upgrade or build new (first timer)

Current system: 4-year-old Dell Win98 Celeron 400 w/Intel Slot 1 Mobo AR440BX, 128 K secondary cache, 128 MB non-ECC SDRAM, ATI Rage Pro Video AGP 2X w/8mb SDRAM, TB Santa Cruz Sound, 200W power supply, 1 20G HD (not sure of speed) 1 10G HD (not sure of speed). DVD and CDRW drives.

I'm running out of head room on my HDs but the MOBO has a 25 G limit. Upgrade Possibility - change my PCI modem for ISA, install PCI ATA controller card and new large 7200rpm 100ATA HD. Other possibility is to install Powerleap chip upgrade PL-iP3/T to Tualatin chip. Powerleap says my system will runn at 1.05 Ghz 256K L2 Cache. Assuming used modem and Ebay or other discount sources, this upgrade with 80-120 G HD should run $250-$275.

I am not a gamer, but do burn cds and with a bigger HD want to burn VCDs. Will this upgrade get me there or do I need to build myself a new system? If I need to build, then I'd need advice on where to start, cause I know nothing. Let me know if there's any other info about my system or needs you need to know. Many thanks, rmb.
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  1. I think if you buy a 200GB WD drive, it comes with a ATA100 controller.

    Personally, I think celeron sucks. I have a celeron on one of my systems, and of course it's overclocked, but they still suck. And not to diss you or anything, but Dell sucks as well.

    Personally, if I were you, I would run away from Dell as fast as I can and detach myself so that I can start to build a real computer.
  2. My parents have a Celeron 400 w/512 SDRAM machine and it can run win2000 fairly smooth. I get a little impatient with the performance when I use it, but it is plenty fast for most people and it will handle office apps, web browsing and CD burning just fine.

    If you do not play games then it seems like a new hard drive and some more RAM should do you for a while longer. If I were you, I wouldn't bother with a PCI ATA card, just ditch the smaller hard drive replace it with a bigger stronger faster one.

    You're probably running 98, so backup all your files to the 20GB drive, replace the 10GB with a new hard drive and install a fresh copy of windows 2000 or XP on it. Also, 128mb is far too little to have, especially with the prices of SDRAM these days.

    Once you get out of windows 98/Me hell, quadruple your ram and get a faster hard disk you will feel like you got a new computer.
  3. But my MOBO bios won't read more than 25G drives so I have to use an ATA card. Right now I don't have room on the 2O g drive to back up the 10. With an ATA card I can run 4 hds, so I thought I'd find a way to stick in the 3rd new drive, even temporarily, to move all the files over from the others before deciding whether or not to keep the old drives. Also, according to Dell, my bios and drivers are not XP compatible. I could run Win2K.
  4. Where should I go to pull together info on what hardware would best suit my needs?
  5. Quote:
    I do burn cds and with a bigger HD want to burn VCDs.

    What types of videos that you want to burn to VCD's? Home video shot by camcorder? TV programs from VCR/TV? Videos downloaded from Internet? or what? That's an important issue coz if none of your videos are in MPEG-1 format, you can't burn VCD's. And if you do need to convert your videos to MPEG-1 format, I don't think your current CPU is fast enough to do that.
  6. >And if you do need to convert your videos to MPEG-1 >format, I don't think your current CPU is fast enough to >do that.

    I will need to convert to mpeg-1 -- which I assumed my Celeron 400 was too slow to handle. Will the Powerleap upgrade to 1.05Ghz be fast enough or do I need to think about starting from scratch?
  7. Build a new system

    <b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new"> My Website</A></b>

    <b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
  8. 1.05Ghz is still too slow for video conversion. You need at least a P4 1.8GHz. I guess you should consider building a new system like Spitfire said.
  9. You will need a whole day to convert one mpeg file..
    I had a Celeron500Mhz before, I know that feeling..
    I would say build a new system as people said
  10. OK, so if I'm building my own where do I start? I am trying to keep the costs as low as I can -- but I want a system that would be upgradeable in 3 years, say, unlike my current one. Is such a thing possible?

    I have no preferences about anything, am completely new on this -- so I need suggestions about which mobo and cpu and video and sound (though I have a TB Santa Cruz I could move from my current pc into the new one) and which online sources are the best to buy from. My one other assumption is that if I stay with cdrw at this point, at some later date I will probably go to dvd-r (assuming those prices may drop sometime in the future.) many thanks. rmb
  11. CPU: Athlon XP 1700+
    Mobo: MSI K7N2 Delta-L
    RAM: 2 x 256 MB Corsait XMS PC3200 CL2.0 DDR

    Buy these components and overclock it if you need more speed. AXP 1700+ can easily do 25% to 50% FSB overclocking. Then you may not need to upgrade CPU at all within 3 years. If you don't overclock, then you can upgrade to AXP 3200+ which should be cheap enough after 2 years

    <b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86" target="_new"> My Website</A></b>

    <b><A HREF="http://geocities.com/spitfire_x86/myrig.html" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
  12. 1050MHz implies a 10.5x multiplier at 100MHz bus, which would be an underclocked PIII 1400. I have NEWS for you! You could use a Celeron 1400, and because it's made for a 100MHz bus, you would have FULL SPEED. Why pay for a PIII 1400 and underclock it to 1050MHz, when you can get a much cheaper Celeron 1400 on the SAME tualatin core, and get 1400MHz, for less money?

    <font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
  13. This site is probably the best all-around site I've found. Read the articles, how-to's, reviews and anything else you can set your eyes on. You can get bombarded with opinions here, but don't forget to do your own research before you buy!!

    <A HREF="http://rebturtle.com" target="_new">rebturtle</A>
    <A HREF="http://www.geocities.com/rebturtle/TurtleTech.html" target="_new">My System</A>
  14. Unfortionately the upgrades for your system will still cost a few hundred dollars and with that money you would be half way towards building a faster system like the one Spitfire recommended. Check out newegg.com. You'll be surprised how cheap components really are.

    The powerleap adapter is easy and will get you 1.4 Ghz, but you're going to be better off in the long run investing a bit more money and getting something a lot faster.

    I have a 1 Ghz T-bird and encoding VCD's takes over 2 hrs.

    <font color=green>Everyone should be like the Dutch. They're perfect.</font color=green>
    <font color=red>
    <A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1086025,00.asp" target="_new">Is Nvidia cheating?</A></font color=red>
  15. Thanks for the starting point. I'm getting my shopping list together. And thanks to everybody else who posted. rmb
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