Should I give my son this junk or upgrade him?

I just built a brand new puter for myself and my son, who's 11, says he needs one for school... (I suspect it's more for games but that's besides the point) The problem is I love tweaking and building stuff and for the life of me I can't see giving him this even though it's only about 2.2 years old.

AMD Athalon XP 2000
Epox 8KHA+ Motherboard.
512 mbs of 2100 DDR
60 gig Segate HD running at 7200
DVD and CD Burner.
Visiontex 9200se when I get a new card for my new machine.

I want to upgrad the thang but... there's really not much that MoBoard can do for him as far as getting a faster chip. It's Socket A so I guess there's only a couple more chips I can upgrade to on that board. If I take out the board I'll have to toss the chip, ram and everything else since, lets face it, the stuff is OLD...

Any quick relatively cheap upgrade short of redoing MoBo, Chip and RAM?

Da Worfster

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
14 answers Last reply
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  1. as it sits, that's more computer than my 23 y/o step son has at college

    Best Regards,
    I've learned that one good turn gets most of the blankets.
  2. With a decent video card (9200 isn't horrible), that system really isn't that bad. You seem to be infering this system would not be very useful, sure it's not top of the line, but it is more than plenty for school stuff, and realistically good for most games out. I used a 2100+ XP up until a few months ago and never had a problem with any games (TI4600 video card, and 2100 RAM). My 2100 machine ran everything in 1280x1024 at full graphics.

    If you are reallyl concerned about it, buy him something newer, but I really think it's probably good to get him by for a while.

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  3. I'd just put a 9600pro in there for him. I'd think he'd be quite happy. My 8 yr old, who spends WAY too much playing on the pc, doesn't seem all that concerned about graphics or fsp, just gameplay.

    Of course, a pc with only 1/2 that power w/b fine for school work.

    Mobile XP 2600+ (11X200)
    Abit NF7-S v 2.0
    Maxtor 60GB ATA 133 7200RPM
    512MB Corsair Twinx 3200LL
    BBA 9800 Pro
    Enermax Noisetaker 420 watts
  4. a pentium 200 should technically be ok for school work, I don't see what else you really need for school especially at that age. I mean at that age what more do you need other than a word processor and calculator?
  5. The "spare" pc over here is an Athlon slot A running at 600MHz with 384Mb of ram and an 8MB AGP card. Compared to either XP 2600 when running AOL, Netscape Word, Excel, Access or many other programs I'd need a stopwatch to tell the difference. One 2600 is a Barton and it has a gig of ram, the other is a Thoroughbred with 384; both have 64Mb AGP cards. Which of you thinks this "old" puter is insufficient? How does it compare to the puters his classmates all have [it's "required", right?]. What are the minimum 'expectations' of his school? All of these are on 24/7, and the only software that really shows a difference is Seti-the slot A averages 9 hours per work unit while the newer machines are a little over two. Gaming would be a chore on the slowpoke but only if I were using new games that required better resolution than the 800x600 limit on the monitor. My office PCs are all ancient Dell P3s @ 500MHz with 256Mb ram and 6Gb drives and they're just fine.
  6. I guess I was letting "upgraditis" carry over from my new rig. It was fine till I started playing things like "IL2 Sturmovik Forgotten Battles". It's hard when you got the blinders on to step back and take a real look at "what's needed for the kid" as opposed to "what you'd want for yourself."

    Thanks for the dose of sanity!!!!

    Da Worfster

    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
  7. Get a decent graphics card (R9600 Pro or better) for this system and give it to your son

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  8. Love tweaking? Just take it a little further and get into overclocking.

    Get yourself a mobile Barton and overclock it to 2.4-2.5 Ghz (approx XP3000+ to XP3400+ speeds). The mobile Bartons are multiplier unlocked which is essential for a motherboard with limited FSB upside.

    There's a couple of tricks you might need but it's pretty easy.

    Plenty of reference reading out there.

    Epox newsgroup (alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.epox) and AMD overclocking newsgroup (alt.comp.hardware.overclocking.amd) on Usenet. Use Google Groups if you don't have a newsreader.

    Epox forum at <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    Fab51 (english version), <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> (english version), <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    Wes Newell's site, <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>, pioneer Socket A overclocking (Palomino and Tbred) using Abit KT7, VIA KT133 (2 years older than your Epox 8KHA+). Most of the info is applicable to newer boards and newer processors.

    John Carich's site, <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>. (It's been down for a while but hopefully it will return). Had/has great technical information and solutions on some of the issues of overclocking with legacy motherboards.

    <b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b>
  9. My 11 year old has a computer for school. A P3-600 with 256MB PC-133 and a 64MB GF3, and its MORE than he need for basic schoolwork.

    I would say that yes, "upgraditis" can be a serious disease :smile: but what he has will be sufficient for another couple years, till you upgrade again :wink:

    Intel P4 2.4B
    MSI 645E Max-U Mobo
    1GB DDR333
    R9600XT 128MB
    SB Live 5.1
    Samsung 120GB
    Maxtor 120GB
    LG DVD+-R/RW
  10. A new cpu cooler, cause that one always runs hot aroun 55* Celcius under load. And a new graphics card. Other than that... he'll have to get by... thanks for the love folks.

    Da Worfster

    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
  11. dude thats a nice system!

    stick a 9800pro in that thing in a month or two, and he would have one VERY capable gaming machine (and games stress computers the most)

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  12. sorry to bother you with this, but "Should I <b>give my son</b> this <b>junk</b> or upgrade him?" does not sound nice at all.

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
  13. I didn't mean to offend. I was just upset that the $1,400 I spent in 2002 should be so out of date in 2004. I was just stunned how far everything had traveled in so short a time. Sigh... I guess it's not junk. I needed a bit of perspective...


    Da Worfster

    If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
  14. lol, no offence, it was suppose to be a fun comment about how we treat our kids with "kids deserve best we can do for them" theme, hehe

    anyway, you are right about progress moving along faster than ever, but it does not mean we can't enjoy the things from the past (I am still using stuff from 2001 and it's does what it must (XP1700+ that I am working on right now), even though you would say it's junk by today’s measurements;)

    And I would just give him whatever parts you think can't be upgraded and upgrade myself with newer stuff to save some bux and be good to him and yourself at the same time ;)

    PS: it's funny how you say "I <b>just</b> build.." and then "it is only 2 years old"

    ..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
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