Question Upgrade advice

ljsejones

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I have a 2005 vintage desktop with an ASUS, P5W DH Delux MB and a same vintage Intel Core Duo CPU. I tried moving to a Core Duo, Quad, but the MB just couldn't handle it even with updated BIOS. It has a USB PCI card, a PCIE wireless/ bluetooth card. The case has been altered to include USB-3 sockets built-in, so I want to keep the case and PCI cards. I've been thinking about putting in an Asus P5G41C-M LX and an Intel QX6850 Core Duo, Quad, I know these work together. Although I've built seven Desktops, and am living on Social Security, If anyone can set my sights higher for a used MB/CPU upgrade, I would like to hear about it. I suspect I'm setting my sights too low. Thanks.
 

tennis2

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Ultimately I think you should get away from 13 year old PC parts. They may be attractive in cost, but that's because they're still obsolete. You're "kicking the can" down the road a year or two at a time and never really achieving "good" performance at any point along your journey by doing so.
  • Please describe what tasks you do with your PC.
  • What country are you shopping in
  • What is your upgrade budget
  • As best you can, provide us with information about your current PC (especially brand/model of things that could be reused such as case, hard drive(s), and power supply). Is your current PC a custom/aftermarket machine, or a pre-built/OEM (Dell/HP/etc etc).
  • If you've been upgrading/replacing some components over the years, tell us roughly how old some of these things are (power supply, hard drive(s) especially).
 

ljsejones

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Ultimately I think you should get away from 13 year old PC parts. They may be attractive in cost, but that's because they're still obsolete. You're "kicking the can" down the road a year or two at a time and never really achieving "good" performance at any point along your journey by doing so.
  • Please describe what tasks you do with your PC.
  • What country are you shopping in
  • What is your upgrade budget
  • As best you can, provide us with information about your current PC (especially brand/model of things that could be reused such as case, hard drive(s), and power supply). Is your current PC a custom/aftermarket machine, or a pre-built/OEM (Dell/HP/etc etc).
  • If you've been upgrading/replacing some components over the years, tell us roughly how old some of these things are (power supply, hard drive(s) especially).
Most of the upgrades are only about two years old, including the video GPU. I'm not a gamer, I do minor video editing once in a while,
I'm 70 years old and don't really need a long haul machine. I can only afford used parts, my budget is only about $300.00 U.S.
I mainly use it for streaming video. The case also has a 6 selection SATA power selector, I can power up one or as many drives as needed for whatever, the rest of the time the unused drives are unpowered so they last longer. I run six systems Mac OS; Win XP; Win 8.1 (tried 10, didn't like it), Linux Mint; MX Linux; and Linux Zorin.
This case is big enough to easily accommodate 6 HDDs. I realize switching to SSDs will be an improvement, But if I could shave off 5 or ten years with a newer MB/CPU, it will make SSDs more worthwhile. I'll probably only need it for another 10 or 15 years if I'm lucky.
I'm most comfortable with ASUS MBs, but I'm open to anything but Intel and AMD boards. Worked with both for other people, wasn't impressed.
I'm in Oregon, U.S. the machine has the original 400-watt power supply, It still works perfectly, but if I rebuild, I may get a new 600-watt supply. The problem is, so much available today is really not built very well. Older parts were made to much higher standards.
 

tennis2

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PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i3-10100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($105.44 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B460M MORTAR Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory ($58.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12III 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ B&H)
Total: $329.41
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-12-08 15:12 EST-0500


Windows' (and/or the motherboard) sata power management should put drives to sleep automatically if they're unused.

Not sure what graphics card you have. But I'd probably leave it out of this new build. Pretty much the only thing to keep is going to be the PCIe WiFi card (and that's just because there wasn't enough budget to get a mobo with integrated WiFi)

Seems you could consolidate hard drives by partitioning instead of dedicating a physical HDD to each of your OSes. Not sure what your storage capacity needs are.

If you find any money in the couch cushions, I'd suggest adding a SSD to the new build. Even on the current-gen platform listed above, a SSD will make the system 2x more responsive than with a HDD.
 
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ljsejones

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PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i3-10100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($105.44 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B460M MORTAR Micro ATX LGA1200 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16 Memory ($58.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12III 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ B&H)
Total: $329.41
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-12-08 15:12 EST-0500


Windows' (and/or the motherboard) sata power management should put drives to sleep automatically if they're unused.

Not sure what graphics card you have. But I'd probably leave it out of this new build. Pretty much the only thing to keep is going to be the PCIe WiFi card (and that's just because there wasn't enough budget to get a mobo with integrated WiFi)

Seems you could consolidate hard drives by partitioning instead of dedicating a physical HDD to each of your OSes. Not sure what your storage capacity needs are.

If you find any money in the couch cushions, I'd suggest adding a SSD to the new build. Even on the current-gen platform listed above, a SSD will make the system 2x more responsive than with a HDD.
I intend to switch to SSDs, along with an MB/CPU upgrade. But it will take me a year to buy the pieces one at a time. I just have to decide where to start. I'd rather have the MB/CPU upgrades in place before I start buying one SSD a month. In my experience, systems that worked fine on one board may not be happy with a new board and need to be reloaded. The MB/CPU is the foundation on which you build, building from the top down is just opening a can of worms.
 

ljsejones

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I intend to switch to SSDs, along with an MB/CPU upgrade. But it will take me a year to buy the pieces one at a time. I just have to decide where to start. I'd rather have the MB/CPU upgrades in place before I start buying one SSD a month. In my experience, systems that worked fine on one board may not be happy with a new board and need to be reloaded. The MB/CPU is the foundation on which you build, building from the top down is just opening a can of worms.
OK, PCPartPicker. I appreciate the links and your input. I just bought the MotherBoard/CPU combo you suggested. The CPU supposedly comes with a cooler, I tend to use finned, Heatpipe towers, but I can upgrade later if necessary. This is newer stuff than I've worked with before, I've never even touched a DDR4 RAM stick, but I can't imagine there's a steep learning curve since I've built 7 computers before.
I really do appreciate the effort you made...Merry Christmas!
 

tennis2

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DDR4 installs the same as any other older RAM. Each generation (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, upcoming DDR5) have the "notch" in different locations so they can't be accidentally installed in an incompatible mobo (I'm pretty sure they're all the same overall stick length). Mobos (CPUs really) from DDR3 era don't support DDR4, so there's no backward/ forward compatibility with RAM, you need to use the proper version that your mobo/CPU supports.

Obviously no RAM compatibility issue with the list I provided. Just want to make sure you understand that you can't use your existing DDR2 RAM with this new CPU+mobo.

Regarding the CPU cooler. Yes, the i3-10100 comes with an included heatsink. It's not going to be anything special, but I'd recommend trying it out first since it's the free option. A tower-style aftermarket cooler will certainly keep temps and/or noise down compared to the stock cooler, but if the [free] stock cooler operates acceptably....
Also, while AMD broke cooler compatibility with their AM4 socket, Intel mounting points have been the same for a LONG time. If you've got a cooler laying around and you want something besides the stock cooler, see if it matches the hole pattern in the mobo.
 
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ljsejones

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DDR4 installs the same as any other older RAM. Each generation (DDR2, DDR3, DDR4, upcoming DDR5) have the "notch" in different locations so they can't be accidentally installed in an incompatible mobo (I'm pretty sure they're all the same overall stick length). Mobos (CPUs really) from DDR3 era don't support DDR4, so there's no backward/ forward compatibility with RAM, you need to use the proper version that your mobo/CPU supports.

Obviously no RAM compatibility issue with the list I provided. Just want to make sure you understand that you can't use your existing DDR2 RAM with this new CPU+mobo.

Regarding the CPU cooler. Yes, the i3-10100 comes with an included heatsink. It's not going to be anything special, but I'd recommend trying it out first since it's the free option. A tower-style aftermarket cooler will certainly keep temps and/or noise down compared to the stock cooler, but if the [free] stock cooler operates acceptably....
Also, while AMD broke cooler compatibility with their AM4 socket, Intel mounting points have been the same for a LONG time. If you've got a cooler laying around and you want something besides the stock cooler, see if it matches the hole pattern in the mobo.
I'm pretty up to date on RAM, for one thing, the slots are incompatible.. Where I have problems is unbuffered, buffered, server RAM that are not interchangeable but fit in the same slots (well, not the server RAM). I have DDR2 buffered RAM and server RAM I keep wondering what to do with.
Someone with an AMD board using DDR2 RAM can use the buffered, but DDR2 servers are a bit more scarce.
I also have a couple of DDR2 1 GB sticks I know I should just toss, but as soon as I do, I'll find a way to have used them.
I suspect I'll be adding to the too useful to throw away box soon with this rebuild.
 

ljsejones

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General rule of thumb: Any system that uses DDR2 should be retired. The DDR3 transition was 10 years ago now.
General rule of thumb: Any system that uses DDR2 should be retired. The DDR3 transition was 10 years ago now.
I tend to agree, but there are older people and people with financial difficulties that can still use a working machine.
My other machine combines both DDR2 and DDR3. I've worked with several DDR3 machines but there's a surprising number of DDR2 machines still going strong. Most are still better than these throw-away notebook computers. I played with a Microsoft cheap-o notebook computer, I was DEFINITELY not impressed.
The one I'm upgrading weighs about 40 lbs, and is 2-1/2 x 2-1/2x1 ft in size. The sheet metal must be 1/16" thick. If the ceiling came down on it in an earthquake, I doubt it would even be damaged. But it's been totally reliable since I built it in 2005, so I'll keep it around for a while.
 
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tennis2

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I hear ya. I had a Cooler Master Wavemaster case (shown below) that was 100% aluminum and quite thick at that. It was primo back in 2004 (by 2004 standards). It's still in use, but just isn't fit for a high powered modern system.

The biggest drawback of the cases of yesteryear is their tiny whiny 80mm fans. Also, most of them had 2 or 3 fan mounts total. Compare that to modern cases with 120mm or 140mm fans which are much quieter and circulates 3x the air.

What's the benefit of having 2-3x the case volume than you NEED? Back in the day it wasn't a choice you really even had. Then, hardware became more power hungry (and hence produced more heat) but case cooling hadn't caught up yet, so cases got huge to make up for that deficit (and small available hard drive capacity was an issue for a while). These days, with mITX, mATX, and ATX motherboards you can select a case that's appropriately sized for what you need to put inside. There's so much more integrated into motherboards these days and the computing scene is so much more standardized that it's fairly uncommon to need more than a WiFi card (if that, since more and more mobos have integrated WiFi now) and a single GPU as expansion cards in your case. Beyond that, you choose a case based on how many internal storage drives you need and you're done. With the M.2 SSDs (a stick of gum that attaches directly to the motherboard) and high capacity HDDs (4TB costs you less than $100), most systems only need a single hard drive mount. Especially as society migrates toward cloud storage and media streaming (movies, music, games) which relaxes local storage needs.

Something like the Asrock Deskmini at 6.1" x 6.1" x 3.2" can be (technically) outfitted with up to an i7-10900 (10c/20t), 64GB RAM, an M.2 SSD (4TB available), and two 2.5" HDDs/SSDs (say 4TB each realistically) for a total of 12TB of storage. The only thing it's really missing is the ability to house a graphics card. That hardware spec is obviously going to cost a pretty penny (each of the items listed above is ~$500 except for 2x32GB RAM is $225), but the same system can be outfitted with the same CPU you just bought and 2x8GB RAM which would more than satisfy most people's computing needs (browse web, email, MS Office, etc)
https://www.asrock.com/nettop/Intel/DeskMini H470 Series/index.asp

The case itself doesn't usually get kicked around like a soccer ball, so it doesn't need to be built like a tank (which also reduces the cost of the case). Even a flimsy thin metal case with plastic face is going to last 10+ years in most homes, at which point the system inside is likely due for replacement, and there's been 10 years of computer and case innovation/development.


**I'm not discouraging your cause. I actually do the same thing (recycle retired office PCs and donate them to families in need)
 
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ljsejones

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All the machines I build work on positive internal pressure, the fans are turned inward. I use those green scotch-brite pads mounted, however (often using embroidery hoops) to filter out all the dust. If the power supply draws air from inside, it's air is filtered, if the PS draws air from outside, I rig a scotch-brite filter for that too. When I glance over and see the filters have gone from green to grey, I just pop them off, backflush them in the kitchen sink, and slap them back on...Even still damp doesn't matter. The inside of the machine stays as clean as the day I built it.
 

ljsejones

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The CPU came in today. Although I haven't seen the motherboard yet, the existing Heatpipe cooling tower will fit perfectly.
When you're young, diving headlong into an unknown project is just a fork in the road, all the time in the world to recover from a <Mod Edit>.
When you're 70-years-old outliving a bad decision becomes more unlikely...But I could deal with this CPU in my sleep..
 
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