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What would be the best motherboard+CPU for $100-150?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi. I use a laptop (Acer 7741G) that has an Intel i5-430m, and I find it limited in CPU performance on some things. Not only that but I can't control the clock-speed on it either.

I also have a Dell Dimensions 8400 desktop that has an Intel Pentium 4 630, and I'm hoping to replace it with the best performing/overclocking mobo+CPU I can buy for $100-150, that will give me at least better CPU performance than the i5-430m laptop-grade cpu I have.

Could the following be the best combination for my price target?

+ Intel Core2duo E8400 (I don't think I need quad-core for my usage btw)
+ $40 LGA775 under/overclocking-capable motherboard (probably Asus branded)
+ Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (or some ~$50 cooler that would allow for good overclocking headroom)

Otherwise, what could be a better combination than this?
post #2 of 12
Going with a core 2 setup probably is not best at the moment. What are you going to be doing with this computer?
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamachaa View Post

Going with a core 2 setup probably is not best at the moment. What are you going to be doing with this computer?

The first thing I have in mind is running this (really) CPU-intensive WebAudio/Javascript-powered audio jamming community website. I'll be likely overclocking (with care) and underclocking at a variety of values (with a benchmarker handy) to test out the site with various performance levels to help me help the developer find performance-related flaws.

Then some other things such as editing/rendering black-MIDI files for example and various other CPU (not gpu) intensive rendering things I'll likely use in the future.

And otherwise, just make that desktop actually usable in general again, and additionally seeing how much CPU-performance I can bring back into that desktop on the cheap.

I just can't see how these things could be optimized or benefit from a quad-core, especially the first one. (which I think would take advantage most from single-threaded performance on a dual core)
post #4 of 12
How about this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1570582

Do you have DDR3 RAM for new motherboards/processors?

*edit* Or something of similar caliber, but maybe cheaper.
Edited by Alanim - 3/11/14 at 6:49pm
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanim View Post

How about this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1570582

Do you have DDR3 RAM for new motherboards/processors?

Interesting, but I might just need to stick with the stock-cooler if I want to stay within my target price-range.

Nope. That machine currently has 2.5GB of DDR2 RAM. Therefore I'm sorta thinking I would save some money by potentially sticking with a DDR2-compatible setup to re-use the sticks.

I'm thinking about perhaps selling my Dell 8400's motherboard in combination of the Pentium 4 630 it has to get some money back. Maybe another thing is that I can add my DDR2 ram-sticks to it add some more value to it and I will buy DDR3 ram.
post #6 of 12
List all the parts you plan on trying to reuse. This will help us better figure what you need to upgrade. As someone else has mentioned you may need new RAM with a new CPU/MB. Additionally we have no idea what size MB your case can accommodate. List the names of any software you are using, telling us what you do on it and not what you use to do it with is less helpful then it seems. Who knows maybe the software you use is well threaded, in which case a quad core may really give you a big boost, or maybe it will let you devote a full core or 2 to the functions your using and the rest to running the OS and other essential functions.

A core2duo will be a step back from an i5-430m. Ghz isnt everything, architecture matters too. The i5 you have now is hyperthreaded, so you have 2 cores but 4 threads. The e8400 is not hyper threaded so you lose 2 threads. Also if i am not mistaken its an older architecture. The i5-430m is DDR3 but the e8400 is DDR2 if i recall correctly.

Imo to really get an improvement your going to need an AMD quad core+ or a relatively new i3 or better. Other things like RAM speed and chipset may have a decent impact on performance too. An SSD, even a small one as a scratch drive, may give you a huge leap in performance at a relatively low cost (120ish GB for less then $100, 32/64 for maybe $50ish).

Also what OS are you on, is this windows or do you run a flavor of Linux?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanim View Post

How about this?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1570582

Do you have DDR3 RAM for new motherboards/processors?

*edit* Or something of similar caliber, but maybe cheaper.

Funny how I was gonna point him to a similar set up.
Do you need a GPU OP? The first thing that came to my mind was an Athlon 750k because of its ease overclocking abilities and price. But it has no GPU.
And if you don't have DDR3 RAM then things might be a little more complicated.
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray890 View Post

The first thing I have in mind is running this (really) CPU-intensive WebAudio/Javascript-powered audio jamming community website. I'll be likely overclocking (with care) and underclocking at a variety of values (with a benchmarker handy) to test out the site with various performance levels to help me help the developer find performance-related flaws.

Then some other things such as editing/rendering black-MIDI files for example and various other CPU (not gpu) intensive rendering things I'll likely use in the future.

And otherwise, just make that desktop actually usable in general again, and additionally seeing how much CPU-performance I can bring back into that desktop on the cheap.

I just can't see how these things could be optimized or benefit from a quad-core, especially the first one. (which I think would take advantage most from single-threaded performance on a dual core)

Well, if you believe you need a dual core and you think single thread performance would help you the most, I would consider the following:

Haswell pentium dual core:70 dollars
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116950

lga 1150 motherboard 51 dollars

Do you have ddr3 ram already?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157450
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0CoolX View Post

List all the parts you plan on trying to reuse. This will help us better figure what you need to upgrade. As someone else has mentioned you may need new RAM with a new CPU/MB. Additionally we have no idea what size MB your case can accommodate. List the names of any software you are using, telling us what you do on it and not what you use to do it with is less helpful then it seems. Who knows maybe the software you use is well threaded, in which case a quad core may really give you a big boost, or maybe it will let you devote a full core or 2 to the functions your using and the rest to running the OS and other essential functions.

A core2duo will be a step back from an i5-430m. Ghz isnt everything, architecture matters too. The i5 you have now is hyperthreaded, so you have 2 cores but 4 threads. The e8400 is not hyper threaded so you lose 2 threads. Also if i am not mistaken its an older architecture. The i5-430m is DDR3 but the e8400 is DDR2 if i recall correctly.

Imo to really get an improvement your going to need an AMD quad core+ or a relatively new i3 or better. Other things like RAM speed and chipset may have a decent impact on performance too. An SSD, even a small one as a scratch drive, may give you a huge leap in performance at a relatively low cost (120ish GB for less then $100, 32/64 for maybe $50ish).

Also what OS are you on, is this windows or do you run a flavor of Linux?

The desktop is a Dell Dimensions 8400, and I THINK I found on google that it's a "mini tower" case, however you probably need to google to make sure. The size appears to be the the "standard desktop size". It currently has the following configuration:

- Dell GH003 motherboard (to be switched out)

- Two physical SATA1 7200RPM drives

- Both Windows XP and Windows 7

- ~2GB Dual-channel DDR2 memory

- ATI Radeon X1300 (graphics don't seem to be important at all for my usage on that machine, and I'm also keeping Areo disabled. however I don't mind selling it if the CPU+mobo replacement already includes integrated graphics)

- Philips DVD801 optical drive

I didn't use the clock-rating to determine that the E8400 is a potentially good cpu to use, I used CPUBoss to compare the characteristics of various CPUs and it says that the E8400 has better single threaded performance and significantly more L2 cache than the i5-430m (link), while google says it's a pretty popular overclocker.

I'm not sticking to any specific pieces of software but here's just a few examples I have in mind:
Google Chrome (running and debugging a CPU-intensive website powered by javascript and WebAudio at various performance levels), FL Studio, Audacity, ETC. (and also occasional general usage things beyond the cpu-intense stuff)
Edited by Ray890 - 3/11/14 at 9:37pm
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by salamachaa View Post

Well, if you believe you need a dual core and you think single thread performance would help you the most, I would consider the following:

Haswell pentium dual core:70 dollars
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116950

lga 1150 motherboard 51 dollars

Do you have ddr3 ram already?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157450

Hmm, the haswell pentium ALSO sounds potentially interesting, but with the combination of a lack of being SFB-based and locked multiplier means I don't have control over the clock speeds. I was hoping to have control over clock speeds as part of debugging a CPU-intensive website at various performance levels.

Nope, I don't have DDR3 ram. I'm thinking of either re-using the DDR2 memory, or selling it while I buy new DDR3 sticks.
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