Is It Worth It? (Upgrades)

Discussion in 'General' started by chrisworkman, April 9, 2009.

  1. chrisworkman

    chrisworkman Portal Pro

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    Hello all:

    This winter I built my first HTPC consisting of both new and used parts I had laying around. While the system isn't brand new/state of the art, it definately has performed flawlessly.

    My current specs are:

    Biostar P4M80-M4 motherboard
    P4 2.8ghz
    2GB PC3200 RAM (dual channel)
    multiple HD's
    GeForce FX 5500
    PVR-250 Tuner card


    Here's my dilemma.... A friend gave me a AMD Athlon 64 2.4 ghz CPU & a Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe nForce4 Motherboard. Now the only thing I would change is the Mobo and the CPU. The memory, HDs, vid & tuner cards would all stay the same.

    The "new" mobo specs are:
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=98&type=expert&pid=3

    My current mobo is:
    http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=p4m80-m4

    The specs on the mobo are much better than my current setup. My question is... Would swapping these out be worth the time? The extra SATA ports alone make me drool. But is it really worth it overall?

    If I replaced the mobo and CPU would I have to wipe the OS HD? Or could I just update the drivers, etc and leave it as it is. I don't want to risk corrupting my BTV/MediaPortal install.

    Thanks in advance.


     
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  3. flintstone99
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    flintstone99 MP Donator

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    Power

    Hi,

    I am not shure about it, but I think power consumption of the AMD CPU should be considerably lower, with cool & quiet enabled. That makes less heat, less cooling and less noise....

    regards
    flintstone
     
  4. User 04

    User 04 Portal Pro

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    As far as Microsoft is concerned, a new Motherboard, equates to the requirement for a new OS.
     
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Portal Pro

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    As User 04 hints at, replacing the mobo could cause some crazy Windows issues. you'd be best to reinstall from scratch if you go ahead with the upgrade.

    As for the CPU differences, you'll want to download CPUz (CPUID) to see exactly what Intel CPU you are running. when you get the info from CPUz, google the CPU code and you should find the details spec from intel in the first few links (similar to this Intel® Xeon® Processor 3.60 GHz - SL7ZC). What is important is the Thermal Design Power. The lower the number, the cooler the CPU, the quieter your HTPC will be.

    As for performance difference between those CPUs...The intel will probably be a little better, but a little hotter, so it's a trade-off, and a decision you can make

    Looking at the motherboards, the only benefit is what you mentioned. more SATA ports, and a firewire port. It did however win the PC Perspective Gold Award. so it must be a good product. Personally, i would stay with the Intel as I have a bad taste in my mouth from AMD many years ago.

    It depends what your HTPC is aimed at, where it sits, if it is a server/client, etc etc.

    My only advice would be.
    - If this is a server and housed in a different room. Go for the AMD to get the extra SATA ports which will give you plenty of storage capability.
    - If it is a client, or server/client in a living room, go for the intel. (personal preference for intel)
     
  6. User 04

    User 04 Portal Pro

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  7. Eeyore

    Eeyore Portal Pro

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    After working in the Industrial Automation area for 13 years, basically using PCs as a tool, if you want a PC to be stable and reliable, and your running XP or Vista, you'd be best to reinstall the machine from scratch.

    think of it like this. your bed is made, it seems warm and comfortable. now, you want a new mattress and bed frame. so you replace them and pickup your same sheets and quilt and without removing them one by one, and placing them on one by one, you just chuck the sheet onto the new bed.

    sure, you'll be able to sleep in it, it will probably be as comfortable as the old bed, but you know what, in the back of your mind you're thinking, i should have made this bed properly.

    and that's how you'll feel with your PC if you dont do the job properly. :D
     
  8. User 04

    User 04 Portal Pro

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    I agree nitro, just wanted to clarify my original post so that chrisworkman has all of the options.
     
  9. chrisworkman

    chrisworkman Portal Pro

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    Thanks all. I've come to the conclusion that it's safer to just leave it as it is. you know...it it ain't broke don't try and fix it.

    Thanks again.
     
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