What Really Cheapo Motherboard/CPU to go for?

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What Really Cheapo Motherboard/CPU to go for?

Postby abrogard » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:41 am

I have a socket 775 motherboard with no CPU so I took a look on eBay and was surprised to find I can get a CPU for it for less than $20. Many on offer.

Then there's a sudden price hike when they turn into 'duo' cpu's - suddenly they're over $50 even if they're less than 2GHz.

I have no idea how to pick out the best from the array of numbers they describe the cpu's with.

And now I look at the whole thing I see I can get boards as cheap as that, too. But, again, I wouldn't know which board to get as the best.

Here's a sample of a list of cpu's I found:

SL8PP INTEL PENTIUM 4 521 2.80GHZ/1M/800​/04A 2.8GHZ SOCKET 775 CPU! FREE


SL7J5 INTEL PENTIUM 4 520 2.80GHZ/1M/800 2.8GHZ SOCKET 775 CPU!! FRE


SL7PU INTEL PENTIUM 4 3.00GHZ 3GHz 1M/800/04A CPU SOCKET 775! FREE AUS WIDE POST


INTEL PENTIUM 4 - 2.93GHZ SOCKET 775 CPU


Pentium 4 3.0 Ghz HT 32 bit (SL7PU) - 1Mb cache 800 MHz FSB Socket 775


Intel P4 Processor 3GHz/1M/800 SL7PU socket 775


Intel Celeron D CPU 3.06 GHz / 256 KB / 533 Mhz 346 SL8HD LGA 775 socket


SL7Z9 INTEL PENTIUM 4 630 3.00GHZ/2M/800​/04A 3GHZ 3.0GHZ SOCKET 775 CPU!!!


Intel P4 531 3GHz 800MHz FSB 1MB Cache CPU Processor Socket 775 - SL9CB

more than $50
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU 3 GHZ ,6 M Cache,775 socket

And I can find a list of boards like that, too.

I'm (obviously) new to this, having only built one computer ever before in my life (an Asus A8NSLI) but I'll do a bit of it if I can work with such cheap materials - breaking everything won't matter so much.

Can I ask if anyone can give me some advice as to what components to choose from this vast array of cheap boards and cpu's?

And more important, I suppose - what things to beware of as traps for new players....

:)
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:53 am

Well from everything you've posted, all the stuff around $20 appear to be single core processors, with Hyperthreading. Some of them have 64bit, some don't - some don't specify at all...
SL7Z9 INTEL PENTIUM 4 630 3.00GHZ/2M/800​/04A 3GHZ 3.0GHZ SOCKET 775 CPU!!!

This one seems to be the best out of the $20 procs. You can plug those SL7Z9 numbers into google and get specs on them.
If you are running XP, probably not going to notice a huge difference between any of them.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU 3 GHZ ,6 M Cache,775 socket


This one is nice because it also supports virtualization. True Dual Core technology, not hyperthreading. Large cache. Throw the E8400 number into Google for spec details.

Board wise, just get something relianbly stable. Asus is a good one for that.
If you plan on running XP, then you don't really need a 64bit proc, unless you go with XP 64bit. Windows Vista or 7 you can install a 64bit version and take advantage of the processor extras. If you pick up a CPU like the Core2, you can use XP mode under 7, stuff like that.
I'd recommend at least 1GB RAM for XP, and 2GB for Windows 7.

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Postby abrogard » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:21 pm

Thanks for the help. Could you just tell me what it is about it that makes the SL7Z9 the best of that bunch? i.e. what should I look for in these things?

And I am running XP, I don't have anything else. So is it pointless me spending the extra dollars and buying the dual core?

And lastly, any socket 775 board will go happily with any socket 775 cpu I hope?

And an afterthought: memory costs seem to vary a lot - is there some kind of board I should avoid/go for on the basis of available memory costwise/excellence wise?

Noted your comment about Asus. Like that. I love my old Asus and would like more of the same.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:54 am

Best to use a low-end CPU to get the board up and running, so you can get the BIOS ID string. This would be a positive ID of the board, and from there you can go in the pursuit of the best and fastest CPU it will accept.
A single-core model down around 2 GHz is no slouch.. and should be compatible with almost every socket 775 model.
Not all motherboards support all CPU models per socket type. Some support multi-core with more than four true cores, others support only single-core CPU types.
FSB speed may be 400, 533, 800, 1066 or 1333 Mhz. Until you know the actual limits, it would be a waste of time and money to "trick out" a system if it is not compatible. Ensure memory is compatible to the CPU needs. Higher-speed memory can always clock down to lower bus speeds with few or no problems, but is very unstable at higher speeds than rated.
Should be some markings on the board, as to model and version.. which could put you off to a good start.
Best to post full details about a system or intent, so as to get a better idea of what is involved.
I upgraded my main system (some months back) to an ASRock Conroe 865PE (2006 BIOS date) that was supposed to accept up to a core 2 Duo, 3.4 Ghz (SL7PY).. but maxes out with a 2.8 Ghz P4 class (520J). I wasted some time and money with what was "supposed to be".
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Postby Hardware Junkie » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:54 am

abrogard wrote:Thanks for the help. Could you just tell me what it is about it that makes the SL7Z9 the best of that bunch? i.e. what should I look for in these things?


The processor has a lot of L2 cache and supports 64bit.
Processor Speed, Bus Speed, L2 cache are all important.
If you chuck the SL codes or E codes into google, you will get product specs.
You aren't really going to notice a whole lot of difference between 2,93Ghz and 3.0Ghz. But you would if the bus was 533 versus 800, etc... (depending on the apps anyways)

abrogard wrote:And I am running XP, I don't have anything else. So is it pointless me spending the extra dollars and buying the dual core?

XP supports multiple cores. You would see the difference. There's just no point in going with a 64bit processor unless you install XP64bit.
That being said, you can install XP 32bit with a 64 bit processor. You just won't be taking advantage of it.

abrogard wrote:And lastly, any socket 775 board will go happily with any socket 775 cpu I hope?

Board has to support the CPU. Supported CPUs will be shown on the board manufacturers website.

abrogard wrote:And an afterthought: memory costs seem to vary a lot - is there some kind of board I should avoid/go for on the basis of available memory costwise/excellence wise?


Not really. There are plenty inexpensive memory options. A socket 775 board could be DDR or DDR2. New DDR is not going to be cheap because its not really made anymore, but you might get something good from Ebay. DDR2 is leaving the market as well, being phased out for DDR3, but its still not badly priced. I would still hit up Ebay anyways, best bang for buck in some cases. Try and get a decent DDR2 board.
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Postby abrogard » Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:31 am

I've been reading about them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_In ... processors

It's a Prescott 2M. I should use that list and look for those processors I think, right?
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:08 am

Hardware Junkie is quite right about the bus speed for a CPU being a factor! If a CPU needs a 800 FSB speed, and the board maxes out at 533, then the full potential will not be realized. Same if the CPU needs a 1033 FSB speed.. and cannot be auto-set for that range. The faster the FSB, the faster that data can be processed!
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Postby cw4cam » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:32 pm

ebay is a scam. I quit them long ago. bought hard drives. cpu's and mother boards that were dead. Never got anything resolved!!
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Postby abrogard » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:39 am

Thanks for the tip - match motherboard and CPU FSB speeds. These P4's seem an excellent place to start. There's a bit to learn isn't there?

I've picked up a few cpu's and now I'm looking around for a couple of boards.

Sorry to hear about your bad eBay experiences, cam. It is not wholly a scam, mate. I buy and sell - buy much, much more than I sell but I'm not cheating anyone whichever side of the transaction I'm on and I've only been cheated once and that for a matter of about $5 or something.

I don't just find good stuff at excellent prices that I can't get locally but I find stuff I didn't even know existed!

Works well for me.

:)
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:59 am

Like any other business, whether on-line or a 'brick and mortar' store.. there are good and bad reputations. With eBay, feedback is a good indicator of the seller's reputation. The closer to 100% satisfaction with a high count, the more you are assured of a good deal.
Yes, I too have had "bad" deals. But look for any disclaimers as to quality or status. If questionable, back away.

The Pentium IV class of processors has greater power and speed than earlier versions. Part of the improved manufacturing process with greater accuracy.. "micro" technology. The "Moore's Law" theory implies that computing power will almost double every two years.
The number of transistors used with the Pentium IV class is around 42,000,000.. where the Intel 8080 CPU had only 4,500!! Reference:
Gordon E. Moore was one of the 'founding fathers' of the Silicon Valley phenomenon.
The manufacturing process for a CPU starts with a silicon disk, where each core is laser-etched and metallic film is deposited in layers. Each 'core' is expected to be identical. But never so! Each 'core' is tested and rated to its optimum performance, and given a stepping code or registered ID. Intel and AMD processors have different methods to obtain ratings, but results are similar. The goal of the process is to get the most profit from the product. Some 'cores' are DOA, others are optimal performers. But many are degraded to usable and certified products.
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