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Upgrading my old pentium desktop 4 system, need advise

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#1 Cursed Chico

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:11 AM

You can see my desktop system specs here:
Windows 7 Professional 32-bit SP1
Intel Pentium 4
Northwood 0.13um Technology
2.00GB Dual-Channel DDR @ 200MHz (3-3-3-8)
Gigabyte Technology Co. Ltd. 8IPE1000-G/L (Socket 478): 22 °C
aidata 725BF (1024x768@85Hz)
256MB NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 (Undefined)
74GB SAMSUNG SP0802N ATA Device (ATA): 43 °C
149GB Maxtor 6G160E0 ATA Device (SATA): 45 °
I have been using this for 10 years. I changed 2 times cpu, 5 times motherboard, 1 times harddisk, 4 times gpu, 3 times psu. I spent lots of money. Maybe around 100 200 dollars.
Why it is urgent
Now, there is one month for my graduation and my laptop has crashed (8 gb ram and other good stats it had) so i need to upgrade this old desktop system to be finish my thesis. It is about programming, android. I use android studio and in that computer ( i am now on that desktop), it is killing me to open studio. It takes a lot of times to import or build. So i need temporary system or i will buy a laptop but i prefer to give less money. 
I finished my junior thesis here ( again it was android) and it was really painful. COmpiling in minutes, restartings, not responding errors. FOr example even now, when i am typing this, some letters are coming lately. Delaying. I can go on programming lijke that but i cant finish in time.
Which parts to upgrade?
Now my cpu has 2.8 ghz p4 cpu. I can find a 3.0 or 3.2 ghz p4 around 6-7 dollars. I found a 3.4 2 mb cache for 15 dollars. But do you think is it worth it? A lot of temperature,freezing maybe.
My motherboard has 4 slots. I have 5 rams but now i can use only two of them. When i put others, either it starts restarting (even now with those 2 rams, it can restart. one of those two rams is kingston 1 gb, i bought it new so it is good) nor it cant load system because of motherboard probably. If i touch ram and start computer, it cant start, it cant load bios. It is so sensitive that even one touch can disable its working.
I can also find 1 gb ram, 3.0 ghz cpu and asus p5gv-mx mothearboard together around 15 dollars. Those are sellers post, they say they are all working system without errors but i dont know if it is true.
my gpu is old but i dont use so much graphics. I think it is enough.
What i need
What i need is a system that can run android studio and maybe 3-4 tabs in a browser to search for problems. 
So around 15 dollars maybe i can have 3 gb ram, 3.0 ghz system. 
If i try to move onto another system, maybe core, i have to change everything. Even maybe the case of computer. I can put on floor, case is not problem but, is it worth to go for core? Probably ram will need to be changed to ddr2, too. And motherboard of course. 
I am concerned, full of stress and i cant know what to do.
Laptop is better for me to carry with me but if you think 3.4 ghz or another motherboard with 3.2 ghz or with core can change performance or ddr2, i can also go for it. I prefer desktop because i gave the laptop to find out what problem is, but probably it will be expensive so i wont fix.
If i upgrade, i will use for programming and surfing web. Then after graduation i will give it to mother and she will use only for surfing, social media and social media games. because of that, I dont want to spend so much money to this.
So, i need advises.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:05 PM

Well...I'd simply buy a cheap refurb system from Amazon or other reliable vendor...rather than sink any 2016 money into any P4-based system.





#3 Fascist Nation

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 03:47 PM

Don't panic.  Sorry for your troubles so close to graduating.  And congratulations BTW.

Based upon what I am seeing, I would skip getting a more powerful CPU...you pretty much are near the limit.  I would max the RAM for $12.  If you can find a local source of two used 1GB DDR-400 (CAS3) sticks even better; heck maybe someone will give them to you.  Then clean install the OS to run it as lean as possible.  Tweek it to improve performance over show.


http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=1863#ov - rev.4 (likely this because it has a Realtek instead of a Marvell Gigabit controller)  Rev code usually located on MB corner near expansion slots.

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=1757#dl - rev. 3

Update the BIOS to F6 or F5 depending upon whether your MB is rev 3 or 4 respectively if not already updated to last version available.  This is if you decide to upgrade the CPU.

865PE 82865PE/82865P IHC5 chipset

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atech-1GB-DIMM-DDR-Desktop-PC3200-3200-400-400mhz-184pin-Low-Density-Memory-Ram-/321872623317?hash=item4af11a76d5:g:oeoAAOSwHjNWALF0 - two of these to max your RAM...Android Studio seems to like RAM so that should noticeably speed up your PC.  I suspect this will be your biggest improvement. 

If you found this working CPU, SL7CH, for $15 it is borderline but it will run.  But it is 103W.  Don't know what your PSU is?  Don't know what model and stepping 2.8GHz Northwood CPU you currently have?  I'm guessing it is a SL6Z5? 

That said, I found several SL6WG 3.2GHz 800MHz FSB Northwood that will run.  But I generally do not like bumping up CPUs in same family/group unless I can get at least 500MHz bump.  It is already running at 800MHz FSB.  So not much of an improvement I suspect. If you can find a compatible 3.4GHz (Northwood, Prescott or Extreme (Gallatin)) running at 800MHz FSB for under $15 I would consider it. Keep in mind this may stress an old PSU.

Other free improvements, but it will take a day would be to clean install Win7, install the last drivers available from Intel, nVidia and Realtek for your PC.  Especially the chipset (INF), AGP video card and SATA drivers.  I would not install anything not required by the few apps I need. You can use WSUSOffline to grab all updates.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXAOvbNJYyE

You can find the last drivers available for your chips using these two links:



If you find your Win7 using a lot of virtual memory I would consider getting a small 60GB SSD to use as a scratch drive:

Even at SATA 1.5Gbps it is faster than an HDD.  But I doubt virtual RAM will be an issue with Android Studios (AS) having 2GB of RAMspace.  But switching back and forth between AS, a browser and a word processor may require swaps.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Edited by Fascist Nation, 05 May 2016 - 04:14 PM.

#4 Cursed Chico

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 04:23 PM

I really thank you very much for all your efforts. I will device in 2 days, considering those suggestions. Thank you again.

#5 MDD1963


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Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:12 AM

Any i3 based bare-bones system w/DDR3 will be faster....


Time to let most of the rig go....


(You can reuse the SATA drive if you must....)

Asus Z270A Prime/7700K/32 GB DDR4-3200/GTX1060

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