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Compaq EN P600 w/i820 chipset upgrade questions



 
 
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  #11  
Old November 25th 04, 12:32 AM
Ben Myers
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Intel 820 chipset, not a VIA chipset. RAMBUS memory, which IS faster than
SDRAM. But still, I share your concern as to whether a slowish CPU with
whatever video card will be able to sufficiently meet the demands of a modern
video game... Ben Myers

On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 23:17:20 GMT, kony wrote:

On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 15:39:21 -0500, Eddie Crismond
wrote:


WinXP and the RDRAM are the only things that could not be transfered
over to another system. And because of that, I agree that it is hard to
justify the upgrade because of the cost of those two components. But the
Sims!2, video card, and even a hard drive (although any modern HD I
install will be limited by the IDE controller, which I think is ATA-66
in this PC), could all be used in another system. I also might get some
geek satisfaction from taking an old system and making it better. Hey,
some people have more expensive hobbies.

I am still afraid however, that she may not be happy with the
performance of The Sims! 2 + Windows XP/2000 on this 600Mhz system. The
Sims! 2 + Windows 98SE may be a consideration.


It's not 2K or XP that'd be slowing it down, it's the CPU
and amount of memory, memory bus speed, etc (maybe video
card too?). Win2K or XP might need a few dozen more MB of
memory than Win98, but putting that into context of a system
that has 512MB and SIMM games which are notorious for
needing piles of memory (usually 1GB is a good target), and
the OS isn't going to be enough of a difference to matter
during gaming, expecially due to DirectX/GL the OS itself
will have minimal impact.

If the IDE is ATA-66, is that a Via 693 chipset board?
I ask because that chipset has very poor memory performance
already, it's sort of the opposite of the ideal board for
SIMMin' even ignoring the slow CPU. In other words an
Intel BX or Via 694 chipset board with all other components
same might SIMM 10% faster just due to that issue alone.
10% isn't much on a box that can do it @ 50 FPS, but might
be on a box that does it @ 14 FPS.



You'd have far higher
performance just buying a $55 nForce2 motherboard, an Athlon
XP2000, and 2 x 256MB PC3200 DIMMs. If the case won't
accept these parts you might need a different case too, but
the end result is a much faster system.


I may consider building her a new system. I doubt I will be able to use
the Compaq EN Series case. The Compaq MB has a PCI riser card.


You might be able to buy an upgradeware Tualatin Celeron
adapter and get the system up to ~ 1.4GHz or so, don't know
for sure if the board would be compatible or not. Otherwise
it might make a router, fileserver or ??? someday.


But, I also have a Dell Dimension with Pentium III 866Mhz, 384MB SDRAM,
ATA-100 hard disk controller and what ever else I decide to throw in it.
This may be more suited for The Sims!2. So trading her the Dell for the
Compaq is worth considering.


MIght be though 384MB is a little light for the SIMMS too,
someone I know is playing on a box with 768MB and wondering
if they should upgrade to 1280MB. 384MB is a nice size for
moderate WinXP use though.


  #12  
Old November 25th 04, 04:15 AM
kony
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On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 23:32:24 GMT, ben_myers_spam_me_not @
charter.net (Ben Myers) wrote:

Intel 820 chipset, not a VIA chipset. RAMBUS memory, which IS faster than
SDRAM. But still, I share your concern as to whether a slowish CPU with
whatever video card will be able to sufficiently meet the demands of a modern
video game... Ben Myers


Thanks, I realized that after posting, recalling that it was
RDRAM based system which Via 693 doesn't support.

I wouldn't expect SIMMS2 to be very playable with less than
a DDR era board/memory and ~ 1.4GHz Athlon.
  #13  
Old November 25th 04, 04:01 PM
Eddie Crismond
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Ben Myers wrote:
On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 15:14:05 -0500, Eddie Crismond wrote:


SNIP


RDRAM will continue to be more expensive than SDRAM or DDR for some time to
come. If anyone is manufacturing it any more, the quantities are small. Intel
was the prime supporter of RDRAM with its chipsets and belief that it was the
only way to fix the memory access bottleneck that inhibited faster system
performance. Then the Rambus company threw patent infringement lawsuits at
everyone (except Intel), and the entire industry soured on RDRAM. Intel saw the
disenchantment with RDRAM and the high price compared to SDRAM and stopped
designing RAMBUS chipsets in favor of today's DDR SDRAM.

So expect to pay a premium for RDRAM almost forever, or until demand drops way
down to almost zero, whichever happens first. The usual rule of thumb for most
memory these days is around $25 for 128MB. RDRAM can't be touched for that sort
of price... Ben Myers


Such a shame. This phenomenon makes upgrading PCs with these boards a
pain. But, as I am typing this message, I just thought of my niece, who
has a Gateway PC with an i850 chipset, which uses PC800 RDRAM. It
currently has 256MB, and Windows XP. If my sister decides she really
needs to play the Sims 2, and the Compaq just isn't cutting it, I can
give the RDRAM to my niece. Or keep the Compaq as a Linux test bed

  #14  
Old November 25th 04, 04:14 PM
Ben Myers
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Pentium 4 systems with the 850 chipset require matched pairs of RDRAM to be
installed, unlike the P3 systems and 820 chipset which allow a single memory
stick plus a continuity RIMM (CRIMM)... Ben Myers

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 10:01:22 -0500, Eddie Crismond wrote:

Ben Myers wrote:
On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 15:14:05 -0500, Eddie Crismond wrote:


SNIP


RDRAM will continue to be more expensive than SDRAM or DDR for some time to
come. If anyone is manufacturing it any more, the quantities are small. Intel
was the prime supporter of RDRAM with its chipsets and belief that it was the
only way to fix the memory access bottleneck that inhibited faster system
performance. Then the Rambus company threw patent infringement lawsuits at
everyone (except Intel), and the entire industry soured on RDRAM. Intel saw the
disenchantment with RDRAM and the high price compared to SDRAM and stopped
designing RAMBUS chipsets in favor of today's DDR SDRAM.

So expect to pay a premium for RDRAM almost forever, or until demand drops way
down to almost zero, whichever happens first. The usual rule of thumb for most
memory these days is around $25 for 128MB. RDRAM can't be touched for that sort
of price... Ben Myers


Such a shame. This phenomenon makes upgrading PCs with these boards a
pain. But, as I am typing this message, I just thought of my niece, who
has a Gateway PC with an i850 chipset, which uses PC800 RDRAM. It
currently has 256MB, and Windows XP. If my sister decides she really
needs to play the Sims 2, and the Compaq just isn't cutting it, I can
give the RDRAM to my niece. Or keep the Compaq as a Linux test bed


  #15  
Old November 25th 04, 04:23 PM
Eddie Crismond
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kony wrote:

On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 15:39:21 -0500, Eddie Crismond
wrote:


I am still afraid however, that she may not be happy with the
performance of The Sims! 2 + Windows XP/2000 on this 600Mhz system. The
Sims! 2 + Windows 98SE may be a consideration.



It's not 2K or XP that'd be slowing it down, it's the CPU
and amount of memory, memory bus speed, etc (maybe video
card too?). Win2K or XP might need a few dozen more MB of
memory than Win98, but putting that into context of a system
that has 512MB and SIMM games which are notorious for
needing piles of memory (usually 1GB is a good target), and
the OS isn't going to be enough of a difference to matter
during gaming, expecially due to DirectX/GL the OS itself
will have minimal impact.


Ok, when I read the minimum system requirement (linked to in another
post on this thread), it showed that Windows 98SE needed half as much memory
as the other two OS's. I took this to mean that Windows 98SE would need
less memory to achieve the same performance. But I will take your word
for it that the reason 98SE needs half the memory in these system
requirements is only a consideration for the requirements of the OS
itself irregardless of what applications are being run on it.

snip

I may consider building her a new system. I doubt I will be able to use
the Compaq EN Series case. The Compaq MB has a PCI riser card.



You might be able to buy an upgradeware Tualatin Celeron
adapter and get the system up to ~ 1.4GHz or so, don't know
for sure if the board would be compatible or not. Otherwise
it might make a router, fileserver or ??? someday.


Putting a Tuatalin Celeron on this board is an interesting idea. I think
that, with a T&L video card, would have to make The Sims! 2 playable.
This is a sloted CPU. I guess its a slot 1. I assumed it would be a
socket 370 before I looked in the case. But I have an Asus slotket
laying around. Would make a fun experiment anyway I'll have to check
prices on the Upgradeware Tuatalin Celeron. Or if nothing else, this box
might make a good Linux test bed.





But, I also have a Dell Dimension with Pentium III 866Mhz, 384MB SDRAM,
ATA-100 hard disk controller and what ever else I decide to throw in it.
This may be more suited for The Sims!2. So trading her the Dell for the
Compaq is worth considering.



MIght be though 384MB is a little light for the SIMMS too,
someone I know is playing on a box with 768MB and wondering
if they should upgrade to 1280MB. 384MB is a nice size for
moderate WinXP use though.


Yes, its a shame we need 100's of megabytes just for moderate use. Like
word processing, email and web browsing. I can see the Sims! 2 wanting
a 1024MB though.

Thanks again for your reply
Eddie

  #16  
Old November 25th 04, 04:55 PM
Eddie Crismond
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kony wrote:

snip


Well, Geforce 2 is not hardware T&L, Geforce 3 was the first
gen. to do that, so the GF3 should be substantially better
at making most of the slow CPU, but then obviously the video
card isn't so fast these days either. From what I vaguely
recall of that era system/video, a GF3 might be at least 60%
faster at typical games.


Are you sure about that? I thought that the GeForce 2 and the Radeon
7500 both had T&L built in. Does the Geforce 3 have 'hardware T&L' while
the Geforce 2 only has 'T&L'?



I realize this is the bare minimum. But I'm hoping other factors like
FSB, and the bandwidth of both the system memory and video memory, if
they are high, may be an advantage. Installing the less bloated Windows
98SE instead of 2000/XP may also be an advantage.



What do you mean by FSB and bandwidth?
A P3, even using Rambus, is still very slow in these
regards, it's not like it's making up any ground in those
areas. While Rambus memory has higher throughput, even
faster memory than yours uses still loses it's much of it's
edge due to higher latency.


By Front Side Bus (FSB) I mean, that some P3's are designed to run on a
100Mhz FSB, while slightly laters P3's run on a 133Mhz FSB. I think this
Compaq has a P3 600/133. I know, Moore's Law has made the 33Mhz
difference irrelevant, since we have effective 400 and 800 Mhz FSBs now.

When I say bandwidth, I'm talking about memory bandwidth. What has more,
PC800 Rambus, or PC100/133 SDRAM? Does the latency of Rambus make its
memory bandwidth compared to PC133 SDRAM irrelavant? Is the FSB of this
processor a bottleneck? Can I get by with PC600 RDRAM if the BIOS
supports it? I might just get this thing to have basic usablity, and
worry about building a Sims platform later.

snip

I have a Dell System just sitting here with an 866Mhz P3 and 368MB of
SDRAM. I could trade her the Dell for the Compaq.



That's nice of you but probably not going to help enough for
semi-modern games.


Well, I'm not a gamer, even though I can put a PC together. I have
little gaming experience, or evidence to the contrary with regards to
semi-modern games.

Eddie


  #17  
Old November 25th 04, 05:25 PM
Ben Myers
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Responses to your post below...

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 10:55:45 -0500, Eddie Crismond wrote:
SNIP
By Front Side Bus (FSB) I mean, that some P3's are designed to run on a
100Mhz FSB, while slightly laters P3's run on a 133Mhz FSB. I think this
Compaq has a P3 600/133. I know, Moore's Law has made the 33Mhz
difference irrelevant, since we have effective 400 and 800 Mhz FSBs now.

When I say bandwidth, I'm talking about memory bandwidth. What has more,
PC800 Rambus, or PC100/133 SDRAM? Does the latency of Rambus make its
memory bandwidth compared to PC133 SDRAM irrelavant? Is the FSB of this
processor a bottleneck? Can I get by with PC600 RDRAM if the BIOS
supports it? I might just get this thing to have basic usablity, and
worry about building a Sims platform later.

PC800 RAMBUS has greater bandwidth than PC133 SDRAM. But you're right that the
processor FSB is the bottleneck in the system with RAMBUS. If the motherboard
BIOS does not get upset, PC600 RAMBUS would probably do just fine. Certainly
the 820 chipset supports it, and scales down the bus clocking to work with
slower RAMBUS memory. If you happen to mix faster and slower RAMBUS in the same
system, all memory runs at the slower speed... Ben Myers

  #18  
Old November 25th 04, 05:55 PM
Eddie Crismond
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Ben Myers wrote:
Pentium 4 systems with the 850 chipset require matched pairs of RDRAM to be
installed, unlike the P3 systems and 820 chipset which allow a single memory
stick plus a continuity RIMM (CRIMM)... Ben Myers


But I cannot mix memory moduals of different capacity, right? For
example, I could not leave the existing 128MB modual, and replace the
CRIMM with a 256MB modual?

Thanks
Eddie
  #19  
Old November 25th 04, 06:38 PM
Ben Myers
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In a P3 RAMBUS system, RDRAM modules of different capacities are allowed, e.g.
128MB & 256MB. In a P4 system, they are allowed, too, as long as the rule of
matched pairs is adhered to, much like the classic Pentium motherboards with
72-pin SIMMs.

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 11:55:24 -0500, Eddie Crismond wrote:

Ben Myers wrote:
Pentium 4 systems with the 850 chipset require matched pairs of RDRAM to be
installed, unlike the P3 systems and 820 chipset which allow a single memory
stick plus a continuity RIMM (CRIMM)... Ben Myers


But I cannot mix memory moduals of different capacity, right? For
example, I could not leave the existing 128MB modual, and replace the
CRIMM with a 256MB modual?

Thanks
Eddie


  #20  
Old November 25th 04, 08:49 PM
Eddie Crismond
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Ben Myers wrote:

In a P3 RAMBUS system, RDRAM modules of different capacities are allowed, e.g.
128MB & 256MB. In a P4 system, they are allowed, too, as long as the rule of
matched pairs is adhered to, much like the classic Pentium motherboards with
72-pin SIMMs.


I didn't know that. I may just get one 256MB modual then, and replace
the existing CRIMM, then reinstall Win2K. Although The Sims! 2 may be
pretty much out of the question, at least she will have a system usable
for web browsing, etc...

Thanks again
Eddie

 




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