single-sided, so the bus load should be okay.

For gaming, you definitely need a better video card ... but like Dalton I'm reluctant to suggest which one to buy.  That Fx5600XT is definitely dated for any modern gaming !!     I'd just peruse these and buy the best one you're willing to spring for:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048+1069609639&Configurator=&Subcategory=48&description=&Ntk=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

... your power supply's fine for any upgrade you'll be doing here -- even an X1950Pro (which I think is overkill for what you need).   An HD 2600 should be a good performer ... although I have no experience with HIS cards.  (I have a PCIe 2600XT which performs VERY well)    The X1650 is less expensive, and would still be a nice upgrade over an Fx5600XT.   Just depends on how much $$ you're willing to spend on better video.
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by:willcomp
ID: 22764306
@garycase --> you may disregard comment in email I just sent. Talk about timing :-)

I installed an HIS Radeon HD 2600XT fanless card in a custom system recently. Seems to be a very good card. HIS was selected due to Zalman heat sink on card. Runs cool for a fanless card. System was for MS Flight Simulator and Video (mainly play DVDs).
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Author Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22765616
You guys were sure working the late shift - thanks for the follow up.

My grandsons are only 5 & 8, so their 'games' are not 'gaming' - I should have asked the question better.

My son does play all of that latest stuff and has been making noises about having me build him something on the higher end of the scale. When that time comes, I'll post a new question.

I'm going up to look at the Video cards and will check back in later.

Thanks again.
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by:younghv
ID: 22765751
Reading the reviews at Newegg has my head spinning.
Searching for "PCIe 2600XT" returns a variety of manufacturers - any specific brand names to either choose (or avoid)?
Thanks,
Vic
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Assisted Solution

by:Dizzybro
Dizzybro earned 100 total points
ID: 22765879
AVOID PCIe

Your motherboard is AGP 8x

PCIe will not fit on your motherboard!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161226

Thats the best video card you can get for AGP 8x.

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by:Dizzybro
Dizzybro earned 100 total points
ID: 22765890
Here the 2600XT for AGP 8x if you were looking for that.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161207
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 22766715
Tomshardware has some value recommendations for AGP video cards, depending on your budget (some were mentioned by Dizzybro already): http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Best-Graphics-Card,2033-6.html.  They regularly publish a new list every month, so check when you are ready to buy.  You'll have to decide whether you want the card for your son or your grandsons - the requirements will likely be different.
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Author Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22766843
@Callandor,
Thank you for posting.
I think I missed class on the day they talked about Hardware terms.

When I search for the expression "Radeon HD 3650", several different manufacturer's names pop up. Is this just a generic term that function/technology, etc?
Sorry for the rookie question, but I guess I've never paid attention to that before.

I'm going to post a 'related question' about really high-end Video cards (Vista 64 Bit) after this one is closed, so for now I just want something that will be easier on these old eyes.

Thanks,
Vic
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Author Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22766846
... term "about" (not that) ....
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Assisted Solution

by:willcomp
willcomp earned 100 total points
ID: 22767051
Both nVidia and ATI sell GPUs to third party manufacturers who produce video cards, usually closely following a reference design. Like Intel chipsets are used by other mobo manufacturers as well as Intel. nVidia has never manufactured video cards while ATI once did and may still do although I haven't seen one lately.

Here's your Newegg selection --> all AGP 8X cards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010380048+1069609639&Configurator=&Subcategory=48&description=&Ntk=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

A good buy:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730

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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 22767315
Sapphire, eVGA, and XFX are some manufacturers that I think make quality cards, if you want a recommendation of a specific manufacturer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:younghv
ID: 31508092
Thank you all - more than a solution, it was an education.
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Author Comment

by:younghv
ID: 22767775
http:#a should have been the 'accepted' - not an 'assisted'.

Thanks for the detailed comments. As a group, the hardware folks really seem to take the time to give full statements.
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by:younghv
ID: 22767780
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