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Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 03:16 AM
Hey everybody :)

I plan to build my first computer. :KS I'm super excited about it, but I'm kind of lost as well. To start off my friend gave me a motherboard, it's an MSI 915L Neo-V (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html). According to the MSI link there, it supports whatever processor is in the LGA775 socket. Correct me if I'm wrong. I kind of understand what the Pentium 4 and Celeron D processors are, but what's the Pentium 4 5xx, 6xx(EM64T), and Celeron D 3xx processor? Are these newer and better processors in the Pentium and Celeron family name? Need some clarification on that.

The other thing is the 4 Serial ATA ports with transfer rate up to 1.5 Gb/s. What does this mean? I have to get a Serial ATA hard disk drive with 1.5 Gb/s transfer rate instead of a Serial ATA hard disk drive with 3 Gb/s or 6 Gb/s transfer rate?

Finally, the case issue. I see cases come with a crazy amount of 3.5" bays and 5.25" bays. I can understand the reason for having several 3.5" bays, but why several 5.25" bays? Aren't the 5.25" bays used for the CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives? I don't see the need for more than two. Suggestions?

Thank you for your time and knowledge.

whatthefunk
May 29th, 2012, 03:44 AM
Thats a very old motherboard.

The list of supported CPUs is here:
http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html#/?div=CPUSupport

Most of the CPUs on that list were introduced around a decade ago. Intels newest and best CPUs will not fit into that socket.

What are you going to use this computer for? If its just for internet and document creation, youd probably be alright. It wouldnt do well for gaming though. Are you planning on dual booting? Note that that chipset only supports Windows 2000 and XP.

I think youd be better off spending another hundred bucks or so on a newer motherboard.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 03:50 AM
Thats a very old motherboard.

The list of supported CPUs is here:
http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html#/?div=CPUSupport

Most of the CPUs on that list were introduced around a decade ago. Intels newest and best CPUs will not fit into that socket.

What are you going to use this computer for? If its just for internet and document creation, youd probably be alright. It wouldnt do well for gaming though. Are you planning on dual booting? Note that that chipset only supports Windows 2000 and XP.

I think youd be better off spending another hundred bucks or so on a newer motherboard.

I figured it was an old motherboard, so it would be alright to use just to get some experience in building computers. I was thinking of just putting Ubuntu on it, not Windows. Not at all for gaming. Just so I could learn.

whatthefunk
May 29th, 2012, 04:06 AM
Yeah, you could. Personally, if I was going to invest money into a computer, Id invest a bit more so that I could have something decent. You would learn just as much, but end up with a better result.

Also, to answer your question about bays, most cases come with 4 or 5 5.25 bays. You can put a lot more things than just cd/dvd drives into them. Alot of people put USB ports into them, audio ports, many things... I only use one of my 4...the rest just sit there waiting for me to find a use for them.

Bandit
May 29th, 2012, 04:19 AM
You should get something with the newer Z77 chipset if your going the Intel route and a newer Ivy Bridge CPU. This should get you good to great performance with the least amount of money to drop into it.

This board is a good choice, but its my preference:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131830

Here is a list of Intel Ivy Bridge CPUs to choose from that should work well, you can choose your price -vs- speed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050001157%2040000343%20600315409&IsNodeId=1&name=Ivy%20Bridge

Make sure you choose ram from the motherboards manufactors website that is listed as compatible. Most of the time the list the SKU code and you can copy and paste that into your search criteria and find the RAM you need.

Follow those simple suggestions for component compatibility and you should have a stable and good performing system that should last for years.

MadmanRB
May 29th, 2012, 05:01 AM
or just go for a cheap lowend MOBO, if not gaming it will be fine

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 05:02 AM
Hmm...thank you all for the great information. What should I do with this motherboard then? I don't just want it laying around.

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 05:32 AM
It's an ATX board so it won't fit into a smaller MicroATX case. If you can get used parts for cheap or free I would say go for it. I've got an old Athlon XP socket A that I run Debian on, it runs great. If it supported the Core 2 Duo socket 775 it might be worth putting a little money into, but it doesn't. Unfortunately, it takes the first generation of DDR RAM, which is usually more expensive than DDR2 or DDR3. As far as the SATA hard drive, you should be able to put in any drive, it just won't perform past 1.5GB/s.

It's an interesting board, it has support for both PCI Express and AGP video cards, I've never seen that before. It must have been during the beginnings of PCI Express. If you did build up this computer, there is no reason why you couldn't just upgrade the board later. Probably the only parts that wouldn't be reusable are the processor and RAM.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 05:42 AM
It's an ATX board so it won't fit into a smaller MicroATX case. If you can get used parts for cheap or free I would say go for it. I've got an old Athlon XP socket A that I run Debian on, it runs great. If it supported the Core 2 Duo socket 775 it might be worth putting a little money into, but it doesn't. Unfortunately, it takes the first generation of DDR RAM, which is usually more expensive than DDR2 or DDR3. As far as the SATA hard drive, you should be able to put in any drive, it just won't perform past 1.5GB/s.

It's an interesting board, it has support for both PCI Express and AGP video cards, I've never seen that before. It must have been during the beginnings of PCI Express. If you did build up this computer, there is no reason why you couldn't just upgrade the board later. Probably the only parts that wouldn't be reusable are the processor and RAM.

Yeah, I believe it was during the beginnings of PCI Express. It's pretty interesting. Out of all the components, it seems that the memory will be the most expensive. I've looked on MicroCenter and the Pentium 4 processors are ranging from $25 and up. I'm just having a hard time choosing the best processor. If you guys can help me with that, I'd really appreciate it. :) It's my first time trying to build a computer so I'm in new territory.

gnusci
May 29th, 2012, 05:43 AM
Just get few second hand parts from ebay and have fun. You will definitely learn a lot of hardware and also you will have a machine to do some experiments with.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 05:45 AM
Just get few second hand parts from ebay and have fun. You will definitely learn a lot of hardware and also you will have a machine to do some experiments with.

Yes! That's precisely it. I want to do some experiments. You've said it perfectly.

jonedney
May 29th, 2012, 06:09 AM
The whole point of learning, is to break things. Work on a low budget, and break stuff :)

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 06:11 AM
I've looked on MicroCenter and the Pentium 4 processors are ranging from $25 and up.

You should be able to get a Pentium 4 cheaper than that on Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=pentium+4+775&_sacat=0). Don't forget that you will need a CPU fan as well (I hate installing/removing 775 fans *yuck*, probably the worst fan mounting design... in my opinion).

jonedney
May 29th, 2012, 06:12 AM
MicroCenter is a decent place to get parts, but you can almost always find something cheaper if you're patient enough to look.

(I used to work for MicroCenter - hate that place)

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 06:17 AM
You should be able to get a Pentium 4 cheaper than that on Ebay (http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=pentium+4+775&_sacat=0). Don't forget that you will need a CPU fan as well (I hate installing/removing 775 fans *yuck*, probably the worst fan mounting design... in my opinion).

Ah, yes. Thank you for stating that. I was wondering about that part as well. I've found a list of Pentium 4 processors from here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors). The motherboard's box says "Prescott Ready" and I've learned that "Prescott" is a code name used for the processor, but here's where the confusion comes in. That list shows Prescott (90nm) and Prescott 2M (90nm). Which one is the better one to go with?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 06:26 AM
Here is a pair of compatible processors (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Intel-Pentium-4-P4-3-2Ghz-CPU-SL8J2-Socket-775-/370617732443?pt=CPUs&hash=item564a89cd5b), according to CPU World (http://www.cpu-world.com/sspec/SL/SL8J2.html), for $10.25 and free shipping. Seems like a good deal to me, but you still may be able to get them cheaper.

Here is some info on the Prescott cores from Wikipedia, I haven't read it so I don't know which is better. My guess is that you aren't going to notice a great deal of difference in the performance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4#Prescott

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 06:33 AM
Here is a pair of compatible processors (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Intel-Pentium-4-P4-3-2Ghz-CPU-SL8J2-Socket-775-/370617732443?pt=CPUs&hash=item564a89cd5b), according to CPU World (http://www.cpu-world.com/sspec/SL/SL8J2.html), for $10.25 and free shipping. Seems like a good deal to me, but you still may be able to get them cheaper.

Here is some info on the Prescott cores from Wikipedia, I haven't read it so I don't know which is better. My guess is that you aren't going to notice a great deal of difference in the performance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4#Prescott

Wow, thank you very much! :)

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 06:35 AM
NOTE: It also looks like these CPUs support 64-bit.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 06:36 AM
NOTE: It also looks like these CPUs support 64-bit.

Yupp, I noticed that. :)

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 06:42 AM
Question: I see there's a code name Cedar Mill from the list as well. The socket says LGA 775. Would those Cedar Mill processors work as well as the Prescott processors?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:00 AM
"Cedar Mills" are newer. It doesn't look like there is a whole lot of difference from the Prescotts except that they have a lower power consumption: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4#Cedar_Mill. Now that I think about it, I've got a Prescott core Pentium 4 sitting right in front of me that I recently pulled out of a board. This processor always ran hotter (and slower) than I preferred (65+C). I replaced it with a Core 2 Duo that runs around 30C. I would recommend trying out a Cedar Mill.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:06 AM
"Cedar Mills" are newer. It doesn't look like there is a whole lot of difference from the Prescotts except that they have a lower power consumption: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentium_4#Cedar_Mill. Now that I think about it, I've got a Prescott core Pentium 4 sitting right in front of me that I recently pulled out of a board. This processor always ran hotter (and slower) than I preferred (65+C). I replaced it with a Core 2 Duo that runs around 30C. I would recommend trying out a Cedar Mill.

Thank you! I will try finding a "Cedar Mill" processor rather than a "Prescott" processor then. Now about the CPU fan. How do I go about picking which one to buy? Like is there a particular CPU fan for a CPU?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:11 AM
Any heatsink and fan that is designed for a socket 775 will work. There are some pretty inexpensive heatsink+fan combos for socket 775 on Ebay. They look like they might be easier to install than the ones that I had.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heatsink-Cooler-Fan-for-775-CPU-Intel-Core-2-Duo-Quad-/160799593895?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item25706715a7
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Socket-775-Aluminum-Heat-Sink-3-w-4-Pin-Fan-2-6GHz-/270935059316?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item3f14fceb74

I don't know how good these are, they look pretty cheap and the heatsink isn't very big. But if they suck, you're only out 5 bucks. If you end up with a CPU that runs as hot as my Prescott you may want to find something with a bigger heatsink. As I understand it, copper heatsinks are better. Watch out for ones that are located in Hong Kong, there are a bunch, you'd probably end up waiting a month or two for them to arrive.

----- EDIT -----

It may be a good idea to go with an Intel OEM Heatsink and Fan: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-E18764-001-Socket-775-Aluminum-Heat-Sink-3-Fan-w-4-Pin-Connector-/170760664656?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item27c220f650. I had one of these, a little bit of a pain to install. It was also really loud, but it may have just been a defective fan.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:16 AM
Any heatsink and fan that is designed for a socket 775 will work. There are some pretty inexpensive heatsink+fan combos for socket 775 on Ebay. They look like they might be easier to install than the ones that I had.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heatsink-Cooler-Fan-for-775-CPU-Intel-Core-2-Duo-Quad-/160799593895?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item25706715a7
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Socket-775-Aluminum-Heat-Sink-3-w-4-Pin-Fan-2-6GHz-/270935059316?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item3f14fceb74

I don't know how good these are, they look pretty cheap and the heatsink isn't very big. But if they suck, you're only out 5 bucks. If you end up with a CPU that runs as hot as my Prescott you may want to find something with a bigger heatsink. As I understand it, copper heatsinks are better. Watch out for ones that are located in Hong Kong, there are a bunch, you'd probably end up waiting a month or two for them to arrive.

Wait, what's a heat sink? The frilly looking thing on the fan? The aluminum thing?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:18 AM
Yes. And it is necessary. It usually comes with the fan.

Above I posted about the OEM heatsink having a copper center. I erased this because I am not sure.

gnusci
May 29th, 2012, 07:20 AM
You will also need heat sink compound or also called thermal paste,

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=arctic+silver+thermal+paste

I will recommend you Arctic Silver, maybe somebody knows another with a good quality but cheaper. 2.5 grams should be enough for one CPU.

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:22 AM
You will also need heat sink compound or also called thermal paste...
I will recommend you Arctic Silver

Good thinking, I totally forgot about this.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:28 AM
You will also need heat sink compound or also called thermal paste,

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_sacat=0&_nkw=arctic+silver+thermal+paste

I will recommend you Arctic Silver, maybe somebody knows another with a good quality but cheaper. 2.5 grams should be enough for one CPU.

Thermal paste goes on the CPU and then I install the CPU fan?

Must say thanks to you all. I've learned a ton so far. :)

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:33 AM
Thermal paste goes on the CPU and then I install the CPU fan?

Correct.

The first time I built a computer I didn't realize that I needed a heatsink and fan and burnt up my processor... a 2.9GHz Celeron socket 478 :frown:

----- EDIT -----
I also wanted to mention that your board appears to only accept DDR 333 and 400 RAM, so the slower 266 and 200 speeds won't work in it, even though they fit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR_SDRAM#Chips_and_modules

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:42 AM
Correct.

The first time I built a computer I didn't realize that I needed a heatsink and fan and burnt up my processor... a 2.9GHz Celeron socket 478 :frown:

----- EDIT -----
I also wanted to mention that your board appears to only accept DDR 333 and 400 RAM, so the slower 266 and 200 speeds won't work in it, even though they fit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR_SDRAM#Chips_and_modules

I definitely don't want that happening to me! So the memory I should be looking for has to be DDR 333 or 400, also known as PC-2700 or PC-3200, respectively. Correct?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:45 AM
Correct. According to the motherboard specifications those are the only two that will work, which is okay 'cuz you want to faster RAM anyway.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:47 AM
Correct. According to the motherboard specifications those are the only two that will work, which is okay 'cuz you want to faster RAM anyway.

Great! So out of the DDR-333 and DDR-400, the DDR-400 is the faster of the two?

gnusci
May 29th, 2012, 07:50 AM
Great! So out of the DDR-333 and DDR-400, the DDR-400 is the faster of the two?

Right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR_SDRAM

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 07:50 AM
Yep. And here is something else that I recently learned that might be of interest to you: DDR RAM also has a "density", and if you are using 2 or more sticks of RAM that have the same density, then you can take advantage of its dual-channel capabilities. I'm not exactly sure what this does, probably makes the RAM more efficient. I may have my terminology a little mixed up, but I think that's how it works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-channel_memory_architecture

gnusci
May 29th, 2012, 07:56 AM
Yep. And here is something else that I recently learned that might be of interest to you: DDR RAM also has a "density", and if you are using 2 or more sticks of RAM that have the same density, then you can take advantage of its dual-channel capabilities. I'm not exactly sure what this does, probably makes the RAM more efficient. I may have my terminology a little mixed up, but I think that's how it works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-channel_memory_architecture


What this really means it is that is better to have two sticks 1+1 GB than a single 2 GB memory stick.

You should download the manuals and give a look first before to buy parts:

http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html#/?div=Manual

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 07:57 AM
Yep.


Right. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR_SDRAM

Awesome! You guys rock! :guitar:


DDR RAM also has a "density", and if you are using 2 or more sticks of RAM that have the same density, then you can take advantage of its dual-channel capabilities.

Hm...very interesting. I'll be sure to keep that in mind when buying the RAM.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM
Out of curiosity, I looked up Intel Core 2 microprocessors and saw that under Core 2 Duo, there's a bunch of them with the LGA 775 socket. So would these processors work on the motherboard too, adding to the list of "Prescott" and "Cedar Mill".

List of Intel Core 2 microprocessors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors#Core_2_Duo)

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 08:23 AM
I didn't see any Core 2 or Pentium D for that matter under the list of supported processors for your board, so I would say no, they won't work. Unless MSI came out with a BIOS update after the board was manufactured that added Core 2 support. But I don't know if that is even possible.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 08:28 AM
I didn't see any Core 2 or Pentium D for that matter under the list of supported processors for your board, so I would say no, they won't work. Unless MSI came out with a BIOS update after the board was manufactured that added Core 2 support. But I don't know if that is even possible.

Oh okay. So even though the socket is LGA 775, it doesn't mean that the board supports any processor, just the ones listed by MSI?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 08:29 AM
Correct. And I don't see any BIOS updates that add any CPU support: http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html#/?div=BIOS

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 08:32 AM
Correct.

Ohhh okay, thanks for clearing up my confusion. Were you referring to this list?

CPU Support (http://www.msi.com/product/mb/915PL-Neo-V.html#/?div=CPUSupport)

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 08:37 AM
Yes. Sorry for not being clear.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 08:42 AM
Yes. Sorry for not being clear.

Quite alright. You've been very helpful. Can't thank you enough. According to that CPU support list, I can use a Pentium 4 Extreme Edition CPU too. Code named "Northwood". Would you advise going with the Extreme Edition than the others?

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 08:45 AM
The Northwood is older than the Prescott, I would still recommend going with the Cedar Mill.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 08:48 AM
The Northwood is older than the Prescott, I would still recommend going with the Cedar Mill.

Oh okay. "Cedar Mill" it is then! Thank you.

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 09:02 AM
Just thought that I would add that according to this Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors#Northwood_ .28130.C2.A0nm.29) all Northwood cores appear to be socket 478, so they wouldn't even physically fit into your board.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 09:11 AM
Just thought that I would add that according to this Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Pentium_4_microprocessors#Northwood_ .28130.C2.A0nm.29) all Northwood cores appear to be socket 478, so they wouldn't even physically fit into your board.

Oh okay. It's weird to see it on the MSI CPU support list then.

mips
May 29th, 2012, 10:56 AM
I would not invest money in such old stuff.

Unless you can get the components for free or very little ($50 max for everything) I would not go down this road. Rather use the money towards something newer.

dodle
May 29th, 2012, 10:57 AM
MSI might have that mixed up with this Gallatin core:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Pentium_4/Intel-Pentium%204%20Extreme%20Edition%203.4%20GHz%20-%20JM80532PG0962M%20%28BX80532PG3400FS%29.html

I haven't been able to find any 775 Northwoods.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 10:59 AM
Oh, MSI was right. There are a few 775 Northwoods:
http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Pentium_4/Intel-Pentium%204%20Extreme%20Edition%203.4%20GHz%20-%20JM80532PG0962M%20%28BX80532PG3400FS%29.html

Oh okay, but since you "Northwoods" are older than "Cedar Mills" it doesn't really make sense to go with an older processor. Plus, the "Northwoods" might be harder to find than the "Cedar Mills". I'll stick with the "Cedar Mills" processor like you suggested.

Bandit
May 29th, 2012, 11:13 AM
I would not invest money in such old stuff.

Unless you can get the components for free or very little ($50 max for everything) I would not go down this road. Rather use the money towards something newer.

I agree


@ Shadius,
You will need at least 2GB or RAM, 4GB is prefered. Here are a few reasons I didnt recommend staying with the Pentium 4.
- They are slow.
- Run very hot.
- RAM for those boards makes up the cost savings.
- Bottle necking the system.
- cost savings isnt worth the performance loss.
- Warranties.

You can get a Ivy Bridge i5 under 200USD and a good Z77 for 200USD. Then RAM is only about 50USD for 4GB. Thus 450USD for most of your system that performs excellent and is all the latest hardware. Plus you have warranties on everything. Used hardware doesnt.

Shadius
May 29th, 2012, 11:18 AM
I agree


@ Shadius,
You will need at least 2GB or RAM, 4GB is prefered. Here are a few reasons I didnt recommend staying with the Pentium 4.
- They are slow.
- Run very hot.
- RAM for those boards makes up the cost savings.
- Bottle necking the system.
- cost savings isnt worth the performance loss.
- Warranties.

You can get a Ivy Bridge i5 under 200USD and a good Z77 for 200USD. Then RAM is only about 50USD for 4GB. Thus 450USD for most of your system that performs excellent and is all the latest hardware. Plus you have warranties on everything. Used hardware doesnt.

Hmm...good points.

whatthefunk
May 29th, 2012, 12:22 PM
I agree


@ Shadius,
You will need at least 2GB or RAM, 4GB is prefered. Here are a few reasons I didnt recommend staying with the Pentium 4.
- They are slow.
- Run very hot.
- RAM for those boards makes up the cost savings.
- Bottle necking the system.
- cost savings isnt worth the performance loss.
- Warranties.

You can get a Ivy Bridge i5 under 200USD and a good Z77 for 200USD. Then RAM is only about 50USD for 4GB. Thus 450USD for most of your system that performs excellent and is all the latest hardware. Plus you have warranties on everything. Used hardware doesnt.

It looks like your motherboard only supports up to 2GB of RAM so keep that in mind.