View Full Version : Upgrading an older PC

24-08-2012, 11:05 PM
I have a 3ghz P4 530 PC, with 2Gb of ram. Motherboard is an Intel D945GCL. I found this compatibility list on Intel's site that shows compatible CPU's with my motherboard.


As far as I can tell from the tables on the above site, the best CPU I can get for it is a Core 2 Duo E6420 at 2.13 GHz, or a E6600, or E6700 depending on the revision.

I found a second hand E6420 on Trademe for $55. Question I have is, will it make any appreciable difference? In other words, is it worth it?

25-08-2012, 12:02 AM
Depends entirely on what you use the system for. I recently did a Celeron to Core 2 Duo upgrade for a single reason - to stop the CPU from maxing out when loading virtual machines. For most other things I was doing = no difference. [SInce then found the Core 2 Duo I had did not support 64 bit virtualization so bought a new MB/CPU combination].

25-08-2012, 12:10 AM
I have a 2.33 Quad Intel, 4GB even running some of the Adobe software with film scans up to a size of 100MB. I don't feel I need a new computer. Had for 3.5yrs now.

Depends what you want to do thou - games, video software or batching editing photographs may be different though ..

25-08-2012, 12:41 AM
The CPU you have doesn't seem to be on that list.....
Generally a core 2 duo is a much better CPU than a pentium 4 and dual cores tend to feel much more responsive than single cores. A lot of software these days benefits from multiple threads.

I wouldn't spend much on hardware that vintage (you can get a basic MB/CPU/RAM combo brand new under $300 easily) but if you can get one cheap then it might be worth a try.
Whether it will make enough difference for your requirements unfortunately probably comes down to try it and see.

25-08-2012, 12:53 AM
I'm not so sure that you are going to gain much from a P4 3.0GHz HT cpu to a C2D 2.13GHz cpu especially with the same motherboard and memory. There are some advantages like Intel® Virtualization Technology, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, etc and faster Lithography and of course 64bit. But a trade-off in processor power. So, unless you can make use of the few features the E6420 offers, personally, I dont think I would bother, but put a few extra dollars into a more recent combo where you would notice the difference.

25-08-2012, 12:17 PM
Largely agree with the views above, but like dugimodo says, you will notice a greater responsiveness with dual cores in spite of he clock speed drop.

Whether it is worth $55, who can say. Depends on how long you want to run with this setup I guess. If you are going to keep this comp for a couple of years $55 wouldn't be a bad investment IMHO.

25-08-2012, 12:26 PM
Upgrading is always good. But when I go up a CPU I always do MB, CPU and RAM in one go.

25-08-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks guys (and girls), lots to consider.

25-08-2012, 09:03 PM
Maybe consider what is holding you back. You could delay for a $300 upgrade later on ..

26-08-2012, 09:19 PM
The benefit of the Core 2 Duo is that is a dual core. You'll be able to multitask easier. Things should feel quicker. My CPU is 2.11 GHz AMD Athlon 64x2 and it feels far more responsive than a LGA 775 Pentium 4 2.8 GHz. Loading times are far faster with my CPU than the P4.

27-08-2012, 03:30 PM
Passmark rates P4 3Ghz at 489 points....and the 6430 at 1200, so apparently almost 3 times as good.....your results may vary...

Both however, are so far removed from modern CPU's, i wouldn't bother myself...