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Conroe Celeron 430 and cheap Intel mobos

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

My secondary gaming rig (ancient KG7 RAID, Athlon MP 2400 @ 2 GHz, 1 gig of DDR, no sound card at the moment, running on an old install of Windows 2000, Radeon 9600 SE standing in for broken FX 5900) finally died today. I am not sure if it was the HDD - it started with a blank screen after BIOS but as I fiddled with it things got progressively worse until it appeared that the mobo was shot.

So, I am getting parts together to rebuild the system - but on the cheap. I have already ordered this video card:

Sapphire X1550

I am still looking for a mobo and CPU. I am looking at a Celeron Conroe 430, but I am not sure about which mobo to choose. I am looking at a PC Chips P17G as well as a PC Chips P55G.

I know there are much, much better mobos out there, and I am fine with that - I am just wondering if there are any compatibility issues here that I might have missed.

I am fairly certain that the PSU wasn't the problem with the older system and so I am hoping that I can carry my other hardware over (2 x 512 DDR is crap but will work for now) and get by with these, but the last thing I need is to buy components and then find out that they won't work with one another.

Thanks.
post #2 of 11
Hi.

I would go for a Celeron E1200 or E1400 / Pentium E2160 or E2180 but if you want cheap I would stick with the E1200. As for your motherboard I would look at the P31 Chipset they are dirt cheap now plus they will over clock the E1200 passed 3GHz you’ll have to get good cooling and OCZ Freezer Thermal Paste or something along those lines.

About your Random Access Memory I would change it to DDR2 800MHz if you want to play games you can grab some good GEIL Memory DDR2 for dirt cheap

If you are worried about your Power Supply you can grab a cheap 450 or 500W for next to nothing.

All in all you will need to spend
E1200 = (£30 UK / $55 US)
P31 Mobo = (£40 UK / $70US)
OCZ Freezer (£5UK / $7US)
PSU (£25UK / $40US)
Window XP Home (£45UK / $65US) it will notice both cores unlike windows 2000
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Excellent. I have already ordered this mobo:

Biostar P31

The reason I chose this model is the 1 year warranty as opposed to 30 days on the others. My only concern now is that it just shows "Celeron" as a compatible processor. Will the E1200 still work with it? If so I'll buy it, and probably some DDR2 memory as well.
post #4 of 11
Yes the E1200 will work just fine on that Biostar.

Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148076
$19.99 after rebates.

^^ This is uber high end RAM and they're practically giving it away.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
You guys are my heroes, heh. Between the $15 dollar X1550 and 2 gigs of DDR2 for $20 I almost feel like I'm committing some kind of crime. Almost.

One last thing: I forgot that my old PSU is only 350W. Is that going to cut it for these specs? I don't want to buy a new PSU but I may not have a choice now!
post #6 of 11
I ran a X1650 and C2D on a 350W PSU. You should be fine for now
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The Money Pit
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120GB Vertex Plus 2 x 500GB WD Blues RAID0 Lite-On DVD/CD Custom H20 Loop 
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
'lo again gents,

Update:

Bought the P31, E1200, memory and a new 500w PSU (looked up reviews on the one I had and decided I want a more reliable one for the next few years).

Ditched the Sapphire X1550 (waiting to send it back), instead got an OC'd 7300 GT for $20 after rebates + free shipping (deal is over now)

Bought a 250g SATA drive and had to get a new DVD drive as well (old CD-ROM was having problems with windows installation)

So I'm a bit over my original budget here but the system is up and running with XP for the moment. Haven't tested any games on it yet. Here's the thing: I tried overclocking the E1200 in BIOS. It was a low overclock (2.0 GHz) but after I made it the machine had trouble posting. Turned it off, turned it on again and it was fine but had reverted to 1.6 GHz. CPU is running very cool - about 35C with stock fan (with the case open until I buy a system fan). Is it a voltage issue? Is 1.6 GHz adequate for the rest of the system or am I wasting my money at that speed?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpoet View Post
'lo again gents,

Update:

Bought the P31, E1200, memory and a new 500w PSU (looked up reviews on the one I had and decided I want a more reliable one for the next few years).

Ditched the Sapphire X1550 (waiting to send it back), instead got an OC'd 7300 GT for $20 after rebates + free shipping (deal is over now)

Bought a 250g SATA drive and had to get a new DVD drive as well (old CD-ROM was having problems with windows installation)

So I'm a bit over my original budget here but the system is up and running with XP for the moment. Haven't tested any games on it yet. Here's the thing: I tried overclocking the E1200 in BIOS. It was a low overclock (2.0 GHz) but after I made it the machine had trouble posting. Turned it off, turned it on again and it was fine but had reverted to 1.6 GHz. CPU is running very cool - about 35C with stock fan (with the case open until I buy a system fan). Is it a voltage issue? Is 1.6 GHz adequate for the rest of the system or am I wasting my money at that speed?
Try some other stuff before voltages. You shouldn't need to tweak voltages until 2.8ghz+

I'd probably check your RAM voltage and make sure its at 2.0V or 2.1V (some motherboards default to very low voltages) And check the timings on the label of the RAM and match that in your BIOS.

Also, try a few different FSB configurations that take you to 2.0-2.4ghz, and if those don't work, drop your multiplier DOWN one notch and try again. Some people have better luck with a lower multiplier (I know I did on my E2180 cpu)
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ugh. So I looked up the memory's voltage and timing settings. I upped the voltage +.2v (to 2.0-2.1) and adjusted timings to 4-4-4-12, then set speed at 800mhz. Booted up windows without an issue.

Then I got back into BIOS and adjusted clock speed to 250 (was at 200 x 8). Tried to boot up again, instead got endless continuous beeps. I cleared the CMOS and everything is working again, but still, not very encouraging...
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warpoet View Post
Ugh. So I looked up the memory's voltage and timing settings. I upped the voltage +.2v (to 2.0-2.1) and adjusted timings to 4-4-4-12, then set speed at 800mhz. Booted up windows without an issue.

Then I got back into BIOS and adjusted clock speed to 250 (was at 200 x 8). Tried to boot up again, instead got endless continuous beeps. I cleared the CMOS and everything is working again, but still, not very encouraging...
When you raise the FSB to 250 it will automatically push your RAM way up too, you need to drop your RAMs speed down to 667 if you're going to overclock, eventually it'll get back up to 800mhz.
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