Machine switch-a-roo

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Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:46 pm

My current home rigg runs (2) 8800GT's in SLI. I'm planning on upgrading to some new single 275 or 260 soon but I need to upgrade my son's machine in the meantime.

He's getting a HP DX2200 computer. I googled around and found that it looks like this machine has a 775 socket. I was hoping to buy some flavor of Quadcore processor for it, bump it to 4GB and give him one of my 8800gt's.

Seems via the specs, I'm capped at 2GB via (2) 1GB chips. (Drat, I have 2 -2GB DDR2's laying around) But I can't determine if it will support a Quadcore processor. Plus I'm guessing the 250W Power supply isn't going to run a 8800GT...

Of course looking to do it for as cheap as possible. He's only 5 and my wife can't see why his other PC isn't cutting it. Any assistance at least on the processor? Or comments in general?

I will be using this machine for folding as well.
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Re: Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Wed Aug 19, 2009 11:29 am

Hi --

That is a toughie. Don't take me personal or anything. Just throwing some thoughts.

Sounds like you got the dx2200 already... Right? It is pretty outdated. You will have to look to see if the motherboard has a CPU power plug, if it does then you should be in good shape to use a quad-core as long as you get a new PSU. 250W just won't cut it. 450 to 500W will do good. Might even go down to 400, but if you wanna fold, then 450 to 500 is better.

Now, the RAM is a different story. 667 Mhz is old, but still plenty fast enough for a 5 year. 2gs should get you by for a while. Depending how fast your son grows up... ;-) The GPU should take care of most games. My son is 12 and has a machine with 2gs and he is playing everything under the sky without any problems. Of course, he has a 4870, but I don't think the 8800GTs are that far behind. Coming to folding, um... I don't know much about the RAM usage in folding. I fold, but I have 4gs. I tried my son's and it was bogging the machine, but that was cuz of the GPU using so much CPU power. So, I don't think it was a RAM issue. Actually, I know it was not a RAM issue cuz I remember looking and there was plenty left. Mind you, it folded just fine, but gaming and folding at the same time got me a hear full from my son.

So, all in all, if the motherboard is supported then you'll be ok. So, knocking on wood for ya!

Remember the second paragraph is not from experience. Just assumptions for reading and hearing from others. In fact, you might even be able to google and find people trying to upgrade a dx2200 to your specs. I'm looking now...

Ok, this is great specs for everything about a dx2200: http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quic ... 26_na.HTML

So, I guess the real question is the FSB. There are two 533 and 800 Mhz. If you get the 800 you most definitely won't have a with a Q6600 quad. 533, um, I don't know. I highly doubt it.

Wow! I didn't think I would go on and on, so I will stop and let you tell us more. Please, do let us know how it goes.
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Re: Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:02 pm

Why are you set on buying that PC? Surely you could not order that and build one yourself with a quad-core already in it?
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Re: Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:18 pm

The other problem with updating CPU's in OEM systems is that sometimes the BIOS won't support the CPU. It isn't all that unusual for OEM systems to have rather crippled BIOS compared to generally available motherboards. Given the age of the motherboard and that the list of processors for the system contains P4's and P D's, I would be exceptionally surprised if any Core 2 processor would work on the motherboard. That said, I've got a friend who is a casual gamer and runs things on a Pentium D. So, the DX2200 might not be a complete lost cause...though if it doesn't have a P D, they are ridiculously priced on the market for their power.

A single 8800GT still runs most of today's games just fine. It will probably have peak power draw a little over 250W, depending on the rest of the system components.

That said, a single 260 or 275 isn't an upgrade from 8800GT SLI...provided that the games you play are well supported by SLI. Two 8800GT's in SLI should be close to a 280.
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Re: Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:01 am

Thanks for the helpful info all!

I currently have the DX2200. So there's no cost involved in giving it to my son. (It's been dormant in my basement for 6-8 months) His existing PC is a P4 dell that's got to be 5 + years old with integrated graphics. He's in to playing Spore, and some other cartoony based games which are taxing his old PC.

I'm trying to rub 2 pennies together to make a quarter, which usually comes back to bight me in the ass. I was thinking the worst that could happen is a buy a quad core, it doesn't work, then I end up buying a new MB and using it in that DX2200 case. (Which begs the question why not just spend the 50-80 to do that in the first place?)

The reason I'm ditching one of the 8800's is 2 fold (bad pun).

1. I need to use dual screens, SLI enabled kills that functionality.
2. I can't "easily" use the other 8800GT to fold, moving it to another PC would work better for my PPD.

I didn't know the (2) 8800's would closely match a 280, I was thinking they would be lacking. I usually look at the performance charts on Tom's Hardware for that kind of info. Is that the best place to compare performance or would you recommend somewhere else?
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Re: Machine switch-a-roo

Postposted on Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:10 am

Hmm, I thought the latest Nvidia drivers have supported SLI on dual monitors for several months.

On the cheap I would forget about a quad core cpu, particularly since the HP specs max the mobo at dual core Pentium Ds. I would replace the 250 watt PSU with an Antec Earthwatts 380 or 430 (on sale if possible) and just drop in the 8800GT. Even a recent single core Pentium 4 and a modest amount of memory should be able to support folding on the 8800GT with the latest drivers. Your son will enjoy the eye candy and the 8800GT will make at least double the points of a low end quad core SMP (particularly if you were planning to run it dual core VM) with about ten percent of the hassles of the SMP client.

The absolute best place to compare video card performance is The Tech Report. IMO
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