MB and processor upgrade dilemma - advice please

Hi all,

I am really in a tough bind here trying to decide how to maximize my upgrade dollars. I'll try to make this as lucid and concise as possible.

I have an HP 8570c (I can explain; I bought it at the beginnning of college when I wasn't into computers much, but times have changed and I realize that next comp will be home-made, but anyway) with a 440 BX chipset and a katmai 450 P3. I have about $200 to spend. I was figuring on going the powerleap iPL3 converter (mobo doesn't support coppermie voltage) and 850 P3 (100mhz fsb) path. With a little more thought I realized that I might be able to get an Athlon setup for less money. However, I have figured out these problems: standard OEM powersupply is not adequate for Athlon and so would need new one. Also would need entirely new MB. Lastly, if I upgrade my MB, it won't have the "tatoo" that HP installs on their OEM boards that allows you to use the recovery CDs. I would thereby be losing out on all the software that I paid good money for, as I could not install with my new MB.

These are the questions I have: Given my situation, can someone come up with a speedy, stable MB and AMD processor como that would fit my price range? Has anyone tried the powerleap upgrade and would they recommend it? And finally, is there anyway to get around the recovery CD lockout with new MB.

I am new to the AMD side of things and knew that I could turn to all of you to learn alot in a hurry. Thanks much for all of your time and advice. (You just may have an AMD convert on your hands!! :)
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  1. you will not get a recovery CD to work with a new motherboard because the newer parts are not on the recovery CD. You could still use the CD for drivers for a few parts like removeable sound/video/network/modem what ever you have on there. You'd simply have to point windows to the folder that contains the drivers, but you'd have to install windows on your own, no recovery CD.

    If you want to build a fast cheap AMD system check out www.pricewatch.com and find a good seller. I'll save you some time and tell you www.newegg.com has a lot of parts at close to unbeatable prices, and they have given me no trouble with the 2 returns I had to do with them, I got defective CD burner and another time a defective motherboard and both were sent back to me promptly. With AMD though you need to stick to major name brand or else your screwed.
  2. For my $200, I'd go to www.pricewatch.com , under "motherboard combos" and get a AMD Duron mobo combo (800 Mhz or so ). The PS requirements are not that of the "Thunderbird" and the performance difference is not that much (64k internal cach vs. 256K )
    Would not go w/ an ECS mobo as I've had problems. I'm pretty impressed w/ Assus. Problems w. Abit too.
    Intel is NOT good value and the Duron RUNS over the Celeron.
  3. ECS k7s5a $72.00
    Crucial pc2100 256 meg ddr $42.00
    AMD 266 fsb t-bird 1 gig $82.00
    total $196.00

    This leaves you with the power supply delema and a few bucks short to get it. Ebay your current motherboard and processor and this will give you more than enough to buy a decent 300 to 400 watt supply.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  4. I am currently testing out the ECS K7S5a and found it one of the easiest and most stable boards I have used, have you had problems with this board or antoher made by ECS?

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  5. I would go with a pc kit from pricewatch. The athlon 1 ghtz starts at $185, which is in your price range. You could probably use your old memory to get you started, and get some faster memory later. Some motherboards listed give you a choice of sdram or ddram.
  6. Here is my 5 cents worth. Since you are doing that big of an upgrade, I would highly recommend selling your current set up. Sticking a retail MB in and OEM case may or may not work, and all your other hadware will pretty much be unsable and unsaleable. Depending on your features, you may be able to get up to $500 for your HP, then spend the 700 on a whole new system. If you can't find anything in your price range, start saving and after christmas (around Feb) prices will start to go down again. then you will be able to buy more for the smae price. I would not put any MB in your current machine as it is not likely that it will ever work.

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
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