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New MB installed - Have I been ripped off?


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#1 Bodmass

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 03:37 PM

I've just had a replacement motherboard installed by a local indie - but it seems to be quite different from my old one. I had requested a like for like swap. Before I go back to complain I'd like to clarify a few points.

New board: http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails...odel=p4m900-m4
Old board: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=P4I65G
Price difference less than 3 retail @ http://etopshop.co.uk/index.php?main...roducts_id=525


RAM Memory.
I was running 2 x DDR 400mhz sticks 1gb + 512 stick. This showed as 1536 when I booted my computer. My new board carries a DDR2 - SDRAM memory stick. This shows as DDR DIMM speed 667 when booting. He knew I was running 2 sticks of different speeds and said that I shouldn't. I now have a useless 512mb DDR stick.

Q1 - Is the change from DDR to DDR2 sticks an equivalent swap?
Q2 - Is running 2 different speed sticks really a problem big enough to make the change from DDR to DDR2 & loss of 1 stick acceptable

Processor.

Old board was P4 3.2ghz new board shows 2.5ghz

Q3 - Should this be an acceptable reduction?

Graphics.

On my old board I had plugged in a GeForce 6200 DDR2 256mb card. The new board has onboard 'VIA Chrome9 HC IGP Family'. It does have a slot larger than the standard PCI slots But no slot that will take my graphics card. At no point was I asked about cards that I may have had at home, despite telling him that I had taken cards out as part of my attempt to diagnose the hardware failure that led me to him.

Q4 - Is my 6200 better than the on board graphics I'm forced to use.
Q5 - Why would a motherboard not accept this very standard graphics card.

The replacement board was installed without notifying me of any of this. Which of these (if any) are grounds for me kicking up a bit of a fuss?

Thanks

Bod.

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 07:38 PM

I am currently running the P4M900-M4 motherboard with a Celeron processor. To answer your questions... Q1 DDR2 is actually faster than DDR memory so you got faster memory.Q2 You can run different speed memory the faster will revert to the slower speed. However DDR and DDR2 are different technologies and have different slot configurations and are not backwards compatible. For more information on DDR and DDR2 memory head over to wikipedia.
Q3 In no way should your processor run slower than it did before. There are only two explantions for this. 1 it was overclocked on your old board. 2 The Clock speed is not set properly on the new board. If it was overclocked before then you can overclock it again, but the new board may have problems running the processor at that speed. Please reply back with the make and model number of your processor.
Q4 Your old video card was AGP8x while a good solid card in its day its outdated and the new motherboard only has a slots for PCI-E (PCI Express) or PCI. The onboard video is acceptable for internet browsing and basic windows use. The onboard video gets its memory from your total system memory. If you play on playing high end games or doing heavy graphics you may want to invest in a PCI-E card.
As to your last question, If you took the computer in for repairs installing the new board was most likely part of the trouble shooting process. They should have notified you of what the needed repairs were and how much they cost. If the computer was broke when you took it in and you said fix it thats what they did. The only gripe I would have would be why the processor is running slower.

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#3 Romeo29

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

Q1 : DDR2 is better
Q2 : Different speed in your case is a loss. For gaining 512MB you are running 1GB ram at slower speed. Not very good.
Q3 : No clue. What is your processor rating? Maybe overclocking as Sneakycyber suggests. But 2.5 to 3.2GHz is a lot of overclocking.
Q4 : VIA graphics chip is newer and possibly has new features. One glitch is onboard graphics uses shared memory.
Q5 : New standard is PCI-Express, AGP cards are obsolete and new MB don't have slots for them.

#4 Platypus

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 09:43 PM

As said above. The CPU clock speed reduction is probably due to the CPU set to run synchronously with the memory, as the board can't support DDR2 800 memory. That will set the master clock at 166MHz, changing the setting to 200MHz in the BIOS setup should revert the CPU to 3.2GHz. The FSB and memory bus will run asynchronous, which doesn't achieve maximum performance, but since the DDR2 is faster than the previous memory anyway, I expect you should get at least as much performance as you had before.

The main disadvantage of the onboard video is that it uses some of the system memory, as already mentioned. If you now only have 1GB of RAM, you would certainly benefit from moving to 2GB, and thus having similar (a touch more) to what you originally had. The 6200 also used some system memory (TurboCache) and it's a modest step higher in performance than the Chrome, but would have to be replaced for almost any motherboard repacement/upgrade due to AGP being superseded.

Edited by Platypus, 26 April 2009 - 09:44 PM.

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