Monday, 11 February 2008

PC Upgrade - 1

Well no prices for guessing what this article is about… for the last month I have been going around boring off anyone willing to stay and listen about my plans to upgrade my PC. It is a major overhaul rather than a mere upgrade… so here goes the list.

Processor

Not very difficult to choose the brand – with the advent of Core 2 Duos, AMD has been unable to compete with Intel neither on price nor on performance. So Intel. Now for the specific model… the E 6X00 series is what started it all, but there was the improved E 6X50 series giving better performance and utilizing a FSB speed of 1333 MHz to consider. These were codenamed Conroe. All this changed with the arrival of the new Wolfdale processors. These CPUs are based on the revised core manufactured with 45nm process. Pros - lesser power consumption and better performance at same clock speeds and brilliant overclockability as per the initial reports (Apparently they had 8500 running at a stable overclock speed of 4.7 GHz and 8400 at 4.3). Cons – none as of now. As you would expect, I fell in love with the new processors and I just had to have one. Well this complicated the upgrading somewhat because older motherboards do not support the new 45nm beauties, and those that do were hard to find or too costly (ie in jan beginning). Choice is between E8200 and E8400.

Motherboard

Here I ran into a lot of trouble… too many choices, too many features to decide upon and too many makes, but (A.S would vouch for this) better safe than sorry. So I digged around quite a lot. Of course as I had already decided on the processor the necessary features would be 45nm C2D processor support and 1333 MHz FSB.With some sound advice from previously divertido lately bach, of the Ever Angry Cult, I managed to rule out DDR3, as it is prohibitively expensive right now and it is possible to get the same performance of DDR3 wth roughly double that amount of DDR2 memory or so I think. Btw some mobos support both which is quite a nice feature. Then came PCI Express 2.0, which turned out to be a feature planned by the companies solely to propagate consumerism. It brings better speed, hence better bandwidth and more power drawing capability from the PCI socket itself, but even the most intensive graphic cards out there do not have bandwidth demand to warrant any upgrade to 2.0, PCIE x8 alone can handle the present needs and x16 (16 bus lanes) will do nicely for at least a couple of years. Then I hit another hurdle. Which chipset architecture to go for? Shootout was between X38, P35 and P965(Leaving out the Nvidia chipsets). P35 being the upgraded version of P965 helped rule that out and well X38 is overpriced and will come into its own only in the future when DDR3 and PCIE 2.0 catches on. So finally the brand – yet to choose between Asus, GigaByte and Intel. Asus P5KC, P5KE/WIFIAP and GigaByte GA-P35C-DS3R look lke good bets.

RAM

DDR2 is the best choice as of now. DDR – outdated. DDR3 – overtly expensive. DDR2 hits the performance – price sweet spot nicely. DDR2 1066 does have a slight performance improvement but not enough to warrant the big difference in price. So DDR2 800 would be my choice. Possibly 1GB to be upgraded to 2GB in the not too distant future or perhaps even straight to 2GB.

to be continued....

11 comments:

  1. oh! what an informative blog. seems to me you have done a lot of digging around. any reason why you ruled out the nvidia chipsets totally? anyway nice post.

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  2. if you find the article really techy then a sneak peak into the ever reliable wiki might help.. here is the link..
    FSB wiki

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  3. hmmm.. yeah informative article indeed..but don't think my PC is gonna get any upgrade in the near future..

    well,i read some wiki stuff relating to your article.. fantastico, reading wiki won't be a bad idea before digging into the article in my opinion...

    waiting for the rest of the article..

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  4. many facts..You seem to have studied a lot before buying or????..

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  5. hmm.. core 2 duo..
    sigh.. graphic card.
    oh.. 2gb ram

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  6. good summing up of all that u told me. just the right amount technical details.

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  7. all the ads are now pc related

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  8. hmm, ya did a lot of digging around. still digging around, i suppose will be till i get my upgrade at around half of march when i expect the prices of new core 2 duos to have settled, and also details of the new geforce 9600 gt to emerge. all this diggin round has helped me gain a lil tech knowledge and interest sparked, hmm it seems we all have to look outside our syllabus for any sparks of interest.

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  9. this article's being dugg too..

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