2 Replies Latest reply: Feb 21, 2011 11:54 AM by parsec RSS

Help choosing best compatiable CPU & GPU

Sung0dra Community Member
Currently Being Moderated

I was recently given an older computer (2006) and would like advice on choosing best CPU and GPU to improve performance for gaming purposes.  Though I know a bit about computers, this over load of information is confounding me.  Any input you people may have would be greatly appreciated.  My system is:



OS:MS Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
Installation Date: 20 February 2006, 16:19


CPU:Intel Pentium 4 521
    Cores    1
    Threads    1
    Name    Intel Pentium 4 521
    Code Name    Prescott
    Package    Socket 775 LGA
    Technology    90nm
    Specification    Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHz
    Family    F
    Extended family    F
    Model    4
    Extended model    4
    Stepping    9
    Revision    G1
    Instructions    MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, EM64T
    Bus speed    199.5 MHz
    Rated Bus speed    798.1 MHz
    Stock core speed    2800 MHz
    Stock bus speed    200 MHz
            L1 data cache size    16 KBytes
            L1 trace cache    12 Kuops
            L2 unified cache size    1024 KBytes
        Core 0
            Core speed    2793.0 MHz
            Multiplier    x 14.0
            Bus speed    199.5 MHz
            Rated Bus speed    798.1 MHz
                Thread 1
                    APIC ID    0


Motherboard:Manufacturer    Dell Inc.
Model    0MH415
Chipset vendor    Intel
Chipset model    i945P/PL/G/GZ
Chipset revision    A2
Southbridge vendor    Intel
Southbridge model    82801GB (ICH7/R)
Southbridge revision    A1
        Brand    Dell Inc.
        Version    A11
        Date    11/30/2006


    Type    DDR2
    Size    1024 MBytes
    Channels #    Dual
    DRAM frequency    266.0 MHz
    CAS# Latency (CL)    4 clocks
    RAS# to CAS# delay (tRCD)    4 clocks
    RAS# precharge (tRP)    4 clocks
    Cycle time (tRAS)    12 clocks
    Bank cycle time (tRŠ”)    16 clocks
    Number of SPD modules    2
        Slot #1
            Type    DDR2
            Size    512 MBytes
            Manufacturer    Hyundai Electronics
            Max bandwidth    PC2-5300 (333 MHz)
            Part number    HYMP564U64BP8-Y5 
            Serial number    00001024
            Week/year    43 / 06
            SPD Ext.    EPP
                JEDEC #3
                    Frequency    333.3 MHz
                    CAS# latency    5.0
                    RAS# to CAS#    6
                    RAS# Precharge    6
                    tRAS    16
                    tRC    21
                    Voltage    1.800 V
                JEDEC #2
                    Frequency    266.7 MHz
                    CAS# latency    4.0
                    RAS# to CAS#    4
                    RAS# Precharge    4
                    tRAS    12
                    tRC    16
                    Voltage    1.800 V
                JEDEC #1

  • 1. Re: Help choosing best compatiable CPU & GPU
    Currently Being Moderated

    Check your mobo docs to see max cpu frequency.

    If you have the lga 775 socket I'd suggest a core 2 quad like this $150 one:



    If you have the money go for the $280 one:



    If you want only the best, go for this $340 one:




    For graphics card I prefer radeon hd over any other.

    A good one would be this $175 one:



    Best of the best would be this $277 one:


    They sell em more expensive, if you prefer overclocking.


    You most likely will need to buy a new PSU, or at least have a 450W for the entry models, and at least a 550-600W supply for the best card and cpu.

  • 2. Re: Help choosing best compatiable CPU & GPU
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi SungOdra,  As Prodigit suggested, your basic pool of CPUs are socket 775 processors.  There are many of them to choose from, although Intel has started to discontinue some of them as their new models are introduced.  Of course they can still be found at retailers and there is nothing wrong with them.


    The main factor that may limit your choice is your mother board.  Pentium 4 CPUs are among the first ones that use the socket 775 platform, so the later models such as the Core 2 Duo and Quad series may not be compatible with that mother board, or more correctly it's BIOS.  If you can still find documentation for that PC, you may be able to find which CPUs were available as options for it, since manufactures sometimes offer upgrade options to their basic PC platforms.  If for example Core 2 CPUs were offered as upgrades, then it is more likely that any CPUs of that kind will work with that mother board.


    Another possible limiting factor of that mother board is it's Front Side Bus (FSB) speed, which from the specs you posted, seems to be 800MHz.  Many of the Core 2 CPUs can run at FSB speeds of 1066 or 1366 MHz.  I think that those CPUs can be used at your 800MHz FSB speed, but the overall performance of that combination will be lower than those CPUs are capable of.  The FSB speed of 800MHz will be a "bottleneck" that may limit the overall performance that could have been gained with a high performance socket 775 CPU.  Therefore you may not achieve any more performance from the very best CPUs compared to ones that are somewhat below them in potential performance.


    As modern GPUs/video cards function more independently from the CPU and mother board system than in the past, there is less concern with their interaction.  What is most important regarding video cards is what interface your mother board has for them.  Being from 2006, it might have the AGP interface, rather than the PCI-E interface used exclusively today.  I cannot tell from the specs you posted which interface your mother board has.  That will be a major factor determining which video cards you can use.  You should find out what that interface is, and post that information for us, as that is likely more important to overall gaming performance than the CPU.

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