Trying to stay close to relevant on a tight budget

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Current systems pertinent stats

Athlon XP 2500+ Barton
KT4V motherboard
512mb RAM
256mb 6800GS AGP (the fast new one)

I pulled the processor our of my system and put it ino a friends
nForce2(?) board and ran it with the FSB at 200mhz and my lovely little
CPU didn't even break a sweat.
I am currently building a house and so money is very limited. This is my
plan (and please poke holes in it if you can)

I want to upgrade to 1GB RAM but I am also wondering if I shouldn't hold
off on the RAM purchase so as to get a real motherboard that will let my
baby run as a 3200.
I know that PCI-x is the new thing but I am a least 18 months away from
the investment necessary to build a decent system based on that tech.

Any suggestions from those in the know?

Re: Trying to stay close to relevant on a tight budget

alpha hen wrote:
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Well, getting an Nforce2 motherboard, would allow you to duplicate
the experience you had with your friend's motherboard. But the
motherboards may be hard to find new - i.e. a good brand, with
not a lot of problems to expect.

This would be a ridiculous price to pay, and it is "reconditioned":

And this one, may be the single channel version of Nforce2 motherboard.
Not the end of the world, as at least you get to run your core faster.
Better check the manual (look for a download), to make sure you can set
the clock manually.

"Biostar M7NCD Socket A NVIDIA nForce2 400"

The manual contains no guidance on the BIOS, so forget that board. How
can you buy, if you don't know what to expect ?

Nforce2, as a chipset, can be picky about RAM. One thing you may not
have tried, while testing in your friend's system, was Prime95.
That is a program you can use for testing, from .
There is a torture test option in the menu. That test is pretty
sensitive about the correct operation of a processor and memory.
I have an Nforce2 board, and my build failed in minutes, with that
test. It turned out my RAM was bad. I got some CAS2 memory, and
that solved the problem.

Now, what do you get, going from 2500+ to 3200+ ? It will be a little
bit faster, making games that lag, a bit smoother. But if the
game you are trying, has a terrible frame rate, the change might not
be enough to fix it for you. In other words, don't expect miracles.

Another option, is to get a cheap S939 processor, a motherboard, and
one 512MB stick of RAM to match the stick you've got.

AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice 2.0GHz S939 ADA3200BPBOX - Retail   $61

A motherboard for S939, with AGP slot. Not a lot of good customer
review feedback.

EPoX EP-9HDAI PRO Socket 939 VIA K8T800 Pro ATX   $55

The Nforce3 chips, had stutter issues with early 6800 video
cards. I don't know if that issue has been totally fixed
or not.

EPoX EP-9NDA3I Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce3 250 ATX   $58

Now, this board is unique. It has both an AGP and a PCI Express x16

ASRock 939Dual-VSTA Socket 939 ULi M1695 ATX   $67

Looking at those three, I'd probably focus on the $58 one, as
long as you can find proof that the Nforce3 and the 6800GS
can coexist. For $61 + $58 + cost_of_512MB_PC3200, you can
have an upgrade. Overclocking your new processor a bit, is
where it pays off.


Re: Trying to stay close to relevant on a tight budget

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Thank you very much for all of that information. I will start to dig
through it. The CPU is one of the unlocked bartons and so I can run it
with the multiplier up (BIOS then reports 2800+) and crank the fsb up to
about 177 before it gets sad. One of my mates said that doing what I
said above should be good enough. Now if only I could replace the desk
fan I use for cooling.

with the stock amd cooler I get 58C Idle 63.5 at utilisation
with the deskfan I get 37.5 Idle and 43.5 at 100% utilisation

I am really in a quandary. As far as games go I am playing NFSMW on a
GF4MX400 at 640x480@minimum detail as my 2 week old brand new 6800GS
crapped itself. It does 2D as if it was born for it but switch it into
3D and it will lock hard within minutes.

The RAM is PC2700 generic stuff

I thought that that might help. I'm tempted to fire up my old
trustworthy Athlon 1000. I used to get 1.3ghz with air and it seemed to
be begging for more.
I guess I was lucky because when I discovered overclocking I
serendipitously had an axia stepped chip in my new computer.

Re: Trying to stay close to relevant on a tight budget

Not looking up your actual MB this may not be a valid option. On my other
Barton 2500+ and 2600+ cpus I had changed the fsb speed to 200 mhz using the
pin mod. you basically switch the defaults that your cpu reports and your MB
will use em. here is a small url that shows what I had done.

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Re: Trying to stay close to relevant on a tight budget

Chris wrote:
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Thankfully it's an early model Barton and it is unlocked in all
respects. The only thing holding it back is the motherboard not allowing
me to crank it up.
It has a 1/5 divider at 166mhz FSB and that's the highest divider
available with that mobo. Subsequently, you can only ramp up the bus
speed so much.
I am going to run SANDRA and the results may assist out solution
searching. My DL speed has been capped by my sucky ISP so I will post
results one Sandra is downloaded. What results are the ones you guys
wan't to see?

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