upgrading CPU & RAM (compatibility)

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In considering upgrades for this motherboard:

661GX-M (V1.0B)
http://www.ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail.aspx ?

I'm not quite sure what type of RAM to get, I know that I want "2 x 184-
pin DDR DIMM socket support up to 2 GB" DDR 400, but does that mean PC
3200 or PC2 3200?  DDR2 is compatible?  I'd rather use the Kingston
(below) because it's cheaper, but it's 240-pin.

The RAM is between:

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit
Desktop Memory Model AD1U400A1G3-DRH

Kingston 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 400 (PC2 3200) Unbuffered System
Specific Memory for Dell Model KTD-DM8400/1G

Is it worthwhile to replace the PSU preemptively, or to just wait for it
to fail?

I ordered a CPU:

Pentium 4 2.53GHz 512KB 533MHz SL6S2 478 pin Northwood

and have a wishlist for other upgrades:

http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx ?

results of Linux lshw command:

thufir@arrakis:~$ nl hardware.txt
     1    arrakis
     2        description: Computer
     3        width: 32 bits
     4      *-core
     5           description: Motherboard
     6           physical id: 0
     7         *-memory
     8              description: System memory
     9              physical id: 0
    10              size: 464MiB
    11         *-cpu
    12              product: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.13GHz
    13              vendor: Intel Corp.
    14              physical id: 1
    15              bus info: cpu@0
    16              version: 15.4.9
    17              serial: 0000-0F49-0000-0000-0000-0000
    18              size: 2150MHz
    19              width: 32 bits
    20              capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr
pae mce cx8 apic mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr
sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe constant_tsc up pebs bts pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl
cid xtpr
    21              configuration: id=0
    22         *-pci
    23              description: Host bridge
    24              product: 661FX/M661FX/M661MX Host



Re: upgrading CPU & RAM (compatibility)

On 10/16/2010 5:13 PM, Thufir Hawat wrote:
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It wants DDR memory. DDR2 will NOT work. I checked your
board on the Crucial web site and confirmed this.

Re: upgrading CPU & RAM (compatibility)

Thufir Hawat wrote:
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You cannot use DDR2 with that motherboard.  DDR chips operate at a
higher voltage (2.5V vs. 1.8V) and use a very different signal
protocol, and DDR modules have fewer pins in the same width, and the
notch in the rows of pins is about 1/8" farther to the right.

I try to buy modules with chips marked with the actual chip maker's
logo or part number because those chips are tested much more strictly
(search "UTT" to see what I mean). Actual chip brands include Samsung,
Nanya, Micron, ProMOS, PowerChip, QiMonda, Hynix, and Inotera but not
A-Data, Kingston, Corsair, Mushkin, Geil, G.Skil, etc.  Also avoid
anything specified for a higher than normal voltage, even if it's just
1/10th volt higher, because that means the chips failed at standard
voltage.    If you have to buy modules with no-name chips or heatsinks
on them, try to use merchants that cover return shipping costs and
give 100% cash refunds, like Fry's, Best Buy, or Staples.  Purchasing
local also means you can see if the modules have name brand chips or
not, and even Centons at Staples sometimes have the "M" (Micron) or
"SEC" (Samsung Electron Corp.) markings.  While Kingston memory with
no-name (Kingston) chips aren't that good, their replacements seem to
always work perfectly, provided you speak with their level 2 tech
support and say you're on your third set in a row.  BTW, out of 12-13
Kingston PC3200 DDR modules I tried, 8 of them were bad.

Test every new module overnight, using at least two different
diagnostics, and reject anything that shows even a single error.  Good
diagnostics include MemTest86, MemTest+ (but not MemTest), and Gold

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It depends on what brands of electrolytic capacitors are inside it.
If you see only Nichicon, Rubycon, Panasonic, Sanyo, and Chemicon
brands, the PSU can easily last 10 years.  OTOH Taiwan or China caps
often go bad in 2-3 years.  Even many quality brand PSUs contain junk
caps, and the problem caps are almost always the low voltage ones (50V
and less).  A Pentium 4 is hard on the motherboard caps next to it,
and even high quality caps have often failed in just 5 years, and ECS
wasn't exactly famous for using high quality caps.

 > I ordered a CPU:  Pentium 4 2.53GHz 512KB 533MHz SL6S2 478 pin

You may want to check the benchmarks because the P4 isn't that fast,
and if you need speed, you may be better off even with a modern budget
system, especially for the graphics (the fastest graphics cards are
PCI-E, not AGP, which is what your mobo has):


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I don't see the point of the Arctic Silver or the "High performance
thermal material remover".  Regular thermal paste, like the opaque
white silicone grease (AKA dielectric grease) sold by electronic parts
supplies and auto parts stores (used for waterproofing electrical
connections and keeping ignition modules cool) is fine (and less
messy), as numerous tests have shown (DansData.com found only
insignificant differences, and vegetable spread or toothpaste did just
as well as overpriced Arctic Silver).  Old thermal paste can usually
be removed with just a paper towel, but a plastic-safe solvent, like
alcohol, window cleaner, or WD-40, can help.  Don't use acetone or
lacquer thinner, which can dissolve plastics.

Re: upgrading CPU & RAM (compatibility)

On Sat, 16 Oct 2010 19:16:02 -0700, larry moe 'n curly wrote:
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I never would've thought that, thanks.
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Hmm.  Well, the heatsink definitely needs to be replaced, but maybe I'll
put the memory upgrades on hold.  It does kinda seem disproportionate.

Also, thanks for the info about thermal paste.


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